Here is one word to describe the current summer offerings in our great Midwestern capital of live theatrical entertainment: Thin.
Sure, we're buzzing through June, what with
At press time, there are no shows announced for the
There are few openings on Broadway in the summer, you might be thinking, so what's the difference? Carry-over shows are the difference there, although after this season in New York, there may also be some empty real estate in Midtown.
Still, we're not even remotely competitive. There is a sit-down production of the Broadway musical "
The new Riverfront Playhouse, a big tent sitting astride the Chicago River at the Tribune's Freedom Center printing plant, is a promising addition to the city's slate of venues. There are few things nicer on a summer night than mingling and drinking in an attractive outdoor environment and then heading indoors for a show under a marquee. But this initial slate of attractions, awfully heavy on tenors and tribute-type shows, is not exactly cutting-edge entertainment.
We'll have to see how it all plays out. At least "La Soiree," the hipster circus coming to the Riverfront in July, features well-respected artists.
Broadway in Chicago and other presenters say they're still working on shows, so perchance this grim state of affairs will improve before
Goodman also is hosting the new play by Paul Oakley Stovall, "Immediate Family," as directed by
The other show with designs on a long summer run is the American Theater Company production of "Rent," as directed by David Cromer, who now is something of a brand — an insider brand, anyway — all by himself. ATC has let Cromer totally pull its space apart and reconfigure it for his show. And it has cleared its decks until the fall. If it's a hit, and "Rent"-heads abound in Chicago, look for the show to play all summer, albeit in a venue not exactly on the tourist track.
Next year should be busier. At least "The Book of Mormon" will be playing downtown. God willing.