Category: Henrik Ibsen

Chicago’s Best Theater of 2015


Carmen Molina, Claudia DiBiccari, Mykele Callicutt, Paula Ramirez, Preston Tate Jr., Deanna Reed-Foster and James McGuire in Cold Basement Dramatics' "Heat Wave".Scott Danielson, Garrett Lutz and George Toles star in Kokandy Productions' "The Full Monty".Laura Osnes as and Steven Pasquale star in Lyric Opera's "Carousel" by Rodgers and Hammerstein.John Mahoney and Audrey Francis in Steppenwolf Theatre's "The Herd".Sarah Lynn Robinson, Anthony Whitaker and Greg Zawada in Porchlight's "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Form" by Steven Sondheim. Monica West, Kasey Foster and Emma Cadd in Lookingglass Theatre's "Moby Dick".Mariann Mayberry and Brittany Uomoleale star in Steppenwolf Theatre's "Grand Concourse".Steve Haggard and Karen Janes Woditsch star in Writers Theatre's "Doubt: A Parable".Charli Williams , Anna Dauzvardis, Katrina D.  Richard, Brandon Greenhouse, and Kevin Patterson star in Raven Theatre's "Direct from Death Row: The Scottsboro Boys".Bernard White and Nisi Sturgis in Goodman Theatre's "Disgraced".Rafael Davila and Bradley Smoak star in Lyric Opera of Chicago's "Bel Canto".Drury Lane Oakbrook presents "Billy Elliot: The Musical," music by Elton John.  Becca Savoy, Michael McKeough and Sandy Elias star in Griffin Theatre's "Pocatello".Larry Yando and Eva Louise Balistreiri star in Chicago Shakespeare's "The Tempest" by William Shakespeare.Matthew Sherbach and Armand Fields star in Northlight Theatre's "Charm".Brendan Connelly, Chris Schroeder and Brenda Scott Wlazlo star in Red Theater and Oracle Productions' "R + J: The Vineyard".Melanie Brezill and Patrick Budde star in Chicago Children’s Theatre’s "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane." Colte Julian as Curly and Allison Sill as Laurey in Paramount Theatre's "Oklahoma!". Mike Nussbaum stars in TimeLine Theatre's "The Price" by Arthur Miller. Eunice Woods stars in American Theater Company's "The Project(s)" by PJ Paparelli and Joshua Jaeger.Luce Metrius and Ashley Neil star in A Red Orchid Theatre's "Red Handed Otter." Kelsey Brennan and Greg Matthew Anderson star in Remy Bumppo's "Travesties" by Tom Stoppard.Johanna McKenzie Miller and Alex Goodrich star in Northlight Theatre's "Shining Lives," directed by Jessica Thebus.Brian Parry and Jacqueline Grandt star in Redtwist Theatre's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" by Edward Albee.Eileen Niccolai and Daniela Colucci star in The Shattered Globe's "The Rose Tattoo" by Tennessee Williams. , Shattered Globe Theatre, Brosilow

In a theater community as diverse and talented as Chicago’s, every aspect and genre of stage productions can be found throughout the city on a given week.  2015 was no exception to this fact, as one can see from our reviewers’ picks of the year’s greatest and most memorable works.

See our picks below the fold

December 31, 2015 | 0 Comments More

Review: Ibsen’s Ghosts (Mary-Arrchie Theatre)

Gage Wallace stars as Oswald in Mary-Arrchie's "Ibsen's Ghosts," adapted and directed by Greg Allen. (photo credit: Joe Mazza)         
Ibsen’s Ghosts 

Adapted, Directed by Greg Allen
at Angel Island, 735 W. Sheridan (map)
thru Dec 20  |  tix: $20-$30   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets   

November 16, 2015 | 2 Comments More

Review: The Doll’s House Project – Ibsen Is Dead (Interrobang Theatre Project)

Jenifer Henry Starewich and Matthew David Gellin star as Nora and Torvald in Interrobang Theatre Project's "The Doll's House Project: Ibsen Is Dead" by Calamity West, directed by James Yost. (photo credit: Emily Schwartz)        
The Doll’s House Project:
   Ibsen Is Dead

Written by Calamity West  
Directed by James Yost
at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport (map)
thru June 8 |  tickets: $20   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
                   Read review

May 23, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Hedda Gabler (Writers Theatre)

Kate Fry and Scott Parkinson star in Writers Theatre's "Hedda Gabler" by Henrik Ibsen, directed by Kimberly Senior. (photo credit: Michael Brosilow)        
Hedda Gabler

Written by Henrik Ibsen
Translated by Nicholas Rudall  
Directed by Kimberly Senior 
Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe (map)
thru April 6   |  tickets: $35-$70   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
                   Read review

January 22, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Hedda Gabler (For This Theater)

Hedda Gabler Flyer       
Hedda Gabler 

Written by Henrik Ibsen 
Directed by Pawel Grajnert
at City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr (map)
thru Feb 11  |  tickets: $20   
        Read entire review

January 30, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: Peer Gynt (Polarity Ensemble Theatre)

Meg Elliott and Bryson Engelen in Polarity Ensemble Theatre's "Peer Gynt," by Henrik Ibsen. (photo credit: John W. Sisson, Jr.)       
Peer Gynt 

Written by Henrik Ibsen  
Directed by Jeremy Wechsler 
DCA Storefront Theater, 66 E. Washington (map)
thru Dec 18  |  tickets: $15-$20   |  more info

Check for half-price tickets  
        Read entire review 

November 26, 2011 | 1 Comment More

Review: Brand (Red Tape Theatre)

Publicity Pic 3 BRAND - Amanda Reader

Written by Henrik Ibsen  
Directed by Max Truax 
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 621 Belmont (map)
thru Oct 29  |  tickets: $25  |  more info

Check for half-price tickets
        Read entire review

October 4, 2011 | 1 Comment More

2011 Theater on the Lake Festival


big river imrpov shakes

Boho Theatre’s Big River

Improvised Shakespeare


2011 Theater on the Lake Festival Guide

at Theater on the Lake
2401 N. Lake Shore Drive


Theatre On The Lake - Chicago

by Jason Rost

It’s that time again: Chicago theater’s way of letting us know summer has officially arrived. It’s the theatrical equivalent in Chicago to the Cubs/Sox series. Here comes the Theater on the Lake festival! Chicago area non-equity productions are handpicked to take the open-air stage in Lincoln Park. It’s an opportunity to see 8 shows in 8 weeks, many of which were highlights of the past season. Of course, with street festivals, concerts, and BBQ who has time to make it to all 8 shows? Here are my picks for what not to miss:

All performances begin at 7:30 pm, Wednesday through Saturday, and at 6:30 pm on Sunday.

The Improvised Shakespeare Company, StarBest Bet
June 15th – June 19th

  Prepare to be astounded! Due to popular demand, the long running Improvised Shakespeare Company will spin a tale worthy of the Bard on the shores of Lake Michigan. Still enjoying sold out crowds every Friday night at iO, this troop excels at not only creating an improvised play based on an audience suggestion (last Friday night I took in a side-splitting rendition of “The Merry Wives of Orange County"), but they also use Shakespearean lingo, structure and references. Oh, and it’s definitely the most laughs on the lake this summer.

A Doll’s House, Infamous Commonwealth Theatre Company (our review)
June 22nd – June 26th

  This Infamous Commonwealth production directed by Chris Maher takes the classic Henrik Ibsen play out of 19th century Norway and sets it in 1962 New York. While the concept plays out visually in its ‘Mad Men’ style aesthetic, it doesn’t tie to the themes of the play and ultimately the casting bogs down this retelling.

Dental Society Midwinter Meeting,  At Play Productions and Chicago Dramatists June 29th – July 3rd (our review)

  Finally a play for dentists! Chicago Dramatists presented this new play by Laura Jacqmin last summer. The story is a collection of fictional accounts all taking place at an actual event, The Chicago Dental Society Conference. Adultery, blackmail and scandal are at the center of this impressive display of the dental subculture.

Letters Home, Griffin Theatre Company
July 6th – July 10th

  The Afghanistan and Iraq wars are brought to life through actual letters written by soldiers serving in the Middle East. The Griffin Theatre production is inspired by The New York Times article "The Things They Wrote;" subsequent HBO documentary Last Letters Home; and letters and correspondences from Frank Schaeffer’s books Letters Home From America’s Military Family, Faith of Our Sons and Keeping Faith. The play gives audiences a powerful portrait of the soldier experience in our ongoing wars.

After the Fall, Eclipse Theatre Company (our review)StarBest Bet
July 13th – July 17th

  Say goodbye to Norma Jean with Arthur Miller’s semi-autobiographical account of his tumultuous relationship with Marilyn Monroe. This is a perfect outing for some mid-summer drama. Marilyn’s drug addiction spirals downward alongside the country entering the era of McCarthyism. But instead of Arthur and Marilyn, let’s call them Quentin and Louise. Director Steve Scott hits all the right notes of pain, sex and confrontation in this charged Eclipse Theatre Company production.

1001, Collaboraction (our review)StarBest Bet
July 20th – July 24th

  Based on the stories of “The Arabian Nights”, Jason Grote’s mash-up up of politics, humor, relationships and philosophy is an invigorating epic. The brilliant direction by Seth Bockley commands a quick-fired pace from his talented cast. Set amidst the backdrop of anti-Arab sentiments in Manhattan, Scheherazade’s tales are intertwined with the story of an Arab Jewish interracial relationship amidst a visual buffet of references from Osama bin Laden to Michael Jackson.

Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn StarBest Bet
Bohemian Theatre Ensemble, July 27th – July 31st  (our review)

  Here you get another chance to catch the Jeff award winner for Best Principal Actor in a Musical, Andrew Mueller. Big River is one of the most successful dramatizations of the classic Mark Twain novel, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn".” This Tony award winning musical received a heartfelt revival from BoHo this year under the direction of P. Marston Sullivan. The country music score by Roger Miller will have you stompin’ your feet under the open sky.

Sweet and Hot: The Songs of Harold Arlen, Theo Ubique (our review)
August 3rd – August 7th

  Going out with a Theo Ubique musical revue is a pretty wise choice by the Theater on the Lake organizers. This one is full delight as they take on the songbook of Harold Arlen, most famous for penning sons to “The Wizard of Oz.” Add that to songs such as “I’ve Got the World on a String” and “Stormy Weather” and you’ve got a lovely evening. This revue may not play as intimate in the open-air space as it did in their tinderbox cabaret, but if nothing else David Heimann’s choreography and Fred Anzevino’s directing will project this ditty-packed show somewhere “Over the Rainbow.”

Ticket Information: Subscribers may purchase a season pass for $110 and see each performance each week. Subscriptions are available May 1 through June 1st OR Individual tickets may be purchased for each performance for $17.50. The Box Office opens for single ticket sales, June 7 at 2:00 pm. Box Office: (312) 742-7994. Beginning June 7 at 2:00 pm, Box Office hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 2:00 – 8:00 pm, Sunday, 3:30 – 7:30 pm. Closed Monday.

Getting There: Theater on the Lake is located at Fullerton Avenue and Lake Michigan in Lincoln Park.

Getting there Green: Walk or bike along Chicago’s lakefront path directly to our front door. Not only will you BE green, but you’ll also SAVE some green!

By car: Pay parking is available at the Lincoln Park Zoo, located at Fullerton Avenue and Cannon Drive. Metered parking is sometimes available along Cannon Drive.

By bus: CTA bus routes 151 or 156 both serve the area.


1001_photo by Saverio Truglia_7827



June 14, 2011 | 0 Comments More