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David Lissner
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Sail with ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ on Lake Michigan

UPDATE: Extended for two performances! 5:45 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22 and 23. W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” nearly always means a rollicking good time, and the production now in Chicago is no exception. Catchy music, romping shenanigans, fun choreography, terrific singing — this show has it all. Plus — […]

Wentz in Wonderland: Green Tie Ball celebrates 21st year

Rock artist Pete Wentz of Black Cards and Fall Out Boy will DJ at this year’s Green Tie Ball, slated for Sept. 15 at A. Finkl & Sons, 2011 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. A whimsical “Alice in Wonderland” theme will feature at the 21st annual fundraiser hosted by Chicago Gateway Green, a nonprofit promoting urban […]

‘Brunch Punkx’ premieres in Uptown

A group of renegade culinary students decide to take the industry by storm. Then a death row inmate requests their brunch for his final meal. That’s the premise of Annoyance Theatre’s new musical, “Brunch Punkx,” opening Saturday, March 31. Director Irene Marquette (“Lights Out, Alma!” and “40 Whacks”) and musical director Lisa McQueen (“Tiny Fascists” […]

Friday food porn: Dinner and a show

Part of the $29 three-course Pre-Theater Dinner at Waterleaf Restaurant on the College of DuPage campus in Glen Ellyn, tender crab cakes served with cucumber tartar sauce and micro green salad are one of several starter options. For patrons of the McAninch Arts Center, as well as other early diners, the Pre-Theater Dinner menu is […]

‘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.

Go green: Get ‘Wicked’ for the holidays

Every time I see “Wicked,” I like it better. And the high-energy touring version that’s back in Chicago Cadillac Palace Theatre has plenty worth liking about it. With a powerhouse singer in Jackie Burns as Elphaba, the green-tinged Wicked Witch of the West; an effervescent actress in Chandra Lee Schwartz as Glinda; and a perfect […]

Night out: Discover Paris with Julia Child

“Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all,” said Julia Child, who learned to cook as young bride in Paris in the 1950s. Lakeview’s TimeLine Theatre Company tells the story of Child’s life in France in the world premiere of “To Master the Art” by William Brown and […]

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.