By Barry Reszel Chicago is the ground floor in the never-ending search for the next great musical. Amazing Grace may just be it. With a soaring, ballad-laden score; beautiful lyrics; intriguing relationships; universal themes of love, loss, bitterness, loss of faith and redemption from darkness; historical significance, including a collective call to look at slavery from a different perspective; and the
The musical theatre reviews featured here are written by reviewers, not critics. These impressions and opinions are from individuals passionate about musical theatre and represent, in most cases, one observation of one performance. The primary purpose in publishing reviews is to help patrons decide whether a production is a good use of their time and entertainment budget. Our reviewers are also encouraged to creatively shine a light on particularly good work done onstage and backstage, understanding that successful productions happen because of the work of many. Finally, ChicagolandMusicalTheatre's reviewers are asked to walk into a show expecting enjoyable entertainment—because that's the mindset of patrons who buy tickets to professional theatre.
By Barry Reszel No one walks away from this Parade wondering what what type of guy spends his Saturday mornings donning a fez, skittering around in a flying carpet. But they do walk away wondering. That’s precisely the way Chicago’s BoHo Theatre wants it. Audiences of this closing production of its 10th season are handed
By Barry Reszel (Sung to the tune of “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd” lyrics and music here.) Attend the Porchlight’s Sweeney Todd A tale quite gruesome, a tale most odd It comes from the pen of Stephen S. Who most in the know say’s a living genius His notes trod a path that few might
By Barry Reszel Dazzling Jeff Award winner Danni Smith and equally gifted Matthew Keffer host an extraordinary cast of mostly invited guests to their stunning, disturbing, sometimes sickening and undeniably wild party as an opener to Bailiwick Chicago Theatre’s 2014-15 season. This 1920s-set Michael John LaChiusa/George C. Wolfe version of Joseph Moncure March‘s R-rated poem,
By Jori Waldron “Etta James, Etta James, Etta James!” is the mantra going around the Black Ensemble Theater. Its original production, At Last: A Tribute to Etta James, written and directed by the founder of the theater, Jackie Taylor, celebrates the complex person behind James’ many famous songs. Five Ettas, in fact, interact and perform