Around Town – art gifts and kids kites

 

Indoor Art Show

The One of a Kind art show at The Mart is just in time for Mother’s Day. Held winter and spring, it features about 300 booths ranging from gourmet foods, glass art and paintings to hand crafted-furniture, jewelry and fiber art.

One Of a Kind Spring Show is April 26-28 at The (Merchandise) Mart, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza at the Chicago River and Orleans Street.

For tickets and other information visit One of a Kind.

 

Annual Chicago Kids and Kites Festival. (Photo courtesy City of Chicago)
Annual Chicago Kids and Kites Festival. (Photo courtesy City of Chicago)

 

Outdoor fun

At Chicago’s annual Kids and Kites Festival, youngsters can bring kites or get a free kite kit to make one themselves as long as supplies last. The festival is May 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cricket Hill in Lincoln Park (Lakeshore Drive between Montrose and Wilson Avenues.).

The Windjammers Professional Kite Team will be there to demonstrate flying maneuvers, CircEsteem will do circus acts and Chicago Kite will be there for folks who want to buy a kite. In addition, there will be face painting, crafts and balloon artists.

For more info visit Chicago.gov.

Jodie Jacobs

‘Magic Penthouse’ a Date Night Fantasy

Magic Penthouse as a date night experience. (Photo by Reno Lovison)
Magic Penthouse as a date night experience. (Photo by Reno Lovison)

For those of you interested in surveys and statistics three out of the five top traveler-ranked places of interest in Chicago are magic shows.

By the way, the blockbuster theater experience, “Hamilton,” is ranked number two with “Jazz Showcase” and “Lyric Opera” at six and seven respectively followed by Chicago Symphony and The Shakespeare Theater.

So based on travellers willing to take the time to leave a review and rank their performance experiences at Trip Advisor, “Magic Penthouse” falls in as number five in the top ten.

If you are a fan of prestidigitation, magic impresario and Munich native, Sin Ordu and his troupe of tricksters and spellbinders will keep you thoroughly engaged and entertained for roughly two and a half hours.

This is a unique total post-dinner evening package that includes entertainment, ample adult beverages, and a smattering of appetizers for one fixe prix.

Doors open at 8 p.m.  The festivities begin with a mix and mingle cocktail reception featuring an open bar and plenty of sparkling wine pre-poured and ready to go.

The atmosphere was upbeat with an air of eager anticipation from the guests.  Interestingly, there was plenty of interaction between guests as we managed to enjoy short conversations with three or four other couples including the very tall and mysterious “Mr. Johnson,” also a pleasant conversation with one Stetson-hat/ostrich-leather-boot adorned “dude” from the Northshore named Nick.

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Non Equity Jeff nominations announced

One of the spaces at The Den, a popular multi-show venue. (The Den photo)
One of the spaces at The Den, a popular multi-show venue. (The Den photo)

The number of theater companies in Chicago varies each year with some going “dark” more than Monday nights and some opening or reforming but a number often used is 250. That’s companies, not venues which are often shared.

Some use mostly equity (union) players. Others can’t afford to. The Jeff Committee divides its awards into non-equity, announced early June, and equity, announced mid October. Both awards are important recognition of excellence.

Non-equity nominees were announced today, April 22 2019 regarding the 68 productions recommended for awards out of 144 eligible productions submitted for Jeff recommendation.

The eligible non-equity shows were produced between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019 and included 14 world premieres. Thirty-three theater companies had works receiving at least one nomination.

Of these Raven received 12 nominations, BoHo theatre 11 and Haven theatre company 10. Other companies receiving nominations include Steep Theatre Company, The Artistic Home, Black Button Eyes Productions, Sideshow Theatre Company, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, Underscore Theatre Company,Jackalope Theatre Company, Kokandy Productions, Lifeline Theatre, Broken Nose Theatre, First Floor Theater, Pegasus Theatre Chicago, Pride Films and Plays, Redtwist Theatre, Refuge Theatre Project, City Lit Theater Company, Griffin Theatre Company, Interrobang Theatre Project, Red Tape Theatre, Trap Door Theatre and UrbanTheater Company.

The list of the 2019 Non-Equity Jeff Award Nominees is quite extensive as it covers 22 categories ranging from Ensemble, Production-Musical, Production-Play to individual contributions as performers, directors, choreographers and design.  For a complete list, visit  Jeff Awards.

A quick peek shows the following nominees

Production-Musical category
“The Bridges of Madison County” – Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
“Bright Star” – BoHo Theatre
“Grand Hotel” – Kokandy Productions
“Haymarket” – Underscore Theatre Company
“The Total Bent” – Haven Theatre Company

Production -Play category
“Birdland” – Steep Theatre Company
“Dutch Masters” – Jackalope Theatre Company
“Eclipsed” – Pegasus Theatre Chicago
“Hooded, Or Being Black for Dummies” – First Floor Theater
“Requiem for a Heavyweight” – The Artistic Home
“Tilikum” – Sideshow Theatre Company
“Yen” – Raven Theatre

The 46th Annual Non–Equity Jeff Awards will be announced June 3, 2019 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m. with several cash bars ). Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 on June 3. For tickets visit Athenaeum.

The Equity Awards will be held on October 21 at Drury Lane Oakbrook.

Jodie Jacobs

Hamilton: The Exhibition opens

Hamilton The Exhibition opens on Northerly Island (Photo courtesy of Broadway In Chicago)
Hamilton The Exhibition opens on Northerly Island (Photo courtesy of Broadway In Chicago)

Heads up “Hamilton” lovers and anyone interested in Alexander Hamilton’s life.

“Hamilton: The Exhibition” (also called “Ham”), situated in an all-weather structure on Northerly Island, opens April 27. The island stretches south of the Museum Campus just west of the Adler Planetarium. The exhibition is at 1536 S. Linn White Drive.

“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda narrates the audio tour with the musical’s original Broadway actors, Phillipa Soo (Eliza Schuyler) and Christopher Jackson (George Washington).

Go to learn more about Hamilton’s early years and the start up of the United States of America through multi-media and historical artifacts that take visitors to St. Croix, New York of 1776 and George Washington’s war tent.

To learn more visit Hamilton Exhibition.

To hear Creative Director David Konins talk about the exhibition visit YouTube.

For tickets visit TicketMaster/HamiltonExhibition.  And for CPS and groups go to BroadwayInChicago/Groups.

Jodie Jacobs

Around Town – More April happenings

Spring is not getting off to as slow a start as we think. (See Related below for earlier listings including Earth Day events). There is enough to see and do in and around Chicago for several outings. So here are more activities to add to the April Calendar.

Award-winning Icelandic bartender Teitur Ridderman Schioth crafted cocktails at last year's Icelandic Festival in Chicago. )J Jacobs) photo
Award-winning Icelandic bartender Teitur Ridderman Schioth crafted cocktails at last year’s Icelandic Festival in Chicago. )J Jacobs) photo

In Chicago

An Iceland festival is coming to a few Chicago clubs, a restaurant, theater and collaborative space during Taste of Iceland April 11-14. Presented by Iceland Naturally, the festival is a check-it-out experience of spirits, food, film and music. The events are free except a dinner at Elske but may need reservations.

Elske, 1350 W. Randolph St. will do an Icelandic dinner each of the festival days. For reservations visit elskerestaurant . For more information go to Facebook/events.

Other Icelandic festival activities:

Spirits of Iceland: Cocktail Class, April 11, 6-8 p.m. at LH on 21,  (Rooftop) London House Chicago, 85 E. Upper Wacker Dr., Floor 21. For more information visit Facebook LH Events/.

 Iceland After Dark, April 12, 10-11:30 p.m. with craft cocktails, music by Solveig Matthildur and Kaelan Mikla  at The Underground Chicago, 56 W. Illinois St.  For reservations go to Evenbrite.

Reykjavik Calling, April 13, at Martyrs’, 3855 N. Lincoln Ave. beginning at 7 p.m. Concert at 8 p.m. Sets feature Hildur and Kaelan Mikla. Visit Facebook Event Page.

 Shortfish Film Screening  at the Logan Theatre 2646 N. Milwaukee Ave., followed by cocktails of Brennivín and Reyka Vodka and chat with Icelandic winning bartender Tóta. Doors open at 11 a.m., the screening begins at 11:30 a.m. For more information visit this Facebook event page.

The Icelandic Literature Scene, April 14, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at evolveHer, 358 W. Ontario,3W to visit with Ambassador Stella Soffía Jóhannesdóttir and Words Without Border Editorial Director Susan. For more information visit this Facebook event page.

 

Hungry Monkey will be at the Foodie Fair with chocolate chip and regular banana bread. (Photo courtesy of Hungry Monkey)
Hungry Monkey will be at the Foodie Fair with chocolate chip and regular banana bread. (Photo courtesy of Hungry Monkey)

In the burbs

Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Foodie Fair Pop-Up, April  14, 1-4 p.m. at the West Lake Forest Train Station, 911 Telegraph Rd. at Everett, Lake Forest. Some of the vendors are Bonique Corp, Cake My Day, Elawa Farm, Foodstuffs Lake Forest, Flowers by Katie Ford, Full Belly Foods and Hungry Monkey.

Villa Park Spring Arts & Crafts Festival, April 12-14 at The Odeum , 1033 North Villa Ave. Hours:  Fri. 11am-9pm; Sat. 9am-6pm; Sun. 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults $10; Seniors $9; Children Under 10, free. For tickets and more information visit Spring Festival Tickets.

Related:

Around Town Pop-up Art Earth Day and Good Web Sites

Around Town in April: Kids and adult events

 

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

Around Town: Two shows are way more than flowers

 

Chicago Flower & Garden Show Market place. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Flower & Garden show)
Chicago Flower & Garden Show Market Place. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Flower & Garden show)

Think Spring. It’s time after chicago’s rough winter to think about blooms and maybe adventure. The blooms can be found at two Chicago shows. Adventure of the fantastical kind will be discovered at one of them.

Flower & Garden Show

Now that Spring is officially here with the marking of the vernal equinox  we can be thinking of what to grow on our rooftop, around the patio, in the yard or  in our window boxes, or how to expand or improve out landscape.

The ideas are all laid out in several gardens at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show at Navy Pier through March 24, 2019.

There’s even a kids activity garden, water features, sculptures, cooking demos and how to grow your own produce including hydroponic systems.

Also don’t miss the Racine Zoo/Stein Garden section of animal encounters and how to attract birds.

The Chicago Flower & Garden Show is produced by Flower Show Productions in collaboration with the Get Growing Foundation – a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating the next generation of gardeners.

Navy Pier is at 600 E. Grand Ave.,  Festival Hall A & B Chicago. For more information visit Chicago Flower.

 

 

Flower Show Journey

Journey to outer space as you walk through Macy’s On State, the downtown Chicago store, March 24 to April 7 for an innovative, fun  Garden Show.

Its about color:  blue hydrangeas, white calla lilies, Prince of Orange philodendron. It’s about an orchid forest. And it’s about creatures including aninhabited cavern.

But before entering the store,  get an idea of what’s going on inside by looking at the windows at the corner of State and Randolph Streets and also State and Washington Streets.

Go upstairs to the 5th floor Kids Department for fantasy florals and characters by Homewood Suites.

Check out the events that begin on Supernova Sunday. They range from nail designs, aura readings and spaceship building to glitter freckles, interesting lipstick applications and dance performances.

Monday’s feature is “Flowers of the Universe” presented by the Adler Planetarium from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday features roaming galactic characters from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday has “Modern Floral Design” from noon to 2 p.m.

For the full listing visit Events. Macy’s downtown store is at 111 N. State St., Chicago.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Lollapalooza lineup just announced

Lollapalooza arial photo by Cambria Harkey. Photo courtesy of Lollapalooza)
Lollapalooza arial photo by Cambria Harkey. Photo courtesy of Lollapalooza)

One day after four-day tickets became available for the 2019 Lollapalooza concert, the lineup was announced with the publication of the poster showing who’s coming.

Headlining the concert are Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Twenty Øne Piløts, The Strokes, Tame Impala, Flume, The Chainsmokers, J Balvin. Among others coming are Kacey musgraves. Lil Wayne, Janelle Monae Meek Mill and Hozier.

To see the entire lineup visit 2019 poster. For tickets visit Lollapalooza/tickets. Four day tickets range from $340 to more than $4,200. One day tickets are not yet available. They will range from $130 to $2,000.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Some Lollapalooza tickets on sale

Lolla 2017 aerial photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman courtesy of Lollapaluza
Lolla 2017 aerial photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman courtesy of Lollapaluza

Four-day tickets are now available to purchase even though performers have not been announced for the 2019 Lollapalooza’s mega-concert event in Grant Park, Aug. 1-4.

Ranging from $340 for basi, general admission then going up from there to more than $4,200, the price depends on the perks and VIP package wanted.

Perks might include  complimentary or discounted drinks and food, concierge services, chef-curated dining, golf=cart transportation and lounge and privacy locations.

To get tickets and find out more go to tickets, perks, information and hotel packages.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Ravinia Festival schedule is out

 

Ravinia Festival. (J Jacobs photo)
Ravinia Festival. (J Jacobs photo)

Summer events are not as far away as we may think when it comes to planning which Ravinia Festival concerts we want to attend. The Ravinia organization just released its summer schedule and it is jammed with pop, classic and rock concerts.

Lionel Richie June 11-12, Buddy Guy June 14, Tony Bennett June 21, Jennifer Hudson July 14 to Gershwin Concerto in F July 13, Renée Fleming July 28, Ringo Starr and the Beach Boys Aug. 3 and Sting Aug. 23, there’s something for everybody. Of course there’s the Tchaikovsky spectacular, 1812 Overture Aug 18

So the first question is where to see the schedule.

Go to Season at a Glance  to print an easy to copy Ravinia program to put on the bulletin board (or into your mobile devise). For an easy to read schedule visit Ravinia.

Next question is when tickets are available.

According to the Ravinia website, the first opportunity goes to patron and higher donors, March 19–28. Next, affiliate donors have access to tickets April 22–25. Then, tickets are available to Friend donors April 26–28 and Bravo and Encore donors can order Lawn tickets April 29–30.

Tickets will be available to the public beginning  May 7 for the May/June/July concerts. Then the tickets open for August/September concerts on May 8. Visit Ticket Info.

No, you don’t have to plan what to bring now but you might want to decide if you and family or friends are going to try one of Ravinia’s dining-in or take-out options.

Just reading over all the choices at the Ravinia Market, the new Lawn Bar, the Park View and the Tree Top makes me want to try all of them just to see which I prefer and experience something different than “I will bring dessert.”

Finally, print out the schedule or put dates on the calendar so you don’t miss the concert you really want to see.

Ravina Festival is at 418 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, IL

Jodie Jacobs

 

St Pats 2019 planner

Chicago turns its river green to honor St. Patrick on the day of the city's parade. (City of Chicago photo)
Chicago turns its river green to honor St. Patrick on the day of the city’s parade. (City of Chicago photo)

Time to search for something green, sharpen up you Irish speak (Erin go Bragh), figure out your timing to see the Chicago River turn green, and hoist one for the ol’ sod when everyone is a little bit Irish on March 16-17, 2019.

This Weekend:

If itching to watch high-stepping dancers and bag-pipe-blowing marchers consider heading over to Elmhurst this Saturday, March 9, for their 23rd annual St. Pats Parade. The parade starts at Wilson Street and Spring Road at noon. Tinley Park holds its annual parade March 10 at 1 p.m. at 179th street and Oak Park Avenue.

 

Next Weekend:

Downtown

The bridge and river overlooks at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive fill fast before the boat carrying the environmentally safe mixture is poured into the Chicago River at 9 a.m, Saturday, March 16, to turn it green. So, use public transportation, get there early and try to find a spot east of Michigan Avenue on either Upper or Lower Wacker Drive.

A few hours later, Chicago’s 64th Plumbers Local 130 sponsored St. Pat’s Parade steps off a noon at the other end of downtown on Columbus Drive at Balbo and continues north to Monroe Street on the east side of the Art Institute of Chicago. If you can’t get downtown, watch it live on ABC Channel 7.

Mid-North

To hear good Irish vocals, see more Irish dancing and get a taste of Ireland visit the Irish-American Heritage Center after the parade at 4626 N Knox Ave. Chicago. You will likely be greeted with cafe Céad Mile Failte, a hundred thousand welcomes.  The event goes to midnight on Saturday and continues on Sunday from noon to 11 p.m. For performer listing and times and tickets call (773) 282-7035 and visit Irish-American Org.

South

The South Side Irish Parade is on Sunday, March 17. It starts at noon on Western Avenue at 103rd Street and continues south to 115th Street. Remember no drinking while attending this neighborhood parade.

Northwest

The other popular neighborhood parade is the Northwest Side Irish which begins at noon from Onahan School at 6634 W. Ryan St. Party afterwards at Immaculate Conception’s rec center at 7271 W.Talcott until 5. More info at NorthwestsideIrish.

Sláinte!

Jodie Jacobs