Chicago Theater ReviewsSome call it the birthplace of modern American comedy. Others call it the proving ground for Broadway's next sell-out smash. But one thing is certain about Chicago's theaters -- they're innovative, consistent and one of the top draws for tourists to the city. From the comedic improvisation of Second City to the groundbreaking thespian mastery of Steppenwolf, Chicago is home to some of the most diverse theater troupes in the nation. Use the following Chicago Theater reviews to help you decide what to experience on your next trip to the Windy City.
One of the city's oldest and perhaps most grandiose theaters is the Auditorium, located in the Loop. Built in 1889 and designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, this architecturally impressive site is home to an equally gorgeous performance space. From speeches by President Roosevelt to pulsing performances by The Doors and Jimi Hendrix, the Auditorium has offered some impressive and diverse means of entertainment. And the tradition continues to this day. As timeless as the city of Chicago itself, the Auditorium is as much alive today as it ever was, and should considered a necessary part of Chicago travel for theater enthusiasts.
The Steppenwolf Theater, located in Lincoln Park is where many noteworthy actors call home. From John Malkovich, Gary Sinise and Gary Cole to Laurie Metcalf, Kathryn Erbe and Sally Murphy, many of today's premier television and film stars continue to perform on a regular basis at the Steppenwolf. While tickets to their performances are generally higher than you may find at another theater, consider the measure of talent here. Routinely ground-breaking and always entertaining, the performances at the Steppenwolf never cease to amaze. The theater is also close to many hotels like the Hotel Allegro and the Sofitel, as well as great dining opportunities like Adobo Grill and Boka.
In Chicago, improvisation comedy is king and nobody serves it up better than Second City. However, you can also find great improv at The Annoyance, I.O., and The Playground, where young comedians and actors hungrily await their shot at stardom. Speaking of comedy, the Apollo Theater on Lincoln Avenue is home to some impressive local comedians, and you can catch a rising star nearly every night of the week.
The most varied and prestigious of Chicago's theaters are located in or around the Loop, so consider this when you are looking at where to stay in Chicago. Such theaters include the Ford Center, the Cadillac Palace, and The LaSalle Bank Theater. Many of these theaters house the trial runs for many of today's Broadway blockbusters before they become household names. Tickets to these theaters are generally expensive and may prove difficult to get.
The Biograph by Victory Gardens hearkens back to the Golden Age of performance art, with its 299-seat main stage where every seat is perfect. From Nicholas A. Patricca's "The Defiant Muse" to the Tony Award-winner Frank Galati directed "The Snow Queen," the productions at the Biopraph are complex, emotionally-charged and incredible.
Getting Tickets to Chicago's Theaters
Because of the high demand for most of the performances at Chicago's theaters, finding tickets can be tough. The Internet is usually the best place to find discounted tickets to some of Chicago's hottest shows. If you're planning a trip to the Windy City, plan your theater entertainment just like your airfare and Chicago hotel reservations, as early as possible.