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Best of Chicago 2014 » Arts & Culture

Best Theater Lobby That Makes You Wish Intermission Would Never End 

Den Theatre

Yes, yes, we Chicagoans are blessed to live in such a terrific theater town, where you can see something tremendous even in the most humble storefront black box populated with non-Equity actors. But here's the thing about those storefronts: most of them just don't have the budget for comfortable seating. Instead of the well-padded, velvet-covered seats that abound in the fancy downtown palaces, where you can enjoy a quality nap if road-show Phantom proves less than captivating, little theaters provide flimsy folding chairs crammed as close as seats on the el and with only slightly more padding. At the Den Theatre, though, there is relief. The three-year-old Wicker Park complex—which contains several small second- and third-floor spaces and is expanding onto the first floor, where the Hypocrites will make their home—has not one but two cozy lobbies decorated just like, well, a den, with bookshelves, Oriental rugs, a piano, and best of all, deep leather couches and armchairs. Sink down into them for a few minutes, stretch out your arms, and soothe your weary ass. Doesn't that feel good? Don't you wish you could watch act two from here? (Honorable mention to the Den's neighbor, the Chopin Theatre, and its lovely baroque parlors.)

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)