Chris Jones announces 10 best plays of 2009

The Tribune’s Chris Jones announces Top 10 Plays of 2009

For the complete description, explanations and reviews of these plays (and others), be sure to visit Chris Jones’ excellent blog: The Theater Loop

1. The Arabian Nights by Mary ZimmermanLookingglass Theatre  (our review)


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2. The History Boys by Nicholas HytnerTimeline Theatre 


3. The Overwhelming by J.T. RogersNext Theatre 

4. The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer DiazVictory Gardens (our review)


5. Blackbird by David HarrowerVictory Gardens (our review)


6. Cabaret by Kander and EbbDrury Lane Oakbrook (our review)


7. The Mystery of Irma Vep by Sean GraneyCourt Theatre (our review)


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8. Graceland by Ellen FaireyProfiles Theatre (our review)


9. Oh Coward!devised by Roderick CookWriters’ Theatre (our review)


10. Stud Terkel’s Not WorkingSecond City e.t.c.


Chris Jones’ list of 10 shows that “should have made the list”

Desire Under the ElmsGoodman Theatre

Little Foxes Shattered Globe Theatre 

Miss SaigonDrury Lane Oakbrook

Old Glory Writers’ Theatre

Our Lady of the Underpass Teatro Vista Theatre

Rock ‘n’ RollGoodman Theatre

Top Dog/Underdog American Theater Company and Congo Square Theatre

 Twelfth NightChicago Shakespeare Theatre 

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Marriott Theatre

Cheech and Chong ????


Cheech And Chong Lunch Box File this in the “coming-back-to-haunt-you” file.  As a kid, I never understood “Cheech and Chong”.  Jeff, my obnoxious older brother loved them; thought they were crudely hilarious.  (maybe that’s another reason why I didn’t care for the duo!).  Forward to the present – today’s Trib has an article about this comedy team – that they are “lighting up stages again”.   If you can believe it, Cheech is now 62 and Chong is 72!  Facts like that give me one of those “f*ck I’m getting old” moments. 

So, while I wallow in my self-pity, if you’re interested, you can the article here, written by Benjamin Ortiz..

Chicago Trib: Revise the Smoking Ban!

Looks like the Chicago Tribune agrees with me – that the smoking ban that effectively squelched the smoking scenes in Jersey Boys should be revised so that smoking ban exemptions can be made for dramatic performances.  Alderman Brendan Reilly, whose district includes Chicago’s theatre district, has introduced just such a measure that would require theater companies to apply for a smoking ban waiver from the city’s health department.

Money quote:

Chicago’s smoking ban is a sound public health policy, and no request to sidestep it should be taken lightly.  But it’s silly to handcuff artistic expression for such a miniscule health risk.  It’s an awful lot of huffing about a negligible amount of puffing.

Hopefully both the city council and the state legislature will follow the Trib’s advice and enact smoking exemptions for dramatic performances.

Entire editorial here.