Theater

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

11 Chicago theater shows to see in October
Theater

11 Chicago theater shows to see in October

Celebrate the arrival of fall by checking out one (or more) of these 11 shows playing in October.

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

The Chicago Magic Lounge provides a new home for old tricks
Things to do

The Chicago Magic Lounge provides a new home for old tricks

The new theater in Andersonville hopes to be a hub for the city’s revitalized sleight-of-hand scene.

Broadway in Chicago’s complete 2018 slate
Theater

Broadway in Chicago’s complete 2018 slate

Check out the full schedule of touring shows coming to BIC’s downtown theaters

Latest theater reviews

Masque Macabre

Masque Macabre

Spectators who enter with an open mind will find the show a devilish delight.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
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Indecent

Indecent

As a playwright, Paula Vogel loves nothing more than giving propriety an exquisitely sharpened poke in the eye. So it makes sense then that she would be a fan of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance, a turn-of-the-century Yiddish drama that featured a lesbian romance so shocking to New York audiences in 1923 that the entire cast was put on trial for obscenity. The first play in Vogel’s long and distinguished career to appear on Broadway, the 2017 drama Indecent is both an exaltation of Asch’s work and a sober reckoning with the forces that fought to destroy it. Cramming half a century of history into a dizzying 100 minutes, Indecent uses songs (mostly in Yiddish) and metatheatrical flourishes to push it towards the finish line. Noah LaPook plays Asch, who writes God of Vengeance in 1903 Warsaw to show Jewish people as complex and flawed, capable of same-sex romance and of desecrating the Torah. The play is denounced by Asch’s literary mentor (David Darlow) as providing dangerous ammunition for anti-Semitism. But a small-town tailor named Lemml (Benjamin Magnuson), who is present for the play’s first reading, goes on to become its stage manager and most ardent fan, as well as the closest thing Indecent has to a protagonist. The cast of seven—which also includes Cindy Gold, Catherine LaFrere, Andrew White and Kiah Stern (who plays Jenna on American Vandal)—divides its time among more than 40 different characters. There are also two musicians: Matt Deitchman on accordion and Ell

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Buy
Downstate

Downstate

In rendering a verdict on Bruce Norris’s Downstate, let’s consider its functions. As an acting showcase, the play is exactly what you’d hope for in a coproduction of Steppenwolf and the U.K.’s National Theatre. As a generator of uncomfortable laughs and an occasional knowing “hmm,” it does fine. But as an effort to say something, it’s mostly a dud. The provocative Norris, who won a Pulitzer Prize for Clybourne Park, writes great dialogue, but his moralizing is so strangely counterweighted that it goes wildly off course. Directed by Pam MacKinnon, the play concerns four convicted pedophiles in a group home in downstate Illinois: the amiable, wheelchair-bound Fred (Francis Guinan); the nervous bible-spouting Felix (Eddie Torres); the sultry and quick-witted Dee (K. Todd Freeman); and the hot-headed statutory offender Gio (Glenn Davis). Todd Rosenthal’s photorealistically drab set is like a long, rectangular terrarium, with ceilings to seal off any chance of escape. Gifted with the best lines and the least shame, Freeman’s Dee is the most charming of the bunch, while Guinan’s Fred is so guileless—his favorite phrase is “oh golly”—that he’s almost impossible not to like. But not for everyone: Downstate begins with one of Fred’s victims, Andy (Tim Hopper), trying to finally confront him. After beating a hasty retreat and leaving his phone behind, Andy returns in Act Two to finish his quest for justice, this time without his smarmy wife (Matilda Ziegler, doing what she can with

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Buy
Caroline, or Change

Caroline, or Change

The Den revives a domestic drama buffeted by larger currents of a society on the brink of upheaval.

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

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Goodman Theatre

Goodman Theatre

Book online
Victory Gardens Biograph Theater
Theater

Victory Gardens Biograph Theater

The Den Theatre

The Den Theatre

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Greenhouse Theater Center

Greenhouse Theater Center

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Theater Wit

Theater Wit

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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