The Land of Smiles | Stage 773 | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through July 14 2013
Price: $30-$40
Chicago Folks Operetta's staging of Franz Lehar's 1929 hit boasts superb singing and a rich orchestral sound, which compensate for a cliched story and a creaky script. Set in 1912, it's the tale of a Viennese countess and a Chinese prince whose ill-fated romance cannot overcome their cultural differences and the prince's obligation to marry other wives. Costuming the characters in modern dress only underlines the archaic racial attitudes of the show, which was a throwback even in its own time. But Lehar's lyrical, waltz-packed score is well served by conductor Kim Diehnelt and her 20-piece orchestra. Chelsea Morris and Geoffrey Agpalo sound glorious as the star-crossed lovers, while charming Christine Bunuan provides comic relief as the prince's sister, a feisty foe of her family's traditional attitudes about women. —Albert Williams



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