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End of the Zeroes: Theater in Chicago, 2000-2009 | Newcity Stage
By Brian Hieggelke As the wind blows the snow sideways this December evening, the weatherman is telling Chicagoans to stay bunkered; the deserted downtown streets reflect their obedience. All save the sidewalk near the intersection of State and Randolph, as TV crews jockey for faces on the red carpet in front of the Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre, where more than 2,000 patrons, including a who's who of backstage Broadway, are gathering for the world premiere of a new musical featuring a AAA list of talent, onstage and off. "The Addams Family," with multiple Tony winners Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth in its leads, a book from the librettists of "Jersey Boys" and so on, is certainly Broadway bound, but tonight—tonight—Chicago is the center of theater in the world. That's the story of Chicago theater in the zeroes: the decade in which it grew up and got big. Whether it's the launch and monumental success of Broadway In Chicago, the maturation and astonishing quality