Stage venues have gone to YouTube, Facebook and various web sites to keep their performers and to give something to the vast majority of stay-at-home audience members. Here is one that goes live today and can become a noon plus 30 tune-in habit.
The popular music festival has canceled this spring’s concerts and has moved some artists to September. However it has started a new, online concert series called Noon30 that starts today at March 26 12:30 p.,. EST and will continue through April 11, 2020.
Find Germain Lopez premiering the series from his home in Spain where he will be performing an acoustic version of “A Punto de Nieve” at You Look for tube/SMForg.
Look for Vasen, also performing today from Uppsala, Sweden. You can find his performance of “IPA Gubben at You Tu Be.
If looking for something to distract from COVID-19 closings take a look at what Ravinia Festival, the famed primarily outdoor music venue has on its l2020 Calendar.
Even a brief scan shows that pop stars such as Sheryl Crow and Carrie Underwood, folk icons Arlo Guthrie and Judy Collins, hip hop band The Roots, rock ‘n roll musician John Fogerty, pop-rock band Train, and classicalists pianist Jorge Federico Osorio and violinist Midori are on the schedule.
Plus, Ravinia’s newly appointed conductor and curator Marin Alsop will be conducting the CSO in an all Rachmaninoff evening with Lukass Vondracek playing the Rach 3, Itzhak Perlman will play the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and the next day conduct the CSO for Ravinia’s annual Tchaikovsky spectacular.
Ravinia canceled events before June 1 due to the coronavirus but has said nothing so far, about the regular programing after June 1. Instead, its statement read: “Ticket sales to Ravinia’s summer lineup will occur as planned, with donors having access as early as March 17.”
April 28 is the date when the public can get tickets for the June and July concerts. August and September concerts go on sale April 29.
Tip: Ravinia goers sometimes become donors because the hottest tickets go quickly, Click Ravinia/Fund for the donor fee structure and what each level offers.
The Ravinia Festival is at the south end of North Suburban Highland Park between Sheriday and Green Bay Rds, just north of Lake Cook Road. For more Ravinia information visit Ravinia.
Most show goers know by now that many theaters in the Chicago area have suspended or postponed their current 2020 productions in accordance with state and local recommendations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Ticket holders not sure if the show they were planning to see is currently on, should call the theater to check. Lookingglass Theatre (see photo) was among the latest to cancel its current production.
Given that so many shows have been cancelled or delayed and that going to a show even if it is still on has becomes health risk, the Jeff Awards, a group that usually sends judges to Chicago area’s opening nights, has suspended its judging of productions until May 1.
The organization will re-access the decision on that date if judging should resume.
Even though audiences may attend a show because they are season subscribers or because they are attracted by a production’s theme or title so don’t pay attention to whether the theater or the show receives an award from the Jeff Committee, the production companies, actors and associated directors and designers do care if they receive Jeff recognition.
The Jeff Awards have been recognizing excellent theater (also spelled theatre) productions and individuals since 1968. With approximately 250 theater production companies in the Chicago area, that means attending a lot of shows to nominate and award the ones deemed the best.
Since 1973, awards have not gone to just Equity (union) productions, but are also handed out to nonequity productions.
Anyone visiting the Review section of Theatre In Chicago can see if a show has received the note “Jeff Recommended.” What that means is that a Jeff judge thought that at the opening night performance at least one element was considered excellent. The production is then eligible for award nominations.
Jeff Awards Chairman John Glover explained the decision to temporarily suspend judges’ visits.
“Our social responsibility to the community also includes our own volunteer members. While many of the productions we had planned to attend have been cancelled or postponed, our members are such dedicated theater supporters that many plan, in an unofficial capacity, to evaluate each situation and where possible, pay for and attend local theater when productions are available, in an effort to continue to support the local theaters during this difficult time. I am proud to be part of an organization that is such a champion for theater excellence and the companies that bring it to life,” said Glover.
For more information visit Jeff Awards. For questions about eligibility visit firstname.lastname@example.org. and email@example.com.
Looks like the internet, TV and bookstores such as Barnes & Noble are going to be the go-to places for A & E, at least through March.
The latest closures to come into the Chicago Theater and Arts on-line desk are the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and some museums. Please carefully check possible reopening and rescheduling dates and ticket options.
The museum will be shuttered from today, March 14, through March 28 but events such as tours, performances and lectures will be on hiatus through April 10, according to a just released statement.
It added that the closure will allow the museum to develop “rigorous health and safety standards and protocols.” Purchased tickets can be refunded to the card used within 10 business days.
Fortunately, AIC’s current exhibition, “El Greco: Ambition and Defiance” goes through June 21, 2020 so there is still time to see the famed artist’s most notable works and also learn he was skilled at more than religious paintings.
Beginning March 12, all Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association concerts at Symphony Center and pre- and post-concert special events were canceled through at least the next 30 days . The CSOA’s statement said ticket holders to canceled concerts could exchange them for other concerts or request a refund. For more information call (312) 294-3000 or visit CSO org/alert.
Museum Closure Updates
Citing both IL Governor J.B. Pritzker’s mandate to close gatherings involving 1,000 people or more and their own desire to safeguard their patrons and staff, several museums have closed for the rest of March. However, their re-opening varies by museum so best plan is to check their websites.
Normally jammed with students on Spring Break, the Shedd, arguably Chicago’s top (non-art) museum attraction, is closed through March 29. Their statement reads: “Our dedicated caretakers and veterinarians will continue to provide the highest standards of professional care and welfare for our animals on site. And, until we can welcome you back, we invite you to stay connected to them behind the scenes via Shedd’s Facebook and Instagram, as well as explore, experience and learn more about the aquatic animal world through our other digital resources.
For information on refunds and rescheduling of previously purchased tickets, group and experience reservations, programs and events and more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at( 312) 939-2438.
Due to safety concerns about the COVID-19 virus, Chicago area production companies, and there are about 250 of them, are busy trying to reschedule shows while canceling some. They are also dealing with options that include taking ticket credits for future performances or donating tickets instead of asking for refunds.
The number of such announcements increases every hour. Here are some of the latest Chicago theater updates.
A Broadway in Chicago statement reads: “The safety and health of our patrons, staff and theatrical companies is our top priority. In response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) we will be canceling or rescheduling the following performances:
“The Bachelor Live on Stage” at the Cadillac Palace Theatre is changed to Oct. 10, 2020 “Keane- Cause and Effect Tour” at the Cadillac Palace theatre is cancelled. “My Fair Lady” at the Cadillac Palace theatre has been changed to May 10-23, 2021. (Note different year). Performances of “What the Constitution Means to Me” at Broadway Playhouse are suspended through the end of March. The show may resume from March 31 through April 12, 2020 with reduced seating numbers.
To discuss refunds or exchanges contact point of purchase. So for Ticketmaster call (800) 775-2000, for Broadway in Chicago call Customer Service at 312=977-1702, if a Broadway in Chicago subscriber call (312) 977-1717 or if purchased through Broadway in Chicago Group sales, call (312) 977-1710.
The famed comedy company and venue, operating since 1959, is suspending Chicago performances through March 26 (or until further notice). The company’s statement reads: The Second City will get back to the business of making you laugh just as soon as we can. In the meantime, they will monitor the situation with the CDC and local government and provide updates as they become available.”
Ticket holders can call (312) 337-3992 or chat live at www.secondcity.com. Options will include refunds and also asking patrons to support actors, musicians, hosts, servers, and staff by rescheduling for future shows or putting the balance on a Second City gift card to use towards a future date. Second City Training Center classes remain in session.
Previews of “Hit Her with the Skates” at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St., been rescheduled. A coming of age musical starring American Idol couple Diana De Garmo and Ace Young, the show will now premiere April 23, 2020 and previews will resume on April 21. Purchased tickets may be refunded or exchanged.
“Chicago, we are here for you and excited to continue our journey to bring “Hit Her with the Skates” home. Keeping our audience and company members safe is our top priority at this time. Forward Motion!” said Creative Producer Christine Rea. For more information visit www.HitHerWithTheSkates.com.
The venue, a small, historic building with a small seating capacity well under the 250 number mentioned by IL Governor J. B. Pritzker, will currently stay open.
“We know that our patrons are concerned about what the Skokie Theatre is going to be doing relative to the corona virus. It is our plan to remain open for all performances and events until our patrons no longer wish to attend. We are a small venue of only 140 seats and to date, only much larger venues have been cancelling programming,” read a statement from MadKap Production company.
The statement continues with: “We have significantly increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting in all public and backstage areas beyond the standard daily schedule, and we have plenty of soap and paper towels, in addition to disinfectant wipes available for your use. We encourage patrons to make use of soap, paper towels, and tissues available in the restrooms. We are cleaning all chair backs and arms rests with disinfectant wipes. We will continue the same precautionary diligence in our bathrooms.”
The venue will accommodate patrons who prefer an even smaller number by exchanging tickets to less attended performances.
Lights are dimming from the south side’s Court Theatre to the north side’s Raven Theatre, and even to the west suburban Aurora’s Paramount. Due to concerns about COVID-19, the closing announcements came after IL Governor J.B. Pritzker’s edict against gatherings of 1,000 and more people and urging stoppage of smaller gatherings of even 250 people or more.
The Court Theatre canceled the production of “The Lady from the Sea” and postponed performances of “An Iliad.”
“As leadership at the University of Chicago continues to monitor the evolving status of COVID-19 in Chicagoland and across the globe, we at Court Theatre are at a critical moment in our six-decade history,” said a joint statement from Artistic Director Charles Newell and Executvie director Angel Ysaguirre.
The statement continued to say, “Theatre can’t just be seen; it must be felt. It can’t just be watched; it must be experienced. At a time of division, bifurcated attention, and growing anxiety, theatre’s power to create community out of both artists and strangers has a powerful role to play. And yet, that same communal power represents a double-edged sword for any organization striving to prioritize the health, security, and safety of all those who touch its work.”
In addition, Newell and Ysaguirre explained why they made the difficult decision to cancel current shows and postpone decisions about “The Gospel at Colonus” slated for May.
.“According to the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control, many of our patrons and long-term supporters are most at risk of developing serious complications from contracting this virus, a fact we take quite seriously.”
Even though “Lady From the Sea” is cancelled, Court will pay the artists so are asking patrons with those tickets to consider them a donation or credit to a future show. Because “Iliad” is merely postponed, those tickets holders can see it another time. For more information call (773) 753-4472.
Raven Theatre at 6157 N. Clark St.is suspending all shows on its stages including Griffin Theatre Company’s Midwest premiere of Lynn Nottage’s “Mima’s Tale.
“We are, of course, saddened that we are unable to complete the run of Mlima’s Tale, but the health and safety of our artists and patrons are more important during this challenging time. It’s going to be tough few months for Chicago theatre, but we will all get through this together,” said Griffin Artist dDrector Bill Massolia. For Griffin refunds, credits or deductible donation information call (773) 338-2177. Griffin has also cancelled its touring youth production of The Stinky Cheese Man.
Raven’s performances of “A Doll’s House and the children’s production of “Aesop’s Amazing Adventures in the Land of Fables,” have also been suspended.
Raven’s staff explained the actions in the following statement: “The health and safety of our artists and community members is our highest priority. Based on recommendations from Governor J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot, we have made the difficult decision to suspend performances of all productions currently running at Raven Theatre.
“As a small, non-profit arts organization, this hurts. It hurts our hearts to not be able to share our art with you. It also hurts us financially. This is why we are asking you to consider converting the value of your ticket purchases to a tax-deductible donation to our company. Your patience and generosity today will allow us to come back with the artistic vigor you have come to expect from Raven when we are able to return to the stage.”
As with other theatres, Raven has the following options: “If the option to donate is available to you, please contact our box office so we can issue you an acknowledgment letter. Otherwise, you may move your tickets to our upcoming production of Eden Prairie, 1971 (playing May 7 – June 21, 2020), request a refund, call (773) 338-2177 to discuss the options.
Paramount Theatre has canceled the remaining “The Secret of My Success” performances as mandated by Governor J. B. Pritzker, and has postponed but is working on rescheduling “Killer Queen,” “Stomp,” “Straight No” and other of the venue’s shows, according to Paramount President and CEO Tim Rater.
In his statement Rater said the move was “a cautionary measure to help combat the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).” The statement said that ticket holders to “Success” would receive an account credit to use toward future performances at Paramount Theatre or RiverEdge Park. Ticket holders to postponed shows will be contacted with new dates. In addition, Classic Movie Monday screenings also will not be presented in March or April. For more information call (630) 896-6666.
Lights are out not just on New York’s famed Broadway. Because the Coronavirus is so contagious, most of the stages in Chicago, considered the most prolific theater production community in the U.S, have also temporarily dimmed their lights, according to League of Chicago Theatres Executive Director Deb Clapp. (And yes, some spell theater as theatre).
The decision was made shortly after Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged that public gatherings of more than 250 people be suspended until possibly May 1. The mandated temporary suspension was for gatherings of more than 1,000 people.
“The safety and health of our audiences, artists and theatre staff remains our highest priority,” said Clapp. “As the situation around COVID-19 evolves, we will continue to share with our member organizations precautions they can take as outlined by federal health authorities and state and local officials to ensure that theatres are ready to welcome patrons back after this temporary shut-down.”
Capp noted that the League is working to support members with venues fewer than 250 as they decide the best course of action for their individual venues. She also suggested that theater patrons who already have tickets should contact those theaters for more information.
In a separate statement, Goodman Theatre announced its suspension of performances beginning March 13. The action affects the Chicago premiere of Jocelyn Bioh’s “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play” directed by Lili-Anne Brown that was slated to open March 16.
The opening of Brian Friel’s “Molly Sweeney” directed by Robert Falls, has been postponed to April 20.
“Goodman Theatre prioritizes the health and safety of our audiences, artists and staff,” said a joint statement released by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer.
The statement went on to say, “We hope this action will help the nationwide endeavor to contain this devastating virus. We will continue to monitor this situation as it unfolds and communicate plans for the future. We are grateful for all that our artists and staff have invested in this production, and appreciate our audience and patrons’ understanding and support during these unprecedented times.”
Goodman options for ticket holders included a credit towards a future Goodman production or a tax deduction for the total value. Goodman Patron Services will be in touch to make arrangements, or patrons can email BoxOffice@GoodmanTheatre.org or call 312.443.3800. Tickets to future productions continue to be available. Visit GoodmanTheatre.org for the latest updates.
Well, people will still be wearing something green on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, but they won’t find the Chicago River turning green on March 14 or the annual parade going north on Columbus Drive that day. The parade and river dyeing have been canceled.
If you have ever debated or thought about the question of what is art you will find some interesting answers in a new exhibit at the Museum of contemporary Art. Titled “Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago” it is not a photography exhibit of city places.
Organized for the MCA by Naomi Beckwith, Manilow Senior Curator, with Curatorial Assistant Jack Schneider, the exhibit is curated by Nigerian-born British designer known for his women’s fashions. The exhibit presents Olowu’s ideas of how art, the world around artists, museums and the people who attend exhibits interact with each other.
It could be called “Second Look” which happens to be the title of one of the show’s explanation boards. Olowu wants visitors to remember a show, “not necessarily for names of particular artists.” Instead, he hopes guests will consider the broader concept of what” art and museums mean.”
Using objects primarily from the MCA, and from other Chicago’s public and private art collections, he groups the works to make statements of patterns and ideas.
One room, called “Look at Me” consists of portraits in paintings and other art forms. Olowu notes that the room is filled with different faces, body types, races and genders of what he calls “real life.” And that once a visitor steps into the room that person becomes part of the crowd.
Part of how he hopes visitors will understand is that portraiture varies over time according to different ideals of beauty, shape and pattern.
To put all that into perspective, the last room has mannequins dressed in Olowu designs looking at art.
On a more personal level, I was glad to find two of my favorite artists (and yes I do look at the artist’s name) included: Kerry James Marshall, represented in Portrait of a Curator (In memory of Beryl Wright) 2009, and Roger Brown, represented by “Autobiography in the shape of Alabama (Mammy’s Door) 1974.
But I’m also glad Olowu included folk art such as H. C. Westermann’s 1958 “Memorial to the idea of man if he was an idea” made of pine, bottle caps, cast tin toys, glass, metal, brass, ebony and enamel.
DETAILS: “Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago” is at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave Chicago, through May 10, 2020. For ticket, hours and other information call (312) 280-2660 or visit MCA Chicago/Home.
To hear Duro Olowu talk about the why behind the exhibit go to the video
On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, claim a little Irish blood. Wear something green. Say Sláinte for cheers and toast Éire go Brách! (Ireland forever). But you don’t have to wait until March 17, the commemorative date of St. Patrick’s death to celebrate his feast day.
Chicago celebrates this patron saint of Ireland with parades, multiple pub toasts, Irish dancing, music, special boat cruises and of course, the famed turning of the Chicago River green several days before the official date.
The festival, concert and river scene
Siamsa Na Ngael celebration at Symphony Center, 220 S.. Michigan Ave. brings Celtic music, dance and stories to the Chicago symphony’s home, March 11.
House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, features the famed Gaelic Storm on March 13-14.
March 13-15 Cruises take off from Navy Pier and Michigan Avenue docks to the sounds of Irish music and tour the Chicago River or watch it turn green. For March 14’s river dyeing event check with Wendella for a 21 and older cruise and a kids cruise. Or visit Shoreline Sightseeing’s Architecture River Cruises that celebrate Saint Paddy’s weekend by also learning about Chicago’s buildings. Other cruise choices are to see what the Spirit of Chicago Lunch Cruise has on the menu for March 14 or consider the inaugural St. Patrick’s Day Clover Cruise to watch the river change color, March 14.
Irish American Heritage Festival is the annual popular place to head for food, drinks, good Irish dancers and good bands when the City of Chicago parade is over on Saturday. The Heritage Center is at 4626 N Knox Ave. Tickets are needed for the festival which goes from 1 to 11:59 p.m.
Shamrock on the Block is another popular post Saturday parade spot for food, drinks and entertainment. It’s like a large block party outside Old St. Pats Church at 700 W. Adams St.
River Dyeing happens at 9 a.m. March 14 along Wacker Drive between Columbus Drive and State Street. To watch from the Michigan Avenue Bridge or the walkways, get there early because the event normally attracts crowds.
City of Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade is considered the largest of its kind in the U.S. Beginning at noon, politicians, floats, bagpipers, dancers and bands take three hours to go north on Columbus Drive from Balbo to Monroe Drives.
Southside Irish Parade on March 15 is a neighborhood, family-friendly parade that draws from other areas. Once canceled because of drinking there is a strictly enforced no drinking policy in the neighborhood and along the parade route which goes along Western Avenue from 103 rd St. to 115th.St. The parade steps off at noon.
Northwest Side Irish Parade starts at noon at the William J. Onahan School then goes south on Neola Avenue to Northwest Highway then north to Harlem Avenue. Parade watchers often go to a post parade party at St. Thecla Falcon Hall, 6725 W. Devon Ave,. for food, drinks and entertainment from 1 to 5 p.m.