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Joffrey Ballet

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With a brawl in the opening scene, John Cranko's dynamic Romeo and Juliet throws you into the thick of Shakespeare's famous family feud. The Joffrey's opulent staging, complete with coppery Renaissance costumes and chiaroscuro lighting, whirls through the ballet's three acts before running up against an unavoidable hitch: for the last 20-odd minutes, one or the other title character is dead, and the dead can't dance. The company is crisp and polished; as Romeo and Juliet, Maia Wilkins and Willy Shives deliver expressive, lyrical performances. With her fluid back, Wilkins is never more lovely than in the first-act pas de deux in front of Juliet's balcony, when she's literally swept off her feet over and over and over again. Through 2/26: Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 2 and 7:30 PM, Sun 2 PM, Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress, 312-902-1500, 312-739-0120, ext. 1037, for groups of ten or more, $15-$125.

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