Monthly Archives: June 2022

Fantastic! Life After at the Goodman Theatre (Through July 17, 2022)

Alice has a fight with her father right before he dies in a car accident. The crash was at 8:22pm, but he was supposed to be on a flight at 8pm. She wonders why wasn’t he on the flight. Did he skip the flight to go look for her? Was he having an affair?

The mystery of what happened draws the audience in. As more details emerge, more questions arise. Britta Johnson has written an excellent musical about dealing with loss that is never too dark. She drew a lot from her own experience of losing her father at age 13.

Photos by Jeremy Daniel

The singing and choreography is fantastic. Also, the shifting three story set is impressive. This production is definitely Broadway worthy.

There is no intermission. It would be great if some performances have an intermission just like they have some with Spanish subtitles or with American Sign Language.

Samantha Williams is excellent as Alice struggling to find out the circumstances of her father’s death. Paul Alexander Nolan is fantastic as the charming and fun father appearing in many flashbacks. Bryonha Marie Parham is great as Alice’s mother encouraging her to move on. Lucy Panush is solid as Alice’s best friend. Skyler Volpe is excellent as Alice’s sister, who feels a bit overlooked by her father. Ashley Perez Flanagan, Lauryn Hobbs, and Chelsea Williams are all so funny as the Greek chorus constantly commenting on the situation Jen Sese is superb as Alice’s debate teacher, especially in the debate about whether her father’s death was her fault.

Cost of a ticket: $70

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It+

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

Get tickets now for Life After at the Goodman Theatre!

Quinn Delaney

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Pick of the Week: River North Live! at theMART’s River Park featuring The Calling, Letdown., Emo Night Brooklyn, Michigander, and Baysik (June 24 – 26, 2022)

The Lineup for River North Live!

Friday (all start times are tentative and subject to change)
The Calling – 8:15pm – “Wherever You Will Go” has 447 Million Streams


Letdown. – 6:00pm – “Love Is A Weapon” has 4 Million Streams


Jaclyn Heuser – 5:00pm – “Forgotten” has 1,800+ Streams



Saturday
Emo Night Brooklyn – 7:45pm – ENB is an event that celebrates the Emo / Pop Punk genere with DJ sets and live performances


Michigander – 6:15pm – “Misery” has 6.9 Million Streams


Wildermiss – 5:00pm – “Carry Your Heart” has 1.1 Millions Streams

Sunday

Baysik – featuring Brendan & Ryan of Umphrey’s McGee – 6:00pm
Old Shoe – 4:00pm – “Welcome Home” has 35,000+ Streams

  • Cost of a ticket: $10 – $50 (VIP)
  • PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value
  • Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Get tickets now for River North Live!

Quinn Delaney

Review: Rufus Wainwright does Judy Garland: From I Can’t Give You Anything But Love to Chicago at City Winery Chicago (June 16, 2022)

This concert is inspired by Judy Garland’s 100th birthday on June 11th. Thus, “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” is a perfect fit for the evening. “Now that it’s your birthday, I don’t know what to do / Can’t give you a Thunderbird, or a penthouse with a view / Can’t even buy a little present / I’m much to broke, I find.” It sounds excellent sung by Rufus.

When he was growing up, his mother would accompany him on piano for “Over The Rainbow”. In a tribute to her, he starts singing the song acapella. Aftera few lines alone, the piano and bass join in. It’s a beautiful song and takes everyone back to when they were a child watching The Wizard of Oz.

To start the encore, he says that the original plan was to only play the second half of the concert for the late show. However, he felt it was coming up a bit thin. So, he decided to add a song from the first half that is a can’t miss Judy song, “The Man That Got Away”. This is an unexpected treat that is very welcomed this evening.

“Chicago” is the perfect song to close out the night. “I saw a man dancing with his own wife / And you’ll never guess where… / Chicago, Chicago–that toddlin’ town, that toddlin’ town!” The city still lives up to this great song and Rufus loves to come play here. He was last in town last September at the Chicago Theatre with José González. See our review here.

Cost of a ticket: $85 – $155

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Half Price

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

Quinn Delaney

Absolutely Hilarious! Do the Right Thing, No Worries If Not at Second City (Open Run)

Welcome to our country club in Connecticut. It’s diverse because we have him (motions to the one black guy). We have so many amenities including a golf course, two swimming pools, and a sandbox where you can leave your kids. Cut to a scene where a parent is digging frantically in sandbox. My son is buried in the sand! Help! Another person steps us and says “Stop digging, he’s gone. This happens all time, it’s okay.” Cut to later on in the same location. Hi, I’m from Des Moines. Oh, hi, I’m from Marshalltown, which is also in Iowa. Then a third person enters and says “Excuse me, can you move, I’m trying to put here.” Oh, this hole is closed. A kid died here.

Photos by Timothy M. Schmidt

This is the crazy scene completely improvised by the cast for the third act. It exemplifies their great improvisational talent and creativity. The audience is laughing the entire show through scene likes this in addition to all the great scripted material.

E.J. Cameron (The Best Decision You’ve Ever Made, Grinning from Fear to Fear) is great as the one black guy at the country club. He is truly having a great time on stage, especially when making audience members uncomfortable. Evan Mills (Together at Last) is excellent while singing his song in which he instructs people to raise their hand if they fall into certain groups. Both of them could easily be on SNL soon. Julia Morales is so funny as the manager of Blackbuster, where they rent out the black version of every movie. Kiley Fitzgerald is so funny in a scene where she is sprawling around on the floor. Andy Bolduc is exceptional as so many characters including the man doing an Irish goodbye. Lastly, Claire McFadden is hilarious as the immigrant completely lost in the support group for people with unpopular beliefs.

Cost of a ticket: $35 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 Do the Right Thing, No Worries If Not!

Quinn Delaney

Southern Rock and Roll – Erin Rae opening for Lord Huron at The Vic Theatre (June 11, 2022)

Erin Rae has a very good voice. It’s very soothing and matches well with her folky southern rock and roll style. It’s perfect music for a summer BBQ. The electric guitarist, Sean Thompson, shines during his solos. The drummer, Griffin Photoglou, and bassist, Alec O’Connell, are absolutely solid as well.

To close out the set, they play “Modern Woman”.  “Round up the old perceptions / Lay them on down / They’re only tellin’ stories and they’re / Getting in the way / Right now / Cause you can’t see the future / Can’t change the past / Come see a modern woman”. It’s a great example of their smooth Nashville sound.

See a recent setlist here.

Quinn Delaney

Alternative Rock! Lo Moon at Subterranean (May 31, 2022)

Lo Moon are an alternative rock / pop band from Los Angeles, California. Their members include Matt Lowell (guitar and vocals), Sam Stewart (lead guitar), Crisanta Baker (bass and synth), and Sterling Laws (drums). Their self-titled debut album was released in 2018.

Early on they play “Thorns”. “No one can love you / No one can love you the same / I’ll always want you / I’ll always want you this way.” This is a great love song that draws the audience in and has them all paying full attention.

Midway through the night, they play “This Is It”. This song has a great sonic soundscape. The pounding drums, smooth guitar, bass, and vocals all fit together so well.

To close out their set, they play “Dream Never Dies”. “What happened to all the easy days of summer? Back when we were younger, dreaming through the thunder / Radio was blasting, heavens everlasting / If I can make this last, and all I have to do is close my eyes.” This is such a beautiful song. The music matches the lyrics perfectly. It sound like it could be a Coldplay song, which is good company to be in, seeing as they just played two nights last weekend at Soldier Field. Lo Moon could surely be playing the same stage someday.

Cost of a ticket: $20

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value

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

See the full setlist here.

Quinn Delaney