Chris Jones

Chris Jones is a critic with Chicago Tribune. This account has been auto-generated, and does not indicate that this person is an active member of Show-Score.com. That said, if you "follow" this member, you will automatically be updated whenever s/he writes a new review.

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Reviews (162)
New York Daily News

"‘Girl from the North Country’ is a genuinely soulful and cathartic experience" Full Review

New York Daily News

"‘A Soldier’s Play’ is as powerful as ever after nearly 40 years" Full Review

New York Daily News

"Overstuffed, simplistic Alanis Morissette musical ‘Jagged Little Pill’ is hard to swallow" Full Review

New York Daily News

"Jukebox musical 'The Tina Turner Story' keeps on rollin’ thanks to ‘phenomenal’ Adrienne Warren in title role" Full Review

New York Daily News

for a previous production "In optimistic ‘American Utopia,’ David Byrne offers up reasons to be cheerful" Full Review

New York Daily News

"You get the sense here that the scale of the production comes with utter intentionality — an honoring of great material more than a quest for profit. And, therefore, that feeling of determined mission permeates everything that’s happening. You’ll get all the feels you need." Full Review

The Rose Tattoo
Midtown W
Chicago Tribune

"Marisa Tomei is passionate and terrific in 'Rose Tattoo’ on Broadway" Full Review

Chicago Tribune

"‘Slave Play’ on Broadway mixes race and sex and is as challenging as you’ve heard" Full Review

The Great Society
Upper W Side
New York Daily News

"‘The Great Society’ has lots of history, not enough bite in play about LBJ’s last years as president" Full Review

Chicago Tribune

"Meat Loaf-inspired musical ‘Bat Out of Hell’ arrives off-Broadway, and far from paradise." Full Review

Chicago Tribune

"The age of the work sometimes shows; its devices and its rhetoric are throwbacks. But with a lot of help from McDonald and a deceptively expressionistic set from Riccardo Hernandez, the director Arin Arbus effectively operates on the levels of the then and the now. In the best moments of the piece, you think about the different terms of relationships in the 1980s and also how so much and yet so little has changed." Full Review

Ink
Midtown W
New York Daily News

“For today’s battered journos assaulted by newsroom cutbacks...’Ink’ is gloriously nostalgic catnip for a vanished era of newsprint and reckless behavior...Much of the appeal of ‘Ink’, directed with palpable if unsubtle joy by Gould on a cheerily chaotic Bunny Christie setting, centers on that evocation of circa 1970, and on the colorful, boozy characters then found in tabloid newsrooms...Yet in the end, ‘Ink’ is a bit of a morality play.” Full Review

All My Sons
Midtown W
New York Daily News

"With Letts smoldering away, the whole decency thing is a sham — an affectation, a role Joe has learned how to play. And Annette Bening is not far behind: She elicits relatively little sympathy as Kate...Letts’ performance likely will strike some as odd or disconnected — I find it perfectly in tune with the moment, and there is much to like about Bening’s work, too...Had Letts been given some raging players to match his own buried ferocity, we'd likely have seen even more of his teeth." Full Review

Chicago Tribune

"Most dramas of presidential politics are portentous epics. By those standards, 'Hillary and Clinton' is like an absurdist soupçon, an extended 'SNL' sketch, a whimsical look at one of the most crucial moments in the political life of Hillary Rodham Clinton..Just because Hnath’s genre is different doesn’t mean his work is less substantial...I’ve liked this play since I first saw its premiere in Chicago — and, in Metcalf and Lithgow, it now has two in-sync old pros." Full Review

Burn This
Midtown W
New York Daily News

“There is very much to like about Driver’s performance...The problem with this production is that it doesn't spend enough time at either end of the dial...While I don't doubt some will rail against ‘Burn/This’ and its tropes as a dated piece...Wilson was so compassionate and haunting a writer that his play was, and is, filled with comfort, and some challenge, for everyone. As its title implies, 'Burn/This' is complex and dangerous; it is worth more risk.” Full Review

New York Daily News

"A radical, enigmatic and uneven production that nonetheless showcases one of the great actresses of the stage, an octogenarian possessed of such energetic intensity and rhetorical accuracy as to seem almost superhuman. Jackson is a sight to behold, and to hear, in flawless rendition of the great text, which roars from her lower register like the play’s famous thunder...Gold’s 'King Lear' just has a better understanding of what needs to go than what needs to take its place." Full Review

New York Daily News

"The problem is the conflicts that he discusses are, alas, very much like the conflicts you can find in previous juked bios of male artists...You get certain flavors here of what Morisseau can do, politically and aesthetically, but not near enough...The show livens up in the musical numbers...You’re left wishing the show had chosen one part of this band’s life and stayed close therein...and, above all, been more willing to look at America through this astonishing catalog of musical greatness." Full Review

Chicago Tribune

"If all of its overplayed, overwrought freneticism could have been avoided, we’d actually have an interesting Broadway show…‘Be More Chill’ has a very Millennial male filter on teen life; the girls in the show seem always to be seen through the eyes of the guys...The show is at its best when either Roland’s Jeremy or Salazar’s Michael are alone on stage singing terrific Iconis songs...Those are the well-performed moments when you start to feel something for these kids." Full Review

Chicago Tribune

for a previous production "'The Lightning Thief' musical tour launches in Chicago — and right now is best for young Percy Jackson fans" Full Review

Network (NYC)
Midtown W
New York Daily News

"Cranston has some truly stunning moments...The central directorial conceit is a measure, of course, of van Hove's genius...Not all of the personal scenes are as strong as Cranston's astonishing solo spots...But while you might wish for more depth in some scenes, that's just not the point of the production. This is one profoundly clever show, the rare conceptual masterwork that puts all the current railing against fake news and cheap network theatrics in a much broader temporal context." Full Review

New York Daily News

"A savvy, self-aware, self-serving, and consistently funny new musical of liberal longing...A fascinating show for Deep Thinkers about the form...The show’s best moments still are when the Scary World Outside Manhattan has at least a semblance of reality. Which is only occasionally...The show’s DNA is quippy and in too much need of insider validation to really range deep into the causes and solutions for homophobia, but the choreography still is keyed around hope." Full Review

Chicago Tribune

"A tense, didactic Broadway play for our age of racially charged mistrust...You have to get past all that schematic writing to get to the deeper point, which is that racism poisons everything...The piece wrestles with crucial issues, and it’s performed with enough intensity by Pasquale and Washington under Leon’s theme-based direction that they effectively collide with your own prejudices, whoever you might be. You feel everything the characters feel, and...that has worth." Full Review

Chicago Tribune

“That grinning visage, and that palpable zest for life, combine to make May’s performance...one of the most beautiful things you’ll ever see in a Broadway theater and one of the most profoundly sad...The power of this play...is that we observe with dread that some version of the fate that befalls May’s Green is most likely also waiting for us...What Hedges does capture, as do the excellent Allen and Cromer, is the frustration family members feel when one of their own starts to decline." Full Review

New York Daily News

“A fun debate play and commercial catnip for the brain, the kind of old-school, celebrity-friendly show you can argue about over late-night pasta without anyone's face landing in the sauce. It won't be a Pulitzer contender nor around forever, but it’s smart and very lively...This is a play about an essay in a magazine, but it's also a show about the sorry state of journalism, and maybe of a nation...It's a self-aware comedy." Full Review

The Nap (Broadway)
Midtown W
Chicago Tribune

"A lot of plays about sports struggle with the problem that they can’t really show you the game because they can’t control what will happen on the stage. To its credit, 'The Nap' actually contains real-time snooker...If you’re a snooker fan, it’s truly a blast...You only wish that director Daniel Sullivan’s not-so-British production had a better understanding of how close these characters actually are to the real celebrities of snooker...This American premiere also is underpaced." Full Review

West Side Story
Midtown W
New York Daily News

"‘West Side Story’ gets a whole new look on Broadway from director Ivo Van Hove" Full Review

Chicago Tribune

"In ‘My Name is Lucy Barton’ on Broadway, Laura Linney shines in a complex solo play set in fictional Illinois" Full Review

The Inheritance
Midtown W
New York Daily News

"Epic 7-hour play ‘The Inheritance' is richly-layered, moving AIDS drama" Full Review

Chicago Tribune

"'GoT’ star Peter Dinklage is a gruff, edgy ‘Cyrano’ off-Broadway" Full Review

New York Daily News

"Mary-Louise Parker shines in Adam Rapp’s exquisitely dark drama ‘The Sound Inside’" Full Review

Chicago Tribune

"'The Lightning Thief’ opens on Broadway, all just flash and fun." Full Review

Linda Vista
Midtown W
Chicago Tribune

"‘Linda Vista’ is Steppenwolf back on Broadway, but out of step" Full Review

New York Daily News

"Surprise guest stars each night help make ’freestyle love supreme’ a manic mix of improv and hip-hop" Full Review

Betrayal
Midtown W
New York Daily News

"Tom Hiddleston is perfectly cast in riveting revival of Harold Pinter’s 'Betrayal' on Broadway" Full Review

New York Daily News

"Broadway’s ‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ is dazzling, decadent live translation of 2001 movie." Full Review

New York Daily News

"One of those what-were-they-thinking shows that crop up on Broadway and spend tens of millions of dollars mostly to reveal an eye-popping tonal disconnect...The problems with this show — which does, at least, feature a cool set design from David Korins, witty costumes from William Ivey Long and a genuinely funny shrunken head — are fundamentally structural...Truly, this is most cacophonous and ill-conceived musical of the season — in fact, for several seasons." Full Review

Tootsie (NYC)
Midtown W
New York Daily News

“There really is much to like about ‘Tootsie’. Horn’s book is chock-a-block with digressive one-liners...The kinetic Yazbek score — jazzy, brassy and evocative of the ’80s in a gently satiric way — is also great fun, which is no slight...But ‘Tootsie’ struggles mightily to get past one problem...It needs to punish Michael for his ruse...And yet, the show well knows that everyone has come to see Dorothy Michaels...The show wants both to deconstruct 'Tootsie', and snag its nostalgic fans." Full Review

New York Daily News

"The weird new play from Mac that, depending on your tolerance for the comedically scatological, circuitous, and nihilistic, will either transfix you or drive you screaming from the theater hoping never again to encounter so many corpses with flatulence...Lane is quite spectacularly good here…‘Gary’ is unlike anything you’ve ever seen and, through its very presence on Broadway, an act of clear desperation and an important meditation on the role of the comic in a geopolitical hellhole." Full Review

New York Daily News

“The thrillingly alarmist new Broadway musical with the score that feels like it comes from somewhere deep in the American gut...An eye-popping, mythological blend of steampunk...’Hadestown’ feels like the most relevant and resistant musical in town, but it never comes off as shrill or moving in some kind of dull lockstep with all the other self-aware plays and musicals lamenting Trump’s America by playing tritely to the choir, critics and all.” Full Review

New York Daily News

"At once a shockingly brilliant and unstinting metaphoric exploration of our current collective condition and, for anyone still so invested, a deeply depressing dissection of all-American romantic ideals...I found it fascinating and filled with metaphoric precision, isolationist creativity and the surety of its own conviction; but I felt profoundly saddened by its fear of vulnerability, its disavowal of the power of love, and its cynical degradation of all-American optimism." Full Review

New York Daily News

"For progressive feminists and admirers of solo performers who can combine cheery didacticism with personal vulnerability, melding radical constitutional theory with genuine warmth and humor, this is a terrific time...a Broadway show for a moment of rapid ascendancy in personal narrative...Schreck is a gifted writer and this personal history is exceptionally compelling...It is enormously effective and offers something crucial to all political shows, which is hope for the future." Full Review

New York Daily News

"A very pleasurable and inclusive evening in the company of a plethora of seasoned professionals...If O’Hara gets to dominate the opener, then Carlyle’s truly talented ensemble has all the focus in 'Too Darn Hot,' which is given a gorgeous narrative treatment...The revival’s weakness, I think, is a lack of comfort with improvisational possibility. But I’ve never been more moved by this title." Full Review

Sea Wall/A Life
East Village
Chicago Tribune

"Would be heavy-duty monologues experienced individually. Seen together under the unstinting direction of Carrie Cracknell, they’re enough to make you want to quit your job and run naked through the streets...Stephens knows how to seduce you with the quotidian...You’re watching such formidable writing, action and direction that the artifice of the theater is easy to forget...By all means, go for these insights. And then inure yourself against such painful truths with a stiff post-show drink." Full Review

Chicago Tribune

"Genuinely radical and thoroughly gripping...Sorkin has written a 'Mockingbird' that fits this riven American moment. And the director, Bartlett Sher, has felt little need to assuage with sentimentality...Sher did not need to turn the character Bob Ewell into so broad a villain. But Sorkin did have to add agency to the African-American characters whom Lee gave little voice...This new version pulses with relevancy...It has the capacity to change how America sees this story for good." Full Review

New York Daily News

"For all the obvious flaws of 'The Cher Show,' it's an honest, self-deprecating effort, given the givens. Vastly different and greatly improved from its Chicago tryout, which was framed around a phony TV show about Cher, the final Broadway version of the show has Block's Cher striding to center stage and proceeding to tell Cher's story...The show still runs into systemic problems in the crucial heart of Act Two when Cher inconveniently turns to acting in straight plays and movies." Full Review

King Kong (NYC)
Midtown W
Chicago Tribune

"Alas, a great popular musical needs more than the big daddy of all puppets to deliver a hit show that pounds the heart and licks the bananas of the mind. And the best way to sum up everything wrong with 'King Kong,' it would be that the show created a star worthy of the biggest marquee in Midtown, but not credible or complex characters with whom the titular dude can meaningfully interact, once he is winched down from the heavens." Full Review

Torch Song (NYC)
Midtown W
Chicago Tribune

"On Broadway, the heart always has sold the most tickets and this show has all the right feels...Under-appreciated for years, Urie is a fantastic physical actor — an atypically precise and detailed master farceur as adept at physical shtick as at making you care about his eminently lovable character...Miscast Jack DiFalco, who does not come off even remotely as a teenager...But even this unfathomably bizarre choice does not change the play’s poignancy." Full Review

The Ferryman (NYC)
Midtown W
Chicago Tribune

"Packs more juicy and prophetic Anglo-Irish storytelling into a fantastic single night than any cable drama upon which you might ever hope to binge...An epic, three-act, three hour-and-15 minute journey, a voyage that is multitudinous enough that you feel like you’ve watched human destiny play out before your eyes, but credible and even, at times, sufficiently joyous, to make you believe that we can still find moments of happiness despite our destiny of strife." Full Review

Chicago Tribune

“The best moment in ‘Tootsie’...is when Fontana first opens his mouth to sing...A very funny show...mostly due to Horn’s book...The sound has a movie-score quality...Dorothy’s big reveal as Michael is very much a letdown here. It’s rushed and it doesn’t have either the requisite dramatic tension nor the required emotional impact...It is disappointingly nonspecific. All of a sudden, a hugely enjoyable show becomes a bore...Still, ‘Tootsie’ gets so very much right.” Full Review

Chicago Tribune

for a previous production “A deeply personal, indisputably courageous, frequently shocking and deeply moving autobiographical show...It’s not the best title...And there are some narrative gaps in a piece that could not possibly be performed by anyone else. It is structured so that its legitimacy as an artwork is wholly dependent on the long nightmare described therein being the actual truth of the man standing before you on a stage...Not just...a story of survival but of striving to transcend.” Full Review