Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended
"...If you had told me that Dmitri Shostakovich was fresh out of college when he wrote “Moscow, Cheryomushki” — his musical theater piece about young Muscovites in their amusing quests for apartments, careers and romance in the 1950s — I might have believed you. But Shostakovich was a 52-year-old veteran of the Soviet culture wars when he finished “Moscow, Cheryomushki” in 1958. (Had it been languishing under the bed?) The musical satire is a tribute to his inner kid, a wonderful thumbing of the nose in the tradition of MAD Magazine, The Onion’s satirical news and Terry Gilliam’s film “Brazil.” And it’s just right for Chicago Opera Theater, which has opened its 2012 season at the Harris Theater with this saga of three pairs of young lovers and their real estate nemeses, who include a platinum blonde in need of an expanded boudoir."
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ChicagoCritic - Recommended
"... Shostakovich described his first work of Nikolay Gogol’s “Nos” (1928-1930) as “Theater Symphony”, where text and music were in equilibrium. One could conclude that he carried this idea to his last opera as well with Cheryomushki, since the theater aspect is as prominent as his music, a perfect fit for the Chicago Opera Theater! The strict opera fan can rightly object to Cheryo as not following all of the traditional rules of the medium, but with an open mind…there is much to enjoy from this work. It also offers a wonderful bridge to encourage younger audiences to transition from musical play to opera. Definitely a unique, thought-provoking fun night!"
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Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended
"...Under Mike Donahue’s flawless direction, it’s also a terrific showcase for a young, vibrant cast and very attractive cast. There’s a lot of eye candy to devour. It would be wrong to single any out since, apart from this being a collectivist work of art, the ensemble is so perfectly picked and matched. What does warrant mention is that on opening night Chicago Opera Theater had to move the musicians from the orchestra pit and hour before curtain and place them on the other—back—side of the stage. It probably altered the sound but didn’t seem to mess up the blocking and, whatever the reason for this snafu, it should be fixed soon."