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Clef N tes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts AUTUMN 2011

We talk with one of the most renowned violinists of her generation,

Nadja

SalernoSonnenberg

Goodman Theatre is Seeing Red This Fall! Director Robert Falls on Goodman's hotly anticipated premiere of Red by playwright John Logan.

REBEL'S DANCE

Emily Disher previews Rasta Thomas' Bad Boys of Dance at The Auditorium Theatre this fall.

PLUS....

Our Top Lifestyle Picks for the Culturally Savvy

AmericaN Dreams New Smithsonian exhibit explores the pioneering spirit that made early America the world's most ferocious leader in industry.


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Contents Autumn 2011

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FEATURES

22 Sundance on the Waterfront

Fans of the famed Sundance Film Festival don’t have to travel far for a taste of the annual observance of cinematic excellence. Chicago's answer to the West Coast festival is right in our own back yard.

38 A Novel Approach Laura Lewis-Barr takes a look at the unique way Lifeline Theatre, on Chicago’s north side, shares its passion for bringing the great works of literature to life—quite literally.

29 In This Quarter Year Grant Park Symphony, West Side Story, Chinglish, and Thodos Dance Company's "New Dances" are just a few of the performances we review “In This Quarter Year.” Above: Grant Park Orchestra performs at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (photo courtesy of the Grant Park Music Festival).

58 Gentle Giants The Field Museum takes on a gargantuan subject with an interactive approach, shedding light on some of the sea's most mesmerizing creatures. Autumn 2011CNCJA•5


From the Publisher’s Desk

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO

This summer, thousands throughout Chicagoland made the jaunt down to Millennium Park on Chicago’s lakefront to hear some of the classic masterworks performed by Grant Park Orchestra. But what those new to the Grant Park Music Festival might not have expected is that they’d also be privy to one of the most outstanding art installations and public The Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park." spaces the world over. Set amidst a unique fusion of architecture, landscape design, and art, architect Frank Gehry’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion serves as the magnificent venue for the popular summer festival and draws millions each year, not only for the marvelous music created within its edifice, but also for its remarkable design. Itself a work of art, the pavilion creates a striking backdrop, swelling with waves of brushed stainless steel ribbons that expand elegantly over its audience, enveloping and encircling those lucky enough to play witness to the magnificent structure alone. It’s during that serendipitous revelation, that “take your breath away” moment when you first witness the beauty of the pavilion, that one realizes the experience will go far beyond awe inspiring music. It’s this kind of serendipity that elevates the arts beyond your standard entertainment. For an artist of any kind, their work often encompasses so many layers that it’s impossible to know what others will glean as a result of it. Our autumn 2011 issue overflows with examples of that serendipity. Contributor Laura Lewis-Barr found it at Lifeline Theatre in Rogers Park. The imaginative ways in which the 30-year theater company brings the great works of literature to life serve as a veritable breeding ground for serendipitous discovery. With set designs fraught with symbolism, Lifeline’s audiences are bound to meet those revelations that occur so often with the arts. We also talk with Goodman Theatre Director Robert Falls about his upcoming production Red by John Logan. Falls discusses the layers of insight built into the work that reveal not only its core messages about the significance of art and culture to our society, but also the revelations it makes about interpersonal relationships between artist and student, what Falls refers to as the “father-son” relationship. And, of course, we had the pleasure of interviewing world-renowned violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and the revelations she discovered when she first entertained a residency with The New Century Chamber Orchestra led her to do something she never would have imagined, take the helm of the San Francisco-based ensemble. It’s all part of the territory when it comes to arts and culture, finding that “happy accident,” that instance when you first realize you’ve gotten much, much more than you ever expected, and you’re all the better for it. That’s what I hope you’ll find in our autumn issue of Clef Notes. As the city's new arts and culture season begins, there will be an untold number of revelations awaiting Chicagoland audiences. Allow Clef Notes to start you on your journey of delightful discovery this season. Enjoy!

D. Webb Publisher

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Clef N tes

Chicagoland Journal for the Arts AUTUMN 2011

Publisher D. Webb

Editorial Editor

Patrick M. Curran II

Editorial Support Christopher Hopper Rachel Cullen

Staff Writers and Contributors Sarah Aubry Fred Cummings Emily Disher Holly Huffstutler Laura Lewis-Barr Daniel Scurek Myron Silberstein Stephanie Toland David Weiss Alexandra Zajac

Art Direction Art Director Phillip Carlton

Contributing Photographer Jason M. Reese

Graphics & Design Specialists Chelsea Davis Angela Chang

Advertising

Chicago & Western Suburbs Account Executive Jason Montgomery Tel. 773.741.5502 Jason.Montgomery@ClefNotesJournal.com North Shore Publisher’s Representatives The Lyon Group, LLC Tel. 847.853.7001 LyonGroup@ClefNotesJournal.com

Subscriptions Clef Notes is published quarterly (March, June, September and December) each year. An annual subscription to the magazine may be purchased by mailing a check or money order for $18 to Clef Notes Publishing, Inc., 5815 N. Sheridan Road, Suite 1107, Chicago, IL 60660. Bulk rates are also available. Credit card purchases may be secured online at ClefNotesJournal.com or by calling 773.741.5502. Copyright © 2011 Clef Notes Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the USA.


Contents Autumn 2011

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DEPARTMENTS

24 Curator’s Corner: American Dreams

The Smithsonian American Art Museum explores works that examine the fascinating pride of an early American nation and its zeal for burgeoning industrial dominance.

40 Cover Story: Conversation with Violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg Nadja Salerno-Sonenberg talks with Myron Silberstein about what led her, in the midst of a wildly successful solo career, to do the unthinkable…..take the helm of San Francisco's New Century Chamber Orchestra.

48 Rebel's Dance Emily Disher previews Rasta Thomas' Bad Boys of Dance in advance of their fall engagement at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre. On the Cover: Violinist Nadja SalernoSonnenberg (photo by Christian Steiner); Above: Company of Rasta Thomas' Bad Boys of Dance (photo courtesy of Rasta Thomas).

54 Cultural Almanac Preview: Seeing Red David Weiss sits down with Goodman Director Robert Falls for a preview of the highly anticipated premiere of Red by John Logan. Autumn 2011CNCJA•7


scuttlebutt

Letters from our readers... Room For Everyone

Showing Some Lyle-Love(ett)

Its kind of a double-edged sword for these wonderful, regional groups to work in a city like Chicago. One the one hand, there's so much support for arts experimentation. But on the other hand, that support fosters so much competition for audience and sponsor dollars that it becomes terrifically difficult to make a name for yourself. The much needed attention you give to these little "gems" helps get the word out about (their) work, and helps elevate their profile among a sea of deserving companies. Michael Childress Chicago - Downtown

I just received my first issue of Clef Notes (Summer 2011), and thoroughly enjoyed the lush photographs and timely articles. The reviews provided a chance to revisit productions I have seen as well an opportunity to read about ones I've missed, and the feature articles discussed artists and ensembles both familiar and new to me.

I loved the article you published on Lyle Lovett (Summer 2011). It gave a very introspective and intimate look at him. I have long been a fan, and enjoyed the insights Myron (Silberstein) shared on the path that led (Lovett) to music. It was fascinating to see his influences and inspirations. I admit I didn't know the connection between his Large Band and the Big Bands of the 1930s and '40s. Now it seems to make sense the styles he seems to emulate without imitating. Hats off to Myron. Alice Helwig Chicago - Lincoln Park

PHOTO BY MICHAEL BROSILOW

Mea Culpa!

PHOTO BY MICHAEL WILSON

Thank you for your story on Theater Wit this summer ("Street Smarts" - Summer 2011).... I do hope your magazine will continue to spotlight the smaller, lesser known local theatres, dance companies and artists in the Chicago area.

However, I'd like to point out an error in the caption for the photograph that accompanied David Weiss's review of Steppenwolf's production of The Hot L Baltimore: The actress pictured along with ensemble member Jon Michael Hill is Allison Torem, not Kate Arrington. Readers may submit letters to Feedback, Clef Notes Publishing, Inc. 5815 N. Sheridan Road, Suite 1107, Chicago, IL 60660 or via E-mail to Feedback@ClefNotesJournal.com. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without the express written consent of the publisher. Clef Notes Publishing makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the magazine’s content. However, we cannot be held responsible for any consequence arising from errors or omissions.

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Carolyn M. Mulac Chicago - South Chicago


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Out and About

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As the evening commenced on the outside plaza of the MCA, guests were treated to cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and impromptu performances by Redmoon Theater and the JASC Tsukasa Taiko drum ensemble. MCA Pritzker Director Madeleine Grynsztejn offered welcoming remarks and honored Director of Performance Programs Peter Taub, who thanked a variety of individuals and groups instrumental to the success of the MCA Stage. Wolfgang Puck Catering prepared a summer-themed feast followed by dessert and dancing on the museum's second floor. New York DJs Eclectic Method mixed upbeat music, while rotating videos of the evening's reception, along with past performances from the MCA Stage, were displayed on large screens.

PHOTOS BY ROBERT CARL

he Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago celebrated the 15th anniversary of its performance program the MCA Stage at the remixed/reimagined: 2011 MCA Performance Benefit on Thursday, June 23, 2011. More than 300 guests arrived to commemorate the longevity and innovation of the MCA Stage with a lively evening that raised more than $300,000 for the museum's programming.

Eliza Myrie and artist Theaster Gates.

Paul and Linda Gotskind.

Steve Collens and Heather Ahasic 10•CNCJAAutumn 2011

JASC Tsukasa Taiko perform on the steps of The Museum of Contemporary Art.

Jai Eisen and Alisa Bergstein

Steve Eisen and Committee Chair

Lois Eisen, MCA Performance


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Artful tailoring

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PHOTO COURTESY OF BURDI LUXURY MENSWEAR

If art is wearable, Burdi Luxury Menswear is its gallery. For more than 40 years, Burdi has graced Chicago’s Gold Coast with designer Italian menswear that epitomizes luxury, elegance, and style. Founder Alfonso Burdi has brought a wealth of artistic balance, employing traditions of master Italian tailors to his custom garments. Second-generation owner, Rino Burdi has added cutting edge technology and modern flare, building upon that tradition. The family brings the best of old and new traditions to elevate custom men's tailoring to an art form. With the most precise fitting techniques and master craftsmanship, they create bespoke, made-to-measure, and ready-to wear garments fit for the red carpet and masterpieces for the male form.

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Cultural gems

From the CumuLLus® Collection by Lester Lampert.

PHOTO COURTESY OF LESTER LAMPERT

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With four generations dedicated to the fine art of jewelry, Lester Lampert on Oak Street (steps from the Magnificent Mile) has solidified its place amongst Chicago's elite fine jewelry designers. So much so, that when the Field Museum of Natural History sought a local designer to contribute a one-ofa-kind collection to its gleaming new exhibit, Grainger Hall of Gems, it looked to Lester Lampert to pen the designs. And that's no surprise, because since the beginning, Lester Lampert has been known for meticulous craftsmanship and clarity of form in their work, something it touts as "The Lampert Look." Brilliance dominates their many collections with designs that articulate creativity in its finest form. From bracelets to broaches to timepieces, no artistic expense is spared when achieving the Lampert Look. For the culturally savvy eye, Lester Lampert jewelry makes an artistic statement that speaks volumes for the beauty of design and singularity of excellence for which it has become well known.

With a brand touting the most elegant lines, textural diversity, and artistic clarity, furniture designer Lee Weitzman creates custom pieces that are, themselves, striking works of art. A fixture in Chicago’s River North for many years, Weitzman’s showroom brims with distinctive works made from superlative, eye-catching designs while exuding the utmost in quality and functionality. An instructor at the Art Institute of Chicago, Weitzman simply cannot avoid employing an artist’s eye in his work. With Lee Weitzman, you not only get beautifully designed furnishings, you get incredibly rich, one-of-a-kind artistry that breathes personality, elegance and exquisite taste.

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF LEE WIETZMAN

Sculptural furnishings

Clockwise from top: Rice End Table, Ava Bar Stool, Alexandria Bench, and Argentine Buffet.


Chef Stephanie Izard

Cultured tastes Chef Stephanie Izard’s career has been sizzling since her Season Four win on the hit Bravo TV culinary competition Top Chef. That’s due in part to her savvy navigation of the pop culture phenomenon, mastery of hearty, rustic cuisine, and her downright brazen love of Taco Bell. Well, maybe not so much the Taco Bell thing—but it is endearing to see a super-high caliber executive chef embrace the everyday, ordinary simplicity of thinking outside the bun.

PHOTO BY ANTHONY TAHLIER

Izard’s quick appeal might be attributed to her easily accessible affability, but she clearly owes her staying power to the downright artisanal approach she takes to the most unpretentious culinary delights. And now in its second red hot year, her local baby, The Girl and The Goat, is one of Chicago’s most popular downtown eateries.

Cultured aromas There’s a reason for the saying, “Like a fine wine…” And Napa Valley’s Rutherford Hill Winery is a prime example of why wine making is an art form like none other. A premium brand of Buffalo Grove international wine maker Terlato Wines, Rutherford Hill’s wide array of vintages have become synonymous with excellence among a bastion of worldwide varietals. Early on in its history, the founders of Rutherford Hill recognized that the soil and climate of California’s Napa Valley region were uniquely beneficial for producing premium Merlot grapes. Upon its purchase by the Terlato family in 1993, the brand was further refined to produce an astonishing array of quality varietals and, through their marketing, has become known worldwide for its sophisticated viticultural aspects. Terlato has honed a superior brand with wines that are distinctive in quality and taste. Their vintage 2004 Zinfandel Port is singularly exceptional among the variety. Giving a nod to the carefully preserved Port wine traditions of Portugal’s Douro region, it puts its own stamp on the process by employing the use of California’s celebrated Zinfandel grapes. The result is an artful blend of slightly sweet, medium bodied flavor with warm, rich aromas as intoxicating as the wine’s ruby red color. Rutherford Hill Merlot Reserve (photo courtesy of Terlato Wines).

A meat-lover's paradise, Chef Stephanie Izard's restaurant The Girl and the Goat boasts charming, burnt cedar walls and a rustic ambiance unlike anything you'll find in Chicagoland. (Above left photo of Stephanie Izard by L. Bergonia.)

And trust me, the Goat is indeed reaping all the benefits, serving up a wonderful blend of rustic charm and Izard’s hearty delectables. Yes, goat is on the menu, but how this meat lover’s Mecca delivers its wonderfully delicious comfort food while curing the most convivial atmosphere is as artful as the menu itself. But again, much is owed to Izard’s downright incredible likeability. This summer, she began a series called Supper at Steph’s with the aim of raising funds and awareness for Share Our Strength, a national non-profit working toward the goal of wiping out childhood hunger by the year 2015. The project is part of Izard’s own broader plan to raise $500,000 for the effort. It includes a nationwide book tour for her newly penned “The Girl and The Kitchen” and private culinary events around the country. If your tastes are geared toward sumptuous, simmering delights under the most warm and inviting surroundings, The Girl and The Goat is a must. And if you’re lucky enough to spot Izard’s infectious smile, well, that will make the evening complete! Autumn 2011CNCJA•13


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This summer, the stars aligned for an “ARTrageous” melding of fashion, art, and culture in Macy’s 2011 Glamorama at State Street’s historic Chicago Theatre. A perfect blend of art, music, and high fashion, Macy’s 2011 extravaganza once again raised funds to support Ronald McDonald House Charities and, this year, one of the non-profit’s most ambitious projects, the construction of the largest Ronald MacDonald House right in the Chicago Loop. The stars have always seemed to align to support Macy’s annual fundraiser. Since it first made its way to Chicago in 1999, the event has brought celebrities like Cyndie Lauper, Ryan Seacrest, and Beyonce. This year was no different with musician (and fashion plate) Cee Lo Green headlining the event. Glamorama 2011ARTrageous was a distinctive union of art, dance, and music brilliantly interwoven to create an almost theatrical performance enveloped by fashion. And that was no easy task. The novel concept had been in the works for some time, however, with Macy’s constantly searching for new ways to plan an innovative experience for their yearly benefit. As Macy’s Executive Vice President for Marketing and Advertising Martine Reardon put it, “We will end this show and wake up tomorrow thinking of next year’s event.” It’s a firm demonstration of the commitment Macy’s has made to children’s charities over the years. “We want to make sure children are taken care of as much as possible with the absolute best care possible, and that’s what keeps us coming back every year,” said Reardon. However novel, this year’s theme, for Reardon, was a no-brainer. She noted that one of the reasons she thought the idea would be a perfect fit was the level at which today's, “music, fashion, and art are converging and becoming one.” So, Macy's marketing and special productions teams developed the concept of weaving various elements of art, music, and even ballet as a backdrop to the brilliant fash14•CNCJAAutumn2011 14•CNCJAAutumn 2011

By CARLA MONTGOMERY ions on display at this year’s show. And so Macy’s ARTrageous was born. The Ronald McDonald Charities Ambassador for this year’s event was Alisha Van Fosson. Born with a very rare form of spina bifida, the National Junior Honor Society member volunteers in her community while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Van Fosson was elated to be a part of it all, explaining “I am ecstatic because it is a once in a lifetime chance.” In a film shown at the start of this year’s event, Van Fosson told what Ronald McDonald House Charities has meant to her and her family, signaling the real importance of the annual fashion celebration. The runway show was unveiled against the backdrop of screened images of works by Picasso, Da Vinci, and Van Gogh, while dancers from ballet to hip hop performed as models traversed the catwalk in creations by some of fashion's biggest names. Jean Paul Gaultier’s collection was a brilliant blending of masculine tailoring with 1940s sophistication. His designs were softer than the more severe Gothic creations one typically associates with the designer. Karl Lagerfeld’s Impulse Collection amazed the capacity crowd with flirty -girl dresses and eye-popping leather pants. Tracy Reese’s designs showcased her talent for transforming our favorite pieces from everyday fashionable to mind-blowing chic. Her collection wowed from the first amazing white fur to a host of dresses, suits, and gowns— all traditional, yet fashion-forward with tailoring that flattered every curve. Singer Cee Lo Green, with his own eclectic fashion sense, was the perfect accompaniment to the high-powered designs on the runway. Following the show, guests were invited to an after-party that continued the arts infused theme at Macy’s flagship store on State Street. With freelance artists creating spray tattoos of masterworks like Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Macy’s 2011 Glamorama’s ARTrageous ended on a high note with its unique and original amalgamation of fashion, art, music, and dance, creating drama without being outrageous at all.

PHOTO COURTESY ADAM BETTCHER PHOTOGRAPHY

Macy's Gets "ARTrageous!"

Models walk the runway wearing designs by Jean Paul Gaultier at Macy's 2011 Glamorama "ARTrageous." The event took place on August 12, 2011 at The Chicago Theatre and, once again, helped raise funds to support Ronald McDonald House Charities.


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Alvin Ailey Act

Ailey II's Fana Fraser and Chang Yong Sung in Alvin Ailey's "Isba."

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PHOTO BY EDUARDO PATINO

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kid sister to the historic Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT), Alvin Ailey II is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country's best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today's most outstanding emerging choreographers. Alvin Ailey personally appointed former AAADT member Sylvia Waters as Ailey II’s artistic director in 1974, and under her direction, Ailey II has flourished into one of the most popular dance companies in the nation. The young sibling of one of the most historic national dance companies makes its triumphant return to Governors State University on Saturday, October 28, 2011. The company will perform a program entitled “Generations,” exploring the company’s past, present, and future with Alvin Ailey’s “Quintet,” Judith Jamison’s “Divining,” and Robert Battle’s “The Hunt.”

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ART

Design

by

Morlen Sinoway Artelier

By ALEXANDRA ZAJAC

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In the midst of Chicago’s Fulton Market lies an intriguing shop, renowned for its one-of-a-kind finds and expertly curated selection. The shop, Morlen Sinoway Atelier, is a gem located within this buzzing, colorful area of Chicago known for its eclectic feel and architecture straight from Chicago’s industrial past. With far more character than a conventional retail strip, the showroom complements a neighborhood known throughout Chicagoland for its appetizing restaurants and fantastic art galleries. The owner, Morlen Sinoway, is himself an artist. A former student of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sinoway’s background in fine arts has helped him define and refine his aesthetic. Sinoway is also a world-renowned furniture designer with many of his unique works on display within the showroom. Host to a tasteful selection of furniture, art, décor, and unique specialty items, the showroom is full of exceptional finds from all over the world. Over the years, Sinoway has developed professional relationships with a number of vendors who love a good design challenge, and they continually provide him with an unlimited amount of artfully-executed pieces. “We are a destination,” says Sinoway. “People come here from all over the world. They seek us out because they know we have a good reputation.” Aside from being known for impeccably curated designs, Sinoway is a big proponent of supporting local artists. He buys 18•CNCJAAutumn 2011

Morlen Sinoway's Fulton Market Showroom


Going beyond his work with local talent, Sinoway also plies Chicago’s various neighborhood shops and flea markets for fun and quirky items that meet his standards of aesthetically superior workmanship. He looks for quality, unique craftsmanship, unconventionality, and artful execution, bringing together an eclectic mix of home décor and personal accessories on display in his showroom. Sinoway never stops looking for fresh accouterments because, as he puts it, “Design is about being inquisitive.” Sinoway first opened his shop some twenty years ago in Chicago’s Wicker Park, where he created a gallery space with original art on the walls amidst his own furniture designs on the floor, and not much more in-between. “The setup wasn’t for everyone. It was hard for some people to get past the furniture when they were looking at the art, and hard to get past the art when they were looking at the furniture.” But more people than not understood Sinoway’s approach, and soon he found himself moving into his current location in Fulton Market. Since then, his shop has continued to grow, and he has continued to diversify his offerings based upon his many clients’ needs. He insists, “My clients like things customized, and we only deal with vendors who can deliver such requests.” Sinoway’s firm caters to both individuals and businesses looking for special design solutions for their spaces. “Our design shop is about design, not volume,” he told me. He sells everything from classic pieces to small accessories, from local offerings to Danish furniture with clean lines, from the ever-popular stackable cushions, to original, highly-coveted, iconic pieces. Although his shop is sizeable, it is by no means a warehouse, and all the carefully curated works are displayed in a manner that makes the space feel warm, welcoming, and even livable. The showroom is a testament to how well Sinoway can help his clients create unique and inspiring personal spaces, buying into exactly what he's selling. PHOTO COURTESY OF MORLEN SINOWAY ARTELIER

and sells their works and supports their businesses in other ways, such as organizing the wildly popular Guerrilla Truck Show. Now in its seventh year, the Guerrilla Truck Show is built around forty trucks parked at the loading dock of his showroom, where artists set up shop to sell their various works. This summer, as always, the event drew a crowd of design enthusiasts intrigued by the spectacle. Art, design, and even food vendors showed up to participate in the event.

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luminary By FRED CUMMINGS Photos By LAURA FERREIRA

Performing with some of the greatest jazz legends of the day has not inflated Etienne Charles’ ego. Coming from generations of dedicated folk musicians steeped in the AfroCaribbean traditions of Trinidad, that wasn’t very likely to happen. Charles has always been grounded in the simple enjoyment of his art. In fact, the young, red hot jazz trumpeter’s career has only served to sharpen his perspective on the importance of his work within the context of the diverse musical genres it serves. From Caribbean folk music to jazz, Charles’ influences are indeed many. But the artist clearly has a vivid sense of self and an understanding of the power of his music. He confesses to a continuing weakness for the culinary arts (Charles still dreams of being a chef), and he has a real passion for diplomacy and international relations, (he admits that had music not become his profession, he would have developed a career in that field). But most of all, Charles understands deeply that music is a language that should simply be appreciated across all cultural barriers. And of that language, Charles is one of its greatest young ambassadors. I had the fortune of sitting down with Etienne Charles in advance of his upcoming performance with The Chicago Jazz Ensemble at Harris Theater in Millennium Park. And what struck me most about our conversation was how so many of his passions: his love of music, cuisine and cross-cultural relations are all seen through the same straightforward lens.

Jazz & Afro-Caribbean Trumpeter and percussionist Etienne Charles

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FC: As a young musician studying at The Oxford School of Music and The Juilliard School, you must have had to grapple with achieving a sense of balance in articulating the structure of the compositions you studied while observing the freedom endemic to the genre of jazz. Now, as a teacher at Michigan State University, how much do you stress that same balance to your own students? EC: I’m definitely all about balance. It’s really about developing a compositional concept and one that is not completely cerebral. But it should definitely appeal to the senses of the musician just as much as the people who are listening to the music. So that’s what I try to stress when I’m teaching, making it a challenge to the musician but also about making it speak to the audience in a language they will understand. FC: Your mentor, renowned jazz pianist Marcus Roberts, has clearly had a great impact on your career. Which lesson that you've gleaned from your work with him would you say has influenced you most? EC: I’ll never forget. We were getting ready for my first record, Culture Shock. And it was actually one of the rehearsals. Marcus Roberts was the piano player on the record. And I was showing him, basically, like the rhythm behind “Calypso” and the different rhythmic riffs that we work off of when we blow, and different punctuations. And he changed it to a completely new style. And I was amazed by how quickly he caught on and how quickly he locked into the groove. And we kept playing and playing. And I was blowing and he said, “Okay, now you show all of this.” And he told me, he said, “Look, there’s a completely different way that you play jazz. Where you come from should come out in the music. If I were to play, it would reflect the church. Because I come from the church, it comes out, and I let it out. I don’t try to hold back.” That’s what he was telling me. He was saying that music should reflect what you have felt, what you have come from, what has changed you, what has inspired you, you know, to express it through music, it should all come out in your performance. And so that was probably one of the biggest lessons for me. FC: What do you make of the continuing debate among jazz purists and contemporary jazz proponents about the perceived distinction between the seemingly two styles? Do you see a delineation between pure or traditional jazz and contemporary jazz, and is that good for the genre? EC: I mean what is pure, traditional jazz? Is that Louis Armstrong? Is that Buddy Bolder? A lot of people talk about what is pure jazz and what is traditional jazz, but to me, jazz is ever changing. It’s like geography. To me, jazz, geography, and

language arts….and culinary arts, it’s ever evolving because its based on change. When the earth changes, humans change to react to that change. Let's say it's climate change. When humans change in reaction to the earth changing, what we eat changes. Likewise, what we play or listen to changes. How quickly we respond to something emotionally may even change. So it has to keep moving. It has to move forward because that’s what the music is about. The music is a rhythmic, improvisational entity. FC: It’s a living thing. EC: Yeah, it’s living. And so to say something is traditional—I mean traditional jazz is an original thing. That’s traditional jazz. The reason Louis Armstrong is the father of jazz is because he was the father of complete innovation in the music, from rhythm to harmony to sound to melody. So my whole stick on the thing, you know, I’ll just throw my two cents into it…To me, I am more struck by a Louis Armstrong recording, but I think about it as if I was there then. And I think about how amazing that was then, and how amazing it still is now that he did that then as a trumpet player and as an improviser. I mean because it’s really mind blowing how far he took the music and improvisations in the beginning. You know, it’s really amazing. And so the fact that he could do that, I mean you hear everything in modern jazz in Louis Armstrong’s language….And so a lot of people talk about, “Well, this is traditional, and this is modern.” But what is traditional was modern…. Because when you record something, you record it for that time. I mean it is an interesting question because, especially now that I’ve spent a little time in academia, it’s become more of a topic of discussion than before because before I’d never paid any attention to it. I just played. Music is music. I just played. So you play and play, and then somebody else talks about it, and they say, “Well, that sounds like this and that sounds like that.” But now I’m at a place where so many times I run into people who are busy identifying or trying to identify and put names to what they hear as opposed to just experiencing it. I mean it’s just like, you know, a plate of food can taste good. You know? FC: Right. EC: And you could be like, “Man, that was a good meal.” But somebody else could sit down and say, “Man those were artichokes, but these were this and those were that.” Sometimes, you just have to sit down and enjoy the meal. Chicagoans can feast when Etienne Charles performs with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble at The Harris Theater for Music and Dance on October 7, 2011. Bon appétit! Autumn 2011CNCJA•21


on the

Waterfront

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By LAURA LEWIS-BARR

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six movies per day, and discussing them with friends or friendly nly 90 minutes from Chicago, the artist colstrangers in the audience is a favorite pastime. Attendees also find ony of Saugatuck, Michigan (pop. 1,065) is plenty of gracious professionals willing to share their knowledge an idyllic town of sweet summer bungalows, and enthusiasm for the medium. At my first viewing, I turned to gourmet fudge shops, and unique boutiques. introduce myself to a neighbor and met Ruth C. Flynn, a Michigan Strolling the quiet, shady streets, it’s easy to casting director who was involved in the very short film we’d decompress from the typical urban grind. But if you love films come to see. and everything about them, you’ll want to plan your visit for From ticket sales staff to the committees that select the films— the second week in June, during the Waterfront Film Festival WFF is run entirely by volunteers. In 13 years, the original staff (WFF) (www.waterfrontfilm.org)—a weekend of independent of five has grown to over 200. Christine Elise McCarthy, a profesfilm premieres and round table discussions with filmmakers sional actress from Los Angeles, from around the country. has been helping to select WFF Few festivals can compete movies from the beginning. with the relaxed and charming Throughout the year, she may ambience of the WFF. Founded review 300 of the 500 works subin 1999, the festival has grown mitted. McCarthy says that WFF into the largest independent film has gained a reputation of being festival in the Midwest. All of the “fun and eclectic.” Whereas, othfestival’s major venues are within er festivals may follow one tone: easy walking distance of one or “edgy” or “urban,” McCarthy’s more of the charming local B&Bs, committee seeks to please a very excellent restaurants, and coffeediverse audience—retired boomhouses of Saugatuck. The filmmakers, conservative Midwesterners, ers are friendly and approachable. and progressive artists. “We’ve Hopwood DePree, a WFF founder, earned their trust, so we can also says that many festivals are nothoffer some offbeat films. Many ing more than competitions that (of our audience) are curious put intense pressure on filmmakabout Sundance but won’t get ers to garner votes and positive there. We can offer them a taste of reviews for their work. “Here we those films here.” The programhave more of a summer camp atming committee also works hard mosphere, where filmmakers can at pairing each feature production just enjoy time together, put on with an accompanying short film. their flip-flops, and go see each These “shorts,” often made by other’s movies.” novice filmmakers, illustrate the During WFF, there is a palpable fundamentals of filmmaking in enthusiasm in the air. The town’s both style and content. They also population swells from under a provide attendees with an opporthousand to over 15 times that tunity to meet rising talent while number during the festival weekviewing their early film experiend. Last year alone, over 16,000 ments. The diverse range and ampeople attended the festival to bition of the shorts programming view more than 80 screened movadds vitality to the festival. ies. Attendees typically come from Patrons visit the pier at Saugatuck Waterfront Film Festival; (bottom) My own group had just reacross the nation, but most are from (Top): Filmmakers d conduct a Q & A with guests at a screening at the Saugatuck the Midwest. While many come for Waterfront Film Festival. Photos courtesy of the Saugatuck Douglas Convention turned from an invigorating weekend of five full length films this the sneak previews, others come to and Visitor's Bureau. summer, 11 shorts, one workshop, rub shoulders with and ask quesand lots of discussion! Here’s a sample of what we saw. Even if tions of the respective producers and directors of the various these movies don’t make it into a theater near you, they should be films on view. The roundtable discussions are often as interestavailable on DVD soon. ing as the films themselves, as producers, directors, and cast Sons of Perdition: This somewhat disturbing documentary describe how they work with documentary subjects, create a follows the struggles of four teenagers who run away from their comedic scene, or finance their dream projects. Attendees can abusive homes within the FLDS, a secretive polygamist cult in the also partake in networking events involving screenwriters, acremote Utah/Arizona border. The boys band together and strive tors, and filmmakers. These gatherings welcome and encourto survive with no money and few options. Without a stable adage even the most novice filmmaking aspirant. For the truly devoted “filmies,” the festival screens up to

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Milestones dress, they can’t even get into high school. Sons keeps a tight focus on the boys’ daily lives and can sometimes feel caught within one narrative thread. Still, the subject matter—husbands with 50 wives, forced marriages and child-brides—is undeniably gripping. The film’s strongest moments reveal the paradox of these damaged lives. Interspersed between scenes of drug and alcohol abuse, we watch the boys sing a syrupy children’s song, celebrating the perfection of their former lives. Their collective grief is endless and tragic. They may have left home physically but each is stuck mentally—grieving the loss of a faith and family that once sustained but now threatens them with damnation. During the Q & A session, we learned that Sons of Perdition will be appearing on Oprah’s OWN network. Leave: This thriller offers haunting performances and provocative cinematography while weaving its spell of dread. Rick Gomez plays Henry Harper, a writer who suffers from terrifying, recurrent nightmares. Director Robert Celestino expertly builds an excruciating suspense as Henry navigates a surreal roadtrip and meets a creepy drifter. A terrific movie, Leave keeps its audience on edge until the cathartic finale. Losing Control: Losing Control is a comedy written (according to the producer) with the assistance of your federal tax dollars. Screenwriter/Director Valerie Weiss, a former scientist and Harvard PhD, received a grant from the United States military to “use movies to highlight careers in science.” The movie does offer a detailed depiction of a Harvard medical researcher, Samantha. But since this is a comedy, Samantha’s work becomes secondary to her preoccupation—using “science” to determine her perfect mate. After rejecting a marriage proposal from dreamy Reid Scott, the comedy follows Samantha as she subjects herself to a series of encounters with very strange men. While the plot is often contrived and implausible, the extremely likeable cast is hard to ignore. They play the farce straight and with great skill. Losing Control is a pleasant diversion, but will the Pentagon be pleased?

15 Years

20 Years

Oak Brook-based First Folio Theatre has been bringing high-quality performances of Shakespeare and other classics to the Chicagoland suburbs for 15 years. And now, what began as an annual summer performance has grown into a year-round operation with three distinct stages and a charming outdoor venue. Lifelong Chicagoland residents David Rice and Alison Vesely met while working on a local theater production together. The couple soon Scene from First Folio Theatre's Romeo and Juliet performed this summer as part of their 15th anniversary married and becelebration. Photo courtesy of First Folio Theatre. gan to build First Folio on a foundation based upon years of dedication to the arts, along with a belief that their combined passions for live theater could bring something unique and inspiring to Chicagoland. In the intervening years, they have done just that with memorable First Folio productions of Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Their 15th year celebration will bring intrigue under the stars with Shakespeare’s most controversial play The Merchant of Venice, a complex tale of hatred, love, revenge, and betrayal.

25 Years Committed to the American tradition of bringing believable characters to the live stage, Glen Ellyn-based Buffalo Theatre Ensemble (BTE) is celebrating 25 years of contributing insightful performances to the Chicagoland theater landscape. Headed by Artistic Director Connie Canaday Howard, BTE kicks off its 25th year on a lighthearted note with Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffalo (January 20 – February 12) featuring BTE ensemble actors Amelia Barrett, Bryan Burke, and Loretta Hauser. The season continues with the poignant Tuesdays With Morrie (May 4-27), the touching, thoughtful play based on the 1997 best-selling book by Mitch Albom, and concludes with Michael Healey’s The Drawer Boy (July 13-29).

Writers Theatre has been churning out first rate productions since 1992, when Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Artistic Associate Marilyn Campbell founded the Glencoe-based theater company. At first, performing grass roots productions out of a local bookstore, now Writers boasts an additional theater housed within the Woman’s Library Club of Glencoe. In the last 20 years, the award-winning theater has brought Chicagoland a host of acclaimed productions including 14 world premieres and a national premiere with its 2007 New York production of Crime and Punishment. In its lifetime, Writers has garnered 55 Jefferson Awards and a host of accolades for Halberstam.

25 Years For a quarter century, the Chicago Chamber Musicians (CCM) have been cultivating a genuine appreciation for chamber music literature among Chicago devotees. Founded by a group of prominent orchestral musicians in 1986, CCM began as the resident ensemble for 98.7WFMT radio (now Chicago’s only fine arts station). Drawing from the talents of world class musicians, including members of the Chicago Symphony, CCM has expanded to develop its own 75-plus performance season, reaching thousands of listeners annually. CCM has appeared in such festivals as Ravinia and Barns at Wolf Trap along with live radio broadcasts on WFMT and NPR, and residencies across the globe. CCM celebrates its 25th anniversary with a brass start, collaborating this September with The American Brass Quintet, another internationally recognized ensemble. Performances take place at Northwestern’s Pick-Staiger Concert Hall and Millennium Park's Harris Theater for Music and Dance.

Founding member Larry Combs (center) performs with members of the Chicago Chamber Musicians. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Chamber Musicians.

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dreams

CURATOR’S CORNER

American i New Smithsonian Art Museum exhibit explores the pioneering spirit that made early America the world's most ferocious leader in industry.

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By ALEXANDRA ZAJAC

From its first inception as an autonomous nation, America has prided itself upon its freedom and independence—and it is through these freedoms that our true ingenuity and innovation has shone throughout the years. To celebrate our nation’s “Yankee ingenuity,” the Smithsonian American Art Museum is now exhibiting The Great American Hall of Wonders. The exhibit, which opened this summer in our nation's Capitol, is comprised of art, mechanical inventions, and scientific discoveries that exemplify the 19th-century American belief that people of the United States were adept at innovation and discovery. This extraordinary exhibit was organized by Claire Perry, an independent curator who specializes in 19th-century American cultural history. “The United States began with an act of imagination,” said Perry. “The topic of the exhibition is not science, art or mechanical innovation per se, but rather what Americans of the 19th century believed about those endeavors and how they deployed them to direct their lives and the nation. They considered ingenuity to be their most important asset.” The exhibition features more than 150 notable pieces, including paintings and drawings by artists such as John James Audubon, Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Edwin Church, Winslow Homer, Thomas Moran, and Charles Willson Peale. There are also various sculptures, photographs, zoological and botanical illustrations, patent models, and engineering 24•CNCJAAutumn 2011

diagrams. At the entrance to the exhibit stands Peale’s The Artist in His Museum (1822). Peale believed that American inventiveness would propel the country forward and sustain its growth and development, and his colorful, dynamic work embodies the ideals and tone of the exhibition. Peale himself was an artist, inventor, scientist, and even a museum founder. In this striking image he stands at the threshold of a well-organized hall brimming with curiosities such as birds, bones and even portraits of the founding fathers. The look on Peale’s face is analytical and inquisitive, as if surveying the viewer and asking “Would you like to enter my ‘Hall of Wonders?’” The exhibition is focused on six specific subjects or objects, each notable for the way it

subjects of the exhibit. Each represents what once were abundant natural resources that Americans sought to harness and control as the nation developed.

“The United States began with an act of imagination.The topic of innovation per se, but rather what Americans of the 19th century deployed them to direct their lives and the nation. They considered -Claire Perry, helped shape America during its time. Iconic natural wonders in and of themselves, the buffalo, as with George Catlin’s Buffalo Bull (1823-33), the giant Sequoia, like Carleton Watkins’s Foot of Grizzly Giant, Mariposa Grove, 32 feet diameter (1860s), and the powerful Niagara Falls are three of the six main

Turning from the natural to the mechanical, the remaining subjects include the clock, the gun and the railroad. These three items represent the marriage of technological improvements with the purposeful use of time. The works on exhibit are both insightful and exciting, offering a vivid picture of how


prolific and progressive the era truly was. The prevailing color theme across all the

Manufacturing Company’s Acorn Shelf Clock from about 1849, the tedious attention to detail and artistic depth evident piece is remarkable. the exhibition is not science, art or mechanical in each It’s worth noting that not believed about those endeavors and how they all of the subjects celebrate the progressive nature of ingenuity to be their most important asset.” American ingenuity. Some Curator of The Great Amercan Hall of Wonders provide cautious and analytical commentary on the sometimes destructive nature of images is represented by rich, earthy tones, American technological innovation. For exfeaturing deep hues of red and varying gra- ample, Catlin’s Buffalo Bull is simple and dations of browns, grays and greens. The striking, but its poignant nature seems to larich color scheme intensifies the level of de- ment the destruction of one of the nation’s tail depicted in each item on display. From most majestic creatures, a creature nearly Jasper Francis Cropsey’s landscape Starrucca wiped out by the engine of American expanViaduct, Pennsylvania (1865) to Forestville sion and technology.

On a similar note, Watkins’s images of The Grizzly Giant, Mariposa Grove, depicts the towering Sequoia in black and white. Wise and unyielding, the gigantic tree appears imposing, yet fascinating. Although the giant Sequoias of Mariposa Grove were protected by an 1864 legislative act, Californian lumberjacks continued to ravage these majestic giants in other areas of the state in the name Main: Charles Willson Peale, Exhumation of the Mastodon, 1806-1808, oil on canvas, Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore City Life Collections; Inset: Charles Willson Peale, The Artist in His Museum, 1822, oil on canvas, Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Gift of Mrs. Sarah Harrison (The Joseph Harrison Jr. Collection)

Autumn 2011CNCJA•25


of industry and labor. Despite the discrepancy between what was considered innovative and what was thought destructive, the exhibition does a terrific job of portraying the excitement of those who defined their nation as a “Great Experiment.” In fact, the discrepancy reinforces the idea that this was indeed a time of great experiment. After all, it was only in the last century that the country acquired its footing as a rising industrial giant. And in that time, we have only begun to see how the actions of humankind truly interact with and counteract the workings of nature. This exhibition was made possible through a fruitful collaboration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In fact, the Smithsonian American Art Museum occupies the same historic building that was once home to the Patent Office, making the building as much a part of the exhibition as the art and artifacts which comprise it. Authorized by President Andrew Jackson in 1836, the Patent building was designed to celebrate American ingenuity and scientific advancements. In addition to patent models, the government’s historical, scientific, and art collections were also housed within the structure. As an addendum to the exhibition, the museum is offering a series of educational public programs about contemporary inventors and modern inventions. These supplemental programs include webcast lectures, an inventor symposium and clinic, and hands-on activities for children and families. There are also college seminars and professional development workshops for educators, as well as a podcast with commentary from the exhibit’s curator that is available on the museum’s website. A slideshow of selected artwork from the exhibition with interpretive text is also available on the museum’s website. The works shown in The Great American Hall of Wonders do an exceptional job of examining and portraying the American ingenuity that fueled 19th-century society. From lifestyle images to mechanical creations, the exhibit truly captures the pioneering spirit of the era. The Great American Hall of Wonders will be on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. through January 8, 2012. Top:: The Last Spike, 1869, 17 6/10 carat gold alloyed with copper, William T. Garrett Foundry, San Francisco, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, Gift of David Hewes; Bottom: Ross Winans, Patent Model of Locomotive, 1837, U.S. Patent No. 305, wood and metal, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center.

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The Milestones Continue

60 Years

More than half a century ago, Bernard Jacobs and his wife Rita, having pawned their car and luggage, acquired full ownership of a struggling Chicagoland radio station—now known as 98.7WFMT. At first, the entire broadcast staff consisted of the two of them: Bernie, the engineer; and Rita, the announcer. Broadcasting eight hours a day, their vision was to create a station they themselves could enjoy, respect, and share with others. 60 years later, that same vision still guides 98.7WFMT. Unique among American radio stations, WFMT is a commercial, non-profit, member-supported station. The familiar 98.7WFMT program host Carl Grapentine. Photo courtesy of voices of its program hosts—Carl Grapentine, Lisa Flynn, 98.7WFMT Radio. Kerry Frumkin, George Preston, and Peter van de Graaff— have become beloved fixtures in the homes of WFMT’s loyal listeners. And while virtually every other station in the Chicago market has changed format or call letters in the last half-century, WFMT has miraculously remained virtually unchanged—still dedicated to presenting the best of classical, jazz, and folk music, and other fine arts entertainment, to the widest possible audience. On December 13th, WFMT turns the big 6-0, and will be celebrating on the air with a special live broadcast—a Day of Music from Preston Bradley Hall in Chicago’s Cultural Center. Among the performers who have signed on—thus far— for the Day of Music are: opera star Nicole Cabell, the Avalon Quartet, and the Lincoln Trio, which will present a world premiere by Stacey Garrop. More artists are yet to be announced. Stay tuned!

65 Years

Conductor Allen Tinkham conducts members of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra perform at Orchesra Hall in Downtown Chicago. Photo courtesy of The Chicago Youth Symphony.

The Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra has earned quite a reputation as a premier orchestral ensemble featuring extraordinary young musicians from the Chicago area. And to show for it, the symphony has a host of alumni that have gone on to hold key positions with acclaimed national and international orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic.

Alumnus Anthony McGill holds the principal clarinet chair in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and was selected to perform at President Obama’s inauguration along with Yo-Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero, and Itzhak Perlman. Under the baton of Music Director Allen Tinkham, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO) kicks off its 65th anniversary season with a concert at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall on November 20, 2011.

125 Years

This season, the historic Prairie Avenue District in Chicago's south Loop will celebrate more than 100 years of architect Henry Hobson Richardson’s Glessner House. A national historic landmark, Glessner House Museum boasts a host of culturally enriching offerings including guided tours, lectures, and other programs to unravel the themes of art, architecture, and social history inherent in the museum's collections, and the histories of its residents and neighbors during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Great Hall of the Glessner House Museum in the historic Prarie Avenue District of Chicago. Photo courtesy of The Glessner House Museum.


DRUmLine LiVe october 29 & 30 2011

RASTA ThomAS’ BAD BoyS oF DAnce november 5 & 6 2011 Photo courtesy of BAD BoyS of DAnce

AXiS DAnce comPAny november 19 & 20 2011

music

dance

BoSTon PoPS eSPLAnADe oRcheSTRA wiTh RockAPeLLA november 30 2011

AXiS Dance company in ‘Vessel’ choreographed by Alex ketley. Dancers Alice Sheppard, Rodney Bell, Janet Das, & Sonshéree giles. Photo by Andrea Flores.

keith Lockhart. Photo by michael Lutch.

2 0 1 1 - 2 0 1 2

season 4 easy ways to purchase tickets auditoriumtheatre.org phone: 800.982.ARTS (2787) online: TickeTmASTeR.com Box office: 50 e. congReSS Pkwy suBscriptions & Groups 10+: 312.431.2357 50 e. congReSS PARkwAy | chicAgo, iLLinoiS | 60605

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forever iconic

bits Change in the line-up

PHOTO COURTESY OF LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO

Sterling Soprano Deborah Voigt has withdrawn from Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2011-12 season production of Richard Strauss’s Ariadne Auf Naxos. Voigt, who recently finished a successful run of performances as Brünnhilde in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Die Walküre, is focusing increasingly on dramatic soprano roles and has made the decision to remove the role of Ariadne from her repertoire for the time being. “Deborah Voigt has a wonderful history with our company and we understand her decision,” said Lyric Opera General Director William Mason. “Fortunately, the extraordinary Amber Wagner, who recently triumphed as Ariadne with the Canadian Opera Company under Sir Andrew Davis, will be able to take over the role for all our performances, which Sir Andrew will conduct. Amber, who is a Ryan Opera Center alumna, is rapidly establishing herself as one of today’s greatest hopes among sopranos singing the Verdi, Wagner, and Strauss repertoires.”

Voigt was to have appeared in Lyric’s revival of Ariadne auf Naxos between her role debuts as Brünnhilde in the Met’s upcoming new productions of Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, Soprano Deborah Voigt. which will complete the company’s new Ring cycle. “I am very grateful for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s understanding in this matter,” Voigt said. Amber Wagner won tremendous acclaim singing in the April 30, 2011 opening performance of Ariadne auf Naxos in her Canadian Opera Company debut, stepping in for an ailing colleague on 24 hours’ notice. The Toronto Sun lauded her “touching, vocally thrilling

performance.”

Wagner will debut this season at Oper Frankfurt as Sieglinde/Die Walküre, and will also debut at the Metropolitan Opera.

PHOTO COURTESY OF NAVY PIER

Tall Order

Back by popular demand following last year’s record-setting success, this summer, Navy Pier presented “A Taste of Tall Ships Chicago 2011,” and for four days Chicagoans enjoyed dockside boarding, tours and/or sailing excursions on Lake Michigan all aboard magnificent vessels like the Flagship Niagra. The 198 foot Brigantine was built in 1988 as a reconstruction of the warship aboard which Commander Oliver Hazard Perry won the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Visitors also had a chance to watch three days of America’s Cup-style match races off the east end of Navy Pier. It was all capped off with some amazing fireworks in the Magnificent Mile’s backyard.

PHOTO COURTESY OF BERGHOFF RESTAURANT GROUP

Bavaria in Chicago

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After days of speculation by Chicago commuters and residents this summer, a new 26-foot-tall monumental sculpture was unveiled at Pioneer Court on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. With only the legs and skirt on view since the initial installation, the sculpture created quite a buzz throughout the city leading up to the unveiling of the full sculpture with Marilyn’s head and torso revealed on July 15th. Titled Forever Marilyn, the sculpture was created by well-known sculptor Seward Johnson of New Jersey. In collaboration with The Sculpture Foundation, Zeller Realty “Forever Marilyn” by sculptor Seward Johnson Group, owners of Pioneer Court, commissioned the premiere installation of the sculpture for viewing through spring of 2012.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ZELLER REALTY GROUP

tid

Paul Zeller, President and CEO of Zeller Realty Group, who commissioned the first installation of the new sculpture, says that with the installation he hopes, “to rekindle an attitude and optimism from an era that this iconic figure represents—a time when we, as a nation and a people, were proud, productive, optimistic and self-assured, if a bit mischievous. We seek a return to American exceptionalism, and trust Marilyn will propel our attitudes in the right direction,” said Zeller According to sculptor Seward Johnson, age 80, "In this series, Icons Revisited, I am trying to discover what makes an image stick with us; become something more than its one moment in time. Marilyn has come to represent beauty, and the white dress blowing up around her is a type of teasing sensuality….(Forever Marilyn) expresses an uninhibited sense of our own vibrancy.” The sculpture is on temporary loan from The Sculpture Foundation, a not-for-profit entity that encourages the placement and sharing of public art.

Ever been to Bavaria? Well, now you can. Chicago Loop 's Berghoff Restaurant Group brings Bavaria to Chicago at the 26th Annual Berghoff Oktoberfest from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., September 14-16, 2011. It all happens at John C. Kluczynski Federal Plaza on the corner of Adams and Dearborn in Downtown Chicago. This open-air celebration boasts the best Bavarian-style revelry Chicago has to offer with classic German food, Berghoff’s private-label Oktoberfest beer, and Bavarian polka performances by the beloved Johnny Wagner Band. Admission is free. This year’s festivities also include live entertainment and The Midwest's Longest Brat. Yes, the Berghoff will attempt to break the Midwest record for the longest brat and unveil a 45 foot brat on Thursday, September 15, between 3-4 p.m. Bites will be sold as a fundraiser for Mercy Home for Boys & Girls (mercyhome.org), a solution for kids in crisis since 1887. Partners for the event include Highland Bakery, Schmeisser’s Meats and Sausage, and Halls Rental.


IN THIS QUARTER

YEAR Autumn 2011CNCJA•29


DANCE REVIEW

Thodo's Offers Interesting Glimpse of "New Dances." By EMILY DISHER July 29, 2011—Melissa Thodos, founder of Thodos Dance Chicago, presents new choreography from a range of young, Chicago-based choreographers each year. The event, aptly named “New Dances,” is exciting because viewers never quite know what they’re getting themselves into, and they just might be among the first to view the next big masterpiece. Sure, many of the choreographers are still gaining their footing, and sometimes both missteps and triumphs are on display. Yet, amidst it all, you’ll often stumble upon a piece that’s precisely original and unique. The first portion of their July 29th “New Dances” revealed the various types of challenges faced when embarking on this kind of concept. It included an awkwardly staged work by John Cartwright called "Communication Connection." The piece, revolving around social media, stages dancers in imprecise movements masking brief

PHOTO BY CHERYL MANN

stract representation. The most memorable pieces were enjoyable and communicated their messages without benefit of a program description; they were abstract enough for varied interpretations, yet subtly communicated an underlying idea. If not abstract, the work went over-the-top with literalism for comedic effect, as in “In Tongues,” an entertaining work by choreographer Jessica Miller-Tomlinson loosely based on Talking Heads vocalist David Byrne. Miller-Tomlinson struck the funny bone with clever timing and a mix of unexpectedly minimalist movements, contrasting energetic moments, and a great mess of water on stage. The piece that captivated me most at this year’s “New Dances,” was “Exurgence,” a work by the tried and true duo of Jeremy Blair and Mollie Mock. With crisp, clean dancing, and emotionally-charged movement, “Exurgence” captured the spirit of what new choreography aims to do. In this stunner, female dancers wore midriff-baring tops and men danced topless, showing off chiseled frames and fine-tuned dancing to match. A series of flying jumps and lifts proved highly engaging, and there was no doubt of the talent and sheer athleticism of these dancers. You couldn’t take your eyes from the stage. Additional highlights from this year’s program included Joshua Manculich’s “I carry it_____,” and Brian Hare’s “tre-/ter-/tri.” Both works showcased beautiful movements and engaging use of lighting (designed by Nathan Tomlinson). Rebecca Lemme’s “Effigy,” was another bright moment on the program. Lemme communicated a poignant subject without melodrama, filling her stage with dancers, yet conveying loneliness. Her work is sad, yet energetic. A series of lifts in which dancers seem to climb one another like tree trunks proved particularly striking. Ending the program on a high note, Wade Schaaf brought Dancers perform "I carry it_______." at this year's "New Dances" presented by Thodos Dance Chiago. Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.2 in F into the contemporary. A moments of enticing choreography and aesthetic cadences. delicate balance of classical and contemporary movements turned the Cartwright's overly literal translation of the dance's theme turned music on its head, without irreverence. The dancing moved fluidly out to be a common problem for many of the program’s young artfrom the amusing to the serious, but never verged on the monotonous. ists and choreographers. For example, a work titled “The Art of Ice Thodos’ new choreography showcase again unearthed several exCream” (its name already verging on the über-literal) carries its obceptional new works. Not only will it be exciting to see where and vious theme throughout by the appearance of a slim, exaggeratedly how some of the pieces resurface, but also to watch each of these choexpressive young dancer unpleasantly licking a giant ice cream cone. reographers evolve. She is the only constant in an otherwise disjointed piece, and yet, she is the one component that, in my opinion, could have been omitted. Choreographers of the more exceptional works of the evening exhibited a precise understanding of the fine line between literal and ab-

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CLASSICAL CONCERT REVIEW

Perlman Gives Comprehensive Look at Beethoven By MYRON SILBERSTEIN

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE RAVINIA FESTIAL

August 4, 2011 - The Chicago Symphony Orchestra recently celebrated two milestones during its August 4th Ravinia concert: conductor James Conlon marked the culmination of his Mahler cycle with Das klagende Lied, and Itzhak Perlman performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto forty-five years (to the day) after his Ravinia debut. Both performances were a resounding success. Das klagende Lied, a cantata setting of a fairy tale of murderous fraternal rivalry, was completed when Mahler was barely twenty years old. The young Violinist Itzhak Perlman composer entered the piece in the Vienna Conservatory’s annual Beethoven Prize competition the following year, where it was rejected. Mahler revised the work several times throughout his life, reducing the orchestration and excising its first movement, changes that weren't rediscovered until the 1960s. Maestro Conlon gave the complete work its Chicago premiere at Ravinia in 1990 and is a staunch champion of the rarely-heard piece. Written as the young Mahler sought to develop his own compositional voice, Das klagende Lied largely occupies the harmonic world of his forebears. The opening horn sonorities of the first movement convey a Wagnerian landscape, while the thick blocks of brass chords in the second movement bear a distinctly Brucknerian flavor. Much of Mahler’s incipient style can be gleaned from the work, however. From the woodwind triplets

of the second movement to the shocking fortissimo climax of the third, gestures prominent throughout the composer’s output, particularly in his Sixth Symphony, make their first appearances here. Das klagende Lied is no apprentice work. It is a snapshot of a master in development. Maestro Conlon led the CSO this evening in a convincing performance of the cantata, rife with the brooding darkness of Mahler’s text. His conducting was elegant, passionate, and assured throughout. Of the four vocal soloists, soprano Keri Alkema and tenor Rodrick Dixon conveyed the greatest warmth, their voices floating with ease over Mahler’s luxuriant orchestration. Mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Semenchuk’s voice has the stirring richness of a contralto. And, though her German diction suffered from a certain heaviness, she conveyed the mournfulness of her solo passages to great effect. Baritone Brian Mulligan sang with great finesse. Itzhak Perlman’s performance of the Beethoven concerto demonstrated the artist’s thorough command of the violin’s complete range of color. He coaxed a crisp, fluty sound from his instrument in quieter passages while wresting an almost viola-like depth from it in more declamatory sections. His interpretive approach to the concerto gives full weight both to its profundity and to its virtuosity. Particularly stirring was his ethereal, mysterious rendering of the sublime, sustained passage toward the end of the first movement. Equally satisfying was the intimacy of his tone in the second movement, and his sheer delight in the virtuosity of the third. Perlman’s cadenzas in the first and third movements, filled with brutally difficult double-stops, were stunningly exciting and served as models of contrapuntal clarity. It is rare to witness a performance of the concerto that demonstrates both emotional depth and exuberant impetuosity. Perlman’s execution lavished us with both.

Subtleties Key to Success of Lintu and GPO's Choral Pairing By MYRON SILBERSTEIN

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GRANT PARK MUSIC FESTIVAL

July 29, 2011 - The Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus presented two dramatic choral works on Friday night: Sergei Rachmaninoff’s cantata Vesna (Spring) and Jean Sibelius’s Kullervo. The pairing of the two works was an apt one; each was written early within each composer’s respective career. Likewise, each work held significant national importance within each composer’s native country. Vesna is a setting of a poem by Nikolai Nekrasov, best known for his depictions of Russian peasant life and for his editing of the literary journal Sovremennik, which published and promoted works by Turgenev and Tolstoy. Kullervo sets crucial portions of Finland’s national epic, the Kalevala, a massive compilation of Finnish folktales Conductor Hannu Lintu dating back to the very beginning of the oral tradition. And of course the histories of Finland and Russia are closely and tumultuously intertwined. These affinities notwithstanding, there was much contrast between the two works on the program. Full of rhythmic drive and heroic orchestral effects, Kullervo matches its epic source both in scope and affect. Vesna, on the other hand, brimming with Rachmaninoff’s typically aching melodies and voluptuous harmonies, is an internal monologue of a husband on the verge of murdering his unfaithful wife, but moved to mercy at the last moment by the arrival of spring after the long and painful Russian winter. Conductor Hannu Lintu did an admirable job leading the ensemble

through the emotional subtleties of both works. Lintu’s presence on the podium emanates precision and authority. His conducting was devoid of gratuitous showmanship, offering instead both technical and interpretive clarity. There were moments when his rubato could have been a bit grander; Rachmaninoff’s cantata, in particular, would have benefited from more weight given to its moments of harmonic tension before allowing their resolution. Likewise, Sibelius’s youthful idiom involves an overabundance of climactic moments, false endings, and grand pauses—a tremendous challenge for a conductor striving to make clear the architecture of the piece. Lintu did not succeed entirely in creating the illusion of inevitability needed at such moments. Overall, however, his interpretation was convincing, and his leadership of the orchestra was solid. Baritone Ville Rusanen has an elegant, velvety voice ideally suited to the primal heroism of Kullervo’s title character. Rusanen communicated both the unthinking impetuousness of the hero’s attempted seductions and the epic horror of his realization that he has violated his own sister. His instrument, however, is simply too lovely to be convincing in Rachmaninoff’s portrayal of a murderous husband. This is no fault of Mr. Rusanen’s musicianship, which was intelligent and vibrant throughout; it seemed, rather, that his voice was unable to properly emanate the dark and menacing tones of Rachmaninoff’s score. Rusanen’s real-life sister, soprano Johanna Rusanen, portrayed Kullervo’s sister and the two maidens he unsuccessfully pursues. The sibling’s voices were not entirely complementary. Ms. Rusanen’s rich lower register sounded thick in comparison to her brother’s lyrical tone, whereas her upper register, more brilliant than her brother’s, sounded a bit strident. However, her depiction of the maidens’ disdain for the hero was colorful and coquettish, while her interpretation of the anquish felt by Kullervo’s sister’s was quite moving. Autumn 2011CNCJA•31


THEATER REVIEW

Drury Lane's Broadway Bound All About Timing By LAURA LEWIS-BARR

PHOTO BY BRETT BEINER

June 12, 2011- Playwright Neil Simon is best known for a series of While Broadway Bound is often considered part of the “Eugene” trilcomedy hits including Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Plaza ogy, it is Roman’s Kate that anchors this production. Kate dominates Suite, and The Last of the show, not merely in stage the Red Hot Lovers. time but also in a meticulous Yet, despite the surefire performance. Roman delivers laughter inspired by Kate’s complexity—vibrant his many iconic works, passion, fearful superstition, Simon’s plays can also and deep longing—with direct illustrate what comeand simple truth. Kate’s yearndian Carol Burnett is ing for her wayward husband famous for stating: feels palpable during a poi“Comedy is tragedy gnantly blistering scene, while plus time.” her long monologue (a retelling Rest assured, there of the most glamorous moment is plenty of pain in of her life) is the show’s highBroadway Bound. Is light and a perfect balance of this because the story humor and pathos. is based on Simon’s As Kate’s husband, Jack, distressed childhood? McWilliams plumbs the depths Director David New’s of middle age guilt, confusion, program notes describe and despair. McWilliams’ honSimon’s opening night est portrayal gives this procollapse, “brought on duction depth and complexity. by an anxiety attack…. Should the audience hate this (from) his belief that man who is leaving his famthe play revealed too ily, or should they pity him? much about his parents’ McWilliams gives us insights troubled marriage.” into the struggles between faWhile the characters thers and sons and between of Broadway Bound husbands and wives. are complex creations, Nussbaum is simply a lesthe plot is simple. The son in comic timing. The vetyear is 1948. Simon’s eran Chicago actor earns most alter ego, Eugene of the laughs in Broadway Jerome, and his older Bound with a truthful, unfussy brother, Stanley, are performance. After 50 years as seeking gigs as profesa director and actor, Nussbaum sional comedy writers. knows how to deliver a line. The brothers kvetch His portrayal of Ben illustrates and struggle through every comic truth sought by the writer’s block while Jerome brothers. Yet Nussbaum ignoring the growing also shows us the pain of aging, gulf between their paras when Ben tries to hide evients, Kate and Jack. Carmen Roman and Richard McWilliams star in Drury Lane's Broadway Bound. dence of his senior bed-wetting, Another painful chasm or when he confronts Jack about separates their socialist grandfather, Ben, from his wealthy daughter, leaving Kate. Blanche. While Drury Lane ’s revival offers much laughter, its draDrury Lane’s intimate Oakbrook theater is a jewel box proscenium matic moments ring truer. The credit for this goes to three exceptional and a perfect space for this work. Collette Pollard’s incredible twoactors: Mike Nussbaum, Carmen Roman, and Richard McWilliams. story set lovingly recreates the vintage details of a 1948 Brooklyn All three pros make stellar acting look effortless. home, while Linda Roethke’s costumes, and Jesse Klug’s nuanced Roman plays Kate, the long suffering matriarch of the family. lighting serve as framework for a setting of nostalgic enchantment.

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MUSICAL THEATER REVIEW

Broadway In Chicago brings West Side Magic By LAURA LEWIS-BARR

was an equally believable and charming Tony. On opening night, Harris’ voice struggled periodically; however, his acting chops remained true to form. As Jet leader Riff, Joseph Simone was a triple threat—a marvelous actor, dancer, and singer. His strong, clear voice delivered on “Jet Song” and the retroactively hip, “Cool.” Drew Foster, Ryan Christopher Chotto, Nathan Keen, Kyle Robinson, and Cary

PHOTO BY JOAN MARCUS

July 17, 2011 - One has to admire the creativity and courage of West Side Story creators Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim. Instead of simply cashing in on the beloved musical’s historical popularity, their 2009 revival sought to modernize the script’s 1957 sensibilities. Their most controversial change: adding scenes in Spanish without subtitles. Yet, even with Spanish speaking Sharks, tonight’s production remained tethered to much of the jargon of the original ‘50s production. Without contemporary alternatives for recurring phrases like “Buddy boy,” “dig it,” or "cracko jacko,” Laurents’ and Sondheim’s West Side Story remains a period piece. While the language has aged, the dance sequences remain edgy and subversive. The breathtaking choreography of West Side Story still thrills and seamlessly transports one back into the world of adolescent yearning, fear, and desire. The awe inspiring opening ballet production, set within the urban jungle, captured the energy and National tour of West Side Story. danger of the machismo maneuvers of rival gangs. The “Dance at the Gym” also expertly conveyed the intensity of the other teenage preoccupation—white hot sexuality. With a luminous score by Leonard Bernstein, West Side Story offers an unending sequence of stunning compositions—from the thrill of “Something’s Coming,” the wonder of “Maria,” the comic and athletic “America,” the heart stopping “One Hand One Heart,” the pounding suspense of “Tonight,” to the startling satire of “Gee, Officer Krupke.” The superb cast delivers each moment in this familiar tragedy with the freshness of their youthful characters. Through them, we relive this sad tale as if it were for the first time. As Maria, Ali Ewoldt reveals the intensity and wonder of new love. Ewoldt’s bright soprano was the perfect instrument for these Bernstein classics. She especially dazzled during the “Tonight” quintet when her voice pierced through the ever growing tumult. Ewoldt was also effortless as the clownish (and charming) teenager in the English/Spanish rendition of “I Feel Pretty.” Kyle Harris

Tedder each astonished with their hilarious maneuvers during “Krumpke.” The revival’s staging and lighting captivated the audience. The cast delivered spine tingling chills during several iconic scenes, particularly when Tony and Maria, illuminated in white light, walked entranced toward one another, as their friends, oblivious, danced wildly behind them. For those who have only seen the movie, you will notice some differences with the stage play. Laurents’ and Sondheim’s production includes a utopic ballet, something cut from the original. And now, there are entire scenes and song sequences in Spanish. If you are not bilingual, you may miss much of the humor in the new version of “I Feel Pretty.” Nonetheless, the use of Spanish serves to further highlight the separation between the Sharks and the Jets. Yet, even without subtitles, this story of deep love is both timeless and universal, and the novel approach to this staging plays wonderful homage to the magic of the original production.

Autumn 2011CNCJA•33


DANCE REVIEW

Founder's Passion Honored in Style by Ensemble Español By SARAH AUBRY June 26, 2011 – This year’s annual American Spanish Dance & Music Festival, presented by Chicago’s Ensemble Español, culminated with three performances of “Flamenco Passion.” The celebratory retrospective marked the 35th anniversary of the company’s founding by renowned artistic director Dame Libby Komaiko. The stunning gala showcased a gamut of flamenco styles embodied with precision and spirit by Ensemble Español, and featured masterful guest performances by veterans of the Ballet National d’España. The show opened with the sweetly formal “Picturas del Parque,” choreographed in 1978 by Dame Libby Komaiko, and accompanied by music inspired by Francisco de Goya. The company’s dancers moved into winsome and coy romantic tableaus with fans and umbrellas. The evening heated up quickly with “Zoronga Gitano.” Set to music by Federico Garcia Lorca, the work was danced by Spanish virtuosos Paloma Gomez and Christian Lozano. Ms. Gomez moved with a tormented fluidity, and Mr. Lozano echoed her motion with percussive restraint. The pair swept through deep shadows into bright lights, building tension that didn’t dissipate with proximity. Traditional Flamenco is a rare art form that values the emotional depth and maturity of seasoned dancers over the athleticism of younger performers. Guest artist Carmela Greco, daughter of Flamenco legend José Greco, expertly commanded the stage with her strength, dignity, and a graceful cascade of silvery hair. Ms. Greco danced a tribute to her mother, Lola de Ronda. A grand swell of music filled

the space; and she seemed to literally dance with the memory of her mother. Her spiraling choreography expressed classic Spanish elements, and her performance was physically charged with emotion, and nuanced with lightness and humor. Set within the gypsy district of Sevilla, “Romance de Triana,” was developed from a solo dance Dame Libby originally created for herself. Along with traditional castanets, the dancers’ heels enunciated the eloquent rhythms. For “Entre dos Almas,” the musicians played on risers in front of the backdrop, lending to an intimate café feel. Choreographed and danced by the company’s associate artistic director, Irma Suarez Ruiz, and executive director, Jorge Pérez; their performance was soulful, flirtatious and refined. Another world premier, “El Baile de Luis Alonso,” gathered the entire company, including young students, on stage. The sense of encouragement among the dancers was palpable, and it was refreshing to watch them dance solo for one another. The evening’s performances culminated with Dame Libby’s masterful Flamenco ballet, “Bolero.” The dancers rose gradually from the floor and spun into a frenzy of red skirts and capes against the projected backdrop of Picasso paintings. As the only Spanish dance company in residence at a U.S. university, Ensemble Español is a testament to the skill and dedication of Dame Libby Komaiko and the many performers she inspires. It’s no wonder that the ensemble has thrived for so many years.

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PHOTO BY COURTESY OF ENSEMBLE ESPAÑOL

Christian Lozano, guest artist Veneno (Flamenco Tarantos), guest musicians (L to R) Lyon Leifer, Zoran Stoyanovich, Manuel Palacin, and singer Paco Fonta guitar.


EXHIBIT REVIEW

Lost in Irish Vistas

IMAGES COURTESY OF NEIL GREIG

By ALEXANDRA ZAJAC

Works from Irish Vistas by artist Neil Greig, currently on view at Lydon Contemporary Art Gallery in Chicago's River North.

August 11, 2011 - Neil Greig, an Irish artist from Belfast, is the subject of the recent exhibition at Lydon Gallery in Chicago’s River North. His Irish Vistas exhibit features several works whose subjects often vacillate between the sea and the forest. The striking images, painted on location, are both honest and profound. Greig’s Atlantic Drift and Benwee are two of his images of the sea. Both play with a similar color palette, yet Benwee is replete with a greater sense of levity than Atlantic Drift. While Atlantic Drift is rather dark and brooding like the sea’s tumultuous nature, Benwee is lighter, and more open. Specifically, Benwee features a horizon awash in light amongst a fluid, almost stringy shoreline. Atlantic Drift depicts a horizon enshrouded in clouds and anchored at the shore by rocks. In both images, the viewer can almost sense the impact the raw, natural seascape has made upon Greig. As an artist, Greig is able to capture the unique, organic quality of each moment, and with each textured brushstroke, he adds another temporal level to the piece. Greig’s Beeches at Caledon, uses various greens and browns to produce the intricate criss-crossing of the various tree branches.

These colors provide depth to the piece and draw the viewers in until they find themselves enveloped within an intriguing and mysterious aura. As in most of his works, Greig’s colors, true and vivid, impress upon the viewer his unique visual reality, offering a visceral impression of what the artist experiences personally upon the first sight of his object of interest. His works offer tangible evidence of the inherent beauty of nature. Greig has received a series of grants and awards for his unique works, including the highly coveted Pollock–Krasner grant, which provides financial assistance for artists, along with the County Monaghan Arts Council grant. Greig was also nominated by artist Barbara Rae for the Sovereign European Painting Award 2011. The Neil Greig exhibit has received a tremendous response from the Chicago community and additional works of the artist’s will be added to the exhibition on view at Lydon Contemporary Art Gallery for the September 9 season opening. In addition to the new pieces, Greig himself will be making the trip from Belfast to attend the event. Autumn 2011CNCJA•35


THEATER REVIEW

Chinglish Conjures Laughs from Confusion By DAVID WEISS

PHOTO BY ERIC Y. EXIT

July 21, 2011 - The perils of miscommunication are some of the oldest tropes in comedy, and for good reason. Be it Shakespeare, Wilde, or Ives, few things seem to trigger an audience’s empathy and laughter faster than the sight of characters not quite understanding one another. So it is with Chinglish, David Henry Hwang’s jaunty, good-natured new comedy about an American entrepreneur’s efforts to close a business deal in China. While most scenes in Goodman’s handsomely staged premiere manage to inspire moderate chuckles, the play only truly reaches its comedic peak during those special moments when the language barrier sends even the simplest Vice Minister Xu Yan (Jennifer Lim) meets with Daniel (James Watersto) to discuss business in Goodman Theatre's Chinglish. conversations veering off into confusion and chaos. One early highlight features aforementioned entrepreneur Daniel tional story threads to truly resonate—or maybe even function as their (played with twitchy panache by James Waterston) and Chinese govown stand alone play. But in their current, abbreviated incarnations, ernment official Xu Yan (the sharp and delightful Jennifer Lim) atthese additional narratives never quite find a way to compliment the tempting to talk business over dinner. Her English only covers the main plot’s perspective. basics, and he doesn’t speak a lick of Mandarin—hardly ideal for disStill, there remains a great deal to enjoy in Chinglish, not the least cussing corporate intrigue. Yet, as she struggles with her limited voof which is the whirlwind affair Daniel and Yan find themselves pulled cabulary and he, in turn, fights tooth and nail to extract meaning from into. Though initially amusing and sexy, Hwang peels back layer after the mismatched words, the scene escalates into a comic duet of frustralayer with each successive tryst, until one realizes with startling clarity tion and manic excitement. Upon finally grasping Yan’s point, the pair that the lack of understanding between these two characters extends let out a spontaneous whoop of joy and collapse back into their chairs, far beyond a simple language barrier. Though Waterston seems noticeawash in the afterglow of understanding. ably less comfortable and engaged during these somber, non-screwball This moment, along with Daniel’s various attempts to hold fullpassages, Lim rises admirably to the occasion with touching depth and scale business meetings (complete with dueling translators), capture grace. the essence of the play at its most effortless and inspired. Other seAnd to top it all off, David Korins’s set design is truly a marvel to quences, unfortunately, come off feeling mildly uneven or unfinished. behold: two large and extravagant turntables spin, interlock, and sepaSubplots involving Daniel’s Australian-born consultant (Stephen rate to seamlessly form the offices, restaurants, and hotel lobbies of Pucci) and the city’s Minister of Culture (Larry Zhang) register as lethe plot. It’s a beautiful bit of staging, and an elegant metaphor for the gitimately intriguing but in desperate need of fleshing out. One senses heart of the play: two sides, constantly shifting, perpetually straining to Hwang’s deep desire to enliven the play with topical cultural referencmeet in the middle. es, and further exploration of these issues might have allowed addi36•CNCJAAutumn 2011


THEATER REVIEW

Cirque's Ovo Celebrates Life in the Land Down Under By PATRICK M. CURRAN II June 29, 2011 - If you happened to find yourself at Chicago’s United Center this summer and an oversized egg graced the stage, you might have assumed that you’d accidentally stumbled upon a concert by one of the world’s most outrageously dressed pop icons. The truth, however, is that you were actually entering the mysterious world of Ovo, Cirque du Soleil’s new eye-popping big top show. Directed by Deborah Colker, Ovo (Portuguese for egg) focuses on the lives of a colony of insects, and their unique and brilliantly designed ecosystem, following the arrival of an outsider hoisting a large egg upon his back. Ovo is the Montrel-based production group’s 10th big top performance to fly into Chicago. Since 1984, Cirque du Soleil has enthralled millions around the world with its unique combination of awe-inspiring costumes, music, and deathdefying—yet graceful and stunning—acrobatics. Broken into a series of insect-specific acts, the performance consisted of a myriad of grunts, high "Acrosport" from Ovo. Photo by Benoit Fontaine ©2009 Cirque du Soleil. pitched squeals, whines and act that included inscrutably difficult trampoline and wall-climbing clicks—sounds one might readily associate with insects. Contrary acrobatics to dazzling effect. to what one might suspect, this silly banter did not grow old The only flaw (and a small one at that) had to do with the openthanks to a superb performance by Simon Charles Bradbury as ing act. Performer Volodymyr Hrynchenko’s hand balancing rouFlipo, the quintessential leader of the insects, and the one constant tine, while intricate and beautiful, generated a less-than-powerful in the show. Both during and between acts, Bradbury used deft momentum during the first 10-minutes of the show and stood in physical comedy to guide the audience through the entirety of the stark contrast to the energy and vitality evident throughout the production. remainder of the production. Nonetheless, Cirque du Soleil has As for highlights, there were many: the graceful and beautihatched yet another mind-blowing production, further solidifyful aerial couple’s performance, a Cirque du Soleil trademark; the ing the signature style that Cirque has dominated for more than 27 death defying acrobatics of the Scarabs Volant; the dynamic conyears. tortionists of the Web-Spiders; and the simply jaw-dropping final Autumn 2011CNCJA•37


A Novel Approach

A look at the unique way Lifeline Theatre, on Chicago’s north side, shares its passion for bringing the great works of literature to life—quite literally.

PHOTO BY EDUARDO GARCIA

By LAURA LEWIS-BARR

I

(L to R) Lifeline Theatre Executive Team and ensemble members Rob Kauzlaric, (Marketing Director & Casting Director), Dorothy Milne (Artistic Director), Allison Cain (Managing Director), and Erica Foster (Operations Manager).

magine the endless possibilities and challenges inherent when adapting a beloved novel into a stage production. How does one condense the wealth of characters and sheer scope of a work like Around the World in 80 Days or The Island of Dr. Moreau? Lifeline Theatre, in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, has been creating such magic for almost 30 years. The talented ensemble of directors, adaptors, designers, and performers make good on the theater’s tagline: “Big Stories, Up Close.” The “big” stories dramatized in this 99 seat theater include familiar titles in the public domain (Wuthering Heights, Watership Down, Treasure Island) and new38•CNCJAAutumn 2011

er novels (Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, Adam Langer’s Crossing California and Julian Barnes' Talking It Over). The versatile ensemble strives for a diverse repertoire, crafting a season that can vary from a period romance to a science fiction thriller to a historical drama. While the modern pieces often require a lengthy negotiation process to secure performance rights, the works themselves add vibrancy to Lifeline’s season. Ensemble member Robert Kauzlaric describes the company as “tenacious” at pursuing modern titles. “We hang on and continue wooing the author and agent. We keep at it. Sometimes we have books we’re profoundly in love with, but we can’t get the rights to them. It’s heartbreaking.” The company was fortunate in pursuing the graphic novel Neverwhere. After years of waiting, Lifeline was given adaptation rights during a delay in the novel’s movie project. To dramatize the literature it brings to life, Lifeline relies on a varied arsenal of theatrical techniques. One particular favorite is the use of an array of puppetry. Some productions have included shadow puppets, marionettes and larger, plush creatures. Neverwhere featured the “Great Beast of London,” an enormous puppet that could break apart and reform when it attacked. Each Lifeline cast member gave life to a piece of the Beast. Imaginative set design also fuels the fun at Lifeline. In the theater’s production of, The Lord of the Rings, cast members used miniatures to recreate battle sequences. In Watership Down, a series of unique masks transformed cast members into rabbits. And the clever design and use of ropes, planks, and pulleys converted Lifeline's stage into a sailing ship in Treasure Island. Artistic Director Dorothy Milne relishes the theatricality of Lifeline’s aesthetic. “We aren’t interested in the realism of movies, they do that well, but to do our complex stories, we use many different techniques. We had a trapeze in A Room with a View. Whenever Lucy was supposed to be playing the piano, she was on the trapeze, and we heard the music playing. The idea was to show how transportive the piano was for her.” She also added that Lifeline “used giant swaths of fabric to create different 'rooms' and looks. In that production we also had actors play tennis with racquets and sound effects for the ball. It looked real and was hilarious.” After nearly a decade of acting and directing within the ensemble, Milne became Artistic Director in 1999. She is a woman steeped in original storytelling. Not only does Milne direct original adaptations for Lifeline, she has been a member of the writing-performing collective Sweat Girls for 14 years. Milne sees similarities in solo storytelling and adapting literature for the stage. “What I’ve learned (looking at plays and solo pieces), is sometimes it’s just one confusing sentence that can make a whole section seem wrong, and sometimes it’s a simple fix to adjust a word and you say, ‘oh, now that section works.’” So how does Lifeline create an entire season of critically ac-


PHOTO BY PAU;L METREYEON

claimed, world premiere adaptations? Milne credits Lifeline’s two mitment to original work. The Fillet of Solo Festival needed a new advantages: the dedicated ensemble, and the use of novels. She home after Chicago’s Live Bait Theatre closed. Lifeline stepped in describes the process as such: “You start with terrific characters, a as new host of this celebrated storytelling event. This year’s prostory arc, a framework, that you can discard or keep, but it is part gram will feature 13 Chicagoans, a trio of New Yorkers, and a of the reason you love the work. writer/performer from Los You’re starting with strong bones Angeles. The festival will that you can build on. This is very move between three perfordifferent than trying to create six mance venues in Rogers Park. new plays from the ground up— Milne is dedicated to creating the characters, making up growing Lifeline’s prothe plot.” Lifeline’s original adapgramming and connection tations typically require a year of to the community. Signs of development. During that time, the such connection are abunensemble members provide feeddant: Lifeline partners with back at key rehearsals. They come the local Glenwood Avenue to early script readings, the first Arts festival every year, and run-through, and early previews. the theater offers neighborThey are the outside eyes that can hood performances and assist the director in revising secfree "Stories Come Alive!" Cast members of Lifeline Theatre's Production of Last of the Dragons. tions that aren’t quite working. Library Days at the Rogers Milne delights in working with Park Library. The theater also writers who often continue shaping a script from discoveries made invites its Rogers Park neighbors to free and discounted perforin rehearsals. mances throughout the year. In addition to the main stage offerings, Lifeline also conducts Lifeline’s upcoming season includes world premiere adaptaThe Lifeline Storytelling Project, an incubation program for young tions of The Count of Monte Cristo, Hunger, (a historical drama by professional performers. The theater offers a full season of chilElise Blackwell) and Pride and Prejudice. The children’s lineup indren’s performances, and educational programs brought to Chicago cludes three more of its own world premieres: The 13 Clocks, How public schools. The theater’s newest venture continues their comto Survive a Fairy Tale, and Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed.

around town

A

Artist Kathy Taslitz is a natural wonder. Her River North studio brims over with the most elegant sculptures that delight in the effortless beauty gleaned from nature itself—gleaned from nature because presenting natural phenomena in a literal state isn’t something Taslitz is interested in doing. As she puts it, “I never wanted to make work that would exist apart from human life and experience. I wanted to make artwork with a point of view, to truly address what it means to live and change and grow….”

Using a myriad of synthetic textures and materials, Taslitz melds the natural with the man-made to create something entirely modern, yet entirely organic. With fluid lines and textures that themselves seem to evolve and coalesce within a given work, Taslitz re-interprets nature, and the result is an entirely new perspective on the natural world, its impact on our experience, and our relation to its existence. Her work goes way beyond beautiful sculpting; it makes a statement that springboards into a broader conversation, a conversation that causes one to take notice of the real beauty around us.

Left: "Old Leaf" blackened bronze over polished bronze, (19.75" h x 23"w x 44" l); Above: artist Kathy Taslitz. Phots courtesy of the artist.

Autumn 2011CNCJA•39


Artist Conversational World Renowned Violinist

Nadja

Salerno-Sonnenberg

F

By MYRON SILBERSTEIN

For anyone that has been a fan of classical music Salerno-Sonnenberg’s mind when she was first approached about the in the last 30 years, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg music directorship. is a household name. Her career history is wellIn fact, she had never even heard of the New Century Chamber known. She left her native Italy at the age of Orchestra when one of its members, a friend of a friend, telephoned to eight to study at the Curtis Institute of Music in ask if she would be interested in directing it. The violinist’s immediPhiladelphia, becoming the youngest pupil ever ate response was emphatic and clear: “I said no. Absolutely not.” As to have been admitted to the venerable institu- Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg explained to me, she “had been and (is) and tion at that time. She was ten when she made her solo debut with the always will be a soloist,” so leading an ensemble “was completely out Philadelphia Orchestra. At age 14, she began studying with renowned of the question.” pedagogue Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School of Music. And a win By the end of that first conversation, though, Salerno-Sonnenberg at the 1981 Walter Naumberg International Violin Competition pro- had agreed to do a series of four performances with the orchestra as pelled her to worldwide prominence. guest director. As she describes it, the opportunity was attractive to her But look a bit closer at the violinist and, quickly, one sees that be- as a novel change of pace from her solo work. “It was so enormousyond a masterful technique and passionate musicianship lies some- ly different from what I know. It sounded fun,” she explained. As it thing of a full-fledged media celebrity. Salerno-Sonnenberg has be- turned out, her initial collaboration with New Century was more than come a frequent guest of late night talk shows; she’s been the subject just fun; it was a tremendously powerful experience. Over the ten-day of the documentary film Speaking in Strings; and she’s even appeared rehearsal and performance process, Salerno-Sonnenberg discovered on the ABC sitcom Dharma & Greg. that “the chemistry was so strong” between herself and the orchestra In recent years, Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg has added more notable that it “really could not be ignored.” credits to her already diverse portfolio. In 2005, she founded the NSS I asked Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg to describe the character of that Music recording label. The label is particularly focused on live record- chemistry. At its root, she explained, is the ensemble’s overall musical ings, though its ten releases to date have also included some studio sensitivity: “This is an excellent, excellent ensemble comprised of murecordings. Among its releases are two recordings from the tireless vi- sicians that are individually, not only wonderful players, but wonderolinist’s most recent endeavor: the ful musicians, wonderful thinkNew Century Chamber Orchestra. ers with an enormous knowledge Salerno-Sonnenberg took the of music.” Indeed, even before helm of the conductorless string Salerno-Sonnenberg’s directorensemble in 2008. As artistic direcship, critics agreed that the New tor, she has brought New Century Century Chamber Orchestra was unprecedented critical acclaim. She one of the Bay Area’s top enhas also brought attention to the ensembles. But the group evidently semble beyond its home in the San struck Salerno-Sonnenberg as Francisco Bay Area, taking it on a being in need of a unifying pernational tour in February 2011. sonality. Despite excellent muThe partnership between New sicianship, she explained, “They Century and Salerno-Sonnenberg is seemed…lost, musically.” consistently applauded for its sense Salerno-Sonnenberg has freof unity, as if the musical personquently been described as a firealities of its director and of its brand; she was most certainly a members have blended into an inunique spark to the ensemble. Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and members of The New Century Chamber Orchestra. dependent and unique orchestral perThe orchestra “latched onto … the sonality. And Salerno-Sonnenberg energy and the vibrancy” of her is consistently praised as the driving force behind the orchestra’s ex- playing and “the result was amazing. It was seriously like an amusepressive development. One might think that Salerno-Sonnenberg and ment park ride,” she told me. “We all just went for it.” New Century were simply made for one another. But the idea of leadMusical vibrancy is an easily identifiable trait, but its qualities are ing New Century—or any ensemble for that matter—was far from 40•CNCJAAutumn 2011


Autumn 2011CNCJA•41

PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN STEINER


PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN STEINER

difficult to describe, much less to teach. For Salerno-Sonnenberg, it is based, at least in part, upon a deep appreciation for the full range of sounds a string instrument can produce. “There are, for me, fifty different kinds of piano, fifty different kinds of pianissimo,” she explained, “and not just the pretty, focused sounds that we are taught.” New Century has come to model its collective sound on Salerno-Sonneberg’s own distinctive approach to the violin. “They are learning these things from me, literally like a master class,” SalernoSonnenberg told me. The result is an already technically masterful ensemble that plays with an unprecedented degree of color and finesse. While the most visible aspect of the Salerno-Sonnenberg/ New Century partnership has been the wholly unified musical entity it’s developed, the learning has gone both ways. A soloist’s musical expression can afford to be absolutely spontaneous. A sudden change of tempo or the stretching of a rhythm is always a viable option, but an ensemble of nearly twenty cannot be expected to have the same inspiration at the same moment. In Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg’s solo performances, “a dotted-eighth is whatever (she) wants it to be.” In the context of an ensemble, though, “that dotted-eighth has to be respected for what it is.” As she pointed out to me, her work with the New Century Chamber Orchestra has taught her how to “play music vibrantly like a soloist but respect everything that is on the page.” I asked whether Salerno-Sonnenberg’s recent ensemble experience has influenced her approach to solo work. She was emphatic that it has not. As a soloist, she explained, she “sort of put(s) on another mask,” one different from the one she wears when she leads the orchestra. She elaborated that all aspects of her career access different facets of her own personality: “if I’m playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with an orchestra, that is one part of me…and if I’m playing recitals with my pianist, it’s another part.” Each role she occupies demands “completely different playing.” Among the roles for which Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg is most renowned is that of advocate for both twentieth-century and contem-

42•CNCJAAutumn 2011

porary music. Under her directorship, the New Century Chamber Orchestra has instituted a Featured Composer program. Each season, New Century premieres a commissioned work by a composer and includes that composer’s existing string orchestra repertoire in its concerts. The orchestra’s featured composers have included such titans as William Bolcom and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, as well as lesser-known and younger talents such as bluegrass fiddler Marc O’Connor. The impetus for the program was twofold: (1) SalernoSonnenberg’s love for new music and; (2) the scarcity of repertoire for string orchestra. As she explained, there are only “maybe ten pieces that are wonderful and popular for string orchestra,” Works such as Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings and Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro are welcome headliners in this repertoire, but such classics provide only enough programming for a season or two. Beyond that, SalernoSonnenberg told me, string orchestras are forced to “delve into the chamber music repertoire.” Even Samuel Barber’s beloved Adagio for Strings, recorded by New Century with extraordinary sensitivity and warmth on its 2010 album LIVE, is the composer’s arrangement of the second movement of his String Quartet, Op. 11. New Century’s Featured Composer program expands the possibilities not just for string orchestra programming, but for all string ensembles. Salerno-Sonnenberg's delight for this aspect of her work, however, is tempered with a tremendous sense of responsibility. Premiering a piece, especially on recording, is a uniquely historical event in which a performer’s interpretation of a new work colors the audience’s perception of it. In Salerno-Sonnenberg’s words, “The first version of a new work…is the one that will always be referred to…at least for a good long time.” As soloist, Salerno-Sonnenberg has been responsible not only for premiering new works but for bringing neglected works by mainstream composers into the standard repertoire. She was among the first violinists to give Poulenc’s Violin Sonata and Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto frequent hearings. She has been a passionate champion of Barber’s Violin Concerto. This American masterpiece holds a special place in her heart; she “kept playing (it) and insisting on bringing it to Europe and Asia to introduce it” at a time when very few violinists outside of the United States were performing it. And she insists her relationship with the piece is “a little national pride thing” for her. Salerno-Sonnenberg’s enthusiasm for overlooked and unusual masterpieces developed during her apprenticeship with Dorothy DeLay and sometimes became a source of consternation for her mentor. DeLay refused to teach her the Shostakovich concerto, admonishing her 17-year-old protégée that it was impractical to add a demanding and rarely-performed work to her repertoire when there was a host of standard-repertoire concerti that the young violinist had not yet studied. So the student taught the piece to herself and it ultimately “became one of the best pieces in (her) repertoire.” Such anecdotes are often misconstrued as evidence of SalernoSonnenberg’s supposed iconoclasm. But the violinist’s repertoire choices are anything but contrarian; they are a direct function of her personal response to the music. Her primary consideration when choosing repertoire is whether a piece moves her. And what moves her, she told me, is purely the depth of its emotional expression. “It’s just not satisfying for me or gratifying in any way to play something that doesn’t have some depth,” she explained. A second and equally important concern is whether she can “do justice” to a piece. If she does not feel she can interpret a piece of music with full understanding and emotional commitment, she does not play it. As she put it, there is simply some music that she is “not the person for. So I have to stay away from that because what good would I do that piece or that composer?” I asked Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg how she develops her understanding of and approach to the works in her repertoire. What were


PHOTO BY TERRENCE MCCARTHY

the secrets to her unique and bold interpretations of violin repertoire (her)” that she cannot simply play the piece “the way (she) learned it both old and new? She replied that her experience with such a wide or the way (she) rehearsed it at ten o’clock this morning.” variety of music of different eras and different styles allows her to Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg’s performances are frequent highlights see things in works that are of Chicago’s musical calendar. Her often overlooked. “It’s like recent national tour with New (being) a computer that’s Century featured an appearance got tons of data in it,” she at Northwestern University’s explained. Music is a lanPick-Staiger Concert Hall, guage made up of very few where the ensemble’s program variables, she elaborated: “A included Hugo Wolf’s Italian very few number of notes… Serenade and Béla Bartók’s arranged in a different order Romanian Folk Dances. As a makes up Happy Birthday soloist, she appeared in 2009 at or The Rite of Spring.” the Ravinia Festival performMastering that language is ing her beloved Shostakovich a matter of understanding First Violin Concerto with the the different ways composChicago Symphony Orchestra. ers express emotion through As the renowned violinist extheir own organization of plained, Chicago is a city of the twelve notes at their disprime importance to her. “I posal. Ultimately, Salernohave so much personally inSonnenberg emphasized, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and members of The New Century Chamber Orchestra. vested in Chicago,” she told me. interpretation “is an emotional The city was the site of some of response” to the music. And music is so rich that a seasoned performer her earliest performances and has left her with very fond memories. will be attuned to several layers of emotional content even in a single “When you’re a kid … and you get a gig with the Chicago Symphony measure. This is why Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg rarely plays the same Orchestra, I cannot tell you what that means,” she said. And aside piece the same way twice. Each time she revisits a work of music— from her personal connection to the city, she considers the Chicago even a work like Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, which she estimates Symphony Orchestra to be “the greatest orchestra in the world.”  to have played at least three thousand times—“so many things occur to

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205 East Randolph

Autumn 2011CNCJA•43


Wanted: Museum-Mate

PHOTO BY J. B. SPECTOR

After the groundbreaking, original Month at the Museum experiment in the fall of 2010, the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) is once again searching nationwide for a new roommate to live at the largest science center in the Western Hemisphere for 30 days.

Art Invasion

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CHICAGO ART FIAR COMPANY

Happenings...

From October 19 to November 17, 2011, the winner will have full rein of the 14-acre Museum— experiencing everything MSI has to offer while soaking up science and interacting with Museum guests and fans online via a blog and social media. And, at the end of it all, he or she will take home a $10,000 prize and bragging rights for a lifetime.

“The reaction to the first Month at the Museum exceeded our wildest expectations,” said Rob Gallas, vice president and chief marketing officer for MSI. “Since our first roommate, Kate McGroarty, moved out last November, we have been inundated with requests to give another person the opportunity to live here for 30 days, and it was so much fun, we just had to do it again.”

Winner of the Month at the Museum 2 will live in the Month at the Museum Cube, where they will blog about their experiences at the museum and interact with guests of the museum.

The deadline for applications was July 22, 2011. A winner will be announced in October. While the basic premise of the month-long experiment will remain the same, there will be some additional experiences and surprises in store for the 2011 roommate. MSI is also asking fans to share their ideas for the month-long stay on Facebook and Twitter. What would you like to see the winner do while living at the Museum? “One of the great things about Month at the Museum last year was the interaction between the winner and the public,” said Gallas. “This time around, we are getting the public involved early by asking our fans for their ideas and suggestions.” Month at the Museum 2 is sponsored by CB2, Best Buy and Geek Squad, Whole Foods and Sodexo.

Special Season Opener

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Apostolic Church of God have collaborated to announce that the CSO’s season-opening community concert will take place at the church, located at 6320 S. Dorchester Ave. in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood. The free concert—which is open to all and will be led by CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti—takes place on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.

PHOTO BY TODD ROSENBERG

The Apostolic Church of God is an ideal partner for this year’s season-opening concert because of its long-standing commitment to ensuring that high-quality, live music is available to all audiences in all Chicago communities, a dedication shared by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Riccardo Muti.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director Riccardo Muti.

Rutter.”

“Integral to Riccardo Muti’s continued vision for the CSO is his dedication to helping redefine an orchestra’s place in its city through community engagement, performances of the highest artistic caliber, creative partnerships and collaborations, education and access,” says CSO President Deborah

"Habitat Clown" from the 2011 SOFA Chicago Art Fair.

This fall, Chicago’s Art Fair Company will once again present two of the city’s most highly anticipated art fairs under one roof. It all takes place Friday, November 4 through Sunday, November 6, 2011 at Chicago’s historic Navy Pier. The Intuit Show of Folk & Outsider Art will share the Pier’s Festival Hall with Chicago’s much-loved art fair mainstay, SOFA Chicago, the Annual International Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair, now in its 18th year. SOFA Chicago is the city’s longest, continually running, annual art fair, featuring more than 80 art galleries and dealers from 10 countries. The Intuit Show of Folk & Outsider Art will bring together leading dealers and galleries presenting an eclectic slate of disciplines, including selftaught art, outsider art, art brut, ethnographic art, non-traditional folk art and visionary art. An extensive and thought-provoking series of lectures and special exhibits are also part of the twofair, three-day events. General admission tickets are only $15 each and provide visitors access to both fairs and their related lecture series, special exhibits and ancillary events. Special exhibits at SOFA Chicago are free with paid admission. Both fairs kick-off with a joint Opening Night Preview in Festival Hall on Thursday, November 3rd. For more information, visit sofaexpo.com and outsiderfolkartfair.com.

“We have been blessed to have maintained a collaborative working relationship with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which began more than ten years ago with a vision of my parents, Bishop Arthur and Isabelle Brazier,” added Dr. Byron T. Brazier, pastor for The Apostolic Church of God. “Their desire to create a musical program that benefits the skills of and opens up career opportunities in music for young people has come to fruition thanks to the initiatives of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.” The centerpiece of the program is Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, one of symphonic music’s most recognized and loved works. Also scheduled is Ibert’s Flute Concerto, featuring CSO Principal Flute Mathieu Dufour as soloist. 44•CNCJAAutumn 2011


PHOTO © ANDREJS PIDJASS

Autumn 2011

Cultural Almanac Autumn 2011CNCJA•45


Music & Dance

SEPTEMBER 2011

Symphony Center w/Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Tel. 312.294.3000, cso.org) Muti and Dufour CSO Symphony Ball Muti Conducts Liszt's Bicentennial Apollo Theatre (Tel. 773.935.6100, apollochicago.com) Million Dollar Quartet A Red Orchid Theatre (Tel. 312.943.8722, aredorchidtheatre.org) Becky Shaw Broadway In Chicago (Tel. 312.977.1700, broadwayinchicago.org) Pinkalicious - presented by Emerald City Theatre Colin Quinn: Long Story Short Love, Loss, and What I Wore Circle Theatre in Forest Park (Tel. 708.771.0700, circle-theatre.org) Urinetown City Lit Theatre (Tel. 773.293.3682, citylit.org) Alice's Adventures Under Ground

Ruth Page Dance Center (Tel. 312.337.6543, ruthpage.org) Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival Laura Twirls Suicide Prevention Foundation Winifred Haun & Dancers Chicago Dance Crash - Immediate Gratification

Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (Tel. 312.922.2110, auditoriumtheatre.org) Halleluiah Broadway On Stage with Susan Werner Chicago a cappella (Tel. 773.281.7820, chicagoacappella.org) Days of Awe and Rejoicing: Radient Gems of Jewish Music Chicago Chamber Musicians (Tel. 312.819.5800, chicagochambermusic.org) CCM BRASS and The American Brass Quintet Chicago Jazz Festival (Tel. 312.744.3316, explorechicago.org) Randy Weston and The Chicago Jazz Ensemble Saxophone Summit Cassandra Wilson Roy Hargrove The Dance Center at Columbia College of Chicago (Tel. 312.369.8330, http://www.colum.edu/dance_center) Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company Harris Theater for Music and Dance (Tel. 312.334.7777, harristheaterchicago.org) Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre: "Constant Motion" Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) Eiko & Koma: Regeneration Orion Ensemble (Tel. 630.628.9591, orionensemble.org) Spanish Flair: Cassadó, Khachaturian, Stravinsky, Granados





 















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The CNCJA Cultural Almanac listings are representative of schedules from participating institutions available at time of publication.

PHOTOS FROM LEFT: MEMBERS OF THE ORION ENSEMBLE (PHOTO BY CORNELIA BABBIT); ENTIRE CAST OF MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET (PHOTO BY SARAH VOHN); MAESTRO RICCARDO MUTI AND THE CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (PHOTO BY TODD ROSENBERG); MEMBERS OF THE CHICAGO CHAMBER MUSICIANS (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CHICAGO CHAMBER MUSICIANS).

Theaters

46•CNCJAAutumn 2011


SEPTEMBER 2011

Court Theatre (Tel. 773.702.7005, courttheatre.org) Spunk Goodman Theatre (Tel. 312.443.3800, goodmantheatre.org) Red Greenhouse Theater (Tel. 773.404.7336, greenhousetheater.org) The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek We Live Here Family Devotions Laughter Against the Machine The Fever Chart: Four Visions of the Middle East Lifeline Theatre (Tel. 773.761.4477, lifelinetheatre.com) The Count of Monte Cristo Lookingglass Theatre (Tel. 773.477.9257, lookingglasstheatre.org) The Great Fire Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights (Tel. 847.577.2121, metropolisarts.com) Sex & the Second City Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) Jenny Magnus/Curious Theatre Branch: Still in Play: A Performance of Getting Ready Northlight Theatre in Skokie (Tel. 847.673.6300, northlight.org) Snapshots Profiles Theatre (Tel. 773.549.1815, profilestheatre.org) A Behanding in Spokane RedTwist Theatre (Tel. 773.728.7529, redtwist.org) Elling Remy Bumppo Theatre (Tel. 773.728.7529, redtwist.org) Mourning Becomes Electra Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org) Clybourne Park Timeline Theatre Company (Tel. 773.281.8463, timelinetheatre.com) A Walk In The Woods Victory Gardens Theater (Tel. 773.871.3000, victorygardens.org) Waiting for Lefty In the Next Room or the vibrator play Writers Theatre in Glencoe (Tel. 847.242.6000, writerstheatre.org) The Real Thing  

 







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PHOTOS FROM LEFT: CHRIS HAINSWORTH AS THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO AT LIFELINE THEATRE (PHOTO BY SUZANNE PLUNKETT); PLAYWRIGHT JOHN LOGAN (RED) (PHOTO COURTESY OF GOODMAN THEATRE; CAST OF A WALK IN THE WOODS AT TIMELINE THEATRE (PHOTO BY LARA GOETSCH); ANNABELARMOUR (SEATED AND KELSEY BRENNAN (STANDING) FROM MOURNING BECOMES ELEKTRA AT REMY BUMPO THEATRE (PHOTO BY JOHNNY KNIGHT); MATT FARABEE AND SEAN BOLGER OF ECLIPSE THEATRE'S THE TRESTLE AT POPE LICK CREEK (PHOTO COURTESY OF ECLIPSE THEATRE).

Theaters

Autumn 2011CNCJA•47


Rebel's Dance SHALL WE DANCE?

Company of Rasta Thomas' Bad Boys of Dance.; Inset: Dancer/choreographer Rasta Thomas

tives. He refers to them as “X-men” and “hybrids.” The Bad Boys perform “fusion dancing,” a mix of just about every style of the medium. Members of the company come with extensive dance experience and abilities across genres. Thomas explains that his dancers are able to do, well, “everything.” Whether or not you agree, Thomas asserts, “Choreographers are facing the challenge that 48•CNCJAAutumn2011 48•CNCJAAutumn 2011

audiences have seen everything. They have to be more inventive and creative. The dancer has to raise his game, too. He has to be a master of movement, and challenge the body to break through divisions of dance styles.” He adds, “There isn’t enough employment in dance to just do one genre.” By offering a “seamless transition between…styles,” Thomas hopes his company can attract novices to the medium. “Dance can be intimidating,” he explains. “By fusing dance, you tap into the subconscious of the viewer. They may have been exposed to one genre, and when they see it onstage they make a connection. They may tie this connection to other types of dance performed in the show.” Thus, audience members may become interested or engaged in new forms of dance through the mixing of these styles. According to Thomas, fusion dance is “younger and sexier” than traditional dancing, and is more accessible to the first-time ticket-buyer than a performance based on a single genre of dance. On the topic of his all-male company, Thomas explains, “With so many women in dance, the spin of an all-male company dancing their hearts out was a market that hadn’t been tapped.” In fact, Thomas describes his company as “the boy band of the dance world.” He also points to his own admiration for male dance legends such as Nijinsky and Nureyev. To be fair, however, “Rock the Ballet,” the production the Bad Boys will bring to Auditorium Theater this fall, does feature one female amongst six men. Choreographed by Adrienne Canterna, an awardwinning dancer and Thomas’ wife, “Rock the Ballet” features the company’s fusion dance and the versatile athleticism of the Bad Boys. Thomas recommends the production to “anyone that wants to have a good time.” He insists, “We’re rock ‘n’ roll.” Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance will perform “Rock the Ballet” on Saturday, November 6 and Sunday, November 7, 2011 at The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF RASTA THOMAS

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asta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance are coming to entertain you this November at The Auditorium Theatre. Offering a unique amalgamation of jazz, ballet, tap, modern, gymnastics, and martial arts, this high-adrenaline fusion dance company is all about making dance more accessible to those without much exposure to it. Even in the face of criticism from dance “traditionalists,” Thomas sticks to this principle, and is always looking to engage first-time ticket buyers with his signature, eye-popping choreography. Thomas, a dance prodigy, began to win international dance competitions at the age of 13 and was already a force to be reckoned with when he won the gold medal in the senior men’s division in the 1998 USA International Ballet Competition. Ironically, however, he garnered greater attention in the traditional dance world when he defected from it. When Thomas chose not to pursue a career in ballet, some within the ballet world shook their heads. He explains, “Some old fuddy-duddy radicals of the dance world coined me a ‘bad boy.’” Thomas ignored the criticism, but appropriated the label, forming Bad Boys of Dance in 2007. What, exactly, defines a Bad Boy of Dance? Thomas is quick to describe his troupe of artists using a mixture of superhuman adjec-

By EMILY DISHER


THEATER REVIEW

Eclipse Theatre Delivers Haunting Trestle By STEPHANIE TOLAND

With the economic problems currently facing our country, Eclipse Theatre’s Great Depression era production, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, addresses many of the same issues and feelings of uncertainty being experienced some 80 years later by many today. This coming-of-age story about a wholesome, vanilla-flavored boy named Dalton (Matt Farabee), and a gritty, brutally honest girl named Pace (Marissa Cowsill) remains as relevant today as in any other period in our country’s history. Poetic playwright Naomi Wallace takes us back to a time where change was imminent and everyone feared what the future held. Gone was the promise of the American Dream. In this production, directed by Jonathon Berry, we are transported back to 1930s America. The haunting set, designed by Joe Schermoly, thrusts the audience into the trestle right along with the actors. There is an eerie permanence, as the beams of the trestle seem to extend far beyond the confines of the theater. Dalton and Pace develop a relationship that is fraught with frustration and sexual tension from the beginning. They live in small town America, where

By Tom Stoppard Directed by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW

Begins September 13 I 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe

ORDER TODAY FOR BEST PRICES PHOTOS COURTESY ECLIPSE THEATRE

847-242-6000 I writerstheatre.org

Matt Farabee and Sean Bolger of Eclipse Theatre's The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek.

jobs are scarce and futures look bleak. Pace’s passion makes her seem unhinged at times, while Dalton’s wholesome point of view seems to darken as the play evolves. Dealing with ghosts from their past, and haunted by what the future seems not to hold for them, these characters try to make sense of the world in which they live. With a nonlinear storyline and seamless scene changes, Trestle keeps viewers in tune until the very end. Farabee and Cowsill met the challenge of their characters, embodying the fears and despair of the time while trying to make sense of their existence. These thoughtful portrayals, along with the haunting lighting designed by Lee Keenan, take the audience to another realm. Though engaging until the last moments, there still seems no sense of resolve to this story. Instead, this production leaves the audience with a sense of emptiness, which may have been Wallace’s goal right from the beginning. This is a lonely, frustrating story about a group of people trying to find themselves and each other during an unforgivably difficult era. If you’re looking for a light-hearted theater experience, Trestle may not

exactly hit the mark. If, however, you’re looking for a thoughtful, relevant story with insight into the human condition, don’t miss The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek playing at the Greenhouse Theatre in Chicago's Lincoln Park through September 4, 2011.

Autumn 2011CNCJA•49


Art Museums

SEPTEMBER 2011

The Art Institute of Chicago (Tel. 312.443.3600, artic.edu/aic) A Golden Spider-Silk Textile Belligerent Encounters: Graphic Chronicles of War and Revolution, 1500–1945 City and Country: Views of Urban and Rural Japan Eija-Liisa Ahtila: The House Fujinuma Noboru: Master of Bamboo Japanese Kimono, 1915–1940: From Tradition to Ready-to-Wear Pae White Ralph Eugene Meatyard: Dolls and Masks Souvenirs of the Barbizon: Photographs, Paintings, and Works on Paper Ana Mendieta Arms and Armor: Highlights of the Permanent Collection Chagall's America Windows Cy Twombly: Sculpture Selections, 1948-1995 Galleries of African Art and Indian Art of the Americas Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) Eiko & Koma: Time is Not Even, Space is Not Empty Emerge Selections 2011 Mark Bradford MCA Chicago Plaza Project: Mark Handforth Motor Cocktail: Sound and Movement in Art of the 1960s Pandora's Box: Joseph Cornell Unlocks the MCA Collection UBS 12 x 12: New Artists/New Work: Dan Gunn National Museum of Mexican Art (Tel. 312.783.9740, nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org) Claro y Obscuro Smart Museum of Art - University of Chicago (Tel. 773.702.0200, smartmuseum.uchicago.edu) Go Figure Process and Artistry in the Soviet Vanguard Vision and Communism 65 Grand (Tel. 312.719.4325, 65grand.com) Gary Rattigan Donald Young Gallery (Tel. 312.322.3600, donaldyoung.com) Jeanne Dunnig, Rodney Graham, Josiah McElheny, Iñdigo Manglano-Ovalle and James Welling Bruce Nauman Ebersmoore (Tel. 312.772.3021, ebersmoore.com) Matt Irie: You are the Vanishing Point Rob Carter: Culte EC Gallery (Tel. 312.850.0924, ec-gallery.com) Robert Hardgrave Gallery KH (Tel.312.642.0202, gallerykh.com) M. Ellen Cocose: Luminosity Amy Cannady: Poetry in Paint  

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The CNCJA Cultural Almanac listings are representative of schedules from participating institutions available at time of publication.

PHOTOS FROM LEFT: THE MARK BRADFORD PROJECT: MARK BRADFORD AT LINDBLOOM ACADEMY (PHOTO BY NATHAN KEAY ©MCA CHICAGO); EIKO AND KOMA; "WHITE DANCE 2010 REVIVAL" (PHOTO BY ANNA LEE CAMPBELL); CHRISTIAN BOLTANSKI, MONUMENT- LES ENFANTS DE DIJON (MONUMENT- THE CHILDREN OF DIJON), 1985. COLLECTION MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART/CHICAGO (PHOTO ©MCA CHICAGO); FROM PANDORA'S BOX AT THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART CHICAGO (PHOTO ©THE JOSEPH AND ROBERT CORNELL MEMORIAL FOUNDATION, LICENSED BY VAGA/NEW YORK, NY JOSEPH CORNELL, SEQUESTERED BOWER- C. 1950. PRIVATE COLLECTION- CHICAGO.)

Galleries

50•CNCJAAutumn 2011


Autumn 2011CNCJA•51

Galleries

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Schneider Gallery, Inc. (Tel. 312.988.4033, schneidergallerychicago.com) María Martínez-Cañas Adler Planetarium (Tel. 312-922-78278, adlerplanetarium.org) Cyber Space From Earth to the Universe Galaxy Wall Gravity Shapes the Universe Hidden Wonders: Preserving the Night Sky Our Solar System Planet Explorers Telescopes Shoot for the Moon Universe In Your Hands Chicago Architecture Foundation (Tel. 312.922.3432, architecture.org) Chicago Model City Chicago: You Are Here Neighborhoods Go Green Chicago History Museum (Tel. 312.642.4600, chicagohistory.org) Out In Chicago Abraham Lincoln Chicago: Crossroads of America Facing Freedom Lincoln Park Block by Block Sensing Chicago The Dioramas Treasures Unexpected Chicago

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Roy Boyd Gallery (Tel. 312.642.1606, royboydgallery.com) Teo Gonzàlez: New Paintings



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Gruen Galleries (Tel. 312.337.6262, gruengalleries.com) Transition: New Works on Canvas by Tamar Kander Abstract Landscapes: Large Works on Paper by Michael Bentley Judy A Saslow Gallery (Tel. 312.943.0530, jsaslowgallery.com) Inspired - Works by Gérard Sendrey and Clyde Angel Kavi Gupta Gallery (Tel. 312.432.0708, kavigupta.com) Angel Otero Nathaniel Donnet KM Fine Arts (Tel. 312.255.1202, kmfinearts.com) A Summer of American Masters with Robert Indiana Linda Warren Gallery (Tel. 312.432.9500, lindawarrengallery.com) Conrad Freiburg Ed Valentine Michael L. Galfer Fine Arts, LTD (Tel. 847.722.2399, mlgarts.com) Charles Dulac Henri Ibels Henri Riviere Paul Davis McCormick Gallery (Tel. 312.226.6800, thomasmccormick.com) John Santoro: Painters Forms

Sign up online for

Museums


52•CNCJAAutumn 2011

Museums

SEPTEMBER 2011

DuSable Museum of African American History (Tel. 773.947.0600, dusablemuseum.org) Black Wings: American Dreams of Flight Africa Speaks A Slow Walk to Greatness: The Harold Washington Story Charles Smith: Homecoming Red, White, Blue & Black: A History of Blacks in the Armed Services The Freedom Now Mural Thomas Miller Mosaics Field Museum of Natural History (Tel. 312.922.9410, fieldmuseum.org) Design for a Living World Ancient Americas DNA Discovery Center Evolving Planet Grainger Hall of Gems Inside Ancient Egypt Sue The T. rex The Romance of Ants Underground Adventure Whales: Giants of the Deep Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston, IL (Tel. 847.475.1030, mitchellmuseum.org) Cahokia: Rediscovering Archaeology A Regional Tour of American Indian Cultures Carved with Care: Zuni Fetishes and Carvings Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center (Tel. 847.967.4800, ilholocaustmuseum.org) Spots of Light: To Be a Woman in The Holocaust Karkomi Permanent Exhibition Legacy of Absence Gallery Make a Difference: The Miller Family Youth Exhibition Museum of Science and Industry (Tel. 773.684.1414, msichicago.org) Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle Earth Revealed Fast Forward‌Inventing The Future Henry Crown Space Center NetWorld Science Storms Smart Home: Green + Wired The Idea Factory You! The Experience Shedd Aquarium (Tel. 312.939.2438, sheddaquarium.org) Abbott Oceanarium Amazon Rising Aquatic Show Caribbean Reef Jellies Polar Play Zone Waters of the World Wild Reef Spertus Institue of Jewish Studies (Tel. 312.332.1700, spertus.edu) Uncovered & Rediscovered 2 



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Autumn 2011CNCJA•53

Music & Dance

OCTOBER 2011 1

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Symphony Center w/Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Tel. 312.294.3000, cso.org) Muti Conducts Liszt's Bicentennial CSO: Mahler's Farewell Special Event: Esperanza Spalding Special Event: Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán CSO: Mahler's Farewell CSO: Mälkki Conducts Strauss Piano - Paul Lewis New Music: MusicNOW #1 CSO: Mahler 4 Chamber: Hilary Hahn CSO: Haydn's Creation Special Event: Hallowed Haunts Orchestra: Budapest Festival Orchestra Symphony Center's Jazz at Symphony Center (Tel. 312.294.3000, cso.org) Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette

Ruth Page Dance Center (Tel. 312.337.6543, ruthpage.org) Chicago Dance Crash - Immediate Gratification 



Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (Tel. 312.922.2110, auditoriumtheatre.org) Drumline Live Baroque Band (Tel. 312.235.2368, baroqueband.org) Adventures Through The Lookingglass Chicago Chamber Musicians (Tel. 312.819.5800, chicagochambermusic.org) First Monday Concert at The Chicago Cultural Center: Works by Stevens, Kennan and Muczynski Quartet for the End of Time Sounds and Spaces - works by Britten and Mozart Chicago a cappella (Tel. 773.281.7820, chicagoacappella.org) Days of Awe and Rejoicing: Radient Gems of Jewish Music The Dance Center at Columbia College of Chicago (Tel. 312.369.8330, http://www.colum.edu/dance_center) Pick Up Performance Co(s) Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan Joffrey Ballet (Tel. 312.386.8905, joffrey.org) Don Quixote Harris Theater for Music and Dance (Tel. 312.334.7777, harristheaterchicago.org) Luna Negra Dance Theater  Chicago Jazz Ensemble: Musica Panamericano Natya Dance Theatre: "The Flowering Tree" Cloud Gate Dance Theatre Serbian National Ensemble presents "Kolo" Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (Tel. 312.850.9744, hubbardstreetdance.com) World Premiere by Twyla Tharp, "Archangelo" by Nacho Duato and "Walking Mad" by John Inger Lyric Opera of Chicago (Tel. 312.332.2244, lyricopera.org) The Tales of Hoffman  Lucia di Lammermoor Music of the Baroque (Tel. 312.551.1444, baroque.org) Glover Conducts Mozart…and Beethoven  Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) 1 2 ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble): Chance Encounters on the MCA Stage Faustin Linyekula:more more more…future Lucky Plush Productions: The Better Half Orion Ensemble (Tel. 630.628.9591, orionensemble.org) Spanish Flair: Cassadó, Khachaturian, Stravinsky, Granados 3





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Red

SEEING By DAVID WEISS

Goodman Theatre Director Robert Falls gets set to take on acclaimed writer John Logan's intricately layered stage play Red.

T

This September, the came good friends, and Falls ultimately colFrom that Goodman Theatre will kick laborated with Logan for over a year to create very first readoff its “Red Hot” 2011-2012 a larger project for the Goodman—Riverview, ing, Falls unseason with an appropriate- a musical melodrama about the Riverview derstood the ly-titled Chicago premiere: amusement park that once stood in Chicago. unique apRed, John Logan’s Tony In the decades since that collaboration, proach Logan award-winning 2009 drama. Set within the Logan has gone on to gain enormous acclaim used to portray 1960s studio of expressionist painter Mark as the screenwriter for such blockbusters as Red’s real-life Rothko, the play follows the artist and his as- Any Given Sunday, Gladiator, The Aviator, and subject and the sistant as they labor over two years to complete Sweeney Todd. Yet, for all his cinematic suc- process of crea series of murals for the Four Seasons restau- cess, his friends in theater never gave up hope ating art—a norant in Manhattan. Winner of six Tony awards that Logan might one day return to playwriting. toriously diffi(including Best Play), Red will be directed by “Over the years I encouraged him, as did other cult task for any Goodman Artistic Director Robert Falls. people, to get back to the theater and write a writer. “What For Falls, the John does is he brildesire to stage the Red contains one crucial element that Falls believes is shared by all of (John) liantly and daringly play was rooted shows these two not only in his Logan’s work: the capacity “to understand a real time and a real place, and artists—Rothko and love of the mate- sometimes real people. John’s genius is to take historical subject matter and to his assistant Ken— rial, but also in actually, in every his respect for the give life to them, make them breathe and have a life beyond just reading about scene, in the proplaywright, him- them.” cess of making art: self. “The initial priming a canvas, impulse was John painting the canvas, Logan, whom I’ve - Robert Falls, Director stretching the canknown for about vas, preparing the Goodman Theatre paints. So, from the 25 years,” says Falls. “I met John at the beginning of his ca- play,” Falls admits. And when Logan finally moment I read the play, I was very moved by reer, when he was just out of Northwestern as did resume writing for the stage, the result was it, but even more so, I was very intellectually a young playwright; I had seen virtually every Red. “I was lucky enough to read the play be- stimulated." play he did. I was wildly impressed and fol- fore it was produced,” says Falls, “and I was Moreover, the director says he appreciates lowed his work when he became a resident just sort of knocked out. I thought he’d hit a how the play manages to resonate on multiple writer at Victory Gardens.” The two soon be- home run.” levels. On a large scale, Falls sees Red as “a 54•CNCJAAutumn 2011


Goodman Theatre Director Robert Falls (Inset); Playwright, John Logan. Photos courtesy of Goodman Theatre.

very beautiful and important play about the artist in our society, about compromise, about the nature of passion, the seriousness of art, the place of culture in our society.” On a smaller, more personal level, however, Falls considers the play to be about “a mentor-student relationship, almost a father-son relationship; it’s about generational concerns.” For all these reasons, Falls was grateful and delighted when Logan requested that he and the Goodman Theatre collaborate to stage what will be the first production outside of the original performance. Rothko will be played in the upcoming production by Washington D.C.’s Edward Gero, a four-time Helen Hayes Award recipient that previously appeared on the Goodman stage in King Lear, and Ken will be portrayed by Chicago’s very own Patrick Andrews, whose recent performances include The Actor

at the Goodman and American Buffalo at Steppenwolf. Falls reveals that he’s looking forward to working with the actors in some unconventional ways: “There’s a lot of preparation that these actors will do. I know that almost from the beginning, in addition to being in the rehearsal room working on the play itself, I’m going to have these two wonderful actors at the paint shop learning to mix paints. I’ll have them working with real painters and experts, learning how to mix paints, prepare canvases, paint, and prime. And that’s going to be exciting, just to train two actors in the work process itself. That’s a new challenge.” When asked to comment on how he hopes audiences will react to the finished product, Falls is loath to make predictions. “Every audience member gets something from a play

on some personal level,” he asserts, “Sometimes they love it, and sometimes they reject it; sometimes they learn something that is interesting to them. Sometimes they’re moved, sometimes they’re not. So after all these years, I never presume to ask an audience to get anything out of a play.” He is, after all, perfectly comfortable putting his faith in the material. Red contains one crucial element that Falls believes is shared by all of Logan’s work: the capacity “to understand a real time and a real place, and sometimes real people. John’s genius is to take historical subject matter and to give life to them, make them breathe and have a life beyond just reading about them.” In light of that core of authenticity, Falls suspects that the greatest challenge for the production may also be its simplest: “It’s going to be up to the actors and (me) to rise to the occasion of what I think is just a really wonderful, important play.” Red, directed by Robert Falls, will run in the Goodman’s Albert Theatre from September 17th – October 23rd, 2011. Autumn 2011CNCJA•55


Theaters

56•CNCJAAutumn 2011

OCTOBER 2011

Apollo Theatre (Tel. 773.935.6100, apollochicago.com) Million Dollar Quartet Broadway In Chicago (Tel. 312.977.1700, broadwayinchicago.org) Love, Loss, and What I Wore Wishful Drinking Mary Poppins Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Tel. 312.595.5600, chicagoshakes.com) Follies Circle Theatre in Forest Park (Tel. 708.771.0700, circle-theatre.org) Urinetown City Lit Theatre (Tel. 773.293.3682, citylit.org) Alice's Adventures Under Ground The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Court Theatre (Tel. 773.702.7005, courttheatre.org) Spunk Goodman Theatre (Tel. 312.443.3800, goodmantheatre.org) Red Dartmoor Prison Chicago Boys Greenhouse Theater (Tel. 773.404.7336, greenhousetheater.org) The Fever Chart: Four Visions of the Middle East The House Theatre of Chicago (Tel. 773.251.2195, thehousetheatre.com) The Magic Parlour Lifeline Theatre (Tel. 773.761.4477, lifelinetheatre.com) The Count of Monte Cristo Lookingglass Theatre (Tel. 773.477.9257, lookingglasstheatre.org) The Great Fire Metropolis Performaing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights (Tel. 847.577.2121, metropolisarts.com) Sex & the Second City Northlight Theatre in Skokie (Tel. 847.673.6300, northlight.org) Snapshots Profiles Theatre (Tel. 773.549.1815, profilestheatre.org) A Behanding in Spokane RedTwist Theatre (Tel. 773.728.7529, redtwist.org) Elling Remy Bumppo Theatre (Tel. 773.728.7529, redtwist.org) Mourning Becomes Electra Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org) Clybourne Park The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Timeline Theatre Company (Tel. 773.281.8463, timelinetheatre.com) A Walk In The Woods Victory Gardens Theater (Tel. 773.871.3000, victorygardens.org) Waiting for Lefty In the Next Room or the vibrator play Writers Theatre in Glencoe (Tel. 847.242.6000, writerstheatre.org) The Real Thing 









































































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Galleries

Museums

Autumn 2011CNCJA•57

Schneider Gallery, Inc. (Tel. 312.988.4033, schneidergallerychicago.com) María Martínez-Cañas Chicago History Museum (Tel. 312.642.4600, chicagohistory.org) Charles James: Genius Deconstructed Field Museum of Natural History (Tel. 312.922.9410, fieldmuseum.org) Design for a Living World Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston, IL (Tel. 847.475.1030, mitchellmuseum.org) Cahokia: Rediscovering Archaeology

Roy Boyd Gallery (Tel. 312.642.1606, royboydgallery.com) Teo Gonzàlez: New Paintings William Steiger: New Work

Michael L. Galfer Fine Arts, LTD (Tel. 847.722.2399, mlgarts.com) Charles Dulac Henri Ibels Henri Riviere Paul Davis Richard Norton Gallery (Tel. 312.644.8855, richardnortongallery) Walter Krawiec: Running Away with the Circus: Works on Paper from the 1920s-1940s

65 Grand (Tel. 312.719.4325, 65grand.com) Gary Rattigan Donald Young Gallery (Tel. 312.322.3600, donaldyoung.com) Bruce Nauman Rodney Graham Ebersmoore (Tel. 312.772.3021, ebersmoore.com) Rob Carter: Culte Deborah Boardman EC Gallery (Tel. 312.850.0924, ec-gallery.com) Robert Hardgrave Diane Christiansen Gallery KH (Tel.312.642.0202, gallerykh.com) Amy Cannady: Poetry in Paint Gruen Galleries (Tel. 312.337.6262, gruengalleries.com) Transition: New Works on Canvas by Tamar Kander Abstract Landscapes: Large Works on Paper by Michael Bentley Kavi Gupta Gallery (Tel. 312.432.0708, kavigupta.com) Angel Otero Nathaniel Donnet Linda Warren Gallery (Tel. 312.432.9500, lindawarrengallery.com) Ed Valentine Emmett Kerrigan Martin Lawrence Galleries of Oakbrook (Tel. 630.954.3033, martinlawrence.com) Philippe Bertho McCormick Gallery (Tel. 312.226.6800, thomasmccormick.com) John Santoro Lisa Nankivil Bernard Williams

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gentle

GIANTS

By PATRICK M. CURRAN II

A humpback whale breaches in the water. Scientists theorize that whales may breach for social reasons, such as assertion of dominance, warning of danger or courting. Photo © Brett Atkins.

W

Walking through the vast ground floor of the Field Museum, I was again reminded of the immense size and scale of Sue, the museum’s world famous fossilized T-Rex positioned menacingly, to the delight of thousands, near the center of the marbled lobby. So it was with some level of surprise when I entered the museum’s new exhibit, Whales: Giants of the Deep, that I laid my eyes on the skeletal remains of not one, but two, sperm whales—the male nearly 58 feet in length, some 16 feet lon58•CNCJAAutumn 2011

ger than dear old Sue. Though larger in size, humans today share a closer affinity to whales than our ancient ancestors did with the lovable T-Rex. And as lovable as she might have been, few today would want to have any contact with a live T-Rex. Humans do, however, have a down right love affair with the gentle giants of the deep, and the Field Museum’s exhibit honors this connection through the eyes and lives of one people in particular, the indigenous Maori of New Zealand. Located on the western side of the museum, Whales: Giants of the Deep attempts, quite successfully I might add, to instruct the

masses on the various species of whales. The exhibit first examines the historical record of whales over the course of millions of years as they evolved from hoofed land mammals to entirely sea borne creatures. As detailed in the exhibit (through the use of a variety of media including two enormous sperm whale skeletons), whales continue to possess the “legs” of their hoofed ancestors, leg’s which are no longer of use today in their entirely aquatic existence. Did you know that dolphins are actually classified as whales? Or that the killer whale is actually the largest member of the dolphin


family? These are just a few of the mysteries about whales you'll learn at Field's new exhibit. Through the use of both historic and contemporary photographs, detailed drawings, whale sounds (the exhibit includes an interactive Sound Chamber where guests can hear the various ranges of sounds produced by varied species of whales) along with video instruction and interaction, the exhibit details the two distinct differences that exist among the various species of whales—toothed whales (such as the dolphin, killer whales, or the most famous, the sperm whale) and those referred to as baleen whales, the species of whales that have large filter-like plates composed of the protein keratin (similar in scope and function to today’s standard air filter). They allow the whales to feed by taking in large quantities of sea water and filtering out microscopic life forms for food through the mesh-like baleen. Some of the more familiar baleen whales include the Blue Whale, which—at around 100 feet in length—are the largest animals on earth. Blue Whales are also one of the fastest animals on earth, earning them the moniker the “greyhounds of the sea.” Others include the Gray Whale, commonly seen along the North American Pacific coastline; the Humpback Whale (having the longest flippers in the world— some up to 19 feet in length); and the Right Whale, which, unfortunately, received its name from ancient whalers because of the species' propensity for swimming near the shoreline, and thus becoming the “right whales” to hunt. Whales: Giants of the Deep was developed by the New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Museum,

known for its extensive marine mammal collection. Working in unison with New Zealand’s indigenous Polynesian inhabitants—a people whose very existence has centered around various species of whales— the exhibition seeks to educate on the importance of whales to man, and that includes the spiritual connections we have formed. Just as Native Americans worshipped and honored the plains buffalo for providing all the necessary elements required for their sustenance (meat for food, buffalo skins for clothing, bones for tools), so too have the Maori honored the whales for sustaining their own people. The exhibit also explores the phenomenon of whale beaching, where whales, either alone or as a group, beach themselves, often dying. In most western cultures, whale beaching is viewed as a heartbreaking occurrence; people instantly want these giant creatures to be returned to the water with all haste. The Maori, on the other hand, see whale beachings as gifts from the gods—gifts that should be honored and respected and not returned to the sea. The exhibit explores this dichotomy and even offers examples of the equipment used to transport beached whales back into the waters, along with those tools used to humanely euthanize the stranded mammals. Powerful and majestic animals, whales only spend about 6% of their lives out of the water (to breathe). It's curious then that so many of the beautiful creatures die on land seemingly powerless and vulnerable. Whales: Giants of the Deep runs through January 16, 2012 at The Field Museum (FieldMuseum.org).

Photos from top: Visitors turn a dial to hear the sounds of different whale species. Whale songs range from deep, melodious "phrases" to squeaks and clicks. Photo © Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008; Two sperm whale skeletons are a major highlight of Whales: Giants of the Deep. The male and female skeletons named Tu Hononga (male) and Hinewainui (female) measure 58 and 38 feet, respectively; The bull sperm whale is the largest living toothed animal. Its distinctive shape comes from the whale's large head, which is about one-third of the animal's length. Photo © Brandon Cole.

Autumn 2011CNCJA•59


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NOVEMBER 2011

Friday Night at the Movies: West Side Story Holiday: Vienna Boys Choir Symphony Center's Jazz at Symphony Center (Tel. 312.294.3000, cso.org) John Scofield Quartet/Ravi Coltrane Quartet

Harris Theater for Music and Dance (Tel. 312.334.7777, harristheaterchicago.org) Hear The Music: Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Vienna Symphony Puerto Rican Arts Alliance: Cuatro Festival Merce Cunningham Dance Company presented by The Dance Center of Columbia College Lyric Opera of Chicago (Tel. 312.332.2244, lyricopera.org) Lucia di Lammermoor Boris Godunov Ariadne auf Naxos Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) Lucky Plush Productions: The Better Half Eiko & Koma: Naked Dance Exchange: Liz Lerman's The Matter of Origins Music of the Baroque (Tel. 312.551.1444, baroque.org) Kraemer Conducts Bach Newberry Consort (Tel. 312.25.36101, newberryconsort.org) Rosa das Rosas Orion Ensemble (Tel. 630.628.9591, orionensemble.org) Classical Romance: Beethoven & Schubert River North Dance Chicago (Tel. 312.944.2888, rivernorthchicago.com) Fall Engagement Symphony Center w/Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Tel. 312.294.3000, cso.org) Afterwork Masterwiorks: Handel's Water Music CSO: Handel's Water Music Family: Magical Movements CSO: Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe CSO: Strauss Ein Heldenleben Beyond the Score: Strauss Ein Heldenleben

Chicago Chamber Musicians (Tel. 312.819.5800, chicagochambermusic.org) Memories of Florence - works by Cimarosa, Bartók, Newman, and Tchaikovsky All Chopin

Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (Tel. 312.922.2110, auditoriumtheatre.org) Rasta Thomas' Bad Boys of Dance Axis Dance Company Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra with Rockapella



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PHOTOS FROM LEFT: THE CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (PHOTO BY TODD ROSENBERG); RASTA THOMAS' BAD BOYS OF DANCE (PHOTO COURTESY OF RASTA THOMAS); MEMBERS OF THE ORION ENSEMBLE (PHOTO BY CORNELIA BABBIT); LIZ LERMAN DANCE EXCHANGE, REHEARSAL OF "THE MATTER OF ORIGINS" (PHOTO BY JOHN BORSTEL).;

Music & Dance


Autumn 2011CNCJA•61

Apollo Theatre (Tel. 773.935.6100, apollochicago.com) Million Dollar Quartet Broadway In Chicago (Tel. 312.977.1700, broadwayinchicago.org) Mary Poppins Rock of Ages Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Tel. 312.595.5600, chicagoshakes.com) Follies Court Theatre (Tel. 773.702.7005, courttheatre.org) An Illiad Goodman Theatre (Tel. 312.443.3800, goodmantheatre.org) Chicago Boys Ask Aunt Susan A Christmas Carol Greenhouse Theater (Tel. 773.404.7336, greenhousetheater.org) All Childish Things The House Theatre of Chicago (Tel. 773.251.2195, thehousetheatre.com) The Magic Parlour Lookingglass Theatre (Tel. 773.477.9257, lookingglasstheatre.org) The Great Fire Metropolis Performaing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights (Tel. 847.577.2121, metropolisarts.com) Juggling Fun with Jason Northlight Theatre in Skokie (Tel. 847.673.6300, northlight.org) Season's Greetings Profiles Theatre (Tel. 773.549.1815, profilestheatre.org) Assisted Living Remy Bumppo Theatre (Tel. 773.728.7529, redtwist.org) Changes of Heart Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org) Clybourne Park Timeline Theatre Company (Tel. 773.281.8463, timelinetheatre.com) A Walk In The Woods Victory Gardens Theater (Tel. 773.871.3000, victorygardens.org) MeTube Writers Theatre in Glencoe (Tel. 847.242.6000, writerstheatre.org) The Real Thing The Caretaker

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PHOTOS FROM LEFT: THE CAST OF A WALK IN THE WOODS AT TIMELINE THEATRE (PHOTO COURTESY OF TIMELINE THEATRE); ENTIRE CAST OF MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET (PHOTO BY SARAH VOHN); BRENT BARRETT WHO PERFORMS THE ROLE OF BENJAMIN STONE IN STEPHEN SONDHEIM AND JAMES GOLDMANS FOLLIES AT CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER. (PHOTO COURTESY OF CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATRE).

Theater


Galleries

NOVEMBER 2011

Schneider Gallery, Inc. (Tel. 312.988.4033, schneidergallerychicago.com) María Martínez-Cañas Chicago History Museum (Tel. 312.642.4600, chicagohistory.org) Charles James: Genius Deconstructed Field Museum of Natural History (Tel. 312.922.9410, fieldmuseum.org) Design for a Living World

Michael L. Galfer Fine Arts, LTD (Tel. 847.722.2399, mlgarts.com) Charles Dulac Henri Ibels Henri Riviere Paul Davis Roy Boyd Gallery (Tel. 312.642.1606, royboydgallery.com) William Steiger: New Work

Donald Young Gallery (Tel. 312.322.3600, donaldyoung.com) Rodney Graham Ebersmoore (Tel. 312.772.3021, ebersmoore.com) Deborah Boardman EC Gallery (Tel. 312.850.0924, ec-gallery.com) Diane Christiansen Gallery KH (Tel. 312.642.0202, gallerykh.com) Amy Cannady: Poetry in Paint Francine Turk: Badass Gruen Galleries (Tel. 312.337.6262, gruengalleries.com) Transition: New Works on Canvas by Tamar Kander Abstract Landscapes: Large Works on Paper by Michael Bentley Gary Weidner Kavi Gupta Gallery (Tel. 312.432.0708, kavigupta.com) Angel Otero Nathaniel Donnet Tony Tasset Linda Warren Gallery (Tel. 312.432.9500, lindawarrengallery.com) Emmett Kerrigan Ed Valentine Martin Lawrence Galleries of Oakbrook (Tel. 630.954.3033, martinlawrence.com) Philippe Bertho McCormick Gallery (Tel. 312.226.6800, thomasmccormick.com) Lisa Nankivil Bernard Williams

 

 

 

 









 





















































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PHOTOS FROM LEFT: ALL PHOTOS FROM THE DESIGN FOR A LIVING WORLD EXHIBIT AT THE FIELD MUSEUM, FASHION DESIGNER ISAAC MIZRAHI USED LEATHER MADE FROM ALASKAN SALMON TO CREATE A DRESS, JACKET, AND SHOES (PHOTO BY MACKENZIE STROH, COURTESY OF THE NATURE CONSERVANCY); EZRI TARAZI BAMBOO CHAISE LOUNGE - ISRAELI DESIGNER EZRI TARAZI TAKES ADVANTAGE OF THE NATURALLY HOLLOW FORM OF BAMBOO STALKS TO CREATE A CHAISE LOUNGE (PHOTO BY DAN WHIPPS, COURTESY OF THE NATURE CONSERVANCY); ABBOTT MILLER BOLIVIAN PLYWOOD CHAIRS. THREE OF THESE BEAUTIFUL CHAIRS, DESIGNED BY ABBOTT MILLER, CAN BE CREATED FROM ONE SHEET OF SUSTAINABLY HARVESTED BOLIVIAN PLYWOOD (PHOTO BY DAN WHIPPS, COURTESY OF THE NATURE CONSERVANCY). Permanent or ongoing exhibits at all museums listed within the Cultural Almanac are available on pages 51 and 52.

Museums

62•CNCJAAutumn 2011


EXHIBIT REVIEW

Groundbreaking Artist's Influence Revealed Through MCA's Pandora's Box By ALEXANDRA ZAJAC them within a box, Koons is suggesting that the balls are objects to be revered. Although in no way is Koons’ considered Cornell’s contemporary, it is remarkable how, some thirty years later, Koons and other artists display various Cornellian characteristics in their work. In fact,

PHOTO BYNATHAN KEAY, © MCA

This season, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art hosts Pandora’s Box, a fascinating exhibit celebrating the works of Joseph Cornell and exploring the subjects behind his art. On display is not only a selection of Cornell’s works, but several works by an array of other artists whose subjects and techniques parallel those of Cornell. The vast exhibit seeks to reveal how Cornell’s aesthetics serve as a precursor for much of what has come to define contemporary art. Divided into more than ten different categories, each section of the exhibit showcases a different characteristic frequently revealed in Cornell’s works. “Cut and Paste,” for example, examines the collage-like technique Cornell was very fond of, while his love of “Art and Gabriel Orozco, Ball on Water (Pelota en agua), 1994. Architecture” and “Essential Forms” reveals itself within his signature boxed structures. “The Box as Altar” is one of the most notable categories—and perhaps the one that most accurately sets the foundation for much of Cornell’s work. Here, the exhibit explores how Cornell used the box as the starting point for his art, establishing unique little worlds within each box through the use of photographs and other various objects. His attention to detail is evident, giving each box an almost spiritual reverence. His untitled (Medici Princess) (1950-52), for example, appears to represent an altar devoted to the beautiful princess. Through the use of images, objects and the delineation of space, Cornell creates what appears to be religious pop art. Within this same category is Jeff Koons’ Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (1985). By removing three basket balls from their normal contextual state, suspending them in clear liquid and encasing

it’s worth noting that Cornell was experimenting with the repetition of images even before Warhol made it famous. More than anything else, Pandora’s Box does an excellent job of paying homage to the great Joseph Cornell. The winding display of works can be a bit difficult to navigate, but the theme is streamed so consistently throughout that it creates a very cohesive effect. Although the works of the other artists sometimes overshadow Cornell’s own boxed works, it is astonishing to compare the dates on Cornell’s art to those of the other pieces; it quickly becomes apparent that this largely self-taught artist was well ahead of his time. From his films to his “Feathered Fantasies,” Pandora’s Box paints Joseph Cornell within a most captivating, intriguing light. Cornell was a contemporary thinker before contemporary art ever hit its stride, making him a truly original artist.

Autumn 2011CNCJA•63


Cultural Almanac Pick Lists

Jacqueline Carter’s Exhibit Picks

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SHEDD AQUARIUM

Cyanea Capillata (Moon Jelly) one of the starts of The Shedd Aquarium's new exhibit, Jellies.

The John G. Shedd Aquarium Jellies Be transported to the beautiful and mysterious world of sea jellies. In Shedd’s new special exhibit, Jellies, discover the intriguing ways these pulsing, translucent animals survive—and thrive—in the world’s oceans. Learn how a jelly can devour enough food to double its weight each day, or how sea nettles hunt by trailing their long stinging tentacles to paralyze prey upon contact. And they do it all without blood, bones, or brains. Jellies runs through May 28, 2012. Visit sheddaquarium.org or call 312.939.2438 for more details. The Chicago History Museum Charles James: Genius Deconstructed Charles James: Genius Deconstructed explores the history of couture fashion designer Charles James and why nearly 40 years after his death he is still a relevant force in the fashion world. The exhibition‚ featuring approximately 15 of James’ most iconic designs from 1928 through 1958‚ will be on display at the Chicago History Museum from October 22‚ 2011‚ through April 16‚ 2012. For more information, visit chicagohistory.org or call 312.642.4600.

The Smart Museum of Art – University of Chicago Vision and Communism In captivating images of survival and suffering, the postwar artist and designer Viktor Koretsky (1909–1998) articulated a Communist vision of the world utterly unlike that of conventional propaganda. Designed to create an emotional connection between Soviet citizens and others around the globe, Koretsky's posters heralded the multiculturalism of Benetton and MTV, while offering a dynamic alternative to the West's sleek consumerism. Vision and Communism offers a striking new interpretation of visual communication in the U.S.S.R. and beyond. Drawing on an extensive private collection of Soviet art and propaganda, the exhibition presents nearly ninety of Koretsky's posters, photographs, and original maquettes. The exhibition's themes are extended to cinema through a related screening of films by Aleksandr Medvedkin and Chris Marker at the University of Chicago's Film Studies Center. Vision and Communism will be on display at Smart Museum of Art from September 29, 2011 through January 22, 2012. Visit smartmuseum.uchicago.edu or call 773.702.0200 for more information.

Ed Richter’s Theater Picks

Lookingglass Theatre The Great Fire It has been one of the hottest, driest autumns on record, and now a strong wind blows from the Southwest. At 9:40 pm, the Chicago Fire Department gets their first report of a small blaze on the city’s southwest side. Soon there is no stopping the Great Chicago Fire until it finally runs out of things to burn. In one night, the very rich, the very poor, and everyone in between are transformed forever. Written and directed by Lookingglass ensemble member John Musial, The Great Fire begins September 21, 2011 and runs through November 20, 2011. Visit lookingglasstheatre.org or call 312.337.0665 for more information.

City Lit Theater The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Directed by Stephen F. Murray, City Lit Theater’s production of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a reimagining of last year's hit world premiere adaptation by Stephen F. Murray and Brian Pastor of the best Halloween story ever: Ichabod Crane meets the Headless Horseman. The Legend begins October 14 and runs for two weeks through October 30, 2011. Visit citylit.org or call 773.293.3682 for more details. 64•CNCJAAutumn 2011

PHOTO COURTESY OF GOODMAN THEATRE

Goodman Theatre Red Full-blooded and visceral, the Tony Award-winning Red takes you into the mind of abstract expressionist Mark Rothko, for whom paintings are "pulsating" life forces and art is intended to stop the heart. Red chronicles the tormented painter's two-year struggle to complete a lucrative set of murals for Manhattan's exclusive Four Seasons restaurant, and his fraught relationship with a seemingly naïve young assistant, who must choose between appeasing his mentor—and changing the course of art history. Set amid the swiftly changing cultural tide of the early 1960s, Red is a startling snapshot of a brilliant artist at the height of his fame, a play hailed as "intense and exciting" by the New York Times. Red runs at the Goodman from September 17 through October 23, 2011. Visit goodmantheatre.org or call 312.443.3800 for more information.

Patrick Andrews stars in Red this fall at Goodman Theatre.


PHOTO BY CHERYL MANN

Fred Cummings' Classical Music & Dance Picks

Harris Theater for Music and Dance Luna Negra Dance Theater – Mujeres! Luna Negra Dance Theater marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month in style with a celebration of globally influential Latinas — iconic painter Frida Kahlo, Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide and Juana la Loca, the first queen of pre-modern Spain. The program features world premieres by artistic director Gustavo Ramírez Sansano and Asun Noales, and the return of Paloma Querida by Michelle Manzanales. The performance takes place at 6:30 p.m. on October 1, 2011. Visit harristheaterchicago.org or call 312.334.7777 for more information.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Fall Engagement at The Harris Theater for Music and Dance From a world premiere by dance luminary Twyla Tharp to performances of "Archangelo" Luna Negra Dance Theater's Monica Cervantes. by Nacho Duato and "Walking Mad" by John Inger, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will pack its fall engagement with an exciting level of artistry and wonder as it launches its most groundbreaking season yet. Performances take place October 13 – 16, 2011. Visit hubbardstreetdance.com or call 312.850.9744 for more information.

Symphony Center Presents Chicago Symphony Orchestra Muti and Dufour Music Director Riccardo Muti opens the new season with music by celebrated Italian film composer Nino Rota, best known for his Oscar®-winning score to The Godfather. The Chicago Tribune wrote of CSO Principal Flute Mathieu Dufour, who performs Ibert's spirited concerto, "...he confirmed his uncanny mastery of color and dynamics, filling the hall with a vibrant, crystalline sound." Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony is sure to mesmerize from its funereal beginning to triumphant conclusion. Performances take place September 23rd and September 27th. Visit cso.org or call 312.294.3000 for more details. The Orion Ensemble Classical Romance One of the premiere chamber ensembles in the area performs a charming program of early classical masterpieces that give a telling nod to compositional evolution toward Romanticism. Chicago Tribune critic John von Rhein called Orion, “A group on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Riccardo Muti. cutting edge of chamber music performance.” Orion performs Classical Romance in three programs on November 20, 27 and 30, 2011. For more information, visit orionensemble.org or call 630. 628.9591.

PHOTO BY TODD ROSENBERG

Joffrey Ballet "Dion Quixote" The Cervantes classic in the hands of a Russian choreographer. Possokhov pulls out all the stops: Bullfights, windmills and an unlikely hero in a marriage of Bolshoi ballet and earthy Spanish dance. This is a passionate ballet filled with heat and texture, flash and color, firelight and fantasy. The alluring, classical score takes on added drama as the romance and humor of the story unfolds. Possokhov’s choreography explodes with new ways to delight, entrance and make your heart melt. Performed with a full orchestra. Joffrey performs "Don Quixote" at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University from October 12 through October 23, 2011. Visit joffrey.com or call 312.386.8905 for more information.

Lyric Opera of Chicago Lucia di Lammermoor It’s Scotland in the late 17th century, where Lucia and Edgardo are breathlessly, desperately in love. But their two clans are bitter rivals, so Lucia’s villainous brother Enrico sets out to kill his young sister’s romance. And he deploys every devious device he can muster, including lies, forgery, and finally the false revelation of Edgardo’s infidelity, leaving Lucia mentally crushed, driven to madness and murder before she dies of a broken heart. Donizetti based Lucia di Lammermoor on a popular novel by Sir Walter Scott, and every minute crackles with drama. This, plus the composer’s succession of bravura vocal thrills (including the famous Mad Scene!), make for an experience you’ll remember forever. Performances run from October 10 through November 5, 2011. Visit lyricopera.org or call 312.332.2244 for more details. Autumn 2011CNCJA•65


Editor’s Picks

Cultural Almanac Pick Lists

PHOTO COURTESY OFTHE CHICAGO CHAMBER MUSICIANS

Chicago Chamber Musicians CCM BRASS and American Brass Quintet

The American Brass Quintet has been internationally recognized as an icon in the brass world and "positively breathtaking" by the New York Times. Don't miss this opportunity to hear CCM BRASS, one of the foremost interpreters of the brass quintet repertoire, collaborate with the quintet on a program that features signature ABQ literature and Gail Williams on horn in Bujanovsky's España and Barbara Butler on trumpet in Stephenson's Call. This concert will be the highlight of the season for any brass lover. Concerts take place September 25 and 26, 2011. For more details, visit chicagochambermusic.org or call 312.819.5800.

The Chicago Chamber Musicians.

Court Theatre Spunk “I git to the git with some pain n’ some spit n’ some spunk.” The verdant, earthy language of Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God) is animated through the music of the blues in these three tales of love, revenge, and redemption. Adapted by George C. Wolfe (The Colored Museum) and featuring musical narration composed by blues artist Chic Street Man, Spunk breathes new life into these three remarkable short stories from the Harlem Renaissance. Spunk runs at Court Theatre from October 8 through November 9, 2011. Visit courttheatre.org or call 773.702.7005.

Harris Theater for Music and Dance Etienne Charles and The Chicago Jazz Ensemble Trinidadian trumpeter and percussionist Etienne Charles stands at the vanguard of a new generation of Caribbean musicians with a fresh, broad-ranging artistic vision. He won the National Trumpet Competition in 2006 and has performed and recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Monty Alexander, Marcus Roberts, Roberta Flack, and the Count Basie Orchestra, among others. NPR named Folklore, his second studio recording, the #6 Jazz Album of 2009. The performance promises to be an exciting exploration of music from the Caribbean and the Americas, fusing original music with some classic Caribbean songs (Calypso, Reggae, and Latin), plus compositions by Chicago Jazz Ensemble Founder William Russo. Concert takes place October 7, 2011 at 7:30p. Visit harristheaterchicago.org or call 312.334.7777 for more details.

PHOTO BY LAURA FERRERIRA

Publisher’s Picks

Lifeline Theatre The Count of Monte Cristo Trumpeter and percussionist Etienne Charles. Framed by a conspiracy of three terrible enemies, Edmond Dantès is torn from the woman he loves and wrongly imprisoned for fourteen years. After escaping captivity, he enters the upper reaches of Parisian society under a new name: the Count of Monte Cristo. With the aid of Albert, son of his former fiancée, the Count insinuates himself into the lives of his three tormentors and, one by one, seeks to use their own secrets to destroy them. This world premiere adaptation, based on the 1844 classic by French novelist Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers, The Man in the Iron Mask), is a dark tale of intrigue and vengeance. The Count of Monte Cristo runs at Lifeline Theatre from September 9 through October 30, 2011. Visit lifelinetheatre.org or call 773.761.4477 for more details.

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“…a slate of programming to rival any arts center in the nation” -Chicago Tribune HARRIS THEATER PRESENTS SERIES 2011–2012

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center+Vienna Symphony Orchestra Subscriptions start at $85

Paris Opéra Ballet+Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo Subscriptions start at $155

Paris Opéra Ballet+Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Subscriptions start at $175

SUBSCRIBE NOW Call 312.334.7777 harristheaterchicago.org/subscribe Season Sponsor

Official Airline of the Harris Theater


Join us for a special DAY OF MUSIC – an all-day live broadcast from Preston Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center to celebrate WFMT’s 60th birthday.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 10:00 am-8:00 pm Live appearances by: Opera star Nicole Cabell Violinists Rachel Barton Pine and Ilya Kaler Keyboardist David Schrader Jazz vocalist Karrin Allyson Bill McGlaughlin, host of Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin The Avalon Quartet The Lincoln Trio, performing a world premiere written especially for WFMT by Stacey Garrop Anaphora Rich Warren, host of Folkstage, The Midnight Special and Sweet Folk Chicago Claudia Schmidt …and many more surprise guests.

Nicole Cabell

Photo: Devon Cass

Lee Murdock

WFMT’s 60th Anniversary Day of Music is made possible in part by Lead Sponsor Harris Bank Major funding from the corporate community is provided by Illinois Tool Works Inc., Tiffany & Co., and Park Hyatt Chicago. Generous support is also provided by The Crown Family; Andi and Jim Gordon, The Edgewater Funds; Joan W. Harris and the Irving Harris Foundation; Susan and Richard Kiphart; Alexandra and John Nichols; and Patrick and Shirley Ryan. (as of 08/12/2011)


Autumn 2011