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Performing Arts Search – New Review (Theater and Comedy)

2 total results

The Medium

Through 11/2: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM

The Third Eye Theatre Ensemble debuts with an intriguing, intimate production of this seldom seen one-act opera by composer-librettist Gian Carlo Menotti. It's a psychological thriller about a phony medium, Madam Flora, who tricks gullible, grief-stricken customers into believing she can help them commune with the spirits of their "dear departed"; but Flora's fakery starts to unravel when she believes she has actually been touched by a ghost during a seance. The cast have ripe operatic voices but also clear diction, so the beautiful singing enhances the drama under the guidance of director Rose Freeman and music director Jason Carlson (who also accompanies on piano). The work's best-known aria, "The Black Swan," is beautifully rendered by Caroline Wright as Flora's daughter. The visual design by Jimmy Jagos (set) and Julian Pike (lights) summons up an appropriately mysterious atmosphere, making this a fittingly spooky selection for the Halloween season. —Albert Williams $25, $20 in advance
Collaboraction (map)
1579 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Wicker Park/Bucktown
phone 312-226-9633


Something Wicked

Through 11/9: Thu-Sat 8 PM (except Sat 11/8, 3 PM); also Sun 11/9, 8 PM

Billed as a "reenvisioned" version of Macbeth, this Transcendent Ensemble Theatre Company production stays pretty faithful to Shakespeare's text. The only significant change (a common one in stagings of the play) is that director Lindsay Bartlette Allen inserts the writhing, witchlike Weird Sisters into almost every scene. The Bard had it right the first time—a little of them goes a long way. Elsewhere, the cast display a welcome commitment to capturing the fierce musicality of the verse. There's a touch of hysteria in Jason Kellerman's desperate, paranoid Macbeth that gives his grab for power a thrilling volatility. Unfortunately, he's not matched in intensity by Jenifer Henry's mousy Lady M, who comes across as too afraid of her husband to make a credible coconspirator. —Zac Thompson $15


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