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glebb

'Hard Times'

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Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre Company is presenting 'Hard Times', by Charles Dickens. This production is adapted and directed by Heidi Stillman who some of you New Yorkers might recognize from the cast of 'Metamorphoses' which was first produced by Lookingglass Theatre Company, before moving to Broadway.

The cast of eleven perform mulitiple roles with ease. Most are Actors Equity and members of The Goodman Theatre or Steppenwolf. Because of the circus element the cast not only impresses with it's vocal and dramatic skills, but with it's gymnastic abilities as well.

Set in Coketown, Northern England in the 1850s, this 2 hour and 35 minute play (with one intermission) is mesmerizing, boasting inventive sets and costumes, lighting and music.

Performances are given at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 North Dearborn, Chicago through November.

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Thank you for the review. I always thought a Dickens ballet might be interesting to attempt. Great Expectations, perhaps? Think of the solos for Miss Havisham. :)

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Hmmm. I think we'd have to stick to Royal alumnae for this one. For starters:

Miss Havisham: Monica Mason

Estella: Antoinette Sibley

Herbert Pocket: Alexander Grant

Pip: Hmmm. Hard one. Not really a dancing role, basically. Will have to think about it.

And we must have someone to do the Aged Parent, even if all he has to do is nod. :cool:

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What about the amazing classic Gone with the Wind ? Do you think a reasonably lengthed ballet could ever be made out of this wonderful love story? It would be most romantic! Though it is so long.... but I am sure there is some beautiful ballerina that would be a perfect Scarlett, and some charming man to be Rhett....

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Let's try to keep this to Dickens. It's "Hard Times" enough to get him discussed on a ballet board. If you want to talk about GWTW as a ballet, we've had a thread about it long ago. A company announced plans to do it, but then they "unannounced" it when production difficulties arose.

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Let's see:

Miss Havisham: Frederick Ashton (played seriously, of course, no hi-jinks--can't you just visualize him in that white gown?)

Estella: Gelsey Kirkland

Pocket: Frederick Franklin

Pip: Ethan Stiefel

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Are they actually thinking about making a Great Expectations ballet? That would be a good one.

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I love atm's cast. Ashton would have caught exactly the right balance between general bitterness and the tragedy of never getting to wear the gown at the wedding. Lynn Seymour would be good, too, I think, in the second cast. :) (atm, you missed your calling -- Kirkland as Estella is very daring, but I'll bet it could have been interesting!)

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