The theater community is demanding a new standard of purposeful storytelling, a stronger call to answer the question “Why now?” — particularly when mounting a revival. Musical theater, with its fandom and nostalgia, is precious to audiences in a way that other forms are not, and so has often been exempt from engaging in deeper conversation with the real world.
As an amazing year of performance in Chicago comes to an end, we’re wrapping up our picks for the best productions of 2016. We asked our critics which of the 125 shows we reviewed this year have really stuck with them, and here are their favorites.
As the secretary and wannabe stage actor Ulla sings in THE PRODUCERS, when you got it, flaunt it. And Mercury Theater’s production definitely got it.