Victoria Jaiani and Dylan Gutierrez in Joffrey Ballet’s “Studies in Blue.”(Credit: Todd Rosenberg)

The Joffrey Ballet demonstrated both the technical brilliance and emotional boldness of its dancers as the company opened its 2024 season on the Lyric Opera House stage with “Studies in Blue,” a fascinating program of three modern ballets. 

Conductor Gemma New makes her CSO debut and leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a program featuring works by Kernis, Beethoven and Mendelssohn. (Nuccio DiNuzzo)

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra was back on stage at Orchestra Hall, barely a week after the orchestra’s intense three-week tour to 11 cities in Europe. As always, the musicians were in stellar form.

The company of Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of “Illinoise,” playing at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Jan. 28–Feb. 18, 2024. (Liz Lauren)

It is not an easy production to describe, but it is fascinating to watch. “Illinoise,” now onstage at Chicago Shakespeare’s Yard Theater, is an altogether unique and extraordinarily brilliant interpretation of Sufjan Stevens’ 2005 album.

Yael Eden Chanukov, Emma Rosenthal and Abby Goldberg in “Fiddler on the Roof.” (Brett Beiner)

Jeff Award-winning director Elizabeth Margolius has interpreted and very subtly modernized the ever-remarkable musical “Fiddler on the Roof” for a new production at the Drury Lane Theatre.

The cast of “In the Heights” at the Marriott Theatre. (Liz Lauren)

With its theme of immigrant life in the largely Latino Washington Heights neighborhood in the 1980s, this show’s uncanny relevance to the immigration controversy now underway in this country could not be more ideal, writes WTTW News theater critic Hedy Weiss.

The company of “Champion” on the Lyric Opera stage. (Michael Brosilow)

It is an absolute knockout — both literally and figuratively. And that is the most concise way to describe “Champion,” the physically, emotionally and musically stunning work now on the Lyric Opera stage, writes WTTW News theater critic Hedy Weiss.

Teresa Castillo as Clorinda, Joshua Hopkins as Dandini, and Sophia Maekawa as Tisbe in “Cinderella” at the Lyric Opera House. (Michael Brosilow)

There is something about the Cinderella story that never fails to delight. And it might just be that those with a good heart and a true understanding of love will invariably triumph over those who are greedy and hungry for social superiority, writes WTTW News theater critic Hedy Weiss.

The cast of “Anything Goes” from Porchlight Music Theatre, now playing through Feb. 25 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. (Liz Lauren)

Without a moment’s hesitation, the powers that be at Porchlight Music Theatre should invite a slew of heavyweight New York producers to Chicago to see its bravura production of “Anything Goes,” the classic 1934 Cole Porter musical. They just don’t make many musicals like this one anymore, WTTW News theater critic Hedy Weiss writes.

Aleksey Bogdanov in “The Nose.” (Michael Brosilow)

Call “The Nose” the quintessential opera of the absurd. The show is receiving an elaborate Chicago Opera Theater production in a wildly zany, two-performance-only run.

Jasmine Amy Rogers (Betty Boop), Ainsley Anthony Melham (Dwayne) and ensemble in “BOOP! The Musical.” (Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman)

“BOOP! The Musical” is clearly on its way to Broadway with an absolutely starry performance by Jasmine Amy Rogers, an actress who can sing and dance up a storm in a role that is sure to fly her into the spotlight, writes WTTW News theater critic Hedy Weiss.

Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Schoenberg’s orchestration of Brahms’ “Piano Quartet No. 1.” (Nuccio DiNuzzo Photography)

WTTW News theater critic Hedy Weiss reviews recent performances from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera and Staatskapelle Berlin.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in “Coltrane’s Favorite Things” by Lar Lubovitch. (Michelle Reid)

During the past couple of weeks, three of Chicago’s most formidable contemporary dance troupes — the Hubbard Street Dance Company, Giordano Dance Chicago and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater — have turned in terrific performances.

Conrad Tao makes his CSO subscription debut in a performance of Gershwin’s “Concerto in F Major” with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and conductor James Gaffigan. (Todd Rosenberg)

WTTW News theater critic Hedy Weiss recommends an evening spent with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, guest conductor James Gaffigan and the extraordinary pianist Conrad Tao.

James Monroe Iglehart as Louis Armstrong in “A Wonderful World” now playing in Chicago. (Jeremy Daniel)

Louis Armstrong, with his instantly identifiable raspy tenor voice, was a formative force in the world of jazz for nearly half a century. Now, the musical “A Wonderful World” has arrived in Chicago in a show that is bound to end up on Broadway.

Baritone Christian Gerhaher performs songs from Mahler’s “Des Knaben Wunderhorn,” led by Jaap van Zweden with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. (Todd Rosenberg)

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra was in its usual top form this past week in a concert that was zestily led by Jaap van Zweden, the Amsterdam-born conductor who is in his farewell season as music director of the New York Philharmonic.

Jonathan Dole and José Pablo Castro Cuevas in “Frankenstein.” (Cheryl Mann)

Over the years there have been countless interpretations of “Frankenstein,” Mary Shelley’s extraordinary 1818 Gothic novel. But the Joffrey Ballet’s production of the story that recently opened at the Lyric Opera House might very well be its most stunning interpretation yet.