Theater

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

What to see at Chicago Theater Week 2019
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What to see at Chicago Theater Week 2019

The annual celebration of Chicago theater puts a spotlight on new stages.

8 Chicago theater shows to see in January
Theater

8 Chicago theater shows to see in January

Welcome to the Year of Chicago Theatre. No, really: The Mayor said so.

Cheap Chicago theater tickets and seven ways to get them
Theater

Cheap Chicago theater tickets and seven ways to get them

See Chicago theater on the cheap with our expert tips and tricks

Your guide to musical theater in Chicago
Theater

Your guide to musical theater in Chicago

From tours to local tuners, see what's playing now and in coming weeks

Everything you need to know about seeing Hamilton in Chicago
Theater

Everything you need to know about seeing Hamilton in Chicago

Here's what you need to know about the hottest musical in Chicago.

Latest theater reviews

St. Nicholas

St. Nicholas

Critics: We are the worst—or, perhaps, the second worst, just behind vampires. As the unnamed Dublin theater critic at the center of Conor McPherson’s St. Nicholas tells it, he was the absolute lowest person he knew: a petty, jealous drunk whose only joy in life was in ruining others through his work. Only when a particularly rough jag brought him into conflict with actual bloodsucking undead monsters did he get some much-needed perspective on humanity.   If that tidy summary of St. Nicholas seems odd, that’s because McPherson’s evening-length 1997 monologue is mighty odd as well. The play is eerily off-kilter, and Simon Evans and actor Brendan Coyle turn it into a potent witches’ brew. This production, which originated at London’s Donmar Warehouse, is only in town through January 27, and it’s an uncanny must-see. Best known around these parts as the steadfast Mr. Bates on in Downton Abbey, Coyle ably unearths what little charm there is his rough-hewn character. He grasps the man’s clarity: He spies his own faults even more acutely than everyone else’s. It helps that Coyle has a rascally charisma all his own. As he lumbers gracefully across Peter McKintosh’s bombed-out set—picture a trendy loft that’s barely survived an apocalypse—Coyle unfurls his sordid tale with an unhurried air. He knows that we’ve come to hear his story, and he can take his time to tell it right. It’s impossible to deny that St. Nicholas offers an uncharitable view of theater criticism. And yet, for

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
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La Ruta

La Ruta

Isaac Gomez’s brutally lyrical play is hard to watch, but must be seen.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
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Familiar

Familiar

The play chronicles one crazy-ass day in the life of a Zimbabwean-American family.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
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Hamilton

Hamilton

Let’s not mince words, since we’ve already spilled so many of them: Hamilton is a sprawling, stunning, singular achievement. 

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Best sellers

Hamilton

Hamilton

Let’s not mince words, since we’ve already spilled so many of them: Hamilton, writer-composer-lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda’s biography of Alexander Hamilton as refracted through a hip-hop, pop and R&B lens, is a sprawling, stunning, singular achievement. By filtering the story of the American Experiment’s beginning into modern, meticulously rhymed vernacular and populating the stage with performers of color to play the likes of Hamilton, Washington, Jefferson and Madison, Miranda and his regular collaborators (director Thomas Kail, music supervisor Alex Lacamoire and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler) make the founding fathers feel fresh and, miraculously, human. RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Hamilton Chicago Weeks out from the country’s naming its 45th president, Hamilton’s new Chicago company arrives to remind us our democracy has always been messy, political, personal, and worth fighting for. Kail and Blankenbuehler fill designer David Korins’s spare set—which suggests that, like the country, it’s still under construction—with movement as thrilling and dense as Miranda’s lyrics. (The few moments of stillness are also used to great counter effect.) The nearly all-new Chicago cast (ensemble member Emmy Raver-Lampman is the sole transfer) easily lives up to the originals while finding their own new moments and shades. Miguel Cervantes is a rather more grounded Hamilton than the more frenetic Miranda, who originated the role, but Cervantes conveys the man’s vital, fatal

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars
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What's playing at…

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

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5 out of 5 stars
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Goodman Theatre

Goodman Theatre

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Victory Gardens Biograph Theater
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Victory Gardens Biograph Theater

The Den Theatre

The Den Theatre

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5 out of 5 stars
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Greenhouse Theater Center

Greenhouse Theater Center

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4 out of 5 stars
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Theater Wit

Theater Wit

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5 out of 5 stars
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