8 Must-See Shows in the Chicago Loop
It’s May, and summer is tiptoeing nearer. While we are all excited about the long-awaited warm weather to enjoy the outdoors, let’s not forget about the exhilarating shows that attract millions of people to enjoy the pinnacle of live entertainment in the heart of the Chicago Loop. From family-friendly blockbusters and soul-rejuvenating musicals to magical illusions and laughter, here is a roundup of the eight must-see shows in the Loop this spring.
The Wizard of Oz
"A fresh new tour for this cherished classic!"
— The Chicago Theatre
Click your heels together and join the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto, as they journey through the magical land of Oz to meet the Wizard and obtain their hearts’ desires. Watch out for the Wicked Witch of the West and her winged monkeys as you rediscover the real story of Oz in this fantastic musical treat for the whole family. This new production of “The Wizard of Oz,” which runs from May 8 – 20 at the Chicago Theatre, is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic, totally reconceived for the stage. Learn more
"This is one time where all the hype and hoopla is not only justified, but doesn't come close to suggesting the grandeur of the work on stage. A triumph."
— The Chicago Sun-Times
Since its arrival in the Loop for an open-ended run at the CIBC Theatre, “Hamilton” has been the hottest Broadway sensation. This winner of 11 Tony Awards forges a groundbreaking bridge between hip-hop and musical storytelling with a brilliant, diverse cast that renews America's history.
“Hamilton” is about a scrappy young immigrant—Alexander Hamilton—who forever changed America. Born out of wedlock in the West Indies, he was an orphan at the age of 11. After receiving a grammar education in New Jersey, he played a major role in the American Revolutionary War, rising through the ranks to become George Washington's right hand. But that was only the beginning of the great man's story. Learn more
The Magic Parlour
"You'll be mightily impressed by Watkins, a master of misdirecting attention and technical mastery."
— Chicago Tribune
Now in its seventh magical year at Chicago's legendary Palmer House Hilton Hotel, “The Magic Parlour” offers an evening of classic magic, making skeptical hearts and souls feel like a child once again through sophisticated illusion. It is performed by award-winning, third-generation magician Dennis Watkins to just 40 people, giving everyone an extraordinary close-up experience. This awe-inspiring magical night is one of the Windy City's unique entertainment experiences. Cocktail attire is recommended for all guests. Learn more
Ballet Nacional de Cuba
"Those looking for passion, Latin or otherwise, will find it."
— The New York Times
The world-renowned Ballet Nacional de Cuba returns to Chicago in 2018 for the first time in 15 years as they bring their celebrated “Don Quixote” to the Auditorium Theatre stage. Combining classical romanticism with a Latin boldness, Ballet Nacional de Cuba is one of the most prestigious ballet companies performing today. The company will present the fearless strength of its dancers and Alicia Alonso's inventive choreography from May 18 – 20 at the Auditorium Theatre. Learn more
Jesus Christ Superstar
— Chicago Tribune
Fusing the biblical story with a soaring soundtrack full of rock, funk, folk and gospel, “Jesus Christ Superstar” is recommended viewing for all fans of musical theater. Running from now through May 20 at Lyric Opera of Chicago, this blockbuster Broadway hit tells the story of the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ, from the perspective of Judas Iscariot. It takes a new look at the struggles faced by both Jesus himself and the infamous Judas, using political themes and issues not explored in the Bible. Learn more
"If you're going to adopt a classic to the theater, you've got to deliver - and they did!"
— Twin Cities Daily Planet
Get ready to have the time of your life at “Dirty Dancing”—the classic play on stage. This epic musical classic of the 1987 movie brings all the sexy moves, anthemic music and cheesy one-liners. It tells the story of Baby and Johnny, two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds who come together over the course of the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives. This soul-invigorating show delivers everything the audience can hope for—passionate dancing, sizzling romance and heart-pounding music from the film's unforgettable soundtrack. The show will run from May 22 – June 3, 2018 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. Learn more
“A big juicy hit for Porchlight.”
— Chicago Tribune
From the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, comes the Tony Award-winning Best Musical that bursts off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love. Inspired by actual events, Memphis is the story of a white radio DJ who wants to change the world and a black club singer who is ready for her big break. Their incredible journey to the ends of the airwaves is filled with laughter, soaring emotion and a roof-raising musical score by David Bryan of the band Bon Jovi. The show is playing at Porchlight now through June 16, 2018. Learn more
Anu Bhatt combines the personal with the poetic in her new one-woman show about depression, body image, and confronting sexual abuse. Seeking to balance and embrace two identities, Bhatt explores her South Asian-American background with courage and insightful humor. A mix of raw memories, lyricism and tough truths, Hollow/Wave is a daring dance for empowerment through a sea of imperfection. Catch the show at Silk Road Rising from May 17 - 27, 2018. Learn more
Click here to explore more experiences the Chicago Loop has to offer.