The Medium | Royal George Theatre Center | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Medium Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 30 2016

It’s an intense experience to hear powerful operatic voices in a small room. It can be thrilling, but also painful. In the case of Gian Carlo Menotti’s mid-20th-century chamber opera The Medium, now running in a tiny pocket theater upstairs at the Royal George, there’s an argument to be made for it. The aural claustrophobia that ensues is perfectly suited to the opera’s deliberately suffocating atmosphere. Mezzo-soprano Heather Aranyi is compelling, vocally and dramatically, as Madame Flora, a con woman who pretends to commune with the dead, and then does—at least in her own unraveling mind. The results are horrific for the two youngsters trapped in her clutches, and for the audience. Aranyi’s admirably unhinged performance in this ColorBox Theatre production is supported by a youthful five-member cast and pianist Philip Seward. Consider yourself warned, and pack earplugs. —Deanna Isaacs

Price: $38

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