“In its second collaboration with the Lyric, [Second City] has tapped into a richly comic vein of pure Rhine gold. The show features Jesse Case as composer, sound designer and music director. But best of all he also plays the role of the wildly narcissistic, obsessive, decidedly kinky Richard Wagner - and nails the portrayal on every count.”

“A complex, swift-paced narrative about Richard Wagner and his famous Ring Cycle, it’s also about Wagner’s (fictitious) great-grandson Fred, who comes to embrace his family lineage by abandoning his Schaumburg theater company in favor of directing The Ring in Bayreuth itself. Writer Tim Sniffen and music director Jesse Case have done their research well. One of the cleverest things about many of the jokes is the way the good ones crop up again when you least expect them. Get ready for a show that has a little bit of everything and a lot of fun.”

“Wagner-sized laughs... a sort of mashup of the Marx Brothers' "A Night at the Opera," Wagner factoids and fiction, and typical Second City manic shtick. The 90-minute show is laced with salty punchlines, operatic in-jokes, groan-worthy puns and enough bad German accents to fill an entire season of "Hogan's Heroes." ... In another terrific number, Case’s egomaniacal, underwear-fetishist composer convinces his great-grandson that, to create enduring works of art, "a Wagner has to have his silk" — lacy underpants, that is. By the final curtain [the ensemble] manage to capsulize the 15-hour "Ring" cycle in about 15 frantic minutes. The moral? "Now and then the world needs a Wagner" they sing. Second City addicts and Wagner opera fans alike should find this revue compulsively entertaining.”

FROM BARNABY HUGHES FOR STAGE AND CINEMA | READ THE FULL REVIEW

FROM JOHN VON RHEIN FOR THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE | READ THE FULL REVIEW

FROM HEDY WEISS FOR THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES | READ THE FULL REVIEW

“Jesse Case, who composed the original music, narrates and moves in and out of the 1848 and modern day action as lingerie-loving Wagner, plays a mean grand piano and he’s as comfortable with classics as well as Nationwide jingles, the Harry Potter theme, and Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’. He’s also the glue around which several plots (“leitmotifs or musical Legos”) and seven actor/singers pivot. The show is an excellent primer for the uninitiated.”

FROM KAREN MCKIE FOR THIRD COAST REVIEW| READ THE FULL REVIEW

LONGER! LOUDER! WAGNER!

LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO, OCTOBER 2016

COMPOSER/ARRANGER, CO-WRITER, MUSICAL DIRECTOR, TITLE ROLE