Author: philippotempa

REVIEW: ‘Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’ stitches together worlds of author and fable

REVIEW: “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” stitches together worlds of author and fable By Jack Gardner Contributor The circumstances surrounding the creation of the “Frankenstein” tale is just as interesting of a story as Mary Shelley’s 1818 classic. So must have thought David Catlin, writer and director of Lookingglass Theatre’s new original adaptation of the tome. Continuing through Aug. 4 inside the historic Chicago Water Tower Water Works, “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” serves as a “what if?” scenario to explain Shelley’s inspiration for writing “Frankenstein.” The play begins on a stormy, Swiss summer night in 1816, the very same night where Lord Byron...

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REVIEW: Broadway tour ‘Falsettos’ offers refreshing depiction of domestic drama

Broadway tour ‘Falsettos’ offers refreshing depiction of domestic drama By Jack Gardner Contributor     “Falsettos” opened in Chicago at the James M. Nederlander Theatre — formerly the Oriental Theatre — helping kick-off LGBT Pride Month and Broadway in Chicago’s 2019 summer season. Fresh from its Broadway revival, which was nominated for five 2017 Tony Awards, “Falsettos” offers a sober depiction of life, both refreshing and emotionally draining. The musical, which continues through June 9, begins its story in 1979, following the efforts of Marvin — an ambitious and financially secure, yet intensely narcissistic gay man — who wants his new...

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7 Questions with Christopher Kale Jones

Christopher Kale Jones is now starring opposite Santa and young Stella Rose Hoyt as the dashing lead in Theatre at the Center’s holiday hit “Miracle on 34th Street –The Musical” through Dec. 23. A familiar face and talent who draws audience applause, Christopher returns to the TATC stage in 2019 performing in concert with Michael Ingersoll April 6 for “Lean on Me: The Brotherhood of Rock and Roll.” I caught up with Christopher between shows for a Q&A to share his latest highlights in the spotlight… Your stage resume includes both extended schedule performances that range from Broadway’s “Jersey Boys”...

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REVIEW: Betty Buckley in ‘Hello, Dolly!’ Broadway tour brings stage classic to new generations

Betty Buckley in ‘Hello, Dolly!’ Broadway tour brings stage classic to new generations by Philip Potempa It takes a special talent to step into the heel-kicking shoes of that legend of stage, the irrepressible Dolly Levi. Throughout the decades, the title character role of Broadway‘s “Hello, Dolly!” has been played by everyone from Pearl Bailey, Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, Betty Grable and Phyllis Diller as well as Barbra Streisand cast to play her for the 1969 film version. And of course, Carol Channing, a larger-than-life personality both on and off stage and camera, started it all. Channing, who will celebrate her 98th birthday in January,...

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REVIEW: Broadway tour ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ deliciously satisfies audience cravings

Broadway tour ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ deliciously satisfies audience cravings by Philip Potempa I grew up with “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” as one of my favorite childhood movies. It was released in 1971, just one year after I was born, and just having the word chocolate in the film title was enough to get most any child’s attention and admiration for this story with so many lessons, all originally shared in author Roald Dahl‘s delicious 1964 book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” I’ve spent the past few years eagerly following the recipe for long-awaited release for...

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Of Notoriety

Philip covers the latest in theater news and reviews, entertainment, movies, stage performances, exhibits, museums, travel destinations, trends/shopping, dining and more.

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