This is not a review. It is primarily a note of appreciation to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s music director, who has not been able to conduct his beloved orchestra for a year but has helped guide the superb CSOtv series. This week, he also pursued one of his greatest passions via Zoom.
Stories by Hedy Weiss
True to its title, this lavish production traces the evolution of Broadway scores from the 1960s until now, and explores the many ways in which pop music (as well as modern life) has expanded and altered the sound of musical theater.
How do you tell the story of a musical genius whose operas are among the most beloved works in the Italian opera canon? If you are Hershey Felder, you create something unabashedly in the grand opera style that also manages to be hugely accessible for audiences still distanced from live performance by COVID-19.
Lauren Gunderson’s new 75-minute play about her husband, acclaimed virologist Nathan Daniel Wolfe, is a riveting one-man meditation about life and death and the nature of viruses. It’s now being streamed by Northlight Theatre.
Programs framed by Bach and Beethoven are streaming now as part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s virtual series, CSOtv. Here’s a look at Episode #13 and #14.
While most of this country’s major opera companies are suffering the painful slings and arrows of the pandemic scourge, Chicago Opera Theater continues to soldier on. And its latest production is another example of its musical, theatrical and thematic daring.
Two thrillingly dramatic works — one by way of dance and another by way of radio theater — now serve as vivid evocations marking the one-year “anniversary” of the pandemic, and all the physical and psychological dislocations it has engendered.
“Sole e Amore,” Enrique Mazzola’s newest project, will include two dozen songs by seven of the most beloved Italian opera composers of the 19th century, performed by 11 members of the Ryan Opera Center, Lyric’s renowned artist development program.
Streaming through Sunday, “Before Fiddler” is the latest of the many remarkable feats of musical storytelling from Hershey Felder, the multitalented writer, actor, pianist and producer renowned for his solo shows about composers.
Any description of Rajiv Joseph’s mini-play — the newest entry in Steppenwolf Theatre’s NOW series of virtual programming that runs about 11 minutes — might make it sound like just a quick virtual doodle. But it is much more than that.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s CSOtv Sessions series is, without question, the finest virtual music treasure created in response to the COVID-19 plague year. Those who have yet to revel in its delights are encouraged to catch its two newest entries: Episodes #11 and #12.
Created and performed by Scott Silven, a young actor, writer, illusionist, mentalist and masterful storyteller, “The Journey” is a mesmerizing riff on time, space, memory, human connection, and the tricks that our very own existence can play on us.
Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” has long been the standard-bearer of the December theater season. But a subsequent and far less familiar novella is now receiving a bravura solo rendition courtesy of Remy Bumppo Theatre.
For several decades, Hershey Felder has created a series of richly theatrical biographies of great composers. His latest work, “A Paris Love Story,” follows that essential pattern but adds a heartbreaking layer of autobiography.
With the coronavirus pandemic foiling plans for a trio of live performances, Chicago Opera Theater has adapted its 2020-2021 season to be a primarily virtual one.
The doors of Chicago’s Symphony Center may be closed to its audiences until the pandemic has been conquered. But its stage is still very much alive.
James Ijames’ 20-minute play marks the opening salvo in Steppenwolf Now — a series of six virtual productions designed to serve as placeholders until there is a return to live theater — a return that seems ever more elusive.
This year’s announcement of the 2020 Jeff Awards, which honor excellence in Chicago’s Equity contract theaters, took the form of a virtual event. Here is a list of the top award winners.
The Neo-Futurists go virtual with “45 Plays for America’s First Ladies,” a 100-minute world premiere collage created by the company of writer-directors that was established in Chicago in 1988.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s newly devised CSO Sessions programming provides ample proof that “adversity is the mother of invention.” And its initial series of five on-demand, beautifully filmed video recordings is a sheer delight.
The 45-minute “Broadway By the Decade,” performed by a gifted six-person cast, features representative songs from musicals spanning 10 decades.
This fall was to mark the Joffrey’s first season in its new home on the Lyric Opera stage after many years of residence at the Auditorium Theatre.
Dancers, perhaps more than any other group of performing artists, have been hit hardest, both artistically and financially, by the fallout from the coronavirus. So this year’s Dance for Life 2020 event will feature a new virtual format.
How do you design a pandemic-era theater season? The Glencoe-based theater has devised a multifaceted plan that combines a degree of certainty with the option of built-in flexibility, with the ultimate goal of keeping live theater alive.
Amid all the dire warnings that live performances might not start up again until 2021, the news that the richly creative company plans to begin its three-production season in November comes as an enormous spirit-raiser.