Monthly Archives: October 2022

Funny and Interesting! Grippo Stage Company Presents Chagall in School at Theater Wit (Through October 8, 2022)

It is January 1919 in Vitebsk, Russia. Marc Chagall is in charge of the Vitebsk People’s Art College. The school is free to attend because of funds from the government. He has hired a strong group of artists to teach. They have deep conversations about the nature of art and the way to teach it. Disagreements arise and the future of the school and who will run it are up in the air.

(Photo by Anthony La Penna)

James Sherman (Beau Jest) has written a great historical play. It is very funny, especially the scenes about painting on another artist’s canvas. It is also very thoughtful and interesting as they discuss the deep nature and meaning of art. They project images of the pieces by the artists on the back of the set which is a great touch. It’s well deserving that it sold out many nights of the performance.

(Photo by Anthony La Penna)

John Drea is great as Marc Chagall, who is an idealist about the potential of this new school. Yourtana Sulaiman is excellent as the wife of Chagall, who supports him greatly in his profession. Fred A Wellisch is great as Yuri Pen, the eldest of teachers and a master of the classical style of teaching.  Myles Schwarz is exceptional as El Lissitzky who is very passionate about Suprematism. He is very insistent that Kazimir Malevich, the founder of  Suprematism, played by Gavin Wolfe Van Dernoot, join the school. The rest of the teachers are solid and include Peter Ferneding is as Alexander Romm. Daniella Rukin as Vera Ermolaeva, and David Lipshutz as David Yackerson.

For more information, check out Grippo Stage Company’s website.

Cost of a ticket: $42

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

Quinn Delaney


Fantastic! The Head and the Heart at Huntington Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island (October 1, 2022)

It’s a 60 degree night in Chicago, but it feels much colder on Northerly Island tonight. Surrounded by water with a constant breeze, it feels more like 50 degrees. The weather is no issue for The Head and the Heart, an indie folk band from Seattle.

Early on they sing “All We Ever Knew” from their 2016 release, Signs of Light. It’s a great fun song that is perfect for starting the energy off high in their set.

Midway into the set they play “Lost in My Mind” from their self titled 2011 release. It’s such a catchy song that is so fun to sing along to and the entire audience does.

Later on, the lead singer comments how this is the first time he and his wife have to returned to Chicago since they met here 7 years ago, at Lollapalooza.

The penultimate song, Virginia (Wind In The Night) features some fantastic work on the keys. The keyboard player is met with a great applause when he is introduced.

To close out the night, they play “Rivers and Roads”, their biggest hit to date, which has 198 million streams on Spotify. It’s such a great slow build to the climactic chorus: “Rivers and roads / Rivers and roads / Rivers ’til I reach you!” It was a fantastic close to a great season at Northerly Island.

See the full setlist here.

Cost of a ticket: $45 (200 Section)

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Quinn Delaney

On Break from Jimmy Buffet’s Band: Mac McAnally at City Winery Chicago (September 30, 2022)

Mac McAnally is from a small town in Northern Mississippi. All the tourists who come there are lost, he says. During his show, he has long introductions for his song.

He talks about how before he turned 40, he thought he had plenty of time to do everything. But after turning 40, he realized the fuse on life wasn’t infinite and that he should be more intentional about how he spent his time. He put these thoughts into the song “Meanwhile”.

He wrote a lot of songs that he gave to other bands to play. He plays two of the songs he gave to Sawyer Brown tonight, “This Time” and “Cafe On The Corner”.

Mac talks about how Kenny Chesney one day just called him up and asked him to come into the studio to record any song that he had written.  In just 30 minutes, they recorded “Down the Road” which turned out to be a huge hit. It has over 8.4 million streams on Spotify.

McAnally’s day job is playing in Jimmy Buffet’s band, the Coral Reefers. He says it’s a fantastic job to have and that Jimmy will be better soon and they’ll be back on the road. The drummer playing with him tonight is also a Coral Reefer. They play a few Buffet songs that he wrote including “Changing Channels”, “A Pirate Looks At Forty”, and “It’s My Job”.

Cost of a ticket: $55 (Mezzanine)

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It

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

Quinn Delaney

Spectacular! Broadway in Chicago Presents Wicked at The Nederlander Theatre (Through December 4, 2022)

Wicked first premiered on Broadway in 2003 at the Gershwin Theatre. It won three Tony Awards including Best Actress in a Musical for Idina Menzel. It ran at the Oriental Theatre (now named The Nederlander Theatre) from June 24, 2005 until January 25, 2009. It returned for limited runs in 2010 and 2013. A film version is in preproduction to be released in 2024. And now, in September of 2022, it opens back at the Nederlander Theatre.

At the entrance of Nederlander, you are immediately reminded of the effect this storyline continues to bring to audiences of all ages throughout the years as fans are handed green “I’ve Seen Wicked __ Times!” pins with a wide range in numbers as they eagerly enter the theatre. As you glance around, you see friends, couples, families, children, and grandparents, all present to witness the magical power of this spectacular theatrical production.

Wicked presents the history of the witches of Oz. The plot begins back in school when Elphaba (The Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (Glinda The Good Witch) are assigned as roommates. The story unfolds and we learn about Elphaba’s early family dynamic and the various factors that unite and separate the bond between Elphaba and Galinda, including a mutual attraction toward Fiyero, the newest student at the school. Also, the origin of the Tin Man, Straw Man, and the Cowardly Lion are explored.

The cast in this production truly bared their hearts into these characters and the story which resonated with the audience members as you heard various emotions throughout the evening. Lissa Deguzman was captivating in her performance as Elphaba who displays such a deep and caring nature to her personality and fights for what she believes in. Jennafer Newberry was vibrant and full of life portraying Gilda in a hilarious fashion that kept the audience entertained the entire night. Jordan Litz, who played Fiyero, beautifully executed his role supporting the good fight and following his heart.

Along with the storyline, the music and visuals in this production is what keeps fans coming back for years to come. “Defying Gravity” is a true showstopper towards the end of the first act. The singing is incredible along with the lighting as Elphaba flys high above the stage. It left both adults and children in awe! During intermission, fans were heard discussing the characters, their purpose, and counting down till the second act. It is a must see!

Get tickets now for Wicked through December 4th!

Cost of a ticket: $25 (Digital Lottery) to $277 (Premium Seats)

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value (Lottery)

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

Quinn Delaney