Ascending 'Sparrow' Still Soars Fairy-Tale Play Excels in Latest Incarnation at Chicago's Apollo

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Byline: Barbara Vitello Daily Herald Critic At Large

"The Sparrow"

* * * 1/2 out of four

Location: Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago

Times: 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays; 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Saturdays; 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 31

Running Time: About 2 hours

Tickets: $34.50-$49.50

Parking: $10

Box office: (773) 935-6100, or

Rating: For teens and older

The storybook saga of "The Sparrow" continues.

An imaginative, beguilingly told coming-of-age fairy tale about a young girl with a wounded spirit and special gifts, the surprise hit from The House Theatre of Chicago sold out its initial run in January at the Viaduct and a subsequent extension at Steppenwolf Theatre.

Wednesday marked the beginning of its next chapter: a remount at the Apollo Theater co-produced by Broadway in Chicago, the first partnership of its kind for the company known for bringing Broadway blockbusters to the downtown theater district.

"The Sparrow" centers on enigmatic Emily Book, played by the wonderful Carolyn Defrin, in a performance of muted eloquence. The sole survivor of an accident that took the lives of her classmates 10 years earlier, the bookish Emily returns home to finish high school. …