The latest Reader performing arts reviews and previews | Bleader

The latest Reader performing arts reviews and previews


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The Green Day jukebox show, American Idiot, will be hanging on through Sunday in a touring production at the Oriental Theatre. You'll probably enjoy it if you're already a Green Day fan (or simply in your 40s). Otherwise, you may find yourself wondering exactly how big a truck could be driven through the holes in its overheated, operatic scenario.

Meanwhile, we have five Chicago-made shows to recommend.

Teatro Luna premiered Crossed late last year. The Reader's Julia Thiel liked it then, but the Lunas revised it anyway. Now this montage of scenes about immigrants, legal and otherwise, seems angrier in tone, and it's also jettisoned one of Thiel's favorite bits (a disembodied voice at an airport, sorting passengers for "additional screening based on the color of their labia"). But overall, we're sticking by our earlier assessment.

Dance critic Laura Molzahn recommends the new Joffrey Ballet program, "Winter Fire," and Albert Williams got on board with Lyric Opera's foray into the classic Broadway canon, Show Boat. Keith Griffith liked Quest Theater's version of the 1980 musical, Barnum, redubbed The People's Barnum—a little oddly, considering that it was P.T. who said "there's a sucker born every minute." And Zac Thompson found Lifeline Theatre's Hunger "harrowing."

Victory Gardens Theater's Ameriville is very sharply done but troublesome on other grounds. The list of freshly reviewed shows also includes Raven Theatre's Dating Walter Dante; Bell, Book, and Candle by Paradise Playhouse of Oak Park; the State Theatre's promenade-style "explosion" of The Winter's Tale, Crowded House; and Red Tape Theatre's The Gingerbread House.

Finally, we report back on Shattered Globe Theatre's Orpheus Descending; Chester and the Unbearable Burden, Parts I and II from Six Hours Short Productions; and the two new shows produced by MPAACT, Baseball Music and Sweet Home.


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