mohr

Betty Mohr biography

Betty Mohr, a Chicago-based theater and opera critic, has been working with the SouthtownStar since 1994 when she began doing theater reviews for what was …

Read More

Search recent columns

More Columns

Review: ‘42nd Street’ is a wonderful musical tribute

It’s a high-octane, kick-up-your-heels tap-dancing extravaganza, but “42nd Street” has so much more than fancy footwork going for it. The sizzling revival of the musical at Theatre at the Center in Munster, Ind., also offers an inspirational, beat-the-odds, showbiz story that is an antidote for …

‘Freud’s Last Session’ is a compelling, gripping play

As the Nazis marched into power in Austria, Sigmund Freud made his escape to England. It is now 1939 and Freud, listening to the radio, learns that Germany just took over Poland. As the father of psychoanalysis sits in his London suite (a replica of …

‘Three Sisters’ is as good as Chekhov gets

This is the original dysfunctional family play. “Three Sisters” is short on plot and action, but loaded with tortured souls who mess up their lives. Although the drama has long been a staple of theater, “Three Sisters” has been given new life in an engaging …

Goodman’s revival of ‘Crowns’ better than the original

On its own, Regina Taylor’s new production of “Crowns” is a gem of a spiritual musical. But in light of the crimes and murder sweeping our neighborhoods, the show is more relevant than ever. The gospel-layered musical was a hit when it first opened 10 …

‘Adrift’ is an exciting departure for Southland actor

Switching careers in midstream was a risky undertaking for Gary Murphy, of Orland Park. But he said he couldn’t be happier that he changed gears to become an actor especially since he has a featured role in “Adrift.” The show has a preview performance slated …

‘Little Shop of Horrors’ is a hilarious hoot

It’s a fairy tale, but “Little Shop of Horrors” isn’t exactly Disney fare. The show does have a delicious score by the songwriting team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, who also wrote “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin.” But this musical …

Southland native’s professional stage debut in ‘The Vortex’

There’s nothing quite as memorable as one’s first great job opportunity. That’s why Hillary Sigale said she is so excited about her chance to act on the professional stage. “I am 19 years old, and next month I’ll be 20, and this is my first …

Southland native stars in Steppenwolf’s ‘Three Sisters’

He has performed on stage before, but Tom McGrath said getting a part in “Three Sisters” at Steppenwolf Theatre is the breakthrough of his acting life. “I feel really fortunate to have this stepping stone. It’s a fantastic opportunity. The whole process of being in …

Fields stars in Goodman’s ‘Crowns’ with other Southlanders

Felicia Fields has been featured in many sterling parts. There was the 2005 Broadway musical production of “The Color Purple” for which she received a Tony Award nomination for her portrayal of Sofia (played by Oprah Winfrey in the movie). Also, she starred in 2011’s …

Concert Review: RAIN — A Tribute to the Beatles

You don’t have to be a die-hard Beatles fan to get a kick out of this nostalgic romp of a show. But if you are, then RAIN — A Tribute to the Beatles might feel like nirvana. The hoot of a concert, playing at the …

Southlanders involved in Scottish Festival and Highland Games

New Lenox resident Joe Feehan and Tinley Park resident Tom Fundarek are among the volunteers at the Scottish Festival and Highland Games.

Mokena native in ‘Exit, Pursued by a Bear’

He’s not like the character he plays in “Exit, Pursued by a Bear.” But Ryan Hallahan, who grew up in Mokena, can connect with the deep-seated motivation behind the actions of the guy whose shoes he has to fill on stage. “In the show I …

Review: ‘The Iceman Cometh’ at the Goodman Theatre

When Brian Dennehy starred as Theodore “Hickey” Hickman in Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh” at the Goodman Theatre in 1990, he stole the show. Now, in a new revival of the classic drama at the Goodman, Nathan Lane plays Hickey and Dennehy plays Larry Slade …

Review: Steppenwolf’s ‘The March’ a haunting war drama

Before the lights come up, you hear the thundering sound of a marching army, the booming of cannons, bursting bombs and the bugle call to arms. You know that something epic is coming your way. And when it finally arrives as the lights go up …

Review: Theatre at the Center’s ‘Making God Laugh’

For those tired of the harsh dysfunctional family productions that leave one depressed and which so many theaters love to mount, “Making God Laugh” is a gem of comic relief. Written by Sean Grennan and playing at Theatre at the Center in Munster, Ind., to …

Curtain closes on Illinois Theatre Center in Park Forest

The Illinois Theatre Center in Park Forest will declare bankruptcy, according to Jonathan Billig, artistic director and son of its co-founder, Etel Billig, who died March 27. The theater’s board decided that without Etel Billig, the intimate 176-seat theater would have had a very difficult time finding the $125,000 it needed to continue.

Review: Illinois Theatre Center’s ‘Showtune!’ a perfect musical

Etel Billig, Illinois Theatre Center’s cofounder and artistic director, who recently died, would have wanted the show to go on. Indeed, under Frank Roberts’ splendid direction and choreography, and Jonathan Billig’s musical direction, “Showtune!” goes on as the kind of memorial Mrs. Billig would have …