Hedy Weiss has been Theater and Dance Critic of the Chicago Sun-Times since 1984, reporting on local, national and international productions, as well as a …Read More
“Asher Lev,” Aaron Posner’s exquisite 90-minute stage adaptation of the bestselling 1972 novel by Chaim Potok, is a portrait of a natural-born artist as he struggles to come to terms with a gift that makes him at once “demonic and divine,” and that endows him with the power to inflict profound emotional harm on those who love him, and who he most loves.
Chicago-bred actress Jessie Mueller, who received the 2014 Tony Award for best leading actress in a musical for “Beautiful — The Carole King Musical,” but she has not lost touch with her roots.
HEDY WEISS: The Marriott Theatre revival moves with the style and the frantic pace of its setting.
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Reading the list of Jeff Award nominations for a season’s worth of productions by both large and midsize Equity contract companies is invariably a potent reminder of the breadth and depth of talent in this city.
Here is an annotated look at four of the many pieces to be performed on various nights of the free festival.
HEDY WEISS: Though fictional, the musical starring Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson in many ways trumps “Motown the Musical.”
The 1944 musical “On The Town” follows the zany adventures of three sailors on a 24-hour shore leave in New York City during World War II.
A Herculean labor for those on stage as well as for the audience, “All Our Tragic” turns out to be a mind-boggling flight of the imagination, with many sequences of immense passion, intense physicality and wit.
HEDY WEISS: Lusia Strus’ talents back on view at Steppenwolf in the best of the trio, Martyna Majok’s “Ironbound.”
“All Our Tragic,” The Hypocrites’ newest project, meshes 32 Greek tragedies into an 11-hour marathon.
HEDY WEISS: “The Jungle,” the revelatory 1906 novel by Upton Sinclair, is now being presented in a bare-bones, wildly inventive, powerhouse world premiere staged by Oracle Productions.
“Churchill,” directed by Kurt Johns, is based on the prolific writings of Churchill (1864-1975), as well as the teleplay, “Winston Churchill” by Dr. James C. Humes.
Eclipse Theatre has staged a beautifully fine-tuned revival of Lynn Nottage’s heart-piercing 2003 play, “Intimate Apparel,” whichoffers a very different view of female oppression and survival.
HEDY WEISS: The story of the Marvelettes unfolds amid the joy and the tears at Motown.
HEDY WEISS: High-propulsion actors help the ear adjust to Shakespeare’s language in this winningly played, visually entrancing production.
Adam Bock might just be the Rene Magritte of contemporary playwrights.
The best indication a family show is doing everything right is that the adults in the audience are as fully entranced as the tiniest tots. This is clearly the case at Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s “Seussical,” the 90-minute musical based on the Dr. Seuss canon.
Chicago Shakespeare Theatre created Shakespeare in the Park to bring admission-free, family-friendly productions of the Bard’s plays to parks throughout the city.
HEDY WEISS: Director Jonathan Berry has approached the play almost as if he were making an indie film, using tight close-ups on the principal characters against the most minimalist backdrop.
HEDY WEISS: The overdue Chicago debut of Ena Lamont Stewart’s rarely seen 1947 classic at Griffin Theatre features some of the most gorgeous performances you will find on any stage in this city.