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This week was the scheduled opening of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung,” the final opera in the Ring Cycle. But the three full Ring Cycles as well as two performances of “Götterdämmerung” were cancelled due to restrictions on large gatherings enacted by G…

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For over 60 years the Hyde Park Youth Symphony has served the South Side of Chicago by offering an orchestral experience for kids. Saturday afternoon at the Logan Center a good-sized audience was on hand for the HPYS’s spring concert that featured three different ensembles: the Preparatory S…

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“I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like” Jane Austen is said to have remarked as she started work on “Emma,” the last of her four novels to be published before her death in 1817. While English professor Stuart Sherman points out in his program essay for Chicago Sh…

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When asked in an interview how “Stick Fly” came about, playwright Lydia R. Diamond said she set out to write a “well-made play” that also was “fun.” She went on to explain that she wanted to explore fatherhood, interracial relationships, how we look at one another, and how we perceive that w…

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Lori Waxman was in the lobby of the Smart Museum, but she couldn’t talk about the painting right behind her, an 8-by-13-foot linen canvas painted with ash collected from temples in Shanghai. She couldn’t talk about the painting — “Seeds,” by the Chinese artist Zhang Huan — because she was pr…

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Conghao Tian stoops down and dips his calligraphy pen in the channel of water circumscribing the base of the dark grey vertical slab of metal standing in the Smart Museum gallery.

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“Bug” is very high on my list of plays that are likely to make your skin crawl and your brain buzz. Tracy Letts's blend of psychological thriller, science fiction, and love story is fraught with enough paranoia, conspiracy theories, and creepiness to give anyone nightmares. And even though i…

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A stream of perplexed and dismayed patrons filed out of the Lyric Opera House last Saturday, after Lyric unveiled a new-to-Chicago production of Tchaikovsky’s “Pikovaya dama” (“The Queen of Spades”). Pushkin’s short story, on which the opera is based, is about greed. The composer’s brother M…

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Anyone who saw “On Clover Road” at American Blues Theater last year knows the Steven Dietz can write a hair-raising thriller. The world premiere of his “How A Boy Falls” at Northlight Theatre isn't in that league, but the 75-minute play, which was commissioned by the theater and directed by …

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Toward the end of “Verböten” at The House Theatre of Chicago, when the members of the eponymous Evanston punk rock band finally put aside their arguments and angst to get up onstage at the Cubby Bear and play, what we see is a film clip of the actual band performing.

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“Folk music at the time was still kind of underground music,” said journalist, author and panelist Mark Guarino as he recounted the early history of the University of Chicago Folk Festival during a celebration of the Fest’s 60th year at the Hyde Park Historical Society, 5529 S. Lake Park Ave…

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It’s not just any living composer who can draw 350 people to a concert of a single modern string quartet. But that’s just what happened Friday night at the Logan Center, when University of Chicago Presents hosted the JACK Quartet playing the String Quartet No. 9 of Georg Friedrich Haas.

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Sunday afternoon was cold and icy in Hyde Park, and as I trudged through the neighborhood to International House, I wondered if it would affect the audience at that afternoon’s concert by the Chicago Ensemble. Indeed, the audience was much smaller than usual, but those present were treated t…

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“As a scholar of the Great Migration, I have spent most of my career trying to understand the multiple meanings of Black bodies in motion. If I’ve learned anything from my explorations, it is that a Black body in motion is never without consequence.”

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In a culturally rich city like ours, it is easy to find a wide range of solo piano concerts and recitals nearly every week of the year. Less common is the slightly old fashioned piano duo. Such duos may share a single piano (and a remarkable degree of physical proximity), or perform with two.

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Jasmin Taylor, a Hyde Park native, is one of 38 dancers and choreographers across the globe to be selected to study with world-renowned Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Israel in their Dance Journey Program for five months in 2020.

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A flyer inserted into the program for Writers Theatre's production of Eleanor Burgess' 2018 “The Niceties” advises viewers not to take sides in the debate between an esteemed, white, Baby Boomer college history professor and her black Millennial student, a political science major.

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Kelvin Rosten Jr. as Oedipus and Kate Collins as Jocasta in “Oedipus Rex.” (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

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If classics scholar and Court Theatre founding artistic director Nicholas Rudall were still alive (he died in 2018), I think he would be very proud of what the theater has done with his translation of Sophocles' “Oedipus Rex.” Court's artistic director Charles Newell, his ensemble of 14 acto…

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David Payne as the title character in "An Evening with C.S.Lewis."

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Hannah Toriumi (left) as Sophie and Emjoy Gavino (as Hiro) in “Kentucky.”

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Italy is underappreciated for being a land of contrasts. Futurism and singular design, Ferraris and high fashion, all exist alongside gaudy opera and overwrought gesticulation. Gregariousness coexists with an understandable fatigue with foreign tourists.