Category Archives: Dueling Critics

Three Men and a Babe: Chops at Theater Wit

Jazz lovers reminisce, scheme and try to recapture their old friendship; can they?  Chops examines.  A world-premiere entrant in the Mamet-Scorcese milieu.

The Goodman, and the Dueling Critics, don War Paint

Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole grace the stage at the Goodman; Kelly and Jonathan grace the airwaves on Sunday mornings on WDCB!

We keep Company at Writers Theatre . . .

plus K. raves over Between Riverside and Crazy (her summer home), while J. celebrates Pride Films & Plays’ adaptive reuse of an abandoned space.


Wastwater at Steep Theatre: What’s that about still waters?

On WDCB on Sunday, we discuss the US premiere of Simon Stephens’ play at Steep, and then K. recommends the two plays she saw at American Players Theatre up in Spring Green, WI.


Batboy at Griffin Theatre: not about Wrigley Field

We revel in Griffin’s blood-and-guts rendition of this tabloid-story-turned musical, then review destination summer theater—anywhere too far to drive home after the show.

Northanger Abbey: Jane Austen Spoofs Gothic Romances; Lifeline Theatre Adds Music

Plus, we preview summer theater at Theater on the Lake, First Folio, Oak Park Festival, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks, etc., etc. and highlight some free music, dance and film available

Caught at Sideshow Theatre: Satire or Performance Art?

We disagree over the nature, purpose and value of Christopher Chen’s newest play (as we did over his last one, Mutt).  Then we talk about the Chicago Reader expose of now-defunct Profiles Theater and how to get tickets for Hamilton.  Finally J. praises the Saints for their philanthropy as well as their ushering, and K. recommends Constellations at Steppenwolf.  A lively week!

Spinning at Irish Theatre of Chicago: The Critics Disagree!

We battle over this U.S. premiere of Deirdre Kinahan’s play at the Den Theatre.  Then J. recommends Theatre on the Lake, opening June 15, featuring revivals of some of the best of the past year’s shows. Gary notes that on August 10 we’ll be the guest fighters in Cinema Slapdown, sponsored by Columbia College Chicago and taking place at the Music Box in Lakeview.  The topic: the movie “Showgirls.”  Guess which of us takes which position.

The North Pool at Interrobang: Questions and Exclamation Points Indeed!

We differ over Interrobang’s The North Pool, the Midwest premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s play (I’m right, of course, and Jonathan is wrong).  Then J. recommends Tug of War: Foreign Fire, Chicago Shakespeare’s mashup of several history plays, while K. picks Michael Bradford’s Migration at eta Creative Arts, another history play with music, this one about the Great Migration of African-Americans from the South to Chicago.

New York Report, plus a pair of local picks

K. holds forth on shows in New York (hint: the best one had the most Chicago connections) and also recommends TimeLine’s Chimerica, while J. picks Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord at Northlight.