Lauren Whalen

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

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Reviews (4)
Chicago Theater Beat

“This ‘Tootsie’ satisfyingly defies the odds...’Tootsie’s’ book is its most memorable facet, followed closely by Fontana’s divine leading performance...It’s rare that the book of a musical is not only hilarious but memorable, with social commentary that’s not too heavy-handed and genuine character development...If only Yazbek’s score were as memorable as Horn’s book...The show rests on the broad shoulders of its leading man, and Fontana is a brilliant choice.” Full Review

Chicago Theater Beat

for a previous production "Charnin’s direction leaves a little to be desired: one can tell it’s his umpteenth time at the rodeo from the mainly uninspired staging. Liza Gennaro’s choreography is well-executed but at times reeks of middle school show choir, even where adults are concerned. And as Annie, Swickle tries hard but fails to hold some of her longer notes, and doesn’t really engage with other actors unless she is speaking or singing at that very moment." Full Review

Windy City Media Group

"Sherr makes a triumphant return to Chicago with an expanded 90-minute love letter to the tough, complex and truly unforgettable star of stage and screen...Sherr pulls no punches: As talented and stunning as Davis was, she was also prickly, demanding and forever dissatisfied with La La Land, escaping to her beloved East Coast whenever she could...Sherr has created something funny, tragic and completely unforgettable. Don't miss this tribute to Old Hollywood." Full Review

The Qualms
Midtown W
Chicago Theater Beat

for a previous production "Norris’ dialogue and emotional beats are so searing, yet relatable: they cut right to the core of humanity. Uncomfortable humor has been in fashion for a good decade or so, yet Norris never makes audience members squirm just for the heck of it. His words are uncomfortable because they are true. With fantastic writing, robust direction and brilliant acting, 'The Qualms' is an intense 90-minute journey that’s personal, hilarious and ultimately rewarding." Full Review