Wednesday January 23 5:14 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Interviews, Non-Theater Reviews, Stories, Whatever

Navy Pier's Winter WonderFest is Family Fun!


**** Recommended **** If you have kids, you definitely need a family outing to the Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier. Instead of sporting events, trade shows or expose, Festival Hall (170,000 sq. ft.) has been transformed into Winter WonderFest, kind of a summer-time carnival dropped into the North Pole. Everywhere you look, you’ll see sparkly holiday decorations and activities for all ages – everything from a kiddie train to teen-approved rides. There are photo opportunities galore and a full-sized ice rink.

The Joffrey's "Swan Lake" is Magnificent!


**** Highly Recommended **** The Joffrey Ballet’s “Swan Lake” is exquisite - trés magnifique! When I talk about dance companies, it’s frustrating when someone slots the Joffrey into the modern, cutting edge ballet company, and I have to argue that they are equally good at the classical. I’m proven right when they do a classical ballet like “Swan Lake” with such perfection.

'Horse-mad' Reviewer loved the Tempel Lipizzans


**** Highly Recommended **** Growing up, like many other tweens and teens, I was horse-mad. I read every book about horses I could get my hands on, and I think I saw every movie about horses ever made. Ever since I saw Disney’s 1963 movie, “The Miracle of the White Stallions”, I’ve wanted to see the Tempel Lipizzans, so I was thrilled when I got an invitation to a performance. Don’t expect anything flashy or splashy, just beautiful well-trained white horses doing what they do best. 4 BIG Spotlights

Joffrey Ballet’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” is Magnificent


**** Highly Recommended **** The Joffrey Ballet’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” is magnificent. If you’re a ballet traditionalist, it might not be the ballet for you. It’s abstract, avant-garde and maybe a bit confusing, but it fascinated me from start to finish. 4 Spotlights

"Il Pigmalione and Rita" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

Il Pigmalione & Rita-Pigmalion.jpg

****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** Chicago Opera Theater has devised a brilliant concept for its third and final production of the 2017/2018 season. They have chosen to present two works of Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti. The first is "Il Pigmalione" which was the first opera that Donizetti composed followed by "Rita" which was one of the very last. Both are one act operas that are being performed in Chicago for the very first time. In the course of two hours you get to hear how advanced Donizetti's sound became over the course of his career. It is truly remarkable that Donizetti composed nearly 70 operas in his lifetime, considering that he perished at the age of 51. 4 BIG SPOTLIGHTS

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Spring Series, “An Evening of Alejandro Cerrudo”


It was an absolute pleasure to attend the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Spring Series, “An Evening of Alejandro Cerrudo” at the Auditorium Theatre. The performance was amazing. I was in awe of the grace and strength displayed by the entire ensemble. In fact, my friend Helen and I had quite a discussion about whether or not the dancers actually have joints! 4 Spotlights

"Fellow Travelers" - Reviewed by Jeffrey Leibham


****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** Many people may not be familiar with Frank Kameny. A U.S. veteran who later worked for the U.S. Army's Map Service in Washington, D.C., Kameny was fired from his job in 1957 for being a gay man. He later took legal action against the U.S. Civil Service Commission in a case which is widely believed to be the first known civil rights claim based on a person's sexual orientation in an American court. Someone who may have done quite a bit of research on Kameny's career is author Thomas Mallon, whose 2007 novel "Fellow Travelers" has been adapted into an opera and presented by Lyric Opera of Chicago's Lyric Unlimited series. 4 BIG SPOTLIGHTS

"Sweet Tap Chicago" - a Musical Tap Tribute to Chicago


My friend Helen and I had a great time the evening we went to see Chicago Tap Theatre perform at City Winery, a huge dining/entertainment venue with tables (seating on both sides) lined up diagonally around the stage in tiers. I was amazed to see that most seats were full – for a tap dance show! After a delicious dinner served by our outstanding waiter who said his name was Jamie, we watched the CTT ensemble, backed by a jazz quintet, perform “Sweet Tap Chicago”, a celebration of Chicago musicians and music. It was truly a 4 Spotlight evening.