Three holiday shows that change a personality


Writers Theatre, Glencoe does Manual Cinema Christmas Carol (Photo by Liz Lauren)

Lots of shows to choose from this holiday season. So if wondering how to whittle them down, here are a few recommendations all based on age appeal and the message of change.


For the whole family

 It doesn’t matter if you have seen Goodman Theatre’s production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” It’s always a little different each year but the story still is a feel-good message of what is important and that people can change. It’s also a tradition in many Chicago area households with all-age appeal.

The show runs from Nov. 18 to Dec. 31, 2023. For tickets and more information visit A Christmas Carol 2023 – Goodman Theatre


For adults and older teens who want something different

At Writers Theatre in Glencoe, Manual Cinema presents a different take on Scrooge and how to present the Christmas Carol story. First, Manual Cinema often uses shadow puppets to tell a story in a somewhat unusual way so give the action and production time to develop its theme. It’s not as chaotic as first appears. Secondly, by the show’s end, audiences realize the woman presenting the story starts out with a Scrooge-style personality.

The show runs Nov. 16 to Dec. 24, 2023. For tickets and more information visit  Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol | Writers Theatre


For youngsters

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Cadillac Palace Theatre is yet a third view of how a Scrooge-type character, this time called a Grinch,” developed that way and can change.

The show runs Dec. 19-Dec. 31, 2023. For tickets and more information visit Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical – Broadway In Chicago.

Jodie Jacobs

Jeff Equity nominations announced


Goodman Theatre tops Jeff Equity nominations (Photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre)
Goodman Theatre tops Jeff Equity nominations (Photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre)

Jeff Awards for equity productions have been announced for the 2022-2023 theater season. Equity nominations cover 35 companies. Theater goers know there are more production companies in the very theater-rich Chicago area so for the non-equity productions’ nominations announced in March.visit Jeff Nonequity. .

The 2022-2023 Equity Jeff nominees are for excellence in 32 categories for productions appearing from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, They were chosen from 88 Jeff Recommended productions. The winners of the Equity Jeff Awards which is now recognizing its The 55th anniversary, is Oct.  2, 2023, at Drury Lane, Oakbrook, IL.

So many really good productions, the choices are tough.

Goodman Theatre leads the Equity group with 32 nominations in nine productions including two co-produced. Paramount Theatre came in next with 18 nominations followed by Mercury Theater Chicago with 15 and Marriott Theatre, Drury Lane Productions and Teatro Vista tied at 13.

For the complete list with categories visit the Equity and News and Events sections at


The Washington Senators in Marriott theatre's Damn Yankees
The Washington Senators in Marriott Theatre’s Damn Yankees (Photo by Liz Lauren)

To better understand the awards nominations, it is important to note that there is a Play and a Musical category and that productions are divided into size such as Midsize and Large.

See the play and musical categories (ensembles’ plays and musicals is another category)

Production – Play
“Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express” – Drury Lane Productions
“The Cherry Orchard” – Goodman Theatre
“A Christmas Carol” – Goodman Theatre
“Clyde’s” – Goodman Theatre in association with Center Theatre Group
“The Comedy of Errors” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater
“Dear Jack, Dear Louise” – Northlight Theatre
“Swing State” – Goodman Theatre
“Toni Stone” – Goodman Theatre

Production – Play – Midsize

“And Neither Have I Wings to Fly” – First Folio Theatre
“Clue” – Mercury Theater Chicago
“The Dream King” – Teatro Vista
“Fences” – American Blues Theater
“Is God Is” – A Red Orchid Theatre
“Motherhouse” – Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
“The October Storm” – Raven Theatre
“Right to Be Forgotten” – Raven Theatre

Production – Musical – Large
“Cabaret” – Porchlight Music Theatre
“A Chorus Line” – Drury Lane Productions
“Damn Yankees” – Marriott Theatre
“Fun Home” – Paramount Theatre
“The Gospel at Colonus” – Court Theatre
“Hello, Dolly!” – Marriott Theatre
“Into the Woods” – Paramount Theatre
“The Notebook” – Chicago Shakespeare Theater
“Once” – Writers Theatre
“The Sound of Music” – Paramount Theatre
“The Who’s Tommy” – Goodman Theatre

Production – Musical – Midsize
“Big River” – Mercury Theater Chicago
“London Road” – Shattered Globe Theatre
“Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” – Mercury Theater Chicago

For the complete lists visit 2023 EQUITY JEFF AWARD NOMINEES.

Jodie Jacobs

Theater News


The Who's Tommy rock musical at Goodman Theatre has been extended and will have a pinball arcade for ticket holders (Photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre)
‘The Who’s Tommy’ rock musical at Goodman Theatre has been extended and will have a pinball arcade for ticket holders (Photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre)


Broadway In Chicago is partnering with NASCAR to kick off the Chicago Street Race Weekend with a national anthem performance by MJ star Roman Banks prior to The Loop 121 NASCAR Xfinity Series event.
The Loop 121 street race will be broadcast nationally on USA network at 4 p.m. CT, Saturday, July 1.

Banks has the title role of ‘Michael Jackson’ in the first national tour of MJ that begins Aug. 1 and continues through Sept. 2, 2023 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre, Chicago,. 24 W. Randolph St. For MJ info visit Broadway in Chicago.


Hot Tix, Chicago’s discount ticket service for the League of Chicago Theatres whose membership consists of more than 200 Chicago area theaters, announced it will offer more competitive pricing options beginning July 3, 2023.

Half-price tickets will also remain an option, but discounts will now vary. The discount service is available online at and in-person at Guest Services inside Block 37 Shops on State, 108 N State Street. This location is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hot Tix sales generate revenue for the theaters and support theatre industry initiatives. For Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website,


The Who’s Tommy, reimagined for a new audience 30 years after the original production opened on Broadway, opened June 26 at the Goodman Theatre but already has extended performances twice. Now, the musical is running through Aug. 6, 2023.

The original Tony Award winning co-creators are re-telling the story of Tommy Walker for 2023 audiences—with music and lyrics by Pete Townshend and book by Townshend and Des McAnuff, who also directs. For the extension week schedule and other infor mations visit or the box office at 170 N. Dearborn (12 noon – 5pm).

Added to the fun is a free pop-up pinball arcade with one game per user. The highest score at the end of the run will win a custom Tommy Fender Stratocaster, signed by Pete Townshend of The Who! The arcade is open 90 minutes pre-show on most dates, closed during intermission, and open for 60 minutes post-show. who beat the high score should capture a selfie that includes their score and the date in the picture and email it to More details at

Jodie Jacobs



Around Town Favorite Shows this past year


Ben Rappaport as Jack Paar and Sean Hayes as Oscar Levant in Doug Wright’s "Good Night, Oscar." (Liz Lauren photographer)
Ben Rappaport as Jack Paar and Sean Hayes as Oscar Levant in Doug Wright’s “Good Night, Oscar.” (Liz Lauren photographer)

The almost post-pandemic year of 2022 saw life return to Chicago’s stages. Here are a couple of our critic’s thoughts on some really well-done shows seen in 2022..

My favorite was the Goodman Theatre’s production of “Goodnight, Oscar” starring Sean Hayes. The play was funny, poignant and dealt with the issues of mental health, something even more relevant today than when the play took place in 1958. I knew when I reviewed it, that I had seen something quite extraordinary on stage. The ending was a triumph. The play is now headed to Broadway. Bravo! – Mira Temkin


Lizi Breit and LaKecia Harris in "Manual Cinema's Christmas Carol" at Writers Theatre (Liz Lauren photographer)
Lizi Breit and LaKecia Harris in “Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol” at Writers Theatre (Liz Lauren photographer)

Wow! “How (do) you hold a moonbeam in your hand?” It’s what I felt I learned walking out of Marriott Theatre Linconshire’s “The Sound of Music.”  Yes, the musical has been done countless times, but it’s been a while since I have left a show thinking it was perfect. With so many factors to consider from vocals, acting and dance to script and music, some elements tend to outshine or are weaker than others in various productions. But upon leaving opening night of Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire’s “The Sound of Music,” April 20, 2022, the word that came to mind was “perfect.” – Jodie Jacobs

One of the best shows I was lucky enough to see in 2022 is still appearing through Dec. 24. It is “Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol” at Writers Theatre in Glencoe, IL.  An award-winning film/video and live performance and design company, Manual Cinema brings extra layers of meaning to stories we think we know. That was definitely true to Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” reworked to apply to current situations and characters. If you go, be prepared for an unusual theatrical experience that includes ghosts, shadow puppets, an old film screen using an old projector (they call it “vintage,” and outstanding acting by LaKecia Harris as the main character, Aunt Trudy. – Jodie Jacobs

Four different holiday themed shows


Joffrey Ballet does The Nutcracker (Joffrey ballet photo)
Joffrey Ballet does The Nutcracker (Joffrey ballet photo)

Two shows, Goodman Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol” and Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” top many holiday lists. Whether they are a family tradition or now on the calendar’s bucket list to do this year, they are such good productions that they deserve the annual visit.

“A Christmas Carol,” Charles Dickens’ ghostly tale of the redemption of a miser named Scrooge, is at the Goodman Theatre Nov. 19-Dec. 31. Famed Chicago actor Larry Yando is back for his 15th year in the starring role. For tickets and more information visit Goodman TheatreGoodman Theatre is at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago.

“The Nutcracker,” The Joffrey Ballet’s wonderous story of Marie and the Nutcracker Prince’s adventures choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon to Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s music. Formerly at the Auditorium Theatre, it is on stage at the Civic Opera House, Dec. 3-27, 2022. The Civic Opera House, home of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, is at 20 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago. For tickets and more information visit Joffrey Ballet The Nutcracker. The Nutcracker | Joffrey Ballet.

Cast of Steadfast Tin soldier at Lookingglass Theatre (Photo by Liz Loren)
Cast of Steadfast Tin soldier at Lookingglass Theatre (Photo by Liz Loren)

Two unusual shows to see this season are the “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” at Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago and Manual Cinema’s “Christmas Carol” at Writers Theatre, Glencoe.

Both productions use puppetry, are artistic and creative. Only Manual Cinema’s contains a parental advisory but it could apply to both shows. MC’s advisory reads “brief moments of profanity and themes of grief and losing a loved one. Children under six are not permitted. 

“The Steadfast Tin Soldier” is a Hans Christian Andersen tale told with the flare of ensemble member/director Mary Zimmerman. Adults would appreciate her creativity and the high quality of the production. However, the story and ending could be frightening to a young child as the Tin Soldier perseveres through a myriad of trials that ends with him and his ballerina love getting incinerated together.  “The Steadfast Tin soldier” is at Lookingglass theatre now through Jan. 8, 2023. Lookingglass Theatre Company

Lookingglass Theatre is at the historic Waterworks at 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. For tickets and more information visit Lookingglass.  

 Manual Cinema takes a different path to the telling of Dickens ghost story in “Christmas Carol” at Writers Theatre. Using puppets, cinematography, modern themes and music, the story starts when Aunt Trudy is asked to put her diseased husband’s Christmas cheer on a family Zoom call. The action changes as the puppets move into Ebeneezer and Dickens storytelling. Manual Cinema’s “Christmas Carol” runs Nov. 29-Dec. 24, 2022.

Writers Theatre is at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. For tickets and more information visit Writers Theatre.

Jodie Jacobs

For more shows visit Theatre in Chicago



Goodman Festival peeks at new works

Goodman Theatre ((Photo courtesy of Goodman)
Goodman Theatre ((Photo courtesy of Goodman)

You don’t have to be a professional in the theater industry to feel like one.

Goodman theatre is holding its 18th annual New Stages Festival showcasing new works Dec. 1-18, 2022. The Festival is free and audience input is welcome because the works, ranging from full productions to readings, are in different readiness stages so have yet to be premiered.

“There are two ways of presenting them,” said New Works Director Jonathan L. Green who curated the 2022 selection.

“Some have gone through developmental work and others are readings,” Green said during a recent phone interview.

“Readings are in their early development where you listen to the dialogue and storytelling. Developmental works are plays that are further along and need to be on their feet,“ he said and explained. “Sometimes it’s a matter of sequences of scenes and transitions. It’s a chance to see it in 3D.” 

Alec Silver in a New Stages developmental waork in 2021 (Photo by Liz Lauren)
Alec Silver in a New Stages developmental waork in 2021 (Photo by Liz Lauren)

“It’s easy to imagine how exciting it is to see how it works in front of a Goodman audience,” said Green. “It’s a nice feeling to see your work in front of a packed house”

His criteria when choosing works for the Festival are “a good balance,” that means “a great mix of stories, topics and structure” and also a mix of “emerging and longtime” writers.

He finds them in a variety of ways. “We look for a balance works by  those who are local, out of town and nationally known. Some plays  and playwrights have been drawn to our attention.”

About a third of the works from past festivals have made it on to the Goodman’s season schedules.

“We’ve had people who say they have seen the play at a Festival and now, two years later, see it as part of the Goodman season and see how it has changed.”

His assessment of this year’s Festival? “I think this year’s batch is well-balanced and there is a wonderful array of stories.”

What can Festival goers expect? The Developmental plays run 90 minutes to two hours. Readings range from 75 minutes to three hours. Audiences are generally made up of subscribers and others who have heard of the Festival with the third week primarily consisting of theater industry professionals.

Two staged developmental productions: “This Happened Once at the Romance Depot off the I-87 in Westchester” by Gina Femia, directed by Kimberly Senior and “Rust” by Nancy García Loza, directed by Laura Alcalá Baker.

Four script-in-hand staged readings: “White Monkey by Charlie Oh, directed by Eric Ting, “Fever Dreams” (of Animals on the Verge of Extinction) by Jeffrey Lieber directed by Susan V. Booth (Goodman Theatre Artistic Director), “Modern Women” by Omer Abbas Salem, directed by Lavina Jadhwani, and “What Will Happen to All That Beauty?” by Donja R. Love, directed by Malika Oyetimein. 

Tickets are needed but are free and can be found at New Stages 2022 | Goodman Theatre.

Jodie Jacobs

Susan Booth to helm Goodman Theatre


(Photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre and Susan Booth)
Susan V. Booth named Goodman Artistic Director (Photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre and Susan Booth)

Susan V. Booth, Artistic Director of Atlanta’s Tony-Award winning Alliance Theatre, will be leading another Tony-Award winning institution, Chicago’s famed Goodman Theatre when Artistic Director Robert Falls turns over the helm this summer. Falls has led Goodman for 35 years.

Booth’s 21 year tenure at Alliance Theatre’s helm brought the Atlanta institution national recognition for artistic excellence, regional awards, world premiere musicals, a new theater plus rehearsal studios. Alliance was also recognized as a leader in literacy development for education programming by the US Dept. of Education.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are thrilled to welcome Susan Booth, an incredible artist and civic leader of national repute, as Goodman Theatre Artistic Director following her long tenure at Atlanta’s most important theater company,” said Goodman Chairman Jeff Hesse and Board President Maria Wynne, in a joint statement.

Their statement continued saying, “Her breadth of innovative leadership experience, artistic triumphs, depth of creative connections, and the unparalleled care and commitment she’s demonstrated to the creative community makes Susan a great fit for the Goodman. She will be a dynamic force to lead us towards our Centennial Anniversary in 2025, and beyond.”

Falls said, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to pass the ‘Artistic Director baton’ to Susan Booth. She’s an inspired choice with outstanding qualifications, a keen aesthetic eye and long-standing ties to Chicago. I know she’ll bring inspired leadership, energy, and fresh ideas to an exciting new chapter for the theater.”

Booth is no stranger to the Chicago theater community. She taught at Northwestern and DePaul Universities and was Goodman’s Director of New Play Development from 1993 to 2001 when she shepherded new works from such writers as Luis Alfaro, Rebecca Gilman, José Rivera and Regina Taylor.

“The Goodman has long played a foundational role in my work as an artist and as an artistic leader. To have come up in a theater so deeply committed to bravery, authenticity and muscular aesthetics was a gift—a gift I’ve been able to take with me and build upon over the last twenty years in Atlanta,” said Booth.

Other Chicago theater experiences include a Theatre on the Lake co-artistic directorship and artistic and outreach roles at Northlight and Wisdom Bridge Theatres.

“Now, to come home to this place as its next artistic leader—particularly at this moment of seismic and invigorating change in our field—is profoundly moving and humbling. I’m beyond grateful to the Board, the staff, the artists and the leadership of the Goodman for this extraordinary opportunity,” Booth said.

Theater scene redux


'Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson at Goodman Theatre (Photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre)
‘Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson at Goodman Theatre (Photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre)

For a while, 2021 did look like Chicago’s vibrant theater scene could pick up where it stopped or went to zoom after the first COVID outbreak. Footlights were back on at several venues from Goodman Theatre to the Lyric Opera.

Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire performers expressed the general feeling of optimism in their first fall show “The World Goes Round,” a terrific presentation of the “Songs of Kander & Ebb,” when they said, “We’re back.”

But as COVID variances spread, shows such as Goodman Theatre’s delightful “A Christmas Carol,” closed early. Notices from some venues went out that said shows supposed to open early in 2022 are re-scheduled.

Now the good news. Several theaters that have COVID protocols regarding masks and vaccinations to protect audiences and performers will have the lights on.

Among them are several Broadway in Chicago offerings.

“The Play that Goes Wrong,” the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, is being extended through April 3, 2022. On stage at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St., tickets are available at Broadway in Chicago.

“I’m thrilled this cast of talented Chicago actors is bringing so much laughter and delight to our audience members,” said Broadway In Chicago President Lou Raizin. “Extending the run gives more Chicagoans a chance to enjoy this hilarious show and others a chance to see it again and again!”

“Frozen” will also continue in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre through Jan. 22, followed by “Come From Away” Feb 22 through March 6 2022. “Oklahoma” will be at the CIBC Theatre for a short run Jan. 11-23, followed by “Hairspray” Feb. 1-13  2022. For tickets and more information visit Broadway in Chicago.

Mercury Theater will be doing “Women of Soul – With a special tribute to Aretha” Jan. 28 through March 6, 2022. Originally premiering at the Black Ensemble Theater in 2018, the show is written and directed by Daryl D. Brooks. It also pays tribute to Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Janis Joplin, Donna Summer and Janet Jackson.

“This feel-good revue is being given an exciting new life and the chance to be seen by new audiences at Mercury Theater Chicago,” said Brooks. The Mercury Theater is at 3745 N. Southport Ave. For tickets and more information visit Mercury Theater Chicago.

Goodman Theatre will be back with “Gem of the Ocean,” by one of Chicago’s favorite playwrights, August Wilson. Playgoers familiar with Wilson know he often takes them to Pittsburgh’s Hill District. “Gem” is set in the difficult times of 1904 when a spiritual journey is needed. Directed by Chuck Smith, the play runs Jan. 22- Feb. 27, 2022 in Goodman’s Albert Theatre

In addition, “The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, adapted and directed by Mary Zimmerman, will be in Goodman’s Owen Theatre, Feb. 11 – March 20, 2022. For tickets and more information visit Goodman Theatre.

Porchlight Music Theatre has rescheduled “Blues in the Night” for Feb. 9-March 13 due to COVID concerns. Dates for its stage reading of “Clear” by Paul Oakley Stoval and the show, “Passing Strange,” will be announced. For more information visit Porchlight Music Theatre.


Jodie Jacobs

Goodman Theatre reopens with ‘African Mean Girls Play’


Mean girls Play at Goodman Theatre. : (L to R) Adhana Reid (Ama), Tiffany Renee Johnson (Mercy), Adia Alli (Gifty), Ashley Crowe (Nana) and Tania Richard (Headmistress Francis). (Photo by Flint Chaney).
Mean girls Play at Goodman Theatre. : (L to R) Adhana Reid (Ama), Tiffany Renee Johnson (Mercy), Adia Alli (Gifty), Ashley Crowe (Nana) and Tania Richard (Headmistress Francis). (Photo by Flint Chaney).

In March of 2020, three days before “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play” was set to open, Goodman Theatre was forced to shut down due to COVID. It was thought the shutdown would be temporary.

When it wasn’t, the organization pivoted and turned to streaming. The play was viewed in 45 states, 13 countries and was seen by more than 1,600 Chicago Public School students.

“School Girls” is now back in session, live.

Deceptively funny with dark undertones, the play revolves around a group of high school girls at an exclusive boarding school in Ghana.

The reigning “Queen Bee” has her sights on the Miss Ghana beauty pageant to compete for “Miss Universe.” But then new girl, Ericka, enters the scene and it’s a game-changer for everyone.

Expect a laugh every few minutes as the girls engage in comedic banter about clothes, looks, and family background that showcase the similarities of teenage girls across the globe.

What was truly funny was their perception of American cultural icons like White Castle, Nike Shoes and Wal-Mart.

But bullying, blackmail and deception all come into view.

Starring Adia Alli (Gifty), Kyrie Courter (Ericka Boafo), Ashley Crowe (Nana), Ciera Dawn (Paulina Sarpong), Tiffany Renee Johnson (Mercy), Adhana Reid (Ama), Tania Richard (Headmistress Francis) and Lanise Antoine Shelley (Eloise Amponsah, the eight actors show powerful performances in a range of emotions from silly joy to deep frustration.

Mention must be made of Kyrie Courter’s amazing voice when she sings Whitney Houston’s, “The Greatest Love of All.”

The play was written by Ghanaian-American playwright Jocelyn Bioh, who was inspired by the 2011 beauty pageant in Ghana.

Directed by Lili-Anne Brown with quick precision and impeccable comedic timing, the ambience on the stage slowly turns into something more realistic, frightening and contemporary – as racism rears its ugly head.

Kudos to costume designer Samantha C. Jones for the girls’ beautiful gowns and elegant dress for Eloise Amponsah.

“School Girls” runs through August 29, 2021  in the Albert Theatre. Run time:  Approximately 80 minutes with no intermission. Seating is limited and masks are required.

Goodman theatre is at 170 N. Dearborn, Chicago. For tickets and other information visit Goodman Theatre/Here.

For more shows visit Theatre in Chicago

Mira Temkin


Around Town Part Three: Chicago stages are turning on the footlights


After a year of streaming performances, some of Chicago’s theaters are toe-testing the public’s comfort with live, indoor productions.

“Cooking with Bubbie,” a comedy presented by MadKap Productions is playing at the Skokie Theatre through Aug. 22 with Jan Slavin alternating performances with Carla Gordon. A historic theatre, the venue is at 7924 Lincoln Ave. Skokie


Goodman Theatre (Marquee photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre)
Goodman Theatre (Marquee photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre)

Goodman Theatre is bringing back “School Girls – or the African Mean Girls Play” July 30 to Aug. 29, 2021 for its first 2021 in-person production in the Albert. It’s a  Chicago premiere that was set to open March 2020 before COVID shut the theaters down.

A comedy written by Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Lili-Anne Brown, the story tells how a “reigning queen bee” of an exclusive Ghana boarding school aspires for the Miss Universe pageant.  It’s a comic look at global similarities and differences of teenage girl behavior.

See Patron Comfort & Well-Being guidelines. Goodman Theatre is at 170 N. Dearborn St. Chicago, IL


Music Theater Works has moved to the North shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.
Music Theater Works has moved to the North shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.

Music Theater Works, formerly based in Evanston, is welcoming audiences  with “Mamma Mia!” Aug 19-29  at its new indoor home, the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, IL

The season will continue with “Ragtime” Oct. 29-Nov. 7 followed by “Billy Elliot” Dec.  23, 2021 to Jan. 2, 2022.

Further north, Citadel Theatre  opens its indoor season with Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” Sept. 15-23, followed by “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” Nov. 17-20. The venue is in a school building at 300 Waukegan Rd., Lake Forest, IL



The Nederlander Theatre is the former Oriental Theatre on Randolph Street
The Nederlander Theatre is the former Oriental Theatre on Randolph Street.

Broadway in Chicago is starting with “Rent” Oct. 5-10 at the CIBC Theatre at 18 W. Monroe St., followed by “What the Constitution Means to Me” at the Broadway Playhouse Oct. 26-Nov. 21, then “Beautiful – The Carol King Musical” Nov. 2-7 back at the CIBS Theatre.

Put the pre-Broadway premiere of the musical “Paradise Square” on the calendar. It plays Nov. 2-Dec. 5 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago. The show is a tale of differing perspectives during the Civil War plays out at a New York establishment called Paradise Square.

Tickets are already on sale for what is expected to be a blockbuster, Disney’s “Frozen,” which will be Nov 19, 2021 – Jan. 22, 2022. at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St.

Broadway in Chicago’s horn of plenty continues with “Pretty Woman – The Musical” Dec. 14-19 at CIBC. For more information, tickets and the 2022 show listings please visit Broadway in Chicago Shows.


Jodie Jacobs



Part One: Chicago now has three opera companies and seasons

Part Two: Art exhibits that are anything but boring