Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-07-23
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

THE AMAZON TRAIL Nancy Garden: Lesbian hero THE AMAZON TRAIL Nancy Garden: Lesbian hero
People all over the world were heartbroken to hear of Nancy Garden's ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

kudos: a column of books, living history and gallimaufry Claudia Allen & Julie Harris
by Marie J. Kuda
2001-06-20

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


I was seated at a table with Jeff Award-winning playwright Claudia Allen last year when Bailiwick Theatre initiated its Trailblazer Awards. We were both on the docket to be recipients. Allen had her play Cahoots running at Victory Gardens with Sharon Gless ( best known for Cagney & Lacey ) in the starring role. The previous year, Julie Harris had starred in Allen's show Winter. I have been a fan of Ms. Harris' since I was a kid and saw her in the 1952 film version of Carson McCullers' stageplay, The Member of the Wedding. Harris reprised her stage role as the confused Frankie, along with Ethel Waters as the consoling Berenice. ( McCullers was bisexual and Ms. Waters was "in the life" as Becky Birtha puts it ) . I have been loyal to Ms. Harris through the years even though I had some reservations on the reticence of her one-woman vehicle on Emily Dickinson. I was curious about how Claudia snared Ms. Harris for her show. As I recall, Claudia indicated she pursued a social relationship first, and began to work on a piece to offer the actress. Claudia then talked about what has become her work Fossils, a vehicle for Ms. Harris that was just extended at Victory Gardens when she had her attack. I am certain that I am just one of a myriad of fans that wish Julie Harris a full and speedy recovery. I'd like also to extend a heartfelt "Courage!" to Claudia Allen and the cast and crew of Fossils.

For Love of Shifra

At that same awards dinner I met the talented, charismatic Shifra Werch who directed Bailiwick's virgin foray into opera, the overtly lesbian Patience & Sarah. This season Shifra is directing Sappho in Love, Carolyn Gage's hilarious romp rife with romantic high jinx. The 16 women on stage joined Shifra and her retinue at StarGaze for post-show festivities after the opening night performance. Sappho swings Saturdays and Sundays through July 1.

Opera Options

The upcoming Lyric season announces at least three operas of special interest to our community. If you get off on women singing love duets, as I do, then hang in there until the revival of I Capuleti e I Montecchi with mezzo-soprano Vesselina Kasarova as Romeo and Andrea Rost as Giulietta. Shakespeare's tragic love story as opera was imprinted on my mind by the 1985 Lyric production with the late Tatiana Troyanos as Romeo in lavender tights.

While not a romance, Hansel and Gretel will also feature a trouser role ( if we can call it such ) with Susan Graham as young Hansel. The London Times describes Graham as a "velvety mezzo." WFMT has featured several of her recordings recently—a promise of pleasure to come.

The Lyric is not neglecting the boys in our community either. Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd, based on Herman Melville's homoerotic novella, is to be offered in a new production. Gay composer Benjamin Britten wrote many pieces for his lover, tenor Peter Pears—Captain Vere in Billy Budd was one of them. Britten, Pears and Eric Crozier founded the Aldeburgh Festival in their post-war England hometown. Crozier and gay novelist E. M. Forester co-wrote the libretto for Billy Budd which premiered in 1952, and had its U.S. debut in Chicago at the Lyric in 1970.

I hope the Lyric treats this sea story better than last season's Der Fliegende Hollander ( The Flying Dutchman ) which I found musically disappointing from the wimpy overture to the voices of the principals, which got lost in the open pit onstage. The production overshadowed both the music and the stars. La Malfitano as Senta carried the show, while the excellent James Morris as the Dutchman was barely audible on the night I attended. I admit the two chorus numbers were superb, though the costumes and clown-white make-up were atrocious. The stunning shadow image of the Dutchman ( ala Orson Welles ) was a moody tour de force, but the projection screen between stage and audience doubtless contributed to the weak sound. I guess I will always have a weakness for the Ava Gardner/James Mason movie take off with its crashing version of Wagner's music as background.

The 2003 season is under contract, and it too promises a trouser role with mezzo-soprano Alice Coote set to debut as Ascanio in Benvenuto Cellini. William Mason of the Lyric Opera News writes that she is "a natural for ... the von Strade roles." Frederica Von Strade, a singing actress with a high mezzo, was a popular Cherubino in Met productions of The Marriage of Figaro.

kudoschgo@aol.com


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.






Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
the online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

John D'Emilio: Renowned professor, historian retires
 
Report: PrEP 90% effective with just a few doses per week
 
'An Evening of Magic' to benefit AFC
 
Meiling Jin on growing up in China, celebrity, LGBT journalism
 
Tony Tripoli tag-teams with The Cabaret Project
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now








  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.