Tag: William Travis Taylor

Review: Les Misérables (Drury Lane Oakbrook)

Matthew Uzarraga stars as Gavroche in Drury Lane Theatre's "Les Miserables," directed by Rachel Rockwell. (photo credit: Brett Beiner)        
      
Les Misérables

By Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer, Alain Boublil, Jean-Marc Natel, James Fenton
Directed by Rachel Rockwell
Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook Terrace (map)
thru June 8  |  tickets: $45-$60  |  more info
       
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April 18, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Now and Forever: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (Marriott Theatre)

"Variations" from Marriott Theatre's "Now and Forever: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber", directed by Marc Robin. (photo credit: Peter Coombs)       
      
Now and Forever 

Conceived by Robin and Aaron Thielen
Directed by Marc Robin
Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire (map)
thru March 17  |  tickets: $40-$48   |  more info
       
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January 27, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Chicago Shakespeare)

Emily Rohm as Belle, Beauty and the Beast, Chicago Shakespeare       
      
Beauty and the Beast 

Alan Menken (music), Linda Woolverton (book),
     Tim Rice and Howard Ashman (lyrics),
Directed, Choreographed by Rachel Rockwell
at Chicago Shakespeare on Navy Pier (map)
thru Aug 26  |  tickets: $18-$25   |  more info
       
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July 9, 2012 | 1 Comment More

Review: Camelot (Light Opera Works)

Nick Sandys as Arthur in "Camelot" at Light Opera Works.       
      
Camelot 

By Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics)
       and Frederick Loewe (music) 
Directed by Rudy Hogenmiller  
at Cahn Auditorium, Evanston (map)
thru June 10  |  tickets: $32-$92   |  more info
       
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June 5, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Pirates of Penzance (Marriott Theatre)

Omar Lopez-Cepero and Patricia Noonan. Photo Courtesy of Peter Coombs and The Marriott Theatre.       
      
The Pirates of Penzance 

Written by Gilbert and Sullivan 
Directed by Dominic Missimi  
at Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire (map)
thru June 10  |  tickets: $41-$49   |  more info
       
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April 15, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Secret Garden (Light Opera Works)

Sophie Thatcher is Mary Lennox - Secret Garden       
      
The Secret Garden 

Book and lyrics by Marsha Norman
Music by Lucy Simon  
Directed by Stacey Flaster 
at Cahn Auditorium, Evanston (map)
thru Jan 1  |  tickets: $32-$94   |  more info
       
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December 28, 2011 | 1 Comment More

Review: Sweeney Todd (Drury Lane Theatre)

     
SWEENEY TODD--Heidi Kettenting and Gregg Edelman
Sweeney Todd
 

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Directed by Rachel Rockwell
at Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook Terrace (map)
thru Oct 9   |   tickets: $35-$46  |   more info

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August 18, 2011 | 3 Comments More

Review: Brigadoon (Light Opera Works)

      
     

Is ‘Brigadoon’ really that good? You bet your bagpipes!

  
  

Emily Rogers, Brandon Moorhead in "Brigadoon" - Light Opera Works

  
Light Opera Works presents
   
  
Brigadoon
  
Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe
Directed by Rudy Hogenmiller
at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson, Evanston (map)
through June 12  |  tickets: $32-$92  |  more info

Reviewed by Lawrence Bommer

The plaid kilts are in full swirl, the tamoshanters twirling, the “rs” rolling, and the heather in full bloom in Rudy Hogenmiller’s ravishing revival of Lerner and Loewe’s early and evergreen hit. A justified hit in 1947, Brigadoon artfully confronted post-war doubts about whether progress was possible: The legend of Brigadoon–a miraculous Scottish village that escapes the contagion of any century by skipping 100 years with each "day"–remains a powerful fantasy. Will jaded Gothamite Tommy Allbright escape an overwrought era by renouncing New York and his manipulative fiancée for the lovely lassie Fiona who dallies in the merry meadows beyond the heath? You bet your bagpipes.

Emily Rogers, Brandon Moorhead - BrigadoonIf the dream isn’t potent enough, Frederick Loewe provides his soft-focus persuasion–the buoyant "Almost Like Being in Love," the almost folkloric "Come to Me, Bend to Me," the enchanting “Heather on the Hill,” and the melting melody of "Waitin’ For My Dearie." As the cross-century lovers, Robert Hunt and Jennie Sophia really do make beautiful music together. (The singing overall creates two of Light Opera Works’ finest hours.) Given Lowe’s score as much as Lerner’s deft dialogue, their cross-century courtship seems equally factual and fairy tale.

Playing the village Romeo who goes home with Bonnie Jean, eager Brandon Moorhead gamely tears into the Highland flings, Scottish reels and sword dances that embellish Agnes DeMille’s original dances (crisply preserved by director Hogenmiller with zealous accuracy). Indeed, this could be Light Opera Works’ most danced production, with everything but a dream ballet discharging all the energy the townsfolk must release after a century of unintended slumber). Roger L. Bingaman’s superb orchestra capture every nuance of one of Broadway’s unsurpassable scores, a particular blessing when a company like Court Theatre thinks it can reduce Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess to a 5-piece band.

Jennie Sophia as Fiona MacLaren and Robert Hunt as Tommy Albright - BrigadoonBringing a rhapsodic myth down to earth are two ribald characters: As Tommy’s cynical companion, a deliciously dry Clay Sanderson delivers a cutting running commentary on the mushier events around him: His deadpan deflations helpfully undercut the tremendous sentimentality of the story and songs. Playing Brigadoon’s official bad girl, Maggie Portman has contagious fun with Meg’s patter songs "The Love of My Life" and "My Mother’s Weddin’ Day." Portman’s superb diction delivers every hilarious line of Lerner’s always sprightly, inventive lyrics. Most remarkable, the Scottish accents convince or, at least, don’t confuse.

Kudos also to Ricky Lurie’s completely convincing Scottish/folk/18th century costumes, accurate to the occasion and even to the clan. Nick Mozak’s simple set, a glen with a mountain backdrop that efficiently allows the town to materialize from the mists, is playfully lit by Charles Jolls – the village fair or the girls’ dance to “Come to Me” resemble one of Watteau’s fetes champetres. You can’t wait another 100 years to see this too-transient “Brigadoon,” a dream musical to utterly entrance the summer of 2011.

  
  
Rating: ★★★★
  
  

Light Opera WorksBrigadoon continues at Cahn Auditorium (600 Emerson, Evanston – map) through June 12th, with performances Wednesday and Sunday at 2pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm. Tickets are $32-$92 (half-off for ages 21 and younger), and can be purchased by phone (847-869-6300), or order 24 hours a day at www.lightoperaworks.com.

  
  
June 5, 2011 | 0 Comments More