5.17.2013

Further adventures

Henry VIII at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater
After seeing the rehearsal, we were certainly anticipating the play -- and were not disappointed. Ora Jones as Katherine of Aragon and Scott Jaeck as Cardinal Wolsey were the standouts. Reviews can be found here and here.

■ Oklahoma! at the Lyric
We actually purchased our tickets for this on the way home from La Bohème in late January. Spectacular! Not your typical Lyric Opera fare, this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic benefitted from the full orchestra, grand voices, and larger-than-life treatment. We loved it. Reviews here and here.

Yo-Yo Ma and Chicago Symphony Orchestra Musicians
This was our third time seeing Ma, but all of us agreed that the real star of the evening was the CSO's Yuan-Qing Yu, who played in both Dvořák's American String Quartet and Beethoven's Septet.

The Great Gatsby
Fitzgerald's novel figured prominently in our studies last term; in fact, Miss M-mv(i) is still knee-deep in the author's collected letters, and Mellow's biography of the Fitzgeralds is on my nightstand. Because we love the book and because we thoroughly enjoyed Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, we were beyond excited about his new film, so Mr. M-mv took us to the first show in our area when it was released. As we exited the theater, Miss M-mv(ii) dubbed it "Gatsby for Dummies," and for the most part, our assessment goes downhill from there: The color palette was distracting; the computer-generated effects (e.g., Nick's garden path) were obvious and often silly, as was the text on the screen; for that matter, the narrative framing device did not work (i.e., Nick is changed, matured, resigned by his experiences -- not broken). And so on. None of us expected the movie to be the book, but we expected... better. Two bright spots: the anachronistic soundtrack worked for us, and Leonardo DiCaprio was, as always, magnetic.

Upcoming adventures:

■ We so loved Othello: The Remix at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater that we're going to see it again later this month.

■ And we'll also head to the Court Theatre for The Misanthrope. Earlier this academic year, we read Molière's play in anticipation of seeing The School for Lies (a retelling of The Misanthrope) at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. We thoroughly enjoyed The School for Lies, but we're looking forward to seeing "the original."

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