The Magic Flute | Lyric Opera House | Theater & Performance, Classical | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Andrew Staples and Christianne Karg

Andrew Staples and Christianne Karg

Todd Rosenberg

When: Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays, Fri., Jan. 6, 7:30 p.m., Sun., Jan. 8, 2 p.m., Thu., Jan. 12, 2 p.m., Sat., Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m., Tue., Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m., Sun., Jan. 22, 2 p.m. and Wed., Jan. 25, 2 p.m. Continues through Jan. 27 2017
Price: $17-$329
Lyric Opera’s new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute puts a baby-boomer frame on the 225-year-old singspiel (opera with spoken dialogue) while keeping the libretto and enchanting score intact. The conceit is that a bunch of kids are staging the opera in a “typical” (if idyllic) suburban backyard in mid-20th-century America, with their neighbors as both cast members and audience. The set consists of a life-size two-story house that revolves on Lyric’s giant new turntable; Disney's Snow White and The Wizard of Oz are major design influences. This could get too cute in a hurry, but it all works, thanks to director Neil Armfield’s clever use of a large, talented cast that includes kids and dogs along with divas like Christiane Karg as Pamina, the princess in distress, and Kathryn Lewek as her malicious mom, the Queen of the Night. Matthew Polenzani will replace Andrew Staples as Prince Tamino for the last seven performances. In German with surtitles, but this production is so American, they should be doing it in English. —Deanna Isaacs



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