Sunday July 15 5:08 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Lyric's "I Puritani" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** It's hard to believe but "I Puritani" has not graced the Lyric Opera House stage in over two decades. This is not due to the fact that it is an unpopular work but rather one that requires the utmost from its four principal performers, commonly referred to as the "Puritani Quartet." Based on the conflicting schedules of today's major opera stars and the very short window in which these stars are in their vocal prime can make casting a bel canto masterpiece like "I Puritani" even more challenging than your traditional operas from the latter half of the 19th century. Vincenzo Bellini's final composition, which premiered in Paris in early 1835, was a smashing success. Sadly, Bellini passed away just nine months later, at the tender age of 33. He was a master of the bel canto style, who is remembered for his long, long melodic lines which prove extremely taxing for even the best trained voice. Thankfully, the Lyric Opera has assembled a glorious cast which brings this vivid opera to an eager and very appreciative audience. 3 and 1/2 SPOTLIGHTS

Arts Commission announces Fort Wayne to host second annual Indiana Arts Homecoming


The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced today that Fort Wayne, Indiana will host the second annual Indiana Arts Homecoming. This statewide convening of artists, arts educators, arts administrators, advocates, and community leaders will be October 18 – 19, 2018 at the Fort Wayne Arts Campus in downtown Fort Wayne.

EXPO CHICAGO Announces Pablo León de la Barra, Anna Gritz and Justine Ludwig as Curators for 2018 Exposition


EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, is pleased to announce the selected curators for the IN/SITU, EXPO VIDEO and EXPOSURE programs, as part of the 2018 edition September 27–30, at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. Showcasing large-scale installations and site-specific works throughout Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, IN/SITU will be curated by Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Curator at large, Latin America Pablo León de la Barra. EXPO VIDEO, a dynamic screening program for film, video and new media works, will be selected by KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin Curator Anna Gritz. Deputy Director/Chief Curator at Dallas Contemporary Justine Ludwig, returns for the second year to curate the EXPOSURE section—highlighting solo and two-artist presentations of emerging work from galleries eight years and younger.

“She the People: Girlfriends’ Guide to Sisters Doing it for Themselves” scores a 10 on My Hilarity Scale!


**** Highly Recommended **** The Second City continues to do what they do best, make people laugh, and laugh, and laugh some more, with a new all-female revue, “She the People: Girlfriends’ Guide to Sisters Doing it for Themselves”, which supports a longtime theory of mine – comediennes are just as funny as their male counterparts. From the first snicker to the last guffaw, this revue scores a 10 on my hilarity scale. “She the People” runs through April Fool’s Day! Get tickets soon, you’ll love it! 4 BIG Spotlights



Hyde Park Art Center (5020 S. Cornell) proudly presents “Embedded: Artist as Citizen,” a mural installation by artist and educator Dorian Sylvian in Gallery 5 from January 28 - July 29, 2018. The 80-foot wall will serve as a tribute to William “Bill” Walker (1927 – 2011), a prolific artist and leading figure in Chicago’s Black Arts Movement in the 1960s, best known for his work on the iconic 1967 “Wall of Respect” on Chicago’s South Side. A public reception for “Embedded: Artist as Citizen” will be held on Sunday, May 6 from 3-5 p.m.

Hubbard Street Dance - Winter Series, “An Evening of Crystal Pite”


Last time I saw Hubbard Street Dance, I was sitting on the Harris Theatre stage looking out at the entire HSD company sitting in the seats waving at all of us on stage. What a unique experience! So I had some expectations for the HSD Winter Series, “An Evening of Crystal Pite”. HSD was back on stage; the performance was amazing – whether or not the dancers actually have joints was a subject for post-show discussion with my friend Sarah – but it just didn’t touch our hearts. 3 ½ Spotlights

"Turandot" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham


***RECOMMENDED*** Giacomo Puccini's final opera, "Turandot," contains all of the elements you would expect from a grand opera. The exotic locale and legendary antiquity of Beijing. An astonishing and atmospheric score. Grandiose sets and colorful period costumes of the finest silks. Vivid and evocatively colorful orchestrations, with one of the all-time most recognizable and fervently loved arias in the entire history of opera itself. Yet all of these things do not add up to a completely satisfying whole in the current, new-to-Chicago production at the Lyric Opera House. The one key thing that it is lacking -- and it's a major component -- is passion. 3 SPOTLIGHTS

Chicago’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 provides the Background for "The Nutcracker"


***** Highly Recommended ***** The Joffrey Ballet’s “new” version of “The Nutcracker”, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon is magnificent. By setting “The Nutcracker” against Chicago’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, Wheeldon gave the city a unique gift. I am in awe! Loved everything about “The Nutcracker”. 4 BIG Spotlights!

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