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Theater

Reviews of Chicago’s stage shows and news from the actors and actresses putting on the performances.

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The Mix: Cool things to check out online May 28-June 3

There’s a whole lot of local entertainment options to enjoy online in the week ahead.

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Larry Kramer, playwright and AIDS activist, dies at 84

The playwright, whose angry voice and pen raised theatergoers’ consciousness about AIDS and roused thousands to militant protests in the early years of the epidemic, died Wednesday in Manhattan of pneumonia.

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Steppenwolf Theatre names Brooke Flanagan new executive director

Flanagan becomes the first woman to hold the post in the company’s 45-year history.

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Steve Earle digs deep to tell coal miners’ stories on stage

The alt-country legend’s new album features songs from his recent musical — and he’s eyeing Broadway next.

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The Mix: A Nathan Lane-Robert Falls chat and more things to check out online May 21-27

There’s a whole lot of local entertainment options to enjoy online in the week ahead.

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Fred Willard, comedian and ‘Modern Family’ actor, dead at 86

The Second City alum’s many film credits included "A Mighty Wind" and "Best in Show."

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‘Frozen’ musical on Broadway won’t reopen when theaters get back on track

This marks the first time an established show has been felled by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Q Brothers clean up the rhymes for their first kid-friendly hip-hop album

The Chicago hip-hop artists bring in their kids for tracks about lemonade, dinosaurs and other family-friendly topics on "Buggin."

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‘Hamilton’ movie now set for July 3 release on Disney+

According to Disney reps, the movie combines the "best elements of live theater, film, and streaming" resulting in a "cinematic stage performance that is a wholly new way to experience ‘Hamilton.’"

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Manifest Urban Arts Festival will be digital event this year

The Columbia College arts fest is curated by the school’s students.

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Chicago’s Rebecca Drysdale named new ‘Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon’ head writer

A Second City alum, she performed in Chicago with Jordan Peele and went on to write for his ‘Key & Peele.’

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Griffin, Jackalope, Lifeline theater companies lead the field of Non-Equity Jeff Award nominations

The 2019-2020 nominations were announced Tuesday, recognizing the work of Chicago’s theater companies and artists in 21 categories.

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Chicago theaters, dance troupes offering ‘virtual’ programming amid pandemic

For now, online streaming is bringing theaters and audiences together in new ways.

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Broadway star Nick Cordero undergoes leg amputation due to coronavirus complications

Cordero had been treated with blood thinners to help with clotting in his leg, but his doctors had to stop the treatment because it was causing internal bleeding.

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O’Neill, not Hollywood, made Brian Dennehy a Chicago star

Actor Brian Dennehy, who died at 81, was a cherished pillar of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre.

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Brian Dennehy, Tony-winning stage, screen actor, dies at 81

Known for his broad frame, booming voice and ability to play good guys and bad guys with equal aplomb, Dennehy won two Tony Awards, a Golden Globe and was nominated for six Emmys.

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Michael McCarthy, Second City actor and ‘SNL’ writer, dies at 61

Former co-star Amy Sedaris remembers him as "a team player" with "a very dry sense of humor."

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Chicago’s storefront theaters hoping curtains will rise again once coronavirus shutdown lifts

The League of Chicago Theatres says 93 of its 237 members have budgets of under $75,000 a year — which means one show’s revenue helps pay for the next.

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Broadway legend Brian Stokes Mitchell tests positive for coronavirus

The actor and chairman of the board of The Actors Fund announced the news of his diagnosis in a Twitter video, reassuring fans that he was already beginning to feel better.

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Andrew Lloyd Webber to stream Donny Osmond’s ‘Joseph’ and other musicals online

Each show will be available on YouTube at 1 p.m. each Friday for a 48-hour period online, with no charge or sign-up required.

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Lyric Opera postpones remainder of 2019-season; productions rescheduled

All public performances and events slated through June 30 have been moved to upcoming seasons.

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Second City plans livestream improv show starring housebound duos

While its theaters are closed, the Old Town theater is showcasing actors in different cities for a free digital comedy set.

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Mayor Lightfoot and Gov. Pritzker announce Arts for Illinois relief initiative

The fund has already raised about $4 million from the public and private sector, and is a partnership between the city and the state, along with the local philanthropic community.

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Chicago’s dance companies feeling the economic impact of coronavirus on the arts

Industry leaders fear that some companies won’t recover from this crisis at all and others could come back in a weakened or reduced form.

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Actor Mark Blum dies of coronavirus complications; starred in ‘Desperately Seeking Susan,’ ‘You’

Blum, known for his work in movies like "Desperately Seeking Susan" and "Crocodile Dundee," as well as a host of Broadway and off-Broadway theater productions and television works, was 69.

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Stuart Gordon dies; director of exuberant, innovative movies and plays was inspired by his upbringing in Albany Park

The co-founder of the Organic Theater Company directed its world premiere of David Mamet’s "Sexual Perversity in Chicago" as well as "Warp," "E/R" and "Bleacher Bums."

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Terrence McNally, Tony Award-winning playwright, dies at 81 from coronavirus complications

His works included "Love! Valour! Compassion!," "Master Class" and the musicals "Ragtime" and "Kiss of the Spider Woman."

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Chicago entertainment events canceled, postponed due to coronavirus

This list of schedule changes in theater, music and other entertainment/cultural arts impacted by the coronavirus outbreak will be updated as new cancellations and postponements are announced.

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‘Methtacular’ a top-notch musical about bottoming out

Steven Strafford’s one-man show recalls the addiction and promiscuity of his past in gruesome, tuneful, hilarious detail.

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Even miles away, the humor and insight of ‘Teenage Dick’ comes through

Watching on a video link barely takes away from the skilled acting and irreverent storytelling of Theater Wit’s high-school take on ‘Richard III.’

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Coronavirus: Theater Wit’s ‘remote viewing’ aims to be the first of its kind

Leaders at the Lake View company hope the experiment can be viewed as a model for artists who hope to continue on during the pandemic.

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Chicago’s world premiere of Britney Spears musical canceled, citing coronavirus concerns

The opening of Broadway-bound "Once Upon a One More Time" had been scheduled for April.