Emerson String Quartet at Ravinia Festival (Comments Off)
The venerable Emerson String Quartet opened their Monday-night program at Ravinia with what is arguably the greatest piece for string-quartet by the greatest master of the genre. Op. 131 is part of the series of five quartets that together represent Beethoven’s last major achievement – he was dead within a year of its 1826 completion. Composed in seven movements instead of the usual four, it is perhaps the most ambitious attempt to create a string quartet of symphonic sweep, and the result is at once dazzling and overwhelming: by turns melancholy, mischievous, serene, and tragic. If one can follow the many diverse threads brought together over the course of these seven movements, it is an experience not quite like any other.
Seussical at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Comments Off)
One good reason for having children is that it gives parents and grandparents an excuse for attending great performances. However, Seussical is such an outstanding production — in staging, costumes, music, and acting — that it would be a shame to limit it to small fry. Adults should not miss it. You don’t have to be accompanied by offspring, and in fact, you don’t even have to have any prior knowledge of the works of Theodor Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss), to thoroughly enjoy the experience.
The Emperor of Atlantis & The Clever One (Comments Off)
While both pieces, in their own way, were interesting. well sung and staged, The Clever One was more ambitious yet The Emperor of Atlantis was darker and more powerful. These seldom performed works are worthy of an audience as they are both historical as well as creative modern fairy tales rich in satire.