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Well-protected by insurance, Second City is on the mend after fire

Well-protected by insurance, Second City is on the mend after fire

September 1, 2015 / Stage

It could have been a whole lot worse. There were no casualties. But less than a week after a three-alarm fire that began in the Adobe Grill restaurant – and resulted in the destruction of part of the Piper’s Alley complex in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood that is home to The Second City’s three theaters, offices and classrooms – Andrew Alexander, Second City’s chief executive officer and executive producer, is sounding upbeat and unconcerned about the overall financial impact.

Remembering Oliver Sacks

Remembering Oliver Sacks

August 31, 2015 / People, Stage

Back in 1987 I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and author who died Sunday at the age of 82. Here, in remembrance, is a reprint of my story in which he discusses his work, as well as the theatrical versions of it up til that time:

Your next big squeeze: ‘SpongeBob Musical,’ set for world premiere in Chicago

Your next big squeeze: ‘SpongeBob Musical,’ set for world premiere in Chicago

August 31, 2015 / Music, People, Stage

Yes, it’s true. SpongeBob, the high energy, high-spirited sea sponge who lives in a sea pineapple, loves his job as a fry cook at the Krusty Krab, and has a pet snail, Gary, who meows like a cat, and was the centerpiece of Nickolodeon’s hugely popular animated television series, is about to have a musical of his own. And it will have its pre-Broadway world premiere in Chicago.

Bargaining over the true value of a life in Arthur Miller’s ‘The Price’

Bargaining over the true value of a life in Arthur Miller’s ‘The Price’

August 28, 2015 / People, Stage, Stage Reviews

First things first. It is time to declare actor Mike Nussbaum the Eight Wonder of the World. Watch the 91-year-old actor as he moves through TimeLine Theatre’s gripping revival of “The Price,” Arthur Miller’s play about family, money, ambition, sacrifice, self-deception and the blackly comic joke that is life itself, and you are treated to something altogether rare and remarkable.

Fervent new musical ‘October Sky’ rockets straight to the heart

Fervent new musical ‘October Sky’ rockets straight to the heart

August 27, 2015 / Music, Stage, Stage Reviews

“October Sky,” the world premiere musical that rocketed straight into the hearts of Wednesday’s opening night audience at the Marriott Theatre, tells a story that is familiar in many ways. Like Elton John’s “Billy Elliot” and Sting’s “The Last Ship,” it has a particularly powerful link to the tensions between fathers and sons in blue collar families – men and boys who crave each other’s love and approval, even as one sees his life’s work turn to rust, and the other is forced to break free if he is to have any life at all.