Showing posts with label Chicago Theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicago Theatre. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

REVIEW: Collected Stories Via Redtwist Theatre Now Playing Through June 5, 2022

 ChiIL Live Shows on our radar 

R E D T W I S T  T H E A T R E  P R E S E N T S

Collected Stories

by Donald Margulies

Directed by Ted Hoerl

Gossip is a neglected art form.

Guest Review

By Catherine Hellmann

I felt like I was at Windy City Playhouse and was looking for the cheese curls, popcorn, and spray cheese can snacks. The set is Professor Ruth Steiner’s apartment, and the audience members are the eavesdroppers in her living room lined against the walls. For a play about sharing secrets and subsequent indiscretion, the intimacy is perfect. 

Jacqueline Grandt (Ruth) and Jillian Warden (Lisa)

“Write what you know” is the oft-repeated piece of advice to aspiring authors about writing. In Collected Stories by Donald Margulies, Lisa Morrison is a young, ambitious yet uncertain grad student meeting her idol/teacher Dr. Steiner for the first time. Lisa is writing about what she knows in her autobiographical selections that eventually culminate in her first published book, Eating Between Meals. She adores Dr. Steiner from her reputation as an author. Lisa fawns so much initially over her prof that it is cringey. Dr. Steiner is very no-nonsense, a little abrupt, blunt, and describes herself as “Thelma Ritter would play me in the movie.” (I love that line!) 

The first time that Lisa is published, Ruth’s surprise and tinge of jealousy is palpable. She wants her student to succeed, but as a fellow artist, Ruth may not truly want her protege to surpass her. (That Artist Ego is hard to shake.) We see Lisa expand her repertoire as a writer while Ruth’s health declines. But Lisa’s first novel is not a tale she experienced firsthand. Is it still fair game to share with the world?

The book in question is obviously inspired by Ruth’s affair decades ago with a well-known poet many years her senior. Ruth reveals this precious memory of her past when pressed by Lisa. Lisa uses it as a springboard for her novel a few years later. Ruth, understandably, feels betrayed. 

All along, Ruth has stressed that “writers are all rummagers.” Lisa reminds Ruth that she herself taught Lisa to be “ruthless.” But Ruth feels her favorite student has “turned into a spy.” Ruth confesses that watching Lisa’s star ascend reminds Ruth of her own mortality. 

The two actresses are fantastic. Redtwist Company Member Jacqueline Grandt is wonderful in every role. The part of Ruth Steiner is perfect for her. Making her Redtwist debut is Jillian Warden as Lisa. She holds her own next to Ms. Grandt. 

On their first meeting, Ruth is surprised to discover Lisa is not who she thinks she is. “My students match their stories.” Lisa’s first story is too serious, and her personality is just too earnest. For these two writers, they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.    

Catherine Hellmann is a teacher, mom of teachers, daughter of a teacher…and a self-professed Theater Whore. 

Prominent author Ruth takes her fiction student Lisa under her wing – until Lisa’s success comes in the form of a story that’s much too familiar to Ruth. When her protege publishes a salacious story that can only be traced back to her mentor, their relationship is challenged. Spanning six years, this play takes a searching look at the lives of a pair of writers and the tangled connections between creativity and ideology.


Jacqueline Grandt* (Ruth Steiner), Jillian Warden (Lisa Morrison) Understudies: Jean Marie Koon (Ruth Steiner), Meghann Tabor (Lisa Morrison) THE STAFF

E. Malcolm Martinez (Box Office Manager), Karen Epton, Johnny Garcia & Amanda Grissom (Box Office Associates), Charlie

Marie McGrath (Producing Artistic Director)

*indicates Redtwist staff or company members


Opens: Sun, May 1, 3pm

Showtimes: Thu, Fri, Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 3pm

Closes: Sun, Feb 13, 3pm

Previews: $15; Thu, Fri, Sat, Apr 28, 29, 30 at 7:30pm.

Runtime: 2 hours, with one intermission

Tickets: Thursdays, $35; Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, $40 (seniors & students $5 off)


Website/Tickets: Call: 773-728-7529


Redtwist is located at 1044 W Bryn Mawr, 2 blocks W of LSD, 2 blocks E of the Red Line EL station. Please be aware of the ongoing construction on the Red and Purple lines, which cause delays. Valet parking for Redtwist is available across the street in front of Francesca’s Bryn Mawr for most performances—hours vary. Dining is not required. Parking is also available at Edgewater Mexican Café, with notification of restaurant staff. Dining is not required. Limited FREE street parking is available on side streets. There is paybox street parking via app. The paybox is 3-hours on the Redtwist block of Bryn Mawr, and 2-hours on side streets. Paybox parking is free on Sundays, and after 10pm Mon thru Sat.

The safety of our artists and audiences are important to us. During this unprecedented time, we hope to reduce the risk in the theatre-going experience as much as possible. To that end, we are instituting the following policies, effective immediately:

 Masks will be required for audiences inside the theatre.

 Patrons must be able to show proof that they are fully vaccinated via a physical copy of their vaccination card, a clear photo of their full card, or a link to their pharmacy's confirmation of vaccination or vaccination confirmation via their app.

 "Fully vaccinated" means that either 14 days have passed since receiving either the final dose of FDA or WHO authorized vaccines.

 Redtwist will offer exemptions for those unable to be vaccinated, such as children under 5, people with certain medical conditions preventing vaccination, or those with closely held religious beliefs that prevent vaccination. These patrons must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test—within the last 48 hours—before performance start time.


Thank you for helping us to keep our friends and artists and your fellow patrons as safe as possible during our upcoming season.

Friday, December 10, 2021


 ChiIL Live Shows on our radar 





DECEMBER 14-19, 2021

After an incredible Pre-Broadway run in Chicago and on Broadway, PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL, based on one of Hollywood’s most beloved romantic stories of all time, returns to Chicago on tour! Starring Broadway superstar and Tony Award®-nominee Adam Pascal as Edward Lewis and rising star Olivia Valli as the charming and charismatic Vivian Ward, PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL springs to life with a powerhouse creative team led by two-time Tony Award®-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde).

I was out of town on a travel feature back in 2018 when PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL made it's Pre-Broadway run in Chicago. So I'm elated to have another chance to catch opening night this time around. I'll be out to review on December 14th so check back soon for my take on this crowd pleasing new musical.

Broadway In Chicago’s CIBC Theatre (18 W. Monroe St.) for a limited engagement December 14-19, 2021. PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL is one of the first productions to open to a live audience in a Broadway In Chicago theatre in more than a year. It is the first of many shows to follow!

Brought to the stage by lead producer Paula Wagner, PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL features an original score by Grammy® winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance (“Summer of ‘69”, “Heaven”), and a book by the movie’s legendary director Garry Marshall and screenwriter J. F. Lawton. PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL will lift your spirits and light up your heart. “If you love the movie, you’ll love the musical!” (BuzzFeed News).

Featured in the musical is Roy Orbison and Bill Dee’s international smash hit song “Oh, Pretty Woman,” which inspired one of the most beloved romantic comedy films of all time. Pretty Woman the film was an international smash hit when it was released in 1990. Now, 30 years later, PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL is “Big romance and big fun!” ( “Irresistible! A romantic fantasy. A contemporary fairy tale,” says The Hollywood Reporter. PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL delivers on all the iconic moments you remember. Get ready to experience this dazzling theatrical take on a love story for the ages.

Are you ready to fall in love all over again?

Atlantic Records’ PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL (Original Broadway Cast Recording) is produced by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance and is now available on all DSPs.

Visit for more information.



Tuesday, December 14 at 7:30PM

Wednesday, December 15 at 2:00PM & 7:30PM

Thursday, December 16 at 7:30PM

Friday, December 17 at 7:30PM

Saturday, December 18 at 2:00PM & 8:00PM

Sunday, December 19 at 2:00PM



Individual tickets for PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL are now on sale and range from $33 to $106 with a select number of premium tickets available. Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710 or emailing For more  information, visit



Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 21 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country. A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining more than 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the  Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, Auditorium Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway  Playhouse at Water Tower Place.


COVID-19 Protocol:  Audience members are required to be masked and show proof that they are fully vaccinated. Those with exemptions, including children, must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Vaccine cards and negative COVID-19 test must be shown along with a photo I.D. and valid ticket. No home tests are accepted and due to COVID-19 protocol, children under 2 are not allowed into the theatre. For further information including types of vaccines or testing details visit

For more information and tickets, visit

Monday, April 13, 2015


Elgin Community College (ECC) Arts Center presents a Mother’s Day weekend engagement of the smash hit “Under The Streetlamp.”  Exuding the rapport of a modern-day Rat Pack, the Streetlamp quartet delivers an electrifying evening of doo-wop, Motown, and rock ‘n’ roll, including favorites from The Drifters, The Beach Boys, The Beatles and a show-stopping salute to the Four Seasons. “Under The Streetlamp” will perform on Saturday, May 9 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 10 at 3 p.m. at the ECC Arts Center, located at ECC’s Spartan Drive Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin.

“Under the Streetlamp” harmoniously blends the diverse talents of Michael Cunio, Michael Ingersoll, Christopher Kale Jones and Shonn Wiley—all recent leading cast members of the Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys.” Together the group has filmed two PBS Specials, recorded three albums, performed to packed houses throughout the U.S., and appeared as musical guests on TV’s “Access Hollywood” and “Extra.” The four first met while performing in “Jersey Boys,” during which time they also performed on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Primetime Emmys,” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

“We’re so excited to have the guys back,“ says Steve Duchrow, ECC Arts Center director of performing arts. “We were one of the first venues to book ‘Streetlamp’ and it’s been a joy to see the hard-earned, well-deserved success that has come their way. Our audiences feel like this is a homecoming—we’re welcoming back old friends.”

Tickets for the performances are $55. On Saturday, May 9, a three-course, pre-show dinner prepared by ECC’s award-winning Culinary Arts and Hospitality program can be purchased for an additional $29. Dinners must be ordered on or before Monday, May 4. For performance and dinner tickets or more information, visit or call 847-622-0300.

ECC Arts Center box office hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 5 p.m. Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The ECC Arts Center, located in Building H on the Elgin Community College Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, presents amazing artists in intimate theater settings. Delicious dinners prepared through a partnership with the ECC's award-winning culinary arts program often accompany events. Parking is plentiful and free.

For more information about the ECC Arts Center, visit or call 847-622-0300. The arts center also can be followed on Twitter at Become a fan of the arts center on Facebook at

Monday, March 16, 2015


Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar 
This Week:


ChiIL Live Shows will be there for the press opening this Saturday, so check back soon for our full review. Continuing its 27th Season, Lookingglass Theatre Company presents the Midwest Premiere of Title and Deed, by Will Eno and directed by Marti Lyons. Title and Deed runs March 18 – May 3, 2015 at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.Tickets can be purchased through the box office at (312) 337-0665 or  

One man’s circuitous journey finds universal resonance in this compelling new travelogue by Pulitzer finalist Will Eno (Broadway’s The Realistic Joneses). Eno – hailed as the Samuel Beckett of the Jon Stewart generation – crafts a solo work that is both whimsical and lyrical, speaking directly to each of us. Title and Deed is a meditation on life, language, endless hope and our perennial search for home.

Chicago’s own Jeff Award winner Michael Patrick Thornton takes center stage, engaging us and posing soul-baring questions in what promises to be a most illuminating dialogue.

Title and Deed features Michael Patrick Thornton. The creative team for Title and Deed includes Ensemble Members Dan Ostling (scenic and lighting design) and Mara Blumenfeld (costume design), Production Affiliate Andre Pluess (sound design), Mieka van der Ploeg (props), John Tovar (movement consultant) and Sara Gammage (stage manager).

About the Artists
Will Eno (Playwright) is a Residency Five Fellow at the Signature Theatre in New York, which presented Title and Deed in 2012, and The Open House, in 2014. His play The Realistic Joneses was on Broadway in 2014 and was named “Best Play on Broadway,” topped the The Guardian’s 2014 list of American plays, and was included in The N.Y. Times’ “Best Theatre of 2014.” Title and Deed was on The N.Y. Times and The New Yorker magazine’s Top Ten Plays of 2012. The Open House won the 2014 Obie Award, the Lortel Award, and a Drama Desk Award, and was included in both the Time Out New York and Time Magazine Top 10 Plays of the Year. His play Gnit, a loving but aggressive adaptation of Peer Gynt, premiered at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville in 2013. Middletown, winner of the Horton Foote Award, premiered at the Vineyard Theatre and subsequently at Steppenwolf Theater and many other American Theaters. His play Thom Pain (based on nothing) was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and has been translated into a dozen languages. He was recently awarded the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Award.

Marti Lyons (Director) recently directed a reading of Dana Lynn Formby’s American Beauty Shop at Steppenwolf and a reading of Ike Holter’s Prowess at the Goodman Theatre where she received the 2015 Maggio directing fellowship. She also recently directed Laura Marks’ Bethany and Mine for The Gift Theatre, Catherine Trieschmann’s Hot Georgia Sunday and Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar for Haven Theatre, 9 Circles by Bill Cain, Maria/Stuart by Jason Grote, and co-directed The Golden Dragon for Sideshow Theatre, and The Peacock by Calamity West and The Last Duck by Lucas Neff for Jackalope Theatre. Next she will direct Will Nedved’s Body and Blood at the Gift Theatre.

Michael Patrick Thornton (Traveler) Co-founding Artistic Director of The Gift Theatre, Michael was recently seen in Colossal (Olney Theatre), Othello (The Gift), and in Our Town (Actors Theatre of Louisville) directed by Les Waters who directed Mike in Will Eno’s Middletown (Steppenwolf) which featured Molly Glynn, who is no longer with us. At The Gift, Michael directed Will’s Oh, the Humanity & appeared in Will’s Brief Study of An Endless Thing. Years ago, Michael won the Jeff Award for Solo Performance and gave it to his mom and dad.

Dates:              Previews:                    March 18 – 27, 2015
                        Press opening:            Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 7:30 PM
                        Regular run:                March 29 – May 3, 2015

TimesWednesdays: 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays: 3:00 p.m. (except March 19 and 26; April 2 and 16)
7:30 p.m.
Fridays: 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays: 3:00 p.m. (except March 21 and 28)
7:30 p.m. (except March 28)
Sundays: 3:00 p.m. (except March 29)
7:30 p.m. (except March 22 and 29; April 12 and 26)

Performances: Touch tour/Audio described performance, April 26, 2015 at 3pm;
Open captioned performance, April 19, 2015 at 3pm. Partial support for open captioning provided by Theatre Development Fund.

Location: Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic
Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.  
Prices: Previews are $25 - $40
Regular Run is $40 - $60
A limited number of student tickets are available the day of the show for $20 with valid student ID.
Groups of 10 or more patrons save up to 20%. Call the box office for details.

Box Office: Buy online at
or by phone at (312) 337-0665
The Lookingglass box office is located at Water Tower Water Works,
821 N. Michigan Ave.

About Lookingglass Theatre Company
Inventive.  Collaborative.  Transformative.  Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award, was founded in 1988 by eight Northwestern University students.  Now in its 27th season, Lookingglass is home to a multi-disciplined ensemble of artists who create story-centered theatrical work that is physical, aurally rich and visually metaphoric. The Company has staged 62 world premieres, received 101 Joseph Jefferson awards and nominations, and work premiered at Lookingglass has been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Princeton, Hartford, Kansas City, Washington D.C., and St. Louis.  Lookingglass original scripts have been produced across the United States.

The Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago's landmark Water Tower Water Works opened in June 2003.  In addition to developing and presenting ensemble work, Lookingglass Education and Community programs encourage creativity, teamwork and confidence with thousands of community members each year.

Lookingglass Theatre Company continues to expand its artistic, financial and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Andrew White, Executive Director Rachel Kraft, Producing Artistic Director Philip R. Smith, Artistic Director of New Work Heidi Stillman, a 24-member artistic ensemble, 15 artistic associates, 11 production affiliates, an administrative staff and a dedicated board of directors led by Chairman Joe Brady of Jones Lang LaSalle and President John McGowan of CTC | myCFO (a part of BMO Financial Group). For more information, visit

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ACT OUT: Arthur Miller's Broken Glass Opens at Red Twist

Broken Glass
By Arthur Miller 
Directed by Michael Colucci & Jan Ellen Graves
Opens at Redtwist Theatre Sunday, Oct 14, at 3pm

Company member and Jeff Award-winner, Jacqueline Grandt, plays a woman with a mysterious illness in Miller's 1995 award-winning period drama about the demons of your past that become your present nightmare. 

Redtwist Production History of the Play
Redtwist (then called Actors Workshop Theatre) produced the play in 2001 at the then-Victory Gardens studio as an itinerant company, opening just days before 9/11. During that production, Michael Colucci directed and played the role of Harry Hyman. He cast Jan Ellen Graves as his wife Margaret, who later became his actual wife and producing partner. They moved into the Bryn Mawr location in 2002, and producedBroken Glass as the opening show in their first full season in 2004-05. Jan again played Margaret Hyman, and Michael directed. It was Redtwist's first show for Jacqueline Grandt and Neal Grofman (as Sylvia and Phillip Gellburg), who are reprising their roles for this production. Michael is revisiting the role of Harry Hyman, and co-directing with Jan Ellen Graves. "I'm thrilled to have Jacqueline Grandt recreating a role that very few people saw in 2004 when Redtwist was a new company," says Artistic Director, Michael Colucci. "Broken Glass will be a reunion of sorts as we are celebrating our 10th year in Edgewater." Steve Scott was originally scheduled to direct but needed to tend to health matters. Jan Ellen Graves comments, "We'd like to thank Steve Scott for laying the foundation for this production."

Featuring company members, Jacqueline Grandt (Sylvia Gellburg) and Michael Colucci (Harry Hyman), with guest artists, Neal Grofman (Phillip Gellburg), Susan Fay (Margaret Hyman), Mike Nowak (Stanton Case), Robyn Okrant (Harriet).

Michael Colucci & Jan Ellen Graves (Directors), Willie Landon (Assistant Director), Shelby Glasgow (Stage Manager), Olivia Leah Baker (Assistant Stage Manager), Justin Castellano (Production Manager), Amanda Lautermilch (Production Assistant), Frank Sjodin (Tech Director), Joe Schermoly (Set Designer), Christopher Burpee (Lighting Designer), Christopher Kriz (Sound Designer), kClare Kemock (Costume Designer), Rachel S. Parent (Costume Assistant), Jeff Shields (Prop Designer), Eva Breneman (Dialect Coach), Cassandra Rose (Dramaturg), Mary Reynard Liss (Vocal Coach), Chris Rickett (Fight Director); Garvin Jellison (Master Electrician); Jan Ellen Graves (Graphic Designer); Charles Bonilla (Box Office Manager); Malcolm Martinez (Box Office Associate); Johnny Garcia (Associate Producer); Michael Colucci & Jan Ellen Graves (Producers)

Opens: Sun, Oct 14, 3pm
Runs: Thu, Fri, Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 3pm
Closes: Sun, Nov 18
Running Time: Approximately 2:15, which includes one intermission
Previews: $15; Wed, Thu, Fri, Oct 10, 11, 12, at 7:30pm (no show on Oct 13)
Tickets: Thursdays, $25; Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, $30 (seniors & students $5 off)
Group Rates: Special discounts for groups of 10 or more, and groups of 25 or more
Call: 773-728-7529

Redtwist is located at 1044 W Bryn Mawr, 2 blks W of LSD, 2 blks E of the Red Line El station. Street parking (paybox/meters until 9pm) is available on Bryn Mawr, side streets, and Broadway. Please reserve 48 hours in advance. Credit cards accepted by phone and via Paypal to guarantee seating.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

ACT OUT: Tunnel Rat Opening Tonight


Tunnel Rat 4/5



Tonight we'll be at the opening of Tunnel Rat with Ronnie
Giles, whose life inspired this story.
  We'll have a full review for you shortly.           

            In late 1965 after a run-in with the law, 17-year old Ronnie Giles was given the option of joining the Army....or going to jail. He chose the Army-and inevitably-Vietnam.  Because he was short, he was 'volunteered' to go into the Vietcong Tunnels in and around the jungles of Cu Chi.

            Ronnie’s experience in Vietnam forms the basis for “Tunnel Rat,” a U.S. premier by acclaimed Australian playwright Neil Cole.  With a rare, personal story about the war in Vietnam, “Tunnel Rat” explores, with humor and insight, the effects of PTSD on a young and naïve man.

                “Tunnel Rat” will be directed by Brian LeTraunik and features Stefanie Johnsen, Joyce Hshieh and Mark Shallow as Ronnie Giles.

            The technical crew includes Beth Bruins, Stage Manager, Nick Quinn, Set Design, Molly Krall, Costumes, Marly Wooster, Lighting Design,Andrew Dallas, Sound Design and Ashlee Edgemon, Movement.

            Genesis is proud to be  the first outside production to be presented at the National Pastime Theatre’s new home  in the Preston Bradley Center, 941 W. Lawrence, Chicago and opens on Thursday, April 5, 2012.  Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 7pm to April 29.  Tickets are $25.  

Tickets can be ordered online at  Group rates for 10 or more are available.  For more information call 773-327-7077.

            Discounts for active or retired members of the military are available at the box office only or by calling 773-327-7077.

            A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Ronnie Giles, whose life inspired this story, is a member of the ¾ Cavalry Association, VFW, Disabled American Veterans and Vietnam Veterans of America.

Genesis Theatrical Productions wishes to thank the Australian Consulate of Chicago, the Vietnam Veterans of America and National Pastime Theater for their support of this production.



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