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Articles filed under Professional Theater

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  • Arlington Hts. man moved by Andrews Sisters musical at Pheasant Run Jul 29, 2014 2:29 PM
    When Alice K. Sylvester of Arlington Heights was looking for a show to attend with her 89-year-old father, Robert Sylvester, she booked tickets to “Sisters of Swing,” hoping that that the musical at Pheasant Run in St. Charles celebrating the lives and music of the famed Andrews Sisters would bring him some much-needed cheer. “After sitting in the front row and enjoying the performance, my father asked me to get tickets for other members of my family. He wanted everyone to see it with him!”

  • Actor crosses color barrier in off-Broadway ‘Fantasticks’ Jul 25, 2014 6:00 AM
    Not long ago, Kevin R. Free went to an audition for a part in the longest-running musical in history. Yet, all the other actors vying for the same part were at least 10 years older and he was the only African-American. “I just felt like, ‘Why am I here?'" But Free pulled himself together enough to do a monologue and sing a song, It worked: He got both the job and a chance to make history. Free has taken over the role of Bellomy in “The Fantasticks,” the first time a black man has played the role in the New York show’s more than 20,000 performances over 54 years.

  • Theater events: Jedlicka brings 'Big Fish' to the stage Jul 25, 2014 9:00 AM
    Jedlicka Performing Arts Center presents the first local production of Andrew Lippa's "Big Fish"; American Blues Theater remounts its hit musical, "Hank Williams: Lost Highway"; and celebrated chef Rich Bayless returns to Lookingglass Theatre in the dining and theatrical venture "Rick Bayless in Cascabel: Dinner-Daring-Desire" this week in Chicago-area theater.

  • Mount Prospect native tackles challenges of Beckett in 'Half-Light' Jul 25, 2014 6:10 AM
    If you haven't seen Kathrynne Wolf on stage, you may have heard her anyway — in commercials, pinball games, video games and public service announcements. And her vocal experiences come in handy with her latest show, especially as she takes on one character who is just a head in an urn. The Mount Prospect native plays three different characters in “Hellish Half-Light: Shorter Plays of Samuel Beckett” being staged by Mary-Arrchie Theatre. “It's a challenge in a good way,” Wolf said.

  • 'Charlotte's Web' proves child's play for young cast Jul 23, 2014 5:45 AM
    The classic children's story “Charlotte's Web” is adored by both kids and adults, and the director for the production at The Broadway Playhouse in Chicago has taken that to heart by casting kids as key characters. “I definitely had some eyes bulging when I said that I wanted young people to play certain roles,” said Emerald City Theatre director Ernie Nolan. “Having young people in the cast as well as adults has been inspiring.”

  • Second City’s Chicago comedy school to expand Jul 22, 2014 12:26 PM
    The training center for Chicago’s famous Second City comedy group is expanding. The Second City Training Center announced Tuesday that it will lease a former movie theater next to its location on the city’s North Side.

  • 'Laughter' falls short of its comic inspiration Jul 18, 2014 5:00 AM
    Young playwrights are often admonished to avoid writing about other writers. Yet playwright Neil Simon ignored that advice when he penned his 1993 Broadway comedy “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” a fictionalized take on his own early writing career for Sid Caesar's hit “Your Show of Shows.” Eclectic Full Contact Theatre revives its recent Chicago production of that show at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

  • Theater events: Three Brothers revives ‘Crimes’ Jul 18, 2014 3:54 AM
    Three Brothers revive "Crimes of the Heart;" Williams Street presents the musical revue "Suds"and the Funny Old Broads return to Skokie this week in suburban theater. Oracle Productions presents its world premiere adaptation of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle;" Mary-Arrchie Theatre showcases six plays by Samuel Beckett and redtwist debuts an original work titled "Geezers" this week in Chicago theater.

  • Broadway star joins local favorite for Drury Lane mystery Jul 18, 2014 5:09 PM
    Drury Lane Theatre in Oak Brook announced casting for its Chicago-area premiere of "The Game's Afoot" next month.

  • Paramount Theatre brings Broadway, Vegas to suburbs Jul 14, 2014 9:13 AM
    Three years ago, skeptics criticized the decision for Aurora's Paramount Theatre to produce it's own Broadway-style shows, president and CEO Tim Rater says. But 20,000 fans already have purchased series tickets for the 2014-15 season, and thousands more will visit the theater this summer for touring music and comedy acts.

  • Theater events: Lounge Devils, "Little Red" and a cancer fund-raiser Jul 11, 2014 5:00 AM
    Pheasant Run Resort hosts its second annual "For the Girls" fundraiser for Fox Valley Repertory and LivingWell Cancer Resource Center; the Chicago Kids Company brings its musical adaptation of "Little Red Riding Hood" to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre; Stage Left Theatre and Theatre Seven of Chicago remount the dark comedy "Principal Principle" this week in Chicago area theater.

  • Waukegan’s Clockwise Theatre announces new season Jul 10, 2014 1:01 AM
    Subscription tickets are now on sale for Clockwise Theatre's 2014-15 season in Waukegan. Clockwise, a Waukegan-based company devoted to presenting works by and about Midwesterners, recently announced an expanded four-play season.

  • A-list creative team, top-notch performers make for stellar 'Brigadoon' Jul 9, 2014 6:28 PM
    It took about a decade for director/choreographer Rachel Rockwell to make her Goodman Theatre directorial debut. I don't expect she'll have to wait long for another invitation, not if her gorgeously sung and exquisitely danced revival of “Brigadoon” is any indication.

  • ‘Cats’ gets rap twist for West End revival Jul 7, 2014 9:41 AM
    “Cats” is back — and now one of the felines raps. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical returns to London’s West End in December in a revamped production with a hip-hop flavor. Based on T.S. Eliot’s whimsical “Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats,” the musical opened in London in 1981, running for 21 years there and 18 years on Broadway.

  • Goodman extends magical ‘Brigadoon’ Jul 7, 2014 7:00 PM
    Goodman Theatre has, for a second time, extended its spirited, emotionally charged revival of “Brigadoon.” A 1947 musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, it’s about a Scottish village that appears for only one day every century, and the two American men whose lives are transformed after they stumble upon it.

  • Theater events: ‘Merry Wives’ opening at First Folio Jul 3, 2014 6:39 AM
    This week in suburban theater, Falstaff tries to seduce two wealthy, happily married women in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" at First Folio Theatre and Metropolis Performing Arts Centre tickles audiences funny bone with its revival of Neil Simon's "Laughter on the 23rd Floor." Coming up, Steel Beam welcomes folk singer Mark Dvorak July 11.

  • Rockwell hand-picked for Goodman's revival of 'Brigadoon' Jul 3, 2014 5:30 AM
    “So, do you want to direct and choreograph ‘Brigadoon’”? Rachel Rockwell didn’t ponder the question long before accepting the offer from Liza Lerner, daughter of legendary lyricist/librettist Alan Jay Lerner, to helm a revival of the 1947 musical. “Our ideas aligned,” Rockwell said. And thus the stage was set to bring the rarely staged musical to Chicago's Goodman Theatre, running now through Aug. 10.

  • ‘Billy Elliot’ regional premiere set for Drury Lane Jul 1, 2014 1:09 PM
    Drury Lane Theatre in Oak Brook will stage the regional premiere of the hit musical "Billy Elliot" in April 2015.

  • Diana Martinez reviews the world premiere of The Last Ship Jul 1, 2014 2:52 PM
    Short and Sweet host, Diana Martinez of Broadway in Chicago, reviews The Last Ship.

  • ‘First Wives Club’ musical announces Chicago engagement Jun 30, 2014 4:21 PM
    A revised musical version of "The First Wives Club," based upon the late Olivia Goldsmith's 1992 novel and a 1996 movie version, will play a pre-Broadway engagment at Chicago's Oriental Theatre in the spring of 2015.

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