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David Lissner
for restaurants

‘Porgy and Bess’: Controversial masterpiece worth a new look

Musically, thematically and theatrically, the Gershwins’ “Porgy and Bess” has been a controversial work since its first 1935 production. The passing of time, as well as deft staging and glorious performances, make Court Theatre’s new production incontrovertibly excellent.

Pistachio nuts and backyard barbecues on Chicago stages

‘Candide,’ ‘Detroit’ and free theater in Chicago

Reviving the conflicts of Skokie’s past

“The Invasion of Skokie” never happened. A new play at Chicago Dramatists in River West, the title recalls the time in the late 1970s when a group of neo-Nazis proposed to march through the Chicago suburb. At the time, Skokie’s population included some 40,000 Jews, many of whom were Holocaust survivors. The racists chose Skokie […]

When they call it ‘Hot Mikado,’ they aren’t kidding

A high-energy razzle-dazzle of brilliant color, movement and music, Drury Lane’s “Hot Mikado” has everything a musical wants.

You’ll be mighty glad you went to ‘Carousel’

Light Opera Works offers a delicious revival of >Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s poignant 1945 musical, “Carousel” through Aug. 28.

‘Sugar’-coated musical comedy a sweet night out

“Sugar” ran for 505 performances on Broadway in 1972 and garnered four Tony nominations. Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace is currently giving it a vibrant revival with lots of local color.

‘Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps’ a thrilling farce

Much in the same spirit as Charles Ludlam’s gothic spoof “The Mystery of Irma Vep,” this madcap pastiche by Patrick Barlow, based on a concept from Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon, features four actors who reenact all the roles in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1935 film.

Bold, bawdy new ‘Cabaret’ hottest thing in the Loop

The hottest show in the Loop this season: The Hypocrites’ dark and raunchy new take on the Fred Ebb-John Kander classic, “Cabaret.”

You won’t regret going ‘Into the Woods’ in Lakeview

Porchlight Music Theatre’s “Into the Woods” may not have the dazzling dancing of the hot new show downtown, but it does have all the brilliance of Stephen Sondheim’ Tony Award-winning score and James Lapine’s delightful book, a cast of lovely singers and a fairy-tale plot that’s scarcely more of a fantasy than “Billy Elliot’s.”

Broadway in Chicago’s ‘101 Dalmatians’ a dog of a musical

“Cruella de Vil, Cruella de Vil, if she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will….” Was there ever a scarier, freakier villain than Cruella de Vil? The scrawny, witchy society dame determined to make dog-skin coats out of Dalmatian puppies is scarier than ever in “The 101 Dalmatians Musical,” playing in a short run at […]