NightBlue BULLETS OVER BROADWAY Review – The 1920s Runnin’ Wild!

The audience settles in their seats.

The house lights dim.

The orchestra strikes up the overture.

And cast member pulls out a machine gun and lets loose a steady stream of gunshots.

All of this before the curtain is even raised. But here we are ready to begin NightBlue’s production of BULLETS OVER BROADWAY. We’re in for an evening of rival gangster mobs in the midst of putting on a Broadway play!

NightBlue’s Crazy Play

Written by Woody Allen, BULLETS OVER BROADWAY is an homage to the movies and musicals of the 1920s-30s with some tongue in cheek kind of humor.

Playwright David Shayne (played by Cody Ellsworth) has had enough of the big Broadway scene messing with the integrity of his work. He swears the next one of his plays to get produced won’t be changed a bit.

As luck would have it, a mob boss is looking to produce a play so his girlfriend can star in it. Before we know it, David is in way over his head trying to manage a cast of crazy actors and make sure no one get offed before opening night!

Rachel Juncker, Marcus Boni, Tim Green, Jonathan Rivera Photo: Drew Peterson

Jazzin’ It Up

To make sure David is drowning in the drama, he needs a colorful cast of characters to back him up. All the actors in BULLETS OVER BROADWAY felt very fresh faced and energetic. The overly-dramatic performances of the actors provide some of the funniest moments in the show. Director Kevin Bellie has assembled a cast that has a variety of strengths - singing, dancing, comedic chops, they’ve got it all!

The divas rule the stage here in BULLETS OVER BROADWAY. Monica Szaflik dives into Helen Sinclair’s washed-up diva side, especially when she belts out “I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle.”

Amanda Farmer is a bright spot on stage when she has a well placed joke or comedic bit as Eden Brent.

Rachel Juncker as the ditzy mob boss girlfriend Olive Neal commands our attention so we know she gets what she wants.

And the women in the ensemble are not to be forgotten as they shine effervescently when they pull out some high-kicks in the chorus numbers.

Bringing the Roarin’ 20s to Life

The music alone in BULLETS OVER BROADWAY should be enough to get any jazz lover in the seats. Allen incorporated many popular jazz hits into the score like “Let’s Misbehave” by Cole Porter and “Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good to You” made famous by the The King Cole Trio.

The cast pulls out all the stops in these numbers to let their character’s personalities shine through.

The production team of BULLETS OVER BROADWAY also captures the glam with its costumes and set design. The stage is set with an art deco New York skyline (designed by Bob Knuth) which instantly allows us to picture we’re there in era of flappers and mobsters.

Tim Green and Rachel Juncker Photo: Drew Peterson
Cody Ellsworth, Maddy Kelly, and company Photo: Drew Peterson

The costumes are also eye candy for those who love the fashion of this time period. David Walters has captured everything from double breasted suits, sparkly flapper dresses, down to the signature finger wave hairstyle.

The costumes also bridge into the whimsical for some chorus numbers. Not to give too much away, but at one point there are dancing hot dogs. These outfits capture our attention almost as much as the performers on stage!  

BULLETS OVER BROADWAY is kitschy, over the top, campy with a lot of laughs thrown in. This would be a good show for fans of light-hearted musicals, jazz music, the 1920s, or anyone looking for a fun night out.


Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read — Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.

Note: An excerpt of this appears in Theatre in Chicago. 


Now through October 8th
Thursday, September 14 at 7:30 pm
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm
Sundays through October 1 at 2:30 pm
Sunday, October 8 at 1 pm


Stage 773
1225 W Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657


Tickets are $35 general, $30 seniors, and $27 for students
For tickets visit Stage 773 website or call 773.327.5252


Drew Peterson


Monica Szaflik Photo: Drew Peterson
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