Category Archives: Poetry

CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE’S TUG OF WAR: CIVIL STRIKE- Suffering Outside of Divine Providence

From his earliest plays to his final works, William Shakespeare confirmed his world’s confidence in Divine Providence. Divine Providence is the means by which God leads his creatures to their destined end. To thwart or reject this movement, is to risk the attainment of one’s destiny. Man is assured of Providential guidance, if, in conformity […]

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 […]

Chicago Shakespeare’s TUG OF WAR: FOREIGN FIRE: Theatrical Magnificence

“Man is a predator whose natural instinct is to kill with a weapon.” So wrote Chicago playwright and anthropologist Robert Ardrey after years of observing human nature in action all over the world. His words aptly summarize the theme of Barbara Gaines’ thrilling Tug of War: Foreign Fire, a stage edition of three of Shakespeare’s […]

OTHELLO: THE REMIX: A Backyard Masterpiece

Commissioned for the Globe to Globe Festival by Shakespeare’s Globe, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Richard Jordan Productions: premiered on May 5, 2013 as part of the London 2012 Cultural; toured widely, captivating audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Australia, Germany, South Korea, Poland, New Zealand, and United Arab Emirates; garnered tremendous acclaim and honors, including […]

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 […]

Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Othello: The Dark against the Light, Prose against Poetry

What is particularly, and shamefully, interesting to us now is the fact that a black man should be acceptable, to an audience inclined to xenophobia, as a great leader of men. Othello’s colour had no connotations of enslavable inferiority. There were great negroes about in those days (or Moors – Moor being a generic term […]

ROBERT JOFFREY’S THE NUTCRACKER: Christmas in the Shadow of Death

Chicago’s Auditorium Theater is the perfect setting to view Robert Joffery’s jarring, beautiful, and profound interpretation of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker danced brilliantly by his namesake company, and played wonderfully by the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra. Adler and Sullivan’s magnificent theater interior was meant “to express growth and decadence as the two great cyclic […]

MADAMA BUTTERFLY: Robert Wilson’s Triumph

  No one has represented American avant-garde performance more faithfully for over fifty years than Robert Wilson. But Winston Churchill noted, “To each there comes in their life time a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents.” For […]

CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER: A TEMPEST FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS

In his classic Prefaces to Shakespeare, Actor/Director Harley Granville Barker, reveals, in passing, an important secret about the theater: “A play, in fact, as we find it written, is a magic spell.” “The magic of the theater” is a phrase often bandied about, usually meaning “theater is wonderful.” But the phrase contains an important idea: […]

RING OF FIRE: An American Epic on Stage

When Richard Maltby, Jr. was ready to open his new work, Ring of Fire, in 2005, he sensed he had created something important: “It’s almost a mythic American tale—of growing up in simple, dirt-poor surroundings in the heartland of America, leaving home, traveling on wings of music, finding love, misadventure, success, faith, redemption, and the […]