Gateway Opera's production of Mozart's The Impresario is one of the most delightful evenings of opera that I've ever experienced.
When Charles Dickens died, he left unfinished his last novel, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” A hundred years later, the multitalented Rupert Holmes finished it by inventing a musical that was being performed in Dickens' own time in the styles of the English music hall, with its presiding Chairman, popular songs, and lively audience participation, and of the pantomime, with its Lead Boy, a male character played by a woman in drag.
St. Louis' own Meghan Kirk has been appearing at the Cabaret Project's monthly open mic night (which I host) for around a year now. I've been impressed as hell with her work there, but haven't been able to get to one of her shows until this past Friday, when she presented "The Story Goes On," a revised version of the show she premiered at the Gaslight Cabaret Festival last fall.
If you've never had the essay writer chance to see "Otello" the new production at Winter Opera is a lovely opportunity for you to fill that gap in your theatrical experience.
Chicago opera lovers are getting a "twofer" with this season's dark and compelling production of Puccini's 1900 political melodrama "Tosca." Originally created by British director John Caird for the Houston Grand Opera in 2010 and later revived for Los Angeles, Lyric's "Tosca" opened on January 24th, closed on February 5th, and then re-opened with new singers in the principal roles of Tosca, Cavaradossi, Scarpia, and Spoletta on February 27th for a run that concludes March 14th.
I have a dream. I dream that some day I'll be able to walk into an opera house and not be faced with a production in which the stage director has imposed some sort of high concept on the piece that is either irrelevant to or openly contradictory to the intentions of the composer and librettist. Alas, as the Lyric Opera of Chicago production of Wagner's "Tannhäuser" demonstrates, that's still a dream.
James Baldwin dedicated his play “Blues for Mr. Charlie” to the memory of Medgar Evers and of the four girls killed in the Birmingham church bombing, all violent moments in the Civil Rights struggles of the 1950s and '60s. Baldwin loosely based the action on the murder of teenager Emmett Till in Mississippi in 1955. Director Ron Himes opens the current production of the play at Washington University's Performing Arts Department with photos of African-American men killed by white men in the decades since then. The killing continues.
Los Angeles' 24th Street Theatre recently presented "Walking the Tightrope"—a little gem of a theatrical production—at COCA, the Center of Creative Arts in University City. The touring production was on site February 21–22, 2015.