Look Back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was

Look Back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was

Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was

When not in Rome ...

No. 1 on my bucket list: live in Rome. I'm now somewhat disillusioned of that idea after seeing the Oscar-nominated "La Grande Bellezza." In it, writer Jep Gambardella turns 65 and decides to take stock of his life as he stylishly moves through decadent Rome. Despite its great beauty and parties, he finds his life and the lives of other Romans empty — though still holding moments of great beauty.

Finding excellence in 'Lost Lake'

David Auburn's intimate new play, "Lost Lake," which I saw Wednesday night at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, is engaging and unfolds in an intriguing way, with humor and poignancy. The acting by Jake Weber as a loser and Opal Alladin as a nurse practitioner is superb. Auburn has been developing the play in Illinois Theatre's Sullivan Project; he told me opening night he will make just a few more tweaks.

Dumping the idea

Before going to cellist Maya Beiser's "Labryinth" concert last week at Krannert, I listened a few times to her CD "Provenance" (left). Beiser told me it's her most personal; its influences are the Christian, Jewish and Muslim music she heard growing up on an Israeli kibbutz. I love all the CD tracks — particularly her cover of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir," written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

Topics (2):Music, Theater

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