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Feb 22, 2017 – 11:03 am

Review: For a play as benign as Young Jean Lee’s curiously titled “Straight White Men,” this glimpse into the man cave of three grown brothers and their father at Steppenwolf Theatre surely will engender the debate for which it ultimately begs. ★★

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From ‘naughty’ composer, young Baroque troupe gets a nice boost

Oct 11, 2011 – 4:50 pm
Wayward Sisters ensemble

It’s the phone call all struggling musicians hope for — the announcement of a competition prize complete with recording contract. For Wayward Sisters, a Baroque ensemble specializing in 17th-century music, the news lit up lines in Chicago and three other locales where its four members reside.

After slaughter and heartbreak, radiant grace

Oct 9, 2011 – 11:06 am
Sadieh Rifai stars in "The Amish Project" at American Theater Company 2011

Jessica Dickey’s “The Amish Project,” echoes of a massacre at ATC. 5 stars!

CD review: Back-country music, toned up with Kodaly

Oct 7, 2011 – 4:38 pm
Violinist Viktoria Mullova's album "The Peasant Girl"

This off-beat CD takes the Russian-born violin virtuoso Viktoria Mullova back to her ancestral roots in the Ukrainian outback, in the traditional music of gypsies and other rural folk. 3 stars

Riccardo Muti unearths gem in Mahler tribute

Oct 7, 2011 – 2:25 pm
Gustav_Mahler_Crop_Emil_Orlik_1902

Mahler conducted the world premiere of Busoni’s “Berceuse élégiaque” at the last public performance of his life, with the New York Philharmonic in 1911. At the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s re-creation of the event, the nine incredible minutes of the “Berceuse” alone are sufficient reason to attend.

Chicago’s fast burn is a dramatic flame-out

Oct 6, 2011 – 5:35 pm
TheFireGreatFire-3

John Musial’s “The Great Fire” flames up at Lookingglass. 2 stars

Sidestepping Mahler, Muti points toward Bruckner and plans that will stretch the CSO

Oct 5, 2011 – 5:13 pm
Music Director Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra 2011 European Tour

In an exclusive interview with Chicago On the Aisle, Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Riccardo Muti explains his limited enthusiasm for Mahler and reflects on a lifelong struggle with the immensity of Beethoven.

A portrait of Mahler as maker of worlds and emblem of ours

Oct 4, 2011 – 3:55 pm
Mahler Biography by Jens Malte Fischer

Fischer’s landmark bio of the great symphonist is now in English. 4 stars!

TimeLine gets Theatre Wing grant as one of nation’s Top 10 emerging companies

Oct 3, 2011 – 3:29 pm
TimeLine Logo

Company to get check for $10,000.

Lyric love and fractured hearts in the mirror of Offenbach’s time

Oct 3, 2011 – 7:08 am
Tales of Hoffmann Lyric Opera of Chicago 5

Offenbach’s “Tales of Hoffmann” opens Lyric Opera of Chicago season. 4 stars!

CSO marks Liszt bicentenary with an epic and a romp

Oct 1, 2011 – 2:46 pm
Riccardo Muti, music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Celebrating the bicentenary of Liszt’s birth, music director Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra forged a sublime performance of Liszt’s epic “Faust Symphony.”

Images of Rothko, on canvas and in the mind

Sep 30, 2011 – 3:59 pm
Red production shot at Goodman 2011

“Red” paints a master-apprentice face-off at the Goodman. 5 stars!

John Malkovich stalks sopranos who suffer in song

Sep 30, 2011 – 3:31 pm
Malkovich John

John Malkovich plays a modern-day Jack the Ripper who has come back from death to make a charmingly creepy case for himself in “The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer.”

Role Playing: Janet Ulrich Brooks on nailing the style of a wily Russian in ‘A Walk in the Woods’

Sep 28, 2011 – 3:10 pm
Actor Janet Brooks

Portraying an experienced arms negotiator during the 1980s missile crisis for TimeLine, Brooks manages to be sly, funny and serious — in precisely accented English she learned from an interview with a Russian opera star.

In Lisztian fireworks, pianist’s future looks sky-high

Sep 28, 2011 – 2:23 pm
Khatia Buniatishvili

In her Liszt debut CD, Khatia Buniatishvili reveals the heart of an old-school romantic virtuoso. Though she’s still little known in the U.S., the 24-year-old Georgian’s schedule is packed with European concert dates.

Light the lights! Lyric Opera stirs a musical into the mix

Sep 28, 2011 – 1:45 pm
Lyric Opera of Chicago production of "Aida"

Eight operas for 2011-12 include new productions of “Showboat,”Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” and Handel’s “Rinaldo.” The new season opens Saturday night with Offenbach’s “The Tales of Hoffmann.”

CST will stage remixed ‘Othello’ in London at Cultural Olympiad

Sep 28, 2011 – 11:51 am
Q Brothers, creators of "Othello: The Remix" for Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

“Funk It Up About Nothin'” team creates work for pre-Olympics festival.

Amid flounces and bustles, good vibes bring rosy cheeks

Sep 28, 2011 – 8:52 am
In the Next Room at Victory Gardens

High-voltage effects “In the Next Room” at Victory Gardens. 4 stars

Art, and artists, mined from an unsuspected vein

Sep 27, 2011 – 2:13 pm
PitmenArtist

“The Pitmen Painters” at TimeLine is a charming mine of creativity. 4 stars!

Our hit list for the Chicago Symphony’s 2011-12 season

Sep 26, 2011 – 11:03 pm
Pianist-conductor Mitsuko Uchida

It’s tough to choose amid the bounty and variety that music director Riccardo Muti and guest conductors will offer in the coming months, but we’ve assembled an alluring 12-pack. The envelope, please…       …

CD reissues point up Riccardo Muti’s early mastery

Sep 26, 2011 – 7:33 pm
Muti conducts Berlioz

Complete Beethoven and Tchaikovsky symphonies are among the many major works in recordings from the 1970s and ‘80s by the CSO’s conductor with the Philadelphia and Philharmonia Orchestras.

From a long life in the opera world, Muti brings Chicago Symphony gifts of drama and poetry

Sep 26, 2011 – 4:19 am
Riccardo Muti is music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Photo by Todd Rosenbertg)

The distinctive qualities of Riccardo Muti’s genius as a conductor, above all a lyrical sensibility cultivated through decades in the opera house, will shape his tenure as music director of the Chicago Symphony.

Love, reality and other disquieting intrusions

Sep 26, 2011 – 12:04 am
RealThingThumb

In “The Real Thing” at Writers’ Theatre, love’s a moving target. 5 stars!

CD review: Beethoven sonatas, with polish and affection

Sep 24, 2011 – 9:25 pm
Fliter thumb

Ingrid Fliter’s fresh take on three favorite masterpieces. 4 stars!

A journey into the daunting forest of arms diplomacy

Sep 24, 2011 – 8:21 pm
David Parkes and Janet Ulrich Brooks in "A Walk in the Woods"

“A Walk in the Woods” at TimeLine.
Cold War contretemps. 4 stars!

As the Lyric Opera’s poster girl, Fleming proves pitch-perfect

Sep 24, 2011 – 7:41 pm
Soprano Renée Fleming

In a chat with high school singers picked for a new Lyric collaboration with the Merit School of Music, the soprano diva Renée Fleming admits she struck out twice competing in the Met auditions — and taking her driver’s exam.

Protecting the old neighborhood, but redefining the threat

Sep 24, 2011 – 3:36 am
 Karen Aldridge (left) with Stephanie Childers and James Vincent Meredith in "Clybourne Park." ( Photo by Michael Brosilow)

“Clybourne Park” at Steppenwolf. Bias on the block. 5 stars!