Fiorello! | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


This 1959 musical about New York's colorful Depression-era mayor is a seldom performed gem: it holds up remarkably well thanks to Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick's ear-pleasing tunes and to Jerome Weidman and George Abbott's well-structured, unsentimental book. The show charts Fiorello LaGuardia's career from young do-gooder lawyer to his election as the mayor who finally broke the back of Tammany Hall. Director Nick Bowling has filled TimeLine's intimate stage with ingenious stage pictures--raised picket signs act as a screen for video clips, for example. And Kevin Hagan's set, a warren of interconnected platforms and cubicles, evokes both the feeling of working in LaGuardia's crowded law office and of living in overcrowded Manhattan. Packed with marvelous musical-theater performers, the cast puts as much energy into the characters as the songs. P.J. Powers turns in a particularly winning performance as LaGuardia. Through 6/18: Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 4 and 8 PM, Sun 2 PM, TimeLine Theatre Company, Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ, Baird Hall Theatre, 615 W. Wellington, 773-281-8463, $15-$25.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Lara Goetsch.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →