Between Riverside and Crazy at Steppenwolf
This Pulitzer Prize winner has been given a great production by Steppenwolf. If I didn't love the play, I did appreciate the great acting, especially that of Eamonn Walker in the main role of an elderly man coping with his wife's death by inviting crazy into his life while still holding out for a big payday after being shot by a fellow cop in a late-night, drunken brawl eight years ago. Steppenwolf's ensemble work just can't be beat!
War Paint at the Goodman
In addition to SpongeBob the Musical, Chicago is playing host to another pre-Broadway tryout this summer. Written by the team behind Grey Gardens the Musical and starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole, War Paint depicts the rivalry between cosmetic titans Elizabeth Arden (Ebersole) and Helena Rubenstein (LuPone). The show is similar to Grey Gardens in that it's a serious musical for adults whose second act bemoans the loss of a bygone heyday. With little in the way of choreography, this one is all about these two grand dames of musical theatre singing their asses off. Both are perfection in their roles, each shining alone as well as together. While Arden and Rubenstein never met in real life, the show's last scene depicting a possible encounter towards the end of their lives is divine!!!