Chicago theater reviews

Read the latest reviews of plays, musicals and other stage shows from Time Out's theater critics

The Apple Family Plays

Critics' pick

TimeLine’s half-bushel of Richard Nelson’s four plays about the Apple family benefits immensely from a potent core of actors

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TimeLine Theatre Company Until Sunday April 19 2015

Red Bud

The alt-kids aren’t alright in Brett Neveu’s coming-of-middle-age comedy

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Signal Ensemble Theatre Until Saturday February 28 2015

Circle-Machine

For an abstract story, Circle-Machine is awfully literal

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Oracle Theatre Until Saturday March 14 2015 Free

Princess Mary Demands Your Attention

While this gay-themed, drag–tinged reframing of elements of War and Peace has some clever bits, it ultimately falters on fierceness.

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Victory Gardens Biograph Theater Until Saturday February 21 2015

Plastic Revolution

Critics' pick

A high-energy, entertaining musical is an auspicious start to the New Colony's residency at the Den

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The Den Theatre Until Sunday February 22 2015

Keys of the Kingdom

Penny Penniston’s religious culture-clash comedy treats all of its characters with humanity, even when they seem more like points of view than humans

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Theater Wit Until Sunday February 15 2015

A Map of Virtue

Critics' pick

A rich, affecting guide to the cartography of human connection

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Rivendell Theatre Until Saturday February 14 2015

Cookie Play

Trap Door's surveillance satire crumbles

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Trap Door Theatre Until Saturday February 14 2015

Airline Highway

Critics' pick

Partying with the down and out in New Orleans

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Steppenwolf Theatre Company Until Sunday February 8 2015

H.M.S. Pinafore

Critics' pick

The Hypocrites expand their Gilbert & Sullivan Rep

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The Den Theatre Until Saturday February 7 2015

Panic on Cloud 9

Critics' pick

The Second City Mainstage. Directed by Ryan Bernier. Music directed by Jacob Shuda. With Chelsea Devantez, John Hartman, Paul Jurewicz, Daniel Strauss, Christine Tawfik, Emily Walker. Running time: 2hrs; one intermission. Comedy review by Kris Vire At the top of the Second City's 103rd mainstage revue, we're introduced to a Greyhound bus full of passengers and given peeks into their inner lives and where they're headed. And then, we're told via voice-over, the entire bus and its riders vanish from the face of the Earth, never to be heard from again. It's the kind of opening-sketch setup that invites us to be in on the secret, perhaps returning to these characters and their fates later in the show. But nope, they really are gone, as mysteriously as a Malaysian Airlines flight. That lack of payoff recurs in the fizzle of a closing scene, a short, wordless number involving an exterminator and a school dance whose meaning my date and I are still trying to parse days later. But in the middle is a collection of sketches without much of a cohesive arc but with a number of very solid laughs. There's not a weak link in the cast, three mainstage newbies and three returning from the previous revue, Depraved New World. But wiry human Muppet John Hartman continues as MVP, turning in admirably, slightly dangerous work as a deaf middle-school bully and enlivening a Secret Service sketch with his spring-loaded physicality. In a solo sketch in which he calls people he's recently been inti

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The Second City Mainstage Until Sunday August 30 2015

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