Don Carlo, SF Opera

The trouble with Verdi’s “Don Carlo” always has been — like much of Wagner — too much of a good thing. Requiring no fewer than six stellar singers in the leads, making it very costly to mount, it clocks in at some four and a half hours, making it very  ...

The Secret Garden

“The Secret Garden” is Frances Hodgson Burnett’s story of young heroine Anne Lennox who is orphaned in India after her parents die in a cholera epidemic and she becomes the reluctant charge of her Uncle Archie back in England. It is a story of loss, confusion, pathos and finally enchantment.  ...

Constellations

“Constellations," the new two-character play at Steppenwolf Theatre, is certainly a nonlinear story. Marianne (Jessie Fisher) and Roland (Jon Michael Hill) at times seem to be in parallel universes. She, an academic theoretical physicist, and he, a beekeeper. Their story, written by Nick Payne, is  ...

Tokyo Fish Story

At the highest level, sushi chefs blend artistry and discipline. Apprentice chefs can spend years performing grunt work before they’re even allowed to make rice. The intensity is almost martial. This is the world of Tokyo Fish Story. Set in Koji’s restaurant, the play wraps around senior apprentice  ...

The Music of Silence: Steven Osborne at Milton Court

“The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between” This quote from Mozart seems particularly apt for Steven Osborne’s recent concert at London’s Milton Court which featured music by Morton Feldman and George Crumb, two radical American composers with a special interest in exploring the piano’s  ...

Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing

In Cal Shake’s creative new gender-bending version of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” much text was deleted and some was added, to various levels of success. In a newly added prologue, we see a group of caterers cleaning up from a wedding party that is occurring off-stage. Flowers  ...

Haymarket: The Anarchist’s Songbook

"Haymarket: The Anarchist’s Songbook" takes us on a visit to a tragic but inspiring moment in Chicago history and does it with a bang-up band of actors and musicians. The new Underscore Theatre production premiering this week at the Edge Theatre in Edgewater tells the story of the early labor  ...

Spinning

The struggles of single parenthood and the dread of losing a child cause the worlds of Conor (Dan Waller) and Susan (Jodi Kingsley) to spin out of control in the tense 75-minute play, “Spinning", at the Irish Theatre of Chicago. The production, carefully directed by Joanie Schultz, is  ...

For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday, Berkeley

J.M. Barrie’s famed character Peter Pan probably is the ultimate statement on the wish for eternal youth. More than Ponce de Leon’s fruitless search for the fountain, Dorian Gray’s nefarious portrait, or the frozen faces of Botox devotees today, Peter embodies every kid’s wish to never grow up, never turn  ...