Articles by Patricia Simms

MIC’s NOTES FROM HOLLYWOOD Review – Hooray for Leonard Slatkin!

MIC’s NOTES FROM HOLLYWOOD Review – Hooray for Leonard Slatkin! “Notes from Hollywood,” a charming musical marriage of the Music Institute of Chicago, lovingly paid tribute to Hollywood movie music of the 1940s and ’50s. And we, the spellbound audience, were delighted to be invited

MIC’s NOTES FROM HOLLYWOOD Review – Hooray for Leonard Slatkin!

MIC’s NOTES FROM HOLLYWOOD Review – Hooray for Leonard Slatkin! “Notes from Hollywood,” a charming musical marriage of the Music Institute of Chicago lovingly paid tribute to Hollywood movie music of the 1940s. And we, the spellbound audience were delighted to be invited

Writers’ THE DANCE OF DEATH Review – Edgar and Alice Outdo George and Martha

Writers’ THE DANCE OF DEATH Review – Edgar and Alice Outdo George and Martha THE DANCE OF DEATH is an emotional roller coaster ride without a winner or loser. It has the power to transport you to a different emotional time and place. Don’t miss this mesmerizing evening of theater

CHARLES TROY’S “THE CREATION OF GYPSY” Review – One of Troy’s 50+ Multimedia Presentations on Musical Theatre

CHARLES TROY’S “THE CREATION OF GYPSY” Review – One of Troy’s 50+ Multimedia Presentations on Musical Theatre If you haven’t seen Gypsy at Chicago Shakespeare Theater yet, I hope you’ll want to rush out and buy tickets after you read this review. If you've already seen it, you may want to go back and see it again

THE MAGICAL EXPLODING BOY AND THE INVISIBLE CIRCUS Review – Actors' Gymnasium Charms Away the Winter Blahs

THE MAGICAL EXPLODING BOY AND THE INVISIBLE CIRCUS Review – Actors' Gymnasium Charms Away the Winter Blahs Even if it were difficult to get to The Actors Gymnasium—it's not, it's at the Noyes stop on the Purple “L” line—it would be worth the trip to see The Magical Exploding Boy and The Invisible Circus. Don't miss it

IN THE MATTER OF J. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER Review – St. Sebastian Players Unflinchingly Explores Daunting Choices

IN THE MATTER OF J. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER Review – St. Sebastian Players Unflinchingly Explores Daunting Choices Don’t miss this remarkable piece of great theater craft, philosophical discussion of justice, patriotism, humanity, morality, what the heck—throw in human kindness and a powerful anti-smoking demonstration

Lyric’s BARBER OF SEVILLE Review – Long Live Figaro’s Passion!

Lyric’s BARBER OF SEVILLE Review – Long Live Figaro’s Passion! Perhaps you were first introduced to Figaro by Bugs Bunny, Mrs. Doubtfire, or Seinfeld? The iconic opening aria is the quintessential anthem for frantic comic madness with a happy ending

BLOCK MUSEUM'S WINTER OPENING Review – Art, History, Ideas and Politics Intertwined

BLOCK MUSEUM'S WINTER OPENING Review – Art, History, Ideas and Politics Intertwined If you like your art exhibits to be mindlessly decorative, this one will change your mind—in more ways than one. You will be exposed to two separate shows which, over time become intertwined

LA TRAVIATA Review – Let’s Toast to Passion!

LA TRAVIATA Review – Let’s Toast to Passion! Everything about this production was so perfect, it was magical! I have been attending operas at Lyric for about five years now and I have to say this was the most moving, most perfect in every way

Lyric's GALA Season Opener OTELLO Review – Feel the Passion!

Lyric's GALA Season Opener OTELLO Review – Feel the Passion! This 59th GALA at Lyric Opera of Chicago was a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. But for we opera goers—ogling the literati and glitterati—it was a senstational prelude to the musical feast of Otello and a promise of a magnificent season

THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP Review – Piccolo Theatre’s “Commedia dell'arte” Meets “Penny Dreadful”

THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP Review – Piccolo Theatre’s “Commedia dell'arte” Meets “Penny Dreadful” An astonishing tour-de-force in which two performers...portrayed men, women and an assortment of monsters in a full-length quick-change act

CJO at Ravinia Review – Benny Goodman Tribute Doesn’t Miss a Beat!

CJO at Ravinia Review – Benny Goodman Tribute Doesn’t Miss a Beat! The Chicago Jazz Orchestra’s homage to Benny Goodman and his remarkably fine band was perfect in every way—even in ways one wouldn’t, couldn't possibly expect

Scottish Festival Preview – You Take the High Road. I’ll Take I-290!

Scottish Festival Preview – You Take the High Road. I’ll Take I-290! We’re vacationing in Scotland this summer, so we’re looking forward to the opportunity to sample the culture while we’re still at home. Thought you, too, might want to enjoy some Scottish Culture this summer

THE EXONERATED Review –Liberty and Justice for All?

THE EXONERATED Review –Liberty and Justice for All? This is an example of theater at its finest. Powered by righteous indignation, there’s no room for melodrama. This award-winning play drives home a profound emotional and moral message

Roger Ebert - A Celebration of Life with Love from Chaz

Roger Ebert - A Celebration of Life with Love from Chaz Everything about this Celebration of Life reminded us of the remarkable man Roger was (and will continue to be in our hearts and minds)

INSPIRING BEAUTY Review – Chicago History Museum and Ebony Fashion Fair Strut Their Stuff!

INSPIRING BEAUTY Review – Chicago History Museum and Ebony Fashion Fair Strut Their Stuff! Don’t even think about missing this fabulous, historic exhibit. It will only be at the Chicago History Museum until January 5! This is a story—not a fairy tale!—about a vision WAY before its time

INSPIRING BEAUTY Review–Chicago History Museum and Ebony Fashion Fair Strut Their Stuff!

INSPIRING BEAUTY Review–Chicago History Museum and Ebony Fashion Fair Strut Their Stuff! Bold, sexy, proud, deliciously daring. Looks so fashion forward you can’t fully appreciate them without looking back--all the way back to 1958. Before Martin Luther King. Before Women’s Liberation. Before Black Pride. Before Michelle Obama

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE Review – Musical Magic Transforms Tragic

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE Review – Musical Magic Transforms Tragic What an unforgettable experience it was to be in the audience for this opera! Lyric’s production of Streetcar succeeds on every level, starting, of course, with that outstanding music

BLITHE SPIRIT Review– Piccolo Theatre Sure Can Pick ‘Em!

BLITHE SPIRIT Review– Piccolo Theatre Sure Can Pick ‘Em! Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit is the perfect match for the quirky comedic sense at Evanston’s Piccolo Theatre which boasts (truthfully!) “small theatre, big laughs”

EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED Review – Next Theatre’s Production Rings with Irony, Discovery and Pathos

EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED Review – Next Theatre’s Production Rings with Irony, Discovery and Pathos Plays like Everything is Illuminated are so multi-layered, it’s very difficult to separate the layers, see how (if!) they relate to one another and what that all means as part of a cohesive whole

SILENT WITNESS – A Ray of Hope for Crime Victims

SILENT WITNESS – A Ray of Hope for Crime Victims Silent Witness is a non-profit program to help citizens assist law enforcement in solving crimes. Citizens remain completely anonymous and are paid cash rewards up to $1,000 when information they provide leads to an arrest or indictment

North Shore Village Celebrates 3 Years – Self-Reliant Seniors Have Plenty to Celebrate

North Shore Village Celebrates 3 Years – Self-Reliant Seniors Have Plenty to Celebrate If it takes a village to raise children, doesn’t it make sense that it takes a village to serve our aging adults

THE BIRTHDAY PARTY Review – Many Unhappy Returns

THE BIRTHDAY PARTY Review – Many Unhappy Returns Although this seems like it should be a simple, straightforward tale—it’s just a birthday party, after all—after a while everyone seems to be at least a hypocrite, delusional or a flat-out liar. It is so clearly unclear

Lyric’s LA BOHÈME Review – Captivating Music, Heart-Breaking Romance and, of course, Passion

Lyric’s LA BOHÈME Review – Captivating Music, Heart-Breaking Romance and, of course, Passion I can’t imagine anyone seeing any performance of La Bohème anywhere and not be transported by it. Those of us who experienced Lyric’s La Bohème, had all that and even more

A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING Review – One Enchanted Evening!

A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING Review – One Enchanted Evening! The chic, exhilarating, soul-satisfying Chicago production, now at the freshly renovated Mercury Theater in Wrigleyville showcases 30 captivating songs from Oklahoma!, South Pacific, Flower Drum Song—the list goes on

Side Effects May Include Review – Dark Comedy Illuminates Difficult Choices, Heartwarming Devotion

Side Effects May Include Review – Dark Comedy Illuminates Difficult Choices, Heartwarming Devotion Since Side Effects May Include was written by Seinfeld writer Marc Jaffe and Emmy nominee Eric Coble, we had good reason to expect that this sensitive subject—Parkinson’s disease—will be handled with just the right touch

We Three Lizas Review – Don We Now Our Gay Apparel, Tra La La La La La La!

We Three Lizas Review – Don We Now Our Gay Apparel, Tra La La La La La La! It’s time for a new Christmas tradition! Instead of dragging out those tired reindeer, let’s get out the glitter machine and sparkle! Enter We Three Lizas: they don’t mean a thing if they ain’t got that bling

The Letters Review – Writers’ Theatre’s edge-of-your-seat thriller

The Letters Review – Writers’ Theatre’s edge-of-your-seat thriller John W. Lowell (Playwright) has written a taut, tight, tough-minded play that resonates beyond the confines of its historical context

Wanting Miss Julie Review - A Concert Reading of an Edgy Contemporary New Musical

Wanting Miss Julie Review - A Concert Reading of an Edgy Contemporary New Musical Wanting Miss Julie is an edgy, contemporary musical set in the super-sophisticated, moneyed, political world of the Hamptons

The Odd Couple Review – Northlight’s Rollicking Reprise of Neil Simon’s Classic

The Odd Couple Review – Northlight’s Rollicking Reprise of Neil Simon’s Classic The Odd Couple opened in 1965, just as the Women’s Liberation Movement was gathering momentum. Neil Simon saw and capitalized on its comic potential. So did director BJ Jones, Artistic Director of Northlight Theatre

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