“The Cherry Orchard,” Anton Chekhov’s masterful play, is about change — social, historical, financial and emotional. And change is of the essence at the Goodman Theatre too, with this production marking the retirement of artistic director Robert Falls.
Stories by Hedy Weiss
Apr 12, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Mar 31, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Daniil Trifonov dazzled an Orchestra Hall audience Wednesday night, writes WTTW News theater critic Hedy Weiss. The musicians, in top form, even treated the enthusiastic crowd to two encores.
Mar 28, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Alan Turing was a genius — a brilliant English mathematician and logician who is renowned for his invaluable work as a codebreaker during World War II. But he also was a tragic figure, driven to an early death by chemical castration (and possibly by suicide) because of his homosexuality, which during his lifetime, was treated as a crime.
Mar 24, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
A Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert featuring works from Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Aaron Copland and Antonin Dvorak is well worth seeking out.
Mar 16, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Tina Turner’s fiercely dramatic, profoundly painful and wildly successful life unfolds on stage in “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.”
Mar 14, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Part history, part imagination, and awash in clever verbal interplay, “Describe the Night” captures the spirit of Russian author and war correspondent Isaac Babel. The play follows certain aspects of his life and times — from his romantic attachments to his tense interaction with Soviet intelligence.
Mar 11, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
“Signed, Sealed, Delivered: A Stevie Wonder Experience” is driven by an impressive performance from singer, actor and pianist John-Mark McGaha. The show captures the sound and sensibility of Wonder while interweaving aspects of his personal life.
Mar 10, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
There is a palpable electricity in the air whenever the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater arrives on stage at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre. A recent performance featured pieces both old and new.
Feb 25, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
At a recent concert, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra played Schumann’s “Violin Concerto in D Minor” and Tchaikovsky’s fiercely dramatic “Manfred Symphony.” The beauty and dramatic energy of both works were wholly captivating, critic Hedy Weiss writes.
Feb 23, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Of the four feverishly performed works that comprise Visceral Dance Chicago’s winter engagement, three were created in the wake of the pandemic years. But every one of the four might well have been given the all-embracing title of “Pandemic-Era Fever.”
Feb 18, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra was back on the stage at Orchestra Hall on Thursday. Klaus Mäkelä, the wonderfully graceful yet powerfully dynamic 27-year-old Finnish conductor, was on the podium to lead a stunning program.
Feb 17, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
The performance is a fascinating hybrid of ballet technique, modern drama and evocative projection design. Bringing the show fully to life is both the technical polish of the Joffrey dancers and their exceptional gift for acting that so vividly captures the difference between love and passion.
Feb 13, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Enter Aurora’s beautiful 1,800-seat Paramount Theatre for an ideally cast production of a the grand-scale Stephen Sondheim classic "Into the Woods." This is a production that not only entertains but also pays a winning tribute to the late Sondheim
Feb 10, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
It was an evening to remember at Orchestra Hall this Thursday with sublime and exceedingly fresh performances of works by two Russian musical geniuses: Sergei Prokofiev and Sergei Rachmaninov.
Feb 10, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
The production is set in a South Philadelphia bar in March, 1959 — about five months before Billie Holiday died of drug and alcohol abuse at the age of 44. And the Mercury Theater’s intimate Venus Cabaret space serves as an ideal backdrop.
Feb 6, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
The true magic of the opera “The Factotum” is rooted in its seamless interweaving of countless musical styles that take operatic voices into the realm of funk, rap, hip-hop, gospel, R&B, barbershop quartet and even electronic.
Jan 31, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
During the course of just 75 intensely compelling minutes that unfold entirely in a posh hotel room in Tehran in 1976, the play poses profound questions about both art and revolution and the forces that shaped two very different men.
Jan 28, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
The Chicago Opera Theater’s production of “Albert Herring” is alternately amusing and heartbreaking. To mark an early celebration of its 50th anniversary season, the ever-adventurous company has welcomed acclaimed British conductor Dame Jane Glover (DBE).
Jan 26, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Fairy tales do come true, but sometimes they arrive on the stage in the most fantastical way. “Hansel and Gretel” at the Lyric Opera House proves to be an altogether richly imaginative dramatic, musical and visual treat.
Jan 25, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Read the headlines these days, and the sharply sardonic edge of “Cabaret" feels more chillingly ironic and on target than ever.
Jan 23, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, which runs through Jan. 29, will unquestionably change your conception on how puppets can be used in staged productions.
Jan 13, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Given the current state of planet Earth, the concept of heading to outer space might not seem altogether out of the question. And leave it to Frank Maugeri to address the possibility of doing just that in his latest production, “The Icicle Picnic: Journey for the Sun.”
Jan 7, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Female composers of centuries past might well have been smiling from afar Friday evening as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Marin Alsop, performed a program of three works by immensely gifted contemporary female composers.
Dec 19, 2022 | Hedy Weiss
Something intriguing happens when an organ is added to the usual assemblage of symphony orchestra instruments. It’s almost as if an opera singer with a notably distinctive voice has been added to the usual “cast.”
Dec 6, 2022 | Hedy Weiss
Pure, grand-scale magic. That is the only way to describe the Joffrey Ballet’s glorious production of “The Nutcracker,” which breaks the mold of the traditional version by being set against the grandeur of Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair.
Nov 28, 2022 | Hedy Weiss
The exhilarating program featured five works by two composers — bassist Xavier Foley and violinist Mark O’Connor. All were superbly performed by various combinations of the composers, plus musicians drawn from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and guest violinist Maggie O’Connor.