All stories by Deanna Isaacs on BroadwayStars

Thursday, March 19, 2020

A trillion in coronavirus relief cash! Anything for the arts? by Deanna Isaacs

Americans for the Arts wants you to speak up, now. The federal government’s getting ready to unleash a flood of coronavirus relief cash, much of which will, as…

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

What pandemic? by Deanna Isaacs

Chicago cultural institutions keep their cool. The coronavirus has prompted some unimaginable recent news: NCAA basketball in empty arenas; Harvard University (a…

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Chicago’s seven “most endangered” buildings by Deanna Isaacs

Preservation Chicago releases its 2020 list. Preservation Chicago announced the 2020 edition of its annual list of the city’s “7 Most Endangered Buildings”…

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Monday, February 17, 2020

A winning Queen of Spades by Deanna Isaacs

Deal yourself in for Tchaikovsky's operatic exploration of obsession at Lyric. In the dicey business of bringing historic opera to contemporary audiences, Lyric …

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Freedom Ride gives voice to an important chapter in American history by Deanna Isaacs

Chicago Opera Theater's exploration of the civil rights movement traces one fictional woman's journey. Dan Shore started working on his one-act opera, Freedom Ri…

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Madama Butterfly is the ultimate bad date story by Deanna Isaacs

"Honor incarnate" meets a dirtbag in Puccini's opera, with tragic results. A Letter from Butterfly Dear Chicago Reader:…

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Ravinia finds a new conductor and curator by Deanna Isaacs

Marin Alsop takes on a newly created role at the music festival. Marin Alsop is stepping into the newly created position of chief conductor and curator at the Ra…

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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Light in the Piazza is a holiday-season treat at Lyric by Deanna Isaacs

Renée Fleming stars in Adam Guettel’s rapturous romantic musical. It's a dangerous thing to marry a stranger: the beautiful girl passing through town; the imp…

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Monday, December 2, 2019

We three queens by Deanna Isaacs

Sondra Radvanovsky sings the last acts of Donizetti's three Tudor queen operas. Berwyn born, internationally acclaimed soprano Sondra Radvanovsky is performing a…

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

On a bountiful opera weekend, Chicago Opera Theater climbs a peak by Deanna Isaacs

Chicago Opera Theater’s Everest is stunning contemporary opera. It was a great weekend for contemporary opera in Chicago. Lyric’s not-to-be-missed Dead Man W…

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Earth to Kenzie has a message: kids are homeless too by Deanna Isaacs

There are three public performances of Lyric's new children's opera this weekend. Contemporary stories are having a welcome moment at Lyric Opera. While Dead Man…

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Monday, November 4, 2019

Dead Man Walking makes its gut-punching Lyric debut by Deanna Isaacs

Jake Heggie's opera took nearly 20 years to make the journey to Lyric, but it's not to be missed. It took nearly 20 years for composer Jake Heggie and librettist…

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Luisa Miller is gorgeously sung and giddily age blind by Deanna Isaacs

Lyric opens a multiyear exploration of early Verdi with this 1849 opera. Lyric Opera is launching a multiyear exploration of the early works of Giuseppe Verdi wi…

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See the Bronzeville church that is the real birthplace of gospel by Deanna Isaacs

Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, one of more than 350 Open House Chicago sites this weekend, is significant musically and architecturally. With more than 350 …

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Monday, September 30, 2019

Lyric’s The Barber of Seville is jubilant, uproarious by Deanna Isaacs

The season opener is as much fun as you can have at the opera. Lyric Opera has married pitch-perfect casting to go-for-broke direction in its season opener, The …

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Friday, September 20, 2019

EXPO Chicago 2019 is Nick Cave’s show by Deanna Isaacs

Acres of art and a chance to observe capitalism at its looniest Let’s get right to the important stuff: the hot fashion tip from EXPO Chicago 2019, the big int…

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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Endangered: Chicago’s ‘best’ postmodern building by Deanna Isaacs

Endangered: Chicago’s ‘best’ postmodern building Hello, global visitors to the third Chicago Architecture Biennial. Welcome!…

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Passing the baton at Lyric Opera by Deanna Isaacs

Music director Andrew Davis will be succeeded by Enrique Mazzola, in two years Lyric Opera of Chicago announced today that music director Andrew Davis will end …

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

At Theater on the Lake, a free Prologue to a free season by Deanna Isaacs

Theater on the Lake kicks off its season with a free three-day seminar for the Chicago theater community. As this cold, wet June wore on and no schedule had been…

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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Third Eye Theatre Ensemble's Stitch plays for one more powerful night by Deanna Isaacs

In a tour de force, an a cappella trio of women capture the drudgery of factory sewing. Third Eye Theatre Ensemble is offering a labor of love this weekend with …

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Friday, May 31, 2019

The CSO and the Joffrey, together at last! by Deanna Isaacs

But a program of Stravinsky, Ravel, and Rossini at Symphony Center shows neither to its best advantage. In an interesting experiment this weekend, two of the cit…

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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Ripped from the headlines of 1957, West Side Story still has plenty to say about 2019 by Deanna Isaacs

The Lyric’s faithful revival addresses immigration, discrimination, and changing neighborhoods, but it’s the women who are the stars. Sometime in the 1940s, …

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Friday, April 26, 2019

Chicago Opera Theater's Moby-Dick is well worth chasing down by Deanna Isaacs

It'll banish all your memories of English-class torture. Whatever your history with Moby-Dick—even if you were a disgruntled teenager on a forced English class…

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

An American Dream tackles Japanese-American internment during WWII by Deanna Isaacs

Lyric Opera’s outreach arm presents a contemporary chamber opera that grew out of two true stories. This is what the bad guys did in WWII: rounded up entire fa…

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Two more 2016 surprises: The end of Oracle Productions, and the end of the Hypocrites as we know them by Deanna Isaacs

The Chicago theater community got a pair of year-end jolts with December announcements about the demise of Oracle Productions and the near demise of the Hypocrites. …

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A sudden lights out for Too Much Light at Neo-Futurists by Deanna Isaacs

Neo-Futurists founder Greg Allen made the surprising announcement today that he's ending the 28-year Chicago run of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind on December 31st. He's doing so in …

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Love and humor trumped loss at a memorial for Chicago Dramatists' Russ Tutterow by Deanna Isaacs

Russ Tutterow was a playwright's "greatest advocate and friend," Goodman Theatre artistic director Robert Falls said Monday night, welcoming about 300 members of Chicago's theater community …

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Thursday, May 12, 2011

Chicago: America's theater capital? | Deanna Isaacs | Chicago Reader by Deanna Isaacs

Surely no words ever written by any theater critic stirred more local buzz than Michael Billington's 2004 observation in London's Guardian that "Chicago . . . [is] the current theatre capita…

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All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue