Claudia Cassidy

Claudia Cassidy (1899–1996), was an influential, 20th-century American performing arts critic. She was a long-time critic for the Chicago Tribune.

Starting in 1925 she was music and drama critic for The Journal of Commerce.[1] She was so well known for giving caustic reviews to what she considered bad performances that she earned the nickname "Acidy Cassidy."[2] According to a 1993 article by the Chicago Reader, Rafael Kubelik, was "practically hounded out of town" by Cassidy.[3] Cassidy had a particular aversion to touring companies of Broadway shows.[4][5]

Although she was known for her harsh criticism, Cassidy's enthusiasm may have been even more powerful.[4] According to Philip Rose, A Raisin in the Sun became a hit after a surprise positive review from Cassidy as well as "good reviews in other papers."[5] In 1975, Cassidy was awarded the Joseph Jefferson Award.[2] Her last published writing was for the 1990-91 Lyric Opera program book.[citation needed]

Cassidy was married to William J. Cassidy for 57 years.[2] After her husband died in 1986, Cassidy lived at the Drake Hotel until her death in 1996 at the age of 96.[2]

The Claudia Cassidy Theater of the Chicago Cultural Center is named in her honor.[6]


  • Cassidy, Claudia, Europe on the Aisle, New York: Random House, 1954
  • Cassidy, Claudia, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago IL: Lyric Opera of Chicago, 1979 ISBN 0-9603538-0-1


  1. ^ Grimes, William (1996-07-27). "Claudia Cassidy, 96, Arts Critic; Did Not Mince Words in Chicago". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  2. ^ a b c d Jones, Chris (2013-10-04). Bigger, Brighter, Louder: 150 Years of Chicago Theater as Seen by "Chicago Tribune" Critics. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226090719.
  3. ^ Shen, Ted. "Under the Gun". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  4. ^ a b "Obituaries". Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  5. ^ a b Rose, Philip (2001-01-01). You Can't Do that on Broadway!: A Raisin in the Sun and Other Theatrical Improbabilities : a Memoir. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9780879109608.
  6. ^ "Claudia Cassidy Theater at the Chicago Cultural Center, The Loop | Metromix Chicago". Retrieved 2017-01-18.

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