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.
Stories by Hedy Weiss
Nov 7, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Oct 20, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
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.
Oct 19, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
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.
Oct 17, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
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.
Oct 14, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
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.
Oct 11, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
At once abstract, often acrobatic, and driven by alternately intensely challenging solo turns, strongly varied and emotionally heated interpersonal relationships, and ensemble riffs that are technically demanding and expertly finessed — “Take” is performed to stunning effect.
Oct 10, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Audra McDonald's glorious soprano voice sounded as beautiful and emotionally expressive as ever, and her delightful commentaries between each of almost 20 mostly classic Broadway songs were at once witty and revealing.
Oct 9, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
In its Chicago premiere, “The Lehman Trilogy” is a fascinating chronicle of a monumental aspect of American history that is being ideally performed by three fabulously gifted Chicago actors.
Maestro Muti Waves a Richly Varied Goodbye (But Not a Farewell) by Way of Glass, Mendelssohn and Strauss
Sep 29, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Although Maestro Riccardo Muti will soon head to New York and embark on a seven-country, 14-concert tour of Europe with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, his concert at Orchestra Hall on Thursday evening was an ideal example of the thrilling bond between him and the CSO’s brilliant musicians.
Sep 27, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Something truly magical (and magnificent) happens when Maestro Riccardo Muti arrives on the podium to conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The latest proof was on display in two different concerts this past Thursday and Saturday evening.
Sep 21, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Haidle’s work defies easy labeling, but perhaps the best description of his plays might be that they are magical realist portraits that capture the dynamics of the American family in unique ways.
Sep 18, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
The musical’s latest visit to Chicago, which will run through December at the Nederlander Theatre, is as grand-scale and exuberant as ever.
Sep 15, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Shattered Globe Theatre’s vividly acted and deeply disturbing revival of the Arthur Miller classic “A View From the Bridge” could not have been revived at a more ideally timely moment.
Sep 11, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
The pieces were brilliantly danced by five men and two women. Founded in 2002, Dance Crash continues to develop intriguing works that are a unique and seamless fusion of hip hop and contemporary dance.
Sep 5, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Featuring nearly 40 hit songs, “A Taste of Soul” takes an exceptionally clever approach to celebrating the irrepressible exuberance and heartache of soul music, WTTW News theater critic Hedy Weiss writes.
Aug 23, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Lyric Opera’s free outdoor concert in Millennium Park served as an ideal introduction to the six operas to be performed during the 2023-24 season. The absence of scenery and costumes only put the focus entirely on the singers, but also made the characters come fully to life.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a Stunning Ravinia Performance of Shostakovich’s ‘Symphony No. 5’ and More
Aug 21, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
For the second half of its Ravinia Festival concert this past Thursday the Chicago Symphony Orchestra delivered a bravura performance of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich’s extraordinary “Symphony No. 5” and it couldn’t have been more timely in subtle way.
Aug 11, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Michael Jackson was an iconic singer, dancer, songwriter, producer, philanthropist and intensely complex (and controversial) figure who transformed pop culture in the second half of the 20th century.
Jul 28, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
“Rock of Ages” is a funky, feverish, hard-driving musical that is now storming across the stage of the Mercury Theater. A large, fearless and very talented cast, along with an exceptional band, capture the tumultuous beat of a decidedly “rocky” decade.
Jul 26, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Four lost souls are the variously screwed-up men living in “No Man’s Land,” Harold Pinter’s strange, angry, status-conscious and somewhat absurdist talkathon of a play. It first opened in London in 1975 and is now on stage at Steppenwolf Theatre in a production directed by Les Waters.
Jul 20, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
“Marie and Rosetta” tells the tale of singers Marie Knight and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The play is a story of personal liberation as achieved through a hybrid of musical styles and the friendship of opposites.
Jul 17, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Whether she is performing songs from a Broadway musical, a familiar hymn or a gospel classic, Heather Headley possesses a voice and personality that can easily mesmerize an audience. And so she did with a grand-scale performance at Ravinia Pavilion.
CSO’s ‘Concert for Chicago’ Signals a Change of Title for Maestro Riccardo Muti, But It’s by No Means a Farewell
Jul 1, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
With an audience approaching about 8,500 people, Maestro Riccardo Muti led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the “Concert for Chicago” in Millennium Park. He ended his 13-year tenure as CSO music director but will continue to conduct some performances.
Jun 24, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Maestro Riccardo Muti chose Beethoven’s “Missa solemnis” as the work he wished to conduct to mark “the official end” of his glorious 13-year tenure as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has been named music director emeritus for life and will continue to lead occasional CSO performances.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Salutes the Tuba, With Musician Gene Pokorny Performing Work by Lalo Schifrin
Jun 18, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
The tuba may be one of the largest instruments in a symphony orchestra and an important source of the brass sound, but it is rarely celebrated in a work that puts it front and center by way of a masterful composer and musician.
Jun 14, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Chicago’s dance scene is in high gear these days with formidable performances by ballet, modern, jazz, tap, Spanish and classical Indian companies on stages in and around the city. A case in point was this past Saturday’s one-night-only world premiere performance of “Memoirs of Jazz in the Alley” by South Chicago Dance Theatre.