Monthly Archives: February 2018

Fantastic! The Joffrey Ballet Presents Modern Masters at the Auditorium Theatre (February 16, 2018)

The Four Temperaments

Choreography by George Balanchine

This is the most classical of the pieces on the evening. However, there are currents of modern movement as well. The choreography excellently matches the challenging and complex music by Paul Hindemith. It’s a difficult piece to perform and the talents of the Joffrey dancers are truly showcased in this ballet.

2_The Four Temperaments_Jeraldine Mendoza and Edson Barbosa_Photo by Cheryl Mann

 

Body of Your Dreams

Choreography by Myles Thatcher

12_Body of Your Dreams_The Joffrey Ballet_Photo by Cheryl Mann

The music for this piece uses a bunch of infomercials about fitness programs cut and pasted together in an electronic sounding piece. The dancers are wearing a style that is a mix of workout clothes and tight ballet outfits while performing a mix of those two styles of movement. While at first it seems to be a form of pop art and fun look at exercise, it turns into a critical look at the current fitness industry.

 

Beyond The Shore

Choreography by Nicolas Blanc

Beyond The Shore is composed of six short stories. The third one, Gemini in the Solar Wind, is the re-imagination of the first American space walk in 1965. Excerpts from the audio of this walk are featured in the song. It gives a fully outer space feeling that matches a female dancer being held up and carried across the stage just like she is in space. The choreography fantastically captures the inspiration.

 

Glass Pieces

Choreography by Jerome Robbins

This piece gives the feeling of a dense urban intersection in a large city. People are moving in all directions in a sort of chaos, but yet at the same time all with a sense of order. It’s a full company piece set to the music of Phillip Glass that is full of beauty and makes for a fantastic close to the night.

21_Glass Pieces_Valeriia Chaykina (center) and The Joffrey Ballet_Photo by Cheryl Mann

Get tickets for The Joffrey Ballet’s next show, Midsummer Night’s Dream, now!

Quinn Delaney

Advertisements

Grand! Broadway in Chicago Presents Love Never Dies at the Cadillac Palace Theatre (February 15, 2018)

In 1910, Le Fantôme de l’Opéra was published. In 1986, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Phantom of the Opera, based on this novel, opened in London’s West End. The musical continues to run as Broadway’s longest running show with 12,502 performances to date. In 2010, Love Never Dies opened in the West End. And now, in 2018, Love Never Dies makes it’s Chicago debut!

The Phantom of the Opera lives! Apparently his death was all a lie, and now he has followed Catherine to America. She has traveled to perform at a renowned opera house. In the ten years that have passed, she has since had a child with her husband. However, this does not deter the Phantom as he attempts to win her back by having her sing his song, Love Never Dies, at his theatre.

Love Never Dies Utica, NY

Love Never Dies Utica, NY

Fans of the original will not be disappointed in this production. It is equally grand and spectacular. The costumes are excellent, especially those of the performers in the circus. The singing is so emotional and strong. It’s not quite opera, but it’s very close. Although there is no giant falling chandelier, the staging is very impressive. Huge sets smoothly slide on and off, completely changing the scene. It all combines for a truly engrossing experience that leads to a very exciting climax.

Get tickets now for Love Never Dies through March 4th!

Quinn Delaney

World Class! You Got Older at Steppenwolf (February 11, 2018)

Mae returns home to the Pacific Northwest to care for her father, who has just been diagnosed with cancer. She is able to do this because she just broke up her with boyfriend and lost her job. She wonders if it is convenient that all these things are happening at once, or, is her life completely falling apart? The play follows her emotional journey as she expresses her feelings and sexuality very openly with the people in her life.

Music is used very well in this show. In one scene, Mae and her father sit and listen to the Regina Spektor song, “Firewood”, in its entirety. Her dad says it is the theme song for his treatment. It’s a very touching moment. Also, “Timber” by Pitbull and Kesha is used for a dancing scene very well. However, the abrupt transition to this scene received mixed responses from the audience.

The acting in this production is absolutely world class. Caroline Neff (Linda Vista, The Fundamentals, and The Flick) is outstanding as Mae. It’s an incredibly impressive performance as she is on stage for the entire show. Gabriel Ruiz (The Rembrandt and Native Gardens at Victory Gardens Theatre) is outstandingly hilarious as the Cowboy. He absolutely has the charm required to play this great character. Francis Guinan (The Minutes, The Rembrandt, Hir) is solid as well as Dad. With his talent, he makes his performance look effortless.

Get tickets now for You Got Older through March 11th!

YGO 3

Quinn Delaney

 

Independent Theatre at its Best! The New Colony Presents The Light at The Den Theatre (February 9, 2018)

A Chicago couple are planning to celebrate the anniversary of their first date. The guy, Rashad, was able to secure tickets to one of the biggest concerts of the year featuring one of his girlfriend’s favorite artists. However, one of the artists on the bill truly offends her, and she refuses to go. She starts by saying it is just the lyrics, but slowly it unravels into something much deeper as very serious issues arise.

TheLight-7

The acting in this production is absolutely fantastic. Jeffery Owen Freelon Jr. was excellent as Rashad. He plays Rashad as so loving and real towards his girlfriend.  Tiffany Oglesby is superb as Genesis. The torment on her face is clear as she struggles to deal with her past and how it will affect her future. At the curtain call, they are both still shaken up from the emotional roller coaster of the play.

TheLight-8

Loy A. Webb has written an expert piece.  The plot perfectly evolves as it slowly releases more and more information about the characters. As their histories are revealed, it makes the situation that much more complicated and interesting. The issues are brought up and face head on. This is independent theatre at its best and everyone in the theatre gets out of their seat at the end for a full standing ovation.

Get tickets now for The Light now through February 25th!

Quinn Delaney

 

Must See! Tablao Flamenco Cordobes in Barcelona, Spain

At Tablao Flamenco Cordobes, a large team unites to bring together an intense show. There are six men (three singers, two guitarists, and one dancer) along with three women (two dancers and one singer). Why do they need so many people? Because each person performs with such passion and energy and they give everything they have for a few minutes before they need a break.

The dancing is so strong and athletic that you almost have to jump back when they stomp. It blows you away. The women are dressed in long, flowing dresses, which makes it even more impressive and visually stunning.

20180205_212204(0)

The musicians are the driving force behind the action with the guitar playing being incredibly quick paced and impressive. The vocal performers are equally as talented as the singing is fierce and emotional that you can’t help but be moved.  In the small intimate space, it’s a truly immersive experience that is absolutely a must see in the heart of Barcelona.

Get tickets for Tablao Flamenco Cordobes now!

Quinn Delaney

Superb! Maestros de la Guitarra Present the Barcelona Guitar Trio (February 2, 2018)

As you approach the Basilica de Santa Maria de Pi, you will be impressed by the large size of the structure. The concert doesn’t take place in the main room, but rather a small intimate one on the side that has excellent acoustics. The audience fills this room sitting in wooden pews with kneeling benches. The church bell rings nine times to mark the time and then the show begins.

The Barcelona Guitar Trio (Xavier Coll, Manuel González and Luis Robisco) take the stage and immediately launch into a fast paced Spanish guitar song. All three of them playing together creates a blur of quick finger movement and notes that sound beautiful. Next, they each play a song solo showcasing their individual talents.

Besides being talented on guitar, they also have a great sense of humor. Xavier first gives a long intro to a song speaking in Spanish. About one half of the audience laughs at the joke contained within. He then repeats the intro in English and the other half laughs, showing that it is a multilingual audience. Later on, while giving another intro, Luis keeps interrupting him by tuning his guitar loudly. It leads to a very funny back and forth between the two of them and then a melody of fun covers including “Smoke on the Water” and “Mission Impossible”.

20180202_221417

The introductions to the songs and the humor make this far more than just a guitar show. It’s an all around great Barcelona experience! Get tickets for Maestro de la Guitarra now!

Quinn Delaney

 

Fantastic Tour! Delhi By Bike – Heritage Walk

Old Delhi is a crowded and fast paced section of Delhi. The streets are far from a grid system and form a wild maze. There are countless options for food and shopping. It can all seem overwhelming, which is why getting a tour guide is a great idea for this area. If you don’t want to do the bike tours at 6:30am, Delhi By Bike offers a fantastic walking option in the afternoon.

20180130_174005

The tour starts tonight with an early dinner. Our guide, Tenzin, finds us a table in a small restaurant just off a busy street and orders for us. It’s a truly authentic Indian meal. He even cautions us against eating one small part of the meal that may make Westerners ill. After dinner, we wind through the narrow streets and explore Wedding Street, where you can buy all the things you would need for your nuptials. Everything except wedding cards, for which there is another entire street full of shops only selling these.

Later on we turn into an unassuming stairway and climb up five stories. At the top are a bunch more stores, including one selling picture frames. This rooftop also provides a great view of the city. The Iconic Jain temple, Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir, is just across the street. Just past this is the incredible Red Fort whose wall stretches into the distance. Also visible is Gurudwara Sri Sisganj Sahib, of which we later explore the inside (it’s like a mini Golden Temple).

20180130_173859

At the end of the tour, our guide hails a rickshaw driver and rides with us back to the metro stop. It turns out we are all heading in the same direction, so he joins us on the metro back to where we are staying. Tenzin was very friendly and very knowledgeable about Old Delhi. In fact, this review only covers a small portion of the many things we saw. It was a nonstop barrage of things to see for three hours.

Book your Heritage Walk Tour with Delhi By Bike now!

Quinn