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Clef N tes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

BRIGADOON! Goodman Theatre will transport audiences this summer to that enchantingly wistful Scottish village with the first major US revival of the beloved Lerner and Lowe classic in 30 years.

Feast for the Eyes Gene Siskel Film Center Under Glass

Q&A

with hot young symphonic conductor Andrew Grams Up Close & Personal Emily Disher chats it up with Hubbard Street Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo.

Co Cele ve br rin ati n Ar g Ch g 5 ts ica Gr & go ea Cu 's A t Y ltu m ear re azi s ng


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Contents Summer 2014

CNCJA

FEATURES

10 Q&A with Conductor Andrew Grams Fred Cummings sits down with the red hot young conductor as he gets set to take on the Grant Park Music Festival and The GPO this summer with a program that’s got everything in it but the kitchen sink.

12 Chicago’s Celestial Summer of Incredible Theater With Sting in town for The Last Ship and acclaimed actress Sandra Oh starring in Victory Garden's Death and The Maiden, Chicago’s in for one hell of a power-packed summer season of live theater.

27 In This Quarter Year

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Cello Sonatas, Ballet Preljocaj’s “Snow White,” Shakespeare Theater’s Henry V and Lyric Opera’s The Sound of Music are just a few of the Chicago shows we review In This Quarter Year.

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38 Brigadoon!

Goodman Theater is calling on some of the best Chicago talent to bring to life the enchanting Scottish village of Brigadoon, the first major revival of the beloved Lerner and Lowe classic in 30 years.

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Clef N tes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

BRIGADOON!

Co Cele ve br rin atin Ar g Ch g 5 ts ica Gr & go ea Cu 's A t Y ltu m ear re azin s g

Goodman Theatre will transport audiences this summer to that enchantingly wistful Scottish village with the first major US revival of the beloved Lerner and Lowes classic in 30 years.

Feast for the Eyes Gene Siskel Film Center Under Glass

Q&A

with hot young symphonic conductor Andrew Grams Up Close & Personal

On the Cover: Jennie Sophia and Kevin Early star this summer in Goodman Theater's revival of Lerner and Lowe classic Brigadoon (photo by Jeff Sciortino). Above: (Clockwise from top) Acclaimed conductor Andrew Grams (photo by Masataka Suemitsu); Rock superstar Sting (photo by Kevin Mazur); King Henry (Harry Judge) proves himself as a man and monarch in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's production of William Shakespeare's Henry V (photo by Liz Lauren).

Emily Disher chats it up with Hubbard Street Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo.

Summer 2014CNCJA•3


Summer brings the occasion to venture out of doors and enjoy that refreshing life nature breathes into our everyday lives. And let’s face it, after the winter we’ve had here in Chicago, who doesn’t need that? But for Clef Notes, this summer also brings the occasion of our 5th anniversary covering Chicago’s outstanding arts and culture. So as summers go, we’re a little partial to this one. And what a summer it’s going to be for Chicago culture! We’ve got Ravinia to our north, Grant Park Music Festival at our center, outstanding festivals and exhibitions dot the landscape, and one of the most terrific summer lineups of live stage theater Chicago has seen in years. Clef Notes’ summer issue is all about the incredible summer culture scene that only a city like Chicago can create. Most cities’ arts venues go dark (or dim) for what’s typically seen as an off-peak time for arts and culture. But virtually bursting at the seams with creatives at work all year long, Chicago cranks out a summer arts season that rivals most cities’ standard calendar year. And Summer 2014 is exceptional—even for us! Clef Notes’ summer issue profiles one of the hottest upand-coming young conductors on the symphonic scene with Fred Cummings’ Q&A with Andrew Grams. Grams will take a break from his Elgin Symphony podium this summer to conduct the Grant Park Orchestra in a wildly diverse Grant Park Music Festival program that’s got everything in it but the kitchen sink. Elgin Symphony music director, conductor Andrew Grams We’ve also got an interview with one of Chicago’s most prolific choreographers, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s own Alehandro Cerrudo. Emily Disher had a chance to sit down with the choreographer as his latest work takes shape, a work that will be premiered at Harris Theater this June and simulcast to Millennium Park’s opulent Pritzker Pavilion. And we’ve got one of the hottest tickets in a summer of incredible live stage theater with a preview the first major revival of Lerner and Lowe classic Brigadoon to hit U.S. theater in 30 years. A highlight of Goodman Theater’s powerful 2013-2014 season, this new production will be led by the acclaimed stage director Rachel Rockwell and we’ve got an inside look. Check out the issue, and then get outside and enjoy some of the fantastic summer culture just waiting for you all over the city. Winter has kept us under wraps a bit too long. Get out and take in the unbelievable arts that the Second City’s second season has to offer. Photo by Masataka Suemitsu

Photo by Kipling Swehla Photography

From the Publisher’s Desk

Sincerely,

Clef N tes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts Summer2014

Publisher D. Webb

Editorial Editor in Chief

Patrick M. Curran II

Associate Editors Fred Cummings Scott Elam Christopher Hopper

Editorial Support Rachel Cullen

Staff Writers and Contributors Kathryn Bacasmot Raymond Benson David Berner Emily Disher Don Fujiwara Laura Kinter Cathlyn Melvin Leslie Price Donna Robertson

Art & Design Art Director

Carl Benjamin Smith

Contributing Photographers Colin Lyons Bob Briskey

Graphics & Design Chelsea Davis Angela Chang

Advertising

Adam McKinney Adam.McKinney@ClefNotesJournal.com Jason Montgomery Jason.Montgomery@ClefNotesJournal.com

D. Webb Publisher

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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. © 2014 Clef Notes Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the USA.


Contents Photo by Todd Rosenberg

Summer 2014

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DEPARTMENTS

18 Curator's Corner: Transformer

It’s all about perspective with British artist Simon Starling. And his first major US exhibition, Simon Starling: Metamorphology at the Museum of Contemporary Art, will show Chicagoans just how to see the world in unique transformative way he does.

22 Artist Conversational: Alejandro Cerrudo

Emily Disher sits down with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s resident choreographer, Alejandro Cerrudo at his most creative as he develops his newest work, part of Hubbard Street’s exciting summer programming, which includes a simulcast to Pritzker Pavilion’s gracious summer audience.

46 Cultural Almanac Preview: Feast for the Eyes Laura Kinter gets a bird’s-eye view into the Gene Siskel Film Center’s programming and tees up the diverse schedule the Center has for Chicago independent film lovers this summer.

58 Shall We Dance?: Dancing for the Masses Above: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) in "Falling Angels." HSDC will headline the upcoming 8th annual Chicago Dancing Festival this summer.

The Chicago Dancing Festival will once again bring some of the most innovative Chicago dance companies and other companies on the world stage front and center to the city's venues this summer. We’ve got a preview of the now annual free festival of dance, taking Chicago one step further in becoming the dance capital of the world each year.

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scuttlebutt

Letters from our readers... Salute to Innovative Artists

Clef N tes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

Arts & Education Issue!

POETIC license

Bold and wildly innovative, Grammywinning sextet eighth blackbird is rewriting the rulebook on contemporary classical music performance.

PALM AT THE PIER

Finding

The Palm Beach Show Group brings one of the world's largest art and antiques shows to Navy Pier.

SARA

Longtome Lookingglass Theatre stage manager gets her wings with new production of her first stage play.

...eighth-blackbird was a fantastic selection for the cover of your spring issue (2014) of Clef Notes. I am a Chicago musician and have actually coached with the ensemble and can tell you that there is not another group of professional musicians that apply the level of innovation and virtuosity that eight blackbird does with every work they take on. As (Donna Robertson) mentioned in the article, they are absolutely at the vanguard of classical music performance today. Albert Ford Chicago - Lincoln Park

MusicMusic & Dance Music Dance &&Dance

 LUMINARY Q&A with folk icon John Gorka Spring 2014 Issue of Clef Notes Journal

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Hat's off for the spiffy Clef Notes (Cultural) almanac. I picked up your spring issue a while back when I was in town for a convention...I've seen a lot of magazine events calendars for cities all over the country but never anything like this.

Theater

Almanac Admiration

PHOTOS FROM LEFT: CONDUCTOR RICCARDO MUTI LEADS THE CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (PHOTO BY TODD ROSENBERG); MEMBERS OF THE CONTEMPORARY CHAMBER MUSIC ENSEMBLE EIGHTH BLACKBIRD (PHOTO BY NATHAN KEAY); LOUISE PITRE (FOREFRONT), KEITH KUPFERER AND JESSICA RUSH IN CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE'S GYPSY (PHOTO BY MICHAEL BROSILOW). ANDREW DURAND AND PATRYCJA KUJAWSKA IN TRISTAN & YSEULT (PHOTO BY STEVE TANNER).

I didn't have to sift through a bunch of shows I wasn't interested in in the first place to find something that was playing in the four short days I was in town...I wish they could clone this for Dallas. P.S. Loved the magazine too! Chris Healy Dallas, TX I was a little surprised by the way your reviewer described the pairings of art works by Delacoix, Gaugin, and Rossetti with music by Brahms and Bartok in the February Art Institute chamber music concert featuring the Meridian String Quartet, saying that the connections were more "conjured" than "meaningful."

Reviewing the Reviewer Classical Concert Review

CSO and Art Institute Offer Intriguing Integration of Visual Art and Music

PHOTO BY JULIA RAE ANTONICK

By KATHRYN BACASMOT February 9, 2014 - Chicago is privileged to be home to one of the finest orchestras in the world, and downright spoiled that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians are featured in their own chamber music series in collaboration with The Art Institute of Chicago. On Sunday, February 9, the String Quartet No. 3 in B-flat Major, Op. 67 by Johannes Brahms, and the String Quartet No. 6 by Béla Bartók were performed by the Meridian String Quartet: Cornelius Chiu (violin), Kozue Funakoshi (violin), Weijing Wang (viola), and Daniel Katz (cello). The tendency of artistic disciplines to segregate themselves is a little baffling, so to spend an afternoon with visual art and music integrated into one program experience was a refreshing treat. As a newcomer to this series, it came as a delightful surprise that the performance was preceded by a brief lecture highlighting a few paintings from the collections. And as an added benefit, audience members were invited to join the guide on a brief tour of the galleries to view the paintings in person at the conclusion of the concert. Navigating the complexities of comparison is not always an easy task, and the art works selected as representative of some of the musical elements of the Brahms and Bartók (amongst them, Delacoix, Gauguin, Rossetti, and Constable) struck me more as conjured rather than meaningful. However, the discussion of Constable, “painting scenes of nostalgia,” away from the Industrial Revolution sweeping his native England, seemed a very apt set-up for the music of Brahms, who loved the outdoors, and whose music is constantly imbued with dark, melancholy aching; and Bartók, whose sixth quartet was written in the shadow of his mother’s death, and his impending departure from Hungary (and Europe) with the outbreak of war biting at his heels. When it came to the music, the ensemble delivered impeccable performances of both works. Those familiar with Arnold Schoenberg’s essay, Brahms the Progressive, are acquainted with his ardent (and spot-on) insistence that the rhythmic irregularities Brahms wrote are crucial components that are too often executed lazily, therefore never quite allowing the listeners the full effect of such subtle syncopation. The members of Meridian gave wonderful depth to their interpretation by being rhythmically precise, thus framing the colors and textures inherent to the score. A special treat was the simply gorgeous tone of Weijing Wang during the extended viola solos of the third movement. The instrument withstands a lot of jokes, but when played well, it emits a rich sound like none other. Following intermission, the quartet delivered a powerhouse performance of the Bartók, a difficult and intricate work. In particular, their ability as an ensemble to navigate the numerous transitions (thematic, rhythmic, dynamic) so tightly, infused the music with a vital sense of momentum and direction—qualities that could have easily been muddled in the hands of less skilled crafters. The integrity of the structural complexity was not simply maintained, but underscored. 

I actually attended (and enjoyed) that concert. And I am very familiar with both the artists and the composers in the groupings and thought the two camps bore a striking similarity in expression and emotion. I thought it was a particularly appropriate set of pairings.

Meridian String Quartet violist Weijing Wang (photo courtesy of The Meridian String Quartet). Spring 2014CNCJA•35

Clef Notes' review of Chamber Music at the Art Institute from Clef Notes Journal - Spring 2014.

I'm not exactly sure what Ms. Bacasmot missed, but one thing she was indeed right about was that Chicago would benefit from more of the kind of inventive interdiscplinary artistic performances the concert presented. They add considerable depth and dimension to what has become very commonplace performance practice. Kat McDonald Elmhurst, IL

Readers may submit letters to Feedback, Clef Notes Publishing, Inc. 5815 N. Sheridan Road, Suite 1107, Chicago, IL 60660 or via E-mail to Scuttlebutt@ClefNotesJournal.com.

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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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n May 8th, the Merit School of Music celebrated 35 years of providing music education to Chicago children by honoring internationally-recognized soprano Renée Fleming – “The People’s Diva” – at its 35th Anniversary Gala at Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton.

The event, co-chaired by civic leader and Merit Life Trustee Judith A. Istock and fellow Life Trustee Richard L. Thomas, Chairman (Retired), First Chicago NBD Corp, attracted a capacity crowd of more than 650 supporters and raised a record $1.5 million. All proceeds will help Merit fulfill its mission of giving Chicago-area children – especially children living in economically disadvantaged communities – the opportunity to achieve their full musical and personal potential through accessible, high-quality music education.

Photos by Jasmin Shah and Chris Ocken

Out and About

Gala co-chairs Judith Istock and Richard Thomas

From left: Marta Aznavoorian, Desirée Ruhstrat and David Cunliffe, members of the Lincoln Trio and Merit’s first-ever artists in residence

From left: Merit School of Music Board Chair J. Barry Mitchell, Gala Co-chair Richard L. Thomas, Zach Mitchell and Maura Downs. 8•CNCJASummer2014 2013 8•CNCJASummer

From left: Merit alumnus Derrick Gay, Renée Fleming and Merit alumnus and Principal Clarinet for the Metropolitan Opera Anthony McGill.

From left: President of Merit School of Music Duffie Adelson, Mary Jo Herseth and Cecily Mistarz.


A

rtistic Director Martha Lavey and Executive Director David Hawkanson, along with Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s star-studded ensemble, were joined by 600 members of Chicago’s corporate, civic and cultural communities for their 2014 Gala on Saturday, May 3. The event took place in the Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted Street) and a theatrically-designed tent on Steppenwolf ’s North Halsted campus. The 2014 Gala offered guests the unique opportunity to connect with Steppenwolf artists while enjoying theatrical entertainment, cocktails, a gourmet dinner, a private rock concert featuring Steppenwolf co-founder Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band, and the opportunity to bid on once-in-a-lifetime auction items. “We are grateful to our supporters for exceeding our expectations for Gala 2014 by raising $1.2 million to support our artistic, educational and community programming,” notes Steppenwolf Theatre Company Executive Director David Hawkanson. “We were joined at this incomparable event by our donors and family of artists to celebrate 38 seasons of creating exceptional, Chicago ensemble-based theatre.”

Steppenwolf ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney with Susan and David E. Mendelsohn (Steppenwolf Trustee) of Highland Park. Photo by Kyle Flubacker.

Steppenwolf co-founders Terry Kinney and Gary Sinise. Photo by Kyle Flubacker.

Steppenwolf Trustee Paul Goodrich, Steppenwolf Trustee Chris and Eileen Murphy, and Steppenwolf Trustee Colette Cachey Smithburg, all of Chicago. Photo by Mark Campbell.

ABC7's Kathy Brock and Doug Regan. Photo by Cheri Eisenberg.

Steppenwolf ensemble member Joan Allen with Steppenwolf Board Chair Nora Daley of Chicago. Photo by Kyle Flubacker.

Julie Latsko, Susanna and Tom Negovan and Steppenwolf Trustee Carole L. Brown, all of Chicago. Photo by Mark Campbell. Summer 2014CNCJA•9


Luminary By FRED CUMMINGS

E

lElgin Symphony music director Andrew Grams is a young conductor known for his intensity. And why not? With a maddening guest conducting schedule and stints leading such illustrious orchestras as The Chicago Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, and the orchestras of Baltimore, St. Louis, Dallas, and Houston—not to mention, a three year stretch as assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra under the guidance of Franz Welser-Möst—Grams has had quite an intense career, already. He finds himself constantly in demand as guest conductor and graces the Elgin Symphony as one of the most illustrious music directors in the orchestra’s history. What he loves most, it seems, is educating his audience through inventive programming spanning centuries and illuminating relationships between disparate compositions few would ever guess bore connection. I got the chance for an interview over a brisk three-day schedule, which took his baton from podiums in Alabama to Lyon, France and found a most thoughtful conductor whose burgeoning accomplishments and probing musical intellect can only be a sign of a substantially important career ahead. Q. As a young conductor, you have certainly made the rounds with some of the greatest orchestras on the globe. What kind of impact does that wide level of experience with musicians of such varied calibers have on a young conductor's approach to his work? A. I feel that I've been extremely fortunate to have had experience with wide ranging levels of musical experience because I believe that knowledge of the gamut of musi-

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cal ability can only aid in a conductor's role--to be a cheerleading coach of a group of musicians who are making the music. Q. And soloists, there is certainly a give and take with concerti soloists. Young artists, especially, are taught to fight for their musical perspective when working with conductors. What does it take to build an instant musical relationship with artistic collaborators you only just met? A. Making music with multiple musicians requires negotiation...an open mind. Someone might create something that one wouldn't principally agree with, but if it is convincing in the moment, then you might want to go along and see where one might wind up. The live performance is the most important aspect of music-making. Q. You have said that you enjoy threading a musical connection to works composed centuries apart. Yet it takes young musicians years to really begin to understand that connection in a conservatory setting. What is it you hope the musical enthusiast takes away from an eveninglength concert about these musical threads in your programming? A. My wish to thread far-reaching musical connections takes a willingness to come on a journey that would take longer than the time of a standard concert...if I were to try to do what I envision, the concerts would be as long as, if not longer than, a full-length opera! If the musical enthusiast were [sic] to join me on a journey (a handful of concerts would suffice, but multiple seasons would provide farther-reaching connections) there would be familiar ports-of-call as well


as stops at unfamiliar, but closely and recognizably, related points. Q. And your upcoming Grant Park Music Festival program is a very intriguing one. It has some varied works, of course, but also a fair bit of precocity. What musical connections are you looking to elucidate with the June performance with the GPO in Millennium Park? A. The program we're doing at GPMF this July exists in my mind as one with no hidden agenda.... it is simply fun! The only connection I'm hoping to make is with the public in our shared love of musical enjoyment for an evening!

A. Flying in ORD can be a mixed bag (heavily dependent on weather,) but, over the years, I have learned how to travel well and generally enjoy comfortable commutes to Elgin and all of the places around the world I've been extremely fortunate to visit. Luckily, all you have to do is make the trek downtown to see Grams at work this summer when he serves as guest conductor with the Grant Park Music Festival on July 23. He's programmed a concert that's just about as varied as they come. From Mozart to Wagner to Bolcom and Stookey. There's most certainly something in there for everyone. Visit grantparkmusicfestival.com to learn more.

Photos by Masataka Suemitsu

Q. You make your home in Solon, Cleveland, but since last fall you've held the post of music director for the Elgin Symphony. How do you like the commute?

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Chicago's Summer Summer of of Celestial Celestial Theater Theater Chicago's Summer is typically a time when many theaters go dark to regenerate for the coming autumn season. And while Chicago has developed quite the global reputation as a regional theater powerhouse, even for the Windy City, summer 2014 will bring an incredible line-up of live stage performances, the likes of which a major metropolis rarely sees even in its regular season. From big names artists to major revivals to world premiere performances, all eyes will be on Chicago’s theater scene. Here’s a rundown of the hottest shows on tap this summer season. the Last Ship at Bank of America Theatre The Qualms at Steppenwolf Theatre One of the world’s highest decorated ensemble-based regional theaters brings us the world premiere performance of The Qualms. This racy comedy, the latest work by Bruce Norris, the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Clybourne Park, ponders the age-old questions surrounding power, mating privileges and monogamy. The Qualms runs at Steppenwolf Theatre (steppenwolf. org) July 3 – August 31. Playwright Bruce Norris (photo courtesy of Mr. Norris).

Death and The Maiden at Victor Gardens Theatre Actress Sandra Oh (photo courtesy of Ms. Oh).

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Fresh from her 12-year stint starring in ABC’s hit drama Grey’s Anatomy, Sandra Oh is back on the live stage in Ariel Dorfman’s explosively provocative, award-winning drama Death and The Maiden at Victory Gardens, directed by Victory Gardens artistic director and friend Chay Yew. Death and the Maiden runs at Victory Gardens Theatre (victorygardens.org) June 13 – July 13.

Rock legend Sting sails into town this summer with a new musical for which he’s penned 16 original songs. The Last Ship is inspired by Sting’s childhood, set in the English seafaring town of Wallsend and looks at the close-knit community whose lives and livelihood have always been tied so tightly to the local shipyard and the gritty, stalwart townsmen who keep it running. With a book by Tony Award winner John Logan (Red) and Pulitzer Prize winner Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), and choreography by Oliver Award winner Steven Hogget (Once), this world premiere production will no-doubt make for some of the most buzz-worthy live theater in Chicago this entire season before sailing off to Broadway. The Last Ship runs at Bank of America Theatre (broadwayinchicago.org) June 10 – July 13. Brigadoon at Goodman Theatre Acclaimed director Rachel Rockwell will direct this Learner and Lowe classic, with book refreshed by Brian Hill, an opulent 28-member cast of actors, dancers and singers, a 13-piece orchestra, and a fresh dose of rich Scottish culture transporting Chicagoans to the magical hills of Brigadoon this summer. Marking the first major American revival of the cherished classic in more than 30 years. Brigadoon runs June 27 – August 3 at Goodman Theatre (goodmantheatre.org). Top: Rock legend Sting (photo by Fabrizio Ferir); Bottom: Director Rachel Rockwell (photo courtesy of Ms. Rockwell).


THE Qualms A Wo r lD P r e m i e r e By Th e P u liTz e r P r i z e-W i N N i N g A u T h o r o f c ly b o u r n e p a r k .

By ensemBle memBer Bruce Norris DirecteD By Pam mackiNNoN ensemble member Kate Arrington with Owais Ahmed, Karen Aldridge, Diane Davis, Keith Kupferer, Kirsten Fitzgerald, David Pasquesi, Paul Oakley Stovall and Greg Stuhr

July 3 – august 31, 2014 tickets oN sale Now! Buy online at stePPeNwolf.org or call 312-335-1650.

At a beachside apartment complex, a group of friends gathers for their regular evening of food, drink, drugs and partner-swapping. When Chris and Kristy attempt to become the newest members, the evening does not go as planned. The artichoke dip grows cold as the party devolves into a territorial battle over mating privileges. Does sex ruin everything? And what is the purpose of monogamy? Pulitzer Prize-winner Bruce Norris’s comedy explores the eternal struggle for power, status and getting laid.

D o n ’ t m i ss th e n e xt

B i g h it!

ensemble members kate arrington and tracy letts in Bruce Norris’s the Pain and the itch (2005).

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Intimate Apparel at Eclipse Theatre

Ernest Bloch Bloch

MACBETH MACBETH Featuring: Featuring: Chicago Sinfonietta! Chicago Sinfonietta!

SEPT. 13, SEPT. 13, 17, 17,19, 19,21 21••2014 2014 TICKETS ON SALE NOW! TICKETS ON SALE NOW! STARTING AT $35 STARTING AT $35

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205 E. Randolph Drive Chicago, IL 60601 312.334.7777 • HarrisTheaterChicago.org 14•CNCJASummer 205 E. Randolph2014 Drive Chicago, IL 60601 312.334.7777 • HarrisTheaterChicago.org

The newest play from Pulitzer Prize award winning playwright Lynn Nottage, By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, is currently playing in regional theatres nationwide in addition to having enjoyed an extended run Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre (Lily Award, Drama Desk Nomination) and most recently at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, Lyric Stage in Boston and The Goodman Theatre here in Chicago. The recipient of the 2010 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award and a slew of other high profile accolades, including the 2007 MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant," the National Black Theatre Festival's August Wilson Playwriting Award and the 2005 Guggenheim Grant for Playwriting. This season, in a seasonlong exploration of Nottage’s works, Eclipse Theatre (eclipsetheatre.org) will embark on a production of the playwright’s stirring, award-winning work, Intimate Apparel. Set in 1905 New York City, Intimate Apparel tells the compelling tale of a marginalized woman with gifts and talents that take her on a remarkable journey beyond the barriers of her society to realize dreams and visions for herself, we all would envy. New York Daily News says of the work, “A deeply moving portrait of a middle-aged AfricanAmerican woman... Nottage's play has a delicacy and eloquence that seem absolutely right for the time she is depicting.”


Seussical the Musical at Chicago Shakespeare Theater What’s summer theater without something fun for the tikes? Chicago Shakespeare Theater springs a powerful bit of live stage whimsy at Navy Pier with Seussical this summer. Marking the 110th birthday of the beloved author, whose work has won Academy Awards, A Peabody and a Pulitzer Prize, Seussical brings to life the wildly magical world of Dr. Seuss on stage. The 75-minute musical ingeniously weaves the characters, stories and themes from Seuss classics, including Horton Hears a Who!, and Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! Kids 5 and up will love this production, which invites them to meet the cast for autographs in the lobby after the show. Seussical runs at Chicago Shakespeare Theater (chicagoshakes.com) from July 5 – August 17.

Rick Bayless in Cascabel at Lookingglass Theatre Back at Lookingglass (lookkingglasstheatre.org) this year is one of the most unique theater experiences on the planet. Cascabel, starring celebrity chef Rick Bayless, is a laugh-out-loud comedy that tantalizes with gourmet Mexican cuisine, exhilarating acrobatics and sexy flamenco. The Chicago Tribune called the show, “the sexiest and best tasting show in town.” Rick Bayless in Cascabel runs at Lookingglass Theatre July 30 – August 24. (From top) Acclaimed playwright Lynn Nottage (photo courtesy of Eclipse Theatre); Emily Chang as Jojo and Alex Goodrich as the Cat in the Hat in Shakespeare Theater's upcoming production of Seussical; Chiara Mangiamelli and Rick Bayless in Cascabel at Lookingglass Theatre (photo courtesy of Lookingglass Theatre).

Summer 2014CNCJA•15


Around Town

Who?: Acclaimed folk-pop singer-singwriter Dar Williams Where? Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music When? June 14, 2014, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. How?: Visit oldtownschool.org or call 773.728.6000

O conscience alike.

One of the most lauded singer-songwriters of her generation, Dar Williams has been captivating audiences with the sheer elegance and honesty in her folk-pop songwriting since the early '90s. With sell-out shows all over the US (and world) and hit songs topping the charts with the release of each new album, Dar's star continues to rise as both recording artist and performer. The same compelling storylines and poignant lyrical commentary of her 1993 debut release The Honesty Room have bled their way through each release since. And for 20 years, she has enchanted audiences with arrangements that sink right to the heart of her audience through melody and

Photo courtesy of Dar Williams

Williams will celebrate the 20-year anniversary of her first single and the launch of her storied career at the Old Town School of Music on Chicago's northwest side, giving Chicagoans a chance to hear what The New Yorker described as her, "finely crafted short stories‌variously, devastatingly moving, tenderly funny, subtle without being in any way inaccessible, and utterly fresh."

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LAST CHANCE THIS SEASON JUNE 5–8 Featuring The Impossible, a World Premiere by Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo with the return of critically acclaimed audience favorites Gnawa by Nacho Duato and Quintett by William Forsythe

“Dance doesn’t get more compelling than this.” —Splash Chicago Magazine

GET TICKETS. hubbardstreetdance.com/summer 312-850-9744 Season Sponsors

Community Engagement Partner

Performing at

This project is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Hubbard Street Dancers Garrett Patrick Anderson and Kellie Epperheimer. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

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Transformer

Curator's Corner

A though-provoking new Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition with the work of British artist Simon Starling at its center explores the transformative nature of the world around us through the simple art of perspective.

O

By LAURA KINTER

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On June 7, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art will premiere a unique and transformative exhibit of works by British artist Simon Starling. Starling, not a typical household name in American art, creates work that explores the cyclical nature of the world, and spans various media, including installations, photography, and film. Simon Starling: Metamorphology, will mark his first survey in a major American museum. The exhibit will follow two intertwining trajectories, the first of which will focus on Starling’s interest in art history. Starling is based out of Copenhagen and facing rapidly growing fame in Europe. He is always concerned with those who preceded him, and his work featured in Metamorphology will interact heavily with Chicago’s local art history. Artist Henry Moore, a pillar of modern sculpture and famed creator of Chicago's Nuclear Energy (installed at The University of Chicago), inspired one of Starling’s pieces to be featured in the exhibit, giving it a concrete local grounding. The University of Chicago is one of the birthplaces of the atom bomb, and Moore was commissioned to design a monument to commemorate that event. This story is the subject of Simon’s big film installation, and a good example of the artist interrogating art history and being aware of his context. The second trajectory the exhibit will follow Starling’s engagement with geopolitical and socioeconomic fault lines. Starling is fascinated with scientific ap-


proaches to art making. That interest is anchored in a deep curiosity about the materials that he works with. His sculptures are anything but traditional, and offer unique and transformative insights into the way the world works. Nearly every piece in the show speaks to those global concerns: the cycle of production and consumption, global trade and the outsourcing of labor, and circles of cycles of circulation. The exhibition's title is, in part, a reference to that. The term “metamorphology” was coined by Dieter Roelstraete, the Manilow Senior Curator at the MCA. “It’s a very direct allusion to the logic of metamorphosis; the basic formula of all art making; the transformation of something; turning something that’s not valuable into something valuable. (Metamorphology) doesn’t express the ambition that the audience itself will be transformed, but my own personal curatorial policy. I’m interested in art that thinks of itself as a form of knowledge. I like the idea of art as a way of distributing or producing new knowledge. If this exhibit contributes new insights into the way the world works, it will be a huge success.” Roelstraete’s relationship with Starling's work is a very personal one. Roelstraete, already familiar the artist, was invited by Phaidon Press to contribute to a book about the artist. The two met and Roelstraete began to study and understand Starling’s work better and better. “He’s a

(Top left and above ) Simon Starling, Flaga 1972-2000 (A Fiat produced in Turin, Italy, in 1974 and customized using parts manufactured and fitted in Poland, following a journey of 1290 km from Turin to Cieszyn), 2002. Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; (Top right and bottom left) Simon Starling, Autoxylopyrocycloboros, 2006. Courtesy of the artist and The Modern Institute, Glasgow.

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Curator's Corner

"I’m interested in art that thinks of itself as a form of knowledge. I like the idea of art as a way of distributing or producing new knowledge. If this exhibit contributes new insights into the way the world works, it will be a huge success.” —Dieter Roelstraete, Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art and curator of Simon Starling: Metamorphology.

phenomenal artist, and his work really speaks to concerns that appeal to me—concerns that make the work very topical, relevant, and urgent. He is a great example of an artist who is interested in historical research, and has also found a way to bring art home, in a way.” Starling is making a new piece for the exhibit that is based on a sculpture at Chicago’s Art Institute, which adds further grounding in The Windy City. “The Henry Moore inspired piece is a really beautiful story,” Roelstraete explains, “quite intricately composed, and it teaches you a lot of things. Art may have global aspirations but it has to make sense locally. That’s the greatest part, getting to see and work with Simon. I learn new things about the way the world works, and that’s an important contribution.” Metamorphology will feature 11 pieces by Starling, and due to their vast size, will span several rooms. On the second floor of the south wing, the exhibit will cover one large room and two smaller rooms. One sculpture will be mounted outside, called "Flaga," Italian for flag. The sculpture is a small Italian sportscar mounted on a wall. The Fiat was an emblem of the Italian automobile industry, however after World War II, Fiat outsourced a lot of its labor to Poland. Starling purchased a red Fiat in Italy and drove it to Southern Poland, where the Polish factory replaced the hood, doors, and other parts with white pieces. Starling then drove the car back to Turan, Italy for an exhibit and mounted the car on a wall, from which angle it bore a striking resemblance to a Polish flag (hence, Flaga). The piece will be mounted at a 90-degree angle on the wall; quite an imposing sight for museum members. It speaks not only to the economic concerns of Starling’s work, but also to his fascination with weight, gravity, balance, and material. Roelstraete draws attention to one more piece in the exhibit, titled "Autoxylopyrocycloboros". The slideshow depicts Starling in a boat powered by a wooden stove, floating on Scottish water. Starling begins 20•CNCJASummer 2014

to break apart the boat, feeding the wood to the stove, showing a process of autodestruction. “It’s a classic image of the artist going down with the rest of the boat; the mythology of the loop. I like it because it’s kind of funny, and there’s a light heartedness to British humor. He treats these heavy handed art works as not only enlightening,


but light, and he has a certain amusing spirit. The key ingredients of his work are all present and compressed in the piece.” Simon Starling: Metamorphology will open on June 7th, with a 3 p.m. discussion by the artist himself. Roelstraete will give a presentation on the exhibit on August 15th at 12 Noon. The show will run until November 2nd.

(Above) Simon Starling, The Long Ton, 2009. Courtesy of the artist and neugerriemschneider, Berlin. Photo: Jens Ziehe; (Inset) Simon Starling, Bicycle Wheel (Failed), 2003-04. Courtesy of the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York.

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Artist Conversational

Alejandro Cerrudo Choreographer

By EMILY DISHER

H

Hubbard Street Dance Center buzzes with energy, as though the early spring sunshine has been unleashed inside, on the brisk April afternoon when I met Alejandro Cerrudo, the company’s resident choreographer. We have arranged an interview at the center, on Chicago’s Near West Side, to discuss his latest premiere for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s (HSDC) Summer Series. The performance is slated for June 5-8 at Harris Theater for Music and Dance. Although I had never spoken with Cerrudo before this meeting, I easily recognize his wiry frame, brooding eyebrows, and impish smile as I approach the conference room where we would discuss his work. Settling in for our conversation, Cerrudo seemed quite at home in his surroundings. After all, the prolific choreographer originally hailing from Madrid, Spain, has been a part of HSDC since 2005, when he joined the company as a dancer. Cerrudo’s choreographic talent quickly catapulted him into the role of Hubbard Street’s Choreographic Fellow in 2008, then on to become the company’s first Resident Choreographer in 2009. Even as Cerrudo focuses primarily on HSDC, both as a choreographer and as a dancer, he continues to create works for other major companies and artists around the U.S. and the world. In fact, just this season he has been incredibly busy both in Chicago and elsewhere. Recently, Cerrudo won the Joyce Theater Foundation’s second Rudolf Nureyev Prize for New Dance, which resulted in a commission for his work “Memory Glow,” premiered by Pacific Northwest Ballet in March. Cerrudo also worked with New York City Ballet principal Wendy Whelan to choreograph for and perform in “Restless Creature,” a series of original duets that premiered at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 2013. The work was intended to tour this season (before performances were postponed as

a result of Whelan’s recovery from hip surgery). When asked how he manages such a heavy plate, Cerrudo shrugs as though the incredulous amount of work he’s producing is nothing to fuss over. “It’s just scheduling,” he insists. He is quick to acknowledge with gratitude, however, the flexibility Glenn Edgerton, HSDC’s artistic director, has afforded him: “What's great is that Glenn is really allowing me to do both (dance and choreography) and lets me go from time to time to do choreography in other places.” As he speaks, one begins to notice how Cerrudo’s limbs move expressively, animating his charming stories and descriptions, which seem as unpretentious and refreshingly honest as the choreographer himself. Like many dancers, he is constantly in motion even in his seat, folding a leg under, leaning forward, slouching back, or tugging at his hair. Delving into his work, the first details unearthed are those that will paint a picture of the premiere he is producing for HSDC’s Summer Series. Two months out from the debut date at this point, Cerrudo warns, “It's so early that anything that I might tell you might be a lie. Because things can change.” This piece will be the 13th that Cerrudo has created for Hubbard Street, and he is emphatic that the one thing he definitely has planned is to take risks for himself and try to go to a place where he hasn’t gone with his work before. It’s something for which he says he always strives, but notes that this time, now that he feels more established as a choreographer with the company, it’s very different. “I feel this time I’m trying to take a bigger step than I have before,” he explains. “I feel very lucky. I think my work has been working well with Chicago audiences, and so I feel this is the moment. I think I always take risk, but I guess it has taken all these works (for HSDC) for me to

“I feel this time I’m trying to take a bigger step than I have before. I feel very lucky. I think my work has been working well with Chicago audiences, and so I feel this is the moment. I think I always take risk, but I guess it has taken all these works (for HSDC) for me to say, okay, don't worry about failing, just try..." —Alejandro Cerrudo Resident Choreographer, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago 22•CNCJASummer 2014


Photo by Jim Newberry

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Artist Conversational

say, okay, don't worry about failing, just try. Just try to break through and find new ways, new things.” At this many weeks out ahead of the debut date, the work is still nebulous, only starting to take shape in the choreographer’s mind, let alone in reality. Rehearsals for the piece have just begun, and Cerrudo conveys the goals of these early practices. “Particularly in this piece, I'm trying to make it really a collaborative process (with the dancers)…. At this point, I am trying to (make) a much more theatrical feel to this work—less pure movement—and give it more of a character base. More of a dance theater base, if you want to look at it that way,” he explains. “And so we're exploring what those characters are, and how we can not only create a character, but (also) make them move, express something without words, (and explore) how those characters relate to each other.” Cerrudo clarifies that he has never made a storytelling ballet, and he does not intend to do so now. He says he’s pretty sure he wants the work

24•CNCJASummer 2014

to be abstract, but with moments where the audience will detect brief stories. While most details about the work are still taking shape at this stage of the game, Cerrudo does know he will be working with a brilliant team. Costumes will be designed by Jeff Award-winning designer Branimira Ivanova, who has been designing costumes for HSDC since 2002. Michel Korsch will design the lighting for the new piece. He has worked with Cerrudo on such unforgettable productions as “One Thousand Pieces” (2012) and “Little mortal jump” (2012). And, of course, Cerrudo has Hubbard Street’s versatile dancers, who are athletic, lovely, edgy, and adventurous. After five years of choreographing for HSDC, Cerrudo has had the opportunity to work with many of the same performers for quite a while, which he describes as a huge advantage. “I feel I can ask (the dancers) to do anything and they understand what I'm thinking very quickly. Sometimes it's scary because I have to use very few words. I maybe just make a sound and they know exactly what


Photos byTodd Rosenberg

I mean. Sometimes you go ‘wha!,’” Cerrudo explains, “and they understand what ‘wha!’ means. “(HSDC dancers) are very, very open-minded. You can throw (anything) at them. They won't judge you or look at you weird. They listen and try. It's really good. Sometimes as a choreographer, you have these crazy ideas (and) you might think, 'What are they going to think? Are they going to go for this?' but they don't judge.” This is an especially good thing, particularly when one considers a work like “PACOPEPEPLUTO” (2011), another of Cerrudo’s creations that will be performed during one evening of the June Summer Series. “PACOPEPEPLUTO” is a series of solos created for three men, set to the music of Dean Martin, which first premiered on stage in December 2012. It’s a playful, quirky, and unavoidably sexy number in which nearly naked men perform on a dimly lit stage. In fact, the lighting and the staging is so well executed, that you may at first wonder if the men are, in fact, wholly nude. How had he concocted this unforgettable series of solos? Cerrudo explains, “This piece was choreographed for the Inside/Out Choreographic Workshop, where the dancers choreograph for each other in a no-pressure environment. You feel you can, as a choreographer, explore anything, and it's a place where you can fail and do anything you want,” he says. “I wanted to explore trying to make three solos for men completely naked. So, that is how the whole idea started.” Cerrudo’s plan was to use dim lighting such that the dancers would be able to perform nude, but tastefully so.

His original vision, however, did not pan out, because no matter how they tried to arrange the lighting during tech rehearsal, the nudity ended up being a distraction. The self-effacing choreographer says that, in a way, he failed, because he wasn’t able to achieve his original goal. He agrees, however, that the piece is “so much better” the way it evolved. Modest as always, Cerrudo adds, “I was shocked Glenn (Edgerton) would actually want it for the company. For me…it was just to try it.” Anyone who’s seen the work, however, isn’t likely to share Cerrudo’s surprise. (“PACOPEPEPLUTO” will be performed on June 6 only, a special production which will be simulcast on a 40-foot-wide LED screen in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, where the public can enjoy it for free.) Right now, the Summer Series premiere is almost entirely in Cerrudo’s head, and it’s intriguing to consider what shape this unformulated idea will take by its June debut. Two things are certain from Cerrudo, though: 1) he will always keep you guessing, and 2) he will never disappoint. You might call that a recipe for success. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Summer Series takes place June 5–8, 2014 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. The June 5, 7, and 8 program features Cerrudo’s 13th world premiere for the company.

Summer 2014CNCJA•25


Tidbits

Icon Before Her Time

The Cleve Carney Art Gallery hosts a unique exhibit of Vivian Maier’s work entitled Vivian Maier: Exposed at the McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn, IL, June 17 – August 16. The opening preview reception, June 17 from 6 – 8 p.m., will include a meet-and-greet with members of “Team Vivian,” a College of DuPage (COD) team including vintage film processor, Frank Jackowiak, and several film and photography students, who processed her film. The reception and exhibition is free and open to the public. The gallery will also host special related events including “An Afternoon with Vivian Maier” film screening/panel discussion/book signing event on Sunday, July 27 from 1 until 4 p.m. Tickets are required for this event. For more about the exhibition or related events, visit cod.edu/gallery or call 630.942.3206.

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events will present the Chicago premiere of bodies in urban spaces performed by local dance artists and choreographed by Austrian dance-maker Willi Dorner. The free performances will begin at Daley Plaza (50 West Washington Street) on Saturday, June 21 at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. and on Sunday, June 22 at 11 a.m. Audience members will meet at the Picasso to start their journey through the Loop to an unnamed, final destination. bodies in urban spaces will take audience members on a mile-long adventure through Chicago’s Loop starting in Daley Plaza. The performers lead the audience on an entertaining journey utilizing public and semi-public spaces as their stage. Spectators will have the chance to view performers as they test the limitless physicality of the human body, ultimately transforming a once vacant space into a temporary art installment. For information on bodies in urban spaces, visit cityofchicago.org/dcase.

Dancing in the Streets

Chicago Shakespeare Theater will celebrate its Gala 2014 this summer at its home on Navy Pier, honoring theater legend Mike Nussbaum as the artistic honoree for the annual Spirit of Shakespeare Award. The civic honoree for this year’s gala will be The Boeing Company. Having already raised nearly $1 million through a variety of fundraising initiatives, the theater will no-doubt exceed its 2014 goal of $1.1 million, which will benefit the Tony Awardwinning theater’s many community and educational programs that serve over 85,000 students, teachers and family audiences annually. For more information or to join in the celebration of Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Gala 2014, call Katie Grogan at 312.667.4947 or kgrogan@chicagoshakes.com.

Shakespearean Spirit

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(Clockwise from top left): Photographer Vivian Maier in a self-portrait (photo courtesy of the McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage in Elgin); British composer Gavin Bryars (photo courtesy of Mr. Bryars); acclaimed chamber ensemble eighth-blackbird (photo by Luke Ratray); Legendary actor Mike Nussbaum (photo courtesy of Chicago Shakespeare Theater); a performer against a wall in Willi Dorner's bodies in urban spaces (photo courtesy of Willi Dorner).

Sacred Commission

Northern Illinois University resident ensemble chamber choir Cor Cantiamo, conducted by Eric A. Johnson, will perform the U.S. premiere of English composer Gavin Bryars’ “Psalm 141.” The performance will take place in a centuriesspanning program on Sunday, June 1, at St. Raphael Catholic Church (1215 Modaff Road) in Naperville. Written in 2012, Bryars’ “Psalm 141” was commissioned by nonprofit, classical sacred music foundation Soli Deo Gloria, Inc. (SDG) of Glen Ellyn, for its Psalms Project. SDG has brought Chicago the annual Easter tradition of The Chicago Bach Project, performing one of Bach’s sacred masterworks each season, including his incomparable Passions. Other works on the upcoming program span from the Renaissance and Baroque eras to the present day, written by composers from Europe, the U.S., and the Philippines. For concert information about the free world premiere concert (donations are welcome), contact St. Raphael Church at (630) 355-4545 or visit is www.st-raphael.com.

Live Free Loops

Chicago-based, three-time Grammy-winning “supermusicians” (LA Times) eighth blackbird will perform a free concert this summer as part of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’ Loops and Variations series. The ensemble will take to the stage of Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion on June 19th from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Joining eighth blackbird will be virtuoso accordionist and composer Michael Ward-Bergeman. WardBergeman, a native of New Orleans, will be performing alongside eighth blackbird in arrangements of his 2009 piece, Barbeich, as well as works from his latest album, Gig 365. In addition to Ward-Bergeman’s work, the program highlights a recent commission by Bryce Dessner: Murder Ballades. The show is the fourth in the 2014 Loops and Variations series, which includes other performances from contemporary music and electronic music ensembles, such as Third Coast Percussion and Oneohtrix Point Never.


In

This Quarter Year Summer 2014CNCJA•27


Dance Review

Photo courtesy of the Houston Ballet

Houston Ballet's "Aladdin" Visually Arresting By EMILY DISHER

Houston Ballet in "Alladin" featuring Karina Gonzalez and Joseph Walsh.

Heroes of the Holocaust

were people just like you.

Come be inspired.

IllinoisHolocaustMuseum.org

28•CNCJASummer 2014

March 22, 2014—An ornate backdrop painted with brightly colored rugs and tapestries; vibrant costumes shimmering from curtain to curtain; larger-than-life personalities exploding onto the stage—this is the opening scene of the Houston Ballet’s production of “Aladdin,” performed at Auditorium Theatre, March 22 and 23. The energy of this moment sets the performance in motion, first plunging into the bustle of the marketplace, then pitching downward into the cave of riches, and eventually elevating up and away on a magic carpet ride. “Aladdin” is a delight for children young and old with its unwavering attention to detail, special effect surprises, and stellar dancing. Houston Ballet’s principal dancers carry “Aladdin.” Although the plot limits the amount of dancing performed by the Djinn (genie), Christopher Gray stuns in this magical role, literally floating into the ballet (with the help of some clever stage work), clad in blue body paint and parachute pants. As the production progresses, it becomes clear that it’s not just the special effects that make the Djinn so striking, but rather Gray’s dynamism. With incredible leaps, Gray gains so much height that he seems to levitate all on his own. He also executes crisp beats and soft landings for each of his challenging spins. Karina Gonzalez is a joy to watch as Princess Badr-al-Budur. Perhaps the most arresting visual image of the ballet is Aladdin’s “vision” of the princess during Act I, when Gonzalez’s beautiful arabesques are showcased against the “sun” in one of many moments of brilliant stage design by Dick Bird. Dressed in white throughout, Gonzalez seems like a delicate flower petal, wafting in a breeze, with effortless balances and penchées. Connor Walsh communicates Aladdin’s naïve and even goofy personality with a campy portrayal of the character. Although the genie’s choreography threatens to outshine that of the other male roles, Walsh gets to execute some incredible turns, and his partnering with Gonzalez is memorable—particularly during a series of lifts in Act II. David Bintley also choreographs an array of lovely mini-features as the jewels come to life in the cave of riches. Each set of jewels, from pearls to diamonds, enchants with its own unique flavor. The scene might remind you the “Nutcracker’s” Land of Sweets. Designer Sue Blane’s costumes sparkle like the dancers themselves. The Mahgrib’s lavish robes and hat, elaborate lion costume, the gauzy sapphires’ gowns—no detail is left unattended, down to each jeweled accent, catching the stage lights at the slightest rustle. Additionally, the scene changes were remarkably deft, each transformation unveiling one whimsical setting after another. Color-morphing icicles, a skeletal staircase used in the cave of riches, the flying carpet, and wing-flapping “birds” were some of my favorite elements. As a whole, the vibrant costumes and staging helped feed the energy of the production, even though I had difficulty reconciling the random Mandarin influences (costuming, lion dance, dragon) with the Arabian theme of the ballet. Finally, but certainly not least, Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra's live accompaniment of the ballet with performances of Carl Davis’s score completed the lush sensory experience of “Aladdin.”


Classical Concert Review

Chamber Music Society Shares Exemplary Cello Sonatas

Photo by Lisa Marie Mazzucco

By KATHRYN BACASMOT

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Co-artistic directors David Finckle and Wu Han.

May 29, 2014 - Intimate may not be the first word one thinks of to describe Harris Theater, but in the hands of pianist Wu Han and her husband, cellist David Finckel (the recently retired cellist of the acclaimed Emerson String Quartet), the 1,525 seat space felt like a salon style gathering amongst the closest of friends. Co-artistic directors of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) since 2004, Wu Han and Finckel bring a passion and dedication to the performance and understanding of the chamber music repertoire that is downright infectious. Prior to the concert, chatting and smiling from the piano bench with an ease that is too often exempt from classical performances, Wu Han gave a brilliant sales pitch for both the CMS residency at Harris Theater and the cello sonatas they performed, explaining some of the features that the audience should watch for during the course of the evening in what amounted to verbal program notes. The singular pleasure of hearing all five of the Beethoven cello sonatas during the course of an evening is that you can listen to them in the course of one sitting—a veritable tour of Beethoven’s compositional styles throughout his career, generally categorized as early, middle, and late. As Wu Han noted, it would be impossible to listen to all the symphonies, or even piano sonatas in one sitting, but the cello sonatas offer a “Reader’s Digest” glimpse since the first two were written around 1796, when Beethoven was in his mid-twenties; the third after he began to lose his hearing in 1808; and the final two

in 1815, twelve years before his death. Han and Finckel offered tremendously energetic, striking renditions of the sonatas, and it was quite clear that these works are well loved by both players. They obviously relish performing them. Undeniable, too, was their tremendous skill and control at their respective instruments. Han’s dexterity and Finckel’s depth of tone injected beautiful luminosity into the music, and their observation of silences—the crisp starts and stops where rests occurred—lent a liveliness and playfulness that was remarkable. That neat sharpness was evident in even the smallest details, such as grace notes that were not simply tossed off casually, but pushed through vigorously as if launching from a pole vault. If the performance lacked anything, it was some unpredictability and effort, two elements that, curiously, can enhance the music of Beethoven, who was volatile in personality and musicality, and for whom effort was sometimes nearly as integral to expression as the notes themselves. Anecdotes of musicians complaining to him about difficulty abound, and as Daniel Barenboim has noted regarding the piano sonatas, “The effort is an integral part of the expression.” The trick, then, is to find the counterpoise of virtuosity and transparency, where the impressive execution still allows the audience to palpably sense the physicality of production. Ironically, for Beethoven, the flip side of being so talented is sometimes making things look a little too easy.

Summer 2014CNCJA•29


Theater Review

Photo by Todd Rosenberg

Lyric's Sound of Music Hits All its Magnificent Notes

By RAYMOND BENSON Billy Zane as Captain von Trapp and Jenn Gambatese as Maria enjoy an enchanting dance in Lyric Opera's The Sound of Music at Civic Opera House.

May 11, 2014 - Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music has the size and scope of the Austrian Alps, themselves. In fact, the fire curtain is a gorgeous reproduction of the magnificent mountains, complete with mid-drift clouds. Each successive setpiece—and there are many—is big, beautiful, and cavernous inside the Civic Opera House's already spacious proscenium arch. The von Trapp family looks very small indeed surrounded by such grandeur, which only emphasizes their helplessness against the gargantuan onslaught of the Nazi regime that takes over Austria in 1938. And yet, the story of this true-life family that sings their way to freedom from oppression really is the size of their surroundings. As in the 1965 motion picture, which brought the musical to life in the reality of Salzburg, the Alps are very much another character in the Lyric’s magnificent presentation. We all know the story and are already whistling the tunes before going into the theater. Maria, a wannabe nun—but not really—is assigned to be governess of Captain von Trapp’s seven children. Georg von Trapp, a former decorated Austrian navy man and widower, runs the household as if it were a battleship. Discipline is his mantra, and Maria finds it a challenge to get him to loosen up and allow his offspring to be normal children. And, of course, as soon as he does, the good captain and the governess fall in love. Von Trapp calls off his engagement to wealthy Elsa Schraeder, marries Maria, and the family escapes Austria just as the captain is called to duty for the Nazis. It actually sounds like a rather intimate story, doesn’t it? It is! And yet, the power of the words, the splendor of the music, the infectious joie de vivre of Maria and her charges, and the enormous heart of the piece elevates the von Trapp family’s biography to the sky. 30•CNCJASummer 2014

Without a good Maria, any production of The Sound of Music would fall flat, but Jenn Gambatese embodies the role as well as, if not better than, any previous portrayer this reviewer has seen and heard. Gambatese, who also created the musical roles of Jane in Disney’s Tarzan film and played Glinda in the first national tour of Wicked, sings like an angel—and looks like one, too. One’s eyes cannot drift away from her when she’s on stage. She handles every aspect of the part with aplomb and single-handedly makes the show soar. Top-billed, however, is Chicago-born Billy Zane as von Trapp. Zane is an accomplished film and stage actor, among many other talents, probably most well-known for playing the heavy in the megahit film Titanic. Zane has an appropriately commanding presence on stage and is a perfect complement to Gambatese. Who knew Billy Zane could sing? He does so, and quite well, but it is his playing of the dialogue that illustrates that Zane is first and foremost a very talented thespian. For a successful Sound of Music, much depends on the abilities of the actors playing the children—and these kids, especially Betsy Farrar as Liesl and little Nicole Scimeca as Gretl steal our hearts with ease. They (as the entire production) are all truly terrific. Marc Bruni’s direction and Rob Fisher’s conducting of the orchestra are first class, but perhaps the most notable member of the creative team is set designer Michael Yeargan, whose visualizations of Salzberg, its surrounding countryside—and, especially, the von Trapp home and the nuns’ abbey—are simply breathtaking. But with any great production of this musical theater treasure, the true stars are Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Hammerstein. The audience may go in whistling the tunes, but they sure come out singing them.


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Clef N tes

with hot young symphonic conductor Andrew Grams

Chicagoland Journal for the Arts SPRING 2010

Up Close & Personal Emily Disher chats it up with Hubbard Street Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo. CHOPIN’S BICENTENNIAL Why after two hundred years, Chopin still reigns as one of the most beloved classical composers. By Clara Salomon

A ProgrAm of merit

the Uncommon DivA

Stirring UP LAUghter

Merit Music’s incredible contribution to the city’s music education legacy

A look at opera star Frederica von Stade as she prepares for her last staged Chicago performance

Chicago’s 2009 Humanities Festival and its celebration of the many sides of laughter

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Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

The

Guide Stephen Petronio Company is just one of our picks for the best and the brightest in Chicagoland's amazing new cultural season!

Clef N tes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts SPRING 2011

Actress, director, and playwright Regina Taylor brings Dallas’ Trinity River straight through Chicago with her riveting trilogy that explores the powerful cycles of change in one woman’s life. David Weiss sits down in a conversation with the playwright.

Andreas Mitisek takes the helm of Chicago Opera Theater with a new collaborative model that just may take COT to a whole new level

Finding Vivian Maier: Chicago Street Photographer The Sacred and The Sublime

Lens of authenticity Interview with Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member K. Todd Freeman

Regina Taylor on the set of her new stage play trilogy The Trinity River Plays at Goodman Theatre. Photo by Jason M. Reese. Styling by George Fuller.

A Dance of Madness Preview of The Eifman Ballet's spring production of “Don Quixote” at The Auditorium Theatre.

Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

Arts & Education Issue!

Bold and wildly innovative, Grammywinning sextet eighth blackbird is rewriting the rulebook on contemporary classical music performance.

THE ART OF CONSERVATION How new conservation techniques are aiding art restoration efforts on some of the great masterworks, and what they mean for future conservationists. By Jennifer Yang

JOFFREY Reinvented

LIFE LESSONS WITH BRIAN DENNEHY

The Tony Award winning actor talks with Patrick Curran about his poignant, Broadway-bound dual role recently run at the Goodman Theatre. By Patrick M. Curran II

Chicago’s preeminent ballet company finds its own identity through the same process of self-discovery that its founders followed By Anna Marks

A Tale of Two Cities

River of Change

Soli Deo Gloria debuts in Chicago with Bach's monumental St. Matthew Passion.

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POETIC license

DANCER ERIN MCAFEE FROM THE JOFFREY BALLET COMPANY PHOTO BY ADAM DANIELS

Clef N tes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts SUMMER 2012

PALM AT THE PIER

Finding

SARA

Longtome Lookingglass Theatre stage manager gets her wings with new production of her first stage play.

We talk shop with Grant Park Music Festival artistic director Carlos Kalmar and find out what he has planned this summer for devoted fans of Chicago's über-popular outdoor music celebration.

The Palm Beach Show Group brings one of the world's largest art and antiques shows to Navy Pier.

 LUMINARY Q&A with folk icon John Gorka

Crowd PLEASER

Picturing Dawoud Bey

Two major Chicago exhibitions examine the prolific photographer's powerful work this summer.

Boundless Creativity

Carrie Hanson and The Seldoms celebrate 10 years crashing boundaries of modern dance through mind-bending innovation.

TOWERING

Identity

Fascinating new MCA exhibit examines the mystique of the skyscraper and the impact its allure has had on our own identity

3rd Anniversary Issue

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Theater Review

Henry V a Tour-de-Force for Chicago Shakespeare Theater By LESLIE PRICE May 23, 2014 - A real-life Game Of Thrones is front and center in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's (CST) Henry V, and CST's intimate Courtyard Theatre puts audiences right on the battlefield for all of the action. Passion, war, and plenty of leather are all part of the fun, and one of Shakespeare's most popular histories feels exciting, fresh, and as relevant as ever. Henry V picks up where Henry IV leaves off, telling the tale of young, inexperienced Prince Hal (now King Henry) and his rise to power and glory at the battle of Agincourt. The stakes are high—life and death—and Harry Judge is incredibly solid in his portrayal of Henry and his drive to create a legacy for himself and for his country. Though Henry's larger story is at the center of the play, it's the frame upon which Shakespeare builds lots of other characters who are all vying to steal the show, and CST's company of capable actors does a fine job of tackling that challenge while injecting humor and humanity into the production. Of note are Greg Vinkler, Bret Tuomi, and Larry Neumann, Jr. as Pistol, Bardolph, and Nym respectively. Their trio of bumbling soldiers is part Marx Brothers, part Three Stooges, and all fun. Likewise, James Newcomb's comic timing and honesty are the perfect combination for Captain Fluellen, and he has the audience in the palm of his hand every time he appears. Though he's onstage for only a short while, one of Henry V's loveliest performances comes from young Kevin Quinn in his CST debut as The Boy. He's sincere, funny, and nuanced. While Quinn's stage time is brief, he makes a lasting impression.

The acting is strong, but Henry V is not short on spectacle. The costumes are stunning—lots of leather armor and a simple color pallet keep this grand epic grounded while helping to tell the story. The scenery is deceptively spare; one large, monolithic wall functions beautifully as castle and battleground. Plus, director Christopher Luscombe cleverly uses the entire theater—aisle, audience, and stage—to create the environment and draw us right into the thick of things. A big, important history play like Henry V wouldn't be complete without some spectacular battle scenes, and this production does a pretty good job in that department too. The major fight in this play is The Battle of Agincourt, and all of the collaborators bring their A games. Violence design, lighting, sound, and direction come together seamlessly in the exciting climactic scene. Less cohesive, and therefore less riveting, is the Siege of Harfleur's famous “Once more unto the breach, dear friends” speech. Individually, the actors and technical elements are fine, building to that well-known line from King Henry, but the energy dips just before that important moment, leaving us feeling a bit deflated. Regardless, the action on the whole was thrilling, especially in CST's thrust configuration with the audience encircling the battle. Henry V has a storied history at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; it was the first play they ever produced. Nearly 30 years later, it continues to serve CST well in a production that is sure to be remembered as fondly as their inaugural triumph.

Photo by Liz Lauren

Bardolph (Bret Tuomi), Pistol (Greg Vinkler) and Nym (Larry Neumann Jr.) find camaraderie in wartime in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Henry V.

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Dance Review

Preljocaj's "Snow White" Dark, Haunting, and Visually Irresistible By EMILY DISHER

Ballet Preljocaj 's Celine Galli and Lorena O'Neill in "Blanch Neige" (Snow White).

May 2, 2014—Ballet Preljocaj swept into Harris Theater for Music and Dance May 2-4 with its dark, sexy “Snow White.” From the very first scene it’s clear that no hint of Disney fluff will permeate Angelin Preljocaj’s interpretation of the classic Grimm tale, opening with a dimly lit stage, where a dying, cloaked queen struggles to give birth to her daughter, Snow White. Modern, suggestive, and sometimes haunting choreography, provocative Jean Paul Gultier costumes, and unforgettable special effects create a sense of both darkness and sensuality throughout the ballet. Anna Tatarova and Cecilia Torres Morillo dance the role of the evil queen, who is racy and commanding. A bit of a dominatrix, she stomps onto the scene in a cutout leotard, thigh-highs, heels, and a long skirt with an enhanced bustle, infusing the stage with energy. The two dancers stun with their accuracy during mirrored movements at the magic mirror—a large, transparent rectangle in the center of the stage. Tatarova and Torres Morillo make no ill-timed movements, nor do the dancers that perform the roles of the queens cats, who also perform before their “reflections” in the mirror. Émilie Lalande bewitches as Snow White, always finding herself surrounded by men, whether the seven dwarves, the huntsmen or, of course, the prince (danced by Jean-Charles Jousni). This offers an array of partnering opportunities and lifts, although the mood of each interaction varies significantly. The most unforgettable duet is an unnerving, borderline necrophilous duet between

Lalande and Jousni, when the anguished prince dances with the presumed-dead Snow White. Jousni hefts and tosses Lalande’s limp body, and even as she seems to relax completely, her landings are soft and lovely. In another disturbing scene, the queen drags Snow White around by the poisonous apple in her mouth, and even as she struggles, she manages to make the movement beautiful. Preljocaj truly pushes your comfort level at many points during the ballet. The effects are truly stunning throughout, including aerial suspensions, the clever interpretation of the magic mirror, smart, minimal sets, and imaginative costuming. Like the queen’s revealing attire, Gaultier even created a suggestive dress for Snow White with a loose panel of material barely (and sometimes not) covering her backside. As for the lighting, its dimness helps create the eerie atmosphere of the tale, but sometimes obscured the dancing. For example, the seven dwarfs are marvelously entertaining as they perform impressive acrobatics while suspended from the coal mine set at which they are working, but their bodies sometimes blended into the sets, making their movements difficult to discern. Preljocaj’s “Snow White” pushes the envelope with some of its racy scenes and the unsettling interactions between Snow White and the other characters. Yet, the company creates something truly haunting and visually incredible to witness. Summer 2014CNCJA•33


Theater Review

Signal Theatre's The Next Thing a Hilarious Romp

Photo courtesy of signal theatre Ensemble

By LESLIE PRICE

Cast of Signal Theatre Ensemble's The Next Thing.

May 25, 2014 - It’s very difficult to do a stage play about the motion picture industry, but Signal Ensemble Theatre’s latest production of an original musical premiere, The Next Thing, pulls it off with style and genuine affection. The piece mercilessly pokes fun at Hollywood and its tendency to sacrifice art and truth in exchange for commercial “crap,” as one character puts it, but it’s also apparent that the authors, cast, and crew also love that other side of show biz. Perhaps the moral of the piece is that it’s all well and good to sacrifice everything for art, but one must also make a living. With a book by Signal’s co-artistic director Ronan Marra (who also directed the show) and music and lyrics by ensemble member Jon Steinhagen (who plays the entire accompaniment on piano backstage), The Next Thing concerns the hate-love relationship between a sophisticated “serious” British actress, Kate Cunningham (winningly played by Courtney Jones), and her Hollywood co-star in a summer blockbuster—the shallow, not-too-bright, but popular hunky movie star, Conor Williams (portrayed by Christopher Selefski with just the right amount of smarmy smiles and eye-twinkling). Kate and Conor have been signed to make four big films for producer Laura Golden (Eleanor Katz), who cares about nothing but the weekend’s grosses in millions (“Is there any other monetary unit?”). Hack director Sam Donovan (realized by Signal’s other co-artistic director, Joseph Stearns, with the right touch of cynicism and wry humor) really wants to do an indie art film that won’t make any money but would satisfy his yearning to create real art. The Kate/ Conor storyline is basically that of boy-meets-girl, girl-despisesboy and boy-detests-girl, and then, of course, boy-loves-girl and 34•CNCJASummer 2014

visa versa. There’s not a lot of meat there, but the witty and melodic songs carry the audience through a series of terrific numbers, quite a lot of laughs, and performances by an ensemble of entertaining characters. Highlighting the production with particular brilliance are three actors who portray multiple roles. Nearly stealing the show is Elizabeth Bagby, cast in three parts—her pornstar “Lexi Licorice” provides the biggest laughs of the evening. Taylor Okey and Stephanie Wohar are also excellent standouts. Vincent L. Lonergan, a Signal Ensemble member who has been seen in many of the theater’s productions, has a wonderful moment as a mad scientist breeding zombies in one of Laura Golden’s silly money-making ventures. This sequence is one of the several films-within-the-play, as the actors take the audience through the making of some “Golden Productions,” all of which are illustrated with hilarious movie-posters in the theater lobby. Kudos to Melania Lancy on the simple and effective “movie theater” set design. This is light, enjoyable entertainment, exemplified in the catchy and most memorable number in the show, “The Best Ideas (Happen When You’re Smashed).” Staged with free-flowing scene-changes and an exuberance from the cast that is just infectious, perhaps The Next Thing’s only weakness is a first act that needs some tightening of the pace and a bigger opening production number; otherwise, this is great fun. Signal Ensemble Theatre is simply one of Chicago’s best kept secrets; it’s a company that always does exceptional quality work.


Theater Review

Shattered Globe's Talents Stifled by Thin Mill Fire Script By LESLIE PRICE April 29, 2014 - Ordinary people meet with extraordinary tragedy in Shattered Globe Theatre’s production of Mill Fire. Set in 1970s Birmingham, the themes of the play—death and mourning— are evident from the moment the audience enters the theater and is confronted by a Greek Chorus of Widows. As the action begins, we learn of an explosion at the local steel mill that has killed several mill workers, including Champ—the husband of Marlene, the central character. From that point on, there’s not much more to the story. Marlene struggles with Champ’s death. The other characters struggle with Marlene’s grieving process. There’s much gnashing of teeth about what happened to cause the explosion and whether Marlene’s brother-in-law—a foreman at the mill—is somehow responsible. Unfortunately, Mill Fire’s script simply doesn’t allow the capable and talented actors in this cast any room to do much more than gnash their teeth and spin their wheels. There’s not a lot of depth in Sally Nemeth’s storytelling or in her characters. The production is filled with gifted performers—notably Rebecca Jordan and Ken Bradley, who give thoughtful, honest performances as Sunny and Bo. Without much to sink their teeth into, they start off at one emotional plane and aren’t given anywhere to move. Plotlines that seem to be important in act one (alcoholism, drug abuse) unravel in act two. Sexuality is a heavy-handed metaphor for the fire that is everyone’s ultimate undoing. There’s some fairly provocative nudity that seems to exist only so that the audience has

something to talk about after the show since the story is so thin. Likewise, Nemeth’s use of a chorus is uneven at best. The Chorus of Widows has the potential to add lyricism and poetry to a relatively harsh and difficult theme, but Nemeth’s approach to that conceit is awkward and adds more confusion than clarity. The Widows sometimes speak from Marlene’s perspective, sometimes from their own, and sometimes they play other characters entirely. The storytelling choices are inconsistent, so the audience is left perplexed. Again, the performers in the chorus are fine actors without anywhere substantial to put their efforts. To her credit, director Sandy Shinner moves the piece along quite nicely and creates some lovely stage pictures. It’s clear that Shinner understands what the script should have been, and she does her best to guide it toward that lyrical, narrative place. The actors, too, seem to have a firm grasp on the script’s potential and make strong choices in tone and movement. Mill Fire is a great-looking production. The environment is interesting, effective, and well-used. The technical elements are equally strong with bold and interesting choices from lighting and sound designers. The show feels very cohesive overall, and the production team’s successful collaborative process is evident. No matter how gifted the artists and actors are, however, they simply can’t save a less than adequate script. Shattered Globe definitely has the potential to create some really great theater. Mill Fire just isn’t the vehicle to get them there.

Photo by Sandy Shinner

Drew Schad and Kate LoConti in Shattered Globe Theatre's production of Mill Fire.

Summer 2014CNCJA•35


Photo courtesy of The Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Around Town

Who?: The Preservation Hall Jazz Band Where? City Winery in Chicago's West Loop When? 8 p.m. June 25, 2014, How?: Visit citywinery.com/chicago or call 312.733.9463

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F

Founded in 1961 to promote traditional New Orleans jazz in all its authenticity, Preservation Hall hosted legendary players, all rooted in the formative years jazz, like George Lewis, Sweet Emma Barrett and Kid Thomas Valentine, from the very start. Today, with the hall long since a memory, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band continues to live out that early tradition, performing old jazz standards and—with their newest album—imparting a new tradition of original repertoire composed by band members. On their newest album, That’s it, the band explores an eclectic repertoire that draws on the collective experience of players nurtured in the New Orleans tradition but determined to build something fresh and exciting on that foundation. Summer 2014CNCJA•37


Brigadoon!

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Prepare to get swept away to that enchanted Scottish village as Goodman Theatre mounts the first major U.S. revival of the beloved Lerner and Lowe classic in 30 years.

J

By LESLIE PRICE Photos By LIZ LAUREN ust as the Scottish village at the heart of Brigadoon appears only once every 100 years, the musical itself has spent the better part of the last three decades out of the spotlight. Appearing on smaller stages from time to time, it's been nearly 35 years since a major revival of this Lerner and Loewe masterpiece has graced the live stage. That's all about to change this summer with the Goodman Theatre's opulent new production. This iteration of Brigadoon is not merely the first major revival of the classic musical in nearly 35 years—it features a freshly updated book that maintains the lush romance of the original while staying grounded in a more realistic world rich in Scottish culture and history. “As a contemporary audience, we're ready to look at (Brigadoon) in a slightly new way,” says acclaimed Chicago director and choreographer Rachel Rockwell, who will lead the Goodman production. “I wanted to inject a healthy amount of real culture into this piece. Grounding it a little bit automatically takes away some of the inherent preciousness...and allows you to dig into the stakes that are already on the page.” Those changes are happening at the behest of Liza Lerner, daughter of librettist Alan Jay Lerner, who first reached out to Rockwell about giving the musical an update and bringing the classic tale of love, loss and legend into the 21st Century. Rockwell has a storied history of injecting new life into beloved musical theater classics with award winning productions of legendary theater staples like Ragtime, Miss Saigon, Oliver, The Sound of Music and a long list of

live stage landmark under her belt. “What was appealing to (Lisa Lerner) about what I had done,” says Rockwell, “was taking classics that existed and, without changing a word of them, making them feel very different to people.” That difference is sure to be felt by Jennie Sophia, who will be playing Fiona, the female lead, in her third production of Brigadoon. Though the character is familiar, Sophia is excited by the new challenges this revival presents. After meeting with Rockwell to read some of the rewritten script and discuss the production for the first time, Sophia explains, “I literally was drooling just listening to her talk. Her ideas are absolutely beautiful and heartfelt. I think she's going to breathe a life into this piece...People are going to be left so full.” Adding to that fullness will be Sophia’s rich history with the character. “I was born to play her,” she says. “The previous productions I was in helped me build a solid foundation for what this piece is about and who Fiona is.” Rockwell agrees, “(Sophia) already understands the soul of Fiona.” The actress’ background as a Midwesterner has also helped her understand the soul of Brigadoon. Though Sophia has had a great amount of success, she's very much grounded in her own roots. Growing up in the little town of Goshen, Indiana, she learned the importance of community and of being involved in other people's lives. That has informed her work on stage. After all, Brigadoon is, as much as anything, the story of a very unique little community. And just as Sophia enjoyed weddings, picDirector Rachel Rockwell and leads Jennie Sophia and Kevin Early rehearse some of the classic songs in Lerner and Lowe's Brigadoon this spring.

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With Rockwell's guidance and attention to detail (and passionate performances and light to the stage as the Goodman wraps up a stellar 2013-2014 season... duction. The culture is so rich in tradition, and it's so rich in dance,” she explains. aesthetic that she's honed in her many stage productions here. And that’s one thing nics, and small town celebrations growing up, the characters who inhabit Brigadoon want to love, celebrate, and care for one another. Kevin Early, Brigadoon's leading man, is a veteran of musical theater (and of the Midwest) as well. Early got his professional start at the ripe old age of 10 in The Sound of Music at Rosemont's Marriott Theatre. Like Sophia, Early has had plenty of opportunities to enjoy the camaraderie of the Midwest and of the Chicago theater community. He's performed in a long list of classic musicals at area venues including Drury Lane South, Oakbrook, and Apple Tree. Early's experience extends to Broadway, with several turns in shows on the Great White Way like Thoroughly Modern Millie, A Tale of Two Cities and Les Misérables. His role in Brigadoon will mark Early's debut at the Goodman. With all of her success on the Chicago stage, Rockwell, too, is making her Goodman debut—and with a pretty big challenge ahead. Reimagining a Lerner and Loewe musical is not exactly something that happens very often. The right librettist, designers, and stage actors willing to go on the journey are all vital to the production's success. Fortunately, a fantastic team of collaborators is on board for the Goodman revival. Complimenting Rockwell’s talents, the production team includes Mara Blumenfeld returning to the Goodman to design costumes following her stunningly work on The White Snake, Jeff Award-winning Roberta Duchak music directing, and Brian Hill writing the new book. And a substantial production it will be. Twenty-eight actors will grace the stage in Brigadoon. Though considered a large cast—a

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HUGE cast—by some standards, Rockwell prefers to have plenty of actors to flesh out a story. “I never do any small shows,” she says. “The only thing that isn't in it are kids and dogs.” Those 28 actors aren't merely set dressing, however. Each of them was cast to help serve the story. So much so that Rockwell spent four hours discussing stage business and props required for one of the large crowd scenes because she wants each and every one of the characters to contribute to the story at every moment they're on stage. Although every audience member won't notice every tiny detail, Rockwell hopes to create “an interesting comment on human nature wherever you look.” With Rockwell's guidance and attention to detail (and passionate performances from the romantic leads), this updated Brigadoon is likely to bring a lot of beauty and light to the stage as the Goodman wraps up a stellar 2013-2014 season. In addition to Hill and Rockwell's collaboration for changes in the book, Rockwell is also weaving a great deal of Scottish culture and dance into the production. “The culture is so rich in tradition, and it's so rich in dance,” she explains. She'll be infusing that culture into this revival with that authentic Chicago theater aesthetic that she's honed in her many stage productions here. And that’s one thing that will make Brigadoon so endearing to Chicago audiences this summer. Says Rockwell, “Almost everybody that I ever mention Brigadoon to says, 'Oh, I love Brigadoon.'” Although classic Broadway musicals are often criticized for being old-


from both romantic leads), this updated Brigadoon is likely to bring a lot of beauty . Rockwell is also weaving a great deal of Scottish culture and dance into the proShe'll be infusing that culture into this revival with that authentic Chicago theater g that will make Brigadoon so endearing to Chicago audiences this summer. fashioned or out of touch, it's hard not to get excited about this production. Yes, the show has been around for over 65 years. Sure, there is bound to be a heaping helping of very traditional musical theater romance. However, it's impossible to resist the incredible score (including the memorable “Almost Like Being in Love,” “The Heather on the Hill,” “Waitin’ For My Dearie,” and “There But For You Go I”). And just as Brigadoon's lovers wrap themselves in the possibility of a life together, theater-goers are sure to be intrigued by the chance at a new life for this old classic. “If anybody is just looking for an evening to get away and to see and experience beauty and love and passion,” insists Sophia, “come on out

and spend an evening with us. We're excited to tell the story and I'm looking forward to sharing it with the world.” Explains Rockwell, “Our goal all along...in the reimagining of this piece was never to take Brigadoon to the point where you went, 'What just happened?' We want people who know Brigadoon to walk in and go, '”Oh, I knew I loved Brigadoon.'” So, why not take a trip to the Scottish countryside this summer? Just make sure you get your tickets before Brigadoon vanishes back into the mist all over again. 

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Cultural Happenings...

First Time Deliciousness

Chicago actors Boyd Harris and Layne Manzer have New Birth In Acclaimed announced the founding of Cole Theatre, working under an Equity with non-profit status. With the tagline “victory of the Chicago Theater contract people” as its battle cry, Cole Theatre looks to be an arena for underused and under-sung artists to rise up and be seen louder and clearer. The name “Cole” is Greek for “people’s victory.” The inaugural show will be Mike Leigh’s Ecstasy, staged at A Red Orchid Theatre in Old Town, August 25-September 28. Harris and Manzer are familiar faces in Chicago theater – from storefront to Equity houses – and have been instrumental in the founding and growth of programs and companies serving the Chicago theater community. Defying the prevailing wisdom of startups, Cole is coming out of the gate big and ambitious with a Seventies-era period drama and a six-member ensemble cast. Ecstasy will be directed by Jeff Award-winner Jonathan Berry. For more information about Cole Theatre’s productions and programs, visit www.coletheatre.org call 773-327-1066 or email info@coletheatre.org.

Thunderous Production

Celtic Thunder brings their first ever North American Symphony Tour to the Chicago Theatre on Sunday, November 30, following the 2nd annual Celtic Thunder Cruise (sailing on November 8 -12, 2104). Celtic Thunder will depart from their traditional and critically-acclaimed large set productions to perform songs from their 2013 chart-topping album Christmas Voices in a dynamic live music experience accentuated by the instrumentals of a full symphony orchestra. Featuring holiday favorites ranging from traditional carols Away in A Manger, and O Holy Night to the more contemporary Mary’s Boy Child and Fairytale of New York, Celtic Thunder’s five male soloists will perform solo and ensemble numbers, signature Celtic Thunder hit songs Ireland’s Call and Turning Away, and traditional Irish numbers such as Dulaman and My Land. The Symphony Tour will also introduce the group’s newest member Emmett O’Hanlon, an Irish American baritone who will be joining the show in the US this fall. Following Chicago, Celtic Thunder will visit several other major U.S. cities. For more information, visit www.celticthunder.com/tour.

Face in the Crowd In celebration of its 10th anniversary this summer, Millennium Park

will feature a special installation of work by Jaume Plensa, the world-renowned sculptor and creator of one of the park’s most prominent attractions, the Crown Fountain. Jaume Plensa: 1004 Portraits features four large-scale portraits of young girls positioned in the park such that they complement and expand upon the story of the 1000 LED portraits of Chicago residents that illuminate the Crown Fountain. The installation will open to the public on Wednesday, June 18 and remain on display through December 2015; it's free and open to the public. Plensa will host a public discussion of his work Monday, June 16, from 6-7 p.m. in Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan. Presented in partnership with the Millennium Park Foundation, the conversation is free and open to the public; guests should enter through the Michigan Avenue entrance. 42•CNCJASummer 2014

The James Beard Foundation (JBF) announced this spring that the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and gala reception will be held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 4, 2015. The event will mark the first year the prestigious JBF Restaurant and Chef Awards Gala will be held outside of New York City. The news puts the Windy City front and center of the culinary world. During the JBF Awards event, which is open to the public, awards for the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design categories will be handed out, along with special achievement awards including Humanitarian of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, and America’s Classics. A gala reception will immediately follow, featuring top chefs and beverage professionals from across the country. For more information about the event, visit jamesbeard.org.

Visitors this spring will get a chance to step inside one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s more intimate homes on the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust’s new tour of the Emil Bach House in Chicago. Meticulously restored to its original 1915 appearance by Harboe Architects, the Emil Bach House opened this spring for public tours. Built for Emil Bach, president of Chicago’s Bach Brick Company, the house was executed between Wright’s return from Europe in 1911 and his departure to Japan in 1916 to oversee construction of the Imperial Hotel. Available for private meetings and even a vacation rental property, The Emil Bach House will be open for touring through September 24, and 45-minute tours take place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily. For more information, visit flwright.org.

The Wright House

(Clockwise from top): Lane Manzer and Boyd Harris of the new Cole Theatre (photo courtesy of Cole Theatre); Civic Opera House's Ardis Krainik Theatre (photo by Dan Rest); Emil Bach House on Chicago's north side (photo courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust); Artist rendering of Juame Plensa's installation, 1004 Portraits (photo courtesy of The Millennium Park Foundation); Members of the singing group, Celtic Thunder (photo courtesy of The Chicago Theatre).


Summer 2014

Photo by Maya Moody

C ultural A lmanac

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Music & Dance

J une2014

World Party w/special guest Gabriel Kelley* l l John Doe* † l Carolina Chocolate Drops* l l The CNCJA Cultural Almanac listings are representative of schedules Joe Purdy w/Brian Wright* l from l participating institutions available at time of publication. Ari Heist* l Carrie Newcomer* l 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Ginger Baker's(Tel. Jazz312.733.9463, Confusion** citywinery.com/chicago) [Folk/neo-folk/Americaan and roots=*, Jazz=**, Blended/Pop, rock or soul fusion=†, Country/Blue grass = ††] l City Winery Preservation Hall Jazz l l Rising Appalachia and Band** The Way Down Wanderers w/Good Graeff†† l Bruce Robinson l Jukebox Groove*& Kelly Willis* l Chicago Updated Bilal** † Opera Theater (Tel. 312.704.8414, chicagooperatheater.org) l The Emperor Atlantis (Der Kaiser vonperforming Atlantis) and The Clever Onewith (DieStrings* Kluge) l l l Chuck Prophetofand the Mission Express 'Temple Beautiful' l Grant Festival with theKelley* Grant Park Orchestra (Tel. 312.742.7638, grantparkmusicfestival.com) World Park Party Music w/special guest Gabriel l l Opening l John Doe*Night: † Tchiachovsky Extravaganza l Berlioz: Romeo & Juliet l l Carolina Chocolate Drops* l l Mozart andw/Brian DvořákWright* l Joe Purdy l l Water Music l l Ari Heist* l ¡Viva l CarrieMéxico! Newcomer* l Barber Haydn l l Ginger and Baker's Jazz Confusion** l Harris Theater Music and Dance (Tel. 312.334.7777, harristheaterchicago.org) Preservation Hallfor Jazz Band** l l CPS Performing Arts Show BruceAll-City Robinson & Kelly Willis* l l Hubbard Street Theater Dance Chicago (Tel. 312.850.9744, hubbardstreetdance.org) Chicago Opera (Tel. 312.704.8414, chicagooperatheater.org) Updated Summer Seriesof Atlantis (Der Kaiser von Atlantis) and The Clever One (Die Kluge) The Emperor l l l l l Ravinia Festival Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Highland Park (Tel.grantparkmusicfestival.com) 847.266.5000, ravinia.org) [Folk/Roots/Americana=*, R&B = **, Pop/Rock = †, Jazz = ††, Country/Bluegrass = ^, Listings without notation are classical in genre] Grant Park Musicw/The Festival with the Grant Park Orchestra (Tel. 312.742.7638, Opening Night: Tchiachovsky Extravaganza John Legend** l l Berlioz: Romeo† & Juliet One Republic l l l MozartLefèvre, and Dvořák Alain piano (Martin Theatre) l l Water Music l l Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute Jazz Grandstand †† (Bennet Gordon Hall) ¡Viva México! l Zukerman ChamberPlayers (Martin Theatre) l Barber Hall and Haydn l l Darryl & John Oates † l Harris Theater for Music andTheatre) Dance (Tel. 312.334.7777, harristheaterchicago.org) Julliard String Quartet (Martin l CPS All-CityRamsey Performing Arts l Jazz Legend Lewis †† Show (Martin Theatre) l Hubbard Dance Chicago††(Tel. 312.850.9744, hubbardstreetdance.org) Cat Power Street and Rufus Wainwright l Summer Seriesand His All-Star Band* l l l l James Taylor l l Ravinia Festival Darius Rucker ^ w/The Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Highland Park (Tel. 847.266.5000, ravinia.org) [Folk/Roots/Americana=*, R&B = **, Pop/Rock = †, Jazz = ††, Country/Bluegrass = ^, Listings without notation are classical in genre] l John Legend** l John Hiatt & The Combo and The Robert Cray Band ^ l One Republic † piano (Martin Theatre) l Garrick Ohlsson, l Alain Lefèvre, pianoPresents (Martin Theatre) l Symphony Center w/Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Tel. 312.294.3000, cso.org) Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute Jazz Grandstand †† (Bennet Gordon Hall) l Piano Series: Feltsman Play Prokofiev l Zukerman ChamberPlayers (Martin Theatre) l CSO: Prokofiev 5 l Darryl Hall & John Oates † l CSO Chamber Music: Avari Ensemble l Julliard String Quartet (Martin Theatre) l CSO: Shostakovich l l l l Jazz Legend Ramsey Lewis †† (Martin Theatre) l Baroque Band: Vivaldi Influenced l Cat Power and Rufus Wainwright †† l CSO: Muti Conducts Schubert 1 and 6 l l l l James Taylor and His All-Star Band* l l Jazz Series: John Faddis and Marcus Roberts l Darius Rucker ^ l Melissa Ethridge w/Members of the CSO l John Hiatt & The Combo and The Robert Cray Band ^ l Muti Conducts Mahler l l l Garrick Ohlsson, piano (Martin Theatre) l Once Upon a Symphony: Stone, Soup and The Community House l Symphony Center Presents w/Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Tel. 312.294.3000, cso.org) CSO: Tchaikovsky and Beethoven l Piano Series: Feltsman Play Prokofiev l CSO: Dvorák's New World Symphony l CSO: Prokofiev 5 l Special Event: Paquita la del Barrio l CSO Chamber Music: Avari Ensemble l CSO: Shostakovich l l l l Baroque Band: Vivaldi Influenced l CSO: Muti Conducts Schubert 1 and 6 l l l l Jazz Series: John Faddis and Marcus Roberts l Melissa Ethridge w/Members of the CSO l Muti Conducts Mahler l l l Once Upon a Symphony: Stone, Soup and The Community House l CSO: Tchaikovsky and Beethoven l CSO: Dvorák's New World Symphony l Special Event: Paquita la del Barrio l


Summer 2014CNCJA•45

A Red Orchid Theatre (Tel. 312.943.8722, aredorchidtheatre.org) Mud Blue Sky Black Ensemble Theater (Tel. 773.769.4451, blackensembletheater.org) One Hit Wonders Broadway In Chicago (Tel. 312.977.1700, broadwayinchicago.org) Mowtown The Musical Buyer and Cellar The Last Ship Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Tel. 312.595.5600, chicagoshakes.com) Henry V. Court Theatre (Tel. 773.702.7005, courttheatre.org) M. Butterfly Goodman Theatre (Tel. 312.443.3800, goodmantheatre.org) The White Snake Ask Aunt Susan Brigadoon Hit The Wall Macbeth The Diviners Without Trace Greenhouse Theater Center (Tel. 773.404.7336, greenhousetheater.org) The Last Sunday in June Breaking The Shakespeare Code Grounded Lifeline Theatre (Tel. 773.761.4477, lifelinetheatre.com) Monstrous Regiment Lookingglass Theatre (Tel. 773.477.9257, lookingglasstheatre.org) In The Garden: A Darwinian Love Story Northlight Theatre in Skokie (Tel. 847.673.6300, northlight.org) Lost in Yonkers RedTwist Theatre (Tel. 773.728.7529, redtwist.org) Look Back In Anger Before Death Do Us Park Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org) The Way West This Is Our Youth Strawdog Theatre Company (Tel. 773.528.9696, strawdog.org) Charles Ives Take Me Home Victory Gardens Theater (Tel. 773.871.3000, victorygardens.org) Carrie Death and the Maiden Writers Theatre in Glencoe (Tel. 847.242.6000, writerstheatre.org) Days Like Today The Dance of Death

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Photos from left: Harry Judge as King Henry and cast in Henry V at Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Photo by Liz Lauren); Alex Stage and Mark Grapey in Ask Aunt Susan at Goodman Theatre (photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre); Zoe Perry and Gabriel Ruiz in THe Way West at Steppenwolf THeatre (photo by Michael Brosilow); Amy Kim Waschke in The White Snake at Goodman Theatre (Photo Courtesy of Goodman Theatre).

Theaters


Photos courtesy of The Gene Siskel Film Center

46•CNCJASummer 2014


FEAST for the

Eyes

The Gene Siskel Film Center offers independent filmmakers a high profile venue to showcase their work and Chicago film-lovers a chance to see some a diverse slate of the most cutting-edge, community-specific work in the Chicago indie film scene.

T

By LAURA KINTER

The Gene Siskel Film Center of the Art Institute of Chicago has provided the city with unique and comprehensive programming since 1974. The Film Center’s events span festivals, premieres of American and international films, and even lectures by well-regarded filmmakers. Its high standards are a breath of fresh air in a city—nay, country—that markets a miniscule percentage of cinema compared to what’s out there. The Film Center’s mission is to provide a diverse selection of programming that meets the needs and interests of every community in Chicago. The Film Center curates all of its programming in-house, by the collective hand of only two people: Barbara Sharres and Marty Rubin, director and associate director of programming, respectively. All screenings, festivals, lectures, and series go through a rigorous selection process by Sharres and Rubin, and there are over 1,500 of them annually. The diversity of their programming reflects their mission to reach a diverse audience. “We are

very cognizant of our role as a cultural resource,” says Sharres. “Any time we show a film that has a particular audience, cultural group, or ethnic group, we hope that we’re reaching that audience and serving a particular community their needs.” The Film Center’s “crowning event in their summer programming,” the Black Harvest Film Festival, is an in-house curated festival celebrating its 19th year of production. Black Harvest showcases independent, local African American directors who use the art of filmmaking to explore the black experience and stories of African diaspora. Also in its 19th year is the Film Center’s Asian American Showcase, for which the center collaborates with the Foundation for Asian American Independent Media. The Film Center also works with the Human Rights Watch organization to put on the Human Rights Watch Festival. Though the center does a handful of collaborations per year, they always maintain artistic control. Left: One of the state-oif-the-art theater spaces inside the Gene Siskel Film Center in Downtown Chicago. Summer 2014CNCJA•47


Photo by Jody Shapiro

“We insist on previewing all the films and deciding if they’re suitable for our programming,” says Sharres. On occasion, for events such as the Annual Festival of Films from Iran or the European Union Film Festival, Sharres and Rubin personally seek out specific films they feel meet the high standards of the Film Center’s programming. They will work directly with filmmakers abroad and at home who do not have access to distribution—sometimes not even sales agents—and give their films the audience they deserve. In nearly every case, the Film Center deals directly with filmmakers. This builds a strong and transparent relationship between artist and venue, and contributes to Chicago’s rapidly growing independent film industry. Having a cultural resource so dedicated to presenting good work regardless of distributors or agents is a luxury most city filmmakers do not have. “Our mission covers all world cinema from every time period, from every nation, from every genre. This gives us unlimited freedom in what we do. Our goal is to create audiences for films that haven’t had mainstream exposure like the latest Hollywood films have,” explains Sharres. “On a local level, I’d say 99% of local films don’t have a distributor, so we work directly with the filmmakers. They come to us with their completed films and submit them for consideration.” The selection process for festivals and events is rigorous. Sharres and Rubin personally preview all films to put together a diverse menu of programming for each month. “In any given month, our goal is to vary the programming sufficiently so that anyone picking up our schedule will find something of interest to them. Like every arts venue, we’re hoping to create that elusive crossover audience. Ideally, someone will like what they see, will notice the range of programming, and come back again,” says Sharres. The Film Center’s summer schedule speaks volumes to this mission. June will host a plethora of premieres, a 12-film series commemorating Italian director Pier Paolo Passolini, and a Martin Scorsese-curated Polish 48•CNCJASummer 2014

cinema retrospective. As if that weren’t enough, the Film Center hosts ongoing Tuesday and Thursday night series in the spring and fall. On Tuesday nights, the center hosts a lecture series presented in collaboration with the Art Institute’s art history department, and on Thursday nights, it host a series called “Conversations On the Edge,” which engages film department students with avant-garde experimental films. The Film Center makes sure its audience consists of a variety of individuals while maintaining a relationship with SAIC students. The Film Center’s aesthetic and ambiance are akin to that of the Art Institute. The walls of the cafe area are sprinkled with old movie posters, and a large portrait commemorating founder and famed film critic Gene Siskel, giving a thumbs up with the late Roger Ebert. There are two theaters, the larger of which seats almost 200. The facilities are available for rental during weekdays before 5 p.m., and offer unparalleled quality in digital projection and surround sound. It is truly a new and exciting experience to view a film in the Center’s auditorium, and costs much less than your typical movie theater. General admission tickets cost only $6.00. Sharres conveyed her excitement about special upcoming programming for the summer. The Film Center will present The Internet’s Own


Photo Courtesy of the Gene siskel Film Center Photo Courtesy of the Apo Anak Productions Photo Courtesy of the Gene siskel Film Center

Boy, a documentary by Brian Knappenburg that chronicles the life and death of famed hacker Aaron Shwartz. Burt’s Buzz, another exciting documentary scheduled for the Film Center’s summer lineup, documents the iconic inventor and figurehead of Burt’s Bees personal care products. The screening will be followed by a question-and-answer discussion with the film’s director, Jody Shapiro, via Skype. Also on the horizon for the summer are Documented, a documentary about Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, and Ai WeiWei: The Fake Case, an intimate documentation of artist and activist Ai WeiWei under house arrest—just a small sampling of what’s to come this summer, and more surprises will be revealed at www.siskelfilmcenter.org. The Film Center provides Chicago with a never-ending supply of rich, diverse, high quality cinema. Nowhere else in Chicagoland can moviegoers attend festivals, national surveys, retrospectives, and world premieres the caliber of Film Center programming under one roof. Their relationship with Chicago and local filmmakers provides a unique and homegrown cinema experience for film enthusiasts and moviegoers of all kinds.

Left: Burt’s Bees co-founder, Burt Shavitz, in front of his old home known as “the camp.” From top: Artist Ai WeiWei in Ai WeiWei: The Fake Case; Jose testifies in front of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee in Documented; Aaron Schwartz in the documentary The Internet's Own Boy.

Summer 2014CNCJA•49


50•CNCJASummer 2014

Art Museums

The Art Institute of Chicago (Tel. 312.443.3600, artic.edu) Dayanita Singh Josef Koudelka: Nationality Doubtful Ethel Stein, Master Weaver Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938 Architecture to Scale: Stanley Tigerman and Zago Architecture Sharp, Clear Pictures: Edward Steichen’s World War I and Condé Nast Years Hired Hand The Thrill of the Chase: Drawings for the Harry B. and Bessie K. Braude Memorial Collection When the Greeks Ruled: Egypt after Alexander the Great Chicagoisms Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness Christopher Wool Expanded Gallery for Arthur Rubloff Collection of Paperweights Nairy Baghramian: French Curve / Slip of the Tongue Of Gods and Glamour The Elizabeth Morse Touch Gallery The [Not So] Still Life Ugo Rondinone: we run through a desert on burning feet, all of us are glowing our faces look twisted. What Did Renaissance Printmakers Make of Antiquity Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) Simon Starling: Metamorphology Earthly Delights MCA DNA: Warhol and Marisol BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: Zachary Cahill Isa Genzken: Retrospective MCA Chicago Plaza Project Yinka Shonibare MBE MCA DNA: Alexander Calder MCA Screen: Leslie Hewitt in Collaboration with Bradford Young Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo Smart Museum of Art - University of Chicago (Tel. 773.702.0200, smartmuseum.uchicago.edu) Inspired by the Opera: Contemporary Chinese Photography and Video Performing Images: Opera in Chinese Visual Culture Imaging/Imagining: The Body as Art Judy Ledgerwood: Chromatic Patterns Zachary Cahill: USSA 2012: Wellness Center: Idyllic-affairs of the heart Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art (Tel. 847.491.4000, blockmuseum.northwestern.edu) Revenge and Response The Left Front: Radical Art in the "Red Decade," 1929-1940 National Mexican Museum of Art (Tel. 773.738.1503, nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org) Fragmentos: Pilar Acevedo As Cosmopolitans & Strangers Galería Sin Fronteras

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Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Exhibit Closes July 14

Exhibits Close June 22

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Exhibits Close June 22

Exhibit Closes June 15

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

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Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

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Exhibits Close July 15

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


Summer 2014CNCJA•51

Art Galleries

Museums

Hidden Wonders Historic Atwood Sphere Our Solar System Planet Explorers Telescopes Sundials Shoot for the Moon The Universe: A Walk Through Space and Time

Addington Gallery (Tel. 312.664.3406, addingtongallery.com) Julia Katz - New Figurative Paintings Joan Holleb - New Paintings on Copper ArchiTech Gallery (Tel. 312.475.1290, architechgallery.com) Alfonso Iannelli and the Studios ARC Gallery (Tel 773-252-2232, arcgallery.org ) Shelly Gilchrist Bert Green Fine Art (Tel 312.434.7544, bgfa.us ) Jennifer Mills & Rebecca Gray Smith Carl Hammer Gallery (Tel. 312.266.8512, hammergallery.com) Chris (CJ) Pile: Saints and Sinners Chicago Artist's Coalition ( Tel. 312.491.8888, chicagoartistscoalition.org) HATCH PROJECTS: Rachel Natural BOLT Residency: Human Factors HATCH PROJECTS: Artifice from the Cave Deer Path Art League in Lake Forest (Tel. 847.234.3743, deerpathartleague.org) Chicago Jean Albano Gallery (Tel. 312.440.0770, jeanalbanogallery.com) ZACK WIRSUM: White Lies and Silver Spoons Judy A. Saslow Gallery (Tel. 312.943.0530, jsaslowgallery.com) Krista Harris Linda Warren Projects (Tel 312.432.9500, lindawarrenprojects.com) William Eckhardt Kohler: Portals, Passages and Vessels Judith Mullen: A Good Wander Maya Polsky Gallery (Tel 312.440.0055, mayapolskygallery.com) Santana Packer Schopf Gallery (Tel 312.226.8984, packergallery.com) Michael Dinges Victorial Fuler Geoffrey Smalley Karen Savage Adler Planetarium (Tel. 312-922-7827, adlerplanetarium.org) Astronomy and Culture Cyber Space

June2014

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Theater Review

Photo courtesy of Northlight Theatre

Northlight's Yonkers Reveals Endearing Script's Inherent Treasures By LESLIE PRICE

Alistair Sewel, Timothy Edward Kane and Sebastian W. Weigman in Northlight Theatre's Lost in Yonkers.

A dingy 1940s tenement feels fresh and vibrant in Northlight Theatre’s delightful production of Lost in Yonkers. Set in New York during the Second World War, Neil Simon’s Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning play tells the story of Jay and Arty—two motherless teenagers forced to live with their ill-tempered grandmother while their dad leaves town to work and pay off his debts. “Did you ever notice there’s something wrong with everyone on Pop’s side of the family?”, says Jay to his younger brother. Indeed, there is something wrong—and something wonderful—about all of the characters that inhabit the tiny apartment in which Arty and Jay spend ten long months awaiting for their father’s return. All of those wrongs add up to teach the boys a lot about themselves and about what really matters in their world. Simon’s cast of characters also creates some terrific opportunities for the collaborators on Lost in Yonkers to shine. This memory play comes roaring to life under the direction of Devon de Mayo. Comic timing, heartfelt moments, and even beautifully-conceived scene changes combine to make the story feel honest, organic and incredibly cohesive. Though some consider Neil Simon’s work “fluff,” de Mayo successfully highlights the laughter and the complexities of the third of Simon’s autobiographical plays. There’s plenty of comedy for sure, but Northlight’s production lets us delve beyond the punch lines and into a very three-dimensional family drama that’s anything but pablum. The two actors at the center of the action—Alistair Sewell as Jay and 52•CNCJASummer 2014

Sebastian W. Weigman as Arty—are key to much of that honesty. Both young actors are delightful to watch, and Weigman especially understands Simon’s comedy and nuance. There’s a real chemistry between these young men, and it makes their scenes crackle. They clearly enjoy being onstage with one another, and it’s impossible not to enjoy being part of the fun. Likewise, Linsey Page Morton’s performance is something special. She’s both hilarious and heartbreaking as Bella, Jay and Arty’s intellectually challenged aunt. Her sincerity and verve inject every scene she’s in with energy. When Bella’s happy, we’re happy for her. And when she stumbles, we all root for her to overcome. The terrific cast is reason enough to make the trip to Skokie for Lost in Yonkers, but the production offers a great theater-going experience overall. There’s not a spike mark out of place onstage. A gorgeous set, lovely costumes, and simple (but effective) light and sound designs work together to create the nostalgic world of the play. Even the theater itself has a great welcoming vibe. The original production of Lost in Yonkers was mounted in the shadow of the first Gulf War with the idea that the WWII themes of sacrifice, family, and resilience would resonate with early 1990s audiences. Though the script is nearly 25 years old, its story is every bit as relevant today as it was then. With the talent and passion behind Northlight’s production, it’s easy to see why Lost in Yonkers has been and audience favorite for two decades and why it’s destined to live on for decades to come.


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EXPLORING MUSIC.ORG debuts!

Bill McGlaughlin, host of Exploring Music

After 10 successful years, WFMT’s flagship program, EXPLORING MUSIC with BILL McGLAUGHLIN, is going online! Now every program can be heard at your convenience at our new streaming web site. Listen to more than 800 hours of personable, insightful, entertaining programs on the history of classical music, featuring entire weeks (5 hours of programs) devoted to specific composers (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler…), genres, cities, historical periods, and much more on this unparalleled subscription streaming website. Visit exploringmusic.org to secure your membership for unlimited listening anytime, anywhere.

wfmt.com

exploringmusic.org Summer 2014CNCJA•53


54•CNCJASummer 2014

Museums

Shedd Aquarium (Tel. 312.939.2438, sheddaquarium.org) Abbott Oceanarium Amazon Rising At Home on the Great Lakes Caribbean Reef Jellies Polar Play Zone Waters of the World Wild Reef

All Aboard the Silver Streak: Pioneer Zephyr Coal Mine Earth Explorers Earth Revealed Fast Forward…Inventing The Future Future Energy Chicago Genetics and the Baby Chick Hatchery Science Storms Think You! The Experience

80 at 80

Karkomi Permanent Exhibition Legacy of Absence Gallery Rescue and Renewal Ruth Gruber: Photojournalist Museum of Science and Industry (Tel. 773.684.1414, msichicago.org) Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center (Tel. 847.967.4800, ilholocaustmuseum.org) Contemplative Spaces

Field Museum of Natural History (Tel. 312.922.9410, fieldmuseum.org) The Machine Inside: Biomechanics Bunky Echo-Hawk: Modern Warrior Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World's Fair Creatures of Light: Nature's Bioluminescence Crown Family Play Lab Earnst & Young Three-D Theatre Evolving Planet DNA Discovery Center Grainger Hall of Gems Pacific Spirits Sue The T. Rex Underground Adventure

A Slow Walk to Greatness Africa Speaks The Freedom Now Mural Thomas Miller Mosaics

Vivian Maier's Chicago DuSable Museum of African American History (Tel. 773.947.0600, dusablemuseum.org) Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution Animation Art from Classic Cartoons of ‘70s Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints: Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil

Chicago History Museum (Tel. 312.642.4600, chicagohistory.org) Railroaders: Jack Delano's Homefront Photography Abraham Lincoln Lincoln's Chicago Unexpected Chicago

Lego Architecture Studio

Chicago Model City

Chicago Architecture Foundation (Tel. 312.922.3432, caf.architecture.org) Women Building Change: Chicago Women in Architecture Celebrates 40 Years Chicago: City of Big Data

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Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Exhibit Closes August 3

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Ongoing Exhibit Opens June 27 Exhibit Closes August 17

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Exhibit Closes August 12

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Ongoing Exhibit Opens May 8

Ongoing Exhibit Opens June 12

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


Music & Dance

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Midori: Mozart and Brahms (Martin Theatre) New World Symphony Clasics Go To The Movies (w/The Chicago Children's Choir) Willie Nelson & Family and Allison Kraus & Union Station feat. Jerry Douglas *^ Tom Chapin (Kids' Concert) An Evening of Broadway with Soprano Debrah Voigt Counting Crows † Piano and String Artists from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute (Bennett Gordon Hall) Miloš Karadaglić, guitar (Martin Theatre) Midori, violin and Susanna Mälkki, conductor West Side Story (w/video screen on lawn) Crosby, Stills & Nash* Ralph's World (Kids' Concert in Martin Theatre) An Evening of Learner and Loewe Matt Nathanson and Gavin DeGraw † James Conlon and Soloists from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Peter Serkin and the Orion String Quartet All Beethoven Evening Umphrey's McGee † Joshua Bell, violin with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra All Tchaikovsky Denis Matsuev, pianist (Martin Theatre) Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue feat.Chucho Valdés, piano †† Bebel Gilberto and Chucho Valdés †† Matthias Goerne, baritone

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City Winery (Tel. 312.733.9463, citywinery.com/chicago) [Folk/neo-folk/Americana=*, Jazz=**, Blended/Pop, rock or soul fusion=†, Country/Blue grass = ††] Berlin featuring Terri Nunn w/special guest Vapornet† l The English Beat† l l Pedrito Martinez Group*† l Louis Prima Jr. & the Witnesses: The Wildest Show Returns* l Time for Three* Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks* l Dr. Ralph Stanley and his Clinch Mountain Boys with Town Mountain†† l Dengue Fever † l Marc Cohn* l l An Evening with David Crosby* (postponed from 2.8 & 2.9) l l Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin with The Guilty Ones†† l Matthew Sweet†† l Grant Park Music Festival with the Grant Park Orchestra (Tel. 312.742.7638, grantparkmusicfestival.com) Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto l Independence Day Salute l Portland Youth Orchestra l Ella, Louis And All That Jazz l Holst The Planets l l The Blue Planet In Concert l Grant Park Chorus: Choral Splendor l l Dvořák and Beethoven l l Musical Thrills! l Slatkin Conducts Shostakovich l l National Youth Orchestra with Gil Shaham l Symphonie Espangnol Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Chicago Human Rhythm Project: JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance Ravinia Festival w/The Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Highland Park (Tel. 847.266.5000, ravinia.org) [Folk/Roots/Americana=*, R&B = **, Pop/Rock = †, Jazz = ††, Country/Bluegrass = ^, Listings without notation are classical in genre] American Idol Live! † l Maxwell** l Earth, Wind & Fire** l Dave Koz and Friends Summer Horns 2014 †† l Sarah McLachlan* l Justin Robers (Kids' Concert) l Mandy Patinkin and Nathan Gunn (Vocal-Broadway) l Chanticleer (Martin Theatre) l Emerson String Quartet (Martin Theatre) l Sir James & Lady Jeane Gallway l

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Theaters

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Mowtown the Musical The Last Ship Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Tel. 312.595.5600, chicagoshakes.com) Seussical Eclipse Theatre (Tel. 773.728.2216, eclipsetheatre.org) Intimate Apparel Theater (Tel. 773.769.4451, blackensembletheater.org) Black Ensemble FirstStory FolioofTheatre in Oakbrook (630.986.8067, firstfolio.org) The The Marvellettes The Merry Wives of Windsor Broadway In Chicago (Tel. 312.977.1700, broadwayinchicago.org) Goodmanthe Theatre (Tel. 312.443.3800, goodmantheatre.org) Mowtown Musical Brigadoon The Last Ship Greenhouse Theater Center (Tel. Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Tel.773.404.7336, 312.595.5600,greenhousetheater.org) chicagoshakes.com) Stoop Time Seussical Hank Williams: Lost Highway Eclipse Theatre (Tel. 773.728.2216, eclipsetheatre.org) Grounded Intimate Apparel Macbeth First Folio Theatre in Oakbrook (630.986.8067, firstfolio.org) Diviners The Merry Wives of Windsor Lifeline Theatre (Tel. 773.761.4477, lifelinetheatre.com) Goodman Theatre (Tel. 312.443.3800, goodmantheatre.org) Monstrous Brigadoon Regiment Lookingglass Theatre (Tel. 773.477.9257, lookingglasstheatre.org) Greenhouse Theater Center (Tel. 773.404.7336, greenhousetheater.org) Cascabel Stoop Time Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org) Hank Williams: Lost Highway This Is Our Youth Grounded The Qualms Macbeth Hushabye The Diviners Okay, Bye Lifeline Theatre (Tel. 773.761.4477, lifelinetheatre.com) Ironbound Regiment Monstrous Victory Gardens Theater (Tel. 773.871.3000, victorygardens.org) Lookingglass Theatre (Tel. 773.477.9257, lookingglasstheatre.org) Carrie Cascabel Death and theTheatre Maiden Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org) Steppenwolf This Woz Is Our Youth The Qualms Writers Theatre in Glencoe (Tel. 847.242.6000, writerstheatre.org) Hushabye Days Like Today Okay, Bye of Death The Dance Ironbound Addington Gallery (Tel. 312.664.3406, addingtongallery.com) Victory Gardens Theater (Tel. 773.871.3000, victorygardens.org) Julia Katz - New Figurative Paintings Carrie Joan Holleb - New Paintings on Copper Death and the Maiden ArchiTech Gallery (Tel. 312.475.1290, architechgallery.com) Woz Alfonso Theatre Iannelli and the Studios Writers in Glencoe (Tel. 847.242.6000, writerstheatre.org) Days Like TodayGallery (Tel. 312.266.8512, hammergallery.com) Carl Hammer The Dance of Death Chris (CJ) Pile: Saints and Sinners Addington Gallery (Tel. 312.664.3406, addingtongallery.com) Chicago Artist's Coalition ( Tel. 312.491.8888, chicagoartistscoalition.org) Julia KatzPROJECTS: - New Figurative Paintings HATCH Artifice from the Cave Joan - New Paintings on312.943.0530, Copper JudyHolleb A. Saslow Gallery (Tel. jsaslowgallery.com) ArchiTech Krista HarrisGallery (Tel. 312.475.1290, architechgallery.com) Alfonso IannelliProjects and the Studios Linda Warren (Tel 312.432.9500, lindawarrenprojects.com) William Eckhardt Kohler: Portals, Passages and Vessels Carl Hammer Gallery (Tel. 312.266.8512, hammergallery.com) Judith(CJ) Mullen: Good Chris Pile: A Saints andWander Sinners Maya Polsky Gallery (Tel 312.440.0055, mayapolskygallery.com) Chicago Artist's Coalition ( Tel. 312.491.8888, chicagoartistscoalition.org) Santana PROJECTS: Artifice from the Cave HATCH Packer Schopf Gallery (Tel 312.226.8984, packergallery.com) Judy A. Saslow Gallery (Tel. 312.943.0530, jsaslowgallery.com) Michael Dinges Krista Harris Victorial Fuler Linda Warren Projects (Tel 312.432.9500, lindawarrenprojects.com) Geoffrey Smalley William Eckhardt Kohler: Portals, Passages and Vessels Karen Savage Judith Mullen: A Good Wander Maya Polsky Gallery (Tel 312.440.0055, mayapolskygallery.com) Santana Packer Schopf Gallery (Tel 312.226.8984, packergallery.com) Michael Dinges Victorial Fuler Geoffrey Smalley Karen Savage l l

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Our weekly byte-sized version of the something wonderful we put into every issue of Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts!

Want more Clef Notes? Sign up online at ClefNotesJournal.com for Snippets, our weekly e-newsletter with updates on arts and culture throughout Chicagoland. With Snippets, we bring you news, interviews, performance reviews and our weekly picks for Chicago's must-see arts & culture performances!

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Listings for permanent and onoing exhibits at museums listed within the Almanac may be found on pages 50, 51 & 54.

Art Galleries

56•CNCJASummer 2014


Summer 2014CNCJA•57

August2014

Bruce Cockburn w/Special Guest Jennie Scheinman* l l Sharon Shannon* l Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Fred Eaglesmith l Corkie Siegel Chamber Blues with Sons of the Never Wrong l 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 GrantWinery Park Music Festival with citywinery.com/chicago) the Grant Park Orchestra [Folk/neo-folk/Americana=*, (Tel. 312.742.7638, grantparkmusicfestival.com) Updated City (Tel. 312.733.9463, Jazz=**, Blended/Pop, rock or soul fusion=†, Country/Blue grass = ††] Brahms Symphony No.the 4 Love Revolution and the Stooges Brass Band* †† Brothers Josephus and l l l The Seven Deadly Sins l John McCutcheon* l NorthernCarter* Lights l Carleen l Bolcom and Mozart Bruce Cockburn w/Special Guest Jennie Scheinman* l l l DaphnisShannon* and Chloé Sharon l l l Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Fred Eaglesmith l ChicagoSiegel Human Rhythm Project: of Tap and Percussive Dance Corkie Chamber Blues withJUBA! Sons ofMasters the Never Wrong l l l Ravinia Festival Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Highland Park (Tel. 847.266.5000, ravinia.org) [Folk/Roots/Americana=*, R&B = **, Pop/Rock = †, Jazz = ††, Country/Bluegrass = ^, Listings without notation are classical in genre] Grant Park Musicw/The Festival with the Grant Park Orchestra (Tel. 312.742.7638, grantparkmusicfestival.com) Updated Lyle Lovett and HisNo. Large Brahms Symphony 4 Band* l l Salome - Patricia The Seven DeadlyRacette Sins l l Heart w/Vintage Northern Lights Trouble† l l l All Brahms Bolcom andProgram Mozart - The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen l l Devil's Tale Premiere Chicago Pro Musica (Martin Theatre) Daphnis and Chloé l l l A ChansonofEncounter (Martin Theatre) Museum Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) l CSO: The Lord of the Rings, The JUBA! ReturnMasters of the King (w/video screen on lawn) Chicago Human Rhythm Project: of Tap and Percussive Dance l l l l CSO: Vienna Waltzes and Dances Ravinia Festival w/The Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Highland Park (Tel. 847.266.5000, ravinia.org) [Folk/Roots/Americana=*, R&B = **, Pop/Rock = l†, Jazz = ††, Country/Bluegrass = ^, Listings without notation are classical in genre] Takács String Quartet (Martin Theatre) l l Lyle Lovett and His Large Band* l Kiri Te -Kanawa l Salome Patricia Racette l CSO &w/Vintage CSO Chorus: Don Giovanni Heart Trouble† l l l CSO: The Marriage Figgaro All Brahms Programof- The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen l l l Tony Bennett w/Antonia Bennett Devil's Tale Premiere - Chicago Pro Musica (Martin Theatre) l l ABBA† A Chanson Encounter (Martin Theatre) l l ItzhakThe Perlman CSO: Lord & of Yitzchak the Rings,Meir TheHelfgot Return of the King (w/video screen on lawn) l l l BuddyVienna Guy w/Special Guest Mavis Staples†† CSO: Waltzes and Dances l l Denis Kozhukhin, piano (Bennett Gordon Hall) Takács String Quartet (Martin Theatre) l l l JavierTePerianes, l Kiri Kanawapiano (Bennett Gordon Hall) l The Knights Dawn Upshaw, soprano (Martin Theatre) l CSO & CSO |Chorus: Don Giovanni l l Yo-YoThe Ma,Marriage cello andofThe Knights CSO: Figgaro l l l Lincoln Trio (Bennett Gordon Hall) Tony Bennett w/Antonia Bennett l l Train w/Special Guests The Wallflowers† ABBA† l l l Pedja Muzijevic, - TheMeir Complete Itzhak Perlman &piano Yitzchak HelfgotChopin Preludes (Bennett Gordon Hall) l l The Beach & TheGuest Temptations Buddy GuyBoys w/Special Mavis Staples†† l l Juho Pohjonen, piano (Bennett Gordon Hall) Denis Kozhukhin, piano (Bennett Gordon Hall) l l ZZ Top and Jeffpiano Beck† Javier Perianes, (Bennett Gordon Hall) l l Michael McDonald and Toto**soprano (Martin Theatre) l The Knights | Dawn Upshaw, l An Evening withand BillyThe Corigan of The Smashing Pumpkins w/Katie Cole† l Yo-Yo Ma, cello Knights l Dan Tepfer, Lincoln Trio piano†† (Bennett(Bennett Gordon Gordon Hall) Hall) l l Bob Weir & RatDog andThe Dwight Yoakam* Train w/Special Guests Wallflowers† l l l Andrew von Oeyen, piano (Bennett Gordon Hall) Pedja Muzijevic, piano - The Complete Chopin Preludes (Bennett Gordon Hall) l l The Beach Boys & The Temptations l Juho Pohjonen, piano (Bennett Gordon Hall) l ZZ Top and Jeff Beck† l Michael McDonald and Toto** l An Evening with Billy Corigan of The Smashing Pumpkins w/Katie Cole† l Dan Tepfer, piano†† (Bennett Gordon Hall) l Bob Weir & RatDog and Dwight Yoakam* l Andrew von Oeyen, piano (Bennett Gordon Hall) l

Photos from left: Singer/Songwriter John McCutcheon (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk); Singer/songwriter Lyle Lovett (photo courtesy of Ravinia Festival); Conductor Carlos Kalmar (photo courtesy of The Grant Park Music Festival); Singer Sharon SHannon (Photo courtesy of City Winery).

Music & Dance


Dancing

Massess for the

Now in its 8th season, the Chicago Dancing Festival is elevating dance in Chicago as one of the most widely sought-out art forms in the city, something its founders have sought from the beginning.

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By EMILY DISHER

n a breezy August evening nearly three years ago, Chicago’s voracious dance-loving audience waiting in a long line spilling from Auditorium Theater, down Congress and around the corner onto Wabash. It was one hour before curtain, and many were awaiting a free evening of dance performances, assembled as part of the annual Chicago Dancing Festival (CDF). Then in its fifth season, the celebration of dance spanning several days and featuring free performances by some of the best companies from Chicago and across the country, would treat thousands of eager theater-goers to performances by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Martha Graham Dance Company, Joffrey Ballet, River North Dance Chicago and Lar Lubovitch Dance Company—a truly all-star lineup. The energy built by the anticipation of that August evening performance three years ago (my first as an attendee) has never waned, keeping the festival coming back year after year, buoyed by funding from grants and generous donors. Now in its eighth season, CDF was founded in 2007 by Chicago native Lar Lubovitch and Chicago dancer Jay Franke, who each sought to elevate the awareness of dance in its many forms in Chicago. By presenting a wide variety of dance genres they hoped to help enrich the lives of Chicagoans while providing fresh inspiration for local artists. 58•CNCJASummer 58•CNCJASummer2014 2014

Franke explains, “(Lar) and I felt that if we could make (the festival) free to the public, it would help give people an opportunity to experience dance for the first time. It was really an experiment to grow the audience for dance.” The experiment has clearly worked, boosting Chicago’s dance profile across the country, and bringing in scores of returning and new dance fans—to the tune of 15,000 attendees per year. This season, CDF will present performances across several of Chicago’s most iconic stages, including the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion of Millennium Park. The 2014 festival will again include an impressive lineup of companies, featuring past favorites like HSDC and Martha Graham Dance Company. Plus, there will be newcomers to the CDF stage, including Stars of the American Ballet, Philadelphia-based Hip-Hop troupe Rennie Harris Puremovement, and New York-based contemporary ensemble Pam Tanowitz Dance. Franke and Lubovitch carefully select each of the companies who will perform at the festival, whether new to CDF or returning offering rich inspiration for dance-lovers—particularly those new to live dance performance. “We curate a program with the audience in mind, thinking about people who have never seen dance and what we might be able to show them for the first time.” Franke adds, “It’s really based on quality:


Photo by Costas

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Martha Graham Dance Company's Diana Vishneva and Abdiel Jacobsen in "Errand Into The Maz."

Summer 2014CNCJA•59


the choreographer, and the company, and the most talented dancers.” Franke wants newcomers to walk away feeling wowed. “If you saw Michael Jordan play basketball for your first game, it would make a lasting impression on you,” Franke explains. That’s how he wants first-time dance viewers to feel when they walk away from CDF. Franke also emphasizes the importance of exposing new audiences to various genres of dance. Thus, true to form, this year’s festival will include top artists in HipHop, classical ballet, contemporary, and modern dance—a little something for everyone. With the festival’s first simulcast performance, CDF will have the opportunity to bring its quality and variety to even more existing and new dance lovers this year. The opening night production on Wednesday, August 20 will be performed live at Harris Theater and will also be simulcast to additional audiences on a massive video screen at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion. Thus, those unable to secure tickets to the Harris Theater performance (tickets are free, but they go fast!), will have the chance to enjoy the simulcast outdoors on the pavilion’s beautiful greens (again no ticket required). And the opening night performance will be particularly exhilarating, as it will feature HSDC’s premiere of a new work by choreographer Kyle Abraham, a New York-based artist known for exploring identity, race, history, and social politics with his work. Franke notes, “Lar and I see a lot of dance in New York and other places. We were both huge fans of Kyle’s. His is a voice that we feel is relevant and important….We can’t wait to see what he does with the exceptionally talented dancers of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.” As if that wasn’t enough, CDF commissions a new work to unveil at the festival each year, and not just because it wants CDF audiences to enjoy the experience of viewing a piece for the very first time. Franke explains, “It’s important to not only bring outside dancers and companies to our city, but also to bring in works that Chicagoans have never seen before that can then live in our local companies’ repertories.” There is really nothing quite like CDF, where a love of dance has so completely inspired a community that it continues to bring together the best U.S. dance artists in one city every summer to celebrate movement and music with everyone, at zero cost to the audience. Whether you are an artist, a dance aficionado, or a dance newbie, CDF will inspire you. No tickets are needed for either of the outdoor Pritzker Pavilion events, including the Opening Night Simulcast on August 20 and the Grand Finale performance on August 23. The indoor performances are also free, but space is limited, so tickets must be reserved in advance at each venue’s box office and are limited to two tickets per order. For a complete schedule of performances, updates, and show times, visit chicagodancingfestival.com.

60•CNCJASummer 2014


Photo by Sharon Bradford Stars of American Ballet in "Fancy Free."

Summer 2014CNCJA•61


Alfonso Iannelli and the Studios Ironbound Carl Hammer Victory GardensGallery Theater(Tel. (Tel.312.266.8512, 773.871.3000,hammergallery.com) victorygardens.org) Chris Woz (CJ) Pile: Saints and Sinners

Okay, Bye

Julia Katz - New Figurative Paintings The Qualms Joan Holleb - New Paintings on Copper Hushabye ArchiTech Gallery (Tel. 312.475.1290, architechgallery.com)

Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org)

August2014

Greenhouse Theater Center (Tel. 773.404.7336, greenhousetheater.org) Stoop Time Hank Williams: Lost Highway Grounded Macbeth Black Ensemble Theater (Tel. 773.769.4451, blackensembletheater.org) The Diviners The StoryTheatre of The Marvellettes Lifeline (Tel. 773.761.4477, lifelinetheatre.com) Broadway In Chicago (Tel. 312.977.1700, broadwayinchicago.org) Monstrous Regiment Lookingglass Theatre (Tel. 773.477.9257, lookingglasstheatre.org) Mowtown The Musical Cascabel Charlotte's Webb Steppenwolf Theatre Theatre Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org) Chicago Shakespeare (Tel. 312.595.5600, chicagoshakes.com) This Is Our Youth Seussical The Qualms Eclipse Theatre (Tel. 773.728.2216, eclipsetheatre.org) Hushabye Intimate Apparel Okay, Bye First Folio Theatre in Oakbrook (630.986.8067, firstfolio.org) Ironbound The Merry Wives of Windsor Victory Gardens Theater (Tel. 773.871.3000, victorygardens.org) Goodman Theatre (Tel. 312.443.3800, goodmantheatre.org) Carrie Brigadoon Death and the Maiden Greenhouse Theater Center (Tel. 773.404.7336, greenhousetheater.org) Woz Stoop Time Writers Theatre in Glencoe (Tel. 847.242.6000, writerstheatre.org) Hank Like Williams: Lost Highway Days Today Lookingglass Theatre (Tel. 773.477.9257, lookingglasstheatre.org) The Dance of Death Cascabel Addington Gallery (Tel. 312.664.3406, addingtongallery.com)

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Subscribe at ClefNotesJournal.com and get great quarterly cover to cover coverage of Chicago's amazing arts and culture. Get four great issues for $18. Call 773.741.5502 for more details.

Clef N tes

5

Just a short drive from the Windy City

Top Vineyards

Smart Museum exhibit focuses on the national identity

AMERICA'S Self-Image

Rest your head at the epicenter of dance this summer

at the

SUMMER PILLOW

We go one-on-one with the artist as she gets set to make her Ravinia debut this summer.

Summer 2013

Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

JEWEL

Subscribe To Chicago's Premier magazine for Culture & the Clef N Performing Arts!

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The crooner talks life, music and bringing his Large Band to Ravinia

Lyle's Large Life

SUMMER 2011

4th Anniversary Issue

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Interview with Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member K. Todd Freeman

Lens of authenticity

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre celebrates a quarter century celebrating Shakespeare.

25 YEARS & COUNTING

A preview of the historic Paris Opéra Ballet as they kick off their American Tour at Harris Theatre.

Paris Comes to Millennium Park

Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art examines the impact of the Steins Family and and the passion they inspired in the appreciation of modern art.

a Legacy unveiled

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Andreas Mitisek takes the helm of Chicago Opera Theater with a new collaborative model that just may take COT to a whole new level

A Tale of Two Cities

Stephen Petronio Company is just one of our picks for the best and the brightest in Chicagoland's amazing new cultural season!

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

Chicago ( Tel. 312.491.8888, chicagoartistscoalition.org) AddingtonArtist's GalleryCoalition (Tel. 312.664.3406, addingtongallery.com) HATCH Artifice from the Cave l Julia Katz PROJECTS: - New Figurative Paintings Judy A. Saslow (Tel. 312.943.0530, jsaslowgallery.com) 1 2 3 4 5 l Joan Holleb - NewGallery Paintings on Copper Krista l l l l GalleryHarris Artists Linda Warren Projects (Tel 312.432.9500, lindawarrenprojects.com) Deer Path Art League in Lake Forest (Tel. 847.234.3743, deerpathartleague.org) William Eckhardt Kohler: Portals, Passages and Vessels l l l l l l l l l Members Exhibit Judith Mullen: A Good Wander l l l l Maya Polsky Gallery (Tel 312.440.0055, mayapolskygallery.com) Listings for permanent and onoing exhibits at museums listed within the Almanac may be found on pages 50, 51 & 54. Santana l l l l Packer Schopf Gallery (Tel 312.226.8984, packergallery.com) l l l l l Michael Dinges l l l l l Victorial Fuler l l l l l Geoffrey Smalley Clef tes l N l l l l Karen Savage Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

Theaters

Art Galleries

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Summer 2014CNCJA•63


Karyn Peterson's Exhibit Picks

b i h x e

Summer 2014 Pick List

ti s

Exhibits

The Machine Inside: Biomechanics The Field Museum Imagine if your jaws could crush over 8,000 pounds in one bite, your ears could act as air conditioners, and your legs could leap the length of a football field in a single bound. The Machine Inside: Biomechanics investigates the marvels of natural engineering. Explore how plants and animals stay in one piece despite the crushing forces of gravity, the pressure of water and wind, and the attacks of predators. Using surprising tactics, creatures endure the planet’s extreme temperatures, find food against fierce competition, and—without metal, motors or electricity—circulate their own life-sustaining fluids. See technological breakthroughs— like Velcro, wind turbines, and chainsaws—that were inspired by nature’s ingenuity. Discover how evolution is Earth’s greatest innovator with The Machine Inside at The Field through January of 2015. Visit fieldmuseum.org or call 312.922.9410 for more details.

Exhibits

Josef Koudelka: Nationality Doubtful Art Institute of Chicago Czech-born French artist Josef Koudelka belongs in the firmament of classic photographers working today. Honored with the French Prix Nadar (1978), the Hasselblad Prize (1992), and the International Center of Photography Infinity Award (2004), Koudelka is also a leading member of the world-renowned photo agency, Magnum. Josef Koudelka: Nationality Doubtful is his first retrospective exhibition in the United States since 1988. It’s also the first museum show ever to emphasize his original vintage prints, period books, magazines, and significant unpublished materials. You can see the exhibition of some of the most powerful examples of the artist's work at the Art Institute of Chicago through September. Visit artic.edu or call 312.443.3600 for more information.

Exhibits

Earth Explorers Museum of Science and Industry Journey to the wildest places on the globe in National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers. Highlighting the Earth’s spectacular eco-zones—Polar Regions, Oceans, Rain Forests, Mountains and Caves, and Savannas—this interactive exhibit brings the unparalleled adventures and discoveries to life and invites you to meet explorers who live these adventures every day. Earth Explorers will introduce you to the daring men and women who go farther than anyone else to discover new places, help protect our planet’s biodiversity and unearth new scientific discoveries—and you’ll be along for the wild ride. The exhibit runs through September 2014 at the Museum of Science and Industry. Visit msichicago.org or call 773.684.1414 for more details.

M

theater Theater

Andrew Schmidt's Theater Picks Brigadoon Goodman Theatre When American tourists Tommy and Jeff get lost on vacation in Scotland, they stumble into Brigadoon, a mythical village that appears for only one day every 100 years. No outsider can stay in Brigadoon unless they fall in love, and no resident can ever leave or the village will vanish forever. But when Tommy falls for a village girl, he is forced to choose between returning to the world that he knows—or taking a chance on life and love in the mysterious Brigadoon. Big, beautiful and beguiling, Brigadoon is a “ravishing” (The New Yorker) musical delight that will sweep you off your feet. See the first major U.S. revival of Brigadoon in 30 years at Goodman Theatre June 27 – August 3. Visit goodmantheatre.org or call 312.443.3800 for more details.

The Last Ship Bank of America Theatre A new musical with an original score by 16-time Grammy Award winner Sting, and inspired by the singer’s own childhood experiences, The Last Ship is a portrait of a community so bound together by passion, faith and tradition, they'll stop at nothing to preserve the only life they've ever known. The Last Ship gets its world premiere right here in Chicago and features direction by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Wicked), a book by Tony Award winner John Logan (Red) and Pulitzer Prize winner Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), and choreography by Olivier Award winner Steven Hoggett (Once). The show runs at Bank of America Theatre June 10 through July 13. Visit broadwayinchicago.org or call 312.977.1700 for more information.

64•CNCJASummer 2014

Henry V Chicago Shakespeare Theater “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!” In a rousing finale to its 2014 season, Shakespeare’s powerful history play takes center stage in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Courtyard Theater for the very first time. Acclaimed British director Christopher Luscombe, whose work has been featured at the Royal Shakespeare Company, sheds new light on the Bard’s legendary coming-of-age story. Against all odds, a charismatic young monarch confronted by the ferocity of war proves his worth as a man—and king. Henry V is Shakespeare’s rallying cry, celebrating the power of language to summon battlefields from thin air and ignite our souls to action. Henry V runs at Chicago Shakespeare Theater through June 15. For more information, visit chicagoshakes. com or call 312.595.5600.


Fred cummings' Music Picks

Music

Musical Thrills! Grant Park Music Festival Get ready for a mid-summer family “spooktacular” when the Grant Park Orchestra, led by guest conductor Andrew Grams, performs a concert of chilling favorites including Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre, and Stookey’s The Composer is Dead—a zany orchestra mystery by author Lemony Snicket narrated by film and television star Damon Gupton. The performance takes place July 23. Visit grantparkmusicfestival.com or call 312.742.7638 for more details.

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The Emperor of Atlantis/The Clever One Chicago Opera Theater The Emperor of Atlantis (Der Kaiser von Atlantis) and The Clever One (Die Kluge) are both satires about oppression and dictatorship. Both operas were composed in 1943 but in somewhat different worlds: Ullman's work in the concentration camp of Theresienstadt (Terezin), and Orff's opera in Frankfurt, Germany. This double bill plays on the historical tensions between these two works and offers a penetrative insight into the different ways these composers used their powerful artistic gifts to give the world searing political commentary on very powerful world issues. The Emperor of Atlantis/The Clever One will run at DePaul University’s Merle Reskin Theatre June 4, 6 and 8. For more information, visit chicagooperatheater.org or call 312.704.8414. Orbert Davis, Trumpet City Winery One of Chicago’s most celebrated jazz trumpeters, Emmy Award-winner Orbert Davis will pay tribute to the legendary Miles Davis (no relation), arguably the best known and most influential jazz musician of the 20th Century. Orbert will be joined by the outstanding Chicago reedmen Ari Brown and Ernest Dawkins, accompanied by Ernie Adams (drums), Stewart Miller (bass), and Leandro Lopez Varady (piano). Expect to hear selections from Kind of Blue, the best-selling jazz record of all time, as well as Davis’ own compositions personally inspired by his jazz idol. This afternoon’s performance is a rare treat to hear Davis and friends perform in an intimate setting. Hear the performance June 8 at City Winery. Visit citywinery.com/chicago.

Brittany Rice's Dance Picks

Danc

Music Dance

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Harris Theater for Music and Dance The New York Times calls Hubbard Street, “a cure for the ills of the era.” Chicago will get a heavy dose of that cure when William Forsythe’s transcendent Quintett, Nacho Duato’s sinewy, Mediterranean Gnawa, and a world premiere by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s resident choreographer, Alejandro Cerrudo, light up Millennium Park with a live simulcast from Chicago’s Harris Theater for Music and Dance this summer. Performances are June 5-8. Visit hubbardstreetdancechicago.com or call 312.850.9744 for more information.

dance

JUBA! – Chicago Human Rhythm Project Museum of Contemporary Art Stage Series Extraordinary foot drummers and percussive arts masters from both sides of the Atlantic share the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Edlis Neeson Theater stage for JUBA! this summer. The acclaimed Greg Spero Trio collaborates with different headliners each night of the rousing JUBA! performances at the MCA. Lineups range from full-length solos, to dazzling duos and trios, to full throttle ensemble work. These three distinct programs of dance at MCA Stage are a part of Chicago’s prized citywide festival Rhythm World. Rhythm World runs July 7–August 3. For more details, visit mcachicago.org or call 312.280.2660.

Opposite page from top: Discover the biological secrets of everything from cheetahs to ants to Venus Flytraps in The Field Museum's newest exhibit The Machine Inside: Biomechanics (photo by John Weinstein); Harry Judge as King Henry in Shakespeare Theater's Henry V (photo by Liz Lauren); Above: Conductor Andrew Grams (photo by Masataka Suemitsu). Left: Chicago Human Rhythm Project dancer in JUBA! (photo courtesy of the Chicago Human Rhythm Project). Summer 2014CNCJA•65


s u i c m Editor's Picks

Summer 2014 Pick List

Exhibit

S o m e t h i n g Wonderful – An evening of Broadway with Deborah Voigt and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Ravinia Festival After conquering arias by Wagner and Strauss at Ravinia in 2011, the superlative soprano Deborah Voigt returns to the world renowned Highland Park festival to tackle music by another famous Richard—Rodgers—and other composers of quintessential Broadway hits. The Great American Songbook is opened wide for this concert led by Tony Award–winning conductor Ted Sperling. Hear Something Wonderful July 13 at Ravinia’s Pavilion. For more information, visit Ravinia.org or call 847.266.5000.

Simon Starling: Metamorphology Museum of Contemporary Art Since emerging from the Glasgow art scene in the early 1990s, Simon Starling (British, b. 1967) has established himself as one of the leading artists of his generation, working in a wide variety of media (film, installation, photography) to interrogate the histories of art and design, scientific discoveries, and global economic and ecological issues, among other subjects. The recipient of the 2005 Turner Prize, Starling has had major exhibitions in kunsthalles and museums throughout the world, and his work can be found in the collections of some of the world’s leading art institutions; yet surprisingly—especially given the exceptional breadth of his practice and volume of his output—he has never been the subject of a survey in a major American museum...until now. Simon Starling: Metamorphology runs at the Museum of Contemporary Art June 7 through November 2. Visit mcachicago.org or call 312.280.2660 for more information.

exhibits

theater

usic

Publisher's Picks

Mud Blue Sky A Red Orchid Theatre A high school pot dealer abandons his prom night to crash the hotel-room reunion between three flight attendants (all old enough to be his mother). Keep your seat belt fastened throughout this performance, as you are certain to experience turbulence. Local Playwright Marisa Wegrzyn’s profoundly compassionate and fiercely witty play makes its Chicago Premiere at A Red Orchid Theatre this summer. Mud Blue Sky runs through June 29. Visit aredorchidtheatre.org or call for more details 312-943-8722. Carrie Newcomer City Winery Carrie Newcomer’s music has always explored the intersection of the spiritual and the daily, the sacred and the ordinary. Over the course of her career she has become a prominent voice for progressive spirituality, social justice, and interfaith dialogue. Her ability for sharp observation of the world lead the Dallas Morning News to rave, “She's the kind of artist whose music makes you stop, think, and then say, ‘that is so true.’” She has been described as “a soaring songstress” by Billboard, a “prairie mystic” by the Boston Globe and Rolling Stone has declared that Newcomer “asks all the right questions.” Hear Newcomer celebrate the release of her most recent album A Permeable Life Sunday June 22 at City Winery. For more details, visit citywiner.com/chicago or call 312.733.9463. Above: Acclaimed soprano Deborah Voigt (photo courtesy of Ravinia Festival). Left: Singer-songwriter Carrie Newcommer (photo courtesy of City Winery).

66•CNCJASummer 2014


FALL IN LOVE ALL OVER AGAIN WITH THE RAVISHING MUSICAL...

BIG, BEAUTIFUL AND BEGUILING,

JUNE 27 – AUGUST 3

Brigadoon IS A MAGICAL AND SWEEPING FANTASy. When American tourists Tommy and Jeff get lost on vacation in Scotland, they stumble upon Brigadoon, a mythical village that appears for only one day each century. When Tommy falls for a local girl, he is forced to choose between the disconcerting world he knows— or a mysterious town where he has finally found true love.

Featuring a cast of 28 actors, Brigadoon is this summer’s musical spectacular!

TICKETS START AT JUST $25!

312.443.3800 | GoodmanTheatre.org 312.443.3820 or GoodmanTheatre.org/Groups for groups of 15+

Major Corporate Sponsor

Corporate Sponsor Partner

Corporate Sponsor Partner

Production Support

WHAT GREAT THEATER SHOULD BE

Media Partner

Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre

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Preferred Hotel of Goodman Theatre

Summer 2014CNCJA•67


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Discover Kinzie. Discover why Chicago starts here.

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Clef Notes Journal summer 2014 digital  

Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts' summer 2014 digital issue

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