Archive for November 3rd, 2013

At first glance this picture is quite generic.  However, I think it is cool as it captures something very specific – the late afternoon sun, low in the sky west of the Chicago Loop…

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SPWNew York has Broadway and Off Broadway and attracts the best playwrights, actors and producers. However, Chicago’s theater scene is very active and is best known for the dozens of “storefront” theater companies and world-class resident repertory companies that give New York a run for its money.

Every time I plan a trip to Chicago, I do a quick look at the theater listings to see what plays the local companies are mounting. There is always something interesting and noteworthy to see and I have seen some amazing shows over the years. In addition, Chicago is often the first stop for sit-down companies of Broadway’s biggest hits and is now the go-to city for pre-Broadway tryouts. All-in-all Chicago is a great destination for any lover of live theater – big and small.

One of the reasons I chose Chicago as the jumping off point for my Road Trip was to be able to take advantage of the theater scene.

Yesterday, I took in a matinee of the new play The Wheel at the storied Steppenwolf Theatre Company. I have seen some great plays at Steppenwolf in the past and always look forward to a visit to see what they are up to. This visit did not disappoint, in addition to a compelling and thought provoking play, I was treated to Steppenwolf’s amazing company of actors, including the always great Joan Allen, a Steppenwolf alum making her first visit to their stage in 20 years.

THEWAbout Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s The Wheel: “A spellbinding new play about what happens to hope and human nature in times of war. On a 19th-century Spanish farm, Beatriz is happily preparing for her sister’s wedding when the house is overrun by soldiers. In the chaos, she becomes the unintentional guardian of a young girl. Her determination to reunite the child with her father sweeps Beatriz along on a journey across war zones and through time. But what began as a simple act of kindness takes on a strange twist when the girl seems to acquire curious powers.”

In addition to Steppenwolf Theatre Company, on this trip I have tickets to see productions at three of Chicago’s other resident theaters.

I will be attending: Smokefall at The Goodman Theatre; Cyrano de Bergerac at the Chicago Shakespeare Company; and The North China Lover at the Looking Glass Theatre – all great resident theater companies in Chicago.

RESOURCES

Here are some resources for planning your own theater trip to Chicago:

Chicago Resident Theater Companies: