Venue Details

95 Star Starred
Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre
1650 N. Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60614
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19 events
5 reviews
7 stars
There is a parking garage that charges $10 to park. Street parking is very hard to find.
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11 events
4 reviews
2 stars
The theater is great - no bad seats
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Reviews & Ratings

10 ratings
4.6 average rating
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14 events
2 reviews
5 stars
attended Jun 16 2007

My friend and I had no idea it was opening night! It was great to have a chance to meet the director and actors at a reception following the performance. I am definitely going to see this play again!

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7 events
1 review
0 stars
attended Jul 21 2007

One of the two best shows I've ever seen in Chicago.

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3 events
1 review
0 stars
attended Jul 21 2007

This is the third "500 Clown" show Ive seen and Ive thoroughly enjoyed each one. I wholly recommend this for anyone looking for a truly unique, creative and engaging theater experience.

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Quotes & Highlights

“Jaw dropping! Hilarious!” —Chicago Tribune


500 Clown Theatre, founded in 2000, presents “500 Clown MacBeth”  - a wildly physical, comical and powerful re-imagining of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth – in repertory for a limited engagement in summer 2007 (with a rotating schedule) as a Steppenwolf Visiting Company Initiative.

The physical theatre artists of 500 Clown deliver their distinctive brand of deconstructed texts (based on Shelley), through physical action and clowning improvisation inspired by the immediate energy of each audience. Last seen in Chicago in 2004, this updated version includes production revisions from three years of performing these pieces on tour, presenting a reinvigorating “500 Clown Macbeth” with more dynamic and nuanced play.

“500 Clown Macbeth” smashes the original story to pieces, then tears through the rubble to forge a wild, unpredictable, devastating and hilarious deconstruction of Shakespeare’s classic. Three clowns descend upon a stage to perform the Scottish play. Infected by ambition, they compete for the title role and, in the process, they destroy the text, the set and eventually each other. Ripping through the fourth wall, the clowns generate a charged environment in which the audience is left to wonder what was planned and what was created for the first time. Featuring no red noses, big shoes nor tiny cars, 500 Clown conspires with the audience to redefine “clown” and “Macbeth” as they propel this version to its exhilarating conclusion.

Inspired by vaudevillians honing their acts on the road, 500 Clown continues tweaking each production after each performance. 500 Clown has toured in Birmingham, England; Michigan (Acorn Theatre); Maryland (Creative Alliance and Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center); Pennsylvania (Franklin & Marshall College); and goes to New York City in winter 2007.

Production runs about 75 minutes with no intermission and is suitable for ages 10 and up. (Gun fired in MacBeth. Mature themes as in source materials). Post show discussion follows each Thursday & Sunday show with paid ticket.

About the Ticket Supplier: Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is an internationally-renowned company of thirty-five artists whose talents include acting, directing, playwriting, filmmaking, and textual adaptation. Steppenwolf has redefined the landscape of acting and performance by spawning a generation of America’s most gifted artists, including Joan Allen, John Mahoney, John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf, Martha Plimpton and Gary Sinise. No other American theater ensemble has survived as long and thrived as much as the Steppenwolf company of artists, who return home to Chicago to do the work they love.