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Apr 3, 2020 – 8:38 am

Report: Lyric Opera of Chicago announced April 2 that it will defer its spring musical, “42nd Street,” along with all other spring projects until coming seasons. Meanwhile, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra unveiled collaboration with WFMT to broadcast and stream a series of Tuesday programs from the orchestra’s concert archives and CDs, curated by music director Riccardo Muti.

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‘Good People’ at Steppenwolf: Of earthly salt and a wounded soul desperately seeking work

Sep 26, 2012 – 12:41 am
Molly Regan is Dottie, Lusia Strus is Jean and Mariann Mayberry is Margaret in Steppenwolf Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire, directed by K. Todd Freeman credit Michael Brosilow

Review: ★★★★

CSO and musicians reach tentative agreement; 3-year pact secures concerts, October tours

Sep 24, 2012 – 8:55 pm
Upcoming concerts and tours can be salvaged if the Chicago Symphony management and musicians ratify their tentative contract. File photo of the Chicago  Symphony and music director Riccardo Muti. Credit Todd Rosenberg

Report: CSO board’s approval due soon.

Packed with vivid characters and hard truths, Court’s memorable ‘Jitney’ is worth the fare

Sep 24, 2012 – 1:35 pm
Allen Wilson as Fielding Allen Bilmore as Turnbo AC Smith as Becker and Cedric Young as Doub in August Wilson's Jitney Court Theatre 2012 credit Michael Brosilow

Review: ★★★★★

As CSO contract talks break down, musicians’ strike forces last-minute concert cancellation

Sep 23, 2012 – 1:23 am
Chicago Symphony musicians' strike signs

Update: Talks resume with mediator.

Muti and the CSO launch season with a bang sparked by off-beat, over-the-top mix of works

Sep 21, 2012 – 5:50 pm
9/20/12 8:50:14 PM -- Music Director Riccardo Muti conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Dvorák's  Symphony No. 5  during the opening of the CSO's 2012/13 season at Orchestra Hall. Credit Todd Rosenberg

Review: Symphony orchestra seasons typical open with some form of sizzle, maybe a mix of warhorse masterwork and superstar soloist. But music director Riccardo Muti went the opposite direction, kicking off the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s new season Thursday night with a complete sleeper of a program, an evening of little-known works and with no soloist at all. It was terrific. ****

Fair damsels, preying scoundrels and a Hartright hero imitate real theater at Lifeline

Sep 20, 2012 – 5:17 pm
Nicholas Bailey and Maggie Scrantom Lifeline Theatre 2012 adaptation of The Woman in White credit Suzanne Plunkett

Review: ★★

‘Variations’ at TimeLine: Seeking the solution to Beethoven’s obsession with a trivial waltz

Sep 18, 2012 – 11:56 pm
Daughter and mother - Jessie Fisher as Clara and Brooks as Dr. Brandt – as death approaches. (Lara Goetsch, TimeLine)

Review: ★★★

Profiles’ ‘Sweet and Sad’ laces remembrance of 9/11 into a family’s tangle of joy and grief

Sep 18, 2012 – 12:58 am

Review: ★★★★

Chicago Opera’s stage magic is a bit rough, but fine singing delivers a charming ‘Flute’

Sep 16, 2012 – 1:16 pm
Sean Panikkar as Tamino in Chicago Opera Theater The Magic Flute 2012 credit Liz Lauren

Review: The Chicago Opera Theater production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” leaves one with two distinct impressions. For the most part, its young cast sings with stylistic savvy, fetching beauty and engaging spirit – all shaped with unfailing sensibility by conductor Steuart Bedford.★★★

‘Iphigenia 2.0’ at Next Theatre: Sacrificing all for gods, country and maybe personal pique

Sep 15, 2012 – 5:21 pm
NEXT Iphigenia 2.0 Cast 2012 production  Photo by Michael Brosilow

Review: ★★★★

To cut, to shift, perchance to sharpen, Writers’ bold ‘Hamlet’ matches conviction with power

Sep 14, 2012 – 5:07 pm

Review: ★★★★★

CSO resident composer Mason Bates receives $250,000 Heinz award in arts and humanities

Sep 12, 2012 – 10:39 am
5/14/11 7:45:35 PM : Chicago Symphony OrchestraRiccardo Muti Music DirectorYoYo Ma Cello* Bates  The B-Sides, Five Pieces for Orchestra and Electronica* Schumann  Cello Concerto* Strauss  Aus Italien © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2011

He receives prize Oct. 11 in Pittsburgh.

Chicago angels boost young actors with gift of training at Stratford Shakespeare Festival

Sep 12, 2012 – 9:00 am
Dorcas Sowunmi feature image

Dorcas Sowunmi succeeds E.B. Smith.

The New Season: ‘Sweet Bird’ lifts Goodman into a lineup feathered with 3 world premieres

Sep 4, 2012 – 7:12 pm
Playwright Tennessee Williams

13th in a series of season previews: Three world premieres punctuate an ambitious slate of nine productions at the Goodman Theatre in the coming season. Two other shows are Chicago premieres. The red-letter lineup begins with Tennessee Williams’ “Sweet Bird of Youth,” following up on last season’s high-profile account of Williams’ “Camino Real.”

The New Season: Northlight’s latest adventure caroms from Guthrie’s America to a lonely bar

Sep 3, 2012 – 10:42 am
Woody Guthrie's American Song

12th in a series of season previews: Northlight Theatre director BJ Jones prides himself on leading patrons down far-ranging highways and byways, to places that may feel familiar and comfortable – and other destinations a long way from Kansas. The company’s 2012-13 season of five plays covers just such a map, from Ireland and the Civil War-torn South to Woody Guthrie’s vision of America and a world premiere in a shared orbit of loneliness.

The New Season: Tested Remy Bumppo gets Albee’s blessing to stage surreal ‘Seascape’

Aug 31, 2012 – 12:42 am
Playwright Edward Albee feature image

11th in a series of season previews: When Remy Bumppo Theatre was a fledgling enterprise, 16 seasons ago, founding artistic director James Bohnen sought permission from Edward Albee to stage his “Seascape,” a back-to-the-future study in marriage as an evolving proposition. Albee turned down the untried company – which makes the playwright’s newly bestowed approval all the sweeter.

Role Playing: James Ridge thrives in cold skin of Shakespeare’s smiling serpent, Richard III

Aug 29, 2012 – 8:45 pm
James Ridge feature image 3

Interview: He’s the very devil in the guise of a cherub, this smiling and murderous Richard III embodied by James Ridge in the American Players Theatre production of Shakespeare’s royal tragedy. Ridge’s duplicitous Richard echoes Lady Macbeth’s cold counsel to Macbeth in his own bloody quest for a crown: “Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t.”

Chicago Opera picks another Queen for ‘Flute’ after visa flap dethrones new Irish sensation

Aug 28, 2012 – 4:03 pm
Chicago Opera Theater's "Magic Flute" gets a star change

Even queens get caught in red tape.

The New Season: Revised ‘Hair’ in the wings, ATC adds radio ‘Wizard’ to ‘Wonderful Life’

Aug 28, 2012 – 12:35 pm
Tin Man poster for Wizard of Oz by U.S. Lithograph Co., Russell-Morgan Print 1903 credit Library of Congress

Tenth in a series of season previews: Without a doubt, American Theater Co. has found wonderful life in the concept of repertory presentation of related plays. So for its 28th season, ATC will double down on the idea by pairing John Patrick Shanley’s “Doubt” with John Peilmeier’s “Agnes of God” and combining its traditional radio-play staging of “It’s a Wonderful Life” with “The Wizard of Oz.”

The New Season: Adaptable Lifeline Theatre reshapes three novels into stage premieres

Aug 22, 2012 – 11:03 pm
Woman in White

Ninth in a series of season previews: In a sense, Lifeline Theatre’s 30th anniversary season will be a year like any other year. The difference with Lifeline is that business as usual means a full slate of world premieres.

The New Season: To be or not to be (truthful) proves question of the year at Writers’ Theatre

Aug 17, 2012 – 1:15 pm
Hamlet to open Writers' Theatre season 2012-13 image courtesy Writers

Eighth in a series of season previews: Words, words, words. Are they the stuff of truth or the fabric of prevarication? Writers’ Theatre will bookend its 2012-13 season with both possibilities, swinging the spotlight from Shakespeare’s Hamlet in his quest for veracity to Corneille’s feigning manipulator in “The Liar.”

The New Season: Court Theatre maps journey from Wilson’s ‘Jitney’ to a Molière bonanza

Aug 15, 2012 – 4:02 pm
WilsonAugust Jitney collage

Seventh in a series of season previews: What begins in September as an ambitious and far-flung season at Court Theatre, with August Wilson’s “Jitney,” ends next spring with nothing less than a prodigious Molière double-header, back to back productions of “The Misanthrope” and “Tartuffe.”

The New Season: Raven Theatre cuts fresh loaf of Americana with Odets’ ‘Big Knife’

Aug 11, 2012 – 6:33 pm
Raven Theatre night banner credit Dean LaPrairie

Sixth in a series of season previews: Technically, it may not be a Chicago premiere, but Clifford Odets’ “The Big Knife,” which opens Raven Theatre’s 30th anniversary season, would be a rarity on any stage and artistic director Michael Menendian is eager to revive this sober tale of glitzy Hollywood’s dark side.

The New Season: Modern retelling of Iphigenia legend will raise the curtain for Next Theatre

Aug 9, 2012 – 11:55 am
Iphigenia feature image Next Theatre Company 2012 Rebecca Buller credit Manny Ortiz

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.

The New Season: Re-energized and refocused, American Blues Theater opens with a premiere

Aug 6, 2012 – 12:05 am
Illegal Use of Hands with Dennis Zacek Steve Key Howie Johnson credit Johnny Knight

Fourth in a series of season previews: The world premiere of James Still’s “Illegal Use of Hands” kicks off American Blues Theater’s 2012-13 season, which marks both the company’s 27th year on the Chicago scene and, in its reconstituted form, its fourth.

The New Season: It isn’t pizza in Porchlight’s oven, but well-spiced musicals Chicago-style

Aug 3, 2012 – 12:28 am
Michael Weber at center with the company of Porchlight Music Theatre

Third in a series of season previews: A rethought, more visceral Porchlight Music Theatre rolls out its 18th season with two Chicago premieres to be followed by a searing portrait of the faded Billie Holiday and “Pal Joey,” Rodgers and Hart’s anti-hero driven drama on the dark side of the human comedy.

The New Season: Stark Vietnam prison drama, Beethoven riddle define spectrum at TimeLine

Aug 1, 2012 – 6:02 pm
TimeLine lobby during world premiere production of My Kind of Town by John conroy 2012 credit Lara Goetsch

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.

The New Season: Teaming with Neil LaBute, Profiles readies 24th year on the gritty fringe

Jul 29, 2012 – 11:33 pm
The longtime Profiles Theatre association of Joe Jahraus, Neil LaBute and Darrell W Cox continues

First in a series of season previews: Profiles Theatre will open its 24th season Aug. 24 with playwright Neil LaBute officially inducted into the family, a second performing space in use and a new mantra that crystalizes the company’s founding philosophy: “Whatever the truth requires.”

Ravinia favorite Misha Dichter’s double life revealed: The pianist’s a serious cartoonist

Jul 28, 2012 – 3:13 pm
Misha Dichter drawing from A Pianist's World in Drawings credit Rosetta Books

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.

Shakespeare to hit the Chicago parks as CST presents free tour of ‘Taming of the Shrew’

Jul 25, 2012 – 4:08 pm
Short Shakespeare Taming of the Shrew Chicago Shakespeare Theater  Matthew Sherbach as suitor Hortensio credit Liz Lauren

Short “Shrew” in 11 neighborhoods.