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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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Chicago theaters say guns on stage are here to stay

Use of guns in Chicago stage productions comes with strict protocols, safety training

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E. Faye Butler conveys powerful tale through words — and music — in ‘Fannie Lou Hamer’ story

In "Fannie (The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer)," the songs take us beyond the facts of Hamer’s life into something deeper about what steeled her.

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Melissa Gilbert joins ‘Frasier’ actor in Chicago play

The ‘Little House on the Prairie’ alum will play a rehab therapist in the world premiere comedy.

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‘Recipe for Disaster’ serves up a delightful helping of breakneck farce

Windy City Playhouse — and Rick Bayless — present the latest foray into interactive theater, this time with a gourmet meal included.

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The Mix: Things to do in Chicago Oct. 21-27, 2021

From theater and music to museums and family events, we’ve got just the ticket with our entertainment guide to some of the fun kicking off in the week ahead.

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‘As You Like It’ a fab pairing of the Beatles and the Bard

This technicolor jukebox musical is set in the ’60s and highlights a winning combination of the Beatles’ greatest hits with humor.

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Court Theatre’s intimate ‘Othello’ drops some text, reveals thoughts with subtext

In the deconstructed Shakespeare production starring Kelvin Roston Jr. and Timothy Edward Kane, some of the best moments are the silent ones.

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At Second City, a mediocrity rises from the ashes

After a tumultuous time, the new mainstage revue ‘Together at Last’ arrives, and it’s just a little better than the last one.

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Joffrey Ballet celebrates ‘Home’ with debut at Lyric Opera House

This well-chosen, often high-voltage program seemed to be just the thing for an audience hungry for live dance.

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‘SNL’ star Cecily Strong to fill Lily Tomlin’s shoes in off-Broadway show

The former Chicago improviser takes on the multiple roles of Tomlin’s comedy ‘The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.’

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Bethany Thomas soars in ‘Songs for Nobodies’ one-woman show

"Songs for Nobodies" provides a vivid reminder of what we missed during the year+ of COVID-cancellations and a thrilling celebration of theater’s return.

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‘The World Goes ‘Round’ puts fresh spin on Kander & Ebb showtunes

The five singers in Marriott Theatre musical pour emotion into numbers from "Chicago," "Cabaret," "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and other hits.

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Actor-writer Niki Moran, a Second City fixture from 2002-08, dies at 45

The Second City says the performer, who was known in Chicago as Niki Lindgren, approached her life and her three-year cancer battle with "a limitless capacity for laughter."

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Young artists’ work to be featured at Steppenwolf Theatre’s Loft

The Loft Teen Arts Project commissioned seven finalists’ pieces, allocating between $1,500 and $2,500 to five individual artists and two groups.

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Chicago’s theater scene is back with comedy, drama, music, mystery and merriment aplenty

There’s plenty to choose from, ranging from a pre-Broadway run to a collaboration with chef Rick Bayless to a stream of three short plays by Tracy Letts.

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‘Paradise Square’ gives a history lesson from ‘the margins’

Black Americans and Irish immigrants in 1863 meld their cultures in the new musical opening in Chicago on its way to Broadway.

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2021 Fall/Winter Entertainment Guide for Chicago

Find something fun to do in the city with our Fall/Winter Entertainment Guide.

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From ballet to modern to jazz, Chicago’s vibrant dance scene is back

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, Ensemble Espanol, the Joffrey Ballet and Giordano Dance Chicago are among the companies back in full swing this fall and winter.

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City announces $2.3M relief fund for artists, creative workers impacted by pandemic

Chicago artists and creative workers who have been financially impacted by the pandemic could soon find relief from the city.

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Come together for Beatles-infused ‘As You Like It’ at Chicago Shakespeare

Daryl Cloran’s 1960s-set staging of the bard’s comedy features extensive live wrestling and more than two dozen tunes from the Fab Four catalogue.

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‘Aladdin’ alum to star in ‘Moulin Rouge’ tour kicking off in Chicago

The production opens Feb. 26, 2022, at the James M. Nederlander Theatre.

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Dynamic music heals the soul, gives women a voice in cultural tapestry of ‘American Mariachi’

Sones de México, the stellar Chicago-based, Grammy-nominated ensemble, serves as the play’s anchor, as it expertly performs classics of the genre, which set the mood and propel the action.

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‘Love Actually’ stage musical parody headed to Chicago

The off-Broadway hit will be presented at the Apollo Theater starting Nov. 17.

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Lyric Opera’s ‘Elixir of Love’ a fabulous dose of lighthearted escapism served up by dazzling cast

Set in an Italian beach hotel in the 1950s, the production is heart-wrenching and high-spirited, an expert blend of gentle slapstick and sincere emotion.

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Award makes Steppenwolf’s Lois Smith the oldest actor to win a Tony

Trophies also go to "Jagged Little Pill’s" Lauren Patten and Diablo Cody, both from Chicago suburbs.

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‘Forever Plaid’ at Drury Lane Theatre remains a marvelous retro hit parade

The popular musical — now on stage in the Oakbrook Terrace theater’s first production in a year and a half — is ear candy peppered with upbeat comedy.

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Music, culture, family celebrated alongside heartache in ‘American Mariachi’

The play is infused with mariachi music and includes members of the Chicago group Sones de Mexico performing on stage along with the actors who learned instruments for their roles.

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Ericka Ratcliff named artistic director at Congo Square Theatre

A longtime member of the African American theater company, Ratcliff becomes only the fourth artistic director in the history of the troupe, and the first female to hold the post.

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Jason Sudeikis wins first Emmy, thanks Chicago improv teachers

His "Ted Lasso" is named best comedy and co-stars Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein also are honored.

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City Lit takes revisits ‘Thirteen Days’ in world-premiere production

The drama is an adaptation of Robert Kennedy’s memoir about the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

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Lyric’s harrowing ‘Macbeth’ casts a spell on crowds eager for opera again

Three leads in top form in unsettling production of the Verdi work.

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Jane Powell, star of ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,’ dies at 92

The veteran performer danced with Fred Astaire in ‘Royal Wedding.’