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Riccardo Muti, an active musician since 1963 and one who has stood on the podium for orchestral and operatic performances throughout Europe and the U.S., is now embarking on his farewell season as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Last Thursday, September 22, the 81-year-old …

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Highland Park native Lindsay Joelle's “The Garbologists” follows a tried-and-true formula for buddy comedies. Two people who are polar opposites are thrown together by circumstance and find a way to work out their differences. They even discover they have more in common than they thought.

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My favorite piece at the Renaissance Society’s new show, “Fear of Property” is a 2 minute 30 second video by Pedro Neves Marques entitled “The Pudic Relation between Machine and Plant.” It records an encounter between a robot hand and a Mimosa pudica (aka sensitive plant, shame plant, sleepy…

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Saturday night was unusual at Lyric Opera of Chicago. After opening its 68th season with Verdi’s “Ernani” eight days earlier, Lyric swerved sharply away from opera, introducing as its second production of the season the popular musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” 

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If you think a black comedy that premiered on Broadway in 1941 isn't likely to appeal to audiences eight decades years later, think again. Court Theatre's production of Joseph Kesselring's “Arsenic and Old Lace” is as fresh and funny as if it were written yesterday and, on opening night earl…

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Many Victor Hugo stories have lived vibrant new lives in other forms. “Les Misérables”, for example, is a tremendously popular musical. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” has been made into a film several times. Hugo’s play “Hernani” also lives in another form; it is the basis for the early Verdi…

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Few forms of entertainment are more delicious than a well-crafted murder mystery, and “Miss Holmes Returns,” Lifeline Theatre's sequel to its 2016 “Miss Holmes,” fits the bill quite well. 

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A remarkable number of world premieres are on tap this fall. Some are eagerly anticipated productions with high-profile teams behind them. Others are storefront projects, often written by members of the company. All of them are worth singling out for the amount of effort and energy they requ…

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I wouldn't normally recommend a trip to Aurora to see a show, but the intimate production of “Fun Home” at Paramount's new Copley Theatre makes beautiful sense of the 2015 Tony Award-winning chamber musical by Jeanine Tesori (music) and Lisa Kron (book and lyrics), which is based on Alison B…

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Sunday night, August 21, was a perfect late summer evening: pleasantly warm with soft breezes and only slightly overcast. It was a great night to spend at an outdoor concert and Lyric Opera of Chicago used the evening to introduce Chicagoans to some of the music from many upcoming production…

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If you think of “fake news” and “alternative facts” as recent phenomena, the world premiere of ensemble member Will Allan's “Campaigns, Inc” at TimeLine Theatre Company in Lakeview will set you straight.

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The pre-Broadway world premiere of “The Devil Wears Prada, the Musical” at the James M. Nederlander Theatre isn't anywhere near runway-ready. Like a dress poorly pieced together from a pattern and sewn by unsteady hands, it needs to be ripped apart and remade to showcase its assets and minim…

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“To err is human, to forgive divine” is an aphorism easy to accept but difficult to practice. Forgiveness rather than retribution has the power to allow healing and reconciliation. Yet both in politics and in personal life, forgiveness can be exceedingly difficult to offer. 

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Augusta Holmès (1847–1903) was a French composer with Irish parents who spent her life in Paris. Her mother disapproved of her musical interests, and it wasn’t until age 11, when her mother died, that Holmès was allowed to study music. She once described her struggle to become a serious comp…

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In 2021, when Definition Theatre inaugurated Amplify, its new play commissioning program, theaters were still deep in pandemic-induced lockdowns. Adapting to this new reality, excerpts from the program’s eight plays were filmed and presented online, along with pre-recorded Zoom introductions…

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The main reason to see “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” at Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Ave., is to relish more than two-dozen period pop hits cleverly repurposed to fit the 2006 musical's slim plot. The second reason is the outlandish costumes, but more on those later.

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Last Friday night at International House, 1414 E. 59th St.,  soprano Michelle Areyzaga seemed to float into a chat I was having with other audience members during the intermission of the Chicago Ensemble’s fifth and final concert of the season. As several of us were wondering why this concer…

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Folks who enjoy piano recitals know that there is always an extra dollop of excitement when the program is for “piano fourhands.” Two musicians at one piano means twice as many fingers on the keyboard, twice as many feet to depress the pedals, and half as much real estate on the bench.

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The Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus are reliable and popular performers, so you can count on good-sized crowds at their concerts — except when Mother Nature intervenes. Friday night’s concert at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park had a much smaller audience than usual because it had be…

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This is the time of year when a walk around Hyde Park offers you blooms in profusion, sometimes even a flower or two you’ve never seen before. The latest Rush Hour concert, a free summer concert series produced by the International Music Foundation — the same folks who administer the Dame My…

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Oliver Okun, a University of Chicago PhD candidate in comparative literature, speculates that many Americans cannot point out Belarus on a map. But in the summer of 2020, Belarus made international headlines when its citizens erupted into the largest anti-government protests in the country’s…

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Summertime brings us the outdoor concert, and the Grant Park Music Festival brought the music to Hyde Park on Thursday, June 30, with a free performance by the Project Inclusion String Quartet in Nichols Park. A good-sized crowd had formed well before the music started.

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The Chosen Few Festival and Picnic made a triumphant return to Jackson Park on July 2 after two years of COVID-19 cancellations. Thirty thousand people gathered to dance and lounge on lawn chairs at what organizers call “the Woodstock of house music.”

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Joseph Bologne (1745–99) was a man of remarkable and wide-ranging achievements. He was considered to be the greatest fencer in France, served as an officer of the King’s Bodyguard and was made a chevalier (knight), being known thereafter as the Chevalier Saint-Georges. Bologne excelled as a …

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Back in 1989, Jim Ginsburg, a recent University of Chicago graduate and the son of then-federal judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, began law school. A few years later, Ginsburg gave up his studies to devote his time to Cedille Records, a new classical recording company he founded in Hyde Park. 

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Scores of LGBTQ people attended the Hyde Park Art Center's (HPAC) first-ever "Art of Pride" event on Sunday, with music, drag performers, art and crafts for sale and outreach from local health and social services organizations.

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TimeLine Theatre Company continues to illuminate the present by exploring the past with the Chicago premiere of “The Chinese Lady,” Lloyd Suh's compelling play about Afong Moy, purportedly the first Chinese woman to set foot in the United States. 

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In a press kit insert for “Seagull,” translator-adapter-director Yasen Peyankov explains that his version of Anton Chekhov's 1895 play “is rooted in contemporary English as spoken in the U.S.” He goes on to say he “wanted to give American audiences an opportunity to experience the play as th…