By Barry Reszel Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Jr., 84, obviously knows he’s kind of a big deal. If others didn’t realize this before May 8, when his autobiographical Motown the Musical opened its national tour in Chicago, those in attendance do now. Because when Gordy and entourage sauntered into the Oriental Theatre at 6:48
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 A profane, anachronistic musical theater grudge match on Chicago’s North Side has 1967’s Hair and 2003’s Avenue Q doing battle less than a mile apart for patrons’ entertainment dollars. Smart money is on Gary Coleman, and he’s been dead four years. Yes, somehow a living, adult version of diminutive Arnold Jackson from
By Barry Reszel To focus on a single sense in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s second annual Broadway dalliance is a gross injustice to its breathtaking production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s, The Sound of Music. It’s akin to crediting Michael Jordan’s basketball accomplishments to just the shoes. This not-to-be missed staging of arguably the most well-known
By Barry Reszel A musical-theater masterpiece celebrating the 30th anniversary of Chicagoland’s most elegant venue, led by a top-five area director with a multi-talented cast. That is Drury Lane Theatre’s, Les Misérables. For those whose introduction to Les Mis came via the much-hyped 2012 motion picture (www.imdb.com/title/tt1707386/), Director Rachel Rockwell’s stunning, classical stage presentation is
By Barry Reszel The reviewing of Cats is a difficult matter, It isn’t just one of those typical shows; Twenty years-plus, all pro records it shattered; T.S. Eliot’s poems to which Webber composed. The first thing to know of the current production At Marriott Lincolnshire, evenings, some days, Is Director Marc Robin’s soft, deep reconstruction