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  Queenie Pie at Harris Theater

Queenie Pie

Harris Theater
205 E. Randolph Chicago

Duke Ellington's only opera roars with big band sound in this raucous affair fusing hot jazz with cool blues! This story follows a Harlem belle in her quest for everlasting fame, showcasing a woman's ambition to keep her title and her beau. Prestige, beauty, and racial divides are not the only make-over in QUEENIE PIE, a Chicago premiere and collaboration with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. This hidden gem in the Duke's repertoire is a seldom-performed rarity, so catch it while you can!

Presented by Chicago Opera Theater

Thru - Mar 23, 2014

Price: $35-$125

Show Type: Opera

Box Office: 312-704-8414

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  Queenie Pie Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Duke Ellington died in 1974, the same year that the city's second opera company, Chicago Opera Theater, was founded. That neat historical coincidence is marked by the new production of the great American composer and bandleader's only opera, "Queenie Pie," which opened COT's 40th anniversary season Saturday at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park."
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John von Rhein

Chicago Sun Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...As Queenie, Karen Marie Richardson, a Bloomingdale, Ill. native, seemed to be having a bit of opening-night trouble taking control of the enormous stage. But there was so much in her performance musically, comically and dramatically that I'm sure she will shift into full and delightful gear in the subsequent three performances. Young Anna Bowen, who writes on biracial issues as well as singing attractively about them, had some odd miking problems in Act Two which one hopes can be resolved. Keithon Gipson as the male love interest and then island king is the only opera artist in the cast, and the tall, athletic bass-baritone deservedly won the most applause for his two numbers."
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Andrew Patner

Chicago On the Aisle - Somewhat Recommended

"...Ellington traveled the world, soaked up musical traditions, had a thousand ideas and created nearly as many works. There is no doubt that completing the commissioned opera occupied his last thoughts, and no reason to assume the category-blasting composer wasn’t headed toward something far more intriguing than what little he wrote. He simply ran out of time. “Queenie Pie” remains unfinished, beyond the reach of good intentions."
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Nancy Malitz

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"..."Queenie Pie" is Ellington's unfinished vision of an opera, unknown to most of us; it blends his big band sound with the musical styles of opera, jazz, and musical theater. He was still working on it when he died in 1974. There have been several attempts to complete his work, only bits and pieces remained, but most have been unsuccessful. The Chicago Opera Theater presents its new adaptation of "Queenie Pie" to kick off its 40th season at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park. This new production features interpolated additional songs from Ellington's canon to complete the score, a new adaptation of the Libretto by Ken Roht, and new orchestrations by Jeff Lindberg."
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Michael Horn

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