Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-02-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

SPRING THEATER PREVIEW Musicals: Fresh flowers and old chestnuts
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2018-03-21

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


If quantity is your thing, it's a great spring for musical theater; you'll be up to your ears in singers and dancers.

On the other hand, the pickings are sparse if you're looking for originality, innovation or something new as familiar and old-hat rule the roost. They may be great shows, but do we really need yet another Sweeney Todd, another Company, another Oklahoma, another South Pacific and another Jesus Christ Superstar? Jesus Christ, I don't think so ... but we're gonna' get 'em anyway! Look them up online if you want to see them. Here are some fresher possibilities.

—Pretty Woman the Musical, Oriental Theatre through April 15—Dominant commercial presenter Broadway In Chicago stands nearly alone as a purveyor of something new: the pre-Broadway world premiere of a musical based on the hit 1990 film romance. Music and lyrics are by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, with direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell, so one has high hopes. BroadwayInChicago.com

—A Taste of Things, Broadway Playhouse through April 29—A new-to-Chicago original with an intentionally-retro sound, this small-scale musical comedy is about four mid-1950s housewives whose limited lives—bound by the PTA, Betty Crocker and homemaking—begin to change under the influence of rock 'n' roll, Freedom Riders and ... the Kinsey Report! BroadwayInChicago.com

—Grand Hotel, Kokandy Productions at Theater Wit, April 15-May 25—While this isn't a new show, it's not one that's been done to death and Kokandy does reliably good work. It's an evocative adaptation of Vicki Baum's 1929 German novel and MGM's famous 1932 film version, set in a Berlin luxury hotel. Music and lyrics are by Robert Wright, George Forrest and Maury Yeston, with a book by Luther Davis. The Kokandy team is John D. Glover ( director ), Aaron Benham ( musical director, fresh from Merrily We Roll Along at Porchlight ) and Brenda Didier ( choreographer ). KokandyProductions.com

—Memphis, Porchlight Music Theatre at the Ruth Page Center, April 19-June 3—Still relatively unknown here, this winner of the 2010 Best Musical Tony Award is set against racial attitudes of the 1950s when even music was segregated in many parts of the country ( although not in Chicago ). In Memphis, a lone white DJ begins to play Black music on his station. The book is by Joe De Pietro with music and lyrics by David Bryan. PorchlightMusicTheatre.org

—Once, Paramount Theatre ( Aurora ), April 25-June 3—This intimate, romantic musical, based on the 2007 film, took home eight 2012 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Set in Ireland, it concerns a Girl and Guy ( that's how they're identified ) with baggage who fall in love anyway. Enda Walsh wrote the book for the musical, with folkloric-sounding music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. Paramount artistic director Jim Corti is the director. ParamountAurora.com

—The Cher Show, Oriental Theatre, June 12-July 15—Yeah, it's a jukebox musical of familiar 1960s-1990s hits, but it's a Broadway-bound world premiere nonetheless, and it tells the life story of the oft-married singer, dancer, star and all-time gay fave, so why not? The book is by Rick Elice, who did a pretty good job fashioning Jersey Boys into a hit. BroadwayInChicago.com

And now for the rest, very briefly, and they include Sweeney Todd, Sondheim, Theo Ubique Theatre at No Exit Café through April 29; On Your Feet!, the jukebox musical about Emilio and Gloria Estafan, Cadillac Palace through April 8; Company, Sondheim again, Venus Stage ( new tiny cabaret space ) at the Mercury Theater on Southport Avenue, April 5-June 3; South Pacific, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace, April 4-June 17; 9 to 5: the Musical, music/lyrics by Dolly Parton, Firebrand Theatre at The Den, April 7-May 20.

Also, there are The Sound of Music, Rodgers & Hammerstein's ( again ) long-touring production, Cadillac Palace, April 10-15; Oklahoma!, Rodgers & Hammerstein ( again, again ) 75th( ! )-anniversary production, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, April 11-June 10; Jesus Christ Superstar, Rice & Lloyd Webber, the first-ever rock production at Lyric Opera of Chicago, April 27-May 20 ( extension possible ); Cinderella, Rodgers & Hammerstein ( again, again and again, and not their best work, originally a TV special ), Cadillac Palace, April 27-May 6; and Dirty Dancing, based on the film, this long-circulating tour comes back to the city where it began, Cadillac Palace, May 29-June 3.

Kary M. Walker, for 21 years the executive producer of the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, ignored frequent requests from his middle-aged-and-up audience for familiar shows. "People who like Rodgers and Hammerstein have one foot in the grave!" he once said to me. Although he did, eventually, produce Oklahoma, Walker preferred to bring more recent work to his stage and try out world premiere shows. It's not a question of execution—Marriott and Drury Lane Oakbrook and Firebrand and Theo Ubique and the rest almost always do fine work—but of artistic policy and planning. Our local theaters, which build fresh productions rather than present tours, should offer much more diverse fare as Firebrand did it with its first production, Lizzie.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Total Bent 2019-02-15 - Authors: Stew and Heidi Rodewald At: The Den Theatre, 1616 N. Wells St. Tickets: HavenTheatreChicago.com; $35. Runs through: March 10 ...


Gay News

Michael Jackson musical skipping Chicago 2019-02-14 - The Michael Jackson Estate and Columbia Live Stage announced that a Michael Jackson stage musical are canceling a 2019 pre-Broadway engagement in Chicago, ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Fulfillment Center 2019-02-13 - Playwright: Abe Koogler At: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. Tickets: $30-40; ARedOrchidTheatre.org. Runs through: March 24 These ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Troye Sivan, 'Perfectionists,' Janelle Monae, Oprah 2019-02-13 - SHOWBIZ Troye Sivan, 'Perfectionists,' Janelle Monae, Oprah COMPILED BY ANDREW DAVIS Troye Sivan candidly discussed the correlation between his sexuality and ...


Gay News

Nederlander Theatre lights marquee 2019-02-13 - Broadway In Chicago's newly named James M. Nederlander Theatre recently lit its marquee for the first time. The venue, at 24 W. ...


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE, MUSIC. John Cameron Mitchell bringing 'Hedwig'-inspired songs 2019-02-13 - Two-time Tony winner John Cameron Mitchell is bringing moments of Hedwig and the Angry Inch back to life for Chicago audiences. The musical ...


Gay News

The Jeff Awards to present panel on Latinx Theater 2019-02-12 - February 12, 2019, Chicago, IL - The Jeff Awards meeting on Monday, February 18, 2019 at the Greenhouse Theater will include a panel ...


Gay News

SPOTLIGHT on Underscore Theatre's Chicago Musical Theatre Festival 2019-02-12 - Is the next Hamilton lurking in Chicago? Stranger things have happened. Underscore Theatre's ambitious 5th Annual Chicago Musical Theatre Festival includes nine concert ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-02-12 - A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Porchlight Music Theatre at the Ruth Page Auditorium, through March 16. A score that hearkens to ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder 2019-02-12 - Playwright: Book by Robert L. Freedman, music by Steven Lutvak, lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak At: Porchlight Music Theater at ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.