CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.
CHICAGO – “God was wrong!” This line, spoken by the legendary James Mason in the remarkable “Bigger Than Life,” must have sent shockwaves through the audiences that heard it in 1956 and it’s not surprising that the film was shunned, buried, and only recently unearthed as a classic of its era. Directed by Nicholas Ray (“Rebel Without a Cause”), the film is the latest addition to the Criterion Collection and it’s stunningly good.