First Lady Suite | Heartland Studio Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

First Lady Suite Recommended The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 27 2016

Composer-librettist Michael John LaChiusa's artful chamber opera probes the privileges and pressures of being a presidential wife in a trio of inventive vignettes. One episode focuses on Jackie Kennedy from the perspective of her disgruntled, overworked secretary as the women wait aboard Air Force One before arriving in Dallas on a fateful November day in 1963; another finds inebriated Mamie Eisenhower fantasizing about a trip with black opera singer Marian Anderson to rouse Ike to action in the Arkansas school integration crisis; the third imaginatively explores the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and lesbian journalist Lorena Hickock, whose passionate devotion to Eleanor is only ambiguously reciprocated. LaChiusa's complex, challenging score is well delivered by a very fine ensemble under the guidance of director Nicholas Reinhart and musical director Nick Graffagna in this adventurous Circle Theatre production. —Albert Williams

Price: $28 ($15 on élection night)

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