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Articles filed under Professional Theater

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  • Sydney Morton stars as Florence Ballard, Valisia LeKae as Diana Ross and Ariana DeBose as Mary Wilson of The Supremes in the original 2013 Broadway cast of “Motown The Musical.” The show about Berry Gordy tells the story of how his Motown Records empire rose and fell and then rose again. The North American tour of “Motown The Musical” launches in Chicago at the Oriental Theatre from April 22 to July 13.

    How Chicago lured 'Motown The Musical' away from Motor CityApr 18, 2014 12:00 AM
    "Motown The Musical" launches its North American tour at Chicago's Oriental Theatre for a 12-week run starting Tuesday, April 22. The tour is notable for being eligible for the Illinois Live Theatre Production Tax Credit (part of the reason the show's producers chose Chicago versus other cities), while Chicago native and Broadway veteran Allison Semmes has been cast in the starring role of Diana Ross.

  • Chicago’s Theater Wit has extended its production of “Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England” through May 17.

    Theater events Apr 18, 2014 12:00 AM
    "Motown the Musical" comes to the Oriental Theatre; the Chicago Commercial Collective revives The Inconvenience's hit "Hit The Wall;" and First Floor Theater debuts its all ages theater piece "Tollbooth: A Clown Show" this week in Chicago theater.

  • Doug McDade stars as an intersex visual artist facing death in Rob Winn Anderson’s world-premiere drama “A Fine Line” at Clockwise Theatre in Waukegan.

    ‘A Fine Line’ at Clockwise goes awryApr 18, 2014 12:00 AM
    Clockwise Theatre's world-premiere drama "A Fine Line" about an Intersex artist facing death is certainly ambitious. Unfortunately, this Waukegan-based company can't fully meet the challenges of the script, which has its own structural problems as well.

  • Theater events: Musical ‘Sleeping Beauty’ opens at Drury LaneApr 17, 2014 12:00 AM
    Drury Lane Theatre's young adults series continues with a musical version of "Sleeping Beauty"; TimeLine presents the Chicago-area premiere of the musical "Juno," based on "Juno and the Paycock"; and Shattered Globe concludes its season with Sally Nemeth's "Mill Fire" this week in Chicago-area theater.

  • Mom (Deirdre O’Connell), center, and her daughters Meesh (Caroline Neff), left, and Manda (Zoe Perry) face a dire future as their suburban life (literally) crumbles around them in Mona Mansour’s “The Way West” in its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre.

    ‘Way West’ depicts tarnished lives in the Golden StateApr 16, 2014 12:00 AM
    “The Way West” by Mona Mansour is an ambitious play examining irresponsible dreamers and the failed American dream. Director Amy Morton’s fast, fiercely acted production at Steppenwolf Theatre has several potent moments. Unfortunately, the footing for “The Way West” isn’t all that sound.

  • Williams Street Rep season encompasses ’60s soap opera, Steve JobsApr 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    Williams Street Repertory, in residence at Crystal Lake's Raue Center for the Arts, announces its 2014-2015 season.

  • Actor and director James Franco poses for photographers on the red carpet for the screening of the film “Child Of God” at the 70th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy.

    James Franco not nervous about Broadway debutApr 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    James Franco insists he’s not been nervous at all about making his Broadway debut, not even before his first night in front of more than a thousand people. “Sounds like I’m bragging. I just wasn’t,” says the actor, writer and student. “I’ve learned that if you work with people that you trust, that you depend on, then you just flow with it.”

  • Efficiency experts Frank (Michael Dailey, left) and Lillian (Laura Sturm, second from left) apply their productivity theories to their family in “Cheaper by the Dozen,” running through May 18 at Fox Valley Repertory in St. Charles. Playing the children are, from left, Kelsey Sante, Josh Greiveldinger, Grace Etzkorn, Rachel Becker, Keaton Jens, Erika Denker, Ewan Parker-Eaton, Nathan Castagna and Keira Denker.

    Key performances help redeem FVR's 'Cheaper by the Dozen'Apr 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    To clear up any confusion, the only thing Fox Valley Repertory's production of the family comedy “Cheaper by the Dozen” has in common with the 2003 Steve Martin-Bonnie Hunt film is its title, and the number of children to which the title refers. Fox Valley Rep's version is Christopher Sergel's original adaptation of the 1948 memoir by Frank Gilbreth Jr. and and his sister Ernestine Gilbreth Carey about growing up as two of the 12 children belonging to efficiency expert Frank Gilbreth, and his psychologist wife Lillian Gilbreth.

  • Theater events: ‘Gathering’ a contemporary Last SupperApr 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    Clockwise Theatre presents the world premiere of "A Thin Line," and Improv Playhouse remounts its seasonal offering "The Gathering," this week in suburban theater.

  • Ivan Rutherford, a veteran of playing Jean Valjean in more than 2,000 performances of “Les MisÚrables” on Broadway, tour and regionally, stars in the same role again at the Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace.

    Drury Lane skillfully navigates familiar ‘Les Mis’Apr 10, 2014 12:00 AM
    Director Rachel Rockwell leads a solid production of the international musical blockbuster "Les Miserables" at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terraces with a strong cast featuring a number of Broadway veterans and Chicago-area talent.

  • First Folio Theatre announced the plays in its 2014-15 season, staged at Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook.

    First Folio announces seasonApr 10, 2014 12:00 AM
    First Folio Theatre in Oak Brook, opens its 2014-2015 season with "The Gravedigger," a new drama by Joseph Zettelmaier inspired by Frankenstein's Monster.

  • Laura Osnes as Cinderella dances with Santino Fontana as the Prince during a performance of “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway.” Three musicals have added Thursday matinees to their eight-show weeks in an attempt to offer more options to audience-goers and stand out from the rest of the pack.

    Producers add Thursday matinees on BroadwayApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Catching a Wednesday matinee on Broadway is so last year. The hot thing now is Thursday afternoon shows. Three shows making the move are “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” “Mamma Mia!!” and “The Phantom of the Opera.” “Matilda the Musical” may experiment with the idea this summer.

  • The musical “Heathers” performing opened this week at New World Stages in New York.

    Off-Broadway 'Heathers' metes out musical revengeApr 5, 2014 12:00 AM
    Break out the shoulder pads and corn nuts: The musical of “Heathers” just opened in New York. One thing's for sure — it will be so very. The pitch-black comedy with quirky dialogue has been retooled with songs to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the film that made stars out of Winona Ryder, Christian Slater and Shannen Doherty.

  • Theater events: Jeff Garlin heads to RosemontApr 4, 2014 12:00 AM
    Jeff Garlin headlines Zanies in Rosemont; Steel Beam Theatre revives the country-tinged musical "The Spitfire Grill"; and BET hosts its 9th annual Black Playwright's Festival.

  • Melanie Keller plays a young woman seeking assistance from a collectibles expert played by Tyler Rich in First Folio Theatre's world premiere of Joseph Zettelmaier's dramedy “Salvage.”

    First Folio's 'Salvage' examines what we hold dearApr 4, 2014 12:00 AM
    During intermission opening night of First Folio Theatre's world premiere of Joseph Zettelmaier's “Salvage,” not everyone raced for refreshments and the restrooms. Instead, some audience members stood at the edge of the stage examining designer Angela Weber Miller and props master Cassy Schillo's meticulously realized set. While Traffic's “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” played quietly, they peered and pointed at the 1960s and 1970s action figures, games and tchotchkes on display in Hidden Treasures Collectibles, the lovingly maintained Detroit memorabilia shop where this gentle dramedy unfolds.

  • Theater events: Broadway star reprises role in Drury Lane’s ‘Les Mis’Mar 28, 2014 12:00 AM
    Ivan Rutherford, who played Jean Valjean in more than 2,000 performances of “Les Miserables” on Broadway and during the 20th anniversary revival and tour, stars in Drury Lane Theatre’s production. Plus, Writers Theatre presents the U.S. premiere of Conor McPherson's Strindberg adaptation and Metropolis Performing Arts Centre stages "The Diary of Anne Frank" for young audiences.

  • Broadway in Chicago seeks talented teen theater artistsMar 26, 2014 12:00 AM
    Broadway in Chicago celebrates the next generation of theater artists as part of its third annual Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards taking place April 25, at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place in Chicago.

  • Though he claims Robin Williams as an idol, James Monroe Iglehart is putting his own spin on the role of the Genie in the new Broadway musical “Aladdin.”

    Broadway star anything but blue about Genie role in ‘Aladdin’Mar 26, 2014 12:00 AM
    The guy who plays the Genie in Broadway’s “Aladdin” isn’t hard to find. He’s the one in the dressing room with Thor comic books and toys piled high. He’s the one with a Batman shoulder tattoo, a shaved head and the dialogue from the ’80s cornball film “Condorman” fully memorized. He’s the one who took his wife to see “Smurfs 2” — on a romantic movie date. He is James Monroe Iglehart, and if you spend more than 10 minutes in his sunny, infectious company, you understand why this comic book-loving comedian says, “I’m like a kid in a candy store right now.”

  • Roundabout Theatre Company said Thursday that Cynthia Nixon, who starred in the Tom Stoppard play “The Real Thing” when it first came to Broadway in 1984, will come back this fall in a revival with Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

    Nixon to get a second bite of ‘The Real Thing’Mar 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    Tony Award winner Cynthia Nixon is ready for another shot of “The Real Thing.” Roundabout Theatre Company said Thursday that Nixon, who starred in the Tom Stoppard play when it first came to Broadway in 1984, will come back this fall in a revival with Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

  • Producers of “After Midnight” said that “American Idol” and Grammy Award winner Fantasia Barrino will return to the musical in May.

    Fantasia Barrino to return to ‘After Midnight’Mar 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    Sad you missed Fantasia Barrino on Broadway in “After Midnight”? Well, good news: She can’t stay away. Producers of the show said recently that the “American Idol” and Grammy Award winner will return in May to the musical celebrating Duke Ellington’s years at the Cotton Club nightclub in Harlem. She will have a four-week stint, from May 13-June 8.

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