Author: philippotempa

REVIEW: Lyric Opera’s ‘Don Giovanni’ shimmers with gorgeous music, hilarious hijinks and wronged characters hellbent on revenge

Lyric Opera’s ‘Don Giovanni’ shimmers with gorgeous music, hilarious hijinks and wronged characters hellbent on revenge ————————————————————————————————————————— By Crista Zivanovic Contributor ————————————————————————————————————————— As with its same production just five years ago, the music, sets and costumes in Lyric Opera’s “Don Giovanni” are lavish and beautiful — at times, spectacular. And though to today’s opera-goers the juxtaposition of the charming but lecherous Don’s comical hijinks, along with the revelation of his callous, even brutal, darker side, might seem confusing and even offensive, director Robert Falls, artistic director of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, pulls it off with sympathetic clarity and wisdom. The...

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REVIEW: Joffrey ‘Jane Eyre’ triumphs, gives timeless story modern appeal

——————————————————————————————————– REVIEW: Joffrey ‘Jane Eyre’ triumphs, gives timeless story modern appeal ————————————————————————————————————————— By Crista Zivanovic Contributor ————————————————————————————————————————— Joffrey Ballet has scored another lush, engaging hit based on a 19th-century novel with its new “Jane Eyre,” on the heels of last season’s marvelous “Anna Karenina,” which so movingly brought Tolstoy’s novel to life. But in the case of “Eyre,” the audience can revel in a happy ending, celebrating the triumph of love between two equals. “Karenina,” alas, depicted love’s destructive potential. “Jane Eyre” is the much-beloved 1847 Charlotte Bronte tale of a young woman’s coming of age and shaping her own...

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REVIEW: New Lyric music director Mazzola brings early Verdi to life in strong, lovely ‘Luisa Miller’

REVIEW: New Lyric music director Mazzola brings early Verdi to life in strong, lovely ‘Luisa Miller’ By Crista Zivanovic Contributor For anyone who thinks they don’t like or understand opera, “Luisa Miller,” an early opera by the famous and prolific composer Giuseppe Verdi, offers a chance to experience what all the fuss is about. Better-known Verdi operas are “La Traviata,” “Rigoletto,” and “Aida.” Not seen on Chicago’s Lyric Opera stage since 1982, this superb new-to-Chicago production has it all — meddling helicopter parents who interfere in their children’s lives to deadly effect; treachery, jealousy, sacrifice, blackmail — and poison;...

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REVIEW: Drury Lane’s ‘And Then There Were None’ mysteriously lacks intrigue

REVIEW: Drury Lane’s ‘And Then There Were None’ mysteriously lacks intrigue By Jack Gardner Contributor Drury Lane‘s “And Then There Were None,” which has begun its run through Sept. 1, has lead me to solve the mystery of why Agatha Christie plays are seldom produced anymore. The play, which like most Agatha Christie books and their adaptations, is a murder-mystery “who-done-it?” setup, where the audience is encouraged to act as a detective alongside the cast of characters. However, this production lacks the style or spirit that can elevate a simplistic story such as this to exciting new heights. “And Then There...

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REVIEW: Steppenwolf revisits its roots with a new generation in ‘True West’

  REVIEW: Steppenwolf revisits its roots with a new generation in ‘True West’ By Jack Gardner Contributor Steppenwolf Theatre Company is presenting a revival of “True West,” the play that launched the company from relative obscurity and onto the national stage in 1982. The play, which runs until Aug. 25, is being performed in the Downstairs Theatre. Usually regarded as Sam Shepard’s masterpiece and his best known work, “True West” tells the story of brothers Austin (played by Jon Michael Hill), an Ivy League educated Hollywood screenwriter, and Lee (played by Namir Smallwood) a desert-dwelling drifter and burglar. The estranged siblings...

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Of Notoriety

Philip PotempaOfNotoriety.com covers the latest in theater news and reviews, entertainment, movies, stage performances, exhibits, museums, travel destinations, trends/shopping, dining and more.

Philip Potempa, a 25-year Chicago veteran journalist, writes about what others are talking about to keep readers informed about the hottest tickets (and topics) in town and beyond.

His Of Notoriety columns and feature stories can also be read in print in his flagship newspaper The Post-Tribune, one of the daily newspapers in the Chicago Tribune Publishing Media Chain.

You can contact Philip Potempa at philip@ofnotoriety.com

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