Top Story »

Jul 31, 2017 – 12:57 pm

Review: One might think it impossible to improve on the 1951 musical film ‘An American in Paris,’ with the inimitable Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron romancing each other to the music of George and Ira Gershwin. But in re-imagining this G.I. love story as a Broadway ballet for a cast of 25, director-choreographer Christopher Wheeldon has given the beloved classic a thrilling energy boost. Presented by Broadway in Chicago, the show plays at the Oriental Theatre through Aug. 13. ★★★★

Read the full story »
Latest Arts News
Classical + Opera
Theater + Stage
Streaming + Disc
Chicago Wine Journal

Role Playing: Sadieh Rifai zips among seven characters in one-woman ‘Amish Project’

Oct 24, 2011 – 1:25 pm
Sadieh Rifai Amish Project feature

Interview: Actor Sadieh Rifai thought Jessica’s Dickey’s play “The Amish Project,” at American Theater Company, would be a pretty straight-forward one-woman show. The plays is based on the 2006 shooting of 10 school girls in Pennsylvania. Rifai would be switching among seven characters, but she didn’t see that as a big deal. She was in for a big surprise.

Bernard Haitink charms Chicago Symphony with twin beauties from Schubert and Mahler

Oct 21, 2011 – 5:42 pm
Bernard Haitink Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Review: Conductor Bernard Haitink and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra summoned performances of exceptional clarity in Schubert’s chamber-size Fifth Symphony and Mahler’s grand-scaled Fourth Symphony. *****

The Doyle & Debbie Show: Singin’ hits that’ll warm you up like hog rasslin’ in the July sun

Oct 20, 2011 – 4:12 pm
Doyle and Debbie Show featured image

At the Royal George Theatre. 4 stars!

Chicago Symphony MusicNOW opens season with ping-pong balls and rhythms a-tumble

Oct 19, 2011 – 5:34 pm
Music Now

Review: MusicNOW, the contemporary series of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, began its 2011-12 season alive with the music of ping-pong balls, marimba, country fiddle and eerie vocals. Composers converged from Dublin, Connecticut, Minnesota and London to hear their works performed.

What’s under that skirt? Chicago Lyric Opera’s coloratura Anna Christy kicks Olympia into top gear

Oct 18, 2011 – 4:26 pm
Olympia wheels featured

Lyric Opera close-up: We had to know. How is it that soprano Anna Christy is able to zip around like a hovercraft while pinging those sparkling high notes as Olympia, the mechanical doll, in “The Tales of Hoffmann”?

Role Playing: Kirsten Fitzgerald inhabits sorrow, surfs the laughs in ‘Clybourne Park’

Oct 16, 2011 – 12:23 pm
Kirsten Fitzgerald Act 1 housewife Clybourne Park Steppenwolf 2011 featured

Interview: Actor Kirsten Fitzgerald portrays two very different characters amid the hurlyburly of “Clybourne Park, the double-edged drama by Bruce Norris now playing at Steppenwolf Theatre through Nov. 13. She’s a grieving mother in 1959 and a self-interested lawyer 50 years later.
It’s a theatrical tour de force that Fitzgerald likens to acting in two different plays the same night.

Finnish conductor answers every question in CSO debut

Oct 14, 2011 – 9:33 pm
Musgrave Bloom and Malkki

Susanna Mälkki, the 42-year-old music director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris, made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 13 with a program of Charles Ives and Richard Strauss that, in every way, placed her among the most important conductors of her generation.

Sondheim’s ‘Follies’ at CST: Broadway glitz and glamour, with all the endearing bruises

Oct 14, 2011 – 12:17 pm
CST_Follies_11 featured

At Chi. Shakespeare Theater. 5 stars!

Riccardo Muti receives Birgit Nilsson Prize of $1M

Oct 13, 2011 – 2:07 pm
Muti Birgit Nilsson press conf

Video: In acceptance speech, he stresses social commitment thru music.

With new honors falling like autumn leaves, Riccardo Muti reflects on the conductor’s art

Oct 13, 2011 – 12:54 am
Arturo-Toscanini

In Part 2 of an interview with Chicago On the Aisle, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s music director extols Italian training, calls Toscanini his hero and admits impatience with routine effort – and prima donnas.

Lyric Opera’s ‘Lucia’: New production casts a shimmering light on tale of love and madness

Oct 12, 2011 – 8:57 am
Susanna_Phillips_Lucia_di_Lammermoor_DBR_6255_cDan_Rest

Donizetti’s bel canto dazzler. 5 stars!

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…       …