Othello's Closing Weekend | Bleader

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Othello's Closing Weekend

Posted By on 10.20.09 at 05:36 PM

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A dozen years after it was first produced, Chicago's finally getting to see the three-act ballet version of Othello by native son Lar Lubovitch. This Joffrey Ballet production uses the exquisite original sets by George Tsypin, which juxtapose great slabs of glass with a gilt-framed sky to conjure an abstracted version of Renaissance Venice. Elliot Goldenthal's dramatic, innovative score—played by the Chicago Sinfonietta, conducted by Scott Speck—works in perfect unison with Lubovitch's lift-studded blend of classic and modern choreography to tell Shakespeare's story of jealousy run amuck, as psychologically astute today as it was when it was first written. The performance I saw Sunday was dominated by the Joffrey's stunning 6-foot, 6-inch Othello, Fabrice Calmels (looking like he'd been dipped in a vat of copper), and memorable especially for the duets and solos that laid bare the Moor and his "ancient," Iago—two of literature's most possessed and abusive husbands. Final performances 10/23-25: Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 2 and 7:30 PM, Sun 2 PM, Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress, 800-982-2787, ticketmaster.com, $25 to $145.

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