Julia Margaret Cameron’s Women

It’s fitting that the Art Institute’s current exhibition of Julia Margaret Cameron’s often haunting portraits of women should be augmented by performances: the 19th-century English photographer specialized in dramatic tableaux inspired by the heroines of British legend and literature. The first is a series, Idylls of the King, featuring Lia Mortensen and Christopher Cartmill in dramatic readings of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s epic retelling of the King Arthur saga. They’ll present the Victorian verse soap opera over five days, offering a different episode each afternoon (see Performance listing for schedule); the costumed actors are accompanied by period music and slides of Cameron’s work, juxtaposing visual and verbal imagery. The next event is Tableaux in Time: Julia Margaret Cameron’s Scenes From Shakespeare, a one-night performance by Richard Monette, artistic director of Canada’s Stratford festival, and Stratford ensemble member Seana McKenna in various Shakespearean duets: between Romeo and Juliet’s Juliet and Friar Lawrence, King Lear’s Cordelia and Lear, and The Tempest’s Miranda and Prospero. Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan, 312-443-3600. Idylls of the King is presented in Price Auditorium September 28 through October 2: Monday-Friday, 12:15 PM. Free with museum admission ($8 suggested donation, $5 for children; free on Tuesday). Tableaux in Time is presented in Fullerton Auditorium on Monday, October 5, at 6:30 PM. $10; tickets may be purchased by calling 630-268-1111.

–Albert Williams

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Tableaux in Time: Julia Margaret Comeron’s Scenes From Shakespeare.