Music Theater Works’ ‘Pirates of Penzance’ a treasured stage adventure By Philip Potempa My last audience encounter with William Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan‘s more than a century-old stage favorite musical “The Pirates of Penzance” was in April 2012, when Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire invited the rollicking singing swashbucklers to their theater-in-the-round for a fun two-month run. Prior to that, it was the 2006 sensational staging at Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre. And way back in 1982, there was the new national tour of producer Joseph Papp‘s version playing at what was then Chicago’s Shubert Theater and starring Jim Belushi as The...Read More
Chicago Lyric’s North American premiere of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ earns praise and awe By Philip Potempa Any audience entering the Lyric Opera House in Chicago is immediately dazzled and immersed in opulence from the first glances around the lobby and performance space. Add to this the experience, the lavish North American premiere of Timothy Sheader’s Olivier Award-winning production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar,“ and the passion, emotion and excitement exceed all expectations. What began five years ago in 2013 as an amazing gift from the great minds at the Chicago Lyric to bring...Read More
‘Wizard of Oz’ national tour has ageless audience appeal at Chicago Theatre By Philip Potempa My last trip down the Yellow Brick Road for a visit to the Land of Oz, as a stage landscape, large national tour, was in May 2014. It was the newly imagined production with Danielle Wade as Dorothy, courtesy of this actress being chosen by Canadian audiences via the CBC TV’s reality show “Over The Rainbow.” While true to the MGM classic 1939 film screenplay and containing all the beloved Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg songs from the Oscar-winning movie score, that touring production...Read More
Latest national Broadway tour for ‘The Sound of Music’ a favorite family affair by Philip Potempa When the live television theatrical production of “The Sound of Music” ranked as a ratings success for NBC in December 2013, with more than 44 million viewers tuned in, it was further proof of the lasting magical appeal of the fabled story of the von Trapp Family. Ted Chapin, president of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, explained the idea for the TV stage special: “I waited for a moment when we could rediscover ‘The Sound of Music’ as it was originally created. Because of the...Read More
Gloria Estefan’s Broadway musical ‘On Your Feet!’ makes triumphant Chicago return By Philip Potempa There is no mistaking the electricity and energy that surrounds the music and performances of international superstar Gloria Estefan. I don’t automatically leap to my feet following the finale of a production, but the inspiring and exciting life and career of Estefan has the power to propel audiences, including myself, to do just that. Broadway In Chicago is hosting a three-week return run of “On Your Feet!,” now through April 8 at Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, in Chicago. The musical is based on the life story of...Read More
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Philip Potempa, a 25-year Chicago veteran journalist, writes about what others are talking about to keep readers informed about the hottest tickets (and topics) in town and beyond.
His Of Notoriety columns and feature stories can also be read in print in his flagship newspaper The Post-Tribune, one of the daily newspapers in the Chicago Tribune Publishing Media Chain.
You can contact Philip Potempa at email@example.com
- REVIEW: Music Theater Works’ ‘Pirates of Penzance’ a treasured stage adventure
- REVIEW: Chicago Lyric’s North American premiere of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ earns praise and awe
- REVIEW: ‘Wizard of Oz’ national tour has ageless audience appeal at Chicago Theatre
- REVIEW: Latest national Broadway tour for ‘The Sound of Music’ a favorite family affair
- REVIEW: Gloria Estefan’s Broadway musical ‘On Your Feet!’ makes triumphant Chicago return