Category Archives: Quotations

The Goodman Theatre’s Wonderful Town: A Wonderful Show

Occasionally a production arrives with such startling imagination, and with performances overflowing with such zest and talent, that a viewer is at a loss for words. The production I am referring to is Mary Zimmerman’s Wonderful Town at the Goodman Theatre. The 1950s musical is based on the post-World War II play My Sister Eileen […]

Chicago Opera and CITIZEN KANE

“Samuel Insull built the Civic Opera Building for his mistress, an opera singer.” “Samuel Insull built the Civic Opera Building for his mistress, Mary Garden, an opera singer.” These two similar tales are told daily by Chicago River tour guides. And these two tales are totally false. The only truth in the tales is that […]

CST: Shakespeare’s Globe’s The Merchant of Venice: The Quality of Malice

Despite what you may read, or hear, in the news, Jews remain the most hated people in America. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports: Hate Crime Statistics, there were 1,140 victims of anti-religious hate crimes in the U.S. last year. “Of the 1,140 victims of anti-religious hate crimes: 56.8 percent [56.8%] were victims of […]

COMPANY at WRITERS THEATRE: Musical Theatre at Its Best

When God said, “It is not good for man to be alone,” He provided the stimulus for Stephen Sondheim’s landmark musical Company. God made the human being as a social animal. Without human interaction, newborns shrivel, and the elderly wither. Meanwhile, those in between seek to avoid the deadliness of being alone. Psychologist John Cacioppo […]

THE ARTISTIC HOME’S THE SEAGULL: GREAT CHEKHOV, GREAT THEATER

          I will stake anything you like that these hidden dramas and tragedies in every character of the play, given a skillful, extremely conscientious production, without banalities, can enthrall the auditorium. With those words the young Russian stage director Vladimir Nemirovich Danchenko, convinced the fledgling playwright Anton Chekhov to entrust his first play, after a […]

THE LION IN WINTER: Promethean Excellence at the Athenaeum

Winning fifteen awards out of eighteen nominations in 1968, did more than revive the fortunes of James Goldman’s 1966 play, The Lion in Winter. The play had closed after 92 performances, even though it boasted of a cast which included Robert Preston, Rosemary Harris, Christopher Walken, and James Rado, whose book for the historic musical […]

LYRIC OPERA’S THE KING AND I: AN OPULENT BEAUTY AND THE NICE GUY

At the heart of all of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s great musicals – Oklahoma, Carousel, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, and The King and I – is the tale of Beauty and the Beast. Each Beauty – Laurey, Julie, Nellie, Maria, Anna – transforms the macho wild Beast in their life – helps their man […]

Steppenwolf’s MARY PAGE MARLOWE: Peer Gynt’s Granddaughter

One of the great themes of Western literature arises in the temple of Apollo at Delphi with the maxim, “Know Thyself”. Early in Tracy Letts beautifully lyrical play, Mary Page Marlowe, the heroine and her girlfriends at a slumber party consult the tarot to learn who, exactly, Mary Page Marlowe is, and will be. The […]

The Goodman Theatre’s THE MATCHMAKER: Just Right

It is just what it always has been, a scrambled, scattered, flyaway farce, full of loose ends, moralizing asides and fascinating people. Its happy endings sprout right down to the footlights, where they speak up, wishing you the same. Enticingly adorned and enjoyably staged, it has the adaptable shape of a beanbag, a pixilated warmth […]

LYRIC OPERA’S ROMEO AND JULIET: Swashbuckling Beauty

Charles Gounod’s opera, Romeo and Juliet,  has a long and important relationship with Chicago. When the Auditorium Theatre premiered its very first opera on December 10, 1889, Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet was the choice. The production starred Adelina Patti, the woman whom Verdi called “the finest singer who ever lived”. Ms. Patti received $3000.00 and […]