National honors for Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones

Arts and Culture

In its November issue, American Theatre Magazine named 12 of the nation’s most influential drama critics. The Tribune’s Chris Jones is among them, to which we say: Well, of course!

Here's their honor roll of their favorite theater critics in the nation.

Chris has covered theater for a number of publications, but I valued him long before he became a full-time Tribune employee 10 years ago – when he was a news-breaking Tribune freelancer. Since then, I have come to marvel at his intensity at pursuing exclusives, his immersion in any project that makes the Tribune better, and I enjoy his easy and hearty laughter when the job is done.

Here's a short video of Chris Jones interviewing Stephen Sondheim at the 2011 Chicago Tribune Literary Prize event at Symphony Center, part of the Chicago Humanities Festival. (It's the same video as above.)

He’s too humble to boast, and he begged me not to let this essay get maudlin. But after you read his long list of accomplishments, you’ll understand why other publications across the country quote him, why NPR often interviews him, and why he has a weekly gig on WBBM-TV Ch. 2.

And though he and the Tribune are proud of the magazine recognition, Chris would rather direct praise elsewhere: “It’s really the Chicago theater that belongs on any such list; its international influence has grown in leaps and bounds. And I think the readers of the Tribune take pride in the theater of the metropolitan area they call home.”

He adds, “Chicago theater artists have become influential, I think, because they concentrate on truth and because the rewards are in the work, not on the outside.”

-- Geoff Brown, Associate Managing Editor / Entertainment

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