Ballet Imports

WFMT Critic’s Choice (IL)-June 27, 2012
Author: Andrew Patner, Critic-at-Large, WFMT, 98.7FM

Transcription from 3:15

Chicago Folks Operetta.  You’ve heard us talk about them in the past – particularly with their astonishing U.S. premiere of a 60 year-old work Arizona Lady by Emmerich Kálmán.  Well, they are bringing us another U.S. premiere of Emmerich Kálmán, The circus Princess, and a revival, after decades and decades, of the best-known German operetta Eduard Künneke’s The Cousin from Nowhere. The word “Dingsda” – it really means more the Cousin from Don’t-Even-Really-Have-a-Name-for-It.  The cousin is an idea.

Well, what we have here are more than ideas.  Wonderful full-length full Viennese-Hungarian operetta in Princess and a wonderful, intimate, you could say, chamber operetta in Nowhere. Each of them with a full 19-piece orchestra although The Cousin from Nowhere, interestingly, has a cast of only nine and no chorus. Familiarize yourself with an art form that we don’t know as well as we should anymore, and that we don’t see performed, and that is a treat for the performers as well as for the audience.

Running also through Sunday in the evening in this case.  Three performances left of each of these works that you really owe it to yourself to see.  The Circus Princess and the Cousin from Nowhere.  Wonderful singing, particularly in The Cousin from Nowhere.  Beautiful, beautiful music of Kálmán and Künneke in both of them. Some fine performances and some especially fine staging in The Cousin from Nowhere now at the Chopin Theater, Ashland, Division and Milwaukee. Chicago Folks Operetta.

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