On Broadway, André De Shields originated the title role in The Wiz and had long runs in Ain’t Misbehavin', Play On! and The Full Monty -- Broadway performances that have earned him two Tony Award nominations and five Drama Desk nominations. A multiple Chicago Jeff Award recipient, most recently for his show-stopping performance in Jungle Book, De Shields also received an Emmy Award for an NBC broadcast special on Ain’t Misbehavin’. We caught up with him during a break from rehearsals of Confessions of a P.I.M.P in August 2016 to talk about the show, his extraordinary career and what it is that keeps bringing him back to Chicago.
Matt Crowle, the multi-talented, award-winning veteran of musical theatre in Chicago for the past decade, has a backstory worthy of a Broadway musical all its own. Crowle received a 2015 Jeff Award was nominated twice in 2016 -- for his tour-de-force performance as Leo Bloom in Mercury Theater’s The Producers, and, for his choreography in the Drury Lane Theatre production of White Christmas. Our September 2016 conversation discussed his directing/choreographing preparation for Crazy For You at Drury Lane and his early career in Spamalot and on tour with Tommy Tune. After playing Bert in Mercury Theater’s Mary Poppins this spring, he is now directing/choreographing Peter and the Starcatcher at Pennisula Players in Wisconsin, opening July 5th.
Summer is in full swing back in Chicago! Festivals, art and street fairs, concerts, theater plus superb entertainment everywhere at low or no cost. Chicago’s busy theater community is bursting at the seams with talent – musical and otherwise. So, what might be the perfect day in Chicago if you were looking for one? Let us know and we’ll talk about it here.
Our blog this week also showcases the Rush Hour Concerts Summer Series at St. James Cathedral every Tuesday through August. You can attend free half-hour performances, that include a pre-show discussion, and listen to the impressive online archive HERE. Find out more about the series in our Q & A with Artistic Director Tony Devroye and plan to attend Lyric baritone Robert Sims concert on July 5th.
The award-winning Moby Dick has returned from a national tour to the Lookingglass Theatre, a high-flying production you will not want to miss. Opening this week: Bridges of Madison County at Marriott Theatre, Ah, Wilderness! at Goodman Theatre, Gin Game at Drury Lane. Lots more including: Griffin Theatre’s Ragtime, Writers Theatre’s Parade, Victory Garden’s Native Garden and Spamilton at the Royal George Theatre.
The Museum of Science and Industry has opened their state-of-the-art theatre and while you are there, check out the U-505 submarine and the Interactive Dive Trainers which were added to the exhibit area last year. Take the family. Take a friend. Monday Night Live returns July 10th with the cast of Spamilton.
- Theater Wit - Bright Half Life through July 1st
- Writers Theatre - Parade EXTENDED through July 9th
- Victory Gardens Theater - Native Gardens through July 2nd
- Steppenwolf - Pass Over through July 9th
- Griffin Theatre - Ragtime at the Den Theater through July 16th
- Timeline Theatre - Paradise Blue through July 23rd
- Goodman Theatre - Ah, Wilderness! through July 23rd
- Marriott Theatre - The Bridges of Madison County through August 13th
- Drury Lane - The Gin Game through August 13th
- Lookingglass Theatre – Moby Dick through September 3rd
- Museum of Science and Industry - Films at the Giant Dome Theater with a state-of-the-art projection system and resurface of the U-505 Submarine
- Monday Night Live at Petterino's
- Winter’s Jazz Club – Half off tix link
- Museum of Contemporary Art - Tuesdays on the Terrace and exhibit Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg
- Alphawood Gallery - Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII and the Demise of Civil Liberties through November 19th
- Royal George Theatre - Spamilton through forever
- Monday Night Live at Petterino's returns July 10th.
- Skokie Theatre – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee June 23rd
- Abigail Riccards at Winter's Jazz Club June 24th
- Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project - June 24th
- Department of Defense Warrior Games - June 30th - July 8th
- Grippo Stage Company - The God of Isaac by James Sherman at the Piven Theatre July 8th.
- Theater Wit- Bonnie and Clyde August 27th
- Victory Gardens Theater - Fun Home September 19th