Tina Turner’s fiercely dramatic, profoundly painful and wildly successful life unfolds on stage in “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.”
Stories by hedy weiss
Dramatic Life of a Powerhouse Performer Captured in the Knockout ‘Tina Turner Musical’
Mar 16, 2023 | Hedy Weiss
Capturing the Darkness of a Totalitarian State in ‘Describe the Night’
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.
Celebrating the Irresistible Songbook of Stevie Wonder at the Mercury Theater
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.
The Enduring Allure of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
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.
Maestro Muti Leads CSO in Breathtaking Performances of Works by Schumann, Tchaikovsky
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.
High Anxiety in Visceral Dance’s Expertly Performed Winter Concert
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.”
A Dazzling Musical Showcase at the CSO
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.
Love Versus Passion in the Joffrey Ballet’s Feverish Production of ‘Anna Karenina’
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.
Paramount Theater’s Production of ‘Into the Woods’ a Grand-Scale Homage to Stephen Sondheim
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
A Stellar Evening for the CSO and Two Exceptional Visiting Artists
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.
Transcendent Performance Captures the Life and Music of a Profoundly Gifted but Troubled Singer
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.
‘The Factotum,’ Groundbreaking Opera Set in a Chicago Barbershop, Receives Its World Premiere
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.
‘Andy Warhol in Iran’ a Blistering, Thought-Provoking Play About Art and Revolution
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.
A Repressed Mother’s Boy Breaks Free in Benjamin Britten’s Satirical Opera ‘Albert Herring’
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).
Lyric Opera’s Production of ‘Hansel and Gretel’ Cooks Up a Winningly Imaginative Theatrical Feast
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.
Porchlight’s ‘Cabaret’ a Bravura Production of a Chillingly Timely Broadway Classic
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.
A Whale of a Show Opens the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival
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.
Cabinet of Curiosity’s Latest Spectacle Considers Pluses and Minuses of Earth and Outer Space
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.”
CSO Performs Powerhouse Works By a Triumvirate of Contemporary Female Composers
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.
When the Sound of an Organ Infuses a CSO Concert
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.”
The Enduring Magic of the Joffrey Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’
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.
Composing the New by Interweaving the Old at CSO MusicNOW Concert
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.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Concert Captured Aspects of Ukraine War (and Far More) in Remarkable Ways
Nov 21, 2022 | Hedy Weiss
Of course the performance of the concert’s three works, led with great elan and specificity by guest conductor Manfred Honeck, music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony, was superb. It was carried off with the kind of brilliance that only the musicians of the CSO can do.
Berlin Philharmoniker Performs Breathtaking Rendering of Mahler’s ‘Symphony No. 7’ at Orchestra Hall
Nov 18, 2022 | Hedy Weiss
Every one of the theater’s more than 2,500 seats had been snapped up for this one-night-only performance of Gustav Mahler’s wildly innovative, emotionally stunning “Symphony No. 7.” The piece is a monumental 85-minute work of great sonic magic and innovation.
A Beguiling Collaboration Between the CSO and Joffrey Ballet at Orchestra Hall
Nov 12, 2022 | Hedy Weiss
It was an evening of sheer, unadulterated delight as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra joined forces with the Joffrey Ballet on Thursday for a pair of world premieres.
Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Thrills Audience in a Knockout Performance at Auditorium Theatre
Nov 12, 2022 | Hedy Weiss
In addition to the bravura performances of its dancers, the exuberant works of a number of different choreographers and the excellent group of musicians that gathered for its grand finale, the company attracted an impressively vast, immensely enthusiastic audience.