Category Archives: Chicago Theater

Marriott Theatre’s ‘Kiss Me Kate’ Packs The Talent

Lilli Vanessi fighting with Bill Calhoun in 'Kiss Me Kate'The last time I stepped foot into a musical theatre performance was on December 26, 2019. At the time I had no idea how long it would be until I got to see a live performance again, and because life got in the way, I wasn’t able to go to a show during the first few months of 2020.

Then the pandemic hit and all of the theaters were shuttered. We had the benefit of seeing some viral musical performances online, but there is nothing like the energy of sitting in a theater seat and experiencing the energy of an in-person performance. The performers feel your energy, turn it into magic, and give it right back to you. There’s nothing like it.

So this performance of Kiss Me Kate at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire was my “welcome back.” Always full of the most talented casts, this show did not disappoint.

Kiss Me Kate is the story of a cast that is performing Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew and all of the hijinks taking place both backstage and on stage. The leading lady, Lilli Vanessi, and leading man, Bill Calhoun were once married and although she believes he is once again professing his love for her, he is actually interested in a different actress (who isn’t all that interested in him).

While the entire cast has talent to spare, there are a few standouts of note. Susan Moniz (as Lilli Vanessi/Katherine) has a vocal range and power that is effortless. Just as you watch male ballet dancers lift their partners with ease, Ms. Moniz’s ability is something to marvel at.

Alexandra Palkovic (as Lois Lane/Bianca) played her characters (who could have come off as shallow and dislikeable) as women with charm and magnetism. I also felt like she was channeling Amy Adams’ performance in Catch Me If You Can in the most endearing way.

A man and woman singing in Kiss Me Kate Lincolnshire MarriottAs the two hired goons meant to collect a debt from Bill Calhoun, Lillian Castillo and Shea Coffman were hilarious and scene-stealing.

On the whole, this performance of Kiss Me Kate is chock full of talent, peppered with beautiful costumes, and a fun 2 1/2 hours at the theater. It’s time to go back and experience some of the magic you’ve been missing.

Marriott Theatre: Kiss Me Kate Chicago ReviewKiss Me Kate is playing at Marriott Theatre through 1/16/2022. Tickets can be purchased by calling (847) 634-0200. Marriott Theatre is located at 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire.

Marriott Theatre’s ‘Grease’ Is The Word

Pink Ladies at a table in GreaseThe greasers are back! When the Pink Ladies and the T-Birds descend onto a stage, you know that you’re in for some nostalgia. Marriott Theatre’s new production of Grease brings just that.

Danny and Sandy in GreaseA story of young love, Sandy and Danny meet at the beach and spend a summer together. When school starts, they both assume they may never see each other again. After a setup by their friends, they find that they attend the same high-school. Can “summer Danny” be the same guy he was at the beach? And can “summer Sandy” be cool enough for the Pink Ladies and the T-Birds? Those are the questions that need to be answered.

The play of Grease is different from the movie, so don’t go to the theater expecting to see Olivia Newton John in tight black spandex. The characters are a little different, the couples are a bit different and there are some songs and scenes that you won’t be familar with. Give it a chance! If you have always wanted to see Sandy punch someone, this is your opportunity.

While you are going to be familiar with many of the songs in the score (“Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightning,” “You’re The One That I Want”), there are a few numbers in the Marriott production that really stood out.

Jan and Roger in Grease“Those Magic Changes” is a fun song that is only sung in the play, not the movie. Performed by Doody (a charismatic Michael Kurowski) and the rest of the company, it is charming and swoon-worthy. “Mooning” is an adorable number sung by Roger and Jan (an endearingly hilarious Tiffany T. Taylor) that will give you the feels.

If you’re familiar with the movie, you know the “Hand Jive” song from the dance, but this version is even better. There is so much to watch and so many fun tricks being performed, you wonder how they can manage it every single performance.

Teen Angel and Frenchy in GreaseThen there is the Teen Angel. Pink Lady, Frenchy (a very cute Landree Fleming), wishes that she had a guardian angel to help guide her way – and he appears, along with his hair-roller-clad ensemble. Crooner Jonathan Butler-Duplessis struts onto the stage and entertains everyone as the Teen Angel – right down through the number encore. You’ll find yourself hooting at this one, believe me.

T-Birds in GreaseOverall, Grease is an entertaining show where each character gets a chance to highlight a little of their own world for the audience. You’ll leave with songs in your head and a smile on your face. A good time all around.

Marriott Theatre: Grease! Chicago ReviewGrease! is playing at Marriott Theatre through 3/15/2020. Tickets can be purchased by calling (847) 634-0200. Marriott Theatre is located at 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire.

Orphans in Oliver! sitting at a bare table

Marriott Theatre’s ‘Oliver!’ Is A Comfortable Take On A Classic

Orphans in Oliver! sitting at a bare table“Please sir, I want some more.” It’s a line and a meme that you’ve heard and seen a hundred times, and it all started with Oliver!

Oliver!, now playing at the Marriott Theatre, is the story of Oliver Twist, a young orphan who is sold to an undertaker in order to be a coffin follower. After being mistreated by all of the adults in his life, he runs away to London (with no money, food or contacts) to seek his fortune. He is quickly found by the Artful Dodger, another child who is one of a gang of petty thieves. This gang is led by Fagin, a would-be father figure (moldy sausages and gin anyone?), teaching each of the children the best way to be a pickpocket. When Oliver is arrested and ultimately taken in by the man he attempted to rob, Fagin, along with acquaintances Bill Sikes (a career criminal) and his girlfriend Nancy (fun and sympathetic, but woefully loyal) attempt to get him back before he divulges anything about their criminal enterprise.

Kai Edgar and Matthew R. Jones in Oliver!The Marriott production of Oliver! is great fun. There are 18 children in this show and approximately the same number of adults, so there is always something – and someone – to watch.

The cast of Oliver! at Marriott LincolnshireThis show being a classic, it is one that many of us have seen before – whether it be the movie version or live. Myself being one of those people, I enjoyed watching the different takes each performer had on their character.

Lucy Godinez as Nancy in Oliver!Lucy Godinez (with an incredible voice that alternatingly cuts like a knife, provides goosebumps – and sometimes both), plays Nancy as deeply pained and loyal, regardless of the cost. If Ms. Godinez ever decides to perform a musical version of the phone book, you will want to get tickets.

William Brown as Fagin in Oliver!William Brown’s Fagin fascinates me the most. Often, Fagin is played in “Disney villain over-the-topness.” Even though the character quietly knows who he is and what he does, you often see him tenting his fingers or twisting his mustache between scenes.

Mr. Brown’s interpretation gives the impression that this underground leader of petty thieves actually has some real intelligence, insight, and self-awareness. It was as if there is a touch of Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof inside this man. Different from what I’ve experienced before, but I really enjoyed the portrayal.

Ziare Paul-Emile, Patrick Scott McDermott and Kai Edgar in Oliver!In the end, it is ultimately the children that you can’t keep your eyes off of. Adorably led by Kai Edgar as Oliver (alternating with Kayden Koshelev), the kids are dirty, energetic, full of deviousness and fun.

This Marriott production is an excellent take on a classic. With familiar songs like “Consider Yourself” and “Where Is Love?,” you will find yourself humming long after the performance is over. And considering that it is over 50 years old, it has aged pretty well.

Marriott Theatre: Oliver! Chicago ReviewOliver! is playing at Marriott Theatre through 12/29/19. Tickets can be purchased by calling (847) 634-0200. Marriott Theatre is located at 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire.

The cast of Something Rotten!

Marriott Theatre’s ‘Something Rotten’ Is The Cream Of The Crop

Nick and Nigel Bottom in Something Rotten!If you plan to see a single show this year, make it Marriott Theatre’s hilarious new production of Something Rotten! Sharp and witty, with inuendo to spare, this show is two and a half hours of constant belly laughs.

*Disclaimer – everything written in this review is underselling the show because it is impossible to capture the magic in writing. That is how good it is.*

Nick Bottom and Nostradamus in Something Rotten!Something Rotten! is the story of the Bottom brothers, two writers who are desperate to create a hit production. In a time where Shakespeare is a rock star and every other playright is seemingly second-rate, Nick Bottom consults Nostradamus (although, not the Nostradamus) for ideas. Based on his not-so-accurate visions of the future – and what would become “A Musical” – the brothers produce a show that would never be forgotten.

A hilarious script that was Tony nominated for both Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score in 2015, Something Rotten! has something to offer to everyone. Filled with constant moments to appreciate in both spoken word and song, the experience leaves you thinking about when you can return to see it again.

Will Shakespeare in Something Rotten!What’s better, the talent in the Marriott Theatre production is off the charts. Every single member of the cast is on-point, clearly enjoys what they are doing and has incredible performance skills. A few standouts are KJ Hippensteel as Nick Bottom (phenomenal), Cassie Slater as Bea (hilarious), Ross Lehman as Nostradomus (killer comedic timing), Jonathan Butler-Duplessis as the Minstrel (what a voice), and the scene stealing Sawyer Smith (in several smaller parts) who you won’t be able to stop watching.

Bea in Something Rotten!If you are a fan of musicals, give yourself the gift of this show. With frequent nods to other popular musicals that you have likely seen or are familiar with, the references are are like little firecrackers of delight. This show loves and understands musicals in the same way you do, so sharing those inside jokes is a constant bonus.

The cast of Something Rotten!There were several times during this show that I wished I could rewind and watch the moments again. The story, the music, the talent, and all of the costumes, sets and lighting make for an incredibly fun and memorable few hours. Get your tickets early! If you don’t, you’ll be sorry you missed it!

Marriott Theatre: Something Rotten! Chicago ReviewSomething Rotten! is playing at Marriott Theatre through 10/20/19. Tickets can be purchased by calling (847) 634-0200. Marriott Theatre is located at 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire.

Marriott Theatre’s ‘Darling Grenadine’ Never Quite Fills Your Glass

Harry and Louise facing each otherWhen one thinks of musical theatre, there are certain staples that you expect. You expect a story that is driven by drama or comedy, characters that you may or may not like (but hope to find a connection with), and music that drives all of it forward. In Marriott Theatre’s new production of Darling Grenadine, in its Midwest premiere, we got some of that. There is both drama and comedy, a few characters that are endearing, and well performed musical pieces. The issue was the lack of connection.

Harry at a piano with a drinkDarling Grenadine is the story of Harry (played by Heath Saunders), a bar owner and composer, who meets and charms Louise (played by Katherine Thomas), an actress. The two develop a relationship with normal ups and downs until Louise gets wind of the fact that Harry is a struggling alcoholic. With more downs than ups, and doing her best to support him through a tragedy and family disfunction, their relationship finds its way to a conclusion that is ultimately best for both of them.

Paul and Harry singing at a pianoThere are a total of five actors in this show, and each is a stellar performer. They work as a cohesive unit, with two (“Woman” played by Allison Sill and “Man” played by Brandon Springman) taking on all of the small roles throughout the piece (think customers, Louise’s co-stars in the play, a couple walking on the street, etc.) and the other three playing the leads. Nick Cosgrove (a standout) plays Harry’s brother and Louise’s confidante who helps to gel the pieces of story together.

Harry with Paul the dogOne progressive choice in casting is Harry’s dog. Paul the dog is another character in the show, and a main character at that. Performed by Phillip Huber of The Huber Marionettes, Paul the dog is lifelike and magnetic in the way that living dogs are. He plays, jumps, drinks, and breathes just like a real dog. And while one first notices Mr. Huber as the marionettist on the stage, he quickly becomes less of the focus as  Paul the dog integrates into the story. Mr. Huber’s black clothing, gloves, and brimmed hat, plus the fact that he keeps his eyes on Paul, leads the audience to also watch Paul. In a few short scenes, Paul the dog is just who he is – Harry’s trusty sidekick.

Louise sitting at a tableThere are many intriguing aspects of Darling Grenadine that feel unique and risky. A serious story about an alcoholic and his downfalls isn’t your typical musical theater setting, but it works. Bits of Louise’s play performed intermittently throughout the show could have been a stretch, but it works. A marionette dog on stage? It works.

The main issue in this piece is the lack of connection between the show and the audience. There is music that is well written, but little with enough substance that you don’t find yourself humming afterward. The storyline has compelling overarching topics, but nothing to really draw you in. While there is substantial quality in the piece and the music within it, I was left wondering if the show knew what it wanted to be. And if the piece has trouble defining itself, it is difficult for the audience to become invested enough to discover what it has to offer.

Overall, Daring Grenadine is 2 1/2 hours of impressive talent, intense story, interesting canines, and a couple pieces of licorice. That said, I still feel like I’m missing something.

Marriott Theatre: Darling Grenadine Chicago ReviewDarling Grenadine is playing at Marriott Theatre through 8/18/19. Tickets can be purchased by calling (847) 634-0200. Marriott Theatre is located at 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire.

Marriott Theatre’s ‘Footloose’ Is Mostly Fancy-Free Fun

Actors dancing in FootlooseWhen you hear the title Footloose, many of you may be like me. You go back in time a little bit, envision Kevin Bacon with his Walkman and start singing in your head (or out loud!) “Everybody cut footloose, footloose. Kick off the Sunday shoes…” I know I’m not alone here.

I will admit that I was curious when I heard there was a Footloose musical. With all of the remakes that we have seen onscreen and on Broadway of late, I wasn’t sure whether to expect brilliance or blah. In the end, the brilliance of the cast at Marriott theater overshadowed some of the blah that was the play itself.

Footloose is the story of Ren, a big city teen who moves to a very small town after his father abandons him and his mother. Due to a horrible accident years before that resulted in the deaths of four teenagers, all forms of dancing and rock and roll music have been banned. When Ren meets Ariel, the daughter of the town Reverend and sister to one of the teens who died in the accident, they help each other find a way out of their sadness and bring the town along with them.

While some of the script was dry and a little slow at times, the cast of Footloose did everything they could to overcome the issues – and they succeeded. The characters – decked out in full 80’s clothing, hair and makeup – were extremely enjoyable and the cast was loaded with talent.

Lucy Godinez (Ariel) had a singing voice that could cut through the silence like a knife – in the best way you can imagine. I would happily listen to her sing the phone book and likely ask her to do it again when she finished. Ariel’s three friends Rusty, Wendy Jo and Urleen (Monica Ramirez, Sara Reinecke, and Keirsten Hodgens respectively) were not only fun, but the actresses’ voices and harmonies were phenomenal. Then you had Ben Barker’s Willard who was fun comic relief with lots of personality.

Footloose cast

In terms of musical numbers, there were some absolute standouts. “Holding out for a Hero” (yes, the song that you know) was a teenage cast number that was led by Ariel and her three friends (again, outstanding voices). It was set at the lunch tables and its choreography reminded me a little of “Summer Nights” from Grease – only with much more energy and style. “Almost Paradise” was also stellar, as our two leads find some peace with each other under the stars. This is one of those songs that you wish you could hear again because their voices melded so beautifully.

Overall, while there was some script awkwardness, the cast and crew of Marriott Theater’s Footloose had the talent to overcome and thoroughly entertain. If this was a movie that you loved or a song you find yourself singing, let this cast show you what they can do.

Marriott Theatre: Footloose Chicago ReviewFootloose is playing at Marriott Theatre through 6/2/19. Tickets can be purchased by calling (847) 634-0200. Marriott Theatre is located at 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire.

Marriott Theatre’s ‘Murder For Two’ Will Have You Dying With Laughter

Zany, funny, wacky, and quick. These are the words that emerge when I think about the new production of Murder For Two at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. And tissues! I should mention tissues. You’ll need them to wipe away the laughing tears streaming down your face.

Marriott Theatre's 'Murder For Two' will have you dying with laughter!Murder For Two is a show about a murder. Well, it’s less about the actual murder (and the invisible body that gets suddenly noticed, tripped over or ignored altogether) and more about the twelve suspects. When a writer is shot while entering his surprise party, everyone in attendance becomes a person of interest. Enter Marcus Moscowicz, a small town policeman, who has arrived to try to solve the case. He is not a detective yet, but is determined that this case – and the solving of it – will launch him into the position. If he can just figure everything out before the real detective arrives…

Marriott Theatre's 'Murder For Two' will have you dying with laughter!The twelve suspects are each unique and hilarious in their own way. They run the gamut from a sophisticated and sexy ballet dancer to three boys from a children’s choir to a wheelchair-bound psychiatrist – and they are all played by the same actor.

For a full hour and a half (with no intermission), there are two actors on the stage who play every character in the show. Marcus Moscowicz (played with endearing kookiness by Noel Carey) is the (fairly) stable center and the twelve suspects (played by Jason Grimm, brilliant) provide all of the spokes of a wheel. This duo is also in charge of the music for the show. Both actors play the piano proficiently and frequently – so much so that it almost becomes a character of its own.

Marriott Theatre's 'Murder For Two' will have you dying with laughter!It is difficult to say much more about the plot of the show without ruining the fun, so forgive me for not doing so. I have your best interests at heart. That said, I don’t remember the last time I laughed at a performance the way I did at this one. And it wasn’t just me. There were cackles and pauses to allow for laughing throughout – which was gracious of the performers, because we the audience could not contain ourselves.

Marriott Theatre's 'Murder For Two' will have you dying with laughter!Murder For Two also provides another unique situation for the actors. It is just the two of them up there, surrounded by semi-gaudy chandeliers and décor that is the character’s house. When it is a two person cast, there is the potential for knowing each other very, very well on stage. And just like those skits on Saturday Night Live, we were privileged to be able to see two of those delicious moments when the actors were legitimately breaking character for a split second because they were having so much fun. Where they were looking at each other with a twinkle in their eyes, and we got to be witness to it. These moments made the night that much more fun.

Marriott Theatre's 'Murder For Two' will have you dying with laughter!Murder For Two is a nutty romp that is absolutely worth the hour and a half of your time. With two actors who are as talented as these gentleman, give the gift of taking yourself out of the world for a bit and laugh until you cry. This is one murder that you truly want to know more about.

Marriott Theatre: Murder For Two Chicago ReviewMurder For Two is playing at Marriott Theatre through 8/26/18. Tickets can be purchased by calling (847) 634-0200. Marriott Theatre is located at 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire.

Goodman Theatre’s “Having Our Say” Invites You In

There is something special about spending some time with your great-aunt or grandma. Sitting around with a cup of tea, hearing her stories, you start to envision a different time. A time where there were no cell phones or computers and people sang in rocking chairs on the porch at night. A time where nobody was thinking about the keto diet and every meal was made from scratch. A time where our elders’ stories were the entertainment.

Goodman Theatre’s “Having Our Say” is an experience just like this. Having been invited into the Delany sisters’ home for the evening, you get the pleasure of hearing their stories – only their stories aren’t like those we experience today. That is because real-life women Sarah and Elizabeth Delany are 102 and 100 years old respectively, and this is their story.

Sarah “Sadie” Delany, born in 1889, was the first African-American woman to teach domestic science in the New York high-school system and Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany, born in 1891, was the second African-American female licensed dentist. Neither woman ever married, saying that this contributed to their old age since they “never had husbands to worry us to death.” They took daily spoonfuls of cod liver oil and cloves of garlic, did yoga, and lived together until Bessie passed away in 1995 (at 104 years old), with Sadie passed a few years later, in 1999 (at 109 years old).

It is important to understand that this lovely performance at Goodman is the story of two very real people. This is their story, brought to life by nuanced performers Ella Joyce (as Bessie) and Marie Thomas (as Sadie). Even in the 856-seat Albert Theatre, the audience is made to feel as if our leading ladies are speaking only to us and a few friends. As if we are all sitting together while they show us photos of their family (all of whom have passed) and prepare dinner in honor of their beloved father’s birthday.

While taking all of this into consideration, this two-hour production is both a literal and figurative commentary on their lives. The characters speak words that have been given in previous interviews and describe situations through which they lived. Having experienced significant racism that escalated overnight with the Jim Crow Laws and incredible prejudice while attempting to succeed in their respective careers both due to race and gender, the actresses on-stage paint a picture of lives that most of us only read about in the history books. The largest difference being, history books can’t tell it like it really was. These women are emotional, hurt, wistful, and grateful for the lives they have had, the successes they have seen, the family they have loved and the paths they have walked.

This Goodman production is very different from any you may have seen before. There is no advancement of a plot, set changes (although I’d be remiss not to mention the intricate turntable set that includes their living room, kitchen and picture frames) or costume changes. There is no major climax or action sequence and there is no physical antagonist. This performance is an intricately written, emotionally performed, celebration of the Delany sisters’ life. Take the two hours and settle in for a cup of tea.

Goodman Theatre: Having Our Say Chicago ReviewHaving Our Say is playing at The Goodman Theatre through 6/10/18. Tickets can be purchased at a discount through Goldstar or by calling (312) 443-3800. Goodman Theatre is located at 170 North Dearborn in Chicago.

Marriott Theatre’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Is Charming And Colorful

The Marriott Theatre’s children’s production of Sleeping Beauty is an engaging and charming performance for the little ones. While many kids will be familiar with the Disney production of Sleeping Beauty, this story is a bit different than what they will be expecting. That said, the characters are fun, bright, three dimensional, and a joy to watch.

The story begins with Topaz, and elf who speaks both Spanish and English, who lets us know that a baby is about to be born. We next meet the king, who is hilariously terrified for this new step, and then the three colorful fairy creatures, Marigold, Ruby and Periwinkle, who are there to bestow gifts on the little one. When the scorned Magenta comes in after the birth, she puts a spinning-wheel curse on the little one (you may be familiar with this part!), and Ruby attempts to change the curse by giving the gift of love. Should Princess Amber be kissed by her love when she is sixteen, she will awaken.

This show does an excellent job of elbowing out of the standard story and letting us know a bit more about each character. Teenage Amber wants to see the world and explore, and not be kept in a box or made to be prim and proper. Prince Hunter (her childhood friend) has a habit of sneezing whenever he is scared of something – which is always! The three fairies each have distinct personalities (sassy, emotional, and positive) that make their scenes particularly fun, and the fact that Topaz speaks two languages much of the time has a heart-warming inclusivity that I wish other performances would adapt.

Then, there is the dragon. Created in three parts that move as one, the dragon stalks on and off-stage in a bit of a jaw dropping manner. The entire audience was gawking at how incredibly cool it was that there was a dragon in this performance – including me! Nothing to be scared about with this dragon. The only special effects are a bit of smoke and a dragon voice.

All in all, this is lovable show for audiences of all ages – and I truly mean all ages. If your child has not been introduced to the theatre yet, this is the show to start with. You will see little ones as young as a year old, and all of these professional actors are used to the tiny comments from the audience. The children get excited, they talk to their parents, they have to go to the bathroom – this is normal and the cast is used to it. Bring them! They’re going to love it.

Marriott Theatre: Sleeping Beauty Chicago ReviewSleeping Beauty is playing at Marriott Theatre through 12/30/17. Tickets can be purchased by calling (847) 634-0200. Marriott Theatre is located at 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire.

Marriott Theatre’s ‘Newsies’ Is Electric

When I first heard that Marriott Theatre was going to do Newsies, I’ll admit that I was a little nervous. This is one of my 12-year old son’s very favorite shows, so both he and I have watched and listened to it a lot. We know the music and lyrics by heart, are familiar with the Broadway choreography and have set ideas about what we love (or don’t love) about different pieces of the show. Better put, we are big fans. So entering into this performance, my son as my date, we were each unbelievably excited, but secretly nervous. Luckily, we quickly found that we had no reason to be.

Marriott Theatre’s production of Newsies is nothing short of electric. The voices, the staging, the choreography, the humor, the energy – all on par with our hopes and expectations. To be clear, this wasn’t an easy thing to achieve! A show that is a great fit for everyone, Newsies brings history to the stage and allows you a peek into what it may have been like for the newsboys in 1899. While the main characters and romantic storyline are fictional, many of the circumstances, oppression and newspapers are right out of the history books.

Newsies is the story of Jack Kelly, one of many newsboy orphans who live on the streets of Manhattan. These young men and women sell newspapers to survive, and count on an exciting headline each day in order to promote them. When Joseph Pulitzer, the publisher of the New York World, increases the price of papers, the newsboys learn that they will have to sell more just break even. With his best friend Crutchie, his fellow newsboys, new friends Davey, his little brother Les, and a reporter named Katherine at his side, Jack Kelly leads the New York newsboys in a strike.

The leads of this show are cast beautifully. Patrick Rooney as Jack Kelly is smart, street savvy, and flirtatious, while bringing forth a passion for everything he believes in. Eliza Palasz’s Katherine is a modern woman before her time who wants to be appreciated for her talent and seen for who she really is. Their chemistry is palpable and the characters challenge each other in such an charming way that you can’t help but smile.

This performance has a great number of showstoppers – a rare feat for most shows. “Carrying the Banner,” “The World Will Know,” “Seize the Day,” “King of New York,” and “Once and For All” each contain incredible group choreography, harmonies, and energy that can’t be matched. Ms. Palasz’s version of the vocally complicated “Watch What Happens” had both my son and I looking at each other with a mutual exclamation of, “She killed it!” Matthew Uzarraga’s Crutchie is so endearing that by the time you get to “Letter from the Refuge,” you are almost in tears.

In short, this performance is one that you need to see. Newsies is an excellent show for introducing anyone to musical theatre or just greatly enjoying a night out, so be sure to get tickets while you can! Between the acrobatics, incredible dance numbers and humor in the show, you’ll be sad that it’s over when the cast takes their final bow. Enjoy the ride!

Marriott Theatre: Newsies Chicago ReviewNewsies is playing at Marriott Theatre through 12/31/17. Tickets can be purchased by calling (847) 634-0200. Marriott Theatre is located at 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire.