Monthly Archives: October 2014

DON GIOVANNI: A Lyric Opera Triumph

Chicago’s great writer Saul Bellow loved the Lyric Opera. In 1979 he wrote a preface to a celebration of the opera company in which he quoted long-time Chicago drama critic, and opera enthusiast, Claudia Cassidy: “Without the Lyric,” she tells us, “Chicago would be underprivileged. A city, she continues, “is more than tall buildings, crowded […]

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ST. VINCENT: Bill Murray Explains It All

Bill Murray has played a remarkable collection of curmudgeons and misanthropes – Tripper, Carl Spackler, John Winger, Dr. Peter Venkman, Frank Cross, Bob Wiley, Phil Connors, Frank Milo, Ernie McCracken, Wallace Ritchie, Herman Blume, and Raleigh St. Clair among them. All seem as warmups to Vincent McKenna in Theodore Melfi’s St. Vincent. Vincent McKenna is […]


Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw and a Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare are the only two plays I know which have individual acts which have been removed from the plays and performed alone as an evening’s entertainment – The Most Lamentable Comedy and Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisbe (Act V […]

BIRDMAN: Macbeth’s Movie

Birdman’s artists – Alejandro González Iñárritu, Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Antonio Sanchez, Emmanuel Lubezki, Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione – will be nominated for all of the major film awards, and they probably deserve to win. But Birdman is deliberately unlike other films: Birdman seeks to have no meaning. That’s right. The artists deliberately conspire to […]