Chicago offers more of the Moor with various versions of Othello

April 16, 2013
Janet Arvia


In the Windy City, this is the year of the Moor as Lyric Opera of Chicago is preparing Otello next fall and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is currently performing Othello: The Remix, a hip-hop adaptation of the Shakespearian classic written and directed by GQ and JQ.

Commissioned by CST and developed by Rick Boynton, the updated urban version returns home for a limited engagement after its acclaimed world premiere at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, and tours to Germany and Edinburgh.

Recommended for mature audiences, the Chicago engagement of Othello: The Remix is presented in CST’s Carl and Marilynn Thoma Theater on Navy Pier at 800 East Grand Avenue. For details, visit

In addition, The Joffrey Ballet performs Lar Lubovitch’s Othello at the Auditorium Theatre from April 24 to May 5, 2013. Following its well-received 2009 staging, the new production is timed to fall near Lubovitch’s 70th birthday in April and the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birthday (as well as the anniversary of the day he died) on April 23.

Set to a score by Oscar® winner Elliot Goldenthal, Othello uses an amalgam of classical ballet and modern dance to relay universal themes of jealousy, trust, race and power. Live orchestral accompaniment is provided by The Chicago Philharmonic, led by Joffrey Music Director Scott Speck.

“This spring, we welcome the return of Lar Lubovitch,” states Ashley Wheater, artistic director of The Joffrey Ballet. “In his full-length Othello, Lar tells the tragic Shakespearian story using bold contemporary movement rather than words or pantomime. We watch the tragedy unfold, helpless to prevent the stunning, dramatic conclusion. Othello was the first full-length I introduced to the Joffrey in 2009 and is certainly a masterwork of narrative dance in the new century.”

Othello won’t be performed again by the Joffrey in the foreseeable future, so this is the last chance for fans of dance and Shakespeare to view it. Single tickets, which range from $31 to $152, are available by phone at 800-982-2787, online at, and at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University Box Office on 50 East Congress Parkway.
For more information about The Joffrey Ballet and its programs, visit