Theater

The best theater in Chicago, including play and musical critical reviews

Theater

2015 Equity Jeff Award nominations

Paramount Theatre and the Hypocrites both make hay of their first year out.

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Shakespeare in the parks and other outdoor theater in Chicago

See a show under the stars

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Theater

The best plays of 2015, so far

From Abraham to Vanya, these theater pieces have stayed with us

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Chicago theater shows to see this summer

24 promising plays, musicals and festivals to put on your calendar

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Latest theater reviews

Assassination Theater

Theater is a metaphor in this presentation of a pair of JFK conspiracy theories, but that doesn’t make it theatrical

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Kurios

Cirque du Soleil goes steampunk in a new show that will pique your curiosity

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Last Train to Nibroc

Four souls in flux—two living, two dead—share a ride from Los Angeles to the unknown in Arlene Hutton's quietly affecting two-person drama set in 1940

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Loving Repeating

Gertrude Stein's words are set to song in a loving and lovely revival

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Time Out loves

Stupid Fucking Bird

Moving downstairs from the Richard Christiansen Theater, where Sideshow Theatre Company staged it last summer, to Victory Gardens' main stage for a commercially backed remount, Stupid Fucking Bird gains a little more space and loses nothing. All that's really changed is the larger footprint of Joe Schermoly's clever modular set; the entire ensemble of director Jonathan L. Green's 2014 staging returns, with already terrifically moving performances if anything burnished and deepened on this second visit. Our full, five-star review of the 2014 original production still applies in full, and follows below.   Con (Nate Whelden), the frustrated young playwright at the center of Aaron Posner's cheeky update of Chekhov's The Seagull, is like his Russian counterpart obsessed with pushing theater into "new forms." Unlike in any translation of Chekhov I've read, however, Con's conciliative pal Dev (Matt Fletcher) asks him, "Like this? This play we're in right now. Is this the kind of new work you mean? New forms?" To which Con replies, "No no no. Fuck no! Better than THIS!" Posner's take, if not a "new form," is a bracingly fresh take on Chekhov's "comedy" in which everyone ends up dead, crazy or at the very least compromised. Yes, all of his characters are aware they're in a play; they frequently pause the action to address us directly, in speech and in song. But (and this is crucial) they're not aware they are characters in a play; even when Con breaks in mid-sentence to accuse an a

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant Adventures

Part social realism, part science fiction, Alistair McDowall's American debut crackles with possibility

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Loving Repeating

Gertrude Stein's words are set to song in a loving and lovely revival

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Read more

Soul Brother, Where Art Thou?

A markedly diverse sextet hits playful and piercing tones in the e.t.c.'s latest

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Kurios

Cirque du Soleil goes steampunk in a new show that will pique your curiosity

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Theater news

Blog

Theater Wit's Bad Jews transfers to Royal George Theatre

A third venue and multiple extensions make Bad Jews good news

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Blog

Northlight Theatre bringing new Philip Dawkins play to Steppenwolf Garage

The Skokie company brings Charm into the city

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Blog

Chicago Theater Memorial Bike Ride to commemorate recent losses September 19

A lakeside ride remembers 26 fallen theater artists

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Blog

The Kilroys' second "The List" highlights a slow Chicago season for women playwrights

The Kilroys' pointed gesture has a real Chicago point

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Blog

Master improvisers get serious with Stolen House

They'll improvise a full-length play every night

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What's playing at…

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Steppenwolf Theatre Company

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Goodman Theatre

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Victory Gardens Biograph Theater

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The Den Theatre

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Greenhouse Theater Center

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Theater Wit

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Chicago Shakespeare Theater

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Things to do

Stage 773

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Chopin Theatre

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Athenaeum Theatre

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2015–16 season announcements

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About Face Theatre

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The Gift Theatre

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The Ruckus

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The Neo-Futurists

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American Theater Company

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Steep Theatre

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More 2015–16 theater season announcements