Tom Jones’ poetic work plays like a children’s book that only adults and rather precocious kids truly grasp the tragedy of. That’s just the subtle significance that Citadel Theatre’s new production is going for.
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.
Assuming the worst — not even a single Gershwin mashup, remix, or reinvention — we at least have An American in Paris as an eminently graceful swan song that does something new with this old and vital music in its own way.
However, with discussions regarding racially-conscious casting finally reaching the world of opera, there is still a strange sensation watching a story unfold in which more than half of the characters are of Asian descent, but only one of the performers is.
The miracle of it all is that none of his work feels mercenary. Quite the contrary; he’s a genuinely inventive chap whose deft touch for melody or turn-of-phrase can set these delicate classics spinning like a glass marble.
Underscore Theatre — the city’s home for the development of new musical theatrical work — continues Chicago’s grassroots theatrical tradition through the continuation of the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, running for its sixth consecutive year.