The Beginning: 10/21 – 10/27 (Preview and Chart)

A 20-item chart that lists theatrical productions! Grab your die and roll!
A 20-item chart that lists theatrical productions! Grab your die and roll!

And… We’re back!

After a number of months off for an extended summer vacation, Theatre By Numbers is back to publishing weekly previews and reviews of shows in Chicago.  And we’re still doing it all by the random roll of dice.  We’re a staffer lighter than we were back in the Spring, and that means that we’re actually actively looking for one more review to join our ranks.  It takes a special kind of person to trust their theatrical experiences to a 20-sided, numbered ball.  And yet, it’s something we encourage you all to try!  It’s a blast.  Therefore, you’ll see this week’s dice chart to your right.  It has a wide variety of shows this week.  And, surprisingly fewer Halloween-themed shows than I would expect this time of year.  I’ve already rolled the dice this morning and I’ll be seeing The Raven Theatre’s “The Play About My Dad” over the weekend.  I’m also reviewing a show for Newcity Magazine this week.  And, not unlike in the past, the links to those reviews will also be here for your enjoyment.

I’ve truly missed being able to write long for reviews of the shows I’ve been seeing.  When I write for Newcity, I am limited to 350 words.  Here, there is technically no limit to what I can write.  Although, common sense says that nobody wants to read a 20-page term paper about a single performance.  That’s even true about your professor who gave you that assignment.  So… Obviously, I keep my writing here to a manageable level, but I am excited to get back to writing more in depth criticism on the works that grace the Chicago stage.  Also, in the meantime, you may notice that over the next week or so, I’ll be going back and creating links for all the Newcity Stage reviews I’ve done over the summer, so that they have Dice Ratings and Ten-Word Summaries.  Largely that is so I can be ready for December.  After all, we’re rapidly approaching that time of year when we all announce our Top 5 or Top 10 shows.

A lot has happened over the past few months. Venerable theatres have announced their ends, other have delayed projects due to building permit issues, and still more have sprouted up out of the pavement.  Even more is going to happen soon.  Part of the changes we’ve made around here is that there will be periodic feature articles that cover theatrical news.  We won’t limit ourselves to reviews any more.  Although, that will remain our bread and butter, as it were.


  • Small Favor by Jim Butcher
  • 28 fewer cans of Play Doh than were handed out by Director James Gunn on the set of “Guardians of the Galaxy”.
  • I have a pair of Alpaca wool (Is it wool if it comes from an Alpaca?  I don’t know.  Just go with it, okay?) socks that my parents gave to me as a gift.  I’ve never worn them.  Not because I don’t like them, but because my cats like them too much.  The socks have to hang dry.  Every time I hang them on our drying rack, one or both of the socks go missing and eventually end up dirty from being hidden under the couch, or dragged behind a radiator, or the like.  Then I wash the socks again, hang them up and repeat the process over and over.  I’d really like to wear them someday.
  • Today’s bit of random trivia from “The average person laughs 10 times per day” – I’m assuming that means actual laughs as opposed to the myriad times the average internet user claims to Laugh Out Loud at things.  Just a hunch.
  • Gorilla Glue
  • 17,425,170 is the number of digits in the largest known prime number.  The number itself is 257,885,161-1
  • Requires 2 “AA” Batteries
  • Brown, black, and blue