Founded in 2011, the Chicago-based American Chamber Opera features an ensemble committed to singing full-length oratorios in English. Its productions resemble concerts more than traditional opera performances: the music takes center stage as the singers belt and emote in settings that evoke the world of the story with just a few well-placed details.
The artists at Profiles Theatre enthrall audiences through interpretations of established works and independent premieres such as the Jeff-award-winning production of Tracy Letts's Killer Joe. Following in the company's two-decade tradition of staging thought-provoking theater in an intimate setting, the 2011–2012 season kicks off with the midwest premiere of Martin McDonagh's A Behanding in Spokane. Directed by Steppenwolf ensemble member Rick Snyder, the dark comedy documents a man's search for his missing left hand. Leslye Headland's Bachelorette, the story of three unhappy friends barging in on a former classmate's bachelorette party, contrasts the spiritual The Break of Noon, Niel LaBute's retelling of a memorable lunch break. Finally, Deirdre O'Connor's Assisted Living premieres, enchanting audiences with a tale of a young optimist who helps a middle-aged woman rediscover happiness.
Classical ballet, expressive lyrical, and upbeat hip-hop and Latin dance classes number among the slate of options at Christine Belpedio's School of Dance. Here, children and adults, males and females, beginners and advanced students sway, twist, tap, and flip under the tutelage of experienced instructors. Students can show off their skills in recitals or competitions, where judges will rank the pointiest pointe shoe.
Fly solo to witness the aerial circus feats, or buy multiple Groupons and sit with friends, loved ones, or casual acquaintances. If you do want to sit with a group, you must buy all of your Groupons in the same transaction.
And lets stop right there - because we're not going to get anywhere unless we acknowledge the 1,000 pound gorilla in the room. Everyone knows there are two kinds of people in this world. There are those who are along for every step of the roller-coaster sequence of set-the-stage upbeat ditties, then something-went-wrong sad crooners, and finally the hopeful-resolution-entire-cast-sings-final-chorus ballads. And then there are those who insist that musical is the basest and shallowest art form on the face of the earth.