The Chicago Shakespeare Theatre had modest beginnings, originally performing atop the Red Lion pub in the Lincoln Park section of the city. They opened their beautiful new venue on Navy Pier in 1999, which includes a smaller "black box" theatre as well as the 510-seat mainstage, which resembles the Rose Theatre in London and where no seat is any more than nine rows from the stage. The exterior of the building is modern, almost like a glass sculpture, and the interior hosts not only the theatre space, but meeting space, a small pub, and a Shakespeare-centric bookstore.
The theatre hosts not only the CST, but also plays host to traveling productions: such as being the only North American stop on Peter Brooks’ Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord production of Le Costume (The Suit) tour. Recently, the CST hosted The Globe’s all-male production of "Twelfth Night" starring Mark Rylance performed to sellout crowds and outstanding reviews. The production was a perfect fit for the CST – and it was decidedly one of the best Shakespeare productions I’ve ever seen.
CST also performs family-friendly productions such as the recent "Green Eggs and Hamlet" in conjunction with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, or, for the less serious-minded, The Second City’s annual summer Shakespeare productions – 2002 and 2003 saw "Hamlet! The Musical!", but 2004 breaks ground with "Romeo and Juliet Musical: The People vs. Friar Laurence, the Man Who Killed Romeo & Juliet". Spring also sees the arrival of "Short Shakespeare!" where a modern interpretation of a favorite, "A Midsummer’s Night Dream," is a great way to be introduced to the CST.
Access to the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre is easy: it is located at the heart of Navy Pier, one of Chicago’s premiere tourist destinations. There are several restaurants on the Pier for before or after-play dining; and valet and self-parking is available (check with the box office for discounted rates). CTA buses #2, 29, 65, 66 and 124 all include the Pier on their routes.
Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
April 12, 2005
From journal Sweet Home, Chicago
April 8, 2004
From journal Chicago for the Non-Tourist