Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

|
Conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 on May 17, 2018. (Credit: Todd Rosenberg)

Although everything they touch turns to gold these days, nothing quite reveals the brilliance of the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra quite like the challenge of a Mahler masterwork. 

|
Tiffany Topol, seated, and, from left: Cassidy Stirtz, Nik Kmiecik, Jeanne T. Arrigo and Everleigh Murphy. (Photo credit: Liz Lauren)

Theater critic Hedy Weiss gives us her take on shows from American Blues Theater, Shattered Globe, Porchlight, the Paramount Theatre and more.

|
From left: Liliana Mastroianni, Cleo Shine and Thavory Hang in The Yard’s production of “Columbinus.” (Credit: Evan Hanover)

An intensely disciplined, fearless, altogether remarkable ensemble of sophisticated young artists brings this singular – and singularly riveting – docu-drama to life.

|
Anthony Irons in Shattered Globe Theatre’s Chicago premiere of “How to Use a Knife.” (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

Among its several honors, Will Snider’s “How to Use a Knife” was named a finalist for a PEN Center USA Literary Award. Based on this exceptional Shattered Globe production alone, it should have won the prize.

|
Lady Macbeth (Chaon Cross) is taunted by the unseen Weird Sisters in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of “Macbeth.” (Photo by Liz Lauren)

This immensely compelling production adapted and directed by playwright Aaron Posner and the magician Teller is filled with a full array of sensory treats.

|
From left: Chuckie Benson, Michael Mahler, Zachary Stevenson and Kieran McCabe in “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.” (Photo credit: Michael Brosilow)

Zachary Stevenson – a bravura performer who is the spittin’ image of the character he plays, and who possesses the voice, moves, guitar licks and irresistible energy of the “original” – is proof that Buddy Holly lives. 

|
Samantha Hill, center, as Nellie in “South Pacific” at Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre. (Photo by Brett Beiner)

There seems to be an unofficial renaissance of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals by way of three classics from the 1940s. Is this mere coincidence, or a a much-needed balm?

|
Barry DeBois and Tiffany Topol in “Once” at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. (Photo credit: Liz Lauren)

The stunning performers now gathered on the stage of the Paramount Theatre bring this unconventional piece of musical theater to life with a beguiling mix of emotional depth and comic zest.

|
Visceral Dance Chicago performs Nick Pupillo’s “The Dream.” (Photo by Quinn Wharton)

Nick Pupillo’s haunting, hourlong narrative work, performed in collaboration with the Chicago Philharmonic, highlights the impressive dramatic skills of the Visceral dancers.

|
Joffrey Ballet’s North American premiere of “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” (Photo by Cheryl Mann)

You will never experience anything quite like it. Alexander Ekman’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” is now receiving its North American premiere by the Joffrey Ballet, and it is a monumental achievement on every level.

|
Liam Quealy as Huey Calhoun and Aeriel Williams as Felicia Farrell in “Memphis” from Porchlight Music Theatre. (Photo by Michael Courier)

A transformative evening in the theater, Porchlight Music Theatre’s production features galvanic direction, volcanic dancing, a powerhouse onstage band and a large, fiercely talented cast.

|
Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a program of works by Debussy and Tchaikovsky in the final weekend of his April residency at Symphony Center. (© Todd Rosenberg)

The work of both composers shares the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s current program led by Maestro Riccardo Muti. And the result is a most winning mix of opposing musical temperaments.

|
Rainn Wilson and Celeste M. Cooper in “The Doppelgänger (an international farce)” by Matthew-Lee Erlbach. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

A sort of equal-opportunity snake pit of corruption, violence and ridiculous sex-capades, Matthew-Lee Erlbach’s play is now receiving its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre.

|
Hershey Felder in “Our Great Tchaikovsky” at Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre.

For those still unfamiliar with the magic Hershey Felder can create, an introduction to the man, whose enthralling show about Tchaikovsky is now in a limited engagement at Steppenwolf’s Upstairs Theatre, is essential.

|

The beautifully thought-out program serves as a subtle but revealing portrait of the deep but varied influences that have taken root in this country.

|
“Carousel” on Broadway. (Credit: Julieta Cervantes)

In many ways this show was ahead of its time when it was created. And now, whatever the flaws might be in this 21st century “rotation,” it is worth the price of a ticket for a ride on the “Carousel.”

randomness