The goal behind the concert at Orchestra Hall, which featured the notably “conductorless” New York-based Orpheus Chamber Orchestra along with saxophone master Branford Marsalis, was to explore the intriguing early intersection of classical and jazz music.
Stories by Hedy Weiss
What this glorious, superbly performed concert did prove was that listening to these works without the element of dance that ordinarily is a crucial partner of the music, you begin to hear them in a wonderfully fresh and exciting way.
Pianist Igor Levit’s riveting concert at Orchestra Hall on Sunday afternoon not only displayed his technical brilliance but also raised the art of listening to a science.
Maestro Riccardo Muti was in stellar form during Thursday night’s concert in Orchestra Hall. He clearly is in love with the indomitable musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and they return that passion with a magnificent combination of sound and fury and absolute beauty.
The production is a sad introduction for new audiences and a spirit-crushing experience for those who’ve seen “Oklahoma!” many times throughout the years.
The “musical film” is a fascinating look at the creation of “The Marriage of Figaro,” the first of the composer’s three major operas in Italian.
While Plagued by Sound Problems, Dance Became the Most Audible Element in Music Theater Works’ ‘Billy Elliot’Hedy Weiss | Dec 27, 2021
From almost the very first note it was apparent that something was very wrong with the sound system and miking, and much of the dialogue and singing, all along the way, was either inaudible or garbled. In fact, the only clear sound came from the orchestra, seated in the pit and led by Michael McBride.
While its score may be classic retro, the songs are performed with great authenticity by artists who came of age decades after the baby boomers and Generation Xers who grew up with them.
Have you ever wondered what Santa Claus’ childhood was like? Or why he’s so driven to take off from the North Pole for an arduous worldwide trip each Christmas Eve? The answers to those questions can be found in the 90-minute opera “Becoming Santa Claus.”
Two different concerts by the ever-remarkable Chicago Symphony Orchestra arrived on the Orchestra Hall stage. Each came with a fascinating CSO-commissioned new work, a superb visiting conductor, and breathtaking performances by the phenomenal virtuoso violinists.
Every performer in this demanding show is multitalented and able to deftly shift from one character and mood to another in record time.
Pure winter magic. The Joffrey Ballet’s altogether unique production of “The Nutcracker,” has never looked more glorious or been danced more ideally.
In the wake of Stephen Sondheim’s death, a look back at his impact on Chicago theater.
Two remarkable concerts took place recently in Chicago and were designed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Astor Piazzolla – the composer who transformed the traditional tango into an irresistible classical music hybrid.
The infrequently revived 1948 musical gem boasts a brilliant score by Cole Porter of nearly 20 knockout songs, almost all of which are classics. It’s a wonderfully clever play-within-a-play book by Sam and Bella Spewack that owes a deep debt of gratitude to that guy by the name of William Shakespeare.
Hubbard Street’s phoenix-like rebirth was fully on display this weekend in an aptly titled program, “RE/TURN,” that featured three fascinating, superbly performed pieces.
What really blows this show out of the park is its knockout dancing, and the brilliant choreography by Bill T. Jones that in many ways is more potent than any spoken dialogue.
Reneisha Jenkins’ direction, along with the wonderfully playful, hip-swiveling choreography of Christopher Chase Carter and the impeccable music direction of keyboardist Diana Lawrence, has infused the show with genuine emotional heat as well as laugh-generating irreverence and comic sparkle.
“Florencia en el Amazonas” (“Florencia in the Amazon”), the first Spanish language opera to be performed on the Lyric Opera mainstage, is pure magic on every count.
Created by a group of six performers and musicians, the 1981 musical is now being brought back to vivid life in a terrific production devised by director Daryl Brooks, music director Robert Reddrick and choreographer Rueben D. Echoles.
The Chicago actress is giving a rip-roaring performance in playwright Cheryl L. West’s “Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer,” a 75-minute, one-woman show to which the actress brings all the grit, endurance, fiery spirit and vocal power that marked the indomitable Hamer herself.
There are many fine performances and clarion ensemble voices in this production. But it is Curtis Bannister, as ragtime musician Coalhouse Walker Jr., who steals the show.
Thursday evening’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra program opened with “Coincident Dances,” a fascinating 2017 work by Jessie Montgomery, the orchestra’s current Mead Composer-in-Residence. She never fails to enthrall with her rhythmically complex, richly orchestrated, highly original pieces.
An estimated 2,000 people cheered the company’s superb artists as they took to the stage Saturday to perform a series of works, including a preview of “Goshen, The Story of Exodus.”
In their first major live performance since the pandemic began, members of Giordano Dance Chicago were in grand style and exceptional form.