Articles by Nancy Malitz
Dorcas Sowunmi succeeds E.B. Smith.
Even queens get caught in red tape.
Fifth in a series of season previews: The Chicago theater community has become good at Really Old Tales Retold, especially the ancient Greek myths and legends. Evanston’s Next Theatre opens its 2012-13 season with Charles Mee’s “Iphigenia 2.0,” about a king who plans to sacrifice his daughter so the gods will allow his fleet of war ships to set sail for Troy.
Second in a series of season previews: Playwright Susan Felder’s “Wasteland,” a world premiere about two American G.I.’s imprisoned in Vietnam isolation, plus three Chicago premieres make up TimeLine’s 2012-13 schedule; season opens Aug. 24 with a musical riddle.
Report: Pianist Misha Dichter, who celebrates his 45th consecutive season with the Ravinia Festival on July 29, shares his passion for sketching in a new e-book.
Broadway’s tap classic. 4 stars!
“Romeo” and “Othello” top the list.
Review: The best antidote to Chicago temperatures in the nineties is this surpassingly cool prospect — free Millennium Park concerts at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, where the sound is superb and the ceiling’s a canopy of stars. Cooler still was the addition of big screen video to this outdoor mix that a huge crowd enjoyed June 27, when the Paris Opéra Ballet’s exquisite production of “Giselle” was projected live via the big screen, from inside the Harris Theater, to the traditional classical-loving audience of the Grant Park Orchestra. ****
Review: One of the fascinations of this Chicago Symphony Orchestra season — which drew toward its close Sunday with the final performance of Bruckner’s Sixth in its sumptuous glory — has been to hear various conductors come into the same acoustical space of Orchestra Hall, stand in the same spot where music director Riccardo Muti stands, and ply their art with the same band of a hundred-plus that Muti conducts. ****
Cripple Billy’s adventure. 4 stars!
Young love put to the test. 4 stars!
Matinee idol preens, pouts. 4 stars!
Alexander Hanna, 26, was groomed at Curtis, Tanglewood and Verbier.
Review: Lang Lang’s debut at Chicago’s 3500-seat Civic Opera House was quietly elegant, cogently argued and intensely focused. That is, until the abundantly gifted pianist gave himself over to some astonishing fireworks. With a technique like that, who can blame him? ****
Review: When Tilly shows up, she elevates the common funk to dolorous heights so seductive, transporting and rarified — cue the cello — that only the Japanese have a word for it, or is it the Scandinavians? This is Sarah Ruhl’s 2001 “Melancholy Play,” a gentle misery-loves-company fable of high wit. ***
Musical classic, new again. 4 stars!
‘In a Forest, Dark and Deep.’ 4 stars!
Starts in 2013 as 13th music director
‘Beyond the Score’ with Riccardo Muti
‘Moscow, Cheryomushki.’ 4 stars!
High-wire fun at Lookingglass. 4 stars!
Receive management fellowships.
Report: All 20 precociously accomplished high school actors who took part in the August Wilson Monologue Competition at the Goodman Theatre were offered, as part of their winnings, free tickets to American playwright Danai Gurira’s “The Convert,” onstage at the Goodman through March 25. I hope they took the Goodman up on it. Wilson’s legacy is strongly continued with Gurira’s reflection upon her own African roots in a former capital of British colonialism.
A bit o’ comic relief at the Goodman.
Review: Riccardo Muti has given Chicago many reasons to celebrate his music directorship of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, but perhaps the most perfect expression of his belief in art’s purpose comes in the current run of rarely heard works for chorus and orchestra by Brahms, Schoenberg and Cherubini. ****
Review: You’ve got to hand it to countertenor Iestyn Davies and conductor Harry Bicket. When they take a night off from the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where they’re performing music of George Frideric Handel, they’re in another part of town performing … George Frideric Handel. Is this love or what? ****
“Aida” with four new singers. 4 stars!
Not your grandfather’s Handel. 4 stars!
The Chicago Lyric Opera’s new season begins and ends with shows that should attract aficionados of opera and theater: “Elektra” and “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Here’s the show-by-show breakdown.
Feature: Chicago Symphony Orchestra performances in California and at Carnegie Hall will introduce new works by young resident composers Feb. 14-19 and Oct. 4.