The Merry Widow | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Merry Widow

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Light Opera Works breathes new life into Franz Lehar's 100-year-old Viennese operetta, about a fictional Balkan state whose financial future hinges on whether its wealthiest inhabitant marries a native or a foreigner. (In a comedy, of course, a proper wedding solves every problem--even in the Balkans.) A new English libretto by Gregg Opelka and Reader contributor Jack Helbig tends to drag through the expository parts, but at the top of the second act it finds its rhythm and bounces merrily along the rest of the way. Most everything else is pretty and lush in Rudy Hogenmiller's staging, from Lisa Beth Kohout's ornate folk costumes to Stacey Tappan's divine soprano in the role of the eponymous heroine. Through 8/28: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM. Northwestern University, Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson, Evanston, 847-869-6300. $13.50-$75. Closing.

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