REVIEW: ‘Miracle’ not the experience worth waiting 108 years for By Jack Gardner Contributor “Miracle: A Musical 108 Years in the Making” is having its world-premiere run at the Royal George Theatre in Chicago. From the mind of former senator William A. Marovitz, “Miracle” chronicles the exploits of a Wrigleyville bar-owning, Northside family set against the backdrop of the Chicago Cubs 2016 season, ultimately ending in their winning of the World Series after a century of waiting. As a preface, my interest in sports and, by proxy, the Chicago Cubs, amounts to very little. The day the Cubs won the World...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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”...Read More
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,...Read More
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