About Around the Town Chicago
Chicago is a marvelous city. Often, we are compared to New York in our night life, the love of our sports teams and our shopping; but when it comes to theater, everyone says the happening place is “Broadway”. I recall taking weekend trips in the past to the “Big Apple” where I could catch a Friday night, Saturday matinee, Saturday evening and possibly a Sunday show before grabbing a cab for the trip to the airport and my return to Chicago. I was on a true high because I had seen such wonderful works, both on Broadway and Off-Broadway! At that time, while we had theater here, we had only one remaining “Broadway” type house and a great many dinner-theater venues scattered in the suburbs. Even our old “summer stock” houses were long gone so that developers could increase the number of shopping centers in the area.
Today, we stand high in the world of theater! We have three major “Broadway” type venues, bringing us major road companies direct from New York and often, the Broadway shows begin their run here! These are the Broadway in Chicago houses (www.BroadwayInChicago.com) located in our new “Theatre District”. They have also added a new Broadway In Chicago Theatre ( formerly Drury Lane Water Tower) right off Michigan Avenue. Just a block away, the adventurous Lookingglass Theatre brings us new works that will make your theatrical experience one to remember. There is nothing like this in the “Big Apple”.
When we are in the Theatre District, we also have the Goodman Theatre where we can experience old standards (“A Christmas Carol” has thrilled over 1,000,000 viewers), new plays, and every two years the wonderful “Latino Theatre Festival”, where we get to bring our cultures together with the many Latino troupes of the world. Speaking of Latino theater, Chicago has the only all female Latino troupe, Teatra Luna and the award winning Teatro Vista, the only Equity Latino company! For updated info on the Goodman visit www.GoodmanTheatre.org.
If we go south of the loop, to Hyde Park, on the University of Chicago campus, we find Court Theatre, an intimate space that mixes more cultures with affordable ticket prices. As we drive north on the outer drive, we pass Navy Pier, an exciting landmark that brings visitors to Chicago all year and on that attraction, one will find the award winning Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier (www.Chicagoshakes.com). In addition to revisiting the classical works of Shakespeare and other great writers , with a somewhat modern twist, we get to see theater companies from around the world and in the summer, family fare and Short Shakespeare, productions geared to let children experience Shakespeare for the first time.
Heading north, we have the marvelous The Second City on Wells, Steppenwolf Theatre on Halsted, Victory Gardens on Lincoln Avenue and lots of others in and around the area. In fact, we have “black box” theaters and storefront conversions all over the city, in any direction. We also have fabulous suburban houses like Nothlight Theatre in Skokie, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Writers’ Theatre in Glencoe, Drury Lane in Oakbrook,and Theatre at the Center in Munster, which is only about a half hour from downtown. From St.Charles to Arlington Heights to Glencoe to Waukegan, back down to Evanston and all over Chicago, there are probably 50-plus venues that theater companies call home and audiences call entertainment- It is my desire to make you aware of all that is going on so that you can enjoy all the live theater that Chicago has to offer. I know that when a “critic” does a review, it is expected that a rating be added. This of course is only the opinion of that reviewer, so while I don’t think it of the greatest importance, I will add ratings that include the following:
I always welcome your feedback and as I see 5-7 plays per week, it is possible to have a typo here and there, so I would hope that you will care more about the content of my review than any little errors that will not affect the intent, just as I have never let a slipped line or dropped prop change my opinion of a production.
See you at the theater!