By Scott Metzger With a title like Sondheim on Sondheim, there is the risk Porchlight’s Chicago Premiere of the show will be filled with pompous self-adulation of the man Mandy Patinkin calls “The Shakespeare of Musical Theatre.” Indeed, the Porchlight deification of Stephen Sondheim begins as patrons walk past a shrine bearing a large smiling
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 With reports of shows waiting in queue (including the amazing Amazing Grace that previewed in Chicago last fall) for one of 40 New York venues with the 500 seats needed to earn its productions “Broadway” distinction, it’s hard to understand how First Date ever made it to the top of the list.
By Barry Reszel Hysterical and spooky A stage smash hit most flukey At the Mercury they’re kooky Stearns‘ Addams Family Lippa‘s comic score To a comic strip of yore Leaves ’em rolling on the floor At this Addams Family With characters well known And an eerie kind of tone It’s so fun to be thrown
By Barry Reszel The suddenly hyper-public gender speculation of Olympic champion Bruce Jenner offers a certain strange relevance to Marriott Theater’s current production, La Cage aux Folles. Perhaps it will allow those who see this production to feel greater compassion for the 1976 gold medal decathlete who may or may not be undergoing gender
By Barry Reszel Recent heightened awareness of racial tensions, punctuated by protests of head-scratching legal processes in Missouri and New York, provides particular poignancy to Drury Lane Theatre’s inspired, Rockwellian treatment of American musical theatre mainstay West Side Story. But make no mistake. This is not Norman Rockwell‘s idealized, sentimental view of everyday life. The