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“Beautifully restored 1920s Art Deco theatre”
Review of Oriental Theatre

Oriental Theatre
Ranked #57 of 642 things to do in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 17 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country. A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining up to 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago's Loop including The PrivateBank Theatre, Oriental Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, and the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.
Lake in the Hills, Illinois
Level Contributor
74 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Beautifully restored 1920s Art Deco theatre”
Reviewed May 7, 2013 via mobile

Have seen several plays at the Oriental theatre on Randolph. The show, most recently Big Fish, was great, but the theatre itself is a work of art. Take time to view the beautiful Asian inspired architecture.

Visited May 2013
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Thank LindaT2409
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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toledo, oh
Level Contributor
202 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Beautiful Historic Theater-Avoid First Rows of the Loge”
Reviewed May 5, 2013

Went to see "Big Fish" last Weekend on Sunday matinee. There were 4 of us.
Nice that Chicago hosted a pre Broadway opening.
The production and cast were top notch.
The theater is elegant and a classic feel, while still handling a show with modern effects.
I do have one strong suggestion. We bought tickets well in advance for the front row of the loge at top ticket prices and the most of that row was filled.
However there were many empty seats in the remaining loge rows behind us.
Be aware that the area in front of the loge extends out very far including spot lights.
It obstructs the front of the stage and for this show the stage extended further to create a river.
It might have been helpful if the ushers pointed that out.
Instead the show began, we were all missing parts and the majority of the first row moved back and we did 2x to the 4th row back to see everthing, which we could do only if we sat straight and leaned forward for the river scenes.
The unfortunate part was the bearded usher who rudely told us and others to stay seated not to disrupt others. I just wanted to be able to see the show I paid over $400 for well in advance.
Big Fish is moving on and maybe they can take the Big Bad usher with them.
Otherwise I would look forward to returning sometime to the theater, especially for more pre Broadway productions. Enjoy!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank toltom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
120 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Big Fish, Big Pond”
Reviewed May 3, 2013

The pre-Braokway production of the new musical "Big Fish" now showing at the Ford Oriental Theater in Chicago is a winner. It is a wonderful melding of old fashioned musicals with a story line that incorporates imagination and wonder. I am sure the production that opens in NY this fall will have tightened up some plot points and perhaps shaved some running time, but this is a musical that deserves to have its' story told. Highly recommended.

Visited April 2013
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Thank Mike C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
138 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Sensitive blend of heritage and technology”
Reviewed May 2, 2013

Theatre today tends to be a techno extravaganza. This means the most recent advances have to be supported on stage through multimedia engagement. At the same time, the Oriental preserves the design opulence of an earlier age. This theatre treasures the past but embraces the future. It is a gem of a theatre. I particular enjoy the mosaics in the main entry area and fantastic scuptural details.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ralph w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Big Fish Great Catch for Chicago Theater”
Reviewed April 27, 2013

The opening night audience showed their enthusiasm and awe for the immense creativity and concept coordination displayed by this brilliant production team with several ovations within the first few minutes of the show. One for the ingenious water effect, the second for the perfectly timed and lit orchestra reveal — the musicians cleverly stacked upstage three “stories” high behind a scrim — and later in the forest scene, which was absolutely gorgeous, innovative and magical.

The casting is spot on across the board. I can’t urge audiences enough to take advantage of seeing this Broadway preview and two time Tony-Award®-winning actor Norbert Leo Butz (Wicked, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Catch Me If You Can, Is He Dead) perform a role that couldn’t be more perfectly suited for him. He is without a doubt one of the most charismatic story tellers on stage today. He is the master of perfect, comic timing and physical comedy, and yet can draw you in with earnest sincerity.

Butz is perfectly supported by Kate Baldwin as his wife Sandra, who balances a joi de vivre with inner-strength and has a voice that sails in a poignant and heart-felt ballad “I Don’t Need a Home.” Steggert’s unflappable and contained determination is the right counter part to balance this powerhouse trio.

As the musical unfolds we realize that any story is in its most basic form is simply a series of events that is interpreted by someone from their own point of view. We can be suspect to an interpretation or simply enchanted by it. In the case of the son Will, he is compelled to find truth and dispel what he perceives to be myths of grandeur spun by his father. Through his suspicion and determination to reveal that “the emperor has no clothes,” he discovers the most compelling and heroic accomplishment his father was truly responsible for, yet had the discretion never to tell. Through this, Will finds the one thing he never had for his father — empathy, respect and inspiration. The father and son relationship tension builds to the end with a heart-tugging finale that made even the most stoic members of the audience wipe away a tear, leaving them with a sense of understanding and hope as they rose to their feet. Big Fish is an amazing catch for Chicago. See it before it gets away!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank Chicagotraveler42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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