Lyric Opera’s Chicago Voices presents COMMUNITY CREATED PERFORMANCES: STORIES AND SONGS OF CHICAGO Review

Lyric Opera of Chicago STORIES AND SONGS OF CHICAGO
Kuumba Lynx performers in "We Get Free" at the Harris Theater on Sunday, September 10. Photo: Michael Brosilow

STORIES AND SONGS OF CHICAGO, Lyric Opera's Chicago Voices: Community Created Performances, came to the stage of the Harris Theater on Sunday, September 10. Capping months of collaboration and preparation, the three groups selected for this outreach project presented their creations to an exhuberant audience.  Kuumba Lynx's "We Get Free" opened the event with the story of urban artists who must cope with the sudden absence of a key performer. The young performers combine discipline and resourcefulness to keep their show and political activism on track. 

Lyric Opera of Chicago STORIES AND SONGS OF CHICAGO
Photo: Michael Brosilow
Lyric Opera of Chicago STORIES AND SONGS OF CHICAGO
Kuumba Lynx and Blu Rhythm Collective brought the effects of city violence to the stage in STORIES AND SONGS OF CHICAGO Photo: Michael Brosilow

YOLO BOOMERS mellow the tone

Following Kuumba Lynx's passionate performance, YOLO Boomers shifted the vibe from outrage to reflection in "Off Our Rockers." The group of older adults interwove personal tales about finding community as they adapt to changing lives: A couple closes a business after 25 years, lonely hearts endure "Senior Speed-dating," a woman reveals a devastating cancer diagnosis, another decides to write creatively for the first time. The audience at the Harris may have skewed younger but reaction to the YOLO Boomers' humor and pathos rippled audibly throughout the house. Their message: you're never too old for a new chapter. 

Lyric Opera of Chicago STORIES AND SONGS OF CHICAGO
YOLO Boomers in "Off Our Rockers," part of STORIES AND SONGS OF CHICAGO for Lyric Opera of Chicago's Community Created Performances. Photo: Michael Brosilow
Lyric Opera of Chicago STORIES AND SONGS OF CHICAGO
Underneath the L tracks onstage at the Harris Theater, Blu Rhythm Collective performs "Out of the Blu" Photo: Michael Brosilow

Blu Rhythm Collective tightens the focus

The third offering of the program, "Out of the Blu," was created by Blu Rhythm Collective, a group formed by Tanji Harper to give young people the skills to make smart decisions in a challenging environment. "Out of the Blu" took an inward look at the effects of street violence through intimate scenes and sharp dance numbers. Beneath a towering set of L tracks, Blu Rhythm Collective's agile performers led the audience from tragedy to renewal. 

Lyric Opera of Chicago STORIES AND SONGS OF CHICAGO
Kuumba Lynx, YOLO Boomers and Blu Rhythm Collective performers greet their audience at the end of STORIES AND SONGS OF CHICAGO Photo: Michael Brosilow

READ OUR PREVIEW: Lyric Opera Presents CHICAGO VOICES Preview – Local Voices Ring True

To read more about LYRIC OPERA'S COMMUNITY CREATED PERFORMANCES visit the Chicago Voices website. 

 

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