Around Town in April: Kids and Adult events

April is filled with things to do and places to go. Some events cater to families, others to adults. Here are a few events to put on the calendar. And yes, go even if it’s in the children category unless specifically stated for ages 5-12.

Mummies are among a hands-on event at the Oriental Institute Museum. (Photo courtesy of the Oriental Institute)
Mummies are among a hands-on event at the Oriental Institute Museum. (Photo courtesy of the Oriental Institute)

FOR CHILDREN

Mummies and more

Learn about mummies and ancient “earth day” style practices at two free Oriental Institute Museum April events for ages 5 through 12.

First, “Secret of the Mummies” is April 6 from 1 to 3 p.m. To register visit Evenbrite Secret of the Mummies Tickets.

Second,  is “Ancient Earth Day” April 27, also from 1 to 3 p.m. To register visit Evenbrite Earth Day tickets.

The Oriental Institute Museum is at 1155 E. 58th Street, Chicago, IL For more information than what is found above in  “Mummies” and “Earth Day” call the Oriental Institute’s Public Education Office at 773-702-9507.

 

Making seed necklaces are among the Science Festival activities at the Chicago Botanic Garden. (Photo courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden)
Making seed necklaces are among the Science Festival activities at the Chicago Botanic Garden. (Photo courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden)

Science Festival

Chicago Botanic Garden is holding a hands-on science fair with seeds, flower pollination and other activities on April 13-14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some activities such as making your own seed necklace and how to see it sprout are free. There is a parking fee for nonmembers. For details visit Chicago Botanic Garden Science Festival.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe just east of Edens Expressway.

 

Dress as a tree during Morton Arboretum's Arbor Day celebration to get in free. (Photo courtesy of Morton Arboretum)
Dress as a tree during Morton Arboretum’s Arbor Day celebration to get in free. (Photo courtesy of Morton Arboretum)

Trolls Plus

Huge trolls have populated the Morton Arboretum and will still be around to check them out if visiting during the Arboretum’s daily Arbor Day activities in april and special Arbor Day events April 26-27. Anyone dressed as a tree on April 26 will be admitted free.

For admission and hours visit Visit-Explore. The Morton Arboretum is at 4100 IL Hwy 53, Lisle.

 

FOR ADULTS

 

 

Lyric Concert

Lyric Opera of chicago celebrates its Ryan Opera Center with the Rising Stars in Concert April 7 at 2 p.m. Sopranos Whitney Morrison, Emily Pogorelc and Ann Toomey will be singing arias, duets and other pieces with Mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Decker, contralto Lauren Decker, tenors Eric Ferring Josh Lovell and Mario Rojas along with baritones Christopher Kenney and Ricardo Jose Rivera plus bass-baritones Alan Higgs and David Weigel. Pianist is Madeline Slettedahl.

The Lyric Opera of Chicago is at 20 N. Wacker Drive. For tickets visit Lyric Opera concert/tickets or call 312-827-5600.

 

One of a Kind Show has items for the home and gifts. (Photo courtesy of One of a Kind Show)
One of a Kind Show has items for the home and gifts. (Photo courtesy of One of a Kind Show)

Gift Show

The One of a Kind Show, open to the public (as opposed to the trade) takes place at the Merchandise Mart in early winter in time for the holidays and mid-spring in time for Mother’s Day.  This Spring it happens Ap;ril 26, through April 28. Handmade items range from paper, ceramics, paintings and photography to jewelry, sculpture, fiber Art, meta, glass and wood.  Plus there are gourmet treats for sale.

The Merchandise Mart is at 222 Merchandise Mart plaza between the Chicago River and Kinzie and between Wells and Orleans. For tickets visit One of a kind/spring/tickets.

 

Farmers Market

Green City Market opens in Lincoln Park May 4. A popular farmers market that features chef demos, fresh produce and many local products, operates Saturday and Wednesday through Oct. 26, 2019 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Green City Market in Lincoln Park is at 1817N Clark St. For more information, visit Green City Market.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

 

Oh what a night!

Jersey Boys at the Auditorium Theatre
Jersey Boys at the Auditorium Theatre

4 stars

Opening in New York in 2005 and winning the Tony and Grammy Awards for Best Musical in 2006, “Jersey Boys” has now been seen by more than 25 million people.  And I’ll bet that some have seen it more than once—like I have.

The book, “Jersey Boys,” was written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Amusing dialogue is interspersed with the tremendous songs that keep the audience laughing.

Directed by Des McAnuff, “Jersey Boys” is the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons—four guys from New Jersey who weren’t known at all until they started singing outdoors on a corner. And once they did, their songs became more than popular and played on radios every day and night.

The songs by The Four Seasons in “Jersey Boys” not only bring back so many memories, but have younger audience members swinging and swaying in their seats.

(l to r) Eric Chambliss, Jonny Wexler, Corey Greenan, Jonathan Cable and compnay of Jersey Boys at the Auditorium Theatre. (Photos by Joan Marcus)
(l to r) Eric Chambliss, Jonny Wexler, Corey Greenan, Jonathan Cable and compnay of Jersey Boys at the Auditorium Theatre. (Photos by Joan Marcus)

Songs such as “Walk Like a Man,” “Sherry,” “Working My Way Back to You,” “Rag Doll,” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” hook-up with the musical’s story of a gang leader with a money problem that involves the mob and the record industry, along with many things that relate to true friendships and loving relationships.

The original Four Seasons were Bob Gaudio, the musical composer played by Eric Chambliss, Frankie Valli, played by Jonny Wexler, Nick Massi, played by Jonathan Cable and Tommy DeVito, played by Cory Greenan. The lyricist and producer, Bob Crewe, is played by Wade Dooley.

“My Boyfriend’s Back” is sung by the Angels portrayed by Ashley Bruce, Chloe Tiso, and Jessica Wockenfuss, all of whom also play other female roles.

The rest of the fabulous cast is Tony L. Clements, Caitlin Leary, Jeremy Sartin, and Kit Treece. Many of the cast members move on stage as they play musical instruments.

A Broadway in Chicago presentation now at the Auditorium Theatre, it’s a show not to miss . . . “Let’s Hang On to What We’ve Got!”

DETAILS: “Jersey Boys” is at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells (Congress Pkwy. at Michigan Avenue), Chicago, through April 7, 2019. Running time: 2 hours and 45 minutes with one intermission. For tickets and other information, call Ticket Master at 1-800-775-2000, or visit BroadwayInChicago.

Francine Pappadis Friedman

For more shows visit Theatre in Chicago

Art exhibits closing and opening in April

It’s arguably hard to keep up with all the exceptional art exhibits put on in Chicago area museums without some kind of program card. Hopefully the following list for April 2019 will help.

Don’t miss

At the Chicago Cultural Center

Arts of Life artists among exhibits ending this week at the Chicago Cultural Center. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Cultural Center and Arts of Life)
Arts of Life artists among exhibits ending this week at the Chicago Cultural Center. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Cultural Center and Arts of Life)

April 7,2019  is closing day for these three exhibits in Cultural Center’s first floor galleries.

“Furtive,” curated by Filter Photo, is a photographic exhibit that explores  personal and collective memory by Daniel Hojnacki, Karolis Usonis, and Krista Wortendyke.

“Forgotten Forms” is an exhibition of works by artists exploring everyday objects to tell a story about neighborhood identity and urban life. The artists are members of the Chicago Cultural Alliance the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.

“In Good Company” is a group exhibition is from seven artists and four volunteers of the Arts of Life  studios. Visit artsoflife.org/events/in-good-company.

The  Chicago Cultural Center is at 78 E. Washington St.. Chicago. For more information visit Chicago/Dept/Cultural Center.

 

Detail) Kurt Schmidt, Construction for fireworks, from the Stage Workshop, 1923, lithograph / Reproduction 2017. Photo: Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Screen short photo courtesy of Elmhurst Art Museum)
Detail) Kurt Schmidt, Construction for fireworks, from the Stage Workshop, 1923, lithograph / Reproduction 2017. Photo: Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Screen shot photo courtesy of Elmhurst Art Museum)

 

At the Elmhurst Art Museum

The Whole World a Bauhouse,” an internationally traveling exhibition making only one stop in the United States, is at the Elmhurst Art Museum just through April 20.

The exhibition marks the 100th anniversary of the famed Bauhaus school in Germany. Even though it operated from 1919 to 1933, it had a revolutionary influence on art, architecture and industry. Instructors included such influencers and artists and Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky, Josef and Anni Albers, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy and Lily Reich.

The Elmhurst Art Museum is at 150 Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst. For more information visit Elmhurst Art Museum.

 

'The Great Wave' by Hokusai will be on view for a short time in a special Japanese prints exhibit the Art Institute of Chicago. (Photo courtesy of Art Institute of chicago
‘The Great Wave’ by Hokusai will be on view for a short time in a special Japanese prints exhibit the Art Institute of Chicago. (Photo courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago)

 

Opening

At the Art Institute of Chicago

“The Great Wave” by Holusai will be among the prints explored in Connoisseurship of Japanese Prints  in Gallery 107 beginning April 6, 2019.

“The People Shall govern!,” opens April 24 in Galleries 1-4. This is the first North American exhibition on the Medu Art Ensemble begun in late 1970s to oppose South Africa’s apartheid.

The Art Institute of Chicago is at 111 S. Michigan Ave. For hours, admission and other information visit ARTIC.

 

Jonathas de Andrade Still from Jogos dirigidos (Directed games), 2019. HD video (color, sound). Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Commission. (photo courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art )

At the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Jonathas De Andrade: One to One” opens April 13 with photographs, installations and videos that reflect his take on a northeast area of Brazil.

Can You Hear Me Now,” opening April 27, deals with communication problems in a divisive political climate.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is at 220 E. Chicago Ave. For hours, admission and other information visit MCA.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

 

Around Town: Family activities in early April

 

Adler Planetarium has free days and discounted tickets. (J Jacobs photo)
Adler Planetarium has free days and discounted tickets. (J Jacobs photo)

Some schools still have spring vacation but not all places suggested here need be visited during the week. They all are destinations for adults and youngsters any time of year.

 

 

Chicago Architecture Center has exhibits and a studio where families can construct something. (Photo courtesy of CAC)
Chicago Architecture Center has exhibits and a studio where families can construct something. (Photo courtesy of CAC)

Chicago Architecture Center

Even though CAF is now known as CAC and is in a new location on east Wacker Drive overlooking the Chicago River and it is a place to get tickets for tours and its famed architecture boat excursion, the place has a wonderful diorama on its main floor and interesting exhibits upstairs.

However, it also has the ArcelorMittal Design Studio which on Sundays welcomes families interested in building something themselves.  The studio is also a place to learn some architecture basics at themed stations. That doesn’t mean it’s just for older children. The age base is 3 and anyone younger than 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

The $12 admission fee includes CAC. The studio construction program is at 10 a.m. Visit Family Build for more information and registration. For CAC information visit Architecture/Visit. CAC is at 111 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago

Field Museum features dinos and mummies. (J Jacobs photo)
Field Museum features dinos and mummies. (J Jacobs photo)

Illinois resident free-day at Adler Planetarium and The Field Museum in early April

Adler Planetarium

Stop by the planetarium April 2-4 or April 9-11 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to learn about galaxies, black holes and more space phenomenon. During Illinois Resident Free General Admission Days.

General Admission provides access to exhibitions and experiences  except for the “Atwood Sphere Experience” and sky shows. However discounted exhibit tickets are available on free days.

For more information call (312) 922-7827 or visit Adler offers. The  Adler Planetarium is at the far eastern end of the Museum Campus at 1300 S.Lake Shore Drive, Chicago.

The Field Museum

The Field has free general  admission and discounted passes April 5-7 . All access discount tickets are $23, adults, $17 children 3-11, $20 seniors and students with ID. Discovery passes that include one ticketed exhibit are $16, $12 and $14. Some of the ticketed exhibits are Evolving Planet, Trex, Mummies, Photographers of the Year, China and Egypt.

The Field Museum is the first and furthest west building on the Museum
Campus  at 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. For more information call (312) 922- 9410  and visit Field Musuem and Field events/free.

 

Play word games at the American Writers Museum. (J Jacobs photo)
Play word games at the American Writers Museum. (J Jacobs photo)

American Writers Museum

For an experience of a different kind, (what word would you like to insert here?) visit a museum where families can write together, play word games together, visit a Children’s Literature Gallery, Learn about written words and quotes going back centuries and something about Chicago writers.

Admission is $12 adults, free to children 12 and younger,$ 8 seniors and students. For hours and other information call 312.374.8790 and visit American Writers Museum and AWM/exhibits.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

What is needed to get parenting right

 

Nathan Burger (Bernard) and William Brown (Salter) in 'A Number' at Writers Theatre. (Photos by Michael Brosilow)
Nathan Burger (Bernard) and William Brown (Salter) in ‘A Number’ at Writers Theatre. (Photos by Michael Brosilow)

3 1/2 stars

During the course of “A Number” at Writers Theatre, Glencoe, a father admits he was an awful parent the first time around as his sons try to extract the full story of their existence.

It’s sort-of a two person play with stage veteran, actor/director  Nate Burger (Writers Theatre, Americanh Players Theatre, Timeline) as the father, Salter, and popular Chicago actor Nate Burger (Chicago Shakespeare, Timeline, Goodman) as Bernard, his sons, 1, 2 and 3.

The play is only 65 minutes long but its high intensity acting and twists made it feel as if I sat through two hours of a suspenseful drama.

Eerie music and lighting enhance Robin Witt’s spot-on direction of clipped responses from the father in contrast to the emotions of Salter’s original and cloned sons.

Nathan Burger and William Brown in 'A Number'
Nathan Burger and William Brown in ‘A Number’

Yes the show, written by Caryl Churchill back in 2002 when copying mammals’ DNA and genetic make-up  was in the news, is about cloning. It’s also about examining uniqueness, identity, upbringing, abandonment and truth.

Salter, who felt he was not a good father the first time around, wanted to try again from scratch. He had scientists clone his first son so he could be a better father the second time.

What happens on how the son and clones react will be a surprise therefore there will not be an alert here. You have to go to find out.

But a word of warning. Don’t believe most of what Salter says. The real story emerges from the mist of his twisted mind in bits and pieces.

DETAILS:”A Number” is in the Gillian Theatre of Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court Glencoe  through June 9, 2019. Running Time: 65 minutes, no intermission. For tickets and other information call  847) 242-6000 and visit Writers Theatre.

Jodie Jacobs

For more shows visit Theatre in Chicago

 

 

 

‘Anastasia’

 

 Lila Coogan (Anya), Stephen Brower (Dmitry) (Photo courtesy of Broadway In chicago)
Lila Coogan (Anya), Stephen Brower (Dmitry) (Photo courtesy of Broadway In chicago)

3 stars

There is plenty to like about this Broadway in Chicago theatrical extravaganza. It is loosely based on the true story of a woman who claimed to be the surviving daughter of Czar Nicholas II of Russia and whose family was assassinated along with him by the Bolsheviks following the Communist uprising in July 1917.

But don’t worry this version of “Anastasia” has little to do with reality. Inspired by the Twentieth Century Fox animated film (later acquired by Disney Corporation), it refers to the tragedy but is scrubbed clean of most of the ugly parts, leaving behind the tale of a young, beautiful and strong heroine striving to find her true identity while struggling to come to terms with her inner princess.

It was an enthusiastic and appreciative, mostly female audience that packed Chicago’s Nederlander Theater opening night. The book by Terrence McNally is expertly crafted to suit its intended audience of preadolescent girls who themselves are likely exploring their own future and place in the world.Read More

Concert saluted singer Renée Fleming

Renee Fleming at the Lyric of Chicago in an anniversary concert. (Photo by Todd Rosenberg)
Renee Fleming at the Lyric of Chicago in an anniversary concert. (Photo by Todd Rosenberg)

Fans of opera, American soprano Renée Fleming and the Lyric Opera of Chicago were treated to an extraordinary program March 23 to honor Fleming on the 25th anniversary of her Lyric debut in1993 with Carlisle Floyd’s “Susannah.”

Chicago audiences may have heard her in other operatic roles such as Marguerite in “Faust” in the 1995-6 season and more recently as Hanna Glawari, in “the Merry Widow” in the 2016-17 season.

But what the program and Lyric President Anthony Freud mentioned during the concert is that  there is a lot more to Fleming’s accomplishments than her vocal talent. As an advisor and innovator of public programs through the Lyric in Chicago and through the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Fleming has been behind several outreach initiatives.

Arguably less known is that she was on the soundtrack of Best Picture and Best soundtrack 2018 Academy awards for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and  “The Shape of Water,” is a 16-time Grammy nominee (four-time winner) and is on the movie soundtrack of the “Lord of the Ring” and “The Return of the King.”

Hosted by Tituss Burges, the program also featured well-known opera stars soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, tenor Lawrence Brownlee, baritone Quinn Kelsey, and bass-baritones Eric Owens and Christian Van Horn,  plus members of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center. Patrick summers conducted the Lyric Opera Orchestra.

Fleming started out with what some consider her trademark piece of “Porgi amor” from Mozart’s “the Marriage of Figaro.”

Other pieces in the first part of the program were Eric Owens doing “O tu Palermo “ from Verdi’s “I vespri sicilarni,” Radvanovsky singing “Vissi d’arte” from Puccini’s Tosca,” Brownlee doing “Ahmes amis…” from Donizetti’s ”La fille du regiment,” Van Horn singing “Eddo il mondo” from “Boito’s La Mefistofele” and the Ryan Opera Center artists doing Faltaff’s “Un oro e terminiam la scena…”

Radvanovsky sang an aria from “Susannah” later in the concert. Then, to herald her role in a special musical production in December, Fleming did “Fable,” from Adam Guettel’s “The Light in the Piazza.” Tickets to the run,  Dec. 14-29, 2019,  go on sale March 28, 2019. For tickets and more information visit LyricOpera/light.

As a bonus Saturday, many of the designer gowns worn by Fleming were on display at the Lyric.  For the concert she wore a  navy tulle gown designed by Carolina Herrera and a rose-gold sequined gown by Vivienne Westwood.

Another interesting not is that the acoustic Pritzker Family Concert Shell designed by Studio Gang for Lyric’s 60th Anniversary Gala Concert in 2014 was the backdrop for Saturday’s concert.

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