Tag: David Chase

Review: My Fair Lady (Lyric Opera of Chicago)

Donald Maxwell and Lisa O'Hare in My Fair Lady -Andrew Cioffi           

My Fair Lady

By Alan Jay Lerner (lyrics)
   and Frederick Loewe (music)
Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker (map)
thru May 21  |  tix: $22-$199  |  more info
Check for half-price tickets   

May 2, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Finding Neverland (Broadway in Chicago)

Finding Neverland cast, Broadway Chicago (photo Carol Rosegg)           

Finding Neverland

By James Graham (book), and
 Gary Barlow, Eliot Kennedy (music, lyrics) 
Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph (map)
thru Dec 4  |  tix: $34-$115  |  more info
Check for half-price tickets   

November 29, 2016 | 0 Comments More

Review: Elf the Musical (Broadway in Chicago)

Will Blum and Lindsay Nicole Chambers star as Buddy and Jovie in Broadway in Chicago's "Elf the Musical," directed by Sam Scalamoni. (photo credit: Amy Boyle Photography)        
Elf the Musical

Book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin
Music by Matthew Sklar, Lyrics by Chad Beguelin
Directed by Sam Scalamoni  
Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph (map)
thru Dec 15  |  tickets: $18-$120   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
                   Read review

December 1, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Evita (Broadway in Chicago)

Caroline Bowman stars as Eva in Broadway in Chicago's "Evita" by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, directed by Seth Sklar-Heyn. (photo credit: Richard Termine)       

By Andrew Lloyd Webber (music), Tim Rice (lyrics)
Directed by Seth Sklar-Heyn
at Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph (map)
thru Oct 6  |  tickets: $27-$95   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
                   Read review

September 23, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Anything Goes (Broadway in Chicago)

Rachel York stars as Reno Sweeney in Broadway in Chicago's "Anything Goes", music and lyrics by Cole Porter, directed by Kathleen Marshall. (photo credit: Joan Marcus)        
Anything Goes

Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter 
Book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman 
Directed by Kathleen Marshall
Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph (map)
thru May 5  |  tickets: $27-$95   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
        Read entire review

April 27, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Gotham City (Chicago Dance Crash)

Julian Devine, Chantelle Mrowka - Chicago Dance Crash, Gotham City       
Gotham City 

Written by Mark Hackman  
Choreographed by Jessica Deahr
DCA Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph (map)
thru July 15  |  tickets: $25   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
        Read entire review

June 9, 2012 | 0 Comments More

REVIEW: Billy Elliot (Broadway in Chicago)

‘Billy Elliot’ shines


Emily Skinner, Cesar Corrales and Cast

Broadway in Chicago presents
Billy Elliot: The Musical
Book and lyrics by Lee Hall, music by Elton John
Directed by Stephen Daldry
At the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre
Open run (more info)

Reviewed by Leah A. Zeldes

After four Laurence Olivier Awards, ten Tony Awards and ten Drama Desk Awards, you don’t need me to tell you that Billy Elliot: The Musical is worth seeing. Time Magazine also named it the "Best musical of the decade," an assessment I Tommy Batchelor as Billydon’t agree with —  my vote goes to Urinetown — but I will say Billy Elliot has everything a good musical ought to have: Fine music, outstanding choreography and a heartwarming, if clichéd, story full of triumphs and pathos.

Having opened in London in 2005 and on Broadway in 2008, the acclaimed musical has finally come to Chicago, where a stellar cast does it full justice.

Based on Lee Hall’s screenplay for the 2000 film, the plot is one we’ve seen many times before — a talented youth, dancing to his own drummer, beats the odds and makes doubters accept him on his own terms.

In this case, it’s 11-year-old Billy Elliot, son of a British miner, amid the devastating 1984 Coal War in which labor lost its fight against Margaret Thatcher’s conservative government, destroying the miners’ union and all but ending coal mining in the U.K. Billy’s mother is dead; his grandmother is senile; his dad and older brother, Tony, are on strike, along with most of the men in their town; money is short and tempers are flaring. Sent to boxing class, Billy accidentally stumbles into a girls’ ballet lesson and discovers a love and talent for dancing — outraging the men in his life.

It’s a rollercoaster of a story, full of contrasts, at turns funny and sad, raucous and refined, exultant and despondent. Politics, class consciousness, the role of the arts vs. sports, sexual identity all come together, sometimes clashingly. If the bitter defeat of the strike seems an odd match for the bright jubilation of Billy’s triumph, well … it’s a musical.

Peter Darling’s dazzling choreography makes the most of the juxtapositions, as in the brilliantly effective sequences of warring police and angry strikers interspersed with little girls in tutus.

Giuseppe Bausilio and Samuel Pergande J.P. Viernes as Billy
Tommy Batchelor and Ballet Girls Miners Association

Performed by a first-rate orchestra, led by Colin Welford, Elton John’s score, with lyrics by Hall, also brings us some startling contrasts. It runs the gamut from cheerful music-hall ditties to rousing anthems to sad ballads, from joyous to silly to angry, sometimes even in the same song. In an excellent example, one of the few solos, "We’d Go Dancing," Billy’s grandmother — a splendid performance by Cynthia Darlow — recalls her unhappy married life.

On the silly side, we get "Expressing Yourself," a strange sequence in which Billy and his transvestite friend, Michael (played alternately by Keean Johnson and Gabriel Rush), don women’s clothes and then dance with giant headless dresses.

Then there’s the pure joy of "Electricity," Billy’s paean to dancing.

A rotating cast of four boys plays Billy. On opening night, 13-year-old Cesar Corrales showed dazzling talent as a dancer and actor. A breathtaking pas de deux with his older self (onetime Joffrey dancer Samuel Pergande) deservedly drew a standing ovation on opening night.

We also see excellent moves from Emily Skinner as Mrs. Wilkinson, Billy’s pushy ballet teacher, and Blake Hammond as Mr. Braithwaite, her grotty accompanist.

No one in this ensemble puts a foot wrong.

Rating: ★★★½

This musical contains adult language some parents may consider unsuitable for children.

Billy's Under Theatre Lights



April 12, 2010 | 6 Comments More