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 – The memory of South Africa freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, who passed away on December 5th, is filled with deserved accolades and iconography. Director Justin Chadwick and actor Idris Elba brings the man to human life in the essential “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”
CHICAGO – Director Clint Eastwood has given up on subtlety, choosing instead to tell old-fashioned, direct stories with as much technical skill and dramatic competency as possible. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the legendary director’s “Invictus,” but it’s also not nearly as memorable or thrilling as it could have or, given the true story that it tells, should have been.