It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


This revue brings out everything that's playful, melancholy, romantic, sexy, and joyful about blues music. Based on a concept by Ron Taylor with a book by Charles Bevel, Lita Gaithers, Randal Myler, Taylor, and Dan Wheetman and choreography by Donald McKayle, the Tony-winning It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues is directed by Myler for Northlight Theatre in its Chicago premiere. Using minimal narration, the show traces the history of the blues through performances of the music that shaped it (traditional African music, spirituals, slave work songs) as well as performances in its many styles, including Delta blues and Chicago electric blues. Whether performing together or individually, the eight radiant cast members, most of them not only fine actors but professional musicians, treat the music with insight, humor, and verve. Through 6/19: Tue 7:30 PM, Wed 1 and 8 PM, Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 3 and 8 PM, Sun 2:30 PM. Sat 6/4, 8 PM only. Sun 6/5, 2:30 and 7 PM. Wed 6/8, 8 PM only. No show Tue 6/14. Northlight Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, 847-673-6300. $32-$53.

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

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  →