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Latest Chicago Plays, Theatre Reviews, stage shows, Opera, Theater Tickets, music critiques, theatre articles, art beat

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Ruined (0)

In their year of one playwright – 2014 – Lynn Nottage, Eclipse Theatre Company, under the creative direction of Aaron Todd Douglas, have mounted a powerful and wonderfully performed version of Ruined, the finest play by the talented Lynn Nottage.

She dramatizing the atrocities committed against women in the long civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Nottage puts her immense research and writing skills to work to create situations and characters aptly depicting the conflicts in East Africa from a women’s perspective.

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La Tragedie de Carmen (0)

Cube Ensemble’s first full music production is a bold 90 minute scaled down adaptation of Georges Bizet’s 1875 La Tragedie de Carmen is an efficient affair featuring music from a stand-up piano that produced a unique sound for an opera. This intimate opera is staged in a minute studio space at the Den in Bucktown. Sung in French without super titles, best to read the “director’s Notes’ in the program to get a feel for the story. I must say that the staging does allow for us to understand both the action and the motivation of the opera.

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Mud Blue Sky (0)

Mud Blue Sky has the elements of a wonderful show: honest acting; spot-on comic dialogue and loads of heart and compassion. And, of course, more laughs than any other show now playing in Chicago. This show is easily one of the best shows of 2014 – it’s therapy for a cold rainy spring with all those laughs

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Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) (0)

As Barber’s preeminence among his output seems to have been established by a nearly unanimous consensus since its premier, more or less agreed to by Rossini himself, casual opera-goers who are given the chance to get regularly re-acquainted in the theater with this alone among the composer’s vast output may safely assume that it is that most worthy of such attention. And of course it is a delightfully sparkling, lyrical, and mischievous work, even if the music may not quite erase memories of Mozart, whom it often evokes and to which it ultimately yields the last degree of poignancy and memorability – it is hard not to enjoy this lovely opera.

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