Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-05-27
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



THEATER My Night At Jacques' (An Offenbach Folly)

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Playwright: music by Jacques Offenbach, English lyrics by Gregg Opelka, English libretto by Jack Helbig

At: Evanston Light Opera Works at the McGaw YMCA Child Care Center, 1420 Maple St. in Evanston Phone: (847) 869-6300; $24-$39

Runs through: Nov. 9

If Jacques Offenbach had never written anything but Gaîté Parisienne, he would still be popular. Even today, wherever a cancan is performed—whether by professional hoofers or drunk drag queens—the odds are it will be accompanied by HIS melody for that quaint fin-de-siécle dance. And how many Elvis Presley fans, hearing their hero warble 'Tonight Is So Right For Love,' recognized 'Belle Nuit' from The Tales Of Hoffman, an opera by—you guessed it—Offenbach?

Clearly Offenbach had a knack for crafting hit tunes. After leaving his post as musical director for the Comédie Française in 1855 to open his own theatre, the Bouffes Parisiens, he wrote more than 50 short musical sketches, replete with infectious can't-get-it-out-of-your-head ditties. And now, Gregg Opelka and Jack Helbig—neither of them strangers to La Belle Epoch, having collaborated earlier on a musical adaptation of Feydeau's A Flea In Her Ear—have re-fashioned two of these, 'Monsieur Choufleuri Restera Chez Lui Le 24 Janvier 1833' (translated 'Your Presence Requested') and 'L'Ile De Tulipatan' (The Island Of Tulipatan'), for Evanston's Light Opera Works.

Running a little over an hour apiece, these lighter-than-air confections feature reliable commedia-based plots: in the first, a struggling songwriter saves the day when the hired entertainment cancels mere hours before a party given by his sweetheart's social-climbing father. In the other, a boy raised as a girl and a girl raised as a boy fall in love with each other despite the machinations of their misguided parents. Both premises allow plenty of opportunity for Offenbach to lampoon the fashions of his day.

This audacity is shared by Opelka (himself lauded last season for his Piaf-parody, La Vie Ennui) who blithely rhymes 'mia figlia' and 'sex-appeal-a' at one point, and by Helbig, whose characters chide one another, 'You're so melodramatic! This isn't an opera, you know.' The young vocalists navigate their cadenza-laced score and Lara Teeter's ebullient choreography with playful exuberance. Most charming of all, however, is Opelka and Helbig's framing device of two silent lovers, sitting in boxes on opposite sides of the theatre. Their thwarted flirtation and ultimate triumph—after a jubilant finale featuring as much of a cancan dance as the dimensions of the stage and costumes permit—sends us on our way assured that Love has, once again, Conquered All.

facebook twitter 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.


Gay News

THEATER Larry Kramer (1935-2020), polemicist and playwright 2020-05-30 - Larry Kramer was an angry man and he made sure people knew it. The language of his public discourse—the hundreds of articles he ...

Gay News

Jeff Awards Nominee Night cabaret concert online June 1 2020-05-29 - The Non-Equity Jeff Awards Nominee Night concert, a version of the annual event at Sidetrack to showcase Jeff Award nominees, will be broadcast ...

Gay News

Chita: A Legendary Celebration to stream May 29 2020-05-27 - Chita: A Legendary Celebration , Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' one-night-only evening of song and dance celebrating the legendary Chita Rivera , returns this ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Rufus Wainwright, LGBTQ films, Billy Porter, Janelle Monae 2020-05-27 - Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright unveiled the latest single from his eagerly anticipated new pop album, Unfollow the Rules, a press release noted. "Alone ...

Gay News

THEATER Pride in Place Festival brings LGBTQ theater to stay-at-home audiences 2020-05-26 - The upheaval of the Stonewall riots had barely settled before the weekend preceding Independence Day was set aside to honor the right of ...

Gay News

BAMtheatre starting virtual classes 2020-05-26 - In response to the stay-at-home and social distancing orders implemented by the COVID-19 pandemic, BAMtheatre has reimagined its musical theatre-focused programming through a ...

Gay News

Steppenwolf names first woman Executive Director 2020-05-22 - Steppenwolf Theatre Company announced that Brooke Flanagan—who previously worked at Steppenwolf for seven years—will return to the organization in the role of executive ...

Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW To Master the Art 2020-05-22 - Playwright: William Brown and Doug Frew. At: TimeLine Theatre, streaming. Tickets:; $15-$25. Runs through: June 7 TimeLine Theatre commissioned To ...

Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW School Girls; Or The African Mean Girls Play 2020-05-22 - Playwright: Jocelyn Bioh At: Goodman Theatre online at Tickets: $20. Runs through: May 31 Ranking in popularity on the list of ...

Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW The Happiest Place on Earth 2020-05-21 - Playwright: Philip Dawkins At: Sideshow Theatre online. Tickets:; $5+ ( pay what you can ). Runs through: Open run Playwright Philip ...


Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our 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.







About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

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     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.