A fresh twist on Victorian Satire...Iolanthe is stylishly droll. Just take a peek at Light Opera Works' beguiling, often-hilarious revival of "Iolanthe," now in a lavishly designed, hugely engaging revival. The little miracle in all this is how deftly and convincingly the Light Opera Works cast ... make the show feel wholly fresh.
Credit director Kurt Johns for his impeccable sense of style...
Chicago Sun Times - Hedy Weiss
Kurt Johns has directed the production with enough flare to disguise the fact that the show has little physical action. So much beautiful singing, so much visual creativity, and so few performances.
Dan Zeff - Copley News Service
Light Opera Work’s production, under the swift flowing direction by Kurt Johns and movement by Rudy Hogenmiller, allows the satire and comedy to flourish. This lightness is refreshing. We have as good a time as the performers—we all smile. The ensemble work here is first class, blending fine harmonies and swift movements. Be sure to catch this vintage Gilbert and Sullivan operetta soon—you only have a few days to laugh and tap you toes to such a charmingly pleasant musical treat.
ChicagoCritic.com - Tom Williams
A glorious gift from 1882...The result is a musical banquet as clever as it’s melodious, well worth a revival as excellent as Kurt Johns’ sterling staging....you’ve got an evening of sublimely escapist entertainment, possibly the best this summer has offered. You’ll leave humming your way to heaven.
Chicago Free Press
Director Kurt Johns would easily bring a tear to the eyes of Gilbert and Sullivan who may be smiling at him from a celestial distance. He’s created a believable Arcadian world in this production fueled simply on the high energy of brilliant voices, sidesplitting comedy and stunning costumes by Darcy Elora Hofer and a near Eden of a set by Courtney O’Neill.
Iolanthe marches on with a lilt: They’ve got some spunky fairies up in the Evanston “Iolanthe.” One brought to mind a younger Kristin Chenoweth, and another Amy Winehouse, albeit lighter on her toes and more smiley. The youthful vigor and insouciance of the fairy ensemble... get the tone just right—honest but, well, a tad Pythonesque. And thoroughly unpredictable. May the insouciant giddiness of the young—and the young at heart—shake the cobwebs from the rest of the enterprise.
Chicago Tribune - Chris Jones
... this is a very pretty and faithful rendering, as Stage Director Kurt Johns and Artistic Director Rudy Hogenmiller pay homage to the centuries old traditions of the D'Oyly Carte classic productions.... "Iolanthe" is a silly little trifle, but Light Opera Works gives it a beautiful production.
RECOMMENDED - 3 stars
Suspend disbelief and enjoy Light Opera Works' 'Iolanthe' ...Unless you accept this, nothing wonderful can happen....And wonderful things do happen...You don't have to believe in fairies to enjoy this show, but it helps....
Substitute red and blue states for conservative and liberal, and the proceedings allow us a good laugh at ourselves in an election year. The irony is at a premium, with the fairies and the members of the House of Lords achieving the right amount of tongue-in-cheek... the chorus, orchestra and overall sense of mayhem and spectacle, sparkle.
New City Chicago