Hedy Weiss Reviews: ‘Objects in the Mirror,’ ‘Paradise Blue,’ More

A wrenching escape from war-torn Liberia, a "pitch perfect" spoken jazz opera, a revival of an "enchanting" romantic comedy set in the 1930s and a rock opera about Jesus Christ are on stage in the Chicago area.

Chicago Sun-Times theater critic Hedy Weiss gives us her take on highly recommended shows from Goodman Theatre, Timeline, Paramount and Marriott Theatres.

Daniel Kyri performs in Charles Smith’s “Objects in the Mirror.” (Credit: Liz Lauren)Daniel Kyri performs in Charles Smith’s “Objects in the Mirror.” (Credit: Liz Lauren)

“Objects in the Mirror”
Highly Recommended

When: Through June 4
Where: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.
Run time: 2 hours and 15 minutes, with one intermission

“Charles Smith has given us many fascinating, historically rooted plays about relatively unexplored aspects of black life…but “Objects in the Mirror,” now receiving a heart-wrenching, fiercely acted world premiere at the Goodman Theatre, might just be Smith’s finest work. Spinning an immensely complicated story with great economy, he has given us a drama that captures the essence of the almost unimaginably vicious civil wars that raged in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea between 1989 and 2003.” Read Weiss’ full review.


“Paradise Blue”
Highly Recommended
When: Through July 23
Where: TimeLine Theatre Company, 615 W. Wellington Ave.
Run time: 2 hours and 30 minutes, with one intermission

“Paradise Blue” (Credit: Lara Goetsch)“Paradise Blue” (Credit: Lara Goetsch)

“Playwright Dominique Morisseau might well be on her way to becoming the 21st century’s female equivalent of August Wilson. She is that good. … And in “Paradise Blue” — which might best be described as a “spoken jazz opera with bluesy overtones,” in which the dialogue, poetry and musical riffs are seamless extensions of one other — every note is pitch perfect.” Read Weiss’ full review


“She Loves Me”
Highly Recommended

When: Through June 18
Where: Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire
Run time: 2 hours and 30 minutes, with one intermission

“Perfection on every count. That is the one and only way to describe Marriott Theatre’s wholly enchanting revival of “She Loves Me,” that gem of a musical with a glorious score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (the geniuses behind “Fiddler on the Roof),” and a book by Joe Masteroff (of “Cabaret” fame) that captures all the discreet charm of the time (the 1930s) and place (the sophisticated Middle European city of Budapest, Hungary) of its source, Miklos Laszlo’s play, “Parfumerie,” and the classic 1940 film version of the story, ‘The Shop Around the Corner.’” Read Weiss’ full review.


“Jesus Christ Superstar”
Highly Recommended

When: Through May 28
Where: Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora
Run time: 2 hours, with one intermission

“Jesus Christ Superstar” (Credit: Liz Lauren)“Jesus Christ Superstar” (Credit: Liz Lauren)

“Since it arrived on the Broadway stage in 1971, “Jesus Christ Superstar” — the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice “rock opera” that chronicles the last week in Jesus’ life as recounted in the Gospels — has inspired everything from adoration and controversy to mockery and parody. But the production of the musical that opened over the weekend at Aurora’s Paramount Theatre inspires nothing less than awe from first note to last.” Read Weiss’ full review


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More from Hedy Weiss

Catch up on more reviews from the Chicago Sun-Times theater critic.