[UCP Books]: Bigger, Brighter, Louder: 150 Years of Chicago Theater as Seen by "Chicago Tribune" Critics

“From Joseph Jefferson as Rip Van Winkle in 1868, to the notorious critic of the ’40s & ’50s, Claudia Cassidy, to the Goodman Theatre’s The Iceman Cometh with Nathan Lane in 2012, Chris Jones writes a rich and rewarding history of Chicago theater. It’s a must for any theatergoer.”—Roy Leonard

150 Years of Chicago Theater
as Seen by "Chicago Tribune" Critics 

By Chris Jones

US Publication date: 15 October 2013 Cloth $27.50/£19.50
UK Publication date: 28 October 2013 ISBN: 978-0-226-05926-6


The first known Chicago Tribune theater review appeared on March 25, 1853. An anonymous notice, it shared the page with two other announcements—one about a pair of thousand-pound hogs set to be slaughtered and another trumpeting the largest load of lumber ever to leave Chicago. So how did a town that once considered arts an afterthought become one of the best theater cities in the world?


Bigger, Brighter, Louder explains this ascendance through more than a century and a half of theater reviews. Longtime Tribune theater critic Chris Jones weaves more than one hundred reviews into a compelling narrative, pairing full reviews with commentary and history. With a sharp eye for telling details and a keen sense of historical context, Jones takes readers through decades of highs and lows, successes and failures.

Bigger, Brighter, Louder includes early reviews of actors and shows that would go on to achieve phenomenal success, including a tryout of A Raisin in the Sun with newcomer Sidney Poitier, the first major review of The Producers, and the stirrings of the Second City.

Chris Jones is chief theater critic for the Chicago Tribune. Prior to the Tribune, Jones was the touring theater critic for Variety and Daily Variety. He is also adjunct professor at the Theatre School at DePaul University, where he previously served as associate dean.

For more information contact Lauren Salas at the University of Chicago Press,
lsalas@press.uchicago.edu or 773-702-0890.



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