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Clef N tes

Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

HAVANA BLUE

When Orbert Davis and Frank Chavez compared notes after a culturally-rich journey to Cuba, the result became one sizzling night Chicago's fans of music and dance will get to experience this spring. By Emily Disher

Arts & Education in Chicago:

LESSONS THROUGH THE LOOKINGGLASS

A City Found Art Institute exhibit examines the indelible impact of the Great Migration on Chicago's cultural identity.

Unboxed Creativity at The Chicago Children's Museum


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Contents

Photo by Liz Lauren

Spring 2013

28 CNCJA

FEATURES

10 Interview with Actor Jay Whittaker We sit down with the Chicago theater luminary in advance of his upcoming performance as Angello in Robert Falls' spring production of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure at Goodman Theatre.

12 Culture at the Mid-day We've compiled the best and brightest arts and culture opportunities at the mid-day— events you can catch while the kids are in school or even on your lunch break. The best part: the caliber of performances here rivals the best in any city's prime-time arts calendar.

27 In This Quarter Year Goodman Theatre's Other Desert Cities, Lyric Opera's La Boheme, Hamburg Ballet's “Nijinsky” and the Sultans of String are just a few of the amazing performances we review In This Quarter Year.

50 Staying Power Above: (L-R) John Hoogenakker (Trip Wyeth), Chelcie Ross (Lyman Wyeth), Deanna Dunagan (Polly Wyeth), Linda Kimbrough (Silda Grauman) and Tracy Michelle Arnold (Brooke Wyeth) in Jon Robin Baitz's Other Desert Cities at Goodman Theatre.

One of Chicago's longest running hit stage productions, the international phenomenon, Blue Man Group, has maintained longevity in Chicago by exercising a one-of-a-kind stage brand, employing a smart retooling and maintaining a keen understanding of socially relevant issues, all while offering fresh and entertaining performances every day. Spring 2013CNCJA•3


From the Publisher’s Desk

Photo by Getty Images

Forecasts notwithstanding, spring has definitely arrived in Chicago. And in Chicago, spring is often considered one of the most exciting components of the annual arts and culture calendar. Often the second wind of our culture season, spring offers new, reinvigorated energy with productions, performances and exhibits that frequently mark the highlight and most inspired events of a cultural institution's season. Sources of that inspiration serve as some of the most fascinating aspects of Chicago cultural life. Of course, in every arts-focused city, inspiration can come from anywhere. But with the enormous level of support for the arts here, artists enjoy a great freedom that encourages a wealth of experimentation. And that beckons all sorts of inspiration. Clef Notes' Spring 2013 is all about the unique inspirations behind the exciting cultural events in this second wind of our arts season. One of the most inspired elements of arts and culture in Chicago is the training of our young talents.The ability to plant seeds in fertile young minds, seeds that can grow into the most incredible artistic vision, is one of the most rewarding aspects of life. And in our new expanded Arts & Education feature, David Berner examines Lookingglass Theatre's unique camp, Springglass, an exceptional training and coaching program that develops area students with a passion for the live stage. It's a wonderful program that can inspire a lifelong love of the theater arts. Also in this issue, we take a look at the inspiration behind the Art Institute's newest exhibition, They Seek a City, an intriguing show that chronicles the indelible impact of the Great Migration on Chicago's cultural scene through the artists that sought a haven here in the Midwest. It offers a fascinating look at a seminal moment in Chicago's development as a Midwestern metropolis and the cultural hub it is today. And, of course, we had a wonderful time learning all about the exciting inspiration for “Havana Blue.” Cocommissioned by the Auditorium Theatre, “Havana Blue” combines the forces of Frank Chavez, artistic director of River North Dance Chicago, and Orbert Davis, artistic director of The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. Emily Disher had a chance to sit down with both artists on their collaboration and its origins, which began on a 2011 jourThe beautiful coast-side skyline of Havana Cuba. nal to Chavez home of Cuba. What it produced was just the sort of one-of-a-kind work that could only be created in Chicago. It's all perfect fodder that apex, the incredible crescendo that the spring season often means to Chicago arts and culture. Cultivated from a seed, reinvigorated and energized, Chicago's cultural calendar has some powerfully wonderful experiences ahead. We hope you'll take an opportunity to find inspiration here in the pages of Clef Notes so that you won't miss a moment of it! Sincerely,

D. Webb Publisher 4•CNCJASpring 2013

Clef N tes

Chicagoland Journal for the Arts Spring 2013

Publisher D. Webb

Editorial Editor

Patrick M. Curran II

Associate Editors Christopher Hopper Scott Elam Meaghan Phillips

Editorial Support Rachel Cullen

Staff Writers and Contributors Kathryn Bacasmot David Berner Samantha Church Fred Cummings Emily Disher Don Fujiwara Alex Keown Cathlyn Melvin Amanda Scherker

Art & Design Art Director

Carl Benjamin Smith

Contributing Photographers Colin Lyons Jason M. Reese

Graphics & Design Specialists Chelsea Davis Angela Chang

Advertising Tel. 773.741.5502 Jason Montgomery Jason.Montgomery@ClefNotesJournal.com Subscriptions Clef Notes is published quarterly (March, June, September and December) each year. An annual subscription to the magazine may be purchased by mailing a check or money order for $18 to Clef Notes Publishing, Inc., 5815 N. Sheridan Road, Suite 1107, Chicago, IL 60660. Bulk rates are also available. Credit card purchases may be secured online at ClefNotesJournal.com or by calling 773.741.5502. Copyright © 2012 Clef Notes Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the USA.


Contents

Photo by Colin Lyons

Spring 2013

38

CNCJA

DEPARTMENTS

16 Arts & Education Our special section on arts education in Chicagoland highlights Lookingglass' Springglass Camp, a program that takes teens with a passion for the live stage and cultivates knowledge and skills in the theater that will last a lifetime.

22 Curator's Corner: A City Found New Art Institute exhibit examines the impact of the Great Migration on Chicago's cultural landscape through the eyes of the artists who found a haven here in the Midwest.

38 Shall We Dance?: Havana Blue Emily Disher sits down with Frank Chavez and Orbert Davis, the two architects behind one of this spring's most anticipated performances, the world premiere of “Havana Blue.” On the Cover: On the Cover: (L-R) Artistic director for the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Orbert Davis and artistic director for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Frank Chavez; Above: Chavez is joined by River North Dance Chicago dancers Michael Gross and Jessica Wolfrum. Photos by Colin Lyons.

54 Cultural Almanac: Unboxed Creativity The Chicago Children's Museum takes kids back to basics with an exhibit that offers the simplest inspiration for creativity, revealing just how imaginative children can be with something as basic as a cardboard box. Spring 2013CNCJA•5


scuttlebutt

Letters from our readers... Winery Love

Photo by Colin Lyons

I really enjoyed learning about City Winery in the Chicago Loop ("Chicago's Wine Country," Winter 2013 Issue). I LOVE wine and music. How did I not know this place existed?! You guys always point out the sleepers for me. I love your magazine. Anel Parks Chicago - Downtown

City Winery on West Randolph in Chicago's Loop.

Thank you for the recent article on Portage Park's arts resurgence (Little Renaissance in Portage Park, Winter 2013). I am a longtime resident and can tell you that the projects that Alderman Arena and (Arts Alive) have undertaken have absolutely revitalized our community...and are a perfect example of how powerfully the arts can impact any neighborhood. Thank you so much for drawing attention to our thriving community. Rachel Kim Chicago - Portage Park

Orion Angst

The historic Portage Theatre of Portage Park in Chicago.

Glenn Klemp Evanston, 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 Feedback@ClefNotesJournal.com. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without the express written consent of the publisher. Clef Notes Publishing makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the magazine’s content. However, we cannot be held responsible for any consequence arising from errors or omissions.

Photo by cornelia babbit

I have a problem with your review of the Orion Ensemble's 25th anniversary concert (Winter 2013). The review is a perfect example how critics often look painstakingly for flaws in a concert performance instead of experiencing the performance and simply relating that experience for your readers. Specifically, it seemed a bit nitpicky to me to point out flaws between works on a program and not the performance itself....Pointing out a time lag in tuning an instrument? Really? It doesn't seem relevant. Perhaps its me being too picky. But the old adage has its merits: if you can't find something nice to say, then say nothing at all. It's something that irks me to no end.

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Photo Courtesy of Arts Alive 45

Portage Park Pride

Members of the acclaimed chamber music ensemble Orion Ensemble.


48 The riveTing dark-comic classic:

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Tickets start at just $20. Buy online at steppenwolf.org or call 312-335-1650.

Official 2012/13 Season Lighting Sponsor

Spring 2013CNCJA•7


Out and About

Photos by Jennifer Girard

C

hicago's dance and philanthropic communities came out in full force this season to celebrate the anniversary of River North Dance Chicago’s (RNDC) artistic director, Frank Chaves, at the “Momentum: 2012 Gala.” Featuring a special performance at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance (205 E. Randolph Dr.) debuting two world premieres and one of Chaves’ own pieces, guests were treated to the true beauty and diversity that embodies RNDC. The celebration continued as 700 guests made their way to The Fairmont Chicago for a festive evening of cocktails, dinner and, of course, dancing. Co-chaired by RNDC Board members Marcus Boggs, Philip Lumpkin and Joseph Seigle and Corporate Co-Chairs Peter Korst and Bernadette Rasmussen, the event raised a record-breaking $355,000 to benefit RNDC’s multi-pronged education, community and artistic programming.

(L to R) RNDC Artistic Director Frank Chaves, Board Member and co-chair Philip Lumpkin, Helen Melchior and Joffrey Ballet Executive Director Christopher Clinton Conway.

(L to R) RNDC Board Member Gary Metzner, Executive Director Gail Kalver and Kevin McGirr..

(L to R) David Sawyer, Lisa LoVallo, Carol Sawyer and Michael LoVallo.

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(L to R) Louise Sclafani and RNDC Board Member Suzanne Lynch.

(L to R) Tina Rosion and Scott Lieber..


Enjoy a Great Outlook for Spring!

T

Michele and Gerald Palmer.

Evening Coats & Clutches By: Badgley Mischka

Photos by J. B. Spector

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) held its 30th "Black Creativity," black-tie gala on Saturday, January 26, 2013. The gala, planned in collaboration with a committee of prominent Chicago AfricanAmerican leaders, raised more than $400,000 in support of the annual Black Creativity program, which pays tribute to the culture, heritage and science contributions of African Americans. NBC 5’s Michelle Relerford emceed the evening’s program, which carried the evening's theme, African Americans in Innovation.

(L - R) Travis Olison, Al Gonzales and Rose Salmon Shot.

Efrem and Nicole Burton.

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10•CNCJASpring 2013 Photo Courtesyof Goodman Theatre

Luminary


By ANDREW SCHMIDT

A

Actor Jay Whittaker is no stranger to Chicago theater. In fact, from Goodman, Steppenwolf and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre to a wide spread of the most daring off-loop storefronts, Jay has graced the stages of productions from one end of the Chicago theater spectrum to the other, and one thing he knows is how to view a role through a variety of lenses. This spring, he'll tackle Angelo in Robert Fall's production of Measure for Measure at the Goodman Theatre. Considered one of Shakespeare's most difficult works, Measure for Measure will pose a number of esoteric challenges, but as Jay points out, Falls will most certainly direct us toward a genuine perspective that is new and uniquely Chicago. With career credits that include stages on Broadway and in London along with high profile roles in film and television to boot, Whittaker's take on the process is refreshingly honest, betraying a genuine stage aesthetic that takes each role as the unique and individual artistic challenge that it is, giving audiences a real glimpse into the crystallization of a playwright's true intent. A.S.: Measure for Measure has often been called one of the Bard's “problem” plays. And much of the work's complexity lies in its subtle dance between comedy and tragedy. You're certainly no stranger to the subtleties in live theater roles, and no stranger to Shakespeare. How does this work measure-up (no pun intended) to other intricately subtle roles you've taken? J.W: Major events happen to Shakespeare's characters on stage or right before they enter, as opposed to Chekov or Ibsen, where the actor must enter with the weight of a lifetime of events that are alluded to and revealed as the play progresses. I find Shakespeare much easier to play. The danger for me with roles in Ibsen and Chekov is to get too caught up in my head rather than fully inhabiting the events happening on stage. Shakespeare frees you from that, he lets you have your thought processes out loud in soliloquies to the audience or even spoken to another character. I find Shakespeare much less complex because you are tackling each component of the complexity as it arises on stage in view of the audience and you can let each moment compel you toward whatever cathartic event is provided for, often times the death of the character.

A.S.: How psyched are you to work with Robert Falls on one of Shakespeare's most difficult works? J.W.: I'm always excited to work with Bob. This is my third show with him. It's always a fun process, never dull, and he will approach Shakespeare in a different way than I am used to working, which is exciting. I spend my summers working at The Old Globe Theatre with Adrian Noble, who ran the Royal Shakespeare Company for 10 years. Half of my year I am working on Shakespeare in a very traditional British way, so it will be an exciting change to approach it through Bob's gritty Chicago perspective and the lens of Stanislavski's teachings. A.S.: Has your work in Chicago identified for you Chicago's audiences in any way distinct from audiences you've experienced in live theater around the globe? J.W.: Chicago audiences are proud of the gem that they have, which is a vital, truthful, gritty style of theater based on the ensemble telling a story well, rather than a group of television stars preening and giving autographs after the show. Chicago audiences come to see a story told with truth, rather than coming to see a star and most other regional theaters farm their actors in from New York. Chicago audiences get to see mainly Chicago actors. I think that is rare. This, combined with the fact that Chicago is not a teeming metropolis like New York or London, allows for a sense of community between artists and audience that you don't get anywhere else. A.S.: I'd imagine Angelo is a lot to sink your teeth into as an actor. Are there any other roles you've come across you'd like to take on? J.W.: I don't really have any dream roles; each one that comes up, I try to sink my teeth into and let it be THE dream role. After (Measure for Measure) closes, I get to play Guildenstern in Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead. I'm really excited to sink my teeth into that play as well! A.S.: What "role" would you have if you'd opted not to become an actor? J.W.: If I wasn't an actor I would be doing something in nature; either horticulture, something with medicinal herbs or working for the parks service as a ranger. A.S.: What's your favorite App? J.W.: So many: I love Spotify, Tune in Radio, Stitcher, and I love my elevation app, I like to know how high I am.

You can see Jay take flight on stage when Measure for Measure, directed by Robert Falls, runs at Goodman Theatre March 9 through April 14, 2013.

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C ult ur e at t h e M i d - d ay Whether you're perpetually busy with the kids or exiled to the outskirts on the weekends, sometimes you just can't get away to soak in Chicago's amazing cultural events. We've got just the thing for you: the city's best bets for afternoon arts and culture. Take in a concert, see a show or an exhibition; it doesn't matter, Chicago's got high-calibur culture to suit anyone's calendar constraints!

P.M. at the Pier

Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago's Millennium Park; (Inset) The Seldoms perform "Marchland." Photo by Dan Merlo.

R TE EA H

Chicago is the world capital for sterling regional theater, so there are countless opportunities for mid-day theater fun in the city, but where in the city can one go to get the stunning views Navy Pier offers as a backdrop to superlative live stage performances the likes of Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST)? This spring, CST (ChicagoShakes.com) will provide the first reading of William Shakespeare's masterwork, Henry VIII, in the company's history under the masterful hands of esteemed artistic director Barbara Gaines. As the sordid tale unfolds of England's most opulent king—notorious for his habit of wedding and beheading—Anne Boleyn rises to power, Queen Catherine is ousted from her throne, and the political machinations and exploits of a king's PHOTO COURTESY OF CHIC AGO reign are laid bare. Weekday SHA KES noontime performances of PE AR E T this Shakespeare classic this spring are 1 p.m. on May 15, 16, 22 and 29.

Millennium Park's Harris Theater (harristheaterchicago.org) is known as a lightning rod for some of the world's best arts and culture performances, and patrons can sample some of that culture while they lunch smack dab in the middle of their work day with the Eat to the Beat lunchtime series at the Harris. With spring performances by the likes of The Seldoms, you have all the makings for a high caliber, culture-filled lunch experience. And you don't have to go hungry to enjoy this series. The Harris invites guests to bring a meal, have a bite and soak in a world class performance.

Lunching at Lyric You may have to take a long lunch for this one, but you'll feast on some of the best opera this side of Milan. Lyric Opera (LyricOpera. org) offers a convenient afternoon indulgence in Chicago's west Loop. And this spring, they present matinee performances of Verdi's tragic opera, Rigoletto. Dash over to Lyric Opera House for a 2 p.m. curtain time on May 1, 10, 14 or 27 this spring and indulge in 2 hours and 28 minutes of Verdi's debauchery and vengeancescarred tragedy sung by some of the most glorious voices on the continent. Photo by Cory Weaver

Photo Courtesyof Harris Theatre

Mid-day Musings in Millennium Park

Tenor Giuseppe Filianoti in Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

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Left: The grand facade of Shakespeare Theatre at Chicago's Navy Pier.


Like Chicago theater, there is no shortage of top flight museums that offer an early afternoon respite for culture-seakers in the city. But design and convenience afford South Loop Museum Campus visitors the benefits of three world-class institutions all packed neatly into one location for outstanding noon-time cultural exploration.

Daytime Diversions

Photo © Philippe Saila

Created after a 1998 reconfiguration of Lake Shore Drive, Chicago's Museum Campus houses the offerings of The Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum and Adler Planetarium all seemingly weaved together into the same verdant expanse. Visitors can stop in at The Field (fieldmuseum.org) this spring and escape deep within the prehistoric caves of southwestern France with Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux. View the beautifully subtle paintings and engravings of animals lining the deep cave walls, all the complex artwork of early ancestors in the birthplace of artistic creativity. After, visit The Shedd (sheddaquarium.org) and be mesmerized by the pulsing dance of Jellies. Some of the simplest, yet most resilient creatures of the world's oceans are on display in this exhibition that varies its subjects from the miniscule to the behemoth and illuminates the The black cow, found in Lascaux's main gallery illustrates the way the cave was not simply science behind some of the most dazzling creatures on the planet. Finally, painted once and left, but painted, and repainted over generations. Behind the black cow, you take a spin around the cosmos at The Adler (adlerplanetarium.org) with can see traces of other animals that were since painted over. The Universe: A Walk Through Space and Time. Visit distant stars in the blink of an eye and witness how the universe has evolved. The sleek, virtual, interactive exhibition offers visitors a unique look at nearby galaxies and upclose looks at points in our nighttime sky, the perfect vantage point for exploring the universe, its beginnings and beyond. Museum Campus visitors will also get a cultural bonus with the Campus' honorary member, Soldier Field. On your way to the Field, witness the Veteran's Memorial water wall, a stunning tribute to American solders displayed just outside the home of the Chicago Bears.

Artful Afternoons Located centrally along Chicago's Cultural Mile, the Art Institute of Chicago (artic.edu) gives midday visitors a chance to view the world's finest masterpieces, along with modern treasures housed neatly along Michigan Avenue right off Chicago's lakefront. This spring, take a tour of Picasso and Chicago, the first large-scale Pablo Picasso. Maquette for Richard J. Daley exhibition of the artist Center Monument, 1965. The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Pablo Picasso. © 2013 Estate organized by The of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), Art Institute New York. in over 30 years. This exhibition celebrates the special 100-year relationship between Picasso and Chicago by bringing together over 250 of the finest examples of the artist's paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, and ceramics from private collections in the city, as well as from the museum's own venerable collection. The exhibition, currently on view, runs through May 12, 2013. Right: A young explorer observes one of the beautiful residents of The Judy Istok Butterfly Haven at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park.

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Nature at Noon Lincoln Park's Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (chias.org) offers afternoon explorers much more than just the marvels of the flora and fauna variety. It houses the scientific treasures of the first museum of the West, The Chicago Academy of Sciences. This spring explore more than 75 species of exotic butterflies and stunning bird species from the Southern hemisphere in The Judy Istok Butterfly Haven, a 2,700 square-foot greenhouse filled with pools of water, flowers, tropical trees and 1,000 butterflies, including those never-before-seen in our region. The exhibit runs at the Nature Museum throughout the spring.

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Just a short jaunt along Chicago's North Shore, visit The Chicago Botanic Garden's new exhibition that reveals the Garden in a new remarkable light. Nature's In View places the spotlight squarely on Botanic Garden's Photographic Society. Stunning photographic images taken by its members capture fleeting moments of beauty—from the morning mist to the first spring bloom. The exhibit runs from April 17 through May 19, 2013. Spring 2013CNCJA•13


Architecture for an Afternoon

Free Lunch?...Free Culture, at least!

The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust (gowright. org) presents one of the most respected collections of architectural tours in the nation with Wright Plus 2013 on Saturday, May 18, 2013. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors can partake in the 39th annual internationally renowned architectural housewalk featuring rare interior tours of nine private homes designed by Oak Park's favorite son, Frank Lloyd Wright, and his contemporaries. And visitors get entry to three landmark Wright buildings. Enjoy interpretations based on in-depth research of the homes' histories and architecture, including discussions of the original occupants' lifestyles. Experience the extraordinary mix of famed architectural styles lining the streets of Oak Park, and share in a fun-filled day with visitors from around the world. Guests can select from an a la carte style tour, electing to view specific homes or the entire slate of Wright designed or inspired sites.

Mozart at the Mid-day

Left: The Robert P. Parker House is one of Frank Lloyd Wright's "bootleg" houses, designed while he was employed as an architect in Louis Sullivan's firm; Above Right: The Frank Long House (1925) by Leon Stanhope was inspired by English cottage designs. Photos by James Caulfield. Below: Acclaimed pianist Mitsuko Uchida conducts from the keyboard. Photo by Hyou Vielz.

At 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 29, 2013, Chicagoans will get a chance to hear Mozart performed by one of the worlds most important proponents of the literature. Japanese pianist Mitsuko Uchida pulls double duty as soloist and conductor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (cso.org) in a performance of two of Mozart's greatest concerti—the charming No. 17 in G Major and the beloved No. 27 in B-flat Major. It all takes place at Symphony Center, right across the street from The Art Institute. An afternoon of Piccaso and Mozart? Talk about cultural debauchery!

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Chicagoland offers no better venue than Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center (across from Millennium Park) to combine high caliber artists, lunch-time concerts and free admittance! The weekly Dame Myra Hess Concert Series has been a staple for lunchtime culture fans in downtown Chicago for decades, bringing bright emerging artists from around the globe under the Tiffany dome of Preston Bradley Hall. The Wednesday 12:15 p.m. concerts are also broadcast live over 98.7WFMT radio, Chicago's only classical raido station. If you can't get down to Preston Bradley on Wednesdays, however, you might try Mondays...first Mondays, that is. The venerable Chicago Chamber Musicians (chicagochambermusic.org) have been gracing audiences since 1986 with Free First Monday's, giving lunchtime concert-goers an opportunity to hear wonderfully imaginative chamber music programming by world class artists, and at no cost. Now that's even better than a free lunch!


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Arts & Education in Chicago

LLookingglass ookingglass

Photo Courtesyof Lookingglass THeatre

LESSONS

16•CNCJASpring 2013

THROUGH THE


Lookingglass Theatre's annual Springglass Camp builds valuable skills and competencies in area teens with a passion for the arts that will benefit them well beyond the stage.

S

By DAVID BERNER

Left: Sam Clendenning and other members of the Lookingglass Springglass Camp's Young Ensemble 2012 in Warmth in the Windows at Lookingglass Theatre.

Wonjung Bae MFA Candidate, Film & Video

The ability to think creatively and work collaboratively drives success in today’s competitive and everchanging economy. A Columbia College education meets the demands of this challenging environment, preparing students for successful careers as part of the world’s next generation of artists and innovators.

* Gold Medal, Documentary, 38th student Academy Awards, 2011 * student Film Award, Directors Guild of America, 2010 * Bronze Award, Kodak Cinematography scholarship, 2010 * Internship at PBs’s Frontline

Learn more about Wonjung: colum.edu/CreativeWorks

Photo: DreW reynolDs (BA ’97)

am Clendenning, a junior at Kenwood Academy on Chicago’s Southside, has spent a lot of his time at Lookingglass Theatre over the years. He has helped write and stage youth productions as part of the theater’s education and community programs since he was an 8-year old elementary school student. Sam’s also performed in numerous Springglass Camp shows. But there’s still one aspect of acting he’d really like to continue to perfect. “I want to do more stage combat,” Sam says. “That really interests me and it’s fun.” At Lookingglass Theatre, Sam gets to fight even if it's pretend. During the week-long Springglass Spring Break Camp held each year at the theater’s home in Water Tower Works on Michigan Avenue, campers experience the thrill of stage fighting, learning the elements of stage combat—along with other physical theater techniques, including juggling and stilt walking. This is what goes on in the camp’s morning hours. During the afternoon session, the emphasis changes to focus on a particular performance. In this year’s Springglass Camp, March 25-29, participants will be adapting their own versions of the classic stories from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carol. “They’ll pick a scene and have fun with it,” says Andy White, artistic director at Lookingglass. White is one of the company’s original founding ensemble members, along with actor David Schwimmer. “Kids will most certainly be doing something with the Mad Hatter and the Caterpillar,” White insists. “It’s all about awakening their capacity to invent.” Lookingglass Theatre was founded in 1988 on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston before moving to its current home in Chicago in 2003. The company has performed more than 50 original works and won a 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award. But the company also believes in reaching out to the youth community. For more than 20 years, Lookingglass has been helping young thespians find their creative selves with programs for kids 8-14 years of age. One of the most popular is the spring camp. Past productions have

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PhotoS Courtesyof Lookingglass THeatre

Arts & Education in Chicago

included student adaptations of Around the World in Eighty Days, The Odyssey, and Grimm’s Fairytales, with the company’s reputation for physical theatrical pieces spilling over into the educational programs. “We have a wonderful range of kids. Some have never tried anything like this before and we see such a transformation. We get them moving, and then there’s this arc, a little journey the student makes,” says White. “They rise to the challenge and come up with great work.” Like the 23 other ensemble members, Andy White is a multi-disciplined artist who believes theater can be an incredible learning experience, helping to develop skills that resonate far beyond the arts. 18•CNCJASpring 2013

“The kids learn to work collaboratively, learn how to work in a group with strangers. We smash them together like atoms and create nuclear fusion in the form of a show,” White adds. “It’s the reason why sports works as an educational platform. It’s the concept of team. It’s the same function, just applied to the arts.” Conveniently for parents, the Springglass Spring Break Camp runs Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and Lookingglass also offers scholarships for qualified campers as part of its mission to help make the arts (especially arts education) accessible to all children, no matter their economic background. Part of the proof of that commitment are the Lookingglass Residency Programs in Chicago’s public schools, exposing students who have little or no knowledge


bilities until it’s uncovered.” Lookingglass also offers summer programs for children. And as a way to give students a sneak peak at what to expect, the theater has a one-week Spring Break Arts Quest Camp. Campers are immersed in daily classes in storytelling, music and theater arts at the Menomonee Club in Lincoln Park, a long-respected recreational kids program on the city’s Northside. The Quest Camp also includes a trip to the Field Museum. Lookingglass’ goal is to open up the minds of children to the possibilities of art in all its forms. “For some, this is a place they’ve never been,” says White. “They go from zero knowledge, and over time we will see significant changes, and they’ll see it in themselves.” Although Sam, 16, is now too old for the spring camps at Lookingglass, he is a continuing advocate for what those programs can give to a young person. “I love how involved I got. We’d play theater games and design the entire shows, the music and everything,” Sam says. Sam’s 3rd grade teacher introduced him to the arts, putting on plays in his elementary school classroom as a way to complement the learning process. It sparked something in him. And it was that spark that ignited Sam’s interest in performance and what led him to the Lookingglass student camps, unveiling his potent love of live theater. “I’m not sure if acting is what I want to pursue, but what I’ve learned (at Lookingglass) is really about creativity. We collaborate, work as a team. You can’t help but discover how to work with others,” says Sam. “Even if I decide to become an accountant, what I’ve learned at the Lookingglass camps will help me. I’m sure of it.”  of theater performance or stage presentations. More than 20 schools and community agencies are involved with the programs and recently, Lookingglass Above Left: The Springglass Young Ensemble celebrated the 20th anniversary of its collaborain Apolaclyse (2011); Inset: Teens enjoy tion with the students and teachers at Chicago’s Lookingglass' summer Camp on Lake Hawthorne Scholastic Academy in Lakeview. Michigan (2007). “Diving into those unknown waters many times brings out special things,” says White. “Kids sometimes don’t realize their own capa-

2013 SUMMER PROGRAMS Classes and camps for everyone from newborn to 18.

EARLY CHILDHOOD JULY 8 – AUGUST 17 Shake, Rattle & Roll Movers & Shakers Music Masters I Music Together Music Masters Camp

GROUP CLASSES

JULY 8 – AUGUST 15 Introduction to Band Instruments Guitar Piano Children’s Choir

SUMMER CAMPS JUNE 25 – JUNE 29 Flute Camp Guitar Camp Trombone Camp Tuba/Euphonium Camp JULY 8 – JULY 12 Piano Camp - Session 1 Saxophone Camp Trumpet Camp Voice Camp JULY 15 – JULY 26 Chamber Music Camp Jazz Camp Piano Camp - Sessions 2 & 3 JULY 29 – AUGUST 9 Summer Band Camp Summer String Camp AUGUST 12 – AUGUST 16 Alegre Summer Camp

Visit www.meritmusic.org in March to register for summer programs. Merit School of Music Joy Faith Knapp Music Center 38 S. Peoria St., Chicago IL 60607 312.786.9428 | www.meritmusic.org

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Arts & Education in Chicago

Hubbard Street's

Class ActH

By ALEX KEOWN

ubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Education and Community Programs go well beyond traditional classroom learning to employ a whole brain learning concept—one that utilizes educational and physical activities to integrate both hemispheres of students’ brains. Hubbard Street’s instructors, who partner with community schools, can integrate dance instruction with academic instruction and incorporate them into traditional classroom time. Hubbard Street offers different programs for schools and educators, including workshops that stress the relationship between movement and learning. Instructors approach education by connecting the creative charge of the performing company to dance education and exploration. Participating schools are able to develop programs that employ dance and choreography to strengthen basic academic proficiencies, hone problemsolving skills and increasing analytical abilities. Programs range in cost from $500 to $3,000, depending on intensity and number of hours spent on learning. The result is a unique dance-infused protocol that not only supports learning, but inspires a unique first-hand appreciation for music and movement in the process.

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Planting Seeds

CHICAGO PERFORMS. SO DOES THE CCPA.

By ALEX KEOWN

T

o ease the winter blahs and prepare for the change of seasons, the Morton Arboretum offers three ways for children to get hooked on nature. Throughout the year, children can get an education about various plants and animals in classes taught by master educators. Classes include a birdhouse decorating workshop, fishing at Lake Marmo, a guy’s overnight campout, tapping maple trees for syrup and reading and walking adventures. Classes are open to children in the sprawling range from18-months to 12-yearsold. Each class is uniquely tailored to the needs of the appropriate age group. Children are also able to take part summer science camps and encounter bugs, amphibians and more. Camps run June 10 – August 9. Educational programs are also developed for the whole family to learn about their natural surroundings. Family Adventure programs include nighttime tram rides throughout the Arboretum with guides that enrich the learning of both parent and child. It's a way for the Arboretum to engage its audience through its deep well of knowledge and also develop new generations of area nature lovers.

Festival of Learning

O

By FRED CUMMINGS

n March 9, Chicago a Cappella, one of the area’s most accomplished and innovative vocal ensembles, will bring small vocal groups from Chicago-area high schools and children’s choirs together with Chicago a Cappella’s professional singers and directors for the group’s second annual Youth Choral Festival. This non-competitive festival, held at First Unitarian Church in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, will provide talented young singers with a full day of workshops, singing and performing. Students will enjoy rehearsals with Chicago a Cappella’s singers, sectionals led by Chicago a Cappella’s directors and ensemble members, and breakout sessions featuring a range of topics from creative vocal percussion to expressive stage performance. The festival will culminate at 5:00 p.m. with a public concert at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel in Hyde Park. The performance will feature all of the groups, including Chicago a Cappella, singing alone and as a large Festival Choir. This year's participating ensembles include young singers from Hubbard High School (Chicago), Downers Grove South High School (Downers Grove), South Shore High School of Leadership (Chicago), C a m p a n e l l a Children’s Choir (Northbrook) and the Chicago a Cappella High School Internship Program.

Listen to CCPA students on “Music from Roosevelt University,” a weekly 98.7 WFMT program hosted by Dean Henry Fogel. More info at roosevelt.edu/ccpa/wfmt. Accomplished faculty—including Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera orchestra members, Metropolitan and Lyric opera sensations, renowned soloists, Grammy-winning jazz musicians, and esteemed composers— guide aspring artists and shape the future of performing arts. CCPA: one of Chicago’s best-kept secrets.

roosevelt.edu/CCPA (312) 341-6735 music@roosevelt.edu Text CCPA to 57711

Opposite Page-Top: Students at Chicago's Faraday Elementary practice a counter balance dance exercise as part of the Hubbard Street dance integration program; Opposite Page-Bottom: Students participate in one of Hubbard Street's Educational Dance training sessions. Photos by Todd Rosenberg; Above Photo: Young participants rehearse for a performance at Chicago a Cappella's annual Youth Choral Festival. Photo courtesy of Chicago a Cappella; Top Photo: Participants examine seedlings in Morton Arboretum's Summer Science Camp. Photo courtesy of Morton Arboretum.

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Curator's Corner

A

Found

By AMANDA SCHERKER

A new Art Institute exhibit explores the impact of the Great Migration on Chicago's cultural identity through the work of extraordinary artists who found a haven here.

T

They Seek a City is the newest exhibit to adorn the ever-morphing walls of the Art Institute of Chicago. T h e show is, at a basic level, an ode to Chicago’s artistic identity, and the vast array of people who established it as the cultural epicenter of the Midwest. Sarah Kelly Oehler curated the exhibit. Oehler is the Institute's Henry and Gilda Buchbinder Associate Curator of American Art. She also developed the illustrated catalogue that is read in tandem with the new exhibition. The gallery will open to the public on March 3 and run through June 2, during which it will provide a tour across the Chicago of yester-years, through a prism of unique and diverse perspectives. This three-gallery-wide celebration of Chicago depicts the city during the first half of the 20th century—

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more specifically, between 1910-1950, in the midst of its greatest waves of immigration and migration. At the time, most new Chicagoans found their way to the Windy City from Europe, the American South, and Mexico. This exhibition focuses specifically on art made by African Americans migrating from the South, Mexican immigrants, and Jewish-European immigrants. This rapid, diverse influx laid the foundation for our modern-day metropolis, a veritable collage of cultures and ethnicity. The exhibit tracks Chicago’s radical transformation, as seen through the eyes of the very people who transformed it. The show will display approximately 80 works, ranging from paintings to sculpture to photographs to decorative arts. Forty-Five of these come from the Art Institute’s permanent colLeft: Morris Topchevsky. Boy with Pots, c. 1925. Collection of William J. Asher.; Opposite Page-Bottom: Opposite Page: Archibald John Motley, Jr. Self-Portrait, c. 1920. Art Institute of Chicago, through prior acquisitions of Friends of American Art Collection; through prior bequest of Marguerita S. Ritman.


Photo © The Chicago History Museum

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One of City Winery's private seating space's located within a romantic barrel facility atop its Randolph Street location.

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lections, but the rest have been carefully culled from Chicago’s premier artistic hubs. The museum will be displaying work from the Polish Museum of America, the Block Museum, the Southside Community Arts Center, the Hull-House Museum, and several other Chicago cultural establishments. It’s fitting that, when crafting an exhibition to explore perspectives of Chicago, the Art Institute sought collaboration across the city's artistic community. And thanks to widespread participation, many of the works in They Seek a City are on display in the Art Institute for the very first time. The Institute is using its wealth of resources to do conservation work for many of the smaller museums, to help restore and preserve these masterpieces for future enjoyment. They Seek a City is the natural culmination of Oehler’s own research into the Institute’s permanent collections of American art. While studying its latest acquisitions, Oehler realized that non-native born Chicago artists painted many of the paintings she found most compelling and evocative. She found that, across the spectrum of cultures and ethnicities, “these works fundamentally spoke to an experience of migrating to and settling into a new city.” She explains, “I realized that this was a history that does not get told, whether it is because these artists have traditionally been left out of mainstream histories because they were black, or Jewish, or so on, or because art made in Chicago has also been generally ignored (for being shown outside of New York.)” While Oehler negotiated the planning stages of the exhibit, Isabel Wilkerson’s 2011 Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, was published and universally lauded throughout the art world. The novel tells about African Americans who migrated from the south in the 20th century to pursue opportunity in larger, industrial northern cities like Chicago. This emotionally evocative exploration of a lesser-known chapter of American history sparked new dialogue about—and interest in—20th century migration. Oehler explains that, “I had been already planning the show, and thinking about many of these issues, and the Great Migration in particular for its impact on the city's art scene, when Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Many Suns was published, and its reception reaffirmed the viability of the idea.” Along with this anything-but-conventional museum exhibition exploring Chicago’s past, the Art Institute will be curating a parallel, entirely modern kind of gallery to explore Chicago’s present. The medium in question: a brand new Art Institute Tumblr blog. The Tumblr page will serve as a place

“I had been already planning the show, and thinking about many of these issues, and the Great Migration in particular for its impact on the city's art scene, when Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Many Suns was published, and its reception reaffirmed the viability of the idea.” —Sarah Kelly Oehler Henry and Gilda Buchbinder Associate Curator of American Art The Art Institute of Chicago

Above Left: Below: Henry Avery. Man Sketching, 1939. Collection of the South Side Community Art Center; Todros Geller. Strange Worlds, 1928. Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Leon Garland Foundation.

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to celebrate the perspectives of Chicago’s present day immigrant artists and their work. The blog is still in a developmental phase, but will be launched during the exhibit, and will create a kind of online museum for the stories of today’s Chicagoans. As last century’s Chicagoan art adorns the Institute’s walls, this online exhibition will display the talents of a new generation. While They Seek a City focuses on art of specific ethnic groups, the galleries will be organized in a more inclusive way. Rather than dividing the space across cultural lines, Oehler has organized the exhibit into a thematic progression. She was adamant that the gallery space reflects the Chicago art community of the time, in which artists of diverse cultural backgrounds worked together and supported one another. As a result, there are many crosscurrents within the artwork and widespread resonance across cultural lines. Oehler cites Eldzier Cortor’s The Room No. VI as one particularly inspiring work in the creation of this exhibit. The Institute acquired the painting in 2007. Cortor was a Southern-born, African-American Chicago artist, and his work constantly defied expectations. He depicted scenes from the Chicago slums through the use of magnificent, lush representational imagery. The Room No. VI is one of a series of paintings depicting sub-standard living conditions in over-crowded Chicago neighborhoods. It is classic Cortor, exploring the representation of African-American women through his recurring motif, the elongated nude. Cortor combined art traditions to investigate the complicated cultural identity and legacy of African Americans. Particularly influential for him was traditional African art and European surrealism. Many of the Jewish European artists whose work is on display in the new exhibition brought with them the perspective of the Bauhaus School and other European art traditions. David Bekker is one such artist. He arrived in Chicago in the 1920s, where he found his artistic voice through depictions of old-world Jewish life, as in his painting, Letter to the New Country. He portrays an old world European-Jewish couple, with modernist painting techniques. The table and walls have the angled lines of Cubism, and conjure an air of instability and claustrophobia; a fitting approach, given the oppressive conditions facing Jewish people of the day. This painting is viewed in tandem with his Letter from the Old Country, painted in the same year, though with a drastically different pathos. The figures here are more impressionistic, standing against a blank background, evoking opportunity and prospects. These two works, like much of the artwork on display, capture the complex emotions of leaving ones homeland, and the pains of being left behind. In another work on display, Ukrainian artist Todros Geller also is inspired by European art traditions. His painting Strange Worlds imports Russian Futuristic and Cubist techniques, which he employs to create a tangibly lonely scene set beneath a Chicago El line stop. The collage of newspapers makes use the bold graphics that were integral to Russian art at the time. Despite the disparate cultural and artistic influences, the artwork share common themes: the emotional and sociological struggles of immigration. They Seek a City investigates the inherent conflict of cultural and personal identities that accompanies assimilation. This art explores the isolation of life in a foreign land, while celebrating the joys of a city bursting with absolute possibility. Chicago has, over the course of its history, been defined, redefined, and reinvigorated by immigrant and migrant populations. The gallery is a testament to a particularly dynamic time in Chicago’s history, and to the people whose art defined it. The broad range of perspectives makes this exhibit a truly novel gallery-going experience. Above Right: David Bekker. Letter to the New Country, 1936. Collection of Bernard Friedman. Below: David Bekker. Letter from the Old Country, 1936. Collection of Bernard Friedman.

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Tidbits

Paltrow Appeal

This Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) will honor Academy Award-winner Gwyneth Paltrow with its prestigious Renaissance Award. The event will take place at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago on Saturday June 15, 2013. “A Summer Soirèe with Gwyneth Paltrow” will celebrate the actress and her work and engage her in a discussion of her career and artistic process, complete with a retrospective of film clips from some of her most notable performances. Capping the evening will be the presentation of the “Gene Siskel Film Center Renaissance Award” to Paltrow by SAIC President Dr. Walter E. Massey. All proceeds from the event will support the Gene Siskel Film Center’s eclectic film programming. Past honorees have included some of the most respected actors and directors working in the film industry today, including Reese Witherspoon, Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr. and George Lucas.

U-Incubator

The University of Chicago’s (Uchicago) Arts and Public Life initiative will host a free open house for its new Arts Incubator from 3-6 p.m. on Friday, March 8, 2013. Located in Chicago’s Washington Park neighborhood at 301 E. Garfield Boulevard, the Arts Incubator is the latest project envisioned by renowned artist Theaster Gates and provides space for artist residencies, arts education and community-based arts projects, as well as exhibitions, performances and talks. The open house will include tours of the newly renovated 1920s building as well as a performance of Double Duos (drones for drummers) by incubator artistin-residence LeRoy Bach, with Mikel Avery, Dan Bitney, and David Hilliard. The Arts Incubator represents the flagship project of The University of Chicago's Arts and Public Life initiative, one in an ambitious suite of new initiatives and programs designed to enhance the existing UChicago Arts landscape.

Art(s) EXPO

With Expo Chicago (September 19 – 22) as its centerpiece, the exposition will join together with the city’s most prestigious cultural institutions to highlight the unique programming and special events offered throughout Chicago. The citywide celebration of arts and culture will include museum exhibitions; gallery openings; installations; public art projects; music; theater and dance performances and special dining experiences for residents and visiting international cultural tourists. According to Tony Karman, president and director of Expo Chicago, their 2012 exhibition represented a giant leap forward in ramping up Chicago's cache value as a leader in world art appreciation. Performance partners offering both VIP and public programming for the unique celebration of all things arts and culture in Chicago include Broadway In Chicago, Joffrey Ballet and Lyric Opera, among a bevy of other luminary Chicago cultural institutions. Of course, major art exhibitions will be highlighted during the new, supercharged Expo. Those include the wares of presenters like The Art Institute, The Museum of Contemporary Art and The Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. David Burke's Primehouse and NoMi will be among several Chicago restaurants participating with special menus and signature cocktails during Expo Art Week. For more information about the upcoming celebration taking pace at Chicago's Navy Pier September 16-22, 2013, visit expochicago.com. Above left: to right actress Gwyneth Paltrow (photo byJeffrey Mayer of Wireimage.com); The popular art benefit, Vernissage, opened the 2011 Expo Chicago at Navy Pier (photo courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art).

Adventures in Music

Marking its 15th anniversary this year, Chicago’s Fulcrum Point New Music Project has grown into a critically acclaimed ensemble performing adventurous contemporary classical music programs in a variety of Chicago area venues. In 2013, Fulcrum Point will continue this tradition with a wide ranging season highlighted by a performance (with a 100-member orchestra) of the John Corigliano film score, “Altered States,” accompanying the film screening on April 23. The event will mark the composer’s 75th birthday year. For more information on all Fulcrum Point 2013 concert programs, visit www.fulcrumpoint.org or call (312) 726-3846. Left to right: The University of Chicago's new Arts Incubator space located in Chicago's Washington Park neighborhood (photo courtesy of The University of Chicago); The acclaimed new music ensemble, Flcrum Point (photo courtesy of Fulcrum Point New Music Ensemble).

Potentcy of the Arts Arts Alliance Illinois will host its inaugural benefit luncheon, "Voices of a Creative State," Friday, May 17, 2013 at the Hilton Chicago. The event will feature a presentation by world-renowned cellist and Chicago Symphony Orchestra Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma about the powerful role that the arts can and should play in the civic life of Illinois. Arts Alliance Illinois will also present its first “Citizen Advocate” award, in recognition of an individual whose vision and civic leadership provide heightened visibility to the value of the arts. Arts Alliance Illinois will honor retired Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin with this award at the 2013 luncheon. Mayor Rahm Emanuel will serve as the event’s honorary chair with Pamela Crutchfield and Kassie Davis serving as event co-chairs. The event will host members of Illinois’ creative, corporate and civic sectors to celebrate the strength and diversity of our state’s cultural community at what will become Arts Alliance Illinois’ signature fundraising event. Celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma (photo by Todd Rosenberg)

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In

This Quarter Year

Spring 2013CNCJA•27


Theater Review

Plot Hampers Strong Performances of Cities By SAMANTHA CHURCH February 3, 2013 – Goodman Theatre gave Chicago audiences a unique opportunity to encounter the latest John Robin Baitz play, Other Desert Cities this February. The play made its Midwest debut this winter after finding itself on Broadway and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The curtain rises on an affluent Palm Springs home, meticulously designed by Thomas Lynch, all sandy colored, pristine and pointedly devoid of personal touches. Even before anyone sets foot on stage, you are aware the people living here are of a certain social standing, keen on keeping up appearances. Right on cue, the family bounds onstage, laughing, clad in tennis whites (you half expect someone to ask, “Tennis, anyone?”). Then, of course, the trouble begins. It’s 2004, and Brook Wyeth (Tracy Michelle Arnold) has come home for Christmas, with her latest manuscript, a memoir, in tow. An East Coast intellectual and liberal, Brooke is at odds with her mother Polly (Deanna Dunagan) and father Lyman (Chelcie Ross), two former members of the Hollywood elite and republicans of the Ronald Reagan persuasion. Lighthearted political barbs are exchanged while Brooke’s brother Trip (John Hoogenakker) keeps the peace by playing the fool. Meanwhile, Polly’s sister Silda (Linda Kimbrough) is staying in the guest room, drying out and getting her life together. Missing from the picture is Henry, Brooke’s eldest brother who committed suicide in the 1970s after accidentally

Photo By Liz Lauren

Deanna Dunagan as Polly Wyeth in Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities, directed by Henry Wishcamper at Goodman Theatre.

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killing a man in a leftwing political bombing. He hasn’t been spoken of since—until, that is, it’s revealed Henry is the subject of Brooke’s memoir. It’s an interesting premise (if not slightly cliche’d). However, for all of the accolades bestowed on the playwright, the superb style of Goodman's production seems to shroud a book of limited substance. The major conflict of the play is as thin as the paper on which Brook has written her memoir. The manuscript suggests suicide was the only logical conclusion Henry could have reached, having grown up with such conservative parents. Meanwhile, Silda continuously likens Polly’s parenting style, which does not include water boarding, to the worst atrocities committed by the Republican party post 9-11. If, watching this extremely privileged household, you can sympathize and give credence to these melodramatic accusations, you're left wondering if they’ll take ever responsibility and learn to love one another on their own terms. In the end, however, we are treated to no real substantive resolution. The true high point of the show is Hoogenakker as Trip, who gives great depth and naturalism to a character that could easily be relegated to shtick in another player's hands. In the end, a stylish set and strong performances struggle to bolster a plot that simply undermines its own purpose, to peel depth and meaning out of diaphanous relationships and unfathomable loss.


Exhibit Review

Photo Courtesy of the Artist

River North Exhibit Showcases Pair of Bold Chicago Artists By AMANDA SCHERKER

William Conger. Between, 2012, Oil on wood (18" x 18").

February 2, 2013 - The Zolla/Lieberman Gallery is sort of the godfather of the River North Gallery District. The Chicago gallery set up shop in the now-famous art neighborhood long before it had any cultural street cred—and dozens of galleries followed suit. Throughout their rich history, the Zolla/Lieberman Gallery has celebrated the bravest, most talented Chicago artists, most recently, with their current exhibits of Vera Klement and William Conger’s artwork. Most of the gallery space is devoted to painter Vera Klement, who has been a familiar face in the Chicago art community since the 1960s. Her paintings are visceral, an incongruous combination of deceivingly controlled, sparse white canvases juxtaposed by the tumultuous chaos they contain. While running a gamut of style and imagery, her work evokes common themes of isolation and detachment. Often her canvas is invisibly divided, with two or three starkly disparate designs unwilling to interact neatly. Her paintings employ familiar, sometimes abstract, human body imagery and simple nature or ani-

mal motifs in unexpected ways. The world she creates is often one of despair, with blurry, red faces crying heavy, blue tears, or disembodied arms stretched out in supplication. One particularly absorbing work depicts a pair of feet lying adjacent to dainty leaves, while several sketches of heads convey vague, but unsettling emotions. The man-made objects she depicts are composed with much neater, clean lines, but a foggy cloud of paint or series of splatter marks always confuses any superficial sense of order. Take a few steps over to the other side of the gallery to complete your tour of these famous Chicago artists. William Conger’s paintings have long established him as one of Chicago’s premiere Abstract artists. He rose to local fame in the later 20th century, despite the Chicago Imagist movement’s powerful chokehold over the art scene. Skeptical of then-trendy Chicago Imagist pop art, Conger had the vision and fortitude to forge his own artistic destiny. Though his pieces are radically different from Klement’s own intense ruminations, both artists share a careful negotiation between strict control and charming chaos. His pieces are overwhelming blasts of color, contained within wild geometric patterns that collide across the frame. The abstract formations are bursting with movement. They seem to rollick right out of the stern gallery wall, as if downright resentful of their small confines. Sharp diagonal angles mixed with childlike, bold hues lend much of his work a harsh, startling joy. In his largest piece displayed by the gallery, tubular grey shapes replace more of the sunburst orange lightning bolts, shading it with a mechanical affect. Looking at Conger’s work is a bit like staring at the clouds; if you gaze for long enough, you’ll begin to make out vaguely recognizable figures. The paintings are sensory overloads of the finest order. The Zolla/Lieberman gallery is a real treat for art lovers. Even the most dour of Post-Modernists would be unable to deny that Conger and Klement have crafted unique, evocative oeuvres, and the privilege to tour them free of charge is just one of the many aesthetic luxuries of the Chicagoan’s artistic life. Spring 2013CNCJA•29


Theater Review

Strong Script Propels Timeless Devices By SAMANTHA CHURCH

January 19, 2013 - These days, everyone fancies himself or herself a photographer. So ubiquitous is the camera, we’ve come to rely on our online photo albums as a means of connecting with people: Here she is with her husband laughing; Here they are sunning themselves on vacation; Here he is looking deep in thought. You see their lives in snapshots, and believe you know the ins and outs of who they are. That assumption is precisely what Naomi Iizuka’s philosophical and astonishing play, Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West, attempts to deconstruct in its Midwest premiere at Timeline Theatre. At a brisk 90 minutes, the play itself moves like a slide-show, shifting quickly between time periods, cultures, story-lines, and even theatrical conventions, lingering on each just long enough to establish a premise before deftly destroying it. This is not an indepth character study or plot-thick piece of storytelling. Rather, the play is a triptych portraying the western impression of Japan in the 1880s, the Japanese take on American tourists today, and finally, each character as they see themselves—all through the eye of a camera lens. Concerning Strange Devices defiantly proposes we can never understand a person’s character or know the real story. This is a play that gently and gracefully indicts us as the tourists we are. To that end, the actors are charged with the difficult task of manifesting intriguing, impressive characters in broad strokes. It’s a clev-

er trick: The less we know about these characters, the more deeply we feel we know them; The more is revealed, the more bewildered we become as an audience. Michael McKeogh (who is easily the standout performer in a cast comprised entirely of good performers) as Dmitri Mendelsohn is masterful in creating this illusion: Here’s Dmitri talking too much. Here’s Dmitri making a clumsy come-on. Here’s good old Dmitri, sticking his foot in it again! But, as the play notes, "You can never really know what he’s thinking." Ironically, in a play so chiefly concerned with the power of image, the underwhelming set design is where the production falls flat. The configuration of the space itself is problematic: there is only a narrow sliver of a stage, with banks of seating on either side, leaving little room to create powerful stage pictures. While thoughtful and moving video projections on the sidelines illuminate the inner minds of the characters, they can only be viewed in full by choosing to crane one’s neck and ignore the actors. Ultimately, this production not only survives, but thrives on the strength of the smart script and the actors’ delivery of the same. Iizuka’s words serve as the best illustrations, with or without the help of a well designed set. This is one of those rare plays that is completely of its time, but just may prove to be timeless. After all, however photography may evolve in the future, we’ll still be tourists in need of a reality check.

Photo ByLara Geotsch

Isabel Hewlett (Rebecca Spence, left) learns about the new art of photography from photographer Adolfo Farsari (Michael McKeogh, right) in TimeLine’s Midwest premiere of Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West.

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Theater Review

Griffin's Flare Path a Tribute to Pains of War and Waiting By CATHLYN MELVIN

Tony AWARD WInnER RobERT FAlls DIREcTs shAkEspEARE’s pRovocATIvE comEDy.

Photo Courtesy of Griffin Theatre

Shakespeare’s

Directed by

Paul Dunckel & Darci Nalepa in Terence Rattigan's Flare Path at Griffin Theatre.

January 27, 2012 - In the director’s notes to Griffin Theatre’s Flare Path, Robin Whitt shares the story of playwright Terence Rattigan’s experience as an air gunner in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. As Rattigan’s aircraft flew over the North Sea, it was shot by a German gunman. Short one engine, the crew was instructed to throw all non-essential items out of the aircraft and into the “drink” below. Rattigan, who had been writing what would eventually become Flare Path, ripped those pages from his notebook and stuffed them into his coat before tossing the remainder of the notebook into the sea. Though not the tale of a playwright on a plane, Flare Path is Rattigan’s story. Performed by a solid cast, including the boyishly charming Joey deBettencourt (Lt. Teddy Graham) and equally endearing Gabe Franken (Count Skriczevinsky), Flare Path is the story of not only the men who flew for the Royal Air Force, but of the wives who watched them take off and waited for them to return. It’s the wives (Vanessa Greenway, Darci Nalepa, Lauren Pizzi) we really follow, as they wait for their Air Force husbands at an inn near the base. Pizzi and Greenway bear quite a load, as their characters offer much of the comic relief in the play, but these two ladies create a lovely balance with their humor. On Pizzi’s part, both her humor and her darker moments come from a heartwrenching strength, which sometimes is shown through her stubbornness. She plays the role simply and we can see why her husband (Dylan Stuckey) is charmed by her earnestness. In addition, Mary Poole deserves mention for her delightfully severe landlady, Mrs. Oakes. Because the story takes place just off base, the use of sound and light is vital to this production. Together with lighting designer Brandon Wardell, sound designer Christian Gero cleanly created the world around us: planes flying out, and arriving home again, aircraft racing overheard, bombs being dropped in the distance. Director Robin Witt makes excellent use of the space provided by Joe Schermoly’s beautiful set, the lobby of a well-cared-for inn. Flare Path is a nicely balanced, superbly cast, and well-produced story about the men and women whose lives were changed by war. The enchanting characters and the beautiful production elements create a wonderful world through which to tell a story about the dread of bad news—waiting for it, having to share it, and, if we’re lucky, dismissing it in favor of a drink and a song.

Robert Falls

RobERT FAlls’ DARIng nEW pRoDucTIon TAkEs us InTo ThE hEART oF shAkEspEARE’s DARk comEDy, In WhIch vIRTuE AnD vIcE collIDE—AnD lusT AnD ThE lAW ARE InExTRIcAbly EnTWInED. InTEnDED FoR mATuRE AuDIEncEs

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Spring 2013CNCJA•31


Classical Concert Review

Isserlis and Gerstein Present Eclectic Program with True Panache By KATHRYN BACASMOT

Above: British cellist, Steven Isserlis; Right: Russian-born pianist Kirill Gerstein. The two performed a stylish, eclectic program at University of Chicago's Mandel Hall this winter.

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Photo Courtesy of The University Of Chicago Presents

Photo By Tom Miler

February 1, 2013 - On Friday evening, Chicagoans filed in from the cold to the jewelbox that is Mandel Hall at the University of Chicago. Beautifully restored, brilliant fresh colors vibrant against the dark wood, it glimmered like the gem that it is—a wonderfully intimate venue for chamber music. The University of Chicago Presents Series, celebrating its 70th year in 2013, is in the midst of a season entitled, “Treasured, True and New.” While the moniker is meant to refer to the eclectic mix of scheduled performances, it could also apply to the program presented by British cellist Steven Isserlis and Russian-born pianist Kirill Gerstein, which featured both favorite and lesser known works (thus new to many attendees) performed with conviction, style, and passion. The evening began with a flourish, as Isserlis arched his bow in a grand approach to the strings over the slow, rhythmic opening chords on the piano for Béla Bartók’s First Rhapsody for Cello and Piano. Following was Ferruccio Busoni’s Kultaselle, Ten Short Variations on a Finnish Folksong. In both works, Isserlis and Gerstein demonstrated an impressive ability to “speak” each phrase in the character it required, shifting moods with the same

ease with which one flips a switch. Thus, when a more rustic folk character emerged, the sound shifted into an earthy realm—something not every musician can accomplish with great aplomb. Rounding out the first half of the evening was the first of two Brahms selections, the deliciously tenebrous Sonata for Cello and Piano in E minor, Op. 38. One of the hallmarks of the opening movement is the pensive quality of the melodic lines that seem to pause and hesitate. Isserlis and Gerstein sculpted this aspect to perfection, thanks in part to flawless unison. From time to time the work did want for a bit more robust tone from the piano as phrases emerged, but this was the single deficit in a evening of marvelous playing from Gerstein. After intermission, two works by Franz Liszt were offered: the Romance Oubliée and Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth (The Cloisters at Nonnewerth). Liszt is so often associated with his large-scale orchestral works, or his mammoth Piano Sonata in B minor. It was delightful to recall other aspects of his compositional talent in these two delicate works. In the Romance, Isserlis made the point that silence is not an absence, but simply another presence, and evoked wistful echoes ringing in the passage ways of The Cloisters. The conclusion of the program commenced with the shimmering, earnest strains of Brahms’ Sonata for Cello and Piano in F major, Op. 99. A work of expansive emotional range, it can be tempting to make the most of (but in the end, make too much of) its broad and reaching lyricism. Brahms speaks best when uninterrupted by superfluous romanticism, and once more, Isserlis and Gerstein displayed an impeccable ability to shift character—like high caliber actors, to suit—but never overwhelm, the “scenes.” Franz Schubert’s Nacht und Träume was presented as a delightful encore to an amply appreciative Mandel Hall audience.


Folk Concert Review

Onstage Persona Belies Sultans' True Artistic Charisma

Photo Courtesy of The Old Town School of FOlk Music

By SAMANTHA CHURCH

Drew Birston, Chris Mckhool and Kevin Laliberte, members of the folk ensemble The Sultans of String.

February 2, 2013 - Waiting for Sultans of String to take the stage this past Groundhog’s Day at Old Town School of Folk Music’s Szold Hall felt reminiscent of a middle school assembly. The stage was bare, save for a couple of microphones and amps; the lighting unflattering, and those working the show milled about, unable to hide in the nonexistent backstage. The band, comprised of Chris Mckhool on violin, Kevin Laliberte on guitar, and Drew Birston on bass, entered at 8 p.m. in such an unassuming way, you’d hardly know these were the men you paid to see, and not just some helpful School of Folk Music students, filling time before the real band arrived. But with “Alhambra,” their upbeat opening number, it became clear that these gentlemen have garnered their many awards and acclaim for a reason. Each member of the ensemble is a musician with a capital “M.” Song after song was an inventive fusion of styles, played with incredible dexterity and ease. The true triumph of Sultans of String, however, is their ability to emote and paint pictures with their instrumentals. “Stomping at the Rex,” which McKhool explained was a tribute to one of their favorite Toronto bars, conjured the image of strangers meeting, dancing and flirting in a nightclub. Despite their ability to channel seduction and energy musically, the band could never quite channel it through their collective persona. McKhool gives off an aura not unlike Mr. Rogers’: soothing, gentle

and utterly non-threatening. As performers, they are more adept at calming an audience down than at amping it up. In an attempt to get the crowd involved, McKhool spouted a cute joke of the nerdy dad variety: “If you’d like to clap along, this song is in A minor.” Their unabashed sincerity—central to the group’s ability to create emotive music that pulls at your heartstrings—was almost uncomfortable at times. “Luna," a song honoring a whale off the coast of Canada, featured each instrument moaning sadly in convincing whale calls. At once impressive and eye roll inducing, “Luna” begged the question, “Are these guys for real?” Songs like “Rainflower” and “I’m No Hero” were sticky sweet, like a boy in love saying, “I don’t want to make out. Let’s just cuddle.” A lovely gesture, but are they even capable of throwing down? But if you close your eyes and simply listen, it seems these sultans are capable of anything. “El-Kahira,” the penultimate song, was a sinister Indian tune in which Laliberte gives a nod to Jimmy Page, sampling a bit of “Kashmir,” while McKhool somehow transforms his violin into what sounds like an electric guitar. Perhaps the Sultans of String are not the Sultans of Cool. But they are intensely innovative musicians, willing to stretch the scope of their instruments to create brilliant sound. If they also stretch the bounds of acceptable sincerity in the process, you’d do best to not only allow it, but allow it to break your heart.

Perhaps the Sultans of String are not the Sultans of Cool. But they are intensely innovative musicians, willing to stretch the scope of their instruments to create brilliant sound.

Spring 2013CNCJA•33


Opera Review

Lyric's Boheme a Nod to Emotive Genius of Pucinni By FRED CUMMINGS

Photos by Dan Rest

February 2, 2013 tal artist. And nuanced There's really nothing tenor Dimitri Pittas quite like a good tearrounds out the group jerker on the live stage. of Puccini's Four The emotions are raw, nicely as the lovesick the tension is visceral but conflicted writer, and you get to experiRudolfo. He sings with ence all the rich, effecan effortless verve and tual power of the drama delightfully artful inwithout the fallout of tonation that makes reality. him at once endearing. Such was the case Together, the ensemble in Lyric Opera's revival easily communicated of Giacomo Puccini's the kind of kinetic engrand masterwork La ergy of four creative Boheme. The producfriends intimately contion was a fervent nected by their passion and thoughtful nod to and their plight. Puccini's emotive genius But, really, what and the grand, sweeping would a tragedy be lyricism he trademarked without love? And for in Boehem's dense that, Puccini introducorchestration. es Mimi. Sung here by The story is a fasterling soprano Ana miliar one, of course. María Martínez, Mimi Four freewheeling bois the catalyst which hemians navigate the forces our bohemians perils of poverty, love to face the real gravand the elusive muse in ity of their collective 19th century Paris, and state. Until Mimi apalong the way expose pears, quick wits and the wounds of a life in charm seem to provide the pursuit of art and ample escape for the romance in the face of Puccini Four whenever lack. their squalid condiLyric's collection of tions begin to smack hapless artists is cast to them square in the sheer perfection. Lyric face. Mimi changes all Ryan Opera Center of that in the finale. member Joseph Lim Martínez beams is solid as Schaunard. Tenor Dimitry Pittas (Rudolfo) and soprano Ana María Martínez (Mimi) in Giacomo Puccini's perenial operatic tearwith a bright pearly As the musician of the jerker, La Boheme. tone and a delicacy group, the tenor brings a that makes her Mimi phrasing that reveals a spry vocal dexterity and a healthy dose of most mesmerizing. The sweetness with which she treats the first panache. Always the consummate musician, stalwart bass Andrea act aria Mi chiamano Mimi, unveiling to a lovesick Rudolfo her Silvestrelli serves as wonderful counterpoint to Lim's Schaunard. most personal reveries is nothing short of enchanting. She sings As the philosopher, Colline, Silvestrelli adds a beautiful balanced with a poetic reverence that lends Mimi's arias an almost ethereal carefree turn. And his sombre fourth act, Vecchia zimarra, shows quality. The couple builds their budding love affair right before our why his is one of the best diaphragms in the business and why he is eyes with an onstage chemistry that is palpable. such a prolific lyrical (yes lyrical) bass. Baritone Lucas Meachem Lyric's chemistry, however, was not limited to Rudolfo and offers a rich tambre and a beautifully cultivated vibratto in his Mimi. Marcello faces an old romance with the appearance of his turn as Marcello, the artist. Meacham nurtures great charm out of former flame, Musetta, in the second act. Soprano Elizabeth Futal Puccini's writing, capturing in Marcello the perfect temperamensings the high-maintenance Musetta with a downright camp that is 34•CNCJASpring 2013


MUSIC & DANCE

delicious. She drags about a wealthy aged suitor like an old reliable lush orchestration was ever so measured, underscoring its tender coat. But when she spots Marcello, she pours it on thick to rub salt lyricism with both clarity and just the kind of expansive dynamic pallet that easily fuels the warm, powerful emotion inherent in in old wounds. Meachem and Futal share their own kind of onstage chemis- Puccini's score. One drawback, however, of such a measured approach is try as the two wrestle with a reunion. His lush, velvet tone warms that one misses some of and charms and her bright, the freedom and spontanefocused sound excites. It's ity to which Puccini's lava Yin and Yang that spells ish, sweeping orchestration fireworks, to be sure. But endeavors. what's even more amazing is Yet and still, Villaume to watch Futal transform the created a loving groundwork nearly madcap zaniness of for the kind of passionate, Musetta's early antics to the agonizing poignancy the fiheartfelt sincerity she exhibnale would bring. its in the finale. She bursts Perhaps one of the most into the artists' loft bringing successful aspects of Lyric's an ailing Mimi and shatters production was the collectheir usual horseplay with From left: Elizabeth Futral, Lucas Meachem, Joseph Lim, Ana Maria Martinez and Dimitri Pittas in the tion of stellar ensemble perthe news that Rudolfo's love finale of La Boheme. formances that peppered the is dying. After a convoluted breakup spurred by Rudolfo's insecurity night. Lyric's pristine choir, aided by the angelic voices from The over providing for Mimi, the girl returns to him before she can Chicago Children's Choir, performed with the ensemble cast with draw her last breath and reality smacks the guys right in the face in spot-on clarity, crispness and a Swiss precision. Also aiding the production was Michael Yeargan's marvelously a way they can no longer elude. It's an incredibly emotional scene dexterous set design that saw walls and surfaces arriving and escapthat left very few dry eyes in Lyric's February 2 audience. The emotive forces behind Lyric's production achieved their ing in all directions, easily transforming us to the wistful Parisian success in no small part due to the adoring approach of French room that defined the bohemians' squalid existence. conductor Emmanuel Villaume. Villaume's phrasing of Puccini's

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater March 8 – 17 River North Dance Chicago and Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Havana Blue | April 13 World Premiere; Co-commissioned by the Auditorium Theatre

Eisenhower Dance Ensemble Motown In Motion | April 14 The Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg Rodin | May 17 – 19

ONLINE: AuditoriumTheatre.org PHONE: 800.982.ARTS (2787) BOX OFFICE: 50 E. Congress Pkwy

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Right: Photo of Alvin Ailey dancer Rachael McLaren by Andrew Eccles. Left, from top to bottom: Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. Eisenhower Dance. Photo of Eifman Ballet’s “Rodin” by Nikolay Krusser.

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Dance Review

"Nijinsky" Rife with Icon's Passion and Angst By EMILY DISHER

February 1, 2013—To commence this season’s North American tour, John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet presented the much-anticipated full-length ballet “Nijinsky” (2000) at Harris Theater for Music and Dance on February 1 and 2. “Nijinsky” persists as one of Neumeier’s seminal inventions for the company. The ballet encapsulates Neumeier’s fascination with renowned Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky via Neumeier’s interweaving imaginings about the life and thoughts of the legend. During Act I, Neumeier excels at communicating snippets of Nijinsky’s life in a loose narrative, interwoven with various images of Nijinsky. Neumeier’s clever opening scene begins before the house lights dim, and features live music performed on stage by pianist Richard Hoynes, as dancers dressed as theater-goers enter the stage. Elaborate sets depict the Suvretta House Hotel in St. Moritz, Switzerland, the ballroom where Vaslav Nijinsky performed his last public dance, and the location at which Neumeier commences his ballet. Neumeier’s imaginings of Nijinsky’s final dance, showcase the legend’s technical brilliance, yet also the bizarre incongruous movements of a virtuoso exploring his own language of movement and also fighting mental illness. Alexandre Riabko, who beautifully dances the role of Nijinsky, executes lovely spins, and gorgeous beats during Nijinsky’s “lucid” moments, yet smoothly slips into the reckless dance of one disconnected from reality. Riabko performs the primary Nijinsky character, but he is joined by many dancers who perform versions of Nijinsky, whether aspects of the man’s character, or different roles he’d danced famously, which proves an ingenious and effective way of presenting the complexity that was Nijinsky. Nijinsky as the faun from L’Aprés-Midi d’Un Faune (danced by both Thiago Bordin and Edvin Revazov) seems to recur most frequently of the dancer's “famous roles,” providing an intriguing counterpart to Riabko’s Nijinsky.

Photo Courtesy of John Neumeier

Hamburg Ballet brought John Neumeier's emotionally charged full length ballet "Nijinsky" to Harris Theatre for its Chicago debut this winter.

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Neumeier creates in Nijinsky’s wife, Romola, a sympathetic character (which is an interesting choice on his part, as literature about Nijinsky varies in its degree of sympathies toward the woman). Hélène Bouchet, who dances Romola, is lithe and lovely, communicating a believable devotion to Nijinsky. When Bouchet and Riabko dance, they are gorgeously in tune with one another. Their interactions in Act I are romantic and moving, becoming down-right heart-wrenching in Act II. Neumeier illustrates the love affair between Nijinsky and his mentor and lover Serge Diaghilew, danced by Carsten Jung, just as sensually—if not more so—than the relationship between Nijinsky and Romola. Riabko and Jung are stunning to watch, as they embody the relationship between Nijinksy and Diaghilew. When they dance, they seem to melt into one another, and the two men perform the most surprisingly graceful lifts. Act I’s aesthetics and sensuous love scenes would translate regardless of one’s level of Nijinsky knowledge (although a basic knowledge of Nijinsky’s life most certainly enriches the storyline). Act II, however, proves an act in patience for the audience. The second act has much less of the narrative qualities of its predecessor, weaving the viewer through impressions of what may have been going on inside Nijinsky’s mind. Neumeier manages to capture and communicate the pure anguish Nijinsky felt toward the war, as well as the troubling and touching relationship between Nijinsky and his wife as mental illness encroached further upon their lives. Unfortunately, the length of time used to illustrate these impressions becomes exhaustive. As a whole, however, Neumeier succeeds in paying tribute to one of his life’s greatest muses. Even if he over-indulges in the darkness of Act II, his ballet proves a touching outpouring of deep respect from one artist to another, and the work's poignant images stick with the viewer long after the final curtain.


Spring 2013CNCJA•37


Photo by Colin Lyons

Shall We Dance?

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Jazz trumpeter Orbert Davis, artistic director of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and Frank Chavez, artistic director of River North Dance Chicago.


HAVANA BLUE By EMILY DISHER

T

This spring, two of Chicago’s finest artistic ensembles will collaborate to unveil an unprecedented performance at Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (CJP), which blends elements of the classical and jazz genres, and jazz-based contemporary dance company River North Dance Chicago (RNDC) will present their joint work “Havana Blue” on April 13, 2013. The work, co-commissioned by the Auditorium Theatre, anchors the theater's new Music + Movement Festival and epitomizes the core principles of the festival by bringing together talented Chicago dancers and musicians in a celebration of cultural diversity. The idea for “Havana Blue” emerged from the 2011 Miles Davis Festival, when RNDC Artistic Director Frank Chaves and CJP CoFounder and Artistic Director Orbert Davis first met. As the two artists became acquainted, they began to discuss an idea to combine their Cuban/African roots into a brand new work. Chaves, who was born in Cuba, has often been inspired by his cultural roots; case in point, his 2005 “Habaneras,” a tribute to Cuban music and dance, made a lasting impression on audiences, and persists as one of RNDC’s most important works. Of course, his Cuban roots emerge in more subtle ways throughout his choreography—as Chaves explains, the importance of rhythm and movement for expression are central to being Cuban, and of course those things are central to dance. The Emmy award-wining Davis and the CJP are heavily influenced by African and African-American musical traditions; jazz, almost by definition, emerged from a mix of European and African music. CJP’s album, Collective Creativity (2009), for example, exemplifies this mix of cultural influences that has allowed Davis and the CJP to create their trademark sound. Davis’ work grows out of

When Frank Chavez and Orbert Davis combined their collective forces after an inspiring journey to Havana, the result was the sizzling, one-of-a-kind homage to the music and dance of Cuba that will be unveiled to Chicagoans this spring at the Auditorium Theatre.

the joining and mingling not only of cultural influences, but musical genres, as well. So, the collaboration with Chaves, his dancers, and the Cuban culture seemed only a natural move. “This is our first collaboration with dance,” Davis explained, “and it is a welcome opportunity because it is a collaboration of genres/art forms and a collaboration of cultures—an expanded form of collaboration.” “The Cuban Project,” as they called their joint endeavor during the early days of its inception, truly began to take shape for Chaves and Davis when they traveled to Havana, Cuba for a nine-day culture-rich artistic exchange in October of 2012. For Chaves, the adventure was a homecoming. “It was my first time back to Cuba. We visited the house my family lived in,” Chavez told me. “The older I become, my heritage becomes more and more important to me…. (Cuba) is me, this is where I came from. We hear music, rhythm, and we have to move.” For Davis, on the other hand, the goal was to “become Cuban,” by connecting his cultural roots to Cuba, where the African heritage is prominent. And how else would a trumpeter “become Cuban” than by carrying his horn with him everywhere in Havana and indulging in spontaneous "jam sessions" all over the city? “At every turn, including in the hotel,” Davis remembers thinking, “If there’s a musician, I’m taking my horn out.” He enthusiastically recalls how the language of music enabled him to connect intensely with Cuban musicians throughout the excursion: “Especially in the restaurants, they were just doing their jobs, just playing. (When we came in), they were like ‘please, join us.’ There’s such a strong connection between American jazz and Cuba from the 1940s, so they are excited (to play with us). When I started playing with them, we just started communicating. This music is about people. I was fully transformed.” Chaves explained that the roots of African dance were present in everything he experienced in Cuba, and the group was treated Spring 2013CNCJA•39


Shall We Dance?

Chaves began choreographing with just Davis’ original miniatures to provide structure. “I came back with a lot of movement ideas,” Chaves recounted. “I started with the basics I saw in their dance classes, and let it evolve.

to a wide array of Cuban dance offerings during their visit. Top Cuban dance companies, including the National Ballet of Cuba and DanzaContemporanea de Cuba, welcomed the group, offering private rehearsals and performances. The group also spent time in dance studios and rehearsal spaces throughout Havana. Top Cuban dance companies welcomed the group, offering private rehearsals and performances. Whether in restaurants, dance classrooms, or private homes, Chaves and Davis were surrounded and welcomed by the culture of Cuba. “Despite how dilapidated and run-down some of the areas are, the art there is amazingly rich—music, dance, theater. Artists housed galleries in their homes,” Chaves noted. In addition to absorbing the culture of Cuban life, the traveling 40•CNCJASpring 2013

From left: CJP percussionist, Jose Rendon; CJP artistic director, Orbert Davis; RNDC artistic director, Frank Chavez; and RNDC dancers Michael Gross and Jessica Wolfrum.

artists also spent time alone reflecting and absorbing their daily interactions. Chaves recalls sitting on the Malecón wall—a four-mile long seawall that stretches along the Havana coast—at sunset, watching the ocean waves crashing on the rocks. In fact, while observing the blue water from his perch on the Malecón wall, Chaves conceived of the production’s eventual title, “Havana Blue,” as well as the costume concept for the work. “I would watch the water crashing on the rocks, and the foam—blue into white. The blue and the dirty white were very important—you would see it in artwork and pamphlets. “(For the costumes), I didn’t want to do the bright colors of the Caribbean. The reds and yellows and ruffles are kind of clichéd. (The costumes) will be different shades of blue: the whole blue palette with mixes of (murky white).” When the convoy of artists returned to Chicago, both Chaves and Davis went right to work, invigorated from their cultural ex-


Photo by Colin Lyons

ploration. Davis created tone poems—stripped down beats that would provide the basic musical framework for “Havana Blue”— from which Chaves then worked. “Tone poems are the foundation of each composition,” Davis explained. “I studied hundreds of CDs and viewed all the pictures and video from the trip and sat with my own emotion (to compose). Tone poems allowed Frank to connect his experiences with the (music), as well.” In fact, Chaves began choreographing with just Davis’ original miniatures to provide structure. “I came back with a lot of movement ideas,” Chaves recounted. “I started with the basics I saw in their dance classes, and let it evolve. (The choreography) won’t be the cha cha and the merengue. I’m approaching it from an American perspective, with contemporary influences. We don’t want to do the expected. We want to push the boundaries.” As the music and choreography took shape, “(Frank and I) listened to each other,” Davis explained. “We both had the end result in sight. (The process) was very much a jazz experience.”

Davis then allowed the dance to guide the music, with Chaves’ feedback helping to shape the compositions. "I could ask for things to be a little shorter or a little longer," Chavez noted. "I’d ask for ‘more energy here’ or ‘let’s make these notes more prominent." And that process lent itself to the true fluid nature of the jazz experience. While set music and choreography comprise much of “Havana Blue,” the work will also feature segments of improvised music and dancing. “One 7-10 minute portion of (‘Havana Blue’) is completely improvised." Davis told me. "There is a format, there are parameters, but the form and content are improvised." This shared energy between musicians and dancers has continued with the evolution of this project, underpinned by the inspirational journey to Cuba. That same energy will provide a cornerstone for Auditorium Theatre’s Music + Movement Festival. This first-ever festival focuses on the theme of uniting local dance companies and musicians to create new and diverse works. Spring 2013CNCJA•41


Photos by Tita Zeffrin

Orbert Davis joins a local Cuban ensemble for an impromptu jam session while visiting with Frank Chavez and members of their respective companies.

Part of the new festival, the new Music + Movement Showcase will enable smaller Chicago dance companies to rehearse and perform with live musicians at the Auditorium’s Katten/Landau Studio. These artists will present their best collaborations for the chance to perform at Auditorium Theatre in a lineup that includes Luna Negra Dance Theater, Giordano Dance Chicago, and the five winning productions from the festival at 7:30 p.m. on May 15. The enthusiasm driving "Havana Blue" and the new festival it launches makes it a truly exciting partnership for Chicago. The city's music and dance lovers will be privileged to enjoy 20 of CJP’s talented musicians sharing the stage with RNDC dancers when “Havana Blue” premieres on April 13, 2013, 8 p.m., at Auditorium Theatre. And if the final production manifests only a fraction of the exhilaration Chaves and Davis express when reflecting on this collaboration, “Havana Blue” very well may mark one of the most important and most impactful music and dance productions in Chicago this season.

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Frank Chavez on the steps of his family's home in Cuba. The trip marked Chavez's first return to the home since leaving as a child.


a slate of programming to rival any single-venue arts center in the nation –Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Add in the sleek contemporary space of the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, and classical music gets a complete image makeover. –Bryant Manning, Chicago Sun-Times

Quintessential Quartets APRIL 5, 7:30PM

Britten at 100 MAY 8, 7:30PM

Pianist Juho Pohjonen and cellist Andreas Brantelid return to the Harris Theater with violinist Erin Keefe and violist Paul Neubauer for this program celebrating the remarkable musical friendship of Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn and featuring Schumann’s treasured Piano Quartet and Mendelssohn’s Piano Quartet in B minor.

A fascinating program of BRITTEN classics—enchanting, profound and engaging—is offered by CMS as a centenary tribute to the greatest English composer of the 20th Century. This program, in celebration of Britten’s 100th birthday, culminates with the 1961 cello sonata composed for his close friend and collaborator Mstislav Rostropovich.

HarrisTheaterChicago.org • 312.334.7777

TICKETS START AT $15 PRESENTING SPONSOR

Chicago High School for the Arts THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 2013 JAMES L. ALEXANDER — Lead Sponsor

Giordano Dance Chicago FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013 ABBY O’NEIL AND CARROLL JOYNES — Lead Sponsors

Music Institute of Chicago WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2013 ALEXANDRA AND JOHN NICHOLS — Lead Sponsors

The Seldoms WEDNESDAY, MAY 1, 2013 PAUL BOULIS — Lead Sponsor

Chicago Academy for the Arts THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2013 PAUL BOULIS — Lead Sponsor

SEASON SPONSOR

It’s a guilty pleasure and a brief getaway. — Chicago Tribune

Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation PRESENTING SPONSOR

OFFICIAL AIRLINE OF THE HARRIS THEATER

Lunch is not included but check out Lower Randolph to purchase marvelous munchies!

HarrisTheaterChicago.org • 312.334.7777

45 minutes of fast-paced fun! EACH PERFORMANCE IS $5 AND STARTS AT 12PM

Spring 2013CNCJA•43


Cultural Happenings...

Off To a Flyin' Start!

Four leading Chicago contemporary dance companies, each helmed by a female artistic director (The Dance COLEctive,Hedwig Dances, Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre and Zephyr Dance) are embarking upon a new and unique strategic partnership to connect and engage audiences in the intimacy, excitement and accessibility of contemporary dance. The project, called FlySpace, is a resource-sharing consortium that supports creative independence and institutional growth by combining and coordinating offstage work and cutting-edge technology to grow audiences. FlySpace’s commitment to new forms of cooperation mirrors each company's passion for content-driven contemporary dance, discovering fresh aesthetics in live performance, and engaging its audiences. Working together on new tools for audience development, all four organizations ascend together. Above: Paul Christiano and Charlie Cutler of Same World Different Planet This new audience-building project launches publicly this spring with the FlySpace Dance (photo by William Frederking); Below left to right: Victory Gardens' Začek Series, a two-weekend series that includes six performances as part of Chicago Cultural Center McVay Theater (photo courtesy of Victory Gardens Theatre); Cover art for The Rolling Stones film Carlie is my Darling (photo courtesy of CIMMfest). Presents, a program of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The performances feature all four companies (two companies each weekend) with five World Premieres by six choreographers. All performances take place at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park.

Victory Gardens' Victory

Victory Gardens Theater recently announced a generous $350,000 gift from Steven and Diane Miller. President of the Victory Gardens Board since July 2012, Steven Miller has been involved with the organization since the late 1990s, joining as a board member in 2008. The Millers' gift marks the single largest individual contribution in the theater’s 38 year history. Steven Miller, principal and cofounder of Origin Ventures, has structured his gift as a match to encourage and inspire long-time and new supporters to make philanthropic gifts to Victory Gardens. In addition to serving on Victory Gardens’ board, Miller also serves on many non-profit boards and chairs the major gift committee of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Since its founding in 1974,Victory Gardens Theatre has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when the theater received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.

Mozart in St. Charles

The St. Charles Singers will conclude its 29th concert season in March with the sixth and newest installment of its enterprising “Mozart Journey” series. The much-admired, mixed-voice choir of 36 singers based in St. Charles, and the Metropolis Chamber Orchestra with concertmaster Thomas Yang, will present the season-finale program “Mozart Journey VI: Regal Mozart” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, 2013. The concert will take place at St. Vincent de Paul Church, 1010 W. Webster Ave., Chicago; and 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, at College Church, 332 E. Seminary Ave., Wheaton. Acclaimed Wisconsin-born opera, concert, and recital vocalist Jamie Van Eyck, mezzo-soprano, will make her debut with the ensemble as a soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass in C Major, K. 317, and Litaniae Lauretanae (Litany of Loreto), K. 195. The versatile young American mezzo has sung roles with the Boston Lyric Opera, Madison Opera, Utah Opera and Opera Theater of St. Louis. The “Regal Mozart” concert takes its name from the celebratory Coronation Mass, one of the composer’s best-known large-scale works. The Mass was performed at coronation festivities for European emperors, although it wasn’t written specifically for that purpose. For more information or for tickets call 630.513.5272 or visit stcharlessingers.com. 44•CNCJASpring 2013

Rolling Stones Gather Accolade

The annual Chicago International Movies & Music Festival, CIMMfest No. 5 will feature international film premieres, live concerts, visually stunning DJ/VJ sets, lively Q&A’s and more in numerous venues centered around Chicago’s Wicker Park and Logan Square neighborhoods. It all takes place Thursday, April 18 – Sunday, April 21, 2013. Among the highlights are two major retrospectives: CIMMPathy for The Stones, celebrating The Rolling Stones’ 50 years of music on film; and a special film section, conversation, and concert with native Chicago writer-actor-director Melvin Van Peebles, who will be in attendance and turns 80 this year. Van Peebles is renowned for heralding a new era of African-American films with his Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971). New this year is the launch of CIMMCon, a dynamic professional and entrepreneurial industry conference that offers compelling presentations from industry professionals, film icons, artist entrepreneurs, and music makers. A recent Driehaus Foundation Grant winner, CIMMfest is a Non-profit 501(c)3 organization. For information on how to get involved, visit www.CIMMfest.org.

New Luna Leadership

In February, Jorge Solis, board president for Luna Negra Dance Theater, Chicago’s only contemporary dance company devoted to the Latino choreographic voice, announced that Chicago-based executive leadership consultant Esther Jeles has been tapped as Luna Negra’s new executive director, effective immediately. Jeles, 51, has been a business consultant for 19 years and has worked throughout North America as an executive coach, workshop leader and professional speaker. Jeles replaces Joanna Naftali, who left Luna Negra at the close of 2012 to pursue other career opportunities. In 2001, Jeles started Aylet, Inc., a Chicagobased consulting company that specializes in executive leadership and performance development. Jeles has worked for some of America’s top companies, including HARPO studios, Twentieth Century Fox, and Leo Burnett. Her leadership is expected to take the internationally touring company to even greater heights through the kind of unique, collaborative initiatives for which she is known. From left: Mezzo soprano Jamie Van Eyck (photo courtesy of The St. Charles Singers); Luna Negra's new executive director, Esther Jeles (photo courtesy of Luna Negra Dance Theater).


Spring 2013

Cultural Almanac Spring 2013CNCJA•45


46•CNCJASpring 2013

Musi c& Dance

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Teatro Buendia: Pedro Páramo River North Dance Chicago (Tel. 312.944.2888, rivernorthchicago.org) Street Beat: Dance Through the Ages North Shore Center for the Performing Arts' North Shore Feature Series Symphony Center Presents w/Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Tel. 312.294.3000, cso.org) CSO: Yo-Yo Ma and Esa-Pekka Salonen The Chieftains Piano: Paul Lewis CSO: Boulez and Bronfman Chamber Series: Anne-Sophie Mutter Family: Now Let's Sing CSO: Boulez conducts Wagner Chicago All Access Chamber: Tchaikovsky Tchaikovsky 4 Jazz Series: Sonny Rolins CSO: Uchida Plays Mozart University of Chicago Presents (Tel. 773.702.8068, chicagopresents.uchicago.edu) Contempo: Tribute to Ralph Shapey Family Concert: Fulcrum Point New Music Project Afro Beats

Compagnie Marie Chouinard The Rite of Spring and Henri Michaux: Mouvements

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Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (Tel. 312.922.2110, auditoriumtheatre.org) Music + Movement Festival: Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre w/James Sanders, Stu Greenspan & Joe Cerque l Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Music + Movement Festival: Kalapriya Dance Company with Lyon Leifer, Sara Ranagathan, and Ravi Lyer Music + Movement Festival: Full Effect Entertainment Theatrical Dance Co. w/M. Green & R. Bakerr Music + Movement Festival: Kuumba Lynx with Urban Aspirations Baroque Band (Tel. 312.235.2368, baroqueband.org) ÒLa Dolce VitaÓ A Celebration of Archangelo Corelli Chicago Chamber Musicians (Tel. 312.819.5800, chicagochambermusic.org) Revolutionary Czechoslovakia: Music of Fibich, Janacek and Dvorak Chicago Children's Choir (Tel. 312. 849.8300, chcchoir.rg) World Music Festival l Target Community Concert Series City Winery (Tel. 312.733.9463, citywinery.com/chicago) [Folk/neo-folk=*, Jazz=**, Blended/Pop, rock or soul fusion= ] Howie Day * l Greg Brown * l Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks w/special guest the Lawrence Peters Outfit*  Nanci Griffith w/special guest The Kennedys *  Tyrone Wells. Special guests Brendan James, Brett Young  Sharon Shannon Band on St. Patrick's Day* David Wilcox/Catie Curtis*  Ana Moura* Hayes Carll*  Chicago a Cappella (Tel. 773. 281.7820, chicagoacappella.org) Youth Choral Festival Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago (Tel. 312) 369-8330, colum.edu/dance_center) Stephen Petronio Company Luna Negra Dance Theatre (Tel. 312.337.6882, lunanegra.org) Made in Spain Harris Theater for Music and Dance (Tel. 312.334.7777, harristheaterchicago.org) Thodos Dance Chicago l l Eat to the Beat: Chicago High School for the Arts Joffrey Academy of Dance Giordano Dance Chicago Eat to the Beat: Giordano Dance Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (Tel. 312.850.9744, hubbardstreetdance.org) Spring Series Performance at the Art Institute of Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) Fifth House Ensemble Ð Caught: The Wide Open

March 2013

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


Spring 2013CNCJA•47

A Red Orchid Theatre (Tel. 312.943.8722, aredorchidtheatre.org) The Aliens Broadway In Chicago (Tel. 312.977.1700, broadwayinchicago.org) Jekyll & Hyde Priscilla Queen of the Desert Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Tel. 312.595.5600, chicagoshakes.com) Julius Caesar Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet Congo Square Theatre (Tel. 773.296.1108, congosquaretheatre.org) The Fall of Heaven Court Theatre (Tel. 773.702.7005, courttheatre.org) Proof First Folio Theatre in Oakbrook (630.986.8067, firstfolio.org) Jeeves Takes a Bow Underneath The Lintel Goodman Theatre (Tel. 312.443.3800, goodmantheatre.org) Teddy Ferrara Measure for Measure Pedro Paramo Greenhouse Theater Center (Tel. 773.404.7336, greenhousetheater.org) Leaves, Trees, Forest 25 Saints EL Stories Beautiful Broken Lifeline Theatre (Tel. 773.761.4477, lifelinetheatre.com) The City & The City The Emperor's New Clothes Lookingglass Theatre (Tel. 773.477.9257, lookingglasstheatre.org) Bengal Tiger and the Baghdad Zoo Mercury Theatre (773.325.1700, mercurytheatrechicago.com) A Grand Night for Singing Barnum Northlight Theatre in Skokie (Tel. 847.673.6300, northlight.org) Stones In Pockets Profiles Theatre (Tel. 773.549.1815, profilestheatre.org) Dream of the Burning Boy RedTwist Theatre (Tel. 773.728.7529, redtwist.org) Body of Water Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org) The Birthday Party Victory Gardens Theater (Tel. 773.871.3000, victorygardens.org) There Is A Happiness That Morning Is Writers Theatre in Glencoe (Tel. 847.242.6000, writerstheatre.org) Sweet Charity

March 2013

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Photos from left: Katherine Cunningham, Brendan Marshall-Rashid and Patrice Egleston in Henry VIII at CST this spring (Photos by Liz Lauren); Patrick Clear and Janet Ulrich Brooks in Teddy Ferrara at Goodman THeatre this spring (Photo by liz Lauren); Moira Harris, Marc Grapey, Sophia Sinise, Ian Barford and Francis Guinan in The Birthday Party now playing at Steppenwolf Theatre (photo by Michael Brosliow); Cindy Gold will play Mistress Overdone in Robert Falls' production of Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare at the Goodman this spring.

Theaters

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ArtMuseums

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Exhibit ongoing through March 3, 2013 Exhibit ongoing through March 5, 2013 Exhibit ongoing through April 7, 2013 Exhibit ongoing through April 28, 2013

Ongoing exhibit begins May 18, 2013

Ongoing exhibit begins March 19, 2013 Ongoing exhibit begins April 27, 2013

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Exhibits ongoing through May 12, 2013

Exhibit ongoing through May 5, 2013

Exhibits ongoing through April 28, 2013

Ongoing exhibit begins March 3, 2013 Ongoing exhibit begins March 8, 2013 Ongoing exhibit begins April 6, 2013

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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!

SNIPPETS

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

Want more Clef Notes? Sign up online at ClefNotesJournal.com for Snippets, our free 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!

Ebersmoore (Tel. 312.772.3021, ebersmoore.com) Ann Toebbe: The Inheritance Echt Gallery (Tel. 312.442.0288, echtgallery.com) Surface: A selection of gallery artists. Carl Hammer Gallery (Tel. 312.266.8512, hammergallery.com) Craig Nelson: Dropping Off Mom at the Old Folks Home

Terra Cotta: Twenty Years of Exhibiting African Ceramics

Douglas Dawson Gallery (Tel. 312.226.7975 , douglasdawson.com)

Architecture and Design 1810 - 1995

The Art Institute of Chicago (Tel. 312.443.3600, artic.edu) They Seek A City: Chicago and the Art of Migration, 1910-1950 Rodney Graham: Torqued Chandelier Release Sharing Space: Creative Intersections in Architecture and Design Project Projects: Test Fit Recent Acquisitions of Textiles: 2004-2011 Danh Vo: We the People Irv Penn: Underfoot Picasso and Chicago Picturing Poetry The Picasso Effect When Collecting Was New: Photographs of the Robert A. Taub Collection Chagall's America Windows Cy Twombly: Sculpture Selections, 1948-1995 Expanded Gallery for Arthur Rubloff Collection of Paperweights Kara Walker: Rise Up Ye Mighty Race! Late Roman and Early Byzantine Treasures from the British Museum Of Gods and Glamour: The Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art The Artist and the Poet Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University (Tel. 847.491.4000, blockmuseum.northwestern.edu) l l Ted Atkins Recital l l Eye Contact: Photographic Portraits From the Collection Shimon Attie: The Neighbor Next Door l l Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: Jason Lazarus Amilia Pica MCA DNA: Chicago Conceptual Abstraction Theaster Gates: 13th Ballad Think First, Shoot Later: Photographs from the MCA Collection MCA DNA: John Cage BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: Paul Cowan Goshka Macuga: Exhibit, A Color Bind: The MCA Collection in Black and White MCA DNA: William Kentridge MCA DNA: Akram Zaatari Destroy The Picture: Painting the Void, 1949-1962 National Museum of Mexican Art (Tel. 312.738.1503, nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org) 1 2 Signature Works: 25th Anniversary Gifts to the Permanent Collection Smart Museum of Art - University of Chicago (Tel. 773.702.0200, smartmuseum.uchicago.edu) Divine and Princely Realms: Indian Art from the Permanent Collection Gigi Scaria: City Unclaimed The Shamat Collective: Art and Activism in India Since 1989 Valerie Snobeck: American Standard Movement ArchiTech Gallery (Tel. 312.475.1290, architechgallery.com)

March 2013

Sign up online for

Galleri es

48•CNCJASpring 2013


Spring 2013CNCJA•49

Galleri es

Museums

Roy Boyd Gallery (Tel. 312.642.1606, royboydgallery.com) Carlos Estrada Vega Russell Bowman Art Advisory (312.751.9500, bowmanart.com) Gallery Selections: Roger Brown, Ron Gorchov & Candida Hofer Schneider Gallery, Inc. (Tel. 312.988.4033, schneidergallerychicago.com) Martina Lopez: Between Reason Mel Keiser: The Écorchés Adler Planetarium (Tel. 312-922-78278, adlerplanetarium.org) Cyber Space From Earth to the Universe Galaxy Wall Our Solar System Planet Explorers Telescopes Shoot for the Moon The Universe: A Walk Through Space and Time Universe In Your Hands Chicago Architecture Foundation (Tel. 312.922.3432, caf.architecture.org) Reconsidering an Icon: Creative Conversations about Prentice Women's Hospital Chicago Model City Loop Value: The How Much Does it Cost ? Shop One Nation Under Construction The Unseen City: Designs for a Future Chicago Chicago History Museum (Tel. 312.642.4600, chicagohistory.org) Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair Abraham Lincoln Chicago: Crossroads of America Facing Freedom Lincoln's Chicago Sensing Chicago Shalom Chicago Unexpected Chicago Vivian Maier's Chicago DuSable Museum of African American History (Tel. 773.947.0600, dusablemuseum.org) Dust In Their Veins: A Visual Response to the Global Water Crisis A Slow Walk to Greatness Africa Speaks Geoffrey & Carmen: A Memoir in Four Movements Places in the Spirit: Traditional African American Gardens Red, White, Blue & Black: A History of Blacks in the Armed Services Reflections The Freedom Now Mural Thomas Miller Mosaics

Karthik Pandian: The Incomparables Club

Gruen Galleries (Tel. 312.337.6262, gruengalleries.com) Peter Roth: Reverse Perspective Paintings Jean Albano Gallery (Tel. 312.440.0770, jeanalbanogallery.com) Wild McCormick Gallery (Tel. 312.226.6800, thomasmccormick.com) John Sabraw: aborescent Michael L. Galfer Fine Arts, LTD (Tel. 847.722.2399, mlgarts.com) Charles Dulac Henri Ibels Henri Riviere Paul Davis Rhona Hoffman Gallery (Tel. 312.455.1990, rhoffmangallery.com) Group Exhibition: Ceramic Sculpture Chris Garofalo: Zoophytosphere Vivaria

March 2013

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Staying Power Adept at staying socially relevant while offering dazzlingly entertaining performances, Blue Man Group hasn't missed a single beat in more than 15 years at Chicago's Briar Street Theatre. By PATRICK M. CURRAN II

M

y first experience with the Blue Man group occurred some 15 years ago when Lakeview's Briar Street Theatre provided me with a first-hand look at Chicago's burgeoning and passionate arts community. The product of three friends in early '90s’New York City, Blue Man Group is best known today for theatrical performances that deftly meld music, comedy, and multimedia theatrics to produce an entirely unique form of performance art. Expanding from its New York off-Broadway roots, today, the Blue Man Group experience is now a worldwide phenomenon. Chicago is just one of five American cities (New York, Boston, Las Vegas, and Orlando) with original Blue Man productions. Globally, Blue Men now grace stages in the culturally rich international urban centers of Berlin and Tokyo. Flash forward to January 2013, and this writer’s fourth and most recent attendance at Chicago’s Briar Street Theatre, what one finds is a production that has remained true to its roots, while transforming internally to accommodate the rapid social and technological growth of the last decade. After 15 years of nearly daily performances, though various directors, Blue Men performers and production iterations, the Blue Man Group of 2013 remains as unique and audacious as its original New York City debut. In March of 2011, Chris Wink, one of the three original co-founders

50•CNCJASpring 2013

One of the enigmatic Blue Men from Blue Man Group playing at Briar Street Theatre in Chicago;'s Lakeview (photo by Darbe Rotach ©BMP)


of the group, announced that Chicago’s Blue Man Group production had undergone a number of thematic transformations: “As artists, we have grown and the world around us has transformed," Wink noted. "Our new material is curated to reflect this. We’ve taken our most dynamic audience interactions and specifically put them in the venues with the most direct interaction with the Blue Men.” In fact, as I observed, the transformations were so succinct and socially current that they seemed to come from an artistic aesthetic that was keenly reflective and indicative of life in 2013—life that has become saturated with (and distracted by) social media updates and information overload from an ever increasing digital advance. One of the newly transformed segments superbly integrates the interplay of technology, popular culture and performance art. Employing the use of three extra large cell phones (or “GiPads”) sus-

ence, members young and old, than by integrating comedy and commentary utilizing the one piece of technology ubiquitous in our society today, the iconic iPhone? Using large text messages and a boisterous overhead announcer, the production effectively conveys the disconnect that staying connected has created in our society, producing the effect of isolation in a world that, ironically enough, shrinks privacy more and more each day. Nearly every component of the newly transformed production feels fresh, new, and awash in the most instantly recognizable and contemporary technology. Yet fan favorites still abide. The strategy is particularly effective in maintaining the show's instant appeal and relevance. Cofounder Phil Stanton points out, “Many of our audience’s favorite passages, including ‘Paint Drumming’ and ‘Gum Balls/Marshmallows’ will continue to be part of the production…But we have developed some brand new elements of the show that provide a larger-than-life, rousing, interactive experience that I hope will speak to all cultures and give some of our most devoted fans a new reason to check us out again.” After more than 15 years of nearly daily shows at venues across the globe, The Blue Man Group has successfully integrated new, sociallyrelevant material to develop even more creative and thought-provoking entertainment. These changes have allowed the Blue Man Group to remain at the forefront of American pop culture. And 15 years from now, as society changes and technology grows even more, I wouldn't be surprised if I should still find three enigmatic blue men thrilling audiences with fresh, original and socially relevant material in Lakeview’s Briar Street Theatre.

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pended high above the stage, the Blue Men entertained and educated the audience about technology’s often unseen side affects. What better way to literally seize the attention of your audi-

Blue Men stand in "awe" of the "GPad" hung mysteriously above the stage at the Blue Man Group's current show. One of the most popular segments of the Blue Man Group show, "Paint Drumming" (photos courtesy of BMP).

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Spring 2013CNCJA•51


52•CNCJASpring 2013 The CNCJA Cultural Almanac listings are representative of schedules from participating institutions available at time of publication.


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Musi c& Dance

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Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (Tel. 312.922.2110, auditoriumtheatre.org) Music + Movement Festival: Chicago Human Rhythm Project with Greg Spero l Music + Movement Festival: Bryant Ballet w/Sylvia & Miguel de la Cerna l Music + Movement Festival: Mexican Dance Ensemble with featured Mexican folk musicians l Music + Movement Festival: DanceWorks Chicago w/Paul Wertico l Eisenhower Dance Ensemble - Motown in Motion Chicago a Cappella (Tel. 773. 281.7820, chicagoacappella.org) The A Cappella American Songbook Chicago Chamber Musicians (Tel. 312.819.5800, chicagochambermusic.org) Composer Perspectives with John Corigliano Chicago Children's Choir (Tel. 312. 849.8300, chcchoir.rg) Target Community Concert Series Chicago Opera Theater (Tel. 312.704.8414, chicagooperatheater.org) Mar’a de Buenos Aires City Winery (Tel. 312.733.9463, citywinery.com/chicago) [Folk/neo-folk=*, Jazz=**, Blended/Pop, rock or soul fusion= ] David Grisman Andy Statman Quartet* Holly Near Band* The Proclaimers, acoustic show w/special guest JP* NOA (Achinoam Nini) * Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago (Tel. 312.369-8330, colum.edu/dance_center) Delfos Danza Contemporanea l l l FlySpace Dance Series at the Pritzker Stage (Tel. 773.871.0872, cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/flyspace.html) Helwig Dances and Same Planet Different World l l l The Dance COLEctive and Zephyr Dance Harris Theater for Music and Dance (Tel. 312.334.7777, harristheaterchicago.org) Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: Quintessential Quartets l Eat to the Beat: Music Institute of Chicago Chicago Sinfonietta: Arab Spring Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (Tel. 312.850.9744, hubbardstreetdance.org) Art Institute Performance Joffrey Ballet (Tel. 312.386.8905, joffrey.org) Othello Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Young Jean LeeÕs Theater Company: Untitled Feminist Show eighth blackbird with Nico Muhly and Bryce Dessner Music of the Baroque (Tel. 312.551.1414,baroque.org) Handel's Israel in Egypt l River North Dance Chicago (Tel. 312.944.2888, rivernorthchicago.org) Havana Blue: Co-presented with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Symphony Center Presents w/Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Tel. 312.294.3000, cso.org) Afterwork Masterworks: Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 l Choir of King's College l CSO: Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 l l l Max Raabe and Palast Orchester: I Won't Dance l Family: Once Upon a a Symphony Ð Abiyoyo l Piano Series: Pierre-Laurent Aimard l amber Series: : Emerson String Quartetrson String Quartet Chamber SeriesL: Muti Conducts Bach's Mass in B-minor CSO All-Access Chamber: Bach Family Orchestra Series: Staatskapelle Dresden CSO:Muti Conducts Beethoven 4 zz Series: ChChris Thile and Brad Mehldauris Thile and Brad Mehldau Jazz Series: Bobby McFerrin Spirit You All Chamber Series: St. Paul Chamber Orchestra CSO: Muti and Pollini CSO Chamber at the Art Institute of Chicago Piano Series: Evgeny Kissin University of Chicago Presents (Tel. 773.702.8068, chicagopresents.uchicago.edu) Pavel Haas Quartet Contempo: Double Bill Scottish Ensemble with Allison Balsom, trumpet

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b o Creativity x n e d U

Chicago Children's Museum taps into the innate creativity of kids with the simplest of inspirations: the cardboard box, and gets a world of ingenuity for its trouble.

By ALEX KEOWN Photos By HEATHER STONE

F

For anyone who has ever given a gift to a child, it’s not an uncommon sight to see the youngster pay more attention to the cardboard gift box than the actual gift itself. Children seem to approach this everyday staple with a sense of sheer wonder. Given a chance, they’ll crawl inside the box, wear it on their head, or turn it into some imaginary, impenetrable fortress. Cartoonist Bill Watterson’s famous perpetual six-year-old Calvin and his trusty sidekick Hobbes, the stuffed tiger, famously turned cardboard boxes into the spaceship of alter-ego Spaceman Spiff, or the “transmogrifier,” a machine that could transform the precocious Calvin into anything he aspired to be.

54•CNCJASpring 2013

The cardboard box is indeed a time-tested favorite of children everywhere, and the Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier has tapped into the love of the sturdy paper cube with their new exhibit Unboxed: Adventures in Cardboard. Museum officials took the packing and shipping essential and turned it into what they call a “museum-size exhibit.” “It’s an exhibit based on such a simple idea,” said Chad Mertz, representative for the Children's Museum. “This is a classic material that people grew up with that’s never been harnessed as the focus of an exhibit.” The exhibit represents a tangible and tactile sensation for children and their families to explore the limits of their imagination. While many exhibits are static and remain un-


changed throughout their “lives,” Unboxed: Adventures in Cardboard is a constantly evolving entity that transforms with each child who enters. Children can move the boxes, stack the boxes, draw on and reshape the boxes and generally put their own stamps on the exhibit. “So many people get it.” Mertz explained. “They just start grabbing and creating. It’s a different exhibit each day. The ordinary boxes become extraordinary in their hands. The kids have really made the exhibit their own.” Jennifer Farrington, president of the Chicago Children’s Museum, noted that while the cardboard box is the dominant theme of the exhibit, creativity and ingenuity are the real stars of the show. Since the exhibition opened last fall, Merz said the feedback has been glowing. “So many parents have related their own home-version box stories, it just tells us we’re on the right path." The exhibit took approximately 18 months to develop from conception to execution. And while most museum exhibits are of a linear nature, with a specific beginning and ending point, Mertz said designers did not want to take that approach with Unboxed. “We’ve been moving away from that trend with our inhouse developed exhibits,” Mertz said, “wanting to create an exhibit driven by the actions of children and their families.” Unboxed features several permanent pieces. One of the most popular such pieces is the 10-foot-tall Box Giant, which straddles a miniature town of cardboard, appropriately called Tiny Town. While the Box Giant is permanent, children can add to the town below with their own individual architectural designs. Museum designers worked with Chicagobased artist Megan Hovany to create a 43-foot long 3-D cardboard mural that covers the exhibit’s outer wall. One section, called The Cardboard Studio, provides children the opportunity to “design, engineer, build, tear apart and remake” their own cardboard creations. The children are only limited by their own imaginations. Another popular section of the exhibit is called the Box Maze, an ever shifting labyrinth of cardboard boxes that, with a little ingenuity, can form a space station, an underwater castle or anything that the young mind can think of. Other exhibit areas include artistic play. The Cardboard Studio allows children to paint, draw, cut and shape cardboard boxes into their own artistic creations. Those creations can then be taken home, or left to become part of the exhibit. There is also an area specifically developed for infants and toddlers to explore their motor skills and cognitive development. Back in August, before launching the exhibit, the Children’s Museum opened Mr. Imagine’s Toy Store in Wicker Park–a store

that promised “if you can imagine it, we have it.” And, as you can imagine, it was a store filled with ordinary cardboard boxes that, with a little ingenuity, could become extraordinary in someone’s hands. Visitors entered the unique shop, chose a cardboard box and took it into another room filled with a myriad of art supplies and began creating. Volunteers were on hand to provide assistance and to show off some creations of their own. The studio in Mr. Imagine’s mirrored the same one found in Unboxed. Mertz said the store was tremendously successful for the nine days it was open. Over the course of the life of Unboxed, its simple artifacts have had to be switched out every few days due to expected wear and tear. However, the museum partnered with Abt Electronics and International Paper to provide a steady stream of cardboard for the exhibit. “Our partners have been great, and we’re so appreciative of them,” Mertz said. While Unboxed: Adventures in Cardboard closes May 5, but like so many cardboard boxes we come across every day, the exhibit may very well have new life somewhere down the road. Mertz pointed out that due to the successful response from the public, Unboxed could very well return to the museum in the future. Children explore the wonders of creativity through the hidden treasures found in simple cardboard boxes at Unboxed: Adventures in Cardboard at the Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier.

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Theater

Black Ensemble Theater (Tel. 773.769.4451, blackensembletheater.org) From Doo Wop to Hip Hop It's Al-Right to Have a Good Time (The Story of Curtis Mayfield) Broadway In Chicago (Tel. 312.977.1700, broadwayinchicago.org) Catch Me If You Can American Idiot Anything Goes Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Tel. 312.595.5600, chicagoshakes.com) Henry VIII Court Theatre (Tel. 773.702.7005, courttheatre.org) Proof Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook (630.530.8300, drurylaneoakbrook.com) Xanadu First Folio Theatre in Oakbrook (630.986.8067, firstfolio.org) Underneath The Lintel Goodman Theatre (Tel. 312.443.3800, goodmantheatre.org) Pristine Seas Measure for Measure The Happiest Song Playlist By the Way, Meet Vera Stark Greenhouse Theater Center (Tel. 773.404.7336, greenhousetheater.org) Beautiful Broken Creditors Plus Size Reality Check Tea with Teddy and Fitz Lifeline Theatre (Tel. 773.761.4477, lifelinetheatre.com) The City & The City Lookingglass Theatre (Tel. 773.477.9257, lookingglasstheatre.org) Still Alice Mercury Theatre (773.325.1700, mercurytheatrechicago.com) Barnum Northlight Theatre in Skokie (Tel. 847.673.6300, northlight.org) Stones In Pockets Profiles Theatre (Tel. 773.549.1815, profilestheatre.org) The Dream of the Burning Boy RedTwist Theatre (Tel. 773.728.7529, redtwist.org) Body of Water Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org) The Birthday Party Head of Passes Victory Gardens Theater (Tel. 773.871.3000, victorygardens.org) The Whale

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

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Photos from left: Chris Hainsworth, Steve Schine and Bryson Engelen in Lifeline Theatre's world premiere of The City and The City (photo by Suzanne Plunkett); Francis Guinan and Marc Grapey in The Birthday Party, now playing at Steppenwolf THeatre (photo by Michael Brosilow); actor Ohn Victor Allen makes his goodman THeatre debut in Measure for Measure this spring (photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre); War ensues after the murder of Julius Caesar in Shakespeare THeatre's production of Julius Caesar (photo by Liz Lauren).

56•CNCJASpring 2013


Spring 2013CNCJA•57

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

Lyle's Large Life

SUMMER 2011

Chicagoland Journal for

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

Creativity

Chicago Shakespe celebrates a quarter century g Shakespeare. celebratinBoundless

YEARS G & COUNTIN are Theatre

+ 25

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

Paris Comes to Millennium Park

SUMMER 2012

Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

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

a Legacy unveiled

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3rd Anniversary Issue

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

Identity

TOWERING

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

Picturing Dawoud Bey

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.

Crowd PLEASER

A ProgrAm of merit Merit Music’s incredible contribution to the city’s music education legacy

the Uncommon DivA

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

Mayor Daley’s grand vision for a revitalized Chicago Theater District has been a long time coming, and Broadway In Chicago has had a significant role in making that a reality. By Patrick M. Curran II

Bringing Broadway to chicago

Winter 2010

Concert Journal for the Arts

Clef N tes

Stirring UP LAUght er Chicago’s 2009 Humanitie s Festival and its celebration of the many sides of laughter

Museum listings for ongoing or permanent exhibits may be found on pages 48, 49 and 52..

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For special advertising opportunities, contact Account Executive Jason Montgomery Tel. 773.741.5502 or e-mail: Jason.Montgomery@ClefNotesJournal.com

For advertisers looking to reach an audience that is cultured, sophisticated, and values strong branding, there's no better place for your message than Clef Notes. Our readers open our pages for the best in Chicagoland arts and culture.

Clef N tes

Advertise with

Addington Gallery (Tel. 312.664.3406, addingtongallery.com) Plumbing the Depths Ronald Clayton: New Paintings Carl Linstrum: New paintings ArchiTech Gallery (Tel. 312.475.1290, architechgallery.com) Architecture and Design 1810 - 1995 Douglas Dawson Gallery (Tel. 312.226.7975 , douglasdawson.com) Terra Cotta: Twenty Years of Exhibiting African Ceramics Echt Gallery (Tel. 312.442.0288, echtgallery.com) Surface: A selection of gallery artists Gruen Galleries (Tel. 312.337.6262, gruengalleries.com) Peter Roth: Reverse Perspective Paintings Jeff Sippel: Abstract Florals - mixed media on canvas McCormick Gallery (Tel. 312.226.6800, thomasmccormick.com) John Wehmer: Unforseen Forces Michael L. Galfer Fine Arts, LTD (Tel. 847.722.2399, mlgarts.com) Charles Dulac Henri Ibels Henri Riviere Paul Davis Rhona Hoffman Gallery (Tel. 312.455.1990, rhoffmangallery.com) Karthik Pandian: The Incomparables Club Group Show: Sol LeWitt & Fred Sandback Robert Jendra Studio and Gallery Show Roy Boyd Gallery (Tel. 312.642.1606, royboydgallery.com) Carlos Estrada Vega Schneider Gallery, Inc. (Tel. 312.988.4033, schneidergallerychicago.com) Martina Lopez: Between Reason Mel Keiser: The Écorchés Vale Craft Gallery (Tel. 312.355.3525, valecraftgallery.com) For the Birds, group show Zhou B Art Center (Tel. 773.523.0200, zbcenter.org) Adversity: Linc Thelen solo show

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CSO: Spanish Passion mily: Get Up anand Danced Dance Family: Get Up Piano Series: Jorge Federico Osorio CSO: Rimsky-Korsakov Sheherazade Beyond the Score: Sheherazade Chamber Series: Yo-Yo Ma and CSO Musicians CSO: Beethoven 6 Friday Night at the Movies: Singin' in the Rain CSO Chamber at the Art Institute of Chicago ano Series: : Marc-Andre Hamelinarc-Andre Hamelin Piano Series; CSO: Revueltas Noche de los Mayas Jazz Series: Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic CSO: Fray Plays Mozart University of Chicago Presents (Tel. 773.702.8068, chicagopresents.uchicago.edu) Family Concert: Quintet Attacca Sets the Score Contempo: Tomorrow's Music Today I Pacifica Quartet Contempo: Tomorrow's Music Today II Black Ensemble Theater (Tel. 773.769.4451, blackensembletheater.org) It's All-Right to Have a Good Time (The Story of Curtis Mayfield) Broadway In Chicago (Tel. 312.977.1700, broadwayinchicago.org) Anything Goes Buffalo Theatre Ensemble of Glen Ellyn (630.9424000, home.cod.edu/atthemac/bte) Trumbo - Red, White & Blacklisted Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Tel. 312.595.5600, chicagoshakes.com) Henry VIII Roadkill Court Theatre (Tel. 773.702.7005, courttheatre.org) The Misantrhope Goodman Theatre (Tel. 312.443.3800, goodmantheatre.org) The Happiest Song Playlist By the Way, Meet Vera Stark

Afterwork Masterworks: Spanish Passion

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Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (Tel. 312.922.2110, auditoriumtheatre.org) The Tenors: Lead With Your Heart Music + Movement Festival: Giordano Dance Chicago & Luna Negra Dance Theater The Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg - Rodin Chicago Chamber Musicians (Tel. 312.819.5800, chicagochambermusic.org) American Spirit: Music of Bernstein, Zwilich, Carter, Barber and Copeland l l Chicago Children's Choir (Tel. 312. 849.8300, chcchoir.rg) Target Community Concert Series: Canto Latino l Snap Dazzle Pop!: Cabaret Show featuring Concert Choir and Soloists City Winery (Tel. 312.733.9463, citywinery.com/chicago) [Folk/neo-folk=*, Jazz=**, Blended/Pop, rock or soul fusion=Â ] Southern Culture on the Skids l 10,000 Maniacs CD Release Event Harris Theater for Music and Dance (Tel. 312.334.7777, harristheaterchicago.org) Eat to the Beat: The Seldoms l Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: Britten at 100 l Ballet Chicago: Balanchine + Beyond Eat to the Beat: Chicago Academy for the Arts Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (Tel. 312.850.9744, hubbardstreetdance.org) Art Institute Performance l Joffrey Ballet (Tel. 312.386.8905, joffrey.org) Othello l l l l Music of the Baroque (Tel. 312.551.1414,baroque.org) The St. John Passion Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) eighth blackbird with Nico Muhly and Bryce Dessner l Symphony Center Presents w/Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Tel. 312.294.3000, cso.org)

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


Spring 2013CNCJA•59

Theaters

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Jeff Sippel: Abstract Florals; Mixed media on canvas

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For the Birds, group show

Group Show: Sol LeWitt & Fred Sandback Vale Craft Gallery (Tel. 312.355.3525, valecraftgallery.com)

Karthik Pandian: The Incomparables Club

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Museum listings for ongoing or permanent exhibits may be found on pages 48, 49 and 52..

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Get in the know with Chicago's amazing arts & culture with a year-long subscription to Clef Notes and get our annual GUIDE to the new 2013-2014 arts and culture season (Autumn 2013). With luminary interviews and previews of some of the new season's best and brightest, this special issue is a MUST-HAVE for any Chicago arts and culture fan! And, for a limited time, when you subscribe online at ClefNotesJournal.com/special, you can save more than 50% off newsstand rates. For more information call us at 773.741.5502.

Jennifer Norback Fine Art Gallery (Tel. 773.671.5945, jennifernorbackfineart.com) In Metamorphosis: Works by Vivian van Blerk and Douglas Stapelton McCormick Gallery (Tel. 312.226.6800, thomasmccormick.com) John Wehmer: Unforseen Forces Michael L. Galfer Fine Arts, LTD (Tel. 847.722.2399, mlgarts.com) Charles Dulac Henri Ibels Henri Riviere Paul Davis Rhona Hoffman Gallery (Tel. 312.455.1990, rhoffmangallery.com)

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Greenhouse Theater Center (Tel. 773.404.7336, greenhousetheater.org) Creditors Tea with Teddy and Fitz Reality Check Lifeline Theatre (Tel. 773.761.4477, lifelinetheatre.com) The Three Musketeers Lookingglass Theatre (Tel. 773.477.9257, lookingglasstheatre.org) Still Alice Mercury Theatre (773.325.1700, mercurytheatrechicago.com) Barnum Northlight Theatre in Skokie (Tel. 847.673.6300, northlight.org) Stella & Lou Profiles Theatre (Tel. 773.549.1815, profilestheatre.org) In The Company of Men Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org) Head of Passes Victory Gardens Theater (Tel. 773.871.3000, victorygardens.org) The Whale Addington Gallery (Tel. 312.664.3406, addingtongallery.com) Ronald Clayton: New Paintings Carl Linstrum: New paintings Bert Green Fine Art (Tel. 773.434.7544, bgfa.us) Gruen Galleries (Tel. 312.337.6262, gruengalleries.com) Peter Roth: Reverse Perspective Paintings

May2013


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Goodman Theatre Measure for Measure Robert Falls directs Shakespeare’s dark comedy, in which virtue and vice collide—and lust and the law clash wills. When the Duke of Vienna sets off on a diplomatic mission abroad, he hands over power to the austere Lord Angelo, who enforces the city’s longdormant moral code with draconian zeal. But when a pious young nun comes to Angelo to plead for the life of her doomed brother, she sets in motion a series of events that test the limits of human will, and reveal a tangled web of desire and deception. Catch Measure for Measure at The Goodman March 9 – April 14, 2013. Visit goodmantheatre.org or call 312.443.3800 for more details.

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Spring 2013 Picklists

Andrew Schmidt'sTheater Picks

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Chicago Shakespeare Theater Henry VIII Henry VIII receives its first staging in CST's history under the masterful hand of Barbara Gaines, whose vision provides audience members the opportunity to discover Shakespeare's unparalleled insight into our collective human condition. As the sordid tale unfolds of England's most opulent king—notorious for his habit of wedding and beheading—Anne Boleyn rises to power, Queen Katherine is ousted from her throne, and the political machinations and exploits of a king's reign are laid bare. Henry VIII runs at Shakespeare Theater from April 30 through June 16, 2013. Visit chicagoshakes.com or call 312.595.5600 for more details.

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Profiles Theatre In The Company of Men Resident Artist and Steppenwolf ensemble member Rick Snyder directs the world premiere production of the revised script of In the Company of Men following his acclaimed Profiles productions of A Behanding in Spokane, reasons to be pretty and the Jeff Award-winning Killer Joe. In this riveting psychological dark comedy, two frustrated young executives vent their pent-up rage via a childish prank and end up wrecking havoc for their unsuspecting victim, but not before each ends up paying a stiff price. When it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, In the Company of Men created a firestorm of controversy with wildly divergent yet passionate opinions. It received the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay, the Filmmaker's Trophy at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival and The New York Film Critics Award for Best First Feature. Watch it all unfold onstage when In the Company of Men premieres at Profiles May 16 through June 30, 2013. Visit profilestheatre.org or call 773.549.1815 for more information. Karyn Peterson's Exhibit Picks

Above: Actress Isabel Ellison makes her Goodman Theatre debut in Robert Fall's production of Measure for Measure by Shakespeare this spring (photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre); Below: Kids enjoy the interactive touchpad stations at The Field Museum's new exhibit Creatures of Light (photo courtesy of The Field Museum).

The DuSable Museum of African American History Geoffrey and Carmen: A Memoir in Four Movements This exhilarating exhibit in tribute to two icons of African American Renaissance will include more than 90 paintings, sculptures, photographs, costumes, books and designs by the Tony Award winning director/choreographer/ artist/actor/author Geoffrey Holder and his award-winning wife, dancer/actress/choreographer Carmen DeLavallade. All works in the exhibition were created by the couple whose combined years in the world of entertainment, art and culture total more than a century. Geoffrey and Carmen will provide an intimate look at Holder & DeLavallade and their work as multi-talented artists, but, it will also be Holder’s gloriously colored paintings and his tributes to his family that will make the exhibition personal and lively. Visit Geoffrey and Carmen: A Memoir in Four Movements through May, 2013. Visit dusablemuseum.org or call 773.947.0600 for more details.

EXHIBITS

exhibits

Field Museum Creatures of Light This stunning new exhibition at the Field delves into the mysterious world of bioluminescence–from the glowworms dangling from the ceiling of New Zealand’s famous Waitomo Caves, to the deep-sea fishes that illuminate the perpetually dark depths of the oceans. Discover the variety of ways in which light is used to attract a mate, lure unsuspecting prey, or defend against a predator, and see how scientists study this amazing ability to glow. Immerse yourself in these magical environments and revel in the beauty of this remarkable natural phenomenon from March 7 through September 8, 2013 at The Field Museum. Visit fieldmuseum.org or call 312.922.9410 for more information. The Art Institute of Chicago Picasso and Chicago

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Featuring such diverse and significant works from the museum's own exceptional holdings and from collections throughout the city, Picasso and Chicago not only charts the full gamut of Picasso's artistic career but also chronicles the growth of Chicago as a place for modern art and the storied moments of overlap that have contributed to the vibrant interest in Picasso from 1913 to today. Adding to the celebration of this eminent artist and his connection to our city are special installations throughout the museum's galleries as well as a host of other exceptional ancillary programming. See the exhibit through May 12, 2013. Visit artic. edu or call 312.443.3600 to learn more.


Fred cummings' Music Picks

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Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Britten at 100 A fascinating program of Britten classics – enchanting, profound and engaging – is offered by CMS as a centenary tribute to the greatest English composer of the 20th Century. This program, in celebration of Britten’s 100th birthday, includes his Suite for Violin and Piano, Op. 6, the stirring Phantasy Quartet for Oboe and String Trio, Op. 2 and culminates with the 1961 cello sonata composed for his close friend and collaborator Mstislav Rostropovich. Hear Britten at 100 at 7:30 p.m. on May 8, 2013 at Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago's Millennium Park. Visit harristheaterchicago.org or call 312.334.7777 for more details. Chicago Symphony Orchestra Boulez and Bronfman Preeminent composer, musical maverick and CSO Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus Pierre Boulez joins legendary pianist Yefim Bronfman for Bartók's stunningly virtuosic Second Piano Concerto, a work for which Bronfman earned a Grammy Award in 1997. The concert, which includes seminal works by Debussey, Messien and Stravinsky, takes place March 7, 9 and 12, 2013. Visit cso.org or call 312.294.3000 for more details.

Music

Symphony Center Presents Jazz Sonny Rollins Recent recipient of the Medal of Arts and 2011 Kennedy Center Honoree Sonny Rollins returns to Symphony Center for another historic performance. The New Yorker wrote, “Over and over, decade after decade, from the late seventies through the eighties and nineties, there he is, Sonny Rollins, the saxophone colossus, pursuing the combination of emotion, memory, thought, and aesthetic design with a command that allows him to achieve spontaneous grandiloquence.” Hear Rollins in concert March 29, 2013 at Symphony Center. Visit cso.org or call 312.294.3000 for more details.

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Brittany Rice's Dance Picks

Above: Acclaimed conductor and composer Pierre Boulez (photo by Getty Images) Below: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Alicia Graf Mack and Jamar Roberts (photo by Andrew Eccles).

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Joffrey Ballet Othello Passionate and powerful, "Othello’s" contemporary ballet and innovative stage design tell the dramatic story of the Venetian Moor, his beloved Desdemona, and the conniving Iago, who will stop at nothing to usurp Othello’s power. Witness ambition and betrayal, set to a commanding score by Oscar winner Goldenthal. See Joffrey Ballet in Lar Lubovitch's "Othello" April 24 though May 5, 2013 at Auditorium Theatre. Visit joffrey.org or call 312.386.8905 for more information. Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre The New York Times calls them “sleek, athletic masters of the universe.” Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to the Auditorium for an unprecedented two-week run with programs that blend their newest and boldest season premieres with the classics you want to see, including their timeless masterpiece "Revelations." Alvin Ailey's spring Chicago residency runs from March 8 though 17, 2013 at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Visit auditoriumtheatre.org or call 800.982.2787 for more details.

Dance

The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago Stephen Petronio Company Widely regarded as one of the leading dance makers of his generation, Stephen Petronio and his company returns to Chicago for the first time since their last appearance at The Dance Center in 2000. The company will present "Underland," an evening-length work originally created for the Sydney Dance Company in 2003, and revived in 2011. A sexy, enigmatic fusion of dance, music, and visual imagery, inspired by the bittersweet score of Australian songwriter Nick Cave, "Underland" features powerful solos, duets, and ensemble work, set to a score of Cave classics, including “Stagger Lee,” “Wild World,” “The Mercy Seat,” and “The Weeping Song.” Performances take place March 7-9, 2013. Visit colum.edu/Dance_Center or call 312.369.8330 for more information.

Spring 2013CNCJA•61


Editor's Picks Steppenwolf Theatre Company The Birthday Party At a sleepy seaside boarding house in England, the humdrum routine of corn flakes, newspapers and naps is interrupted by the appearance of two mysterious strangers. They become guests at longtime tenant Stanley's surprise birthday party which, after a few glasses of whiskey, party games and a mysterious blackout, turns into a deliciously impalpable nightmare. As excuses and alliances hastily shift, so does the truth in Harold Pinter's riveting dark-comic masterpiece. The Birthday Party runs at Steppenwolf Theatre through April 28, 2013. Visit steppenwolf.org or call 312.335.1650 for more details.

Theater

Spring 2013 Picklists

City Winery Nancy Griffith with special guests, The Kennedys Twenty albums now, and none before like this. “It’s emotional for me, and it’s personal, and it makes my heart pound, thinking I’m going to be totally exposed here,” says Nanci Griffith, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Intersection is not an album of resolution or closure; it’s an album about difficulties, about anger, about things that slip away and things that explode. Hear works from Intersection and special guests, New York duo The Kennedys on March 15, 2013. Visit citywinery.com/chicago or call 312.773.WINE for more details.

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From top: Moira Harris, Marc Grapey, Sophia Sinise, Ian Barford and Francis Guinan in The Birthday Party, now playing at Steppenwolf Theatre (photo by Michael Brosliow); Acclaimed folk musician, Nancy Griffith (photo courtesy of City Winery); Cast of Chicago Opera Theatre's María de Buenos Aires this spring at Chicago Opera Theater (photo by David Schneiderman).

Publisher's Picks

Exhibits

Chicago History Museum Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair Through the story of Eunice Johnson, matriarch of the iconic publishing family, and through more than 60 garments from icons of the fashion industry, Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair recreates the experience of the Ebony Fashion Fair, the one-of-a-kind American fashion institution that traveled rough the globe as a symbol of African-American sophistication, glamour and beauty and as a calling card for The Johnson Publishing Company's historic flagship publications, Eboy and Jet magazines. Garments among the artifacts in this stunning exhibition hail from the fashion houses of Yves St. Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, Christian Lacroix, and Patrick Kelly. The exhibit opens March 9, 2013. Visit chicagohistory.org or call 312.642.4600 for more information. Chicago Opera Theatre María de Buenos Aires This opera pulses to the passion and beat of composer Ástor Piazzolla's revolutionary nuevo tango and librettist Horacio Ferrer's mesmerizing, imaginative poetry. María embodies everything that is Argentinian. Totally consumed by passion, yet fiercely maintaining her independence, María fights for survival and freedom, never surrendering. See this provocative, passionate work of art performed at Harris Theater April 20, 24, 26 and 28, 2013. Visit chicagooperatheater.org or call 312.704.8414 for more details.

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62•CNCJASpring 2013


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i n f o @ C o l i n Ly o n s P h o t o g r a p h y. c o m Spring 2013CNCJA•63


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Spring 2013 Issue of Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts  

Spring 2013 issue of Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

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