PJ Paparelli: A director with a unique vision for his Chicago theater

PJ Paparelli: A director with a unique vision for his Chicago theater

May 22, 2015 / People, Stage

Some directors hide on opening nights. Not PJ Paparelli, the artistic director of American Theater Company (ATC), who died Thursday, at the age of 40, in a car accident in Scotland. Earlier this month, at the world premiere of “The Project(s)” – the richly evocative and probing history of public housing in Chicago that he devised, co-wrote (with Joshua Jaeger), and directed – he was positively beaming as he gave a brief opening speech to the audience.

“On Your Feet!” takes first steps at Oriental Theatre

“On Your Feet!” takes first steps at Oriental Theatre

May 19, 2015 / Music, People, Stage

The “Conga” line led straight to the lobby of Oriental Theater on Tuesday morning as Emilio and Gloria Estefan greeted the press in preparation for the debut of their Broadway-bound musical, “On Your Feet,” which begins previews in Chicago on June 2 and is set to open in New York on Nov. 5.

Columbia Dance Center announces 2015-2016 season

Columbia Dance Center announces 2015-2016 season

May 19, 2015 / Dance, Music, Stage

During its 42nd season as one of Chicago’s top presenters of contemporary dance, the Dance Center of Columbia College will showcase the Stephen Petronio Company paying homage to American postmodern masters, a Butoh-meets-hip-hop duet courtesy of Michael Sakamoto and Rennie Harris, the New York-based troupes of Urban Bush Women and Camille A. Brown, San Francisco Bay Area’s Joe Goode, Camille A. Brown and this city’s very own Natya Dance Theatre and the ever-popular Giordano Dance Chicago.

Shakespeare in the Parks shakes things up a bit this summer with “Greatest Hits” show

Shakespeare in the Parks shakes things up a bit this summer with “Greatest Hits” show

May 18, 2015 / Stage

Here are the stats: Between July 19 and Aug. 16, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST), in association with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District and Boeing ,will continue the annual citywide summer tradition of Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks, presenting 24 free performances of “Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits,” in 17 neighborhood parks. And while in previous seasons, CST staged abridged editions of a single play, this time around it will home in on Shakespeare’s most memorable characters in a surprising mash-up of scenes from his most celebrated plays.

Northlight’s ‘Shining Lives’ a luminescent new chamber musical

Northlight’s ‘Shining Lives’ a luminescent new chamber musical

May 17, 2015 / Stage, Stage Reviews

“Shining Lives: A Musical,” the fervent yet poetic chamber work now receiving a fittingly radiant world premiere at Northlight Theatre, is, above all, a story of courage and determination in the face of profound betrayal. It is a true story – about a group of women who fall in love with their jobs, and the freedom those jobs provide, and about what happens when those women gradually come to realize that the very thing they loved was, in fact, killing them.

“The White Road” a thrilling expedition to Antarctica

“The White Road” a thrilling expedition to Antarctica

May 14, 2015 / Stage, Stage Reviews

These days, if you have the money, you can sign up for a cruise to Antarctica that comes complete with luxury accommodations, scholarly lectures, island stops, penguin and whale-sightings, and the security of high-tech gear and sophisticated navigational instruments. This certainly was not the case when, in 1914, Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton set his sights on crossing Antarctica from sea to sea by way of the South Pole. Just how challenging his expedition proved to be is the subject of Karen Tarjan’s thrilling play, “The White Road,” now in its world premiere by Irish Theatre of Chicago.

‘Jersey Boys’ musical continues to walk like a man

‘Jersey Boys’ musical continues to walk like a man

May 14, 2015 / Stage, Stage Reviews

On stage, and in the recording studio, they produced gorgeous harmonies, selling 175 million records. Off stage, dissonance was the rule. That tension between artistic blending and personal friction is at the very heart of “Jersey Boys,” the enduring 2006 Tony Award-winning “jukebox musical” that has returned to Chicago in a national touring production.