Articles by Jon Rayfield

Verdi's Rigoletto at Lyric Opera Chicago Review - Sad Clown, Pantsless King

Verdi's Rigoletto at Lyric Opera Chicago Review - Sad Clown, Pantsless King With wonderful music, an approachable story, and relatable characters, Rigoletto is a great opera for first-time opera goers and veterans alike

Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth Review - Tyson's Life Hits The Road

Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth Review - Tyson's Life Hits The Road In a bold and unexpected career move, former heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson teams up with director Spike Lee to conquer the theater circuit in a Broadway in Chicago production of Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth

Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg at Lyric Opera Review – Mastery of the Musical Marathon

Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg at Lyric Opera Review – Mastery of the Musical Marathon You may have to leave work early for this one folks, and it will be well worth the personal time. Lyric Opera Chicago’s latest production, Die Meistersinger von Nurenburg, is a truly singular experience in the art world

Hansel and Gretel at Lyric Opera Review - Something Twisted This Way Comes

Hansel and Gretel at Lyric Opera Review - Something Twisted This Way Comes While relatively tame compared to the source material, Hansel and Gretel still has some legitimately creepy moments, so parents and gentleman with easily timorous companions understand the actual traditional definition of the term “fairy tale”

Don Pasquale at Lyric Opera Chicago Review – A Sitcom for the Ages

Don Pasquale at Lyric Opera Chicago Review – A Sitcom for the Ages With an excellent performance, a (relatively) light-hearted story, and gorgeous staging, Don Pasquale has a look and feel that even Donizetti himself would recognize and celebrate

Werther at Lyric Opera Chicago Review - The Exquisite Art of Misdirection

Werther at Lyric Opera Chicago Review - The Exquisite Art of Misdirection Director Francisco Negrin’s vision of Werther overreaches on reimagining the all-too-familiar star-crossed lover tale, creating instead an occasionally amusing but overall visually confusing tale of a man's descent into madness and despair

Barkada Quartet at Nichols Hall - Hanging With The Guys

Barkada Quartet at Nichols Hall - Hanging With The Guys Currently on their Fischoff-sponsored victory tour around the Midwest and then a 2013 tour in Italy, Barkada Quartet is certain to catch people’s ear the world over.

One Name Only A Different Kind of Reality Show Review - Musical Theater Gets 'Reality' Check

One Name Only A Different Kind of Reality Show Review - Musical Theater Gets 'Reality' Check With a different winner each night, a stupendous soundtrack, and an amazing cast, One Name Only: A Different Kind Of Reality Show is a winner for the Black Ensemble Theater

Steppenwolf Theatre Presents Three Sisters Review - Shining a Modern Light on Chekhov

Steppenwolf Theatre Presents Three Sisters Review - Shining a Modern Light on Chekhov Even though there is almost no action, Three Sisters remains a captivating look into the landscape of human drama, and Chekhov’s stories educate on the subtle complexities of the human character, making for a highly enjoyable evening of theater

Rain: A Tribute To The Beatles Review - Cover Band Achieves High Art

Rain: A Tribute To The Beatles Review - Cover Band Achieves High Art Go see Rain, which is only playing in Chicago through Sunday, or travel to another town and see it. Rekindle the dying art of following tours, and if your job asks you can at least claim it was on once on Broadway

Stuffed and Unstrung Review - Puppets Gone Wild

Stuffed and Unstrung Review - Puppets Gone Wild Potty-mouthed puppets have been unleashed on Chicago, and the improv scene will never be the same. Showing for one week only, Broadway in Chicago presents Henson Alternative’s runaway hit comedy stage show Stuffed and Unstrung

Immediate Family at Goodman Theatre Review - Coming To the Table

Immediate Family at Goodman Theatre Review - Coming To the Table Immediate Family is a hilarious and emotional play, and has enough balance of funny and thought-provoking material to appeal to pretty much everyone

Civitas Ensemble at Nichols Hall Review - And The People Rejoiced

Civitas Ensemble at Nichols Hall Review - And The People Rejoiced Civitas is a staggeringly talented group of musicians farmed from the ranks of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The quality of their performance – as well as the group’s mission – is immense

Orion Ensemble Presents All That Jazz Review - The Chamber-Jazz Mash Up

Orion Ensemble Presents All That Jazz Review - The Chamber-Jazz Mash Up The stately and ornate décor of Roosevelt University’s Ganz Hall served as a backdrop for Chicago chamber group Orion Ensemble’s penultimate concert of its 2011 – 2012 season

Tigers Be Still at Theater Wit Review - Misery Has Company

Tigers Be Still at Theater Wit Review - Misery Has Company While certainly resting well in the darkest depths of comedy, Tigers Be Still is nonetheless a poignant look at the different ways people and families are affected by depression

We Are Proud To Present… at Victory Gardens Review – An Evening of Genocide at the Theater

We Are Proud To Present… at Victory Gardens Review – An Evening of Genocide at the Theater When considering recommending theater events in your area, it is usually not the best selling point to rave about a play whose topic focuses almost exclusively on genocide. And yet here we are

Four Score Festival at Nichols Hall Review – A Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Four Score Festival at Nichols Hall Review – A Sorcerer’s Apprentice The Music Institute of Chicago’s Four Score Festival at Nichols Hall in Evanston concluded Sunday with its second of two performances, featuring American icon Aaron Copland and one of his students, Argentinian composer Mario Davidovksy

Rinaldo at Lyric Opera Review - Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Love

Rinaldo at Lyric Opera Review - Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Love Modern and creative set design, delightful choreography, and a string of breathtakingly wonderful principals, Rinaldo is as much a showcase to Lyric’s enduring ability to remake itself as it is a dutiful homage to classic bel canto opera

CSO Subscription Series Review - Stravinsky and Schoenberg a Tale of Two Ditties

CSO Subscription Series Review - Stravinsky and Schoenberg a Tale of Two Ditties Whether you ‘get it’ or not, Schoenberg and Stravinsky will continue to draw praise and critique, as well as no shortage of packed houses

Aida at Lyric Opera of Chicago Review - A Not-So-Modern Love Story

Aida at Lyric Opera of Chicago Review - A Not-So-Modern Love Story Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Verdi's Aida, a tragic love tale told with all the pomp and pageantry that is so distinctly Verdi

Its A Wonderful Life: The Radio Play Review: Reimagine Tradition

Its A Wonderful Life: The Radio Play Review: Reimagine Tradition Capturing every bit of the spirit of the original film, ATC turns the tale on its ear and presents a hilarious, musical, theatrical performance focused on the actors performing a radio broadcast of It’s A Wonderful Life

The Doyle And Debbie Show at Royal George Theater Review - A Country Duo Hits the Big City

The Doyle And Debbie Show at Royal George Theater Review - A Country Duo Hits the Big City Featuring hilarious original songs and not at all subtle dark humor, Doyle and Debbie is an experience that is equal parts homage to country music and satirical performance art

Music Institute presents Calidore String Quartet Review - A Special Blend

Music Institute presents Calidore String Quartet Review - A Special Blend The Music Institute of Chicago continued its 2011-2012 Faculty and Guest Artist concert series on Sunday with a stellar performance by the Fischoff National Chamber Competition champions the Calidore String Quartet

The Amish Project at American Theater Company Review - A One Woman Triumph Over Tragedy

The Amish Project at American Theater Company Review - A One Woman Triumph Over Tragedy The Amish Project examines the toll taken on seven different characters faced with a tragedy that rocked an entire community, taking stock of the profound and sometimes unlikely emotions that surface in reaction to a shared loss

He/She Review

He/She Review Chicago Opera Theatre

Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival - Summer Starts With Soggy Symphony

Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival - Summer Starts With Soggy Symphony A tradition that began in the midst of the Great Depression, this free concert series has grown to be a unique attraction in Chicago’s summer entertainment line-up

Teatro Vista’s Production of Freedom, NY Review – What Will We Give Up For Security?

Teatro Vista’s Production of Freedom, NY Review – What Will We Give Up For Security? In it’s world premiere run, Teatro Visto presents Freedom, NY, an intense look into a world where tragedy drives three people to confront their basest fears, and where common threads can be sewn together in almost all human stories

Chicago Opera Theater He-She Review - Heartache Knows No Gender

Chicago Opera Theater He-She Review - Heartache Knows No Gender Chicago Opera Theater concluded its 2011 spring festival season over the weekend at Millenium Park’s Harris Theater with He/She

Chicago Opera Theater He/She Review - Heartache Knows No Gender

Chicago Opera Theater He/She Review - Heartache Knows No Gender Chicago Opera Theater concluded its 2011 spring festival season over the weekend at Millenium Park’s Harris Theater with He/She

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