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Clef N tes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

Crowd PLEASER 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 端ber-popular outdoor music celebration.

Picturing Dawoud Bey

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

Boundless Creativity

Carrie Hanson and The Seldoms celebrate 10 years crashing boundaries of modern dance through mind-bending innovation. SUMMER 2012

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TOWERING

Identity

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

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3rd Anniversary Issue


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Contents

Photo by Liz Lauren

Summer 2012

CNCJA

FEATURES

50 10 Arts Under the Stars We give you our Editor's top picks for cultural bliss this season under the Chicagoland summertime sky.

12 Seeds of Knowledge Chicago Botanic Garden has been serving up conservation and a wealth of knowledge along Chicago's gorgeous Northshore for 40 years. We look at the many educational programs and exhibits that keep visitors coming back each season.

50 Reviews Goodman Theatre's production of The Iceman Cometh, Steppenwolf's The March and The Museum of Science and Industry's newest exhibit MythBusters are just a few of the performances we review in this issue's Cultural Almanac.

54 Summer Theater.....Lakeside Above: Broadway luminaries Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy star in Goodman Theatre's production of the Eugene O'Neill masterpiece The Iceman Cometh.

Missed some of the hottest storefront productions in Chicago's theater calendar this season? No worries; just pull up a chair at the city's very own lake house to get a dose of summer theater re-wind at its best. Summer 2012CNCJA•3


From the Publisher’s Desk

Photo courtesy of carrie hanson

This year marks milestone anniversaries for some of Chicago’s most eminent and creative cultural institutions. We’ve seen seasons this year that celebrate so many years of depth, artistry and growth for such a wide array of arts organizations that its becomes difficult to deny that Chicago has one of the most singularly power cultural voices of any city on the globe. It’s never easy to reach such milestones, particularly in a world class city with such a vast store of cultural voices at work. Yet many institutions find a way to not only survive, but flourish with their own unique artistic identity in tact. With our Summer 2012 issue, Clef Notes celebrates its own milestone of sorts. For us, completing our third year marks an achievement that speaks to the strength of our own individual voice and that of the audience we reach with every publication. So, to celebrate, we’ve focused much of this anniversary issue on Chicagoland cultural institutions with their own unique and individual aesthetic celebrating milestone seasons this year. And what we’ve found are organizations whose persistence in vision and artistic scope deepened the city’s own individual global cultural identity. We take a look at Chicago Botanic Garden, celebrating 40 years along the city’s vibrant Northshore, and we delve just beyond the scenic landscapes and floral bounty to find a cultural institution that has served to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the seeds behind the stunning beauty they cultivate every season. We talk with Carrie Hanson, artistic director for Chicago’s incredibly innovative dance company, The Seldoms, as they celebrate their 10th year breaking the barriers of dance and expanding the language of their art form to broaden the scope and understanding of the medium among all those who view their work. And we spotlight Chicago’s very own summer theater festival, Theater on the Lake, Lincoln Park’s answer to the fall theater season which celebrates their diamond anniversary this year, presenting some of Chicago’s most riveting The Seldoms performed "This is Not a Dance Concert" in Harris The- off-Loop theater right on the city's ater for Music and Dance as part of their 10th anniversary celebration spectacular lakefront. this spring. We also sit down with Maestro Carlos Kalmar, music director for Chicago’s incredibly popular Grant Park Music Festival, which will help celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Grant Park Chorus this summer, both cultural institutions that are uniquely superior, uniquely popular and uniquely Chicago. We get a glimpse of how Kalmar rewards the throngs of devoted Chicagoans who flock to Millennium Park each summer to hear one of the area's most endearing outdoor music festivals with the thoughtful approach he takes to programming its amazing line-up each year. Of course we can only scratch the surface of the amazing cultural wealth found in Chicagoland season after season, but its our hope that we can start you on your own journey year after year to celebrating the richly diverse store of voices at work each season in Chicagoland’s vibrant cultural landscape. Here’s to another summer of amazing arts and culture,

D. Webb Publisher

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Clef N tes

Chicagoland Journal for the Arts SUMMER 2012

Publisher D. Webb

Editorial Editor

Patrick M. Curran II

Editorial Support Christopher Hopper Rachel Cullen Meaghan Phillips

Staff Writers and Contributors David Berner Fred Cummings Emily Disher Don Fujiwara Julianne Ingles Carrie Miller Brittany Rice Daniel Scurek Myron Silberstein David Weiss Alexandra Zajac

Art Direction Art Director

Carl Benjamin Smith

Contributing Photographer Jason M. Reese

Graphics & Design Specialists Chelsea Davis Angela Chang

Advertising Tel. 773.741.5502 Jason Montgomery Jason.Montgomery@ClefNotesJournal.com Adam McKinney Adam.Mckinney@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 Norman Timonera

Summer 2012

CNCJA

DEPARTMENTS

36 16 Curator's Corner: Picturing Dawoud Bey Chicago takes a comprehensive look at the prolific photographer this summer with two thought-provoking exhibitions examining his work.

30 Shall We Dance?: Boundless Creativity After 10 years as artistic director of the wildly innovative Chicago-based dance company, The Seldoms, Carrie Hanson is still pushing the boundaries of dance right off the very stage.

36 Artist Conversational with Carlos Kalmar Myron Silberstein sits down with the beloved artistic director of one of Chicago's most popular outdoor music festivals and discovers what he has planned for his devoted listeners this summer.

44 Preview: Towering Identity On the Cover: Maestro Carlos Kalmar, music director of Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival (photo by Todd Rosenberg);.Above: Listeners enjoy The Grant Park Orchestra perform at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

Fascinating new Museum of Contemporary Art exhibit explores the mystique of the skyscraper and the impact its allure has had on our own identity.

Summer 2012CNCJA•5


scuttlebutt

Letters from our readers...

L.A. Confidential

Photo by Roibert Landau

I was happy to read that you selected Los Angeles to promote as "Cultural Destination of Choice" in your spring issue (Travel & Culture Issue 2012). I'm originally from Los Angeles and secretly long to return there some day (don't tell my wife), and have for years loved Downtown Los Angeles Skyline L.A.'s eclectic arts scene. I think that the more commercial "Hollywood" mystic has overshadowed the really wonderful arts based organizations at work there, and was glad to see a light shone on the purely artistic elements of the city's popular entertainment scene. Geoffrey Chambers Chicago - Hyde Park

Fabulous Fabio

Photo by haende c. babara

I attended the Harris Theater concert (Myron Silberstein) mentioned in your recent article on the Vienna Symphony ("Vienna Treasure" - Travel & Culture Issue 2012) and I have to admit that I was not overly familiar with its conductor Fabio Luisi. But the performance was fascinating to watch. He is a marvelous conductor and the orchestra is wonderful also. I hope you will follow his work as he takes over the reigns of The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra this year. Now, that would be an excellent recommendation for cultural travel this season. Samantha Malick Lake Forest, IL

Vienna Symphony conductor Fabio Luisi

Neptune Fountain beneath Gloriette at Vienna's Schönbrunn Palace

Photo by Lois Lammerhuber

Fabulous Vienna

Excellent choice for your spring issue! Vienna is a wonderful tourist destination for culture and sheer beauty. My wife and I spent our 20th anniversary there, and we've been trying to get back ever since. The food is amazing. The culture is incredible and the nightlife is outstanding. Very good choice. Thomas McCullough Chicago - Streeterville

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.

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


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TOO HOT TO HANDEL: THE JAZZ-GOSPEL MESSIAH January 19 & 20, 2013 ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER March 8 – March 17, 2013 Glenn Allen Sims. Photo by Andrew Eccles.

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Out and About

Hubbard Street Dancer Meredith Dincolo, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Hubbard Street Dancer Kellie Epperheimer.

Hubbard Street Board Member Joni Jacobsen and husband Craig Cox.

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Photos by Robert Carl

H

ubbard Street Dance Chicago hosted its 2012 Spotlight Ball on Monday, May 7 at the Hilton Chicago in Chicago’s south Loop. The annual event raised over $700,000, which will help support Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s education, community and artistic programming. Mayor Rahm Emanuel was also in attendance, serving as Honorary Chair for the event. Emceed by longtime Hubbard Street supporter and ABC7 anchor Ron Magers, the evening kicked off with cocktails and a silent auction featuring a seven night trip to Brazil with full accommodations in Rio De Janeiro and Bahia. Local Chicago dance celebrities and prominent city figures mixed and mingled with guests, making for a star-studded, one-of-a-kind evening. Guest were treated to a unique performance choreographed by some of Hubbard Street’s most prominent talents, resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo and Taryn Kaschock Russell, director of Hubbard Street 2, followed by a decadent three-course dinner prepared by renowned Hilton executive chef Mario Garcia.

Hubbard Street Dancers take a bow after a performance at the 2012 Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Spotlight Ball.

Spotlight Award Recipients John and Jeanne Rowe and event co-chair Don Thompson with his wife Liz.

Board Member Sarah Nolan and Friends.


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our hundred fifty of Chicago’s young arts supporters turned out for a high-energy evening of music, dancing, cocktails, impressive local cuisine and a silent auction at Steppenwolf Auxiliary Council's 2012 Red or White Ball on Friday, April 13, 2012 at Chicago’s vintage-chic Architectural Artifacts (4325 N Ravenswood Avenue). The signature event for the city’s most active young professionals raised $80,000, benefiting Steppenwolf for Young Adults, the theater’s nationally recognized arts education program, which impacts over 15,000 students, teachers and families each year. Red or White Ball Honorary Chair and

FUR Double Duty Two-in-One Styling

Steppenwolf ensemble member Kathryn Erbe. Photo by Kyle Flubaker.

Red or White Ball Honorary Chair and Steppenwolf ensemble member Kathryn Erbe (center), with Renee and Adam Keats (Highland Park). Photo by Kyle Flubaker.

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arts under the stars

Our Editor's picks for 2012's best culture under the Chicagoland summer sky.

Brahms 2X The Grant Park Music Festival presents one of the city's most opulently satisfying venues to digest cultural brilliance amid Chicago's gorgeous skyline. And at 6:30 p.m. on August 8th, conductor Carlos Kalmar leads the GPO in a sumptuous program of German composers, highlighted by Brahms' beautiful Double Concerto featuring frequent guest artist Christian Tetzlaff (violin) with sister Tanja Tetzlaff (cello) making her Grant Park Festival debut. Pack a picnic basket and make your way down to Millennium Park early. There won't be a free space on the lawn for this one. Windy City Cuisine Chicago foodies will have their chance to indulge in culinary pleasures under Chicagoland's summer skies with the city's annual Chicago Gourmet. The Windy City's premier culinary festival, Chicago Gourmet was established by the Illinois Restaurant Association and the Anton Family Foundation to promote the city's impressive food and wine community and to celebrate and honor both Chicago’s culinary achievements and the creative vision of the chefs, master sommeliers and wine makers who participate each year. One of the festival's most popular events, the Hamburger Hop returns this year to Millennium Park's Harris Rooftop Theater on Friday, September 28, 2012. The Hop is a fun, interactive event that showcases the area's top chefs in a duel for the title of the city's best burger. Participants can enjoy fabulous food, beer, wine and spectacular city views as a panel of celebrity judges deliberate the finest burger in town.

Premiere in the Park River North Dance Chicago (RNDC) in conjunction with The City of Chicago will present their full-length premiere performance at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on June 5, 2012. “World Class, Home Grown” will feature some of the company’s most celebrated works and treat Millennium Park audiences to a free performance beginning at 6:30 p.m. The evening will also honor Mayor Rahm Emanuel with the RNDC “Dream Maker Award” for his dedication to dance, followed by a special benefit at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. Mayor Emanuel will receive the RNDC Dream Maker Award in tribute to his commitment to promote dance throughout the city of Chicago.

BIGart

This summer, Navy Pier's Gateway Park will serve as home to BIGart at Navy Pier, the venue's annual, free outdoor art exhibition. For this year's show, Navy Pier will partner with the Gagosian Gallery to display the work of worldrenowned artist Roy Lichtenstein. Lichtenstein's signature Classic Films on the Lake sculpture From June 14-September 16 this summer, on the lawns of 120 parks all over the city, movie fans all over Chicago Brushstroke Group will will gather for more than 170 screenings of current and be among the artist's many works featured this year. And classic films. Among the annual Movies in the Park Film in the weeks to come, Navy Pier guests will be given an Festival's largest and most popular venues is Grant Park in opportunity to view sculptures and other works of various downtown Chicago. And this year, Grant Park guests will have the opportunity to screen two of classic films' most treasured works. On sizes, designs and media from artists all over the globe. June 25, The Chicago Park District will screen Stanley Kubrik's classic 2001 Space Odyssey and There's no better setting for enjoyment of outdoor culture on August 8, they will screen the Western classic High Noon. Admission is free, and yes, a blanket than a venue that itself is a work of art. Navy Pier's BIGart exhibit runs through October 2012. and basket are recommended for optimum enjoyment of flora, fauna and film. Situated on a sloping lawn next to the lovely Portiuncula Chapel in Orland Park, First Folio Theatre's outdoor mainstage is the ideal setting to enjoy Shakespeare under the stars. This summer, First Folio presents the Bard's most controversial play, Merchant of Venice, a complex tale of hatred, love, revenge and betrayal. Set in 16th Century Venice, this production directed by Alison C. Vesely, will be the central element of a two-month long series of events that examine Shakespeare's dark tale and the effect it has had not only on future dramas, but on all of society. For a serious study of Shakespeare's Merchant under Chicagland's summer sky, First Folio offers an experience that cannot be eclipsed.

Shakespeare with an Edge

Photos-Clockwise from top left: Grant Park Orchestra conductor Carlos Kalmar conducts the GPO in Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion (photo by Norman Timonera); River North Dance Chicago dancers (photo courtesy of River North Dance Chicago); Chicago's Navy Pier (Courtesy of Navy Pier); Nick Sandys and Melanie Keller in First Folio Theatre's Turn of the Screw (photo courtesy of First Folio Theatre). Film's in the Park Festival (photo courtesy of the Chicago Park District); Chicago Gourmet tents in Millennium Park (photo courtesy of Chicago Gourmet).

10•CNCJASummer 2012


LICHTENSTEIN He made art Pop. Only through September 3

Roy Lichtenstein. Ohhh…Alright…(detail), 1964. Private Collection. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein. The exhibition is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago and Tate Modern, London. Bank of America is the Global Sponsor of Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective. Major funding is provided by the Bette and Neison Harris Exhibitions Fund. Additional support provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Henry Luce Foundation. Major funding for the exhibition catalogue is generously provided by Kenneth and Anne Griffin and Cari and Michael J. Sacks. Annual support provided by the Exhibitions Trust: Goldman Sachs, Kenneth and Anne Griffin, Thomas and Margot Pritzker, the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Foundation, the Trott Family Foundation, and the Woman’s Board of the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition in Chicago and Washington is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities.

Summer 2012CNCJA•11


seeds

Knowledge of

By ALEX KEOWN

T

he Chicago Botanic Garden is not just a place with picturesque blossoms and voluminous shrubs; there’s a whole lot of education going on there as well. For 40 years the Chicago Botanic Garden has been home to not only the preservation and conservation of native plant life, but the Garden is also home to cutting edge horticultural research and conservation education. “We’re very proud of what’s been accomplished so far at the Botanic Garden,” said Jodi Zombolo, the director of visitor events and programs. The mission of the Chicago Botanic Garden is to “promote the enjoyment, understanding, and conservation of plants and the natural world.” The garden’s mission encompasses three components: collections, education, and research. So far, garden officials believe mission accomplished. But they realize to continue to meet that mission they will have to continue to update all they offer. The Chicago Botanic Garden traces its history back to the founding of the Chicago Horticultural Society in 1890. In its early days the society hosted flower shows throughout the city, including the World’s Columbian Exposition Chrysanthemum Show, held in conjunction

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with the 1893 World’s Fair. The Horticultural Society waned in the early decades of the 20th century and gained a resurgence in the midst of World War II. When the new version of the society formed, members contemplated development of a botanic garden but found it difficult to find the appropriate space. Several property choices on Chicago's expansive lakefront were nixed because of elemental changes. In 1962, the society entered into a partnership with the Cook County Government for the 365 acres in Glencoe, IL where the garden now sits. By 1965, ground was broken on the marshy plot of land, and within a handful of years, the first trees were planted and the future gardens were formed and buildings were erected. In 1972 the new fa-


Photos © The Chicago Botanic Garden

cility was finally open to the public. Through the years, the garden has become a popular destination for residents of the Chicago suburbs as well as tourists to the area. “We try to stay with what people are interested in,” Zombolo said. “There’s always some new developments year after year.” And keeping to what people are interested in certainly appeals to the public, according to attendance figures. Attendance at the Botanic Garden continues to grow annually, said Julie McCaffrey, a Chicago Botanic Garden spokesperson. In 2011, nearly one million people visited the garden, an increase of approximately six percent over 2010 figures. In fact, for the first five months of 2012, garden officials have seen a 60 percent rise in attendance over the same period last year, which McCaffrey said can largely be attributed to the above average temperatures in March. In addition to increased visitors, the number of Botanic Garden members has also grown to more than 50,000. “We’re the fastest growing Botanic Garden in the country,” Zombolo said. Zombolo and other garden officials speculate attendance will continue to grow this year, especially in anticipation of the Botanic Garden’s 40th birthday party in November. The celebration will include an exhibit telling the story of the garden from its founding until today, marking many of the milestones that the Garden has enjoyed since opening in 1972. “Creating the garden within the blank piece of land is a milestone in and of itself,” Zambolo said. “We’re excited about what we’ve accomplished here and what we plan to accomplish in the future.” Without officially establishing a botanic garden, Zambolo indicated they could not offer the numerous educational programs they do. Another milestone garden officials are excited about is the Botanic Garden seed bank. The Chicago garden was invited to be part of the seed bank project by the

Photos-opposite page: (center) Chicago Botanic Garden Circle Garden at museum's entrance; (inset) a child selects a choice gourd at the Gardens fall bulb festival; (above) The Hibiscus Moscheuto "Sweet Caroline" waterfall; (below) The Garden's visitor center (photos courtesy of The Chicago Botanic Garden).

Royal Botanic Garden in the United Kingdom. As part of the bank, Chicago Botanic Garden was tasked with collecting as many seeds as possible from the “tall grass prairie region,” to which Illinois belongs. The seeds already gathered and those they continue to collect will be divided equally between the seed bank in England, a seed bank in Washington D.C., and the Chicago Botanic Garden. The collected seeds are kept in a refrigerated storage unit and are viable for two centuries. But make no mistake about the seed bank, seeds are not just stored and left alone for the next two hundred years; McCaffrey pointed out that the seed bank is a working bank with deposits and

Summer 2012CNCJA•13


withdrawals being made continually. The seeds are used in various scientific studies including tracing the DNA of each seed. “A lot of people don’t know the impact of the science we do here. If you’re a plant researcher, you’ll want access to these seeds,” McCaffrey said. Opening June 2 is the exhibit Butterflies & Bloom, dedicated to native and exotic butterflies. Butterflies from South America, Asia, North American and Illinois will be on display in the 2,800 square-foot enclosure. People who visit the butterfly exhibit will find themselves immersed in a plethora of butterfly species as they stroll through a tented area. Exhibit goers will learn about the various species through interpretive panels. Garden

officials speculate visitors will be able to see approximately 500 butterflies on an average visit. Also opening June 2 is the Grusnfeld Children’s Growing Garden, a section of the Botanic Garden dedicated to teaching children about growing plant life. Through hands-on experience, young people will learn about all aspects of the growing process, including weeding, harvesting and pollenization. “We’ll have all kinds of green features where children can learn about the environment,” Julie said. As for the future, to ensure the Chicago Botanic Garden continues to deliver strong community and educational programs, garden officials have mapped out a 10-year strategic plan to address continued fiscal solvency, strengthen garden programs and “improve the health of the natural world.” One aspect that plan seeks to address is strengthening local recognition. While officials tout the education and research spearheaded at the Botanic Garden, Zambolo said there are still untold people who live within 10 miles of the garden, but are largely unfamiliar with everything that takes place there. “We’re striving to reach so many people. We want the garden to be a destination place for people throughout the Chicagoland area,” Zambolo told me. “This is a great jewel of Chicagoland. There’s a lot of things if you dig a little deeper you’ll discover at the garden.” The Chicago Botanic Garden is open 365 days per year and is free to the public, although some exhibits, such as Butterflies & Bloom have a small fee, you'll scarcely find a more beautiful and more economic way to spend an afternoon.

Photos © The Chicago Botanic Garden

The Crescent in full fall bloom at the Chicago Botanic Garden.. (above): a young visitor enjoys the Garden's annual Butterflies & Bloom exhibit opening this year in June.

14•CNCJASummer 2012


THE CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AT

AMERICAN FAVORITES

JULY

STEVEN REINEKE, CONDUCTOR ASHLEY BROWN, VOCALIST OF BROADWAY’S MARY POPPINS

04

MAHLER SYMPHONY NO. 6 CONDUCTOR OF THE YEAR JAAP VAN ZWEDEN MAKES RAVINIA DEBUT

JULY

LEGENDARY

SINGER

BARBARA COOK CELEBRATES HER 85TH BIRTHDAY BY MAKING CSO DEBUT

JULY

JAMES CONLON, CONDUCTOR WORKS BY ROSSINI, MENDELSSOHN

JULY

JAMES CONLON CONDUCTOR FEATURING ‘1812’ WITH LIVE CANNONS

Kurt Weill’s lost Masterpiece

JULY

19

21 PATTI LUPONE PATRICIA RACETTE JAMES CONLON, CONDUCTOR ROB FISHER, CONDUCTOR THE BROADWAY SUPERSTAR JOINS THE REIGNING

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Chicago symphony Orchestra James conlon, Conductor Janai Brugger, Soprano T. Daniel, Artistic Director Laurie Willets, Artistic Director

AND MORE

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Magical Night A Musical Fantasy in MIME

JULY

ORCHESTRAL SHOWCASE

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CHRISTOPH ESCHENBACH, CONDUCTOR NICOLA BENEDETTI, VIOLIN LEONARD ELSCHENBROICH, CELLO

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MOZART OPERAS IN THE MARTIN THEATRE M IC DOMENEO S C

OZART’S FIRST INTERNATIONAL HIT!

HICAGO YMPHONY HORUS JAMES CONLON, CONDUCTOR

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Summer 2012CNCJA•15


PICTURING

Dawoud

Photographer Dawoud Bey

Chicago takes a 360 degree view of prolific photographer this summer in two richly inspiring exhibitions of his works.

D

By JULIANNE INGLES

Dawoud Bey’s career as a photographer began in New York in 1975 with his wellknown series, Harlem, USA. The powerfully striking, monochromatic portraits document the lives of ordinary people living in Harlem. The series was inspired by the politically charged 1969 exhibition, Harlem On My Mind, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Harlem on my Mind was the subject of much criticism when it opened because in curating the exhibit, The Metropolitan Museum of Art elected to exclude Harlem artists from the exhibit's planning. Bey exhibited Harlem, USA for the first time at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1979, one of the first major exhibitions giving voice from within the very community upon which it focused. Born in 1953 in Queens, New York, Bey began his formal training as an apprentice to local commercial and fashion photographer Levy J. Smith. Later Bey studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He competed his undergraduate work at Empire State College and also received an MFA in photography from Yale University. Since that time, Bey has exhibited around the globe at such venues as The Art Institute of Chicago, Barbican Centre in London, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, National Portrait Gallery in London and the Whitney Museum of American Art (included in the 2000 Whitney Biennial), among a long list of esteemed venues around the globe.

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“I began photographing in the streets of Harlem in 1975.” Bey recalled. “At first these visits were just weekly excursions...As I got to know the shopkeepers and others in (Harlem), I became a permanent fixture at the public events taking place in the community...The relationships and exchanges that I had with some of these people are experiences I will never forget." Those experiences and relationships are the heart and soul of Harlem, USA

CURATOR'S CORNER

Bey

Photo by Jason Smikle

In addition, the photographer's critical writings on contemporary art have been published in many catalogs and journals throughout the US and Europe, not the least of which being his essay, “The Black Artist as Invisible (Wo)Man” in High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting, 1967-1975. The essay discusses the work of African American artists Al Loving, Joe Overstreet, Howardena Pindell and Jack Whitten. Bey has also been part of many collaborative projects working with young people and museums. These projects began in 1992 during a residency at the Addison Gallery of American Art at Philips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Bey created a series of ‘provocative engagements’ among students, teachers, schools, communities and the museum. Through discussions, conversations, creating photographs and curating, Bey encouraged dialogue about the nature of identity and stereotypes, as well as the nature of art and the role of the museum. This summer, the full complement of Harlem, USA will be exhibited for the first time in over 30 years by The Art Institute of Chicago. The show includes the 25 original prints from Bey’s 1979 exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem, plus five previously unpublished prints from the same time period. From the beginning, the concept behind the exhibition found its origins in Bey's desire to chronicle potent memories inspired by his experiences growing up amid Harlem's uniquely genuine and richly affectional purlieu. “I began photographing in the streets of Harlem in 1975.” Bey recalled. “At first these visits were just weekly excursions. On those occasions much of what I did was not photographing, but spending time walking the streets, reacquainting myself with the neighborhood that I wanted to again become a part of, seeing up close the people and the Above: Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953), A Boy in front of The Loews 125th St. Movie Theatre, Harlem, NY 1976, printed by 1979, Gelatin silver print, 23 x 15 cm (image); 35 x 27.5 cm (paper). The Art Institute of Chicago, promised gift of Bruce and Vicki Adams, 76.2011, © Dawoud Bey, G40134; Right: Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953) Harlem, NY 1975, printed 2010, Gelatin silver print, edition 1/10, 23 x 15 cm (image); 35 x 27.5 cm (paper). The Art Institute of Chicago, restricted gift of Cheryl and Eric McKissack, 2011.153, © Dawoud Bey, G40139.

Summer 2012CNCJA•17


From top left: Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953), Mr. Moore's Bar-B-Que, 125th St. 1976, printed by 1979, Gelatin silver print, 15.2 x 23 cm (image); 35 x 27.5 cm (paper). The Art Institute of Chicago, restricted gift of Jack and Sandra Guthman, 2011.136, © Dawoud Bey, G40140; Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953), A Woman at Convent Avenue Baptist Church 1977, printed 2010, Gelatin silver print, edition 1/10, 15.4 x 22.7 cm (image); 35.3 x 27.5 cm (paper). The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Michelle Josephson and Stephen and Maya Daiter, 2011.156, © Dawoud Bey, G40136; Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953), A Woman Waiting in the Doorway 1976, printed by 1979, Gelatin silver print, 15.5 x 23 cm (image); 35 x 27.5 cm (paper). The Art Institute of Chicago, restricted gift of Anita Blanchard M.D. and Martin Nesbitt, 2011.140, © Dawoud Bey, G40137; Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953), A Woman with Hanging Overalls 1978, printed by 1979, Gelatin silver print, 14 x 20.5 cm (image); 35 x 27.5 cm (paper). The Art Institute of Chicago, restricted gift of Juanita Jordan in memory of Dorothy Vanoy, 2011.135, © Dawoud Bey, G40138. Below: Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953) A Man in a Bowler Hat, 1976. Printed 2005, Carbon pigment print, 6.5 x 9.5 in. From the portfolio, "Harlem, U.S.A.", edition 4/15. Restricted gift of Susan and Allison Davis; Photography Purchase, Charina Foundation, and Barbara and Lawrence Spitz Funds; Ernest Kahn Endowment, 2008.191

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neighborhood I had glimpsed from the car window years before as a child.” As he began to reintegrate himself into the culturally abundant community, Bey would come to realize a far greater, more intuitive objective. He explained, “As I got to know the shopkeepers and others in the neighborhood, I became a permanent fixture at the public events taking place in the community, such as block parties, tent revival meetings, and anyplace else where people gathered. The relationships and exchanges that I had with some of these people are experiences I will never forget.” Those experiences and relationships are the heart and soul of Harlem, USA, as Bey explained, “It is in those relation-

CURATOR'S CORNER

ships and the lives of the people that these pictures recall that the deeper meaning of these photographs can be found.” a meaning that rings poignant and compelling from the moment you view Bey's powerful images, images ringing with the strength, peace and resolve of their subjects. The Renaissance Society at University of Chicago picks up where The Art Institute leaves off, presenting Picturing People, a broader and more comprehensive career survey running through June 24, 2012. The show includes a new chapter of Bey’s latest project, Strangers/Community, featuring portraits of people from Hyde Park,

Summer 2012CNCJA•19


CURATOR'S CORNER

Chicago. While Harlem, USA captures African American residents of Harlem, Picturing People presents teens of all races photographed in high schools across the country. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, which includes personal reflections by art critic Arthur Danto, an interview with Dawoud Bey by Hamza Walker and an essay by Julie Bernson (Deputy Director for Learning and Engagement, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum) on Bey's collaborative community-based practice. Plans are also underway for Bey’s exhibition to travel, although locations have not yet been confirmed. A former Guggenheim and NEA fellow, Bey is currently Professor of Art and Distinguished College Artist at Columbia College in Chicago, where he has taught since 1998.

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Photos courtesy of the Renaissance society

Clockwise from top left: Dawoud Bey, Paula Beigleson and Shirley Sims 2010; Dawoud Bey, Charita 2001; Dawoud Bey, Kali and Geshe 2010.


Featuring Chicago’s legendary MIKE NUSSBAUM & COBURN GOSS

L to R: MIKE NUSSBAUM as Sigmund Freud and COBURN GOSS as C.S. Lewis. Photo: Peter Coombs

WHAT WILL YOU FIND?

C.S. LEWIS MEETS FREUD

A PLAY BY MARK ST. GERMAIN • DIRECTED BY TYLER MARCHANT

WOODY ALLEN, ALEC BALDWIN, NEIL SIMON, BARBARA WALTERS, DR. RUTH, JOHN CLEESE and KENNETH BRANAGH all had sessions.

“TERRIFIC ... 1/2!” – Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“SMART AND FUNNY!” - Kerry Reid, Chicago Reader

“HIGHLY ACCESSIBLE!” - Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

EXTENDED THRU JULY 15 BY POPULAR DEMAND!

SCHEDULE

YOUR SESSION TODAY! 3745 N. Southport Ave • Chicago

773.325.1700

www.mercurytheaterchicago.com For Groups 10+ Call 312.423.6612 www.FreudsLastSession.com

For tickets call (888) 700-9069 800 W. Wells Street Milwaukee, WI 53233 www.mpm.edu

This summer, see some of the best animal art in the world in the special exhibition

Art and the Animal.

May 26 – September 3, 2012. Free with regular Museum admission.

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On July 6 and 7, 2012 at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at University of Chicago, organist Christopher Houlihan continues his six-city tour commemorating the life and works of French composer and organist Louis Vierne. Houlihan performs all six of Vierne's major works for solo organ: the organ symphonies, over two free concerts on July 6 and 7, 2012. Houlihan is a young, hip organist - and that phrase is not an oxymoron. Cincinnati Enquirer calls Houlihan an "Organ phenom." According to The Republican, "....the audience should be prepared to be mesmerized" and the Birmingham News calls Houlihan's performance "astonishing." The concerts in Chicago are part of Houlihan's coast-to-coast concert tour in honor of the 75th anniversary of the death of the great composer and organist, Louis Vierne. Vierne died at age 66 while in performance at the organ at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris on June 2, 1937. VIERNE 2012 takes Houlihan to six cities (New York, Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, and Dallas) over the course of the summer to perform concerts of all six organ symphonies by Louis Vierne in each venue.

N tables...

Ode to Vierne

Above right: Concert organist Christopher Houlihan (photo courtesy of The University of Chicago Rockefeller Memorial Chapel).

Millennium Heats Up! The acclaimed "Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz" series will heat up Millennium Park with some of Chicago’s leading jazz artists and concerts that celebrate the sounds of blues, boogie, Latin, Bop and beyond. The series, presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in partnership with the Jazz Institute of Chicago, will offer free weekly concerts beginning Thursday, July 19 and closing Thursday, August 30, 2012. (There is no concert scheduled on Thursday, August 9.) The 2012 series includes tribute concerts and retrospectives, and a performance by bassist/composer Matt Ulery. Performing August 16th, Ulery will bring his diverse musical pallet, steeped in a wide range of mediums to speak with a distinctive voice unburdened by genre limitations. For more information on the series including specific programming details, visit millenniumpark.org or call 312.742.1168. Above: Acclaimed bassist/composer Matt Ulery (photo courtesy of The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events); Right: Hubbard Street Dancer Jacqueline Burnett in "Untouched" by Aszure Barton (photo by Todd Rosenberg).

Above: Scottish composer James MacMillan (photo courtesy of Soli Deo Gloria).

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Hubbard Street Primer Hubbard Street Dance Chicago continues its commitment to cultivating company talent, both onstage and behind the scenes, with its annual "Inside/Out Choreographic Workshop." This workshop offers an opportunity for dancers to choreograph and a chance to explore related talents, developing skills to facilitate the transition to the next stage in a dancer’s career, as company members take on administrative and technical responsibilities. The result of this process is an intimate evening comprised of fresh new pieces that offers the audience a look inside the works in progress. Some of the works presented at Inside/Out eventually become part of Hubbard Street's repertoire and premiere at dance(e)volve, the company’s new works festival taking place at the Edlis Neeson Theater at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in June 2013. This year's Inside/Out Choreographic Workshop features the work of 18 in-house choreographers’ pieces that range from one to five minutes in length. Inside/Out takes place at the UIC Theater, 1044 West Harrison, just a few blocks from Hubbard Street Dance Center, in two performances only – June 23, 2012, with a show at 5 p.m. and another at 8 p.m. Tickets are only $20 and are extremely limited. For more information about Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Inside/Out Choreographic Workshop and its other unique offerings visit www. hubbardstreetdance.com.

Chicago’s Soli Deo Gloria (SDG) will be part of an intercontinental commission (along with the Hebrides Ensemble, Edinburgh International Festival and King’s Place) of an hour-long new work by leading Scotland composer James MacMillan to be premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival on Wednesday August 22, 2012. The performance will be followed by a second concert at King’s Place, London, on September 29, 2012 before touring in 2013 to Amsterdam on March 21, Leeds on March 23 and to Perth (UK) on a date in April 2013. Soli Deo Gloria is working to secure a U.S. premiere. The new work, entitled Since it was the Day of Preparation… tells one of the greatest stories ever told, that of The Resurrection. It follows his own setting of the St John Passion, which takes the narrative up to the death of Christ. “When I completed my St John Passion some years ago, it felt like an unfinished story, and I wanted to get back to it quickly.” MacMillan said of the original work. “…taking up St John’s narrative from the death of Christ through to the end of the Gospel was an exciting musical and spiritual journey for me.” This is not Soli Deo Gloria’s first MacMillan collaboration. In June 2011, SDG brought the composer, who also serves as an Advisory Board member to the organization, to the University of Chicago for the premiere of his commissioned choral work Alpha and Omega. The work was performed at Rockefeller Chapel by the Rockefeller Chapel Choir and the University of Chicago Motet, under the direction of James Kallembach. Sacred international commission


In This Quarter Year


OPERA REVIEW

Teseo a Tour de Force for Darrah and COT By SCOTT ELAM

Photo Courtesy of Chicago Opera Theater

April 23, 2012 - Chicago Opera Theater (COT) premiered the penultimate production of General Director Brian Dickie’s tenure on Saturday evening with a performance of Handel’s Teseo. Teseo marks the final installment in the company’s trilogy of baroque operas on the subject of Medea, the mad witch whose torments wreck havoc on everyone in her wake. And if the innovative opera company wanted to take on a challenge, they could not have picked a better work. The baroque composition is

Countertenor Gerald Thompson as Kiong Egeo and mezzo-soprano Renée Tatum in Chicago Opera Theater's spring production of Teseo by G. F. Handel.

riddled with subtleties that leave every one of its principals bare and exposed throughout the entirety its five acts. The emotion is raw, yet complex and multidimensional so that a cursory wash of passion could hardly do the plot justice. Director James Darrah, who made his COT debut in 2011 with Charpentier’s Médée, took on the challenge by framing the production in François-Pierre Couture’s stark, disjointed set with early French furnishings strewn about and his own Mid-century French costume design (perhaps a nod to the libretto’s origins, derived from Lully’s French

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tragèdie lyrique Thésée). The setting sunk deeply into a cloud of grays and dull, muted tones brightened only by the spray of autumnal colors in the numerous swatches scattered about the stage, helping to create the notably off-putting undercurrent of grief already at work before the curtain even opens. The voices at work, however, would best prove the metal of COT’s production as, again, there’s nowhere to hide in Handel’s lucid writing. Chicago’s Baroque Band provided crisp, articulate accompaniment under conductor Michael Beattie’s steady hand. And out there, alone, amid Handel’s crystal clear score, COT’s cast brought intensity, masterful technique and poignant nuance to what is most arguably the city’s best opera production this season. Italian soprano Manuela Bisceglie sang Agilea, ward of the Athenian monarch, with depth and warmth. Torn by her love for Teseo and faced with mounting pressure to marry the king, Agilea is vulnerable and her emotions are raw. Bisceglie’s warm, oval tone was perfectly suited to her first act prayer for Teseo’s safe return from battle. She brought a wonderful intonation and color to Handel’s poignant chromatic melodies. Soprano Deanna Breiwick brought a refreshing radiance to Agilea’s confidante Clizia. And countertenor David Trudgen was brilliant as her paramour Arcano. Breiwick’s bold third act aria Risplendete amiche stele, in which she finally returns Arcano’s affections, brimmed with rich lyrical abandon. The pair’s duets are fiendishly difficult, and the two could have easily left them at little more than thrilling vocal gymnastics. Yet, they were performed with the greatest of charm and nuance, transforming exercise into artistry. Mezzo-soprano Cecelia Hall sang the titular role and brought a fresh understated elegance to the challenging art of performing a male character. She has considerable vocal power and dexterous acting chops. As Teseo, Hall’s emotions seemed to rumble just beneath the surface before his confessed love of Agilea, and after, bubbled over with effusive ardor, all with remarkable authenticity. Countertenor Gerald Thompson was a delight as King Egeo. His voice is superbly athletic, and he dashed off Handel’s crippling trills and jumps with wonderful vibrato and outstanding finesse. He certainly could have played up the camp inherent in Egeo, but he left just enough room for dimension to keep his character from becoming too static, which would have constrained the flexibility necessary for the final act transformation he would make at the hands of…yes…Medea. Mezzo-soprano Renée Tatum is a young singer of startling maturity with a gorgeously rich voice and the remarkable lyrical range necessary to make Medea a powerful and chilling force on stage. Tatum’s Medea is spot on, with vocal constancy that easily creates the dark and ominous figure that causes so much anguish. Her presence on stage was an instant source of intensity and Tatum’s second act duet with Thompson’s King Egeo was delightfully electric. It was her arias, though, fueled with artfully crafted phrasing, that painted her with intriguing depth and clarity. With a character driven to the lengths of having killed her own children, Tatum could have easily rested in the sheer spectacle of her madness. But she took delightful advantage of the many opportunities for warmth, and even sympathy, that Handel built into her arias. Tatum’s formidable middle register is palpably rich, and through it, she made easy work of Handel’s wonderfully moving, even sometimes sweet melodies, which makes her Medea even more terrifying.


Orion Eyes Women Composers

THEATER REVIEW

Freud Intellectually Engaging

By MYRON SILBERSTEIN

Photo by cornelia Babbit

March 11, 2012 - A first-rate performance is a joy under any circumstances. A first-rate performance of first-rate but unfamiliar repertoire is both a joy and an act of service. The Orion Ensemble’s March 11 performance of four chamber works by female composers at the Music Institute of Chicago in Evanston was a particularly fine example of the latter. Two of the works on the program should have entered the standard repertoire 150 years ago. A third work was an example of a freely tonal twentieth-century idiom that is most egregiously overlooked in today’s concert halls. And an entry from a Chicago-based composer, Stacy Garrop, exhibited a dramatic sensibility that would appeal to even the most contemporaryskeptical audience. The Orion Ensemble’s playing is sensitive, dramatic, refined, and technically flawless. Clarinetist Kathryne Pirtle has a consistently warm and lyrical tone, with just enough bite to make brilliant passages truly exciting. Florentina Ramniceanu’s violin playing is rich, well-textured, and generally orchestral in conception, with a full range of expression. Cellist Judy Stone plays with crystal-clear precision even in her instrument’s thick low register. And Diana Schmück is a thorough piano virtuoso with remarkable sensitivity to melody. Of the four pieces on the program, Louise Farrenc’s Trio in E-Flat Members of the Orion Ensemble. Major for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Op. 44 was the most substantial. Generally warm and sunny, the composition is elegant and sparkling. Of particular note is the wide-ranging cello melody that opens the second movement and its exquisitely ornamented bel canto piano variation. Farrenc largely follows Classical conventions, but her approach to instrumental doubling and chromatic figuration is wholly her own. This work should be one of the warhorses of the clarinet trio repertoire. Fanny Mendelssohn’s Trio in D Minor for Violin, Cello, and Piano, Op. 11 is a passionately brooding work filled to the brim with instantly memorable melodies and stunning virtuosic passages. The first movement is particularly captivating, though extensive in length. Its three brief companion movements are melodically inventive. Of particular note is the improvisatory piano opening to the final movement. Phyllis Tate’s Air and Variations for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano (1957) occupies a largely pastoral, highly chromatic soundworld common to Mid-century British composers but encompasses a moody sensuality that recalls Poulenc. The air and its five variations are substantial enough to serve as standalone pieces. The nocturnal Serenade is particularly sumptuous, while the Fugal March explodes in Hindemith-like bursts of energy. Stacy Garrop is head of Roosevelt University’s composition department. By all accounts, she is a generous and effective teacher. Silver Dagger for Violin, Cello, and Piano (2009) demonstrates that she has quite a lot to pass on to her students. She uses extended piano techniques such as string slaps sparingly and atmospherically. She moves seamlessly from the opening’s gentle string harmonics to the cataclysmic Bloch-inspired chords of the piece’s central section with a rare mastery of texture. The only problem is that the piece’s ideas are too large for its brief time span. The ethereal string harmonics that close the piece sound more like a central respite than an ending. If Garrop were to rework Silver Dagger with a more extended scope, it could be a major work indeed.

By CARRIE MILLER

Photo Courtesy of Mercury Theater

CLASSICAL CONCERT REVIEW

Mark H. Dold and Martin Rayner in Mercury Theater's production of Freud's Last Session.

Speaking of God, as its central characters do, it feels like a minor miracle that a 75 minute conversation between two people could be so enthralling, even with all the intellect, wit and firepower this imagined meeting between C.S. Lewis and Dr. Sigmund Freud delivers. The tight staging and effortless deliveries were, perhaps, to be expected. Freud’s Last Session was imported to the Mercury Theater prepolished, following a successful Off-Broadway run in New York and with its two seasoned lead actors intact. But the considerable word-of-mouth attention this play has received owes as much to its humorous and highly palatable treatment of some weighty, though by definition open-ended questions about life and its meaning. Patrons can walk out of the play feeling as though they had eaten their spinach, and delighted that it tasted so much like dessert. With cool British precision, Mark H. Dold plays Lewis, a rising Don in the English department of Oxford University who recounts a recent conversion experience that would later be reflected in his novel “The Screwtape Letters” and his seven-book fantasy series “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Martin Rayner is irascibly skeptical as Freud, who champions atheism with the charming brusqueness of a scientist on his deathbed. The play is set three weeks before Freud, in the painful final stages of mouth cancer, would take his own life. Played out entirely in the lush confines of Freud’s London study-inexile, the conversation ends up putting both men “on the couch” both literally and figuratively. Freud’s case against God moves beyond the intellectual to the bitterly personal. If the meeting ever occurred, it’s because, as a Jew, the legendary psychoanalyst was forced to flee to London as Germany occupied his native Austria. The play opens with Freud listening to radio reports of German tanks rolling into Poland. The looming specter of war is a supporting player in the dialogue. Though obviously an even match of wit and intellect, it’s Freud who gets the funniest lines: “No sex before marriage? It’s not only naive; it’s mindless cruelty,” he says, “like sending a man off to perform his first concerto with an orchestra when he’s only ever played his piccolo alone in his room.” Lewis is as unsparing as Freud, though more tactful, in pointedly questioning the psychoanalyst’s suffocatingly close relationship with his own daughter and wondering aloud about the fine line between reserved and antisocial behavior. “Where is your joy?” Lewis asks Freud “Have you ever found it, through anything, through anyone in your entire life?” Though thoroughly entertaining, there are few genuine moments of dramatic tension in the play. In the beginning, Lewis was late and was called (perhaps one too many times) on Freud’s lush Persian carpet about it. Near the end, complications from Freud’s illness require him to show vulnerability and ask for the help of his new acquaintance. In between, the audience will have to be content with an engaging dialogue that delivers a generous helping of both heft and humor. Freud’s Last Session runs at Mercury Theater in Lincoln Park through June 3, 2012. Summer 2012CNCJA•25


CLASSICAL CONCERT REVIEW

CMSLC “Masters of the Keyboards” Long on Artistry, Short on Variety Photo by Henry Fair

By MYRON SILBERSTEIN March 20, 2012 - Almost every piano student experiences the joy of performing piano duets. Professional four-hand performances, though, are a rarity. Whittemore and Lowe, Luboshutz and Nemenoff, and the Casadesus family championed the duet in the mid-1900s. More recently, the Labèque sisters and the Contiguglia brothers have achieved international prominence as duo-pianists. But, unfortunately, duo-piano repertoire is grossly underrepresented on today’s concert stages. And that is a shame because there is a tremendous wealth, both in breadth and depth, of such repertoire. In a duo-piano program at the Harris Theater entitled “Masters of the Keyboard,” The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center presented pianists Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Anne-Marie McDermott, André-Michel Schub, and Chamber Music Society Co-artistic Director Wu Han — a fascinating variety of pianistic personalities. The program itself, however, did not exactly avail itself of the wide variety of the four-hand repertoire at hand today, comprising an allDebussy first half and a second half of Bizet pieces and Gershwin’s An American in Paris. Single-composer concerts can be quite appealing; a live performance of Beethoven’s final three piano sonatas, for example, is utterly fulfilling. And Debussy’s place in the musical canon is beyond reproach. The impressionistic palette, though, is a pastel one; colors emerge through a diaphanous shroud of harmonic gestures rather than gripping the ear with urgent immediacy. The preponderance of orchestral transcriptions on the program’s first half created an even greater challenge. As Bavouzet indicated in remarks to the audience, a piano transcription does not provide “the power or subtlety of an orchestra,” but allows a work’s “harmonic structure (to be) more clear.” When a piece’s French pianist Jean Efflam Bavouzet was among the featured pianists in The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln essence, however, resides in subtle coloration rather than Center's "Masters of the Keyboard" this spring. in harmonic structure, a piano transcription falls short of Bizet’s Jeux d’Enfants is a set of twelve four-hand miniatures evokthe composer's original intent. ing children’s games such as Blind Man’s Bluff and Leapfrog. Individually, Bavouzet and Schub’s performance of Ravel’s transcription of each piece is charming. In the aggregate, though, the modest musical mateDebussy’s Nocturnes was sensitive and passionate; but even when the two rials seem less than substantial enough to sustain a twenty-minute set. Han pianists emphasized significant melodies, there was not enough timbral vaand Bavouzet had great fun with the work, however, including comical fariety to place them in genuine relief. A notable exception was the concludcial expressions that elicited delighted chuckles from the audience. ing movement, Sirènes, which featured multiple textures in multiple regisGershwin’s An American in Paris is less of a departure from a Debussyters of the two pianos, all in hypnotic interrelation. The sparsely-textured heavy program than one might expect. Its exposition is replete with wholePetite Suite, which Debussy wrote for piano four-hands, was a much more tone gestures, and the cheeky, jazzy stride of its central section is not so far satisfying example of the program's intent, and McDermott and Schub perfrom the “Blues” movement of Ravel’s Violin Sonata. McDermott and Han formed it with elegant grace. achieved a full, brilliant sound throughout, expertly capturing the score’s Bavouzet’s transcription of Jeux embraces the piano’s unique color clangy, bustling urban sounds. The audience was enthusiastic in its ovation rather than attempting to evoke orchestral sounds. He and McDermott and received a novel encore in thanks: a clever one-piano, eight-hand mineffectively captured the ecstasy of the work’s climactic moments and the iature by Albert Lavignac.  whimsical sputtering of its ending. 26•CNCJASummer 2012


Otherworldly Art

By ALEXANDRA ZAJAC

Photo Courtesy of Loyola University Museum of art

EXHIBIT REVIEW

Heaven+Hell is the newest collaboration between the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) and Intuit - The Center For Intuitive and Cultural Art.

Heaven and hell, good versus evil, light versus dark. They are all themes explored tirelessly in various forms of art and culture. This season, the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) is hosting an exhibition in conjunction with Intuit Galleries dedicated to exploring this antithetical theme. On display at both locations is a bevy of works by mainly self-taught artists who were moved to express their interpretations of this dichotomy. The exhibit at LUMA is quite extensive, spanning four galleries and exploring various iterations of heavenly themes, including the gates of heaven, the promised land, heaven vs. hell and the like. A large number of the works include back-stories for each artist, which makes learning about the inspiration behind the works as interesting as the actual pieces. Much of the works are of outsider art, classified as art by those who are motivated by their own personal vision. For example, Minnie Evans’ vivid dreams inspired her equally vivid images that draw from the Bible and mythology, such as the colorful and visually arresting Two Angels Adoring Central Figure (1963-66), and Night Angels (1962). Sister Gertrude Morgan created several depictions of Heaven with her as the “Bride of Christ,” a calling she received and even represented in real life through her entirely white wardrobe. Purvis Young was moved to create while serving a prison sentence and admitted that art helped him turn his life around. He found inspiration from various art books he discovered in prison and continued to refer to them once he'd been released. His paintings often express a struggle for a better life, such as the dynamic Three Faces (ca. 1990). Then, there’s the former slave turned sculptor, William Edmondson. Among the mix of primary colors and loud representations of Heaven, Edmondson’s sculpture Angel (1937-39) stands out because of its own simplicity. Clean, smooth lines carved into stone make the piece striking, if not a little plain, especially when compared with other works in the exhibit. Still, his work is a breath of fresh air, and is complete and pristine. Its simplicity leaves no room for error. The work is beautifully constructed. Edmondson was the first African American to have his own show at Museum of Modern Art, New York. Overall, the works are colorful and inspired. They are all full of emotion and introspection, and many express themselves in an extroverted manner. In fact, there is not much subtlety, save for a few. Of all the works, some are more crudely executed than others, but the emotion behind each piece is clearly evident. And don’t forget to look up! There are even pieces hanging over doorways and from the ceiling. Curated by Jan Petry and Molly Tarbell, the show continues at Intuit gallery. The complete Heaven + Hell show features 165 pieces by artists both recognized and anonymous. Heaven will be on display at the Loyola University Museum of Art and Hell can be seen at Intuit Galleries. Both will be on view through June 30.

CAL USI LY 29 M JU CAN ERI OUGH M A HR NEW NG T THE PL AYI NOW

BASED ON THE TRUE CHICAGO STORY Written by Ensemble Member ANDREW WHITE Music by ANDRE PLUESS and BEN SUSSMAN Directed by AMANDA DEHNERT

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Recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award

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Summer 2012CNCJA•27


THEATER REVIEW

Fishmen Creates Effective Drama, But Finishes With Hasty Resolve By CARRIE MILLER April 23, 2012 - The five professional chess players and the three amateurs on which some of them prey are all “Fish Men,” in this world premiere realistic drama presented by Teatro Vista at the Goodman Theatre. The phrase comes from an ancient Mayan tale in which half-men half-fish would come down to earth from the sky to destroy the wicked, those who prey on the weak and traffic in the misery of others. Accordingly, the play revolves around the themes of man’s inhumanity to man and the pitfalls of vengeance. “We are all fish trying to avoid the fishing hooks,” says Jerome, a Native American who plays the part of wise man and would-be a park shark except that he doesn’t like taking people’s money. “Some

Photo by Eric Y. Exit

avenge his uncle Bernie, who fell victim to lead shark and antagonist Cash. Rey is ostensibly there waiting to pay Bernie’s debt to Stuart, another amateur player who covered his uncle’s losses. But he casually mentions that he just cashed his paycheck and the sharks soon encircle. Letting himself be drawn first into a friendly game with Jerome and then a series of money games with Cash, Rey first loses a few before savagely reversing the roles of the park’s food chain. In monologues of flashback exposition, we learn that many of the players have troubled to traumatic pasts they’re trying to shake. Reyes’ family was decimated in a Guatemalan massacre; Cash was a victim of a hate crime while he was a Ph.D. candidate, and “92,” another wise man character, was a child chess prodigy who later found himself faced with stomach-turning fateful decisions as a prisoner-guard in a German concentration camp. Reyes, played by Raul Castillo, was especially effective. He gave a jaw-dropping performance transitioning from mumbling, mealy-mouthed mark to a savage angel of vengeance. The play’s secondary theme, a warning against vengeance, is largely carried by “92,” played masterfully by Howard Witt. Witt brings it home in a gentle counterpoint, Gordon Chow and Daniel Cantor in Goodman Theatre's production of Fish Men at the Goodman this spring. retelling his concentration camp salvation of us are luckier than the others.” story as a way to soothe Rey, who has gone off the deep end and Set in the present and operating in real time, the play’s set cregrabbed a gun. atively and successfully suggests New York City’s Washington Breaks of humor are threaded strategically throughout the excepSquare Park. With three chess tables, a working water fountain and tionally heavy and serious subject matter. But the finale falls slightly a couple of park benches on the “in the round” stage, the rest of the short of satisfying in that reaching so high for the levels of intenpark is whimsically hinted at. Somewhat distracting “background” sity, the director and the actors wrap up the intensity far too neatly noise of dogs barking and children squealing is piped behind the auand quickly. With so much risk and such heightened emotions on dience. The staging serves the arena-like combat of the action well, the line, to return to “no harm no foul” seemed to let the communal but the audience view of the on-board action and the combatants’ conscience off a bit too easily. None-the-less, with poignant clarity, faces is somewhat obscured by the other players crowded excitedly Fishmen fleshes out thought-provoking themes and serves up searing around. drama staged with masterful articulation. Rey Reyes, a shark pretending to be a fish, comes to the park to

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DANCE REVIEW

CLASSICAL CONCERT REVIEW

Battle Delivers in Chicago Debut SDG's Encore Passion Powerful By BRITTANY RICE

Photo by Christopher Duggan

April 11, 2012 - Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre continued their tradition of delighting audiences under the direction of Robert Battle in his inaugural season as artistic director at the Auditorium Theatre April 11-15, 2012. Battle, at the company's helm since July 1, 2011, comes from a short but strong lineage of artistic directors, succeeding namesake Alvin Ailey (19581989) and Judith Jamison (1989-2011). Brett Batterson, executive director of the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, welcomed Battle to supporters of Chicago’s “Ailey Family” and set the bar high for Battle to continue to “inspire, enlighten, invigorate, and entertain us for many years to come.” If the Chicago shows were any indication, audience members of the “Ailey Family” have nothing but cutting-edge dance, innovative works, and amazing choreography to look forward to. Battle addressed the audience pre-performance, giving insight to the three works he chose to feature this season: “Arden Court,” by Paul Taylor; “Minus 16,” by Ohad Naharin; and the Ailey classic “Revelations.” Also premiering in Chicago was Ailey’s first ever hip-hop piece, “Home,” by Rennie Harris, based on stories involving HIV and AIDS. The dynamic “Arden Court,” opened with a sextet of male dancers and went on to include a combination of duets, solos, and group choreography. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre's Set to a Baroque score composed by Glenn Allen Sims and Linda Celeste Sims William Boyce, the piece honored modin the Ailey classic "Revelations." ern tradition. True to Taylor’s style, long lines and extensions accompanied vigorous movements. Tours, jumps, and leaps upheld the intensity throughout the entire piece. Battle said Ailey had a vision to “deliver dance back to the people.” Ohad Naharin’s “Minus 16” did just that. Playfully and unofficially, the piece began during first intermission. Half the audience missed the single male dancer appearing onstage using improvised movements and grooving hand gestures. When the lights faded, “Minus 16” officially began with 19 dancers in full suits forming a semi-circle on stage. The progressive repetition in both the choreography and the music brought the powerful segment to a climax. The juggernauted energy came to a halt as the silhouettes of six female dancers were softly lit. Their angular, precise movements slowed down the momentum to match the steady metronome beat that accompanied them. A fierce duet followed, showcasing flexibility and control of a male and female dancer as they glided smoothly in and out of partner work. The dynamic change in energy of the techno version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and what came next alerted everyone. Dancers made their way into the house and chose an audience member to join them in free style dancing on stage. Ranging from complete improvisation to guided choreography, audience members stood on stage confused, yet energized to participate. The performance closed with the timeless classic, “Revelations,” which took the audience on a journey into the heart and soul of gospel. Dancers captured the essence of each song, from the sorrow of “Fix Me Jesus” to the suffering of “Sinner Man.” Their clarity and preciseness of movement demonstrated a new confidence in performance, as dancers embodied qualities of Gospel praise in all expressions. Perfected extension and clear technique are always expected from Alvin Ailey, but the passion and skill of the performers in Battle’s Chicago premiere were unparalleled. Alvin Ailey continues to set the bar high for phenomenal dance theater.

By FRED CUMMINGS

April 4, 2012 - From the moment an artist first sets his or her heart to study (and one day perform) a composer’s work, one thing they must grapple with extensively is the composer’s true intentions for the music. This they must balance with a whole host of other elements that all coalesce to achieve a modern and artistically appropriate interpretation of the piece. For John Nelson, conducing Bach’s St. John Passion in The Chicago Bach Project’s second annual performance on April 4th, there must have been many elements he’s had to reconcile. Not the least of these was performance of this much revered, centuries old work in just kind of venue for which it was intended, a church—in this case, Lincoln Park’s St. Vincent DePaul, a very, very resonant Lincoln Park’s St. Vincent DePaul. The St. John Passion is a masterpiece of baroque elegance. The regality of its architecture is punctuated by the meticulous articulation of its phrases. Every rest and cut-off must ring with precision in order to preserve the utmost clarity. With the resonance of St. Vincent’s at work, a vocalist’s ornamentation or the entrance or exit of an oboe or lute at just the right moment might be lost on much of the church’s capacity crowd. Nelson addressed these challenges not by pulling back on tone or delicately tiptoeing around entrances and exits to avoid muddying of the intricate sounds at work within the church’s lively dome, but by boldly punctuating the most passionate and emotive elements of Bach’s sacred oratorio and fulfilling Bach’s original intent: that the music serve dutifully as a potent instrument of the powerful text at work, text imparting St. John's deeply moving account of the passion of Jesus Christ. Nelson led a cohesive period ensemble with a bold observation of Bach’s rich, sonorous textures, while delicately layering its voices from one end of the aural spectrum to the other. His phrasing was poignant, using tempo and careful dynamic delineation to set a brisk framework for Bach’s baroque structure. Tenor Nicholas Phan offered a very expressive Evangelist, narrating the story of Christ’s suffering and death with aplomb. Phan sang the role with intensity, punctuating Bach’s chromatic melodies and underscoring the depth and emotion of the music. Velvet-toned baritone Stephen Morscheck sang the role of Jesus with austerity, giving a reverential performance of the pivotal character of the oratorio. But the emotional linchpin in this performance was baritone Matthew Brook. Emotion is, of course, the one thing upon which any successful performance of Bach’s St. John hinges. Brook brought his rich velvet tone and taught emotion to the role of Pontious Pilate. He created a Pilate that was visceral, pained with the choice of crucifying Christ and fraught with the crushing desire to elude that Conductor John Nelson. Photo by Edward Ingold. responsibility. Brook’s singing was powerful, impassioned and brimmed with lyrical dimension. The Chicago Bach Project chorus was a poignant foundation throughout the evening. Nelson aptly pulled out warmth and pathos from the ensemble and balanced it with brisk tempi and crisp articulation, reveling in Bach’s warmest and most somber harmonies. Together they created a wonderfully moving conscience for Bach’s audience. In this second installment of The Chicago Bach Project’s annual celebration, with these powerful elements at his disposal, Nelson did not stop at the mere creation of great music. He recognized that Bach’s goal was a larger, and far more important one. At its core, Bach’s Passion was meant to communicate the depth and weight of powerful sacred text. And Wednesday evening, maestro Nelson honored a grateful St. Vincent’s audience with a performance that brilliantly served that vital purpose. Summer 2012CNCJA•29


Shall We Dance?

Boundless

creativity

After 10 years as artistic director of the wildly innovative Chicago-based dance company, The Seldoms, Carrie Hanson is still pushing the boundaries of dance right off the very stage. By BRITTANY RICE

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This year marks the 10th year anniversary for the starkly innovative, Chicagobased dance company, The Seldoms. As a contemporary dance company, they constantly push the envelope on what audiences can expect from dance theater. Each performance is so unique that the company has developed a reputation for unleashing the unexpected in the most unexpected ways. For founding and artistic director Carrie Hanson, “That’s okay. It’s a measure of success,” as she puts it. Hanson has been named by Dance Magazine one of the “Top 25 to watch” and has developed a company that has perfected an incredibly dexterous aptitude for incorporating dance with the potency and immediacy of current issues. For Hanson, boundaries in dance are just tools for her own creativity, another element to be pulled and stretched to create just the moment that speaks to her own unique aesthetic, in her own words, “broadening and expanding people's ideas of dance and its capacity.” Hanson has developed a cross-disciplinary approach that brings together live musicians, sound designers and other collaborative artists to build a diverse repertoire that ranges from readable dance theater to out of the box performance art. And as she's stretches the boundaries of her medium, exploring more ideas through non-traditional elements, it forces her to expand her own tools for innovative choreography. “As I’m working with these different topics that may be challenging for dance to express,” she says, “I’m going to have to increasingly rely on these other delivery systems.”

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The Seldoms perform "Marchland."


Photo by Dan merlo

Summer 2012CNCJA•31


Shall We Dance?

“The dancers are so vital in the collaborative process and generating the material. We start out with improvisation. We keep taking the material through different formulations to advance it, change it, and make it more complex. Complexity itself is something I’m interested in right now.”

One particularly potent delivery system The Seldoms has used to great effect has been location. Site-specific work is something for which The Seldoms has developed a particularly virtuosic bent. They've performed choreography developed for extremely diverse venues ranging from outdoor gardens, to sculpture parks, to even an empty swimming pool. But The Seldoms were bound Photos: The Seldoms perform "Arch" (above) and "Stupormarket" to stretch beyond the norms of (right). contemporary dance. Carrie Hanson has never been happy limiting herself to convention, and from the outset, the company was always meant to be a place where Hanson could pursue her own aesthetic inquiries. So as time advanced, the artistic dexterity she began to develop within her own choreography allowed her to pursue even deeper, more personal expressions and ideas. In 2011, she showcased “Stupormarket,” a piece about the economic meltdown, and in 2008 they featured a piece on the topic of garbage landfills. Hanson explains that she likes selecting topics she can “sink (her) teeth into” and creating innovative works has allowed her to explore and bring forward issues she's contemplated for a long time. The topic she is currently invested in is the issue of clean energy technologies. Hanson's process is one that allows her to immerse herself into her subject so as to develop a “language” nimble enough to inspire improvisation. As she explained, “In order to approach the topic with some kind of honesty and integrity,” she takes a researcher’s approach to all of her projects. Hanson collaborates with other professionals outside the field of dance in order to learn more about 32•CNCJASummer 2012

Photo by Brian Kuhlman

-The Seldoms Artistic Director Carrie Hanson


Summer 2012CNCJA•33

Photo by Wi.liam Frederking


Photo by William Frederking

Photo by Joel Huffman

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Photo by T. W. Li

the subjects she explores in her choreography. She surrounds herself with individuals with a distinct expertise in the subject of choice, engaging in discussions and exchanges to develop a working knowledge or language for exploring her topic. She then even unveils initial ideas to collaborators to incorporate feedback and develop direction. To move forward in the choreography process, Hanson then begins to work with dancers and is able to take initial cues from their improvisation. And improvisation is key, because stretching the bounds of choreography is what intrigues Hanson the most. “The dancers are so vital in the collaborative process and generating the material.” she points out. “We start out with improvisation. We keep

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taking the material hall e ance through different formulations to advance it, change it, and make it more complex. Complexity itself is something I’m interested in right now.” Although it is time consuming, working with the dancers in the studio is where Hanson’s passion lies. “The process of generating material has become a lot more collaborative,” she admits. “I used to spend hours in the studio working things out myself. I don’t have the luxury of doing that anymore, and I have less and less interest in doing that.” And her current slate of dancers makes the process and even more satisfying one. “It really feels like we share a common language and values. We can speak in shorthand with one another. It’s in a really great place,” As one might expect, however, over the past ten years, Hanson's perspective has changed. She focuses more on the audience now, and what her choreography has to offer them: “I really like the idea that an audience member might come to a show and think ‘Oh, I didn’t know that dance could speak to that type of thing,’” she said. As the first part of their 10th year celebration, The Seldoms took an opportunity to offer the audience a chance to get in on the act. The company staged a roaming performance earlier this year at Harris Theater in Millennium Park. “This is Not a Concert” was a one-time event, performed for over 600 people. The audience participated in an interactive show moving from lobby to lobby to house and backstage. Audience members even got an opportunity to improvise dance onstage. “It was a milestone for us,” Hanson told me. Just recently, The Seldoms received their second grant from the International Connections Fund through the MacArthur Foundation to collaborate in an international exchange project with Taipei company WC Dance. For the month of June, they will be working with WC Dance, focusing on the creation of choreography and sharing work developed in a studio. Hanson sees the opportunity as, “an exciting challenge to work in a brief, dense creative period with another company.” She'll create a new piece for the WC Dance ensemble, and WC’s artistic director, Wenchung Lin, will develop a new piece for The Seldoms. From June 28 trough July 1, The Seldoms will premiere these new works, among other pieces, at Ruth Page Center for the Arts on Chicago's Gold Coast. In November, the company will travel to Taipei, Taiwan to showcase the works created. This fall, Hanson will collaborate with artist Anna Kunz on a piece about collective will and vision. This new work will premiere October 25-27, 2012, at the Dance Center in Chicago. A dream project Hanson hopes to see in The Seldoms’ future is a “movement action dance performance” on a barge moving down the Chicago River. “I would love to create some sort of dance film that would be played or projected onto the back wall of the Lyric Opera building,” she told me. However much work it might entail, Hanson remains confident in the city that has nurtured The Seldoms' creative juices for the past 10 years. “It would take mayor that really likes the arts.” she maintains, “but we have that.” Photos: (above) "Steelroots" performed at Morton Arboretum (2008); (inset) "Marchland" (2010); (right) "Giant Fix/dance in a pool" (2005).


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This Fall, Watch for Our New 2012-2013 Season Preview Special Issue.

Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

Three Fantastic Seasons! Clef N tes

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SPRING 2010

Winter 2010

Bringing Broadway to chicago

CHOPIN’S BICENTENNIAL

Artist Conversational Artist Conversational

Brian Dennehy in Krapp’s Last Tape.

Actor Brian Dennehy By Patrick M. Curran II

B

rian Dennehy has always seemed like the kind of actor you would want to share the stage with or the kind of guy you would want standing behind you in a physical altercation. While not as young and tall as I pictured him to be from his various film rolls, the Brian Dennehy I met at the Goodman was a man similar in age and height to my own father. Like my father, Dennehy is as no nonsense as most are within his generation, and he has a presence about him that exudes a professionalism and confidence befitting his ability. Here was a man before me whose work on the stage has been recognized by his peers, having won two Emmy awards for leading roles in 1999’s Death of a Salesman, and 2003’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night - both awards, I should add, for productions performed at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. And here was a man whose role choices on stage, including his recent roles in Hughie and Krapp’s Last Tape – recently at the Goodman this past winter - in many ways mirror his own life: a life rich with struggle, desire, and ultimately, acceptance of the cards he was dealt and how he played them. Dennehy’s upbringing reads like something out of a history book. Born in 1938 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, situated in the heart of what was then Connecticut’s industrial valley, Dennehy’s Irish-American lineage is blue collar to the core. His grandfather toiled for over 50 years at Jacobs Valve’s factory, first shoveling coal into steam engines and eventually ending his days at the factory as watchman. His mother’s family also toiled as factory workers in the same industrial valley. His father obtained a scholarship to attend the University of Leuven in Belgium. Following graduation, he began what would become a long career with the Associated Press. Nowhere in this hard-working, Irish-American family’s vocabulary were the words “theater” and “career” ever used in the same sentence. Brian Dennehy’s acting prowess was first recognized and CUMMINGS cultivatedBybyFRED a Catholic High School teacher in Long Island Photos By LAURA FERREIRA named Chris Sweeney. A Korean war veteran and a graduate of Fordham University, Sweeney was able to see beyond Dennehy’s 13-14 year old youthful antics and channeled the boy’s energy

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

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

A ProgrAm of merit

the Uncommon DivA

Stirring UP LAUghter

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

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

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

ing performance with The Chicago Jazz Ensemble at Harris Theater in Millennium Park. And what struck me most about our conversation was how so many of his passions: his love of music, cuisine and cross-cultural relations are all seen through the same straightforward lens.

JOFFREY

20•CNCJASpring 2011

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

20•CNCJAAutumn2011 20•CNCJAAutumn 2011

Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

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SPRING 2011

SUMMER 2011

Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

River of Change

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

Lyle's Large Life The crooner talks life, music and bringing his Large Band to Ravinia

Paris Comes to Millennium Park

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

Finding Vivian Maier: Chicago Street Photographer

+

25 YEARS & COUNTING

The Sacred and The Sublime

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre celebrates a quarter century celebrating Shakespeare.

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

a Legacy unveiled

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

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

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

Clef N tes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

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WINTER 2012

SUMMER 2012

Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

Draped inGenius

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.

New Chicago History Museum exhibit honors the indelible impact of the groundbreaking designs of Charles James.

Artist Conversational with Steppenwolf Ensemble Member John Mahoney

Crowd PLEASER

Picturing Dawoud Bey

VISIONARY INSTINCTS What architect Harry Weese's intuition has meant to The Auditorium Theatre and it's historic restoration.

Cultural Building Blocks The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center begins an exciting three-year residency in Millennium Park's cultural diamond.

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

Boundless Creativity

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

TOWERING

Identity

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

pact on your career. Which lesson that you've gleaned from your work with him would you say has influenced you most?

EC: I’ll never forget. We were getting ready for my first record, Culture Shock. And it was actually one of the rehearsals. Marcus Roberts was the piano player on the record. And I was showing him, basically, like the rhythm behind “Calypso” and the different rhythmic riffs that we work off of when we blow, and different punctuations. And he changed it to a completely new style. And I was amazed by how quickly he caught on and how quickly he locked into the groove. And we kept playing and playing. And I was blowing and he said, “Okay, now you show all of this.”

FC: What do you make of the continuing debate among jazz purists and contemporary jazz proponents about the perceived distinction between the seemingly two styles? Do you see a delineation between pure or traditional jazz and contemporary jazz, and is that good for the genre? Jazz & Afro-Caribbean Trumpeter and percussionist Etienne Charles

– Eifman Balle Artistic Director B

lot of autobiographic things in my ‘Don Qu never create it in such way, if I had not Union.” Thematically, Eifman’s ballet has been by Cervantes' and his own life experiences; has ties to Marius Petipa’s famous 1869 bal as Cervantes’ idealistic knight, and tries to be kind and Eifman describes his piece as preserving c caring to those around him. When asked about his interphy, yet also as a bridge between two differ pretation of Cervantes’ famous plot, Eifman explains, “I “Our version is certainly related closely to was always interested in the (reason) why man’s desire performance. In our production we haven’ for harmony, beauty and fairness is surely suppressed by sical choreography. Reserving several scen society and estimated as a sign of madness. (Through style, I hope we have successfully connect the ballet,) I tried to disclose this conflict, passing it 19th century, liked and famous around the w through the wave of choreographic language.” of the 21st century.” Although this central idea would seem likely to The original “Don Quixote, or Fantas invoke tragedy, Eifman, like Cervantes, uses comfirst debuted in 1994, but Chicago audien edy naturally and liberally in his work. Of course, to Eifman’s update of the ballet, which he c any representation of the character of Don Quixote Eifman describes himself as an “artist of pain would seem peculiar without the humor that adding, “I constantly remake the previous w Cervantes so expertly weaved into his tale, his 1994 version of “Don Quixote,” he exp and Eifman stresses that his ballet also new costumes and setting and, of course, w could not exist without humor. He dethe choreography.” Ultimately, however, th language arts,persist. it’s everEifman evolv- concludes, “The p scribes audiences of the ballet as arts….and culinary the ballet because its based on When the earth “laughing during the wholeingperforthechange. tragic disagreement of unordinary perso to react to that change. mance,” but adds that “the changes, comedic humans change world suppressing this personality—is the say it's climate change. scenes in the asylum areLet's thrown hope that in our "Don Quixote" interpretati by acute feelings of heart-grief new light at the important philosophical q When humans change in reaction to the earth about a more fair and free world.” life of contemporary society.” changing, what we eat changes. Likewise, what we When asked whether his work The quickly critically ”Don Quixote play or listen to changes. How we acclaimed respond responds directly to the former comMadman” will change. make its to something emotionally may even So Chicago debut w munist Soviet Union, Eifmanit has asserts themove production to keep moving. brings It has to forward to be-the Auditorium Th that his production “is not a cause political three isperformances.  is that’s what the music about. The music pamphlet.” He insists, instead,a that the improvisational entity. rhythmic, story cannot be confined to a specific location or time, explaining that the character in theFC: asylum It’s a living thing. should not be associated only with the Soviet repressive EC: Yeah, it’s living. And so to say something is regime. “I am interested in man as man,” he explains. traditional—I mean traditional jazz is an original “That is, the way in which the personality with inner That’s traditional jazz. The reason Louis freedom can live in extreme structured, bondedthing. society, Armstrong is the father of jazz is because he was based on force, hate and insincerity. These questions the is father worry the artist no matter which political regime (in of complete innovation in the music, from rhythm to harmony to sound to melody. So FC: Your mentor, renowned jazz pianist power) at the moment in the country.” In response to my my whole stick on the thing, you know, I’ll just Marcus Roberts, has clearly had a great imquestion, Eifman concludes, “Nevertheless, there are a

And he told me, he said, “Look, there’s a completely different way that you play jazz. Where you come from should come out in the music. If I were to play, it would reflect the church. Because I come from the church, it comes out, and I let it out. I don’t try to hold back.” That’s what he was telling me. He was saying that music should reflect what you have felt, what you have come from, what has changed you, what has inspired you, you know, to express it through music, it should all come out in your performance. And so that was probably one of the biggest lessons for me.

By Anna Marks

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

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Reinvented

LIFE LESSONS WITH BRIAN DENNEHY

“I am interested in man as man—that is, the way in which the persona bonded society, based on

ner freedom can live in extreme structured, A Dance and insincerity.” of Madness

luminary

34•CNCJASpring 2010

THE ART OF CONSERVATION

By Patrick M. Curran II

phoTo By liz lauren

into a series of school plays. Following graduation, Columbia University football, the Marine Corps, and eventually marriage came calling. Years passed before he would again study theater. During this time, Dennehy did want he knew best, and that was to work hard. He labored in a series of odd jobs as a truck driver, a cab driver, a bartender, anything he could do to support his family. Then in 1973, while working the first shift (4:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon) as meat truck driver, Dennehy began to take a series of small steps back into the world to which Sweeney had first exposed him. He began auditioning for various off-Broadway productions as well as becoming a regular attendee of matinee performances on Broadway. “I’d be off around noon, so I would go in my blood-stained work clothes and get a single ticket to the Wednesday matinee, and that’s when I saw…Jason (Robards) and all the amazing actors, and I pretty much knew at that point that that was what I wanted to do, but I had no idea: a) that I could do By EMILY DISHER it, or b) even if I could do it, that I’d (have the opportunity) to do it?” Dennehy understood that he had a family to support, but his tension between the idealseries of blue collar jobs failed to maintain his interest. “Ihe was and reality has inspired artcapable of hard work, but I had no ambition in any other areaistlike in sales. I tried that stuff, but it just bored the tears out of ists me,”and permeated their works for centuries. The discord behe remembered. tween the two has influenced His move from what he called off, off, off-Broadway works productions into off-Broadway and then enduring Broadway levelof literature like Miguel de Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote (1615), productions was, in contrast to his real life, actually quite simple. In the early ‘70s, he recalls having secured a small, veryingood whichyethas, turn, inspired other artists to part as Michael Borkin in a very off-Broadway production of through varied lenses. examine his themes Anton Chekhov’s Ivanoff. Mel Gross, then second critic at Borischair Eifman, founder and artistic director of the New York Times, came to see the show andSt. wasPetersburg’s impressed by Eifman Ballet, for instance, Dennehy’s performance. “He singled me out (in his review) and explores the difficulties posed by modern that kinda happening.” He added, “In days… definitions ofinflated madness through a FC: re-imagAs a young musician studying at The Performing with started some ofthings the greatest jazz legends of the daythose has not Etienne Oxford everybody read from the New York Times, and if folk you were anywhere ining of Cervantes’ his ballet, “DonSchool of Music and The Juilliard Charles’ ego. Coming generations of dedicated musicians steeped tale. in theIn Afronear traditions the theater, read that the New and youorread the hasofalways Caribbean of you Trinidad, wasn’tYork veryTimes, likelyQuixote, to happen. Charles Fantasies a Madman”School, you must have had to grapple with achieving a sense of balance in articulating the been grounded the simple enjoyment his art. In fact, the young, red hot illustrates jazz trumArts and in Leisure…In those days,ofthere were real theater people (1994), Eifman structure of the compositions you studied while peter’s(reviewing career has for onlythe served sharpen his perspective on the Broadway importance his work New to York Times),” and at that time, concerns about theofexistence observing the freedom endemic to the genre withinwas the thriving context ofwith the diverse genres it serves. From Caribbean folk music venues musical and performances. Immediately after of man’s “inner freedom” in toa of jazz. Now, as a teacher at Michigan State jazz, Charles’ influences are indeedacquired many. But artistand clearly has a vivid The senseEifman of self Ballet Gross’ mention, Dennehey an the agent, things began “bonded society.” University, how much do you stress that same and an understanding of the power of his music. Spring 2010CNCJA•35 will perform its founder’s re-imagining balance to your own students? of the tale at The Auditorium Theater of He confesses to a continuing weakness for the culinary arts (Charles still dreams of being a chef), and he has a Roosevelt University on April 21st and EC: 23nd, I’m definitely all about balance. It’s really real passion for diplomacy and international relations, (he admits that had music not become his profession, he as part of Chicago’s Soviet Arts Experience. about developing a compositional concept and one would have developed a career in that field). But most of all, Charles understands deeply that muThe 13-month festival celebrates thethat work of completely cerebral. But it should defiis not sic is a language that should simply be appreciated across all artists who created under, or in response to, to the senses of the musician just as nitely appeal cultural barriers. the former Soviet Union. much as the people who are listening to the muThe isaptly ballet re-imagines sic. So that’s what I try to stress when I’m teachAnd of that language, Charles one ofnamed its ing, making Cervantes’ Inovel of a it a challenge to the musician but also greatest young ambassadors. had thethrough the mind aboutasymaking it speak to the audience in a lanRussian manEtienne committed to an insane fortune of sitting down with they will understand. lum.ofThe committed man imaginesguage himself Charles in advance his upcom-

Why after two hundred years, Chopin still reigns as one of the most beloved classical composers. By Clara Salomon

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.

Photo by Liz Lauren

(bottom of page): seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte (1884) following restoration by the art institute of chicago.

the images as well,” she explains. Fiedler, whose research involves identifying materials in works of art from the museum’s collection, identified the zinc yellow pigment responsible for the darkening of the famous La Grande Jatte painting by Seurat. Amber Smith, an Associate Paintings Conservator at the Chicago Conservation Center (CCC), a private restoration lab located in Chicago’s River North district, cites advancements in digital photography as one of her favorite technological changes. At the CCC, both X-Radiography and IRR are digital-based, thereby freeing up time for other restoration procedures. “Today, conservation can now proceed without the presence of large scientific labs,” she explained. Communication has also improved with the digital age, spawning a virtual information network amongst conservationists throughout the world. “Conservation used to be done alone, but now we have access to other people and what they know,” said Smith. The conservation community is small and highly specialized. With the advent of electronic mail, conservators like Smith can trade knowledge via e-mail about obscure artists and the best available restoration and conservation techniques. Although advancements in technology have helped facilitate conservation work, it has also, in some ways, created new challenges with the invention of new art

Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

Concert Journal for the Arts

materials. In the past century, artists have turned increasingly to new media and materials for the creation of their work. More modern and non-traditional mediums such as acrylic paints are gaining popularity, while training in the usage of traditional oils and painting materials is becoming more obscure. Smith explains, “Acrylic paint is not as permanent as oil paint. It is more sensitive to damage when mishandled, and it is more ‘light-fugitive.’” According to Smith, some acrylic manufacturers are working to improve the permanency and “light-fastness” of their paints. However, this is an ongoing endeavor, and acrylic paintings created in the past few decades may face greater risk of deterioration than those painted with traditional oil paints. While some artistic forays into newer materials may have resulted in fragile works of art, other artists have experienced great success both in terms of durability and workability. Picasso was known to have used French, oil-based industrial house paint in some of his paintings, such as The Red Armchair (1931), a part of the Art Institute’s permanent collection. Picasso’s usage of the Ripolin brand household enamel paint may have influenced other early 20th century artists, and research is currently underway at the Art Institute to identify the differences between oil-based artist paints from oilbased house paints in artworks from that period. Conducted under the directions of Francesca Casadio, Senior Conservation Scientist at the Art Institute, the Ripolin Project should shed further light on the significance of the non-traditional paint material in other major works of art from the early 20th century. Graydon Parrish, a figurative artist based in Austin, TX and New York, thinks that advancements in digital technology may be the saving grace for art created with experimental materials and techniques. As an expert in traditional media, Graydon feels that artists should be aware of the importance of good craftsmanship and knowledge of art materials. For artists who choose to work in oil, Graydon recommends painting on rigid support and allowing the works to dry thoroughly before varnishing. As far as finishes, new technology wins out over the old, with synthetic varnishes superior for conservational purposes. Smith recommends using new synthetic varnishes for paintings due to their ability to be lifted for cleaning without disturbing the underlying paint layer. This dichotomy of advantages versus disadvantages created by new technology continues to affect both artists and conservators alike. Perhaps Graydon puts it best when he says, “Luckily, art can be digitized, and that is perhaps the most durable of all media. If the physical piece does not last, we will at least have a record of it.” w

State of the Arts

photos: (top to bottom) landscape painting before, during, and after restoration performed by The chicago conservation center.

EC: I mean what is pure, traditional jazz? Is that Louis Armstrong? Is that Buddy Bolder? A lot of people talk about what is pure jazz and what is traditional jazz, but to me, jazz is ever changing. It’s like geography. To me, jazz, geography, and

throw my two cents into it…To me, I am more struck by a Louis Armstrong recording, but I think about it as if I was there then. And I think about how amazing that was then, and how amazing it still is now that he did that then as a trumpet player and as an improviser. I mean because it’s really mind blowing how far he took the music and improvisations in the beginning. You know, it’s really and company of The of St. Petersburg in “Don Quixot amazing. And Cast so the fact that he Eifman couldBallet do that, I mean you hear everything in modern jazz in Louis Armstrong’s language….And so a lot of people talk about, “Well, this is traditional, and this is modern.” But what is traditional was modern…. Because when you record something, you record it for that time. I mean it is an interesting question because, especially now that I’ve spent a little time in academia, it’s become more of a topic of discussion than before because before I’d never paid any attention to it. I just played. Music is music. I just played. So you play and play, and then somebody else talks about it, and they say, “Well, that sounds like this and that sounds like that.” But now I’m at a place where so many times I run into people who are busy identifying or trying to identify and put names to what they hear as opposed to just experiencing it. I mean it’s just like, you know, a plate of food can taste good. You know? FC: Right. EC: And you could be like, “Man, that was a good meal.” But somebody else could sit down and say, “Man those were artichokes, but these were this and those were that.” Sometimes, you just have to sit down and enjoy the meal.

Chicagoans can feast when Etienne Charles performs with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble at The Harris Theater for Music and Dance on October 7, 2011. Bon appétit! Autumn 2011CNCJA•21

Be prepared for the exciting new arts and culture season with our special Autumn 2012 Issue featuring previews of new productions, interviews with cultural luminaries from Chicagoland's new season, our 20-page Season Primer overviewing the new performing arts calendar, and our picks for the best and the brightest in the coming new schedule - A MUST-HAVE ISSUE FOR ANY CHICAGO CULTURE FAN!

Subscribe online at: ClefNotesJournal.com

3rd Anniversary Issue

Countless moments of cultural bliss. Thanks Chicagoland for another great year! Summer 2012CNCJA•35


Artist Conversational

Carlos Kalmar Conductor

Photo by Todd Rosenberg

By MYRON SILBERSTEIN

36•CNCJASummer 2012


T

Photos by Norman Timonera

chief conductor, a position he held from 1987 to 1991. He directThe Grant Park Music Festival’s upcoming ed the Stuttgart Philharmonic from 1991 to 1995, and he's been 78th season, which begins on June 13, marks guest conductor of top orchestras throughout the United States and Maestro Carlos Kalmar’s 13th season as the Europe. Perhaps most notably, Kalmar was chosen to replace ailing festival’s Principal Conductor. Having occupied Boston Symphony conductor James this role for nearly Levine for the world premiere of one fifth of the fesJohn Harbison’s Double Concerto tival’s entire hisfor Violin, Viola and Orchestra in tory, and having been the only person to 2010. do so during this millennium, Maestro Kalmar describes himself as a Kalmar is one of the most recognizable “meticulous, detail-oriented” conmusical presences in Chicago. Indeed, ductor, but is quick to add that his the 54-year-old conductor is a global description of himself “is a wish.” musical presence, holding—along with Kalmar laughs that the musicians the Grant Park conductorship—longwith whom he works are in a betstanding principal conductorships of the ter position to assess his conducting Oregon Symphony and of the Orquestra style than he is; what he is most in Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española a position to assess is his own idein Madrid. als. As a conductor, Kalmar stresses Kalmar is a genuinely cosmopolitan that his aim is “to find a balance individual, having been born in Uruguay between the brain and the soul or to Austrian parents, having received heart.” He realized soon after his his training in Vienna, and having cut conducting debut that he is “not exhis teeth as a professional conductor actly what you’d call a cold-bloodin Germany. Maestro Kalmar’s initial ed conductor.” Kalmar feels that training was as a violinist, for which he “the music speaks for itself” and began studying at the age of six. At 15, takes the sobering approach that Kalmar enrolled at the Vienna Academy there is no real need to “go for an of Music, where such notable conduceffect” beyond what the music ittors as Herbert von Karajan, Zubin self provides. That said, Kalmar acMehta, and Claudio Abbado received knowledges that he imbues quite a their musical education. While at the bit of physicality in his conducting. Academy, Kalmar realized, as he relays But for him, extravagant physicalwith characteristic good-humored selfity is purely a response to the mudeprecation, that he “has that horrible sic he seeks to communicate. There Carlos Kalmar’s approach to programming kind of personality (that) always like(s) is no unnecessary showmanship; to tell people what to do musically.” has indeed shifted during his tenure at Grant Kalmar is simply subsumed by the That personality trait soon found an idemusic he conducts, simply driven Park from “eclectic to eclectic/popular.” He al forum: Kalmar noticed that a fellow and propelled by the integrity of the student had been tasked with leading a continually finds many pieces he wants to music he serves. rehearsal of the Academy’s orchestra, Kalmar’s respect for the integriadvocate for, and the freedom he enjoys at the so he asked if he might be given the ty of music is equaled by his respect opportunity to do so as well. Although festival gives him the luxury to indulge that for the audiences who come to hear the budding conductor “had no training his conducting. Since early on in desire...He finds that successful advocacy of of any kind,” that first rehearsal “went his career, he's made a point of envery well” — well enough for Kalmar overlooked pieces is all about intelligent pargaging directly with his audience in to decide at the age of 21 to pursue forings. So he deftly balances both objectives with “very conversational” pre-concert mal study in conducting, which he did lectures. In fact, when conducting under the guidance of famed conductor programs like the 50th anniversary celebrain a concert-hall setting, Maestro Karl Österreicher. Kalmar often ventures to the lobby tion of the Grant Park Chorus (June 29 and Upon graduation from the Vienna the concert to talk face-to-face Academy of Music, Maestro Kalmar 30), pairing Stravinsky’s relatively unfamiliar after with members of the audience. found himself in a situation not disAnd while the Grant Park Music Les Noces with Carl Orff’s beloved Carmina similar to that of a great many young Festival presents the particular musicians: he was unemployed, anonyBurana. challenge of an outdoor venue, for mous, and with little sense that people Kalmar, the annual summer feswere interested in his work. Once tival’s home in Millennium Park success began, however, it accumulated very rapidly. Kalmar represents nothing less than a sensational setting for music making was barely 25 when he won the Hans Swarowsky International Conductors Competition in 1984. Soon after conducting a conOpposite page: Grant Park Music Festival artistic director Carlos Kalmar; Above: Maestro Kalmar conducts the Grant Park Orchestra in Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion. cert for the Hamburger Symphoniker, the orchestra appointed him Summer 2012CNCJA•37


each season. And despite the unpredictable nature of its surroundings (including Chicago’s temperamental weather and the vibrant sounds of the city), Kalmar noted still, “It’s a phenomenal venue. For an outdoor festival, it has great acoustics.” But perhaps what Kalmar appreciates most about the festival’s annual offerings is the flock of devoted and discerning audiences that throng Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion each summer. The festival’s audience “is very diverse,” he told me, “whether that be where they come from in terms of countries they belong to or…in terms of age. We always see … kids (in our audiences). We see families gathering.” One distinctive value Kalmar sees in Millennium Park’s audiences is their own appreciation for the music they’ve heard, noting that even after a concert ends, “the lawn is still full of people…People don’t simply leave. They enjoy and reflect on what they just heard and they continue chatting with their friends. I think that is one of the marvelous things about our (listeners).” And, because of the festival’s status as a city-subsidized program, Kalmar enjoys “a freedom that doesn’t exist in any other venue” he has experienced. As he explained, “when you program for an orchestra, you always have to think a little about what will sell.” At Grant Park, Kalmar has “the artistic freedom to program in a far more adventurous way than you can program any other orchestra or 38•CNCJASummer 2012

any other festival.” This is not to say that Kalmar focuses exclusively on works that are off the beaten path. During the upcoming season, he will conduct such perennial favorites as Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. Indeed, Kalmar is conducting perhaps the most recognizable piece of Western classical music this summer: Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. But the 2012 season also includes world premieres of commissioned works by Michael Gandolfi and Sebastian Currier as well as overlooked masterpieces such as Benjamin Britten’s Piano Concerto and Debussy’s Khamma. Carlos Kalmar’s approach to programming has indeed shifted during his tenure at Grant Park from “eclectic to eclectic/popular.” He continually finds many pieces he wants to advocate for, and the freedom he enjoys at the festival gives him the luxury to indulge that desire. But he also recognizes that a well-conducted performance of a work like Beethoven’s Ninth will have people clamoring to hear it. He finds that successful advocacy of overlooked pieces is all about intelligent pairings. So he deftly balances both objectives with programs like the 50th anniversary celebration of the Grant Park


Opposite page: Listeners take in a performance by The Grant Park Orchestra in Jay Pritzker Pavilion set in Chicago's Millennium Park; (inset) ; Inset: Maestro Kalmar conducts the Grant Park Orchestra in one of the festival's many summer concerts; Down from top right: Artists appearing with The Grant Park Orchestra this season: violinist Mikhail Simonyan; cellist Tanja Telzlaff; cellist Alban Gerhardt; and violinist Chee Yun.

Photo byMathias Bothor Photo by Giorgia Bertazzi Photo by Courtesy of The Grant Park Music Festival Photo by Youngho Kang

Photo by Norman Timonera

another 78 years.”

Chorus (June 29 and 30), pairing Stravinsky’s relatively unfamiliar Les Noces with Carl Orff’s beloved Carmina Burana. The Khachaturian Violin Concerto shares its program with Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances (July 18); and Debussy’s Khamma is paired with Beethoven’s Fifth. By presenting works with guaranteed audience appeal in conjunction with unfamiliar works, those unfamiliar works will reach the widest and most receptive possible audience. Of course, audience favorites are always a part of annual symphonic programming. And this season is no different: its opening night performances features Alban Gerhardt (cello) to perform Elgar’s Cello Concerto; on August 8, the festival hosts brother and sister Christian (violin) and Tanja (cello) Telzlaff in a sumptuous program featuring Brahms’ Double Concerto; on June 27, the festival will present the nation's first-ever free, outdoor simulcast of a live ballet performance by a major international company, the Paris Opéra Ballet performing at Harris Theater (the performance will be broadcast on a state-of-the-art 18' x 32' LED screen located on the Jay Pritzker stage in Millennium Park); and in a program that presents an even greater spin on the rarely heard and perennial favorites, the festival hosts violinist Chee-Yun (violin) on August 3 in a concert of Latin American and Spanish masterpieces offering a twist on Vivaldi’s popular The Four Seasons, including Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. Maestro Kalmar is eager to articulate that although he is music director of the Grant Park Festival, his leadership is a matter of successful and treasured partnerships. Grant Park Chorus Director Christopher Bell is invaluable in the discussion of programming, for example. The festival itself “would not be possible if there were not the support of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Mayor.” Most important, says Kalmar, are the citizens of Chicago: “I never get tired of pointing out that this is your festival. You make it possible. I am very glad that I am a vehicle to program it and present many of the concerts. I hope that this festival will continue for

Summer 2012CNCJA•39


cultural happenings

Photo © The Adler Planetarium

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events rolls out the red carpet this summer to fans of dance in its 16th annual Chicago SummerDance festival. And with a 4,900 square foot dance space, there's enough room for everyone to jump, jive and shake what their mama gave them all summer long. With a diverse musical lineup showcasing dance styles from all corners of the globe, there's something for everyone this summer. And this year, the popular Grant Park dance festival kicks off at the 32nd annual Taste of Chicago, July 11-15, and on September 15, moves to the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, 601 S. Michigan Avenue for its annual introductory one-hour dance lessons. The popular classes are taught by professional instructors and followed by two hours of live music and dancing. Treat yourself to a little movement and music in one of the city's most beautiful outdoor spaces. Photo by Patrick L. Pyszka

This spring, Adler Planetarium President Paul H. Knappenberger Jr., Ph.D., announced that he would step down at the end of 2012 after 21 years of service. Knappenberger, who joined the Adler in 1991, has led the museum through two major long-range plans that have significantly strengthened the planetarium. The most recent was initiated during the Adler’s 75th anniversary in 2005. In that year, the institution announced a strategic plan to transform the Adler from a traditional planetarium into a 21st century space science center. As that effort reached a successful conclusion last year, he began discussing his retirement with museum trustees. Knappenberger plans to stay on at the museum until a successor is named. Before joining the Adler in 1991, Knappenberger served for 18 years as founding director of the Science Museum of Virginia, in Richmond. He has taught astronomy at Emory University, Georgia State University, University of Richmond, University of Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University. In Autumn 2011, he was recognized by the Illinois Association of Museums for his 44-year career as a museum professional and leader. Changing of the Guard

Chicago SummerDance

Millennium Park’s summer concerts continue this summer with an all-new innovative series, “Loops and Variations,” a mix of new music and electronica presented by The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The series of six free concerts will take place on select Thursday evenings June 7 through July 12 and Sunday, August 26, 2012. Highlights of the series include the pairings of electronic music artists with new music ensembles; local companies such as eighth blackbird and Third Coast Percussion bringing electronic elements to their programs, utilizing the state-of-the-art sound system of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion to its full capacity; and the Chicago premiere of Inuksuit, a large-scale percussion work featuring 100 musicians which will be performed throughout Millennium Park, utilizing the Great Lawn, the BP Bridge and the Lurie Garden. Other groups on the series include San Francisco/Tokyo noise-pop band Deerhoof, 14-piece Chicago, and new-music ensemble Dal Niente. For more information and full concert schedules, visit millenniumpark.org, or call 312.742.1168.

Photo courtesy of The Chicago Human Rhythm Project

Chicago Rhythms at Kennedy Center The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will present Chicago Human Rhythm Project's (CHRP) "JUBA! Masters of American Tap" December 7, 2012 in a rare, full-length performance of American concert tap. This performance will be the first full-length tap concert in any of the Center's three largest theaters since it opened in 1971.
 Chicago audiences will have the opportunity to preview elements of CHRP's Kennedy Center debut during the culminating performances of CHRP's "Rhythm World," the oldest and most comprehensive festival of American tap and contemporary percussive arts in the world. "JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance" will take place August 1, 2 and 4 in the newly named Edlis Neeson Theater at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA).
 Directed by founder and director Lane Alexander, Rhythm World features an extraordinary master faculty in two weeks of residencies, courses, workshops, master classes and conferences for the field at the Fine Arts Building, as well as faculty concerts, student showcases and lecture demonstrations at the Jazz Showcase and the Edlis Neeson Theater at the MCA. For more information, visit chicagotap.org

40•CNCJASummer 2012

From top right: Chicago SummerDance participants take in a two-step in Millennium Park; Adler Planetarium President Paul H. Knappenberger Jr.; Members of eighth blackbird ensemble; Tap dance artist Dormeshia from Chicago Human Rhythm Project.

Photo courtesy of eighth blackbird

Sounds in the Park


Mythbusters

The March

E s p e r a n z a SpringS 2012 p a l d i n g Paris Opera Ballet'sGiselle

Theatre on the Lake

Cultural Almanac

SUMMER 2 0 1 2

The Iceman Cometh

Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity

Dawoud Bey: Harlem, USA

E a s t l a n d Crowns Summer 2012CNCJA•41


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Concert Dance, Inc. Earth, Wind and Fire Jazz Preview Concert (Martin Theatre) Iron and White feat. Special guest Dr. John Steins Institute of Music - Jazz Showcase (Bennet Gordon Hal) Al Green w/Chicago Children's Choir Fifth House Ensemble (Bennet Gordon Hall) Jimmy Cliff Martin Theatre: Leon Fleisher and Friends Martin Theatre: Nneena Freelon, Tribute to Lena Horne A Prarie Home Companion w/Garrison Keillor An Evening of Chamber Music featuring Philip Glass and Tim Fain (Martin Theatre) Mariachi Divas Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers - An evening of Bluegrass and comedy Jazz vocalist and instrumentalist Esperanza Spalding Zukerman Chamber Players (Martin Theatre) Go Brazil! Ramsey Lewis and His Electric Band Glen Campbel and Ronnie Milsap Colbie Caillat & Gavin DeGraw Sarah McLachlan w/orchestra

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JUNE 2012

Photos from left: Singer Colbie Caillat (Photo courtesy of RaviniaFestival); Paris Opera Ballet perform L'ArlÉssienne (Photo © Cristian Lieber); Baroque Band (Photo courtesy of Baroque Band).

Music & Dance


Summer 2012CNCJA•43

Music & Dance

JUNE 2012

Symphony Center w/Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Tel. 312.294.3000, cso.org) CSO: Rapsodie Espagnole Chamber: The Collaborative Pianist CSO: Beethoven Triple Concerto CSO: Mozart Concerto for Three Pianos Piano Festival Symposium Chamber: CSO Chamber at the Art InstituteL Pop Piano: Stephen Hough CSO: Muti conducts Beethoven 5 Beyond the Score: Fate Knocks? MusicNow presents Mercury Soul CSO: Muti and Chen Symphony Center's Jazz at Symphony Center (Tel. 312.294.3000, cso.org) Tribute to Fats Waller with Jason Moran Broadway In Chicago (Tel. 312.977.1700, broadwayinchicago.org) Pinkalicious: The Musical Jersey Boys Rock of Ages Stuffed and Unstrung Kristin Chenoweth Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Tel. 312.595.5600, chicagoshakes.com) Timon of Athens A History of Everything Disney's Beauty and the Beast Circle Theatre in Forest Park (Tel. 708.771.0700, circle-theatre.org) When The Rain Stops Falling Amost An Evening Congo Square Theatre (Tel. 773.296.1108, congosquaretheatre.org) Bul Rusher Court Theatre (Tel. 773.702.7005, courttheatre.org) Angels in America: Part 2 - Perestroika Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook (630.530.8300, drurylaneoakbrook.com) Hairspray Goodman Theatre (Tel. 312.443.3800, goodmantheatre.org) The Iceman Cometh Crowns Greenhouse Theater Center (Tel. 773.404.7336, greenhousetheater.org) Rhinoceros Bodies Bartleby The Scrivener Exit, Pursued by a Bear My First Time Lifeline Theatre (Tel. 773.761.4477, lifelinetheatre.com) Pride and Prejudice Lookingglass Theatre (Tel. 773.477.9257, lookingglasstheatre.org) Eastland Mercury Theatre (773.325.1700, mercurytheatrechicago.com) Freud's Last Session Northlight Theatre in Skokie (Tel. 847.673.6300, northlight.org) Title of Show Profiles Theatre (Tel. 773.549.1815, profilestheatre.org) In a Forest Dark and Deep RedTwist Theatre (Tel. 773.728.7529, redtwist.org) The Cripple of Inishmaan 

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Photos from left:actress pauletta washington from Cro/wns playing at Goodman Theatre (Photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre); Cast of The Iceman Cometh playin g at Goodman Theatre (Photo by Liz Lauren)); Cast oF Timon of Athens (Photo by Liz Lauren).

Theaters

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New Museum of Contemporary Art exhibit examines the mystique of the skyscraper and the impact its allure has on our own identity. By DON FUJIWARA

J

Just the other week, I learned how the as-yet-incomplete One World Trade Center building would supplant our own Willis née Sears Tower as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. With every passing year, the geography over which the Willis reigns supreme seems to shrink that much more, and it is not without some oblique sense of loss that I, as a Chicagoan, say this. However, just when I thought that the glory days of Chicago architecture had faded, and that recent additions to our iconic skyline hadn’t quite measured up, along came—of all things—a museum exhibit that reaffirms Chicago’s status as “birthplace of the skyscraper.” This summer, the Museum of Contemporary Art will be presenting Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, and I had the opportunity to speak with curators Michael Darling and Joanna Szupinska to get a glimpse of what one can expect from the exhibit. The show runs June 30 through September 23 and, according

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to Szupinska, is intended to “expand our understanding of how the skyscraper is viewed globally, as well as how it has both taken over the world and affected our everyday lives.” Darling holds the title of MCA James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator, and Skyscraper is his—well, darling. Michael told me the exhibit is “inspired by Chicago itself, as a city that loves architecture and has a great architectural history.” Not, himself, a Chicago native, Darling believes his outsider status helped to cement in his mind this celebration of the skyscraper. He conceptualized the show with the MCA’s summer audience in mind. “We wanted to have a show that’s highly accessible and fun, and that would speak to Chicago for that particular demographic,” he explained. “Our architecture shows have always been very popular; there’s a demand for them, and we’ve had this history of doing them. This show is an effort to continue that, with the slight twist that it’s about architecture, but not done by architects.” Joanna Szupinska—MCA Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow—


PHOTO BY COLIN DAVIDSON

Kader Attia , Untitled (Skyline), 2007. Courtesy Fond National d'Art Contemporain, private collection, Galerie Christian Nagel, Galerie Krinzinger and Galleria Continua.

Summer 2012CNCJA•45


reinforced the idea: “Chicago is an architecture town, and the people here really get architecture. We all live with skyscrapers, and this is the birthplace of the skyscraper, so it’s really a topic people will feel comfortable with.” Skyscraper will occupy the museum’s fourth floor and individual pieces will be grouped along such skyscraper-inspired themes as Verticality; Personification of Architecture; Urban Critique; Improvisation; and Vulnerability of Icons. Interspersed into the themed collections will be solo features from a variety of artists, including Andy Warhol, Kader Attia, Hans-Peter Feldmann and Jan Tichy. At center stage will be The Fire Escape, a commissioned work by Monika Sosnowska. This breathtaking piece consists of a 40-foot-tall mangled fire escape, suspended in the museum’s four-story atrium. “What’s exciting about this is, not only does it literally give shape to this idea of verticality,” explains Darling, “but it also takes advantage of the space we have in the building itself. The piece gets at the feelings of vertigo or fear of falling and other associations people have with skyscrapers. It will be foreboding, but really quite elegant and beautiful.” So, what can the museum-goer expect to take away from Skyscraper? Darling hopes it will be the kaleidoscopic quality of the exhibit. The MCA has gathered works of artists from around the world, from different periods, who used all different types of media. With Skyscraper, he aspired to be able to offer a little something for everybody or, at the very least, approach the topic with “as wide an angle lens as possible.” Underpinning the steel heart of the exhibit is Darling’s belief that skyscrapers have this idealism and “promise of modernity” inherent to them. Szupinska, on the other hand, takes a slightly different stance. “This exhibit provides us an opportunity to think about how these buildings affect us, what they’ve come to symbolize, and whether those symbols are true.” She elaborated. “It’s just a simplistic thing to say a skyscraper is the ultimate sign of capital. It’s much more complex than that; there’s an ideology, and idealism and utopianism 46•CNCJASummer 2012

behind it that I think a lot of people can stand by.” As for “must sees” for the exhibit, Darling boiled his two favorites down to Kader Attia’s Untitled (skyline), in which a hundred mirror-covered refrigerators form their own miniature skyline; and Chicago artist Jan Tichy’s Installation No. 3, a “beautiful and delicate” combination of sculpture and animated video projection. When I asked what about the exhibit excites him most, Darling—without hesitation—answered, “It’s about people having the opportunity to reflect on Chicago and its history of tall buildings but, again, it’s also about making people think about the world around them. I’m excited about renewing people’s interest in architecture and in the ‘built’ environment.” And it’s not just interest that Darling, Szupinska and the MCA will renew, but also glory. Chicago may no longer have the tallest building in the world, but does size really matter? As far as we’re concerned, Chicago is, and always will be, the skyscraper capitol of the world. Top Right: Enoc Perez, Marina Towers, Chicago, 2011. Collection of the artist, New York.; Inset: Jeff Carter, Untitled #3 (Chicago Tribune Tower), 2010. Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Valle Orti, Valencia.


EXHIBIT REVIEW

Mythbusters Hands-on Fun

By ALEX KEOWN

September 15,19,21,23 LIKE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

THE MAGIC

FLUTE

Photo courtesy of The Museum of Science and Industry

If you run during a rain shower, are you more or less likely to get wet than if you walk? Is it actually possible to dodge a bullet? If you’ve heard these questions before or know the answer, it’s quite likely you’re familiar with the Discovery Channel’s popular television show "Mythbusters." And if you’ve watched "Mythbusters" enough, you’ve probably thought “I would love to try that for myself?” Well, now you can, thanks to the television show’s popular hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage and the Museum of Science & Industry’s latest exhibit Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition. Running through September 3, the exciting new exhibit is fertile ground for just the kind of hands-on exploration that science museums are all about. Many of the exhibit's intriguing stations help to answer a host of questions inspired by popular culture that most people never get an opportunity to indulge. Visitors enter the new exhibit through a giant shipping container, similar to ones used in the television series, which hangs below the fuselage of a familiar airplane shredded by the "Mythbusters" team. Once through, The Blueprint Room from Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibiton at The visitors walk into Museum of Science and Industry. the starting point of all myth busting operations: The Blueprint Room. The room features numerous artifacts from the show, including the 20-foot mechanical shark used to explore shark myths in the movie “Jaws,” a jet pack, an arrow machine gun and Buster, the life-sized crash-test dummy used on the series. Visitors are also able to flip through a book filled with blueprints used on "Mythbusters" to outline the various myths and busting techniques. While in The Blueprint Room, a video of Hyneman and Savage explain the scientific method of observation, investigation and experimentation. One of the best aspects of the lavishly interactive exhibit is the eventual conclusion one aims to reach, which for the Mythbusters includes the iconic phrases “confirmed,” “plausible,” or “busted.” Exhibit-goers also get a chance to try their own hand at solving some classic myths tackled by the team, including whether or not one gets wetter walking or running in a rain storm. Two participants enter a container with water falling from hoses above, one walks through the exhibit while another runs. The water contains traces of a fluorescent dye and upon exit, participants are able to see just how wet they actually are. They can then add the results to a database provided by the exhibit. Total results from all participants will be revealed when the exhibit ends its run in September. Another hands-on experiment allows a visitor to determine whether or not Superman is the only one who can dodge a speeding bullet—or in the case of museum visitors, a paint ball. Part of a live demonstration, a visitor is selected to don a protective coat and hold a clear plastic shield. They are then given the chance to dodge the paintball before it hits the shield with a resounding “splat.” On the subject of The Man of Steel, visitors can also test their skills at changing into a superhero's suit, cape and all, all while in the confines of the traditional telephone booth. And with familiar film-based challenges like hanging from a ledge by one's fingertips, Mythbusters takes commonly known feats and adds a dash of the fun we see in the popular television series to widen our scope of the “possible” and broaden our propensity to question the commonly held concepts we digest without question every single day.

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Smart Museum of Art - University of Chicago (Tel. 773.702.0200, smartmuseum.uchicago.edu) Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art From the Land of the Morning Calm: Traditions of Korean Art Drawing Inward: German Surrealist Richard Oelze Chris Vorhees and SIMPARCH: Uppers and Downers Matthew Metzger: Ghost

Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org) The March   Life and Limb South of Settling The Glass Menagerie Victory Gardens Theater (Tel. 773.871.3000, victorygardens.org) The Whole World is Watching   Just for Laughs - Mike Birbiglia Oedipus El Rey Writers Theatre in Glencoe (Tel. 847.242.6000, writerstheatre.org) A Little Night Music    The Blonde, The Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead The Art Institute of Chicago (Tel. 312.443.3600, artic.edu/aic) Capturing the Sublime: Italian Drawings of the Renaissance and Baroque   Entre Nous: The Art of Claude Cahun     Jindřich Heisler: Surrealism under Pressure   The Outdoor Office: Jonathan Olivares Design Research   Rethinking Typologies: Architecture and Design from the Permanent Collection Arms and Armor: Highlights of the Permanent Collection Chagall's America Windows Cy Twombly: Sculpture Selections, 1948-1995 Dawoud Bey: Harlem, U.S.A. Fashioning the Object: Bless, Boudicca, Sandra Backlund Galleries of African Art and Indian Art of the Americas Katharina Fritsch Parcours Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Japanese Art Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective Told and Retold: Picture Book Artists from Studio Goodwin Sturges Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Evanston (Tel. 847.491.4000, blockmuseum.northwestern.edu) Art on Paper: Prints, Drawings and Photographs from the Block Museum Theo Leffmann: Weaving a Life into Art Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) 1 2   This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s   BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: Molly Zuckerman-Hartung Cauleen Smith: A Star Is a Seed First Fifty Martin Creed Plays Chicago Phantom Limb: Approaches to Painting Today Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity National Museum of Mexican Art (Tel. 312.738.1503, nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org) El alma de la Fiesta Keepers Mardonio Magaña: Circa 1938

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


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Michael L. Galfer Fine Arts, LTD (Tel. 847.722.2399, mlgarts.com) Charles Dulac Henri Ibels Henri Riviere Paul Davis Roy Boyd Gallery (Tel. 312.642.1606, royboydgallery.com) Estrada-Vega, Katznelson, Munson, Powers, Van Wieren Schneider Gallery, Inc. (Tel. 312.988.4033, schneidergallerychicago.com) After Classical Portraiture 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 Universe In Your Hands Chicago Architecture Foundation (Tel. 312.922.3432, caf.architecture.org) Chicago Model City Design on the Edge: Chicago Architects Reimagine Neighborhoods Loop Value: The How Much Does it Cost ? Shop Neighborhoods Go Green Powerful Design Chicago History Museum (Tel. 312.642.4600, chicagohistory.org) Magic The Dioramas Abraham Lincoln Treasures Facing Freedom Lincoln's Chicago Sensing Chicago Unexpected Chicago

Architech Gallery of Architectural Art (Tel. 312.475.1290, architechgallery.com) Alfred Browning Parker, Miami's Maverick Modernist Donald Young Gallery (Tel. 312.322.3600, donaldyoung.com) James Welling Tacita Dean & Mark Wallinger EC Gallery (Tel. 312.850.0924, ec-gallery.com) Teiji Hayama Carl Hammer Gallery (Tel. 312.266.8512, hammergallery.com) Marc Dennis: A Day In The Life Gallery KH (Tel. 312.642.0202, gallerykh.com) Abstract Hinge Gallery (Tel. 312.291.9313, hingegallery.com) David Leggett and Kristina Paabus Garden Party: An outdoor sculpture exhibition curated by Karolina Gnatowski Hinge Gallery Anniversary Exhibition Jean Albano Gallery (Tel. 312.440.0770, jeanalbanogallery.com) Margaret Wharton: Warton's World McCormick Gallery (Tel. 312.226.6800, thomasmccormick.com) Richard Hunt: Then and Now 30

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THEATER REVIEW

O'Neill Veteran Dennehy Shines Amid Goodman Iceman Masterpiece

Photos by Liz Lauren

By CARRIE MILLER

Above: Nathan Lane as Theodore “Hickey” Hickman, the quintessential purveyor and slayer of pipe dreams, in Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh directed by Robert Falls at Goodman Theatre; Right: Brian Dennehy as Larry Slade with Patrick Andrews as Don Parritt.

A great feeling of gratitude welled up within me as I scanned the standing ovation that sprung up, all as one, for The Iceman Cometh at Goodman Theater. Four hours and three intermissions after the opening curtain, there were almost no telltale holes amid the theatergoers in the sellout crowd. With eighteen characters and four acts to get to know them, Eugene O’Neill’s moody marathon masterpiece has an ambition that modern playwrights are cautioned against. They are urged, instead, to create smaller, budget-conscious casts with a two-hour maximum run time befitting movie-length attention spans. It would be a shame if that means we never get another Iceman, a play of intense power that earns our patience, and allows us to exult in its measured unfolding. Set in a bar/flophouse called Harry Hope’s Saloon in New York over the course of two days, the play thoroughly explores themes of man’s need for illusion in the face of bitter regret, which, despite generous helpings of welcome levity, is just as depressing as it sounds. Directed with great sensitivity by artistic director Robert Falls, the production was profoundly affecting, imbuing such melancholy as to nearly be regrettable. Last to take his well-deserved bow was stage and screen veteran Nathan Lane, who was brilliant as Hickey, a traveling salesman whose visits all the bums and “tarts” in Harry Hope’s not just wait, but pine for. His jokes, stories, and ready bankroll are usually the life of the party; though this year he’s got some challenging surprises in store. He still encourages his friends to drink up, but also tries to force them to let go of their “pipe dreams” and self-delusions about “tomorrow,” with predictable results. He says they’ll 50•CNCJASummer 2012

find peace, but he’s taken the only think they have left. As remarkable as Lane was, though—particularly in an awe inspiring crescendo of a scene in the fourth act—it was O'Neill veteran Brian Dennehy who stole this show as Larry Slade. Known as the “Old-Foolosopher” of the flophouse, Larry is defined by gentle wit and wisdom and by his claim that he has no hopes or dreams left and is only waiting to die. Stoic and charmingly misanthropic by turns, he spends a good deal of his time onstage saying nothing at all, or keeping his lips tightly pursed as another character tries to get a rise out of him. Yet even in simple seated silence, Dennehy’s Larry was completely mesmerizing, drawing the eye and attention near constantly. While monochromatic and subdued, like the subject matter, Kevin Depinet’s set was spectacularly rich in character, its “aged” walls worked like Rothkos. With the luxury of time to get to know each character, there really are no small parts in Iceman, and among this cast, no lesser actors. Stephen Ouimette’s agoraphobic Harry Hope was inspired, as was John Douglas Thompson’s Joe Mott, a former “Negro casino” owner struggling mightily with pride and racial identity. There are already several sold out dates between now and June 17, and with this high caliber of cast in residence, an extended run might be too much to wish for. 


THEATER REVIEW

Steppenwolf's The March Moves with Remarkable Pace and Potency

Photos courtesy of Steppenwolf Theatre

By CARRIE MILLER

In addition to being delightful and numerous, the laughs were an absolutely crucial inclusion of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s world premiere adaptation of “The March,” E.L. Doctorow’s 2005 novel about Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s scorched earth campaign that helped end the U.S. Civil War. The play premiered April 5 and runs through June 10 on the main stage. Galati has described the novel as the United States’ "War and Peace," and the Civil War, this country’s defining tragedy, killing an estimated 620,000 combatants. Employing a concept of “total war” that would find echoes on the battlefields of World War I, Sherman’s storied thrust gouged a 60 mile wound across the South whose scar lingered well past Reconstruction. Through creative staging and modest special effects, The March briefly and deftly suggests the relentlessness of 60,000 Union soldiers burning everything in their wake. Most of the action focused on the casualties and aftermath with the attendant moral questions at the play’s emotional core. Two brilliantly imagined central characters in the role of Shakespearean fools are foot soldiers who switch sides three times in an effort to avoid the fate that befell 750,000 others in the costliest war in American history. The younger of the two, Will, would probably have died early on in his Confederate uniform if he hadn’t chanced to meet Arly, an older compatriot with a stronger sense of self preservation and a

Top: Harry Groener and Cliff Chamberlain along with members of the cast of The March now playing at Steppenwolf Theatre; Inset: Patrick Clear and members of the cast.

more malleable sense of loyalty. “What’s the word for someone just below deserter? ” Will asks as the pair are pulling on Union blue coats liberated from corpses. One of their more memorable servings of comic relief comes while Arly is trying to talk the virgin Will into visiting a bordello. He delivers a jaw-dropping monologue about the facts of life that would have been X-rated were it not for the combination of anachronistic and high flown language he employed. Beyond Sherman and his men, the central characters include representative refugees of the onslaught, including a genteel aristocratic woman who attaches herself to the traveling hospital, and the mixed race daughter of a plantation owner and his slave. Pearl, who could pass for white, is invited to join the Union army disguised as a uniformed drummer. Doubly disguised as white and as a man, her musings pick up where Arly and Will left off on the theme of struggling between loyalty to one’s identity and self-preservation. In addition to the physical refugees uprooted by the conflict, Pearl’s story reminds us how slavery lingered on psychologically far beyond the institution was officially ended. Unconvinced of their freedom, or unsure what to do with it, many former slaves remained in a sort of selfobserved bondage. The action is smartly paced with creative fly-in set changes, and without a dull or dragging moment—a remarkable achievement for a show loaded with so much pathos. I couldn’t recommend it more highly. Summer 2012CNCJA•51


Museums

JUNE 2012

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MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition All Aboard the Silver Streak: Pioneer Zephyr Coal Mine Earth Revealed Fast Forward…Inventing The Future Genetics and the Baby Chick Hatchery NetWorld Science Storms Ships Through the Ages The Idea Factory You! The Experience Shedd Aquarium (Tel. 312.939.2438, sheddaquarium.org) Jellies Abbott Oceanarium Amazon Rising Aquatic Show Caribbean Reef Polar Play Zone Waters of the World Wild Reef Spertus Institue of Jewish Studies (Tel. 312.332.1700, spertus.edu) Uncovered & Rediscovered: Stories of Jewish Chicago A Jewish Homeland

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DuSable Museum of African American History (Tel. 773.947.0600, dusablemuseum.org) Spread the Word! The Evolution of Gospel A Slow Walk to Greatness Africa Speaks Red, White, Blue & Black: A History of Blacks in the Armed Services Thomas Miller Mosaics Field Museum of Natural History (Tel. 312.922.9410, fieldmuseum.org) Abbott Hall of Conservation Restoring Earth Ancient Americas DNA Discovery Center Evolving Planet Extreme Mamals Exhibit Genghis Kahn Grainger Hall of Gems Images of the Afterlife Inside Ancient Egypt Nature's Toolox: Biodiersity, Art, and Invention Sue The T. rex Underground Adventure Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston, IL (Tel. 847.475.1030, mitchellmuseum.org) A Regional Tour of American Indian Cultures Deconstructing Stereotypes: Top Ten Truths Treasures of the Collection Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center (Tel. 847.967.4800, ilholocaustmuseum.org) Ours to Fight For: American Jews in the Second World War Karkomi Permanent Exhibition Legacy of Absence Gallery Make a Difference: The Miller Family Youth Exhibition Museum of Science and Industry (Tel. 773.684.1414, msichicago.org) Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants

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52•CNCJASummer 2012 Stirring UP

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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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Music & Dance

Theaters

JULY 2012

Tedeschi Trucks Band CSO w/James Conlon Showcase (Martin Theatre) BoDeans Seal w/special guest Macy Gray CSO- String soloists from the CSO w/James Conlon, conductor (Martin Theatre) Tokyo String Quartet (Martin Theatre) CSO: Joshua Bell CSO: Orchestral Showcase w/James Conlon James Taylor Duo Piano - Misha Dichter & Cipa Dichter, Hungarian Dances (Martin Theatre) CSO: All Tchaikovsky Performance Denis Matsuev, pianist - All Russian recital (Martin Theatre) CSO: w/John Axelrod, conductor, Gabriela Montero, piano & Women of The Chicago Symphony Chorus Broadway In Chicago (Tel. 312.977.1700, broadwayinchicago.org) Pinkalicious: The Musical Rock of Ages Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles Buffalo Theatre Ensemble of Glen Ellyn (630.9424000, home.cod.edu/atthemac/bte) The Drawer Boy Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Tel. 312.595.5600, chicagoshakes.com) Disney's Beauty and the Beast Circle Theatre in Forest Park (Tel. 708.771.0700, circle-theatre.org) Almost An Evening

Jake Shimabukuro Chamber Orchestra, A Far Cry Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, a tribute to Kate Smith (Martin Theatre) Midori - Bach Begins (Martin Theatre) CSO w/Steven Reineke, conductor and Ashley Brown, vocalist: American Favorites Midori: Bach for More (Martin Theatre) Emerson String Quartet (Martin Theatre) Kraft Great Kids Concert: Beethoven Lives Upstairs w/Elgin Youth Symphony CSO w/Jaap van Zweden, conductor CSO w/Idina Menzel, vocalist and Marvin Hamlisch, conductor Guitarist Angel Romero (Martin Theatre) Santana An Evening with Natalie Merchant (Ravinia Festival Orchestra) The Blues Brothers starring Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi w/The Sacred Hearts Benedetti, Elschenbroich & Grynyuk Trio (Martin Theatre) CSO w/Christoph Eschenbach, conductor, Nicola Benedetti, violin & Leonard Elschenbroich, cello CSO w/Christoph Eschenbach, conductor & Erik Schumann, violin: Movie Music Concerto CSO: Vocalist Barbara Cook's 85th Birthday Celebration Baritone Matthias Goerne & pianist Christoph Eschenbach (Martin Theatre) Diana Krall w/opener Denzal Sinclaire

Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (Tel. 312.922.2110, auditoriumtheatre.org) The Bourné Family: Welcome to Our Home Grant Park Music Festival with Grant Park Orchestra (Tel. 312.742.7638, grantparkmusicfestival.com) Independence Day Celebration Sleepers and Dreamers: Brahms, Vaughan Williams, Strauss and Currier Frozen Planet in Concert Perfectly Frank: From Broadway to Hollywood - Select works by Frank Loesser Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances Rossini: Stabat Mater Frozen in Time: Dorman and Prokofiev Beethoven's Fifth Symphony Harris Theater for Music and Dance (Tel. 312.334.7777, harristheaterchicago.org) Paris Opéra Ballet: Mixed Repertoire Old Town School of Folk Music (Tel. 773.728.6000, oldtownschool.org/concerts) Arieb Azhar Henry Johnson Quartet Ravinia - all performances at Ravinia's Pavilion unless otherwise noted (Tel. 847.266.0641, ravinia.org)

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Summer Theater Chicago's Lakefront venue offers a summertime opportunity to revisit to some of the season's most critically acclaimed off-Loop theater. By CARRIE MILLER

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In its diamond anniversary season this summer, Theater on the Lake offers last chances to see Jeff-nominated and critical darling Opus from Redtwist Theater as well as the perpetually soldout show Hit the Wall that Inconvenience Theater put on as part of the Steppenwolf Garage series. In all, eight shows from off-Loop companies will re-mount performances in the Chicago Park District-sponsored series at its lakeside theater at Fullerton Avenue. The upcoming season has some firsts: first without a true musical; first appearance by a comedy improv group and first time that guest co-curators have been asked to select the productions. This year the slate was drawn up by Michael Patrick Thornton, artistic director and co-founder of The Gift Theatre Company and actor on ABC’s "Private Practice," and Meghan Beals McCarthy, associate artistic director at Chicago Dramatists. Next year two new curators will be chosen from applicants whose only formal criteria is that they be avid participants in Chicago theater: backstage, onstage or in the audience. The idea is to keep the series’ energy and perspective fresh. “We were so thrilled and honored to be the guinea pigs,” said McCarthy. “It was an amazing experience.” Their charge was to take the handoff from Hallie Gordon, director of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, who has served as artistic director of Theater on the Lake for the past six years. Gordon helped reshape the series beginning in 1996 into a high-profile venue for 54•CNCJASummer 2012

Photos courtesy of Theater on the lake

Lakeside

the best of the previous fall’s off-Loop Chicago theater. Not all shows can be successfully remounted the several months to more than a year later they would be scheduled at the lakeside theater, McCarthy explained. Sometimes cast members or directors have moved on by that time; rebuilding sets and so forth can be a significant expense. “In the end, I was really pleased by the productions we were able to get for the series,” McCarthy said. SiNNERMAN Ensemble’s drama Sweet Confinement opens the series June 13 to 17 when five characters with a shared history come together to deal with a crisis. Not to be missed is the “raucous bodice-ripping comedy” Or by Caffeine Theatre June 20 to 24. Other highlights include Best Play Jeff-Nominated Opus by Redtwist Theater, which is sure to be a hot ticket July 4 through 8. It involves a clash of wills, a string quartet, and some twists that thrilled critics and audience members alike. The improv duo T.J. Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi offer a genre-first for the lake series, with audience-participation comedy July 11 to 15. The political drama Farragut North takes the stage July 18 through 22. Hit the Wall, which may have been the biggest off-Loop


breakout this past season, is presented by the Inconvenience July 25 to 29, following a sellout run on the Steppenwolf Garage Series stage. A powerful dramedy about the legendary Stone Hill riots that sparked the civil rights movement, it features a live rock band tuned to the 1969 soundtrack of the era. Wrapping up the summer August 1 through 5 is the Building Stage’s Moby-Dick adaptation from the Herman Melville epic of the same name. Other additions to the Theater on the Lake series this year include complementary (and complimentary) pre-production pro-

gramming from other companies and groups. Performances are from Wednesday to Sunday and cost $17.50 individually and drop below $15 as part of a $110 subscription.

Photos: (Center) Theater on the Lake's Lincoln Park Lakefront Venue; (Below-clockwise from top left) Paul Dunkle, John Ferrick, Michael Sherwin, Brian Parry in RedTwist Theatre's production of Opus; Cast of Inconvenience Theatre's production of Hit the Wall; Cast of Pegasus Players' production of Moby Dick; Cast of T.J. Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi's Farragut North.

Summer 2012CNCJA•55


Theaters

Art Museums

Galleries

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JULY 2012

Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook (630.530.8300, drurylaneoakbrook.com) The 39 Steps First Folio Theatre in Oakbrook (630.986.8067, firstfolio.org) The Merchant of Venice Goodman Theatre (Tel. 312.443.3800, goodmantheatre.org) Crowns Greenhouse Theater Center (Tel. 773.404.7336, greenhousetheater.org) Exit, Pursued by a Bear Butley My First Time The Vortex Adrift Lookingglass Theatre (Tel. 773.477.9257, lookingglasstheatre.org) Eastland Mercury Theatre (773.325.1700, mercurytheatrechicago.com) Freud's Last Session RedTwist Theatre (Tel. 773.728.7529, redtwist.org) The Glass Menagerie Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org) Three Sisters Victory Gardens Theater (Tel. 773.871.3000, victorygardens.org) Oedipus El Rey The Art Institute of Chicago (Tel. 312.443.3600, artic.edu/aic) Capturing the Sublime: Italian Drawings of the Renaissance and Baroque Jindřich Heisler: Surrealism under Pressure The Outdoor Office: Jonathan Olivares Design Research Rethinking Typologies: Architecture and Design from the Permanent Collection Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: Molly Zuckerman-Hartung Smart Museum of Art - University of Chicago (Tel. 773.702.0200, smartmuseum.uchicago.edu) From the Land of the Morning Calm: Traditions of Korean Art Architech Gallery of Architectural Art (Tel. 312.475.1290, architechgallery.com) Alfred Browning Parker, Miami's Maverick Modernist Donald Young Gallery (Tel. 312.322.3600, donaldyoung.com) James Welling Tacita Dean & Mark Wallinger Ebersmoore (Tel. 312.772.3021, ebersmoore.com) My Idea of Fun: Various artists EC Gallery (Tel. 312.850.0924, ec-gallery.com) Teiji Hayama Group Show of Gallery Artists Gallery KH (Tel. 312.642.0202, gallerykh.com) Abstract Jerry Ricketson: New American Landscapes McCormick Gallery (Tel. 312.226.6800, thomasmccormick.com) Richard Hunt: Then and Now Michael L. Galfer Fine Arts, LTD (Tel. 847.722.2399, mlgarts.com) Charles Dulac Henri Ibels Henri Riviere Paul Davis Roy Boyd Gallery (Tel. 312.642.1606, royboydgallery.com) Estrada-Vega, Katznelson, Munson, Powers, Van Wieren Schneider Gallery, Inc. (Tel. 312.988.4033, schneidergallerychicago.com) After Classical Portraiture 1

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

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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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Music & Dance

AUGUST 2012 1

Old Town School of Folk Music (Tel. 773.728.6000, oldtownschool.org/concerts) Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto Mindy Smith Robbie Fulks and His Bluegrass Explosion! Havana Yemen Blues Taj Mahal Trio Traveling Baile de Bomba featuring Jorge Emmanuelli Náter Golden Anniversary of the Glimmer Twins: A Tribute to the Rolling Stones Jodee Lewis (of the Spares) Dennis Luxion / Michael Raynor Quartet Patt & Possum Neal Alger's Blue Note Quartet Josh Berman and His Gang Ravinia - Concerts at Ravinia's Pavilion unless otherwise noted (Tel. 847.266.0641, ravinia.org) Sonata Soirée w/Miriam Fried & Jonathan Biss (Martin Theatre) CSO: w/Gianandrea Noseda, conductor, Nicole Cabell, soprano & Sean Botkin, piano Crosby, Stills and Nash Demi Lovato CSO: Over The Rainbow - A tribute to Harold Arlen Martinez-Urioste-Brey Piano Trio (Martin Theatre) CSO: w/James Conlon, conductor and Jean Yves Thibaudet, piano CSO: Brahms' Second Concert w/Yefim Bronfman, piano Gerald Finley with Kevin Murphy - Vocal Classics (Martin Theatre) Huey Lewis and The News / Joe Cocker Train w/special guest Mat Kearney Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano and Kevin Murphy, piano (Martin Theatre) Vladimir Feltsman, Piano (Martin Theatre) Jade Simmons, Piano (Bennett Gordon Hall) CSO - The Magic Flute (Martin Theatre) CSO - Idomenio (Martin Theatre) David Greilsammer, Piano (Bennett Gordon Hall) Zuill Bailey, cello & Awadagin Pratt, piano (Bennett Gordon Hall) Tony Bennett Daniil Trifonov, Piano Arlo Guthrie and Mary Chapin Carpenter CSO - Soloists from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra w/James Conlon (Martin Theatre) Kraft Great Kids Concert - River North Dance Chicago 

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Grant Park Music Festival with Grant Park Orchestra (Tel. 312.742.7638, grantparkmusicfestival.com) Scheherazade  The Four Season of Buenos Aires: Ginastera, Piazzolla and De Falla Brahms' Double Concerto Haydn: The Seasons Ryan Opera Center: Mozart and Strauss Dvořák: The Spectre's Bride

Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (Tel. 312.922.2110, auditoriumtheatre.org) Tammy McCann: I’ll Be Seeing You – The World War II Songbook

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Music & Dance

Theaters

AUGUST 2012 1

Broadway In Chicago (Tel. 312.977.1700, broadwayinchicago.org) Pinkalicious: The Musical Rock of Ages Rufus Wainwright Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Tel. 312.595.5600, chicagoshakes.com) Disney's Beauty and the Beast Congo Square Theatre (Tel. 773.296.1108, congosquaretheatre.org) Bul Rusher Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook (630.530.8300, drurylaneoakbrook.com) The 39 Steps First Folio Theatre in Oakbrook (630.986.8067, firstfolio.org) The Merchant of Venice Goodman Theatre (Tel. 312.443.3800, goodmantheatre.org) Crowns Greenhouse Theater Center (Tel. 773.404.7336, greenhousetheater.org) Butley The Vortex Adrift Northlight Theatre in Skokie (Tel. 847.673.6300, northlight.org) Title of Show RedTwist Theatre (Tel. 773.728.7529, redtwist.org) The Glass Menagerie Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org) Three Sisters Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s Smart Museum of Art - University of Chicago (Tel. 773.702.0200, smartmuseum.uchicago.edu) From the Land of the Morning Calm: Traditions of Korean Art  

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Ravinia - Concerts at Ravinia's Pavilion unless otherwise noted (Tel. 847.266.0641, ravinia.org) cont'd. The Dukes of September Rhythm Revue: Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs Supertramp’s Roger Hodgson Lincoln Trio & Friends (Bennett Gordon Hall) Lyle Lovett Reginald Robinson - Jazz, Stride, Ragtime Piano (Bennett Gordon Hall) Anita Baker John Hiatt and Combo w/special guest Steve Earle Sean Botkin, piano (Bennett Gordon Hall) Momix: "Botanica" Duran Duran Behzod Abduraimov, piano (Bennett Gordon Hall)

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

Photos from left:The Lincoln Trio (photo courtesy of Ravinia Festival); Playwright Regina Taylor (Photo courtesy of Goodman THeatre); singers Lyle Lovett and anita baker (Photos courtesy of Ravinia Festival).

Art Museums

58•CNCJASummer 2012


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The League of American Orchestra’s 2012   Helen M. Thompson Award for an Emerging Music Director   and for her work with the Sinfonie�a, earning the orchestra a   First Place ASCAP Award for Contemporary Programming. 

Congratulations to Maestro Mei-Ann Chen

Architech Gallery of Architectural Art (Tel. 312.475.1290, architechgallery.com) Alfred Browning Parker, Miami's Maverick Modernist Donald Young Gallery (Tel. 312.322.3600, donaldyoung.com) James Welling Tacita Dean & Mark Wallinger Ebersmoore (Tel. 312.772.3021, ebersmoore.com) My Idea of Fun: Various artists EC Gallery (Tel. 312.850.0924, ec-gallery.com) Group Show of Gallery Artists Gallery KH (Tel. 312.642.0202, gallerykh.com) Abstract Jerry Ricketson: New American Landscapes McCormick Gallery (Tel. 312.226.6800, thomasmccormick.com) Richard Hunt: Then and Now Michael L. Galfer Fine Arts, LTD (Tel. 847.722.2399, mlgarts.com) Charles Dulac Henri Ibels Henri Riviere Paul Davis 

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MEI-ANN CHEN, MUSIC DIRECTOR PAUL FREEMAN, FOUNDER

‘Like’ us on Facebook  Follow us on Twi�er  Watch us on YouTube  Sign up for our e‐mail newsle�er at  chicagosinfonie�a.org 

Want to know more? 

ON SALE NOW!

Subscribe to our upcoming  2012‐2013 Season and nd out. 

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

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What will she do for a follow up? 

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Cultural Almanac Pick Lists

Sue the T-rex The Field Museum Marvel at the size and superb preservation of Sue’s skeleton, which is more than 90 percent complete, or discover what a CT scan of Sue’s skull revealed about T. rex that scientists had not previously known. Whatever your curiosity, Sue the T-rex at the Field Museum has worlds for you to discover. The world-famous fossil known as “Sue” is the largest, best-preserved, and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found. Sue measures 42 feet long from snout to tail and 13 feet tall at the hip. She boasts 58 dagger-like teeth and cuts a fine figure as the museum’s most popular backdrop for visitor photos. Sue is a permanent resident of the Field. Visit www.fieldmuseum. org or call 312.922.9410 for more details.

Photo by P.M.C.

Anna Marks' Exhibit Picks

Young visitors take an opportunity to pose with "Sue" at the Field Museum. Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective The Art Institute of Chicago This exhibition, the first assessment of the full scope and breadth of Roy Lichtenstein’s career since his death in 1997, aims to offer a new, scholarly assessment of the work of this foremost Pop artist. Presenting over 130 paintings and sculptures, as well as over 30 little or never-before-seen drawings and collages, this exhibition gives full consideration to all periods of Lichtenstein’s career. Special consideration is given to Lichtenstein’s relationship to art historical sources, ranging from Picasso and Cubism through Surrealism, Futurism, German Expressionism, and the American West. The exhibit runs at The Art Institute through September 3, 2012. Visit artic.edu or call 312.443.3600 for more details.

MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition The Museum of Science and Industry Think you need to know the show to get into the action? That's your first myth to bust. Just like the series, MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition shows you how to uncover the truth or myth behind everything from blowing down a brick house to staying dry in the rain by running. Try a dozen hands-on experiments that will get your heart and mind racing, watch live MythBusting demonstrations, and explore authentic props and gadgets direct from the "MythBusters" set. Put your scientific curiosity into action in the world-premiere MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition, now open through September 3, 2012. Visit msichicago.org or call 773.684.1414 for more information.

Photo by liz lauren

Jeff Saunders' Theater Picks

2012. Visit goodmantheatre.org or call 312.443.3800 for more details.

The Iceman Cometh Goodman Theatre Welcome to Harry Hope's saloon, home to a ragtag band of drunks and dreamers who today celebrate the arrival of Hickey, the charismatic traveling salesman whose raucous presence always ensures a grand good time. But when a newly sober Hickey blows in with a renewed outlook on life, his zealous attempts to fix the lives of his old friends lead to a series of events that are at once devastatingly comic and heartbreaking—and culminate with a revelation that threatens to shatter the tenuous illusions that fuel their lives. See the show The Wallstreet Journal calls, “a masterpiece.” Iceman runs at Goodman Theatre through June 17,

The cast of The Iceman Cometh playing at The Goodman Theatre.

Eastland Lookingglass Theatre Artistic Director Andrew White (Of One Blood, 1984) resurrects the ghosts of America’s forgotten tragedy in this Lookingglass Original musical, with music by artistic associate Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman, the team behind the score of Lookingglass Alice, 1984, Metamorphoses, Hard Times, and The Secret in the Wings, as well as the acclaimed Winesburg, Ohio. Directed by Amanda Dehnert (Peter Pan: A Play), Eastland runs at Lookingglass Theatre June 6 through July 29, 2012. Visit lookingglasstheatre.org or call 773.477.9257 for more details. The Glass Menagerie RedTwist Theatre A searing family drama and very likely the autobiography of Tennessee Williams, this legendary play unfolds as a flashback via the recollections of the character, Tom Wingfield, as he recounts the inexorable disintegration of his family and the shattered life of his beloved sister, Laura, whose memory haunts him after he finally extricates himself from the emotional debris of his well-intentioned, but distraught and damaged mother who was abandoned by her husband. Featuring Redtwist company member Jacqueline Grandt in the role of Amanda. The Glass Menagerie runs at RedTwist Theatre July 28 through September 2, 2012. 60•CNCJASummer 2012


Fred Cummings' Classical Music & Dance Picks The Knights and Itzhak Perlman Ravinia As core members of his groundbreaking Silk Road Project, the Knights are close collaborators of cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who calls theirs a “vibrant, energetic, collaborative culture.” On September 8, The Knights join forces for the first time with legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman. who applies his legendary tone to Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, perhaps the most popular violin concerto of all time. For more information visit ravinia.org or call 847-266-5100. Mozart, Strauss and Britten Grant Park Music Festival with Grant Park Orchestra Carlos Kalmar and The Grant Park Orchestra present a unique program of youthful music. Though Mozart was only 32 when he wrote The Jupiter, it was to be his last symphony. Richard Strauss composed Don Juan when he was only 24, and Benjamin Britten's Piano Concert was written at the age of 25. These pieces present remarkably mature works by composers at notably young ages. The concert takes place June 20 and 22, 2012. Visit grantparkmusicfestival.com or call 312.742.7638 for more information.

Photo © Christian Leiber

Muti Conducts Beethoven’s Fifth Chicago Symphony Orchestra Shostakovich described the subjects of his Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarroti, composed shortly before his death, as "wisom, love, creation, death and immortality." It will be sung by Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov, familiar to Chicago audiences from Riccardo Muti's landmark Verdi Requiem performances. This reflective work is contrasted with Muti's charged and riveting lead in Beethoven's seminal Fifth Symphony. Concert takes place June 14 and 19, 2012. Visit cso.org or call 312.294.3000 for more details.

The Paris Opéra Ballet perform "Suite en Blanc."

Paris Opéra Ballet Giselle Harris Theater for Music and Dance Experience one of the world’s most iconic ballets, performed by the company that first brought it to life more than 250 years ago. The Paris Opéra Ballet opens its first ever Chicago engagement with "Giselle," a moving story of love and forgiveness. The performance will be accompanied by Carlos Kalmar and The Grant Park Orchestra on June 26 and 27 at Harris Theater in Millennium Park. Visit harristheaterchicago.org or call 312.334.7777 for more details.

Summer Series Hubbard Street Dance In a program featuring one of the most significant contemporary choreographers, William Forsythe’s work returns to the Hubbard Street repertoire for the first time since 2006 with the company premiere of “Quintett,” a passionate work for five dancers featuring the haunting music of Gavin Bryars. Also on the program: Israeli Master Choreographer Ohad Naharin’s “THREE TO MAX,” a new collage created for Hubbard Street last spring; and Alejandro Cerrudo’s enthralling “Malditos.” The series runs at Harris Theater from May 31 through June 3, 2012. Visit hubbardstreetdancechicago.org or call 312-850-9744 for more details. Luna Nueva Museum of Contemporary Art and Luna Negra Dance Theatre This festival of three new works by Chicago-based Luna Negra Dance Theater (LNDT) is choreographed by Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, LNDT artistic director; Mónica Cervantes Rodriguez, LNDT dancer and choreographer; and guest artist Diana Szeinblum. The company celebrates the richness and diversity of Latino culture through choreographing new works by contemporary Latino choreographers and leading hands-on education programs that encourage the exploration of personal and community identity. Performances take place June 7 through 10 at The Museum of Contemporary Art. Visit mcachicago.org or call 312.397.4010 for more details. Summer 2012CNCJA•61


Cultural Almanac Pick Lists Editor’s Picks Esperanza Spalding Ravinia From the beginning of her life to her current success as a creative musician, Esperanza Spalding has charted her own course. The young bassist/vocalist/composer was one of the biggest breakout stars of 2011-not just in jazz, but in all genres of music. Her receipt of the 2011 Grammy (for Best New Artist) was unprecedented—the first time a jazz musician had won the award—but Spalding continues to make the unprecedented the norm. Hear Esperanza Spalding perform at Ravinia Park’s Pavilion on June 25, 2012. Visit ravinia.org or call 847-266-5100 for more details.

Photo courtesy of the artist

Crowns Goodman Theatre When Chicago-born Yolanda is sent down South after the death of her brother, she finds strength in the tales of the wise women who surround her—and the powerful rituals connected to their dazzling hats. This jubilant musical traces the roots of Gospel through contemporary hip hop, fusing rich storytelling with abundant “hattitude” into a stirring coming-of-age tale. Crowns is a not-to-be-missed celebration of song, dance, cultural history—and glamorous headwear. Crowns runs at Goodman Theatre June 30 through August 5, 2012. Visit goodmantheatre.org or call 312.443.3800 for more details.

Publisher’s Picks

PHOTO © AMNH D. FINNIN

Jazz singer Esperanza Spalding.

Extreme Mammals The Field Museum Explore the surprising and sometimes bizarre world of Extreme Mammals—the biggest, smallest, and most amazing of all time! Inspect oversized claws, massive fangs, extraordinary snouts, astounding horns, and other traits that make these creatures truly remarkable, and discover how we might be the most extreme mammal of them all, only at The Field Museum. Examine the options below to learn more about exhibition experiences, planning your visit, and the many marvelous mammals you’ll meet! Extreme Mammals runs through January 6, 2013. For more details, visit fieldmuseum.org or call 312.922.9410

Macrauchenia, one of the oddest-looking mammals that ever lived is the extinct South American largehoofed Macrauchenia. Along with a camel-like body and a giraffe-like neck, it had one of the most extreme noses: a long, flexible trunk, similar to that of an elephant. Macrauchenia went extinct around 10,000 years ago.

Dawoud Bey: Harlem, USA Art Institute of Chicago In 1979 African American photographer Dawoud Bey (born 1953) held his first solo exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem, showing a suite of 25 photographs titled Harlem, U.S.A. Bey had been in residence at that museum for one year, and he had made the surrounding neighborhood a subject of study since 1975. Though raised in Queens, Bey and his family had roots in Harlem, and it was a youthful visit to the exhibition Harlem on My Mind at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1969, that had given Bey his determination to become an artist. The exhibit runs through September 9, 2012. Visit artic.edu or call 312.443.3600 for more details. 62•CNCJASummer 2012


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Summer 2012 Issue of CNCJA

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