Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Misfits find meaning in their work-a-day lives ]]> Lead story image

Chicago playwright Marisa Wegrzyn’s “Mud Blue Sky,” and a terrific cast at A Red Orchid Theatre, combine for a story that is at once very funny, heartbreaking and full of unexpectedly profound surprises and insights into the importance of work. ]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:10:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Brahman/i’ questions more than it answers ]]> Lead story image

Is it a boy or a girl? That is a perfectly natural, yet altogether bedeviling question explored in Aditi Brennan Kapil’s flourish-filled, identity-swirling play, “Brahman/i” (subtitled “A One-Hijira Stand Up Comedy Show”). ]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 02:20:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘The Way West’: Life and debt in a state less than golden ]]> Lead story image

HEDY WEISS: Mona Mansour’s play about financial disarray in California, accurate but far from subtle, has its world premiere at Steppenwolf. ]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 17:21:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ Dream of ‘Pinkolandia’ is alive in Berwyn ]]>

The 16th Street Theater is a principal cultural anchor of Chicago’s neighbor, Berwyn. But its reach extends far further than either city, or the intimate performance space at 6420 16th St. (operated by the North Berwyn Park District) that it calls home. Consider, for example, the theater’s current production, Andrea Thome’s “Pinkolandia,” which is part of the New York-based Lark Play Development Center’s program titled Launching New Plays into the Repertoire Initiative. The 16th Street Theater was among four companies nationwide chosen to give the work “a rolling premiere.” Directed here by Ann Filmer, 16th Street’s artistic director, Thome’s play … ]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 19:54:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Great storytelling still the goal in fresh take on Peking Opera ]]> Lead story image

Tianjin Peking Opera Company comes to University of Chicago with a fast-paced if long evening of spoken dialogue, singing, acrobatics and dance. ]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 02:19:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Day of the Gypsies’ finds its rhythms in two distinct dance/music forms ]]> Lead story image

“Gypsy jazz just begs to be danced to,” said choreographer Gordon Peirce Schmidt, whose RPM Productions will present “La Journee des Tziganes” (“The Day of the Gypsies”) for two performances at the Athenaeum Theatre. “The impulse to move to that music is overwhelming.” ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 13:44:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Not one misstep in Writers’ ‘Dance’ ]]> Lead story image

Every second of the Writers Theatre production of “The Dance of Death” is worth the price of admission. But you should take a seat in the company’s intensely intimate bookstore space for one very specific reason alone: Larry Yando. ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 20:18:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ Pilobolus dances its way to McAninch stage ]]> Lead story image

You’ve probably seen them even if you didn’t know it at the time. Pilobolus, which formed in 1971, has performed at the Olympics, at the Academy Awards, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and for audiences around the world. The modern dance troupe returns April 17 to The McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage . Pilobolus is named after a barnyard fungus that propels its spores with extraordinary speed, accuracy and strength. Performances are characterized by intense athleticism, physical interaction between the performers and contortions requiring extreme strength and flexibility. Dancer, choreographer and associate artistic … ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 13:44:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Multitalented Ben Vereen lovin’ his busy life ]]> Lead story image

If you’ve never seen Tony Award-winner Ben Vereen perform on Broadway, he’s bringing a taste of his work to you. His one-man show, “Steppin’ Out Live with Ben Vereen,” comes to North Central College in Naperville April 12 for an 8 p.m. performance. The show features tributes to Broadway, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. and include songs like “Defying Gravity,” “Mr. Bojangles,” “My Way” and “Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries.” He fills the show with song, dance, storytelling and humor. “It’s a tribute to my audiences, is what it is,” he said. “It’s songs I’ve done or … ]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 12:16:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Drury Lane’s ‘Les Miserables’ a timely reflection ]]> Lead story image

HEDY WEISS: Production of the challenging musical is notable for its overall vocal lushness, and for the altogether ravishing sound that emerges from the pit. ]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 20:35:03 -0500 <![CDATA[ Remy Bumppo does not shy away from harrowing truths of ‘Our Class’ ]]> Lead story image

HEDY WEISS: This is a work of genuine chutzpah, with director Nick Sandys and his expert cast doing truly impressive work, and playwright Tadeusz Slobodzianek sparing no one. ]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 11:00:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ AlbanyPark Theater Project fearless in revised ‘God’s Work’ ]]> Lead story image

HEDY WEISS: Harrowing is the essential word when describing “God’s Work,” the emotionally scorching story of child abuse and religious fanaticism now in the Goodman’s Owen Theatre. ]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 16:04:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ Mickey Rooney is the show in ‘Laugh On Me’ ]]>

There’s nobody else in the world who could do what Mickey Rooney does in “The Laugh’s On Me,” and get away with it. And there’s nobody else in the world who should be allowed to. ]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 09:45:32 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Cats’ purrrfectly enchanting in Marriott Theatre production ]]> Lead story image

Ah, the mystical divinity of unashamed felinity. It’s out in full force at the Marriott Lincolnshire, where the elaborately anthropomorphized kitties of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats” are leaping, pouncing and prancing through a categorically charming showcase of dazzling choreography, soaring vocals and emotionally satisfying storytelling. It’s easy to mock a show about singing cats, and to be sure, “Cats” has become something of a punchline since it debuted in 1981, reviled for its alleged lack of a plot, dialogue that basically consists of variations on “meow,” and an 11th-hour anthem that’s basically been karaoked to death. But in director Marc … ]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 18:03:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ A fiery night for River North Dance ]]> Lead story image

The dancers of River North Dance Chicago are power movers. Whether finessing a complex solo or duet, or hard-driving through an aerobically challenging group work, the members of this ensemble generate a sense of propulsion that keeps you watching and breathing along with them. The company, under the artistic direction of Frank Chaves, will be returning to the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress, for a showcase of its highly charged repertory at 8 p.m. Saturday. Among the richly theatrical pieces on the program will be a revival of Chaves’ own epic work “Underground Movements” (from 2006), set to a score … ]]> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 16:08:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Zoe Perry following in family footsteps ]]> Lead story image

No doubt about it. Zoe Perry is an actress born into a dramatic dynasty. ]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 02:22:13 -0500