Broadway in Chicago run of ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ struts for audiences at Oriental Theatre By PHILIP POTEMPA Of Notoriety The stage story of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” has been teasing and entertaining audiences since it first opened as an Off-Broadway hit in 1998. By 2000, the rock musical was enjoying a West End run in London and then served up to new audiences as a feature film release in 2001, with the latter treatment deemed a box office failure with only $3 million in earnings compared to the project’s $6 million price tag. It wasn’t until 2014...Read More
Allan shines in one-man ‘Squirrel’ romp at Greenhouse By PHILIP POTEMPA Of Notoriety Commanding an audience’s attention for 90 minutes as a solo performer, delivering a tale of the danger of squirrels, family dysfunction and a failed marriage, is not an easy accomplishment. Actor Will Allan does it all. He has to, since he is the star of the one-man show “Circumference of a Squirrel,” enjoying its Chicago premiere at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago, playing until Feb. 12. This final production of Greenhouse Theater Center’s Solo Celebration! Series is the funny and frantic 90-minute,...Read More
‘Xanadu’ at American Theater Company is roller toe summer fun By PHILIP POTEMPA Of Notoriety The last time a production of the stage musical spoof “Xanadu” rolled through Chicagoland was in 2012 for a spin around the stage at Drury Lane Theatre in Oak Brook. And prior to that ticket tribute to Greek gods and goddesses wrapped in roller disco music, it was 2009 for what was a short open run at Drury Lane Water Tower Place in downtown Chicago. This summer, the silly stage treatment of the now much-lampooned and lovingly lamented 1980 movie of the same name,...Read More
‘This’ at Windy City Playhouse reveals pain/joy of complicated relationships By PHILIP POTEMPA Of Notoriety Most of us have been to a party or gathering and the moment hits when the group is asked to participate in a “parlor game” to keep the event entertaining and “interesting.” Not everyone enjoys the same “games of life.” This assessment forms the basis for the Off-Broadway work titled “This” now playing at Windy City Playhouse, ideally billed as “Chicago’s most sophisticated new theater.” The two-hour, one intermission tale focuses on four cultured and educated witting friends, who would happily self-describe themselves as “artistically inclined thirtysomething...Read More
‘The Book of Mormon’ uses clever twists for salty stage fun By PHILIP POTEMPA Of Notoriety The PrivateBank Theatre in Chicago and a legion of fans are celebrating the return of Tony Award winning “The Book of Mormon” presented by Broadway and also playing through Aug. 14. When this “push-the-envelope” production first played Chicago in 2012, it took the town by storm as a ticket triumph. It still holds the record for the largest weekly gross in history of The PrivateBank Theatre. The book, music and lyrics are all courtesy of Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone. Parker...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.
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