About Chicago Theater and Arts

Dear Readers,

Perhaps you go to the theater to be entertained. Perhaps you hope to see great acting. Maybe you go because it’s a night out. Or you go because some critics or friends say a show is good. But from a playwright’s perspective it could be about the message.  “Ambushing the audience is what theatre is all about” — dramatist Tom Stoppard (Newsweek, Jan. 16, 1984).

When you go to an art museum to see an exhibit or look for your favorite period or artists, do you think about your reactions to the paintings or what the artists wanted to express? Styles have changed over the years and so has critic and public acceptance. “Every work of art is the child of its time, often it is the mother of our emotions” – abstract painter Wassily Kandinsky in 1912 on Concerning the Spiritual in Art.

You know that music, instrumental or vocal, can lift your spirits, express drama or mystery during a film, might make you want to dance, sing along or have you switching stations when it is not what you like. “Music is life, and like it, inextinguishable” — Danish contrapuntal composer Carl August Nielsen, 1916 on Symphony No 4.

From reviews and articles to what’s on the horizon, Chicago Theater and Arts is here to help you plan your A and E choices. The articles concentrate on the Chicago area but when something good comes up within an hour outside the metropolitan area, such as at the Milwaukee Art Museum, that will also be included.




Jodie jacobs
Mural by artist Patrick Tufo

About Jodie
I went to Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism thinking I would go into my dad’s profession of advertising but when my mom wanted me to graduate with a teaching certificate I added a second major. To my surprise, after obtaining a BS degree my first newspaper job was as education editor for a suburban weekly (maybe moms know best).

Fortunately, the chain was small enough so when I wanted to also cover art museum shows (I attended the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Academy of Art) I could do so. The same was true when I wanted to do a theater review (I had studied drama privately in the Fine Arts Building).

I went on to write for a county-wide daily paper followed by thousands of freelance articles for several publications. I stopped counting how many pieces I’ve done for the Chicago Tribune when the number reached 2,000 about 2006. It’s probably closer to 3,000 now.

Front page by-lines were exciting but the stuff that made the heart feel good were the theater, museum, art and travel features plus the chance of telling readers about events in and around Chicago.

The fun of being a freelance writer is being able to accept assignments from other publications. So while contributing to the Trib, I have written articles for Crain’s Chicago Business, Footlights, North Shore Magazine, Lakeland Boating, What’s Happening, Striped Pot Travel, Suburban Woman, New York Lifestyles Magazine, Resident.com, AXS Entertainment and CBS Chicago Local.

Outside assignments are still happening. However, Chicago Theater and Arts.com is a way to pass along some of the terrific events in our great city.