December 2, 2004
Vol. 24 No. 6

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    December Highlights

    Algernon (Lance Stuart Baker) and Cecily (Cristen Paige)

    Court Theatre
    The Importance of Being Earnest
    5535 S. Ellis Ave. 753-4472. http://courttheatre.uchicago.edu. $26-50. Student and senior discounts are available.
    Through Sunday, Dec. 26

    Court Theatre continues its Golden 50th Anniversary season with Oscar Wilde’s most cherished play, The Importance of Being Earnest. Just in time for the holidays, the production will be directed by Court’s artistic director Charles Newell, and will feature a cast and crew of Court veterans. Considered by many historians to be “the perfect comedy,” The Importance of Being Earnest mocks the English upper classes with light-hearted satire. The play focuses on Jack and Algernon, two young men who often bend the truth to make things more interesting, and who are in love with two girls who are both determined to marry someone named Ernest. A charade ensues, leading to confusion, confessions and declarations of love. The play, which premiered in London in 1895, is rife with Wilde’s playfulness and wit, as well as the sense of heightened propriety and controlling Victorian pressures that thrived at that time.

    John Zhu

    Department of Music
    University Symphony Orchestra
    Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th St. 702-9075. http://music.uchicago.edu. $10 general, $5 students.
    8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4

    Barbara Schubert conducts the orchestra in a program titled “1900, Backward and Forward,” which traverses the boundaries of Romanticism and modernism. The ensemble will perform Dvorák’s Symphony No. 7 in D. Minor, Op. 70 (1885) and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-flat Major (1912). Written for the composer’s piano examination during the his student days at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, the concerto also was Prokofiev’s vehicle for his first appearance as a soloist with an orchestra, which took place in Moscow with great success. Also on the program is Prokofiev’s Autumnal Sketch and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Cortége from the Mlada Suite. 2004 Concerto Competition winner John Zhu will join the orchestra.

    The Chicago Chorale

    Rockefeller Memorial Chapel
    The Chicago Chorale
    5850 S. Woodlawn Ave. 667-4571. http://www.chicagochorale.org/. $18 general, $12 students.
    8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11

    The Chicago Chorale, an ensemble consisting of many singers who are staff, students and alumni of the University, performs choral masterworks of the 16th through the 20th centuries, in the liturgical seasons and acoustic environments for which they were composed. For the holiday season, the ensemble will perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s Magnificat. Written in Leipzig in 1723, the Magnificat is conceived on a grand scale, requiring five soloists, a five-part choir and, for its time, an unusually large orchestra consisting of three trumpets, two flutes, two oboes, strings and continuo. Under the direction of Bruce Tammen (A.M.,’74), the chorale also will perform motets for the Advent season by Bruckner, Guerrero, Hofland, Obrecht and Rachmaninoff.


    The Office of Community Affairs and the Hyde Park School of Ballet
    The Nutcracker
    7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18
    2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19
    Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th St. 493-8498. http://www.hydeparkschoolofballet.org. $12 general, $5 seniors and children 7-12, and free for children 6 and under.

    The Hyde Park School of Ballet will present its sixth annual performance of The Nutcracker this holiday season. Set to the music of Tchaikovsky, the ballet tells the tale of the young Clara, who travels with her beloved nutcracker doll from a family holiday party to the magical place where her toys come to life. This production, sponsored by the Office of Community Affairs, will feature over 100 dancers, from the four-year-old dancers playing baby mice to the adult dancers portraying Clara’s family and the Sugar Plum Fairy.