Ken Payne

Ken Payne

New Millennium Theatre Company’s “Plans 1 Through 8 from Outer Space” is probably the epitome of the word “zany”. Packed with outlandish humor and bizarre characters “Plans 1 Through 8” is the story of an alien race intent on taking over the Earthlings

Tuesday, 01 September 2009 17:52

Coed Prison Sluts Does Just Enough

coed2Let’s just start by saying Coed Prison Sluts is certainly not your average musical. Claimed as the longest running musical in Chicago, this Annoyance Theatre production takes its viewers inside a prison – a very unusual prison to say the least.




PoseidonHilarity, madness, and good old-fashioned fun are high-flying in “Poseidon! The Upside Down Musical”, based on the book by David Cerda. Directed by Matthew Gunnels, Poseidon is the story about a ragtag group of “Poseidonites” who regularly get together to watch the 1972 disaster film The Poseidon Adventure.

Thursday, 23 April 2009 14:51

“Art” is Smart…and Very Funny

(left to right) Joe Dempsey, Randall Newsome and ensemble member Ian Barford in Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s production of Art, by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by ensemble member Rick Snyder.  Photo by Michael Brosilow.Art gets underway when one of three friends purchases a very expensive painting  - a white canvas. To his chagrin neither of his two friends “get it” in the way he does. While one friend, Marc, is outraged at the acquisition and forthright about his opinion, the other, Yvan, agrees to an extent, but hides his true feelings when confronted by Serge, the buyer. Serge, who is absolutely taken with the painting’s beauty, cannot understand why his friends don’t see it through his eyes.

Tempest-3Ensemble member Tina Landau brilliantly brings the final work of William Shakespeare to life as Steppenwolf Theatre presents The Tempest thanks to her fantastic direction and strong performances by its cast. The performance, which runs through May 31st, is an ideal blend of humor and powerful drama and is enhanced by its colorful wardrobe and magical scenery. This is the first time in its prestigious history that Steppenwolf has taken on the work of Shakespeare. 

Thursday, 02 April 2009 12:30

Rent Makes A Triumphant Return to Chicago

Rent2Most “Rentheads” in Chicago probably thought they’d never get the chance to see “Rent” ever again with its original Broadway cast members. Now, for a limited time, they can. Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp and Gwen Stewart have all rejoined the cast while on its current national tour that can be seen here in Chicago at Oriental Theatre from March 31-April 12th.

Monday, 16 March 2009 13:10

“Last Days” is a real find

last days judas1The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is extremely funny at times though it remains thought provoking and poignant throughout. Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, director Craig J. Engel calls it one of the best scripts he has ever read – and he might be right. Guirgis masterfully blends humor and witty dialogue with the feelings of loneliness, guilt and heartbreak.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009 18:19

Police Academy Comes Alive!

POLICEAIE3_Photo_by_Chad_WiseInsanely funny would be the first words that come to mind in describing New Millennium Theatre’s presentation of Police Academy: Insurgency Emergency. Whether you’ve seen any of the seven Police Academy movies or not, you’ll be sure to enjoy this live adaptation directed by Adam Rosowicz who wrote the script along with Matt Russell.

Though some presented huge, elaborate sets, known actors and a more traditional holiday message, it was New Millennium Theatre’s less extravagant production of The David Bowie Hepzikat Funky Velvet Flarney Solstice Spectacular, Live…From Space (otherwise known as the David Bowie Christmas Special 1977 Network Edit) that may have impressed me the most.

Friday, 21 November 2008 19:42

William Petersen Shines in "Dublin Carol"

dublincarol-2Taking a brief hiatus from the hit television show C.S.I., William Petersen has returned to Steppenwolf Theatre, to reprise the role of John Plunkett in “Dublin Carol”. Written by playwright Conor McPherson and directed by ensemble member Amy Morton, “Dublin Carol” is a gritty story...

Firebrand's "Lizzie" a spellbinding theatre experience that rocks

18 November 2017 in Theatre in Review

It only takes a few moments into Lizzie’s opening number that audience members realize they are in for quite the…

The House Theatre’s "The Nutcracker" is a wonderful holiday treat

13 November 2017 in Theatre in Review

It’s that magical time of the year when The House Theatre of Chicago brings the inhabitants of Clara’s toy box…

"This Wonderful Life" is just that - wonderful

11 November 2017 in Theatre in Review

Most of us have seen Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” at some point in their lives. Whether a Holiday…

"42nd Street!" wows audiences with thrilling, energetic dance and song!

08 November 2017 in Theatre in Review

The current production of 42nd Street at Drury Lane Theater left me breathless! With book by Michael Stewart and Mark…

School of Rock at Cadillac Palace will rock your socks off

05 November 2017 in Theatre in Review

Here comes the feel-good show that both adults and kids will enjoy. Based on the 2003 movie by the same…

Newsies at The Marriott Theatre: Pomp and Papes

03 November 2017 in Theatre in Review

Newsies, the Disney film from 1992 by Alan Menken (whose run around the same time of Little Mermaid, Beauty and…

Review: Wagner’s “Die Walküre” at Lyric Opera

03 November 2017 in Theatre in Review

“I’ve always favored unbridled passions,” sings Wotan in the Lyric Opera’s new production of Richard Wagner’s “Die Walküre” This is…

Yasmina's Necklace touches the heart

01 November 2017 in Theatre in Review

Playwright Rohina Malik and director Ann Filmer have reunited and have collaborated on something special. Goodman Theatre’s current run of…

Review: Welcome to Jesus at American Theatre Company

01 November 2017 in Theatre in Review

Celebrating nearly 35 years in their factory space around the North Center neighborhood, American Theater Company has a knack for…

Other Theatre's Holiday Hit "Barney the Elf" - November 17 - December 30 at Greenhouse Theater Center

28 October 2017 in Upcoming Theatre

Other Theatre is pleased to continue its 4th season with the third revival of its holiday hit BARNEY THE ELF,…

NRBQ Makes Big Splash at Fitzgerald's

28 October 2017 in In Concert

NRBQ is a fun band. “New Rhythm and Blues Quartet”. I find the name slightly misleading. When I think of…

Review: In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play at Timeline Theatre

27 October 2017 in Theatre in Review

Sarah Ruhl’s ‘In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play’ returns to Chicago at Timeline Theatre. Directed by Mechelle Moe,…



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