Opera, Stages, Theater

Review: Champion at the Lyric Defines Opera in Jazz With Story of Boxer Emile Griffith

Champion is the story of welterweight boxer Emile Griffith’s career in boxing with a life-defining fatal bout in 1962 against Benny “Kid” Paret. I believe that an opera in jazz […]

Kathy D. Hey /
Opera, Stages

Review: Lyric Presents Rossini’s Cinderella/La Cenerentola With a Twist

I have four copies of Grimm’s Fairy Tales in my library and while I have a weird fondness for dark morality tales, I also enjoy the story of the stepchild […]

Kathy D. Hey /
Opera, Stages

Review: Chicago Opera Theater Triumphs With Shostakovich’s The Nose, From Gogol’s Story

The Chicago Opera Theater COT) has a mission to produce new and rarely produced work. Dmitri Shostakovich was 22 years old when he wrote The Nose adapted from the short […]

Kathy D. Hey /
Dance, Opera, Stages

Review: Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker Blends Holiday Cheer and Wonder With Its 1893 Chicago Backdrop

The basic plot of the famous The Nutcracker ballet is a familiar story. A young girl, Clara, receives the gift of a Nutcracker on Christmas Eve. That night, she has […]

Lauren Katz /
Classical, Music, Opera, Stages, Venues

Review: Chicago Opera Theater Opens Season With a Compelling Timeline of War and Its Aftermath with Soldier Songs

Soldier Songs is a solo operatic performance that blends the genres of classical and heavy metal. I thought that I had never heard anything like it, however, the parallels between […]

Kathy D. Hey /
Opera, Stages

Review: The Flying Dutchman Opens Lyric’s Season with Obsession, a Curse, and Unrequited Love

The Lyric Opera has produced some of the finest interpretations of Richard Wagner in the world of opera and the season opener of The Flying Dutchman may be my favorite. […]

Kathy D. Hey /
Music, Opera, Stages, Theater

Review: See, Feel, Hear and Touch The Who’s Tommy at Goodman Theatre

Poet Maya Angelou suffered violence and didn’t speak for years. Tommy Walker witnessed murder and similarly shut down his senses to deal with that trauma. His fictional narrative was created […]

Karin McKie /
Opera, Stages

Review: Standout Performances in Lyric Opera’s Uneven West Side Story

Choreography by Jerome Robbins, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and music by Leonard Bernstein are the calling cards of West Side Story. This is an energetic and passionate contemporary retelling directed […]

Kathy D. Hey /
Opera, Stages

Review: Lush Contemporary Music Blends With Metaphysics and Science in The Life and Death[s] of Alan Turing by Chicago Opera Theater

.Composer Justine Chen and librettist David Simpatico have worked for over a decade to bring The Life and Death[s] of Alan Turing to the opera stage. It was commissioned in […]

Kathy D. Hey /
Circus, Opera, Stages

Review: Lyric’s Carmen Features Strong Performances, But the Plot Can Be Troubling

Georges Bizet produced some of opera’s most memorable music for Carmen, his 1875 composition, set in Spain and sung in French, about a wildly free-spirited woman whose fickle and domineering […]

Bob Benenson /
Opera, Stages, Theater

Review: Lyric Opera’s Hip-Hopera The Factotum Is a Cut Above

Barbershops and beauty salons are important cultural hubs for communities of color. “In my day, a barber was more than just somebody who sit around in a FUBU shirt with […]

Karin McKie /
Opera, Stages, Theater

Review: Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel Is a Feast for the Senses at Lyric Opera

What do you get when you mix Englebert Humperdinck, a visual homage to German expressionism, Weimar decadence, and gorgeous singing? The answer is Hansel and Gretel at the Lyric Opera. […]

Kathy D. Hey /