Category Archives: Acting

DIRECTOR RE-WRITES FLYING DUTCHMAN

Director Terry McCabe has written brilliantly about the director’s historical obligation to a dramatic  text: “I believe the director’s job is to tell the playwright’s story as clearly and as interestingly as possible.”[i] The operas of Richard Wagner debuted in Chicago with Leonard B. Grover (1833-1926) whose company first performed a Wagnerian opera in the […]

STEPPENWOLF’S NO MAN’S LAND: THE HOSPITALITY OF HIRST

As a theater student in college during the 1960s, nothing excited my classmates and me as much as a new play by Harold Pinter. When we found a new Grove Press copy of the latest Pinter play, we would gather on the steps of the theater building, randomly assign roles, and begin a reading. The […]

LYRIC OPERA ENDS SEASON WITH THRILLING WEST SIDE STORY

West Side Story first appeared in Chicago when the national touring company opened on October 8, 1959 at the Erlanger Theater (1912), on Clark Street at  the site of the current Chriskindlmart plaza. The legendary Tribune critic Claudia Cassidy loved The musical but not the performance of it. “It takes the big musicals so long […]

MERCURY THEATER CHICAGO FINDS GOLD IN BIG RIVER

“All right, then, I’ll go to hell.” Those seven words from chapter 31 of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are among the most memorable in American literature. At this point in the novel, Huck Finn has just realized the con artists, the  Duke and Dauphin, have betrayed the runaway slave Jim and sold […]

THE CHERRY ORCHARD AT THE GOODMAN: Chekhovian Homelessness

Underneath all of the copious details, Anton Chekhov’s final play The Cherry Orchard (1904) hangs on a very simple plot: Coming and going. Entering and exiting. Lyubov Ranevskaya, and her retinue, return to the family estate to save it from its many creditors. Her only plan is a miracle. The estate, famous for its cherry […]