Next Page »

Cash

Every generation has its storytellers… but it’s rare when one artist’s voice moves through so many years making such a personal connection with so many audiences. Johnny Cash remained at the front of our American culture for a career that spanned more than fifty years. He managed to do this because at the core of his music lived the very same people who celebrated it: he sang about us, for us… never shying away from the grit and the sin.

Presented by XIII Pocket Theater

Previews: Nov 30

Regular Run: Dec 2 – Dec 19, 2010

@ Stage 773

1225 W Belmont Ave, Chicago

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-327-5252

XIII Pocket: Cash

Stage 773

Lobby Hero

A clever and witty drama about right and wrong and the blurry line that separates the two. Lobby Hero is the hopeful tale of Jeff, a bright and charming young man with big dreams who works as a security guard in the lobby of a Manhattan high-rise. Feeling firmly stuck, Jeff is suddenly thrust into the middle of a front-page murder case.

Previews: Nov 29 – Dec 1, 2010

Regular Run: Dec 2 – Jan 2, 2011

@ Redtwist Theatre

1044 W. Bryn Mawr Ave, Chicago

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-728-7529

Redtwist Theatre

Pancake Breakfast

Pancake Breakfast” is based on author Sissom’s actual long-time family tradition of attending the 4H Club’s annual breakfast. Names have been changed to keep peace at home and The New Colony has put its distinctive creative process to these personalities and real experiences to create the new family comedy “Pancake Breakfast.” Taking place during the annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast in Bel Air, Maryland, the Malloys gather for that one time of year where the entire clan can be together. The reunions have always been a true slice of Americana: watermelon eating contests, parades, turtle races, the crab feast and an empty chair for dearly departed Meemaw. But this year, it seems a heaping bowl of family dysfunction has been added to the buffet table and the now 20-something Beatrice Malloy is slowing realizing the once shining Malloy family has lost much of their glitter. With a younger brother learning to live with Asperger’s Syndrome, a father newly-wed to a woman half his age, a mother juggling ex-husbands and a grandfather who seems to live on the fringe of rationality; Sissom’s “Pancake Breakfast” looks at family and the bonds that keep them together or threaten to force them apart.

Presented by The New Colony

Thru – Dec 19, 2010

@ The Viaduct Theater

3111 N. Western Avenue, Chicago

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 866-468-3401

The New Colony | Pancake Breakfast

By Lori Dana

Caffeine Theatre and Chicago Opera Vanguard’s latest endeavor is the American premiere of Boojum! Nonsense, Truth and Lewis Carroll, an ambitious piece of Australian musical theater that made its debut on the Sydney stage in 1986. Penned by twin brothers Martin and Peter Wesley-Smith, Boojum! takes its name from Lewis Carroll’s epic nonsense poem “The Hunting of the Snark”, which concludes with the line “For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.” Martin Wesley-Smith, for whom the works of Carroll have been a lifelong theme, uses this phrase and others from Carroll’s work as metaphors for the English author’s life, which appears to have been as eccentric as the imaginary worlds he created.

Our theatrical journey begins on an empty black stage, adorned with only a wooden platform and two large white drapes. On one are projected excerpts from Lewis Carroll’s stories. On the other, facts about the life of the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, his literary doppelganger Carroll, and Carroll’s muse Alice Liddell.

Without introductory fanfare, we are joined in quick succession by our cast of eccentric Snark-hunters: Bellman (Michael Reyes), Banker (Stephen Rader), Billiard Marker (Kevin Bishop), Butcher (Sara Sevigny), Boots (Laura Deger), Barrister (Kevin Grubb), Beaver (Heather Townsend), and Baker (Alex Baliestrieri). What ensues is aptly described by COV as “part existential musical theater and part fantasy adventure story”.


Initially we are charmed by the eccentricity of Boojum’s characters, its catchy tunes and clever lyrics.  Before long we realize that this funny fantasy world exists in the mind of a confused and tortured man for whom imagination is not only an escape, but also a social coping mechanism. Lewis Carroll’s reality exists in imagination, where he controls the action of its denizens like pieces on a chessboard. Dodgson’s reality is far more complicated.  Dodgson and his literary looking-glass image must coexist, much like the proverbial good and evil twins whose lives are impossibly and inextricably entwined.  This relationship gives Boojum! its impetus, inspiring both the production’s most hilarious moments (most notably the “It Ain’t No Fun to be a Twin” duet between Rader and Bishop) and most of its pathos.


Much like Cabaret, Boojum’s absurd antics, dark humor and razzle-dazzle music-and-dance numbers are all the more impactful because of the sense of tragedy that laps at the edges of the story.  All of the details are here:  eye-popping costumes, snappy choreography, perfectly timed delivery, wonderful music. The vocal talents of the leading roles are impressive: in addition to Reyes, whose fine comic acting gives Boojum! its backbone; Baliestrieri and Townshend are also in fine voice.  They are joined later in the first act by Jeremy Trager, whose portrayal of Dodgson’s alter-ego Lewis Carroll is superb.  (His duet with Baliestrieri, “Knight’s Gambit”, is another musical highlight.) Marielle de Rocca-Serra makes a comely Alice, although her vocal stamina seemed to falter toward the middle of Act Two.  And even though the a cappella group numbers still need some polishing, this fine group of actors accompanied by a single piano really make Boojum! shine. We can’t help but imagine what they could do with a Broadway sized theater and full orchestra.  If the theater gods are smiling, they will certainly get the chance to show us.

3 ½ STARS

(“Boojum! Nonsense, Truth and Lewis Carrollruns through December 19 at the Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph Street. 312-742-TIXS (8497)

BOOJUM! Nonsense, Truth, and Lewis Carroll | DCA Theater – Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs

Caffeine Theatre – Home

CHICAGO OPERA VANGUARD

Boojum! Nonsense, Truth and Lewis Carroll production photos by John W. Sisson, Jr.

* Visit Theatre In Chicago for more information on this show. Boojum! Nonsense, Truth, and Lewis Carroll – Storefront Theater – Play Detail – Theatre In Chicago

Travels With My Aunt

Henry Pulling, a mild-mannered retired banker, leads a quiet life tending his beloved dahlias and never straying too far from his Southwood, England home. But when his eccentric and outrageous Aunt Augusta suddenly appears in his life with mysterious information about his past, Henry is drawn from the safety of his flower beds into a series of absurd and exotic international adventures. Henry, Aunt Augusta and more than 25 characters are brilliantly and inventively portrayed by just four actors who switch identities, nationalities, ages and genders in this exciting theatrical escapade. Adapted from the celebrated novel by Graham Green, Travels with My Aunt takes you on an irreverent, often hilarious and absolutely unforgettable adventure…

Nov 30 – Mar 27, 2011

@ Writers’ Theatre

325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

Stage: Performed at 664 Vernon Avenue

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 847-242-6000

Writers’ Theatre – Located in the heart of Chicago’s North Shore

Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue

Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue features a seasonal blend of hilarious scenes, songs and our trademark improvisation with a sprig of holiday mischief for a night of spirited fun. Funny, bright and completely original, Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue is the perfect alternative to the same old holiday shows. From uneven gift exchanges with your clueless boyfriend to couples therapy with Joseph and Mary, Second City has your ticket to all that’s ridiculous about this magical season.

Nov 30 – Dec 27, 2010

@ Second City

1616 N. Wells St, Chicago

Stage: Second City e.t.c. Theatre

Show Type: Improv/Skits

Box Office: 312-337-3992

Shows & Tickets – Chicago – Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue - The Second City – 50 Years of Funny

It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play

Bedford Falls. 1948. ATC transforms its intimate space into an actual 1940′s radio studio to tell Capra’s classic story of one man’s affect on his community. Complete with audiograms and commercial breaks, audiences may be recorded live for broadcast on WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. Free milk and cookies are served after every performance.

Thru – Dec 26, 2010

@ American Theatre Comapny

1909 W Byron, Chicago

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-409-4125

American Theater Company | it’s a wonderful life

Under Construction

The piece looks at memory and the American family through the lenses of Norman Rockwell and modern assemblage art and asks- how do we know the truth about our lives if our memories are affected by our feelings toward them? Director AJ Ware helms this newest piece that notes that we are collages of our family, our education, and ultimately our choices. In Under Construction, when a young woman is bombarded by her past she uses art to organize her memories and try to make sense of them.

Presented by Jackalope Theatre Company

Thru – Dec 19, 2010

@ The Artistic Home

3914 North Clark, Chicago

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-340-2553

Jackalope Theatre Company

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol is the tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who is opposed to holiday cheer and indifferent to the sufferings of the poor in Victorian London. Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who offer him the opportunity to sympathize with his fellow man. Dickens’ famous characters include Scrooge’s kind-hearted clerk, Bob Cratchit, and his family, including Tiny Tim; the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future; the merry-making Fezziwig couple; and the Ghost of Jacob Marley.

Read the 4 STAR review here: A Christmas Carol – REVIEW – Chicago Stage Review

Thru – Dec 31, 2010

@ Goodman Theatre

170 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 312-443-3800

Tickets & Season : Production : A Christmas Carol

The Santaland Diaries

The ideal holiday tradition for people who don’t believe in holiday traditions, The Santaland Diaries is the unconventional, uproariously funny story of David, a struggling young writer who reluctantly takes a seasonal job as an elf at Macy’s and struggles to maintain his dignity. As Christmas Day draws nearer, David grows increasingly weary and bitter as he is forced to deal with the humiliations of elf training, obnoxious customers, and badly cast Santas. Will “Crumpet” find the Christmas spirit before it’s too late? Probably not.

Nov 26 – Dec 31, 2010

@ Theater Wit

1229 W Belmont Ave, Chicago

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 773.975.8150

The Santaland Diaries

Next Page »