Category: Broadway in Chicago

"Jersey Boys" – no smoking allowed!

It’s official – all smoking scenes in Chicago’s long-running Broadway hit, Jersey Boys, have been snuffed out.  Chicago’s smoking ban does not offer exemptions for indoor performances, and – unlike many American cities – also does not allow for any type of substitutions, such as clove cigarettes (which is a common practice in many theatres around the country). 

A theatrical telling of the rise of Frankie Valli and his singing group, it is natural that the characters would smoke in certain scenes, just as they did in real life.  Unfortunately a theatre patron lodged a complaint with the city, so the smoking scenes had to be rewritten and restaged.  (some people just need to have something to complain about, you know?)

The New York and London version of Jersey Boys cast will continue with the smoking scenes, as these cities have indoor smoking bans that offer exemptions for theatrical performances

"Jersey Boys", now playing at the Bank of America Theatre in downtown Chicago .

July 9, 2008 | 0 Comments More

For WGN Radio – My summer picks…

Chicago - My Kind of Theater Town - cropped

For Kids and Families:

  • Lyle, Lyle, the Crocodile, Lifeline Theatre
    • June 13th -July 13th; Friday-Sunday at 1pm
    • Tickets: $10
  • Cirque Shanghai: Gold ; Navy Pier outdoor theater
    • Runs all summer through Sept. 1st
    • Performed at outdoor theater at Navy Pier (just east of Ferris Wheel), so take in the show, then experience the huge fireworks display every Wednesday and Saturday evening.
    • Tickets: $12.50-$30
  • Willy Wonka, Chicago Shakespeare at Navy Pier
    • July 8th – August 17th
    • Tickets: $18-$23
  • Blue Man Group, Briar Street Theatre
    • Super-fun for kids of all ages
    • Tickets: $49-$59 (box office: 773-348-4000)

For Teens (and the young-at-heart):

  • Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, Neo-Futurists
    • Experience Chicago’s longest running play – 20 years and counting!
    • Days/Times: Friday-Saturday, 11pm, Sunday 7pm
    • Price: $6 plus the roll of a dice (so $7-$12 – is that cool or what?!?)
  • That’s Weird Grandma, Barrel of Monkeys
    • Monday nights, 8pm
    • Adults: $9 // Kids: $4

Broadway In Chicago (the big downtown shows):

  • Wicked, Ford Center for the Performing Arts (Oriental Theatre)
    • After 4 super-successful years,Wicked, has announced that it will officially close in January 2009.  So catch it while you can!
    • Ticket Price: $30-$95 (Box Office: 312-902-1400)
  • Jersey Boys, Bank of America Theatre (formerly Schubert Theatre)
    • Open run
    • Ticket Price: $30-$95 (Box Office: 312-902-1400)
  • Shout!, Drury Lane Watertower
    • Through July 20th  
    • Tickets: $45-$55 (Box Office: 312-902-1400)

For Date Night:

My two-pennies worth:

You haven’t experienced Chicago until you’ve ventured north to The Heartland Cafe in East Rogers Park.  First opened in the 1970’s, this earthy restaurant and bar jettisons you back to the late 1960’s and early 70’s (in a granola and incense kind-of-way).  The musical review, Lonesome Losers of the Night, is performed in an intimate coffee house down the street from Heartland, so first grab a bite to eat at Heartland, walk down the block to the performance, then mosey back down to The Heartland for drinks and nightly live music.

 

Comedy

  • Campaign Super Nova: or How Many Democrats Does It Take To Lose An Election?
    • Second City’s newest review
    • Open run, tickets: $19-$25 (Box Office: 312-337-3992)
  • Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Steppenwolf Theatre
    • runs through July 27
    • Tickets: $20-$68 (Box Office: 312-335-1650)
  • Co-Ed Prison Sluts, Annoyance Theatre
    • Annoyance Theatre brings back their raunchy long-running hit of the 80’s and 90’s.
    • Runs July 4th – August 29th
    • Tickets: $15 (Box Office: 773-561-4665)
  • Comedy Sportz – Comedy Sportz Theatre, Belmont and Clark
    • audience-interactive comedy competition between two teams of improv comedians, who perform a series of scenes and songs, all based on suggestions from the audience
    • Open run, now in their 21st year
    • Ticket prices vary, (Box Office: 773-549-8080)

Drama

  • A Steady Rain, Royal George Theatre
    • extended through Oct 5 (then on to Broadway?)
    • Tickets: $50 (box office: 312-988-9000)
  • Taste of Honey, Shattered Globe Theatre Ensemble
    • runs through July 5th
    • Tickets: $15-$35, (box office: 773-871-3000)
  • Hizzoner, Prop Thtr (performed at Beverly Arts Center)
    • Running for over 2-years, this play eerily depicts the infamous Mayor Richard J. Daley and inner-workings of “The Machine”
    • runs through July 29th
    • tickets: $40

Musicals:

  • Fiorello, Timeline Theatre 
    • runs through July 20th
    • Tickets: $15-$30 (Box Office: 773-281-8463)
  • Ain’t Misbehavin’, Goodman Theatre
    • running June 21st – July 27th
    • Tickets: not yet announced (Box Office: 312-443-3800)
  • Jekyll & Hyde, Bohemian Theatre Ensemble
    • through July 20th
    • Tickets: $20-$27 (Box Office: 773-327-5252)
  • Hunchback of Notre Dame, Bailiwick Repertory
    • composed by Dennis DeYoung of the band “Styx
    • runs through July 6t
    • Tickets: $25-$45 (Box Office: 773-883-1090)
  • Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook Terrace
    • runs through July 27th
    • tickets: $28-$33
June 8, 2008 | 1 Comment More

“Wicked” is “Popular”!!!

Wicked” marks its 1,000th-Performance!!

Tonight marks a momentous occasion in Chicago theater history – for the first time a big Broadway show has reached its 1000th performance (that’s a “1” followed by 3 zeros).  And the show is still selling well, having just made another 3 months of tickets available.   Wicked, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz seems to have really hit a nerve especially with teenage girls, with themes of trying to fit in, and realizing that it’s better to be true to yourself rather than be popular. 

November 14, 2007 | 0 Comments More

“Jersey Boys” sets theater sales record

Good news indeed for the folks over at Broadway In Chicago (not to mention the show’s investors) – “Jersey Boys“, running open-ended at the LaSalle Bank Theatre, has set a house record in gross ticket sales for the week ending on October 21 – a total of over $1.1 million dollars!  This still runs behind the records over at Wicked, but the Oriental Theatre also has a much larger seating capacity. 

A new block of tickets for Broadway-in-Chicago’sJersey Boys” will be going on sale the second week of November, covering performances through July 2008.

October 25, 2007 | 1 Comment More

Review – “Altar Boyz” at Drury Lane

altarboyz2.jpgProduction: Altar Boyz
ProducersDrury Lane Water Tower
Synopsis: The Christian rock band, The Altar Boyz, is holding their final concert before they break up, and you’re the audience.  In the process of the evening, a handy “Soul-ometer” updates the audience as to how many souls have been saved as the concert continues.  Will your soul be saved by this kitschy group of boy band popsters?
Pros: Cleverly cute songs, including “Jesus Called Me On My Cell Phone” and a lesson in maneuvering a Catholic mass (“Stand up, sit down, kneel, go in peace…).  The mostly-local cast is great, and the show’s gimmick, the large digital “Soul-ometer”, works well, holding the show together.
Cons: Songs trend towards pop fluff, high ticket price.
Overall: Though you will not walk away from Altar Boyz spiritually enlightened, you definitely will be exhausted from the pure fun and athleticism of the show.  Check it out!

Rating: «««½

October 14, 2007 | 1 Comment More

Praises abound for “Altar Boyz”

AltarBoyz - Chicago Cast

Chicago cast of Altar Boyz

From Chris Jones at the Chicago Tribune :

Despite the dizzying array of competing entertainments on offer this fall, I suspect “Altar Boyz” will do well at Water Tower. Just 90 fast-moving minutes in the company of an attractive male cast, this will be irreverent enough to please shoppers out to let loose a little on the Magnificent Mile and affectionate enough to ensure no one cancels church.  (To read entire review, click here.)

And Hedy Weiss at the Sun-Times calls Altar Boyz “A high-spirited journey to epiphany”, adding:

As for the “boyz,” they are tireless and neatly differentiated. Devin DeSantis is Matthew, the easily charming lead boy; Brian Crum is Mark, the megavoiced “gay Catholic”; Tyler McGee is Luke, the ever “exhausted” substance abuser with acrobatic skills; Adam Zelasko is Juan, the Mexican foundling, and Nick Verina is Abraham, the wandering Jew and lyrics writer. The powerhouse onstage band, led by Chicago’s Alan Bukowiecki, is hot. Now all that is needed is a DVD featuring the Altar Boyz’ workout routine.  (read entire review here.)

Kris Vire of TimeOut Chicago:

Altar Boyz ends not a moment too soon—any longer than 90 minutes and the joke would overplay its welcome—but for anyone with a religious background and a sense of humor about it, these five triple-threat actors (a more sparkling crop than we often get in Chicago musicals) should win over plenty of converts. (read entire review)

MORE REVIEWS: Tom Williams at ChicagoCritic.com – “…entertaining, catchy, and pleasant”,

October 10, 2007 | 1 Comment More

In honor of the opening tonight of “Altar Boyz”

As tonight is the opening of “The Altar Boyz” in downtown Chicago, I thought I’d post a little teaser that I found on YouTube.  Enjoy!

October 7, 2007 | 0 Comments More