green light recs: how we reveal recommendations
At ChicagoOnStage.com, we are theatre people, which means we take lighting seriously.
OK, clearly we don't always do so since we're being a bit silly right now, but the fact is that traffic lights seem to us to be the perfect metaphor for recommending plays. They are simple; they are universally understood, and they come in just three varieties: green for GO to this show, red for STOP and think before going, and yellow for, well, exactly what we do with them in real life. May well be a decent show too, but you need to read the review: there is a reason we don't simply recommend it outright. We all get this so quickly: why has no one done this before?
We're going to use this simple three-color method of alerting you to our opinions. With each review, a graphic of a streetlight will appear, along with traditional stars. And even if you don't read it, you'll get the message.
is our recommendation shorthand!
As for what's playing overall, our Current Shows Highlights Page breaks shows down into genres to help you to find what you want and our Show Updates Page lets you know what is about to close or open. For a complete list of current and upcoming Chicago productions, we invite you go to chicagoplays.com, which has kindly allowed us to link their pages.
And for those who feel the desperately need stars:
Currently Recommended (Green Light) Shows
- Altar Boyz ★★★★
- Barney the Elf ★★★
- Beautiful ★★★½
- Billy Elliot ★★★★
- Elf the Musical ★★★★
- Goodman's A Christmas Carol ★★★★
- Hamilton ★★★★
- Hellcab ★★★
- I Saw My Neighbor On the Train and I Never Even Smiled ★★★½
- Lizzie ★★★★
- Potted Potter ★★★½
- Scrooge and the Ghostly Spirits ★★★
- Sleeping Beauty ★★★
- The Minutes ★★★½
- The Nutcracker (The House Theatre) ★★★★
- This Way Outta Santaland ★★★½
- Twelfth Night ★★★½
Currently Playing Yellow Light Shows
- Altered Boy ★★
- That's Weird, Grandma ★★½
While there are plenty of shows in this category out there, we have only a limited number of shows to see and we have been fortunate not to run into many of them. Rest assured, we'll let you know as we do.
For a discussion of why most shows here will always be greenlighted, see this musing.
Scheduled To Be Reviewed
- Hellcab 12/2 Den Theatre
- The Infinite Wrench 12/2 Neo-Futurists
- 12th Night 12/2 Midsommer Flight
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 12/3 Raven Theatre Complex
- Violet 12/4 Den Theatre
- Altar Boyz 12/5 No Exit Cafe
- Gobsmacked 12/6 Broadway Playhouse
- Beautiful 12/7 Cadillac Palace
- Wife Material 12/10 Prop Theatre
- That's Weird, Grandma 12/11 Neo-Futurists
- Potted Potter 12/14 Broadway Playhouse
- BLKS 12/19 Steppenwolf
- For the Loyal 1/8 Athenaeum Theatre
- Wicked 1/10 Oriental Theatre
- Nevermore 1/11 The EDGE Theatre
- It's My Penis and I'll Cry If I Want To 1/12 Pride Arts Ctr
- The Antelope Party 1/16 Theatre Wit
- You Got Older 1/28 Steppenwolf
- Nice Girl 12/6 Raven Theatre