Monthly Archives: March 2022

Tony Award Worthy! Good Night, Oscar at the Goodman Theatre (Through April 24, 2022)

Oscar Levant was committed to Mt. Sinai Hospital by his wife. He suffers from schizophrenia. One day, his wife tells the hospital that he needs to leave for four hours to attend his daughter’s graduation. However, he is actually going to appear on the Tonight Show with Jack Paar. On the show, he talks about all the things the network executives want him to avoid: politics, religion, and sex. Afterwards, they want him to play piano, but he really doesn’t want to.

This play is fantastic. It is definitely Tony Award worthy. Doug Wright has written a masterpiece that explores this complex character.  The show runs 1 hour and 40 minutes. They should add an intermission just to give the audience a breather from the nonstop laughs and action. The perfect time to add an intermission could be when the curtain drops before the start of the Tonight Show.

Sean Hayes (Will & Grace, SmartLess) does a suburb job portraying Oscar Levant. It’s an amazing award-worthy performance! Ben Rappaport (Outsourced, The Good Wife) is truly charming as Paar. He makes for a great television host. The role of the network executive is nailed by Peter Grosz (Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Stranger Than Fiction). He delivers some of the funniest lines of the night. Emily Bergl is spectacular as Oscar’s wife. She plays the character with such passion and conviction. Ethan Slater, Ramell Tillman, and John Zdrokski are all solid in their supporting roles.

Cost of a ticket: $55 and up

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Get tickets now for Goodnight Oscar through April 24th!

Photos by Liz Lauren

Quinn Delaney


Hilarious! Saint Sebastian Players Presents The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at St Bonaventure (Through April 3, 2022)

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee premiered on Broadway in April of 2005 and ran until January 2008. It won Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Featured Actor. In Chicago, a run began in April 2006 at the Drury Lane Theatre, Water Tower Place, closing on March 2007. And now, in March of 2022, it opens at St Bonaventure.

Tonight is the 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee. All the contestants here won their local spelling bee. Well, except for Coneybear. He finished in third, but the winner is having his bar-mitzvah today. Also, the runner up needs to attend the bar-mitzvah. As the contest continues, more details about all the contestants are revealed. There are also four members of the audience that have become spellers. They each get a very funny one-line introduction.

The four audience members do a great job on this evening. They all get the easy and medium words correct. Then, they all get the difficult words wrong, except for one speller. After she gets this hard word correct, the vice principal is amazed and motions for her to take a seat. He then calls her name right away and gives her an even harder word, which is actually three words, “lysergic acid diethylamide”. After she pauses for a long time getting lost in the middle, he rings the bell and she is dismissed.

The entire show is very fun and hilarious. Rachel Sheinkin wrote the book with the Music and Lyrics by William Finn. It was conceived by Rebecca Feldman with additional material by Jay Reiss. All together, they created a show that is a big hit.

Kay Rower is great as a former winner so excited to be hosting this event. Sean Michael Barrett is hilarious as the grumpy vice principal who delivers the best lines of the night. Peter Kattner III is so funny as the baseball player who has an unfortunately biological event during the bee. Drew MacCullum creates an impressive speech impediment for the cute irish schoolgirl character. Sam Peterson is so goofy as Coneybear. Adam Hoak nails the big dorky kid role. Alice Woo is splendid as the kid forced to be perfect by her parents. Lili Galluzzo is great as the lonely child wishing her father would show up. Lastly, Kaela West is confidently cool as the comforter for the losers.

The show ran 1 hour and 45 minutes tonight. They should add an intermission. There even is a perfect time to do this right at “snack time”. Their current Covid policy includes a mandatory vaccine check, but masks are optional.

Cost of a ticket: $30

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Get tickets now for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee through April 3rd!

Quinn Delaney

Unstoppable! The Score at Lincoln Hall (March 15, 2022)

The Score is an alternative rock band from New York City. The band was formed in 2011 by Eddie Anthony Ramirez (guitar and lead vocals) and Edan Chai Dover (keys and backing vocals). The Score’s last concert in Chicago took place in 2018 at Schubas and following a long break due to the pandemic, fans beamed with excitement as The Score took stage this past Thursday at Lincoln Hall to promote their latest album, Metamorph.

From the beginning of the show, until the very end, The Score continued to uplift their fans with each song and created an energy within the venue that only the power of great alternative rock can bring to life. This unique characteristic of instilling inspiration and motivation within their lyrics is what sets this band apart and allows their fans to feed off this electrifying positivity. Furthermore, their style of writing encompasses a universal theme which allows fans to truly connect to their songs as it can be applied to navigating any aspect of life from overcoming a break-up, financial hardships, or conquering life while living with a chronic illness.

For this tour, fans are treated to an eclectic set list featuring both older tunes and songs from their new album. From their ATLAS album, a couple of highlights included, “Higher” and “Revolution.” From their Carry On album, The Score had fans singing at the top of their lungs to “Stronger” and “Glory.” The audience erupted as the band sang “Head Up,” a song from their newly released album, Metamorph. All hands were in the air as fans sang along, “I gotta keep my head up, up, up, up. Up above the water, up above the water. Gotta keep my head up, up, up, up. I’m never going under, never going under….”

This song alone allowed the audience to release their daily stressors and obstacles as they are navigating the pandemic, along with all of the uncertainty in our world and find strength to move forward. This positivity carried through the end as they did an incredible job closing the show with ‘Legend” and “Unstoppable”, two songs from their ATLAS album which left fans walking out of the show eagerly waiting for the next tour!

For tickets to their next show for the Metamorph Tour, please click here:


Exceptional World Premiere! Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Center Theatre Group present King James at Steppenwolf (Through April 10, 2022)

Matt is looking to sell the remainder of his season tickets for Lebron’s rookie season. He wants to sell them in person to a long time Cavs fan. Shawn is such a fan and wants to buy them, but doesn’t have the amount that Matt is asking for. After Matt receives word that another offer fell through, he decides to sell them to Shawn for his original offer Shawn is so excited to go to the games that he didn’t even think who he would bring with him. He decides to bring Matt and a new friendship is born.

Flash forward seven years. Lebron has just announced that he will be playing for the Miami Heat next season. Matt and Shawn are devastated. Shawn also has some big news to share. He has been accepted to grad school and is going to move to New York for the 2 year program. Matt is shocked that this is the first time he is hearing about this. They are best friends and Matt shares everything. Shawn says that he is shy about sharing things related to his writing.

The story continues to jump forward as we follow Matt and Shawn along with Lebron’s career. It’s a great story of male friendship and how they bond over sports. It is also about how they support each through different stages of their life. After each jump forward, they are in much different places professionally. It’s a true bromance.

The set is world class. Todd Rosenthal designed a fantastic set. Also, it’s an impressive moment when the set spins on stage to reveal the second scene.

Chris Perfetti (The Night Of) is excellent as Matt, who dreams of owning a classy downtown bar. Glen Davis (Downstate, The Christians, You Got Older)  is super as Shawn, who aspires to be a professional writer. They have great chemistry together as they support each other’s careers and talk Cavs basketball. At times, they also have more difficult conversations about life and race that bring them closer together. Ensemble member Rajiv Joseph (Guards at the Taj), a native of Cleveland, has written an exceptional story that will be a hit.

Cost of a ticket: $20 -$88

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value (For the Discounted $20 tickets)

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Get tickets now for King James through April 10th in Chicago or from June 1st through July 3rd in LA.

Quinn Delaney

Alt-Reggae! Cydeways opening for Eli Mac and Iya Terra at Subterranean (March 11, 2022)

Cydeways has a great reggae rock groove. They are all solid on their instruments and the lead singer, Dustin Park, has a great voice for reggae.

They are already collaborating with great bands such as “We Won’t Run” with Pepper and “Sun Goes Down” with Kash’d Out.

They play an excellent cover medley that includes “Loser” by Beck and “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” by Cage The Elephant. These songs are rarely covered and they sound superb.

Check out their website here!

Cost of a ticket: $30

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It –

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Quinn Delaney

Emotionally Driven Rock! Mayday Parade at the House of Blues Chicago (March 10, 2022)

This is the 11th Anniversary Tour of their self-titled album. It was supposed to be the 10th Anniversary Tour, but Covid messed that up. They play the entire album from start to finish. Some of the songs they never played live, so it is a true treat for fans of this album.

Late in the night, they roll out the piano. Everyone leaves the stage except for the lead singer and the drummer, who is there for backup vocals. It’s a giant sing-a-long to “Miserable at Best.”  “I can live without you, but without you I’ll be miserable at best,” sings the entire audience. It truly is a special moment!

Next, they play “Piece of Your Heart”. Again, everyone sings along. “I’ve got a piece of your heart, but I want the whole damn thing!” All the couples hold each other tight. It’s a romantic emo moment. Mayday Parade is a band that has the gift of being able to connect with their audience as their writing is emotionally-driven, full of depth and meaning. In a world that can sometimes feel complex and confusing, we yearn for clarity and direction. Tonight, Mayday Parade provided an outlet for their fans to connect with their emotions and experience a sense of belonging.

During the concert, there was a moment where a fan did not feel well and the band stopped playing to prioritize and ensure the safety of their fans. This exemplified that their depth goes far beyond their writing and love for music, but that it is a core component of their integrity and dedication to their fans. Once the situation was addressed, they resumed the concert. 

To close out the show, they play “Jamie All Over”, which has over 92 million streams on Spotify and it is their biggest hit to date.  “I’ll take this Cali sunrise with me, and wake up with the fondest memories”. Everyone is jumping around and there is a lot of crowd surfing. It’s a great happy rocker that sends everyone out with a giant smile on their face. 

Cost of a ticket: $29 plus fees
PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It
Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Quinn Delaney

Interesting! Remy Bumppo Theatre Company Presents Passage at Theater Wit (Through April 10, 2022)

To begin the show, the entire cast takes the stage. One by one, they say where they are originally from (or where their ancestors are from) and where they live now. It’s a very odd way to start a show having the actors first appear as themselves before becoming the characters.

Country Y owns Country X and the citizens of Country X are not happy about it. Can a citizen from Country Y be friends with someone from Country X? Can they treat each other as equals? Or, is the political baggage too much? Q is moving from Y to X to start a new life. She meets a fellow immigrant, F, and they agree to explore the caves together.

Having the names of the characters and countries does have the effect of removing any ethnicity or bias from a name. But it also makes the play feel like characters are variables in computer code. It makes them completely generic and thus it is hard to relate to them. Still, the play does bring up some interesting ideas. Christopher Chen, the playwright, was inspired by E.M. Forester’s “A Passage to India” about the British Raj and the Indian Independence movement in the 1920s Due to the current events taking place in Europe, it is easy to see Country Y as Russia and Country X as Ukraine.

Charin Alvarez (La Ruta, Lettie) is excellent as B, dealing with a horrible boss. Patrick Agada (The First Deep Breath) is great as F, trying to settle into a new country. Leyla Beydoun is good as Q, struggling to find new friends. Adam Poss is a big personality as Q’s husband, always explaining his thoughts thoroughly. Peter Sipla (Cambodian Rock Band) plays the host. Lastly, Carolyn Hu Bradbury and Tiffany Renee Johnson (School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play) are solid in their supporting roles.

Cost of a ticket: $30

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It –

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Get tickets now for Passage through April 10th.

Quinn Delaney

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Review: Sons of Hollywood at Windy City Playhouse (Through April 16, 2022)

Ramon Novarro is the toast of Hollywood after staring in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. Billy Haines is also a silent film star who is often called the #1 box-office draw at the time. Everything is going great for them until the Motion Picture Production Code brings an end to Hollywood’s acceptance of gay stars. They are forced to choose between love and their career.

Trey DeLuna is excellent as Ramon Novarro, struggling to not become a has-been after his early success. Adam Jennings is charming as Billy Haines, a star who is always the life of the party and handles challenges well. Kyle Patrick (The Boys in the Band) is so likeable as Billy’s lifelong partner. Abby Lee is great as Lucille LeSueur, aka Joan Crawford, who called them the “the happiest married couple in Hollywood.” Max Stewart is sold as Louis B Mayer, Herbert Howe, and Weber. It is a little confusing have him play all these characters.

Cost of a ticket: $55 and up

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It –

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Get tickets now for Sons of Hollywood through April 16th!

Quinn Delaney

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Excellent! Alvin Ailey at the Auditorium Theatre (Through March 6, 2022)

Tonight is the Robert Battle 10th Anniversary Program. All the pieces are choreographed by Robert Battle, except for Revelations.

Mass (2004)

This piece is very spiritual and features the dancers in flowing church gowns. It goes well with Revelations.

IN/SIDE (2008)

Choreography by Robert Battle

Solomon Dumas is excellent in the piece. He is so athletic and graceful.

For Four (2021)

Music by Wynton Marsalis

This jazzy piece is so fun. It would fit right in with Giordano Dance Chicago’s repertoire. It matches their talent and their style.


Music by Sheila Chandra

The song uses vocals in a very percussive manner and the dance is perfectly choreographed to match. Patrick Coker does an impeccable job visualizing the speed of the song and also the humor in it. The crowd is absolutely delighted.

Excerpt from LOVE STORIES (2004)

Music by Stevie Wonder

This piece is so fun and colorful. It’s a joyous piece that is exactly what we need right now.

Revelations (1960)

Choreography by Alvin Ailey

This is a full company piece that is met with a loud applause right when it starts. It’s gospel music that plays which gives the piece a religious feel. It’s happy, sad, and beautiful. Since its premiere, it has been performed continuously around the globe and it has become the most widely seen modern dance piece in the world.

This program will be repeated on Saturday at 8pm. The other performances will include different dances.

Get tickets now for Alvin Ailey through Sunday!

Cost of a ticket: $112 (Back Orchestra)

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Half Price (I’d recommend the cheaper seats on the sides of the orchestra)

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Quinn Delaney

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Review: corook opening for K. Flay and UPSAHL at Park West (February 26, 2022)

Corinne Savage is corook. Early in her set, she plays a song about snakes. It begins with her describing how much she hates them. But then, half way through her set, she decides they are cute. This is a good example of her quirkiness.

Later on she plays “bad friend”. “I’m never texting anyone back… I’m a bad friend”. Here she is demonstrating her honesty.

In “degree”, she sings “I went to college for the party!” It’s a bit of a party song about getting two degrees and a whole lot of debt. This leads directly into her closing song directed to Kamela Harris and Joe Biden. She wants her school debt forgiven.

While she only had a short 30 minute set, it was enough to display her good voice and some interesting ideas for an artist at the very beginning of her career.

Cost of a ticket: $26

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Check out her website here.

Quinn Delaney

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