The Chicago Auto Show, North America’s largest and longest running auto show, begun in 1901, returns to McCormick Place this summer as a Special Edition, July 15-19, 2021.
Announced earlier today by Governor JB Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and other officials, the auto show’s announcement comes on the heels of Navy Pier’s recent re-opening the end of April and Ravinia Festival’s announcement that concerts return in early July.
Show goers can expect to see production vehicles such as the Alfa Romeo 4 C, concept vehicles such as Toyota’s GR Hyperspeed Edition and debut vehicles such as the 2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera.
However, as a special edition that is observing COVID protocols, don’t look for them in the usual places. The show will be held in Mccormick Place’s West Building and it’s outdoor surroundings.
The move not only takes in pandemic concerns but also allows for outdoor test drives and more test tracks and technology demonstrations.
“With strong public health protocols in place, the Chicago Auto Show will be the first large convention to take place in Illinois since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, setting the stage for the safe return of big events in the months to come,” said Gov. Pritzker.
After reminding everyone that the venue was an alternate care facility for COVID-19 cases about this time last year, Mayor Lightfoot said that the change in the pandemic numbers in Illinois made the auto show announcement even “more special.”
She added, “In the same spirit of collaboration between government, healthcare, community, and corporate partners, we are now able to bring conventions back to our beloved convention center in a way that is safe and reflective of our progress in slowing and stopping the spread of this virus. I look forward to seeing the McCormick Place reopen its doors for the Chicago Auto Show this July and further enhance our city’s ongoing Open Chicago initiative.”
The Auto Show website details the following mitigation and safety measures:
a move to Hall F in West Building with 470,000 sq ft of indoor space and 100,000 sq ft of outdoor space;
• timed entrance windows and staggered entry to prevent congestion on the show floor and at arrival;
requirement to wear face masks at all times sanitization stations throughout the event;
contactless delivery for tickets;
temperatures will be scanned,
a medical questionnaire must be filled out before entry is allowed into the event.
The Chicago Auto Show general information line is (630) 495-2282. More show information visit Chicago Auto Show. exposition on the continent. This year marks the 113th edition of the Chicago Auto Show.
If you go
Date and hours: July 15-18, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. and July 19, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Location: McCormick Place, West Building, 2301 S. King Drive, Chicago.
Mother’s Day isn’t until May 9 in 2021 but reservations fill fast, so figure out something special, now. The ideas listed here: Stay, Play, Eat, Treat, Spa and Ooh La La are merely a guide.
Book a package deal at the 5 star Peninsula Chicago, among the city’s top luxury hotel. It has an exceptional spa, large lap pool with great views and a great roof-top lounge.
Or get a room with a view at Sable, a new Hilton hotel. You will be staying on Navy Pier, Chicago’s No. 1 attraction that re-opens April 30, 2021. Plus the hotel has Offshore, the world’s largest roof-top bar.
Stroll Lincoln Park with stops at the Zoo to talk to the animals and the Conservatory for its Spring Garden show, opening May 9. Reservations are needed because of COCID protocols.
Or snag tickets for an architectural tour on the Chicago River. Two popular tours are the Wendella and the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s River Cruise’s First Lady.
Do brunch at longtime favorite, the Signature Room at the 95th. The restaurant is atop of what was formerly called the John Hancock Center, a skyscraper now known as 875 N. Michigan Ave.
Or reserve a table (may be on a heated patio) at Shaw’s Crab House in Chicago or Schaumburg.
Or look one North Shore suburb north for Gerhard’s, a European style bakery in Lake Forest.
Get Mom a gift certificate for a spa experience. There is likely a spa in her neighborhood but if going downtown Chicago and the oriental-flavored Peninsula is booked consider the spa at the Langham an upscale Chicago hotel with a British accent.
Ooh la la
Flowers and candy have traditionally said “We love you.” The Chicago area has several good florists. Check out Blossoms or AshlandAddison, two popular and highly rated choices.
For candy, a top stop is Windy City Sweets in the Lakeview neighborhood. The only problem is that everything looks so good you’ll end up with stuff to also take home.
Or go to Long Grove Confectionary in suburban Long Grove. A longtime destination, the store also has factory outlets in Buffalo Grove, Wauconda and Chicago. Go back for a factory tour, good sale items and for holiday goodies.
A half century ago, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson pushed for a national day that would jump start legislation and events stopping industrial pollution and remind earth’s residents of the importance of their planet’s health.
First held and celebrated in the United States with marches and programs in April 1970, Earth Day was then established as April 22 by an executive order given in July that year.
It was followed by the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency to regulate and enforce national pollution legislation and led to the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act.
Earth Day is now celebrated by towns and institutions around the world. Here are some ways to celebrate and/or participate.
Check your community for cleanup and other activities.
Join the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff League of Women Voters and Lake Forest Open Lands Association to clean up the lakefront April 17 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.. Capacity if 50 people. For tickets needed to meet state protocols and more information visit Earth Day Beach Clean-up. Face mask required. Parking is at lower south beach near boat launch.
The Andersonville neighborhood invites everyone to visit the shops for special promotions during Andersonville in Bloom, April 22-25.
The EarthDay Organization
Earthday.org has three days of activities beginning April 20 and culminating in workshops and speakers on April 22. Among the topics covered are emerging green technologies, climate restoration technologies and reforestation efforts.
Art Institute of Chicago
Celebrate Earth Day with the museum’s virtual programs, live performances, conversations and art activities. Registration is needed for conversations beginning April 21, art activities beginning April 23, and performances beginning April 30. For registration and more information visit AICEarthDay Highlights.
Chicago Botanic Garden
See Earth Day/Chicago botanic Garden for loads of ideas from “Be a citizen scientist” and “Eco-friendly gardening” to “Understanding bio-diversity” and “Conservation and restoration.”
Watching Porchlight Theatre’s “Chicago Sings Rock and Roll Broadway” on Youtube last night, made me realize how much I missed going to Chicago area venues for good musicals and plays.
Well-staged with superb instrumental back-up, the cast takes on the mammoth task of covering musicals through the decades from “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Hair” in the 1960s and “The Wiz” and “Promises Promises” in the 1970s to more recent shows such as “Kinky Boots,” “Waitress,” “Beautiful” and “Head over Heels.”
Past benefit concerts were, among others, covers from Disney, Stephen Sondheim, The Beatles and Motown.
Choosing a song or a couple of stanzas from each show, their theme this year is Rock and Roll but not all music chosen fall in that genre. So, if deciding to tune in to support local artists, Porchlight and, just as important, the theatre’s education arm to area youth, don’t worry if your ear prefers other musical genres.
The benefit is fun to watch and hear because the music ranges from standards to lesser- known songs. You are bound to find a favorite performance. Among mine was Sawyer Smith’s magnificent take on “Wig in a Box” from “Hedwig & the Angry Inch, (1998).
A virtual event that can be viewed through April 18, 2021, Chicago Sings is a fundraiser similar to the broadcasts that have aired since COVID shuttered arts and entertainment venues a year ago, except this event brings the cast and musicians together.
It also includes the presentation of the 2021 Guy Adkins award for “excellence in the advancement of music theatre” to Felicia P. Fields and greetings from several Broadway stars including E. Faye Butler and Sean Allan Krill.
Porchlight Theatre’s “Chicago Sings Rock and Roll Broadway is on YouTube through April 18, 2021. Tickets are $25. Running time is about 90 minutes. For tickets see Porchlight and for information visit Porchlight Music Theatre.
Ravinia, the country’s oldest outdoor music festival, announced today it will be back operating a summer season outside beginning sometime in July.
First opened in 1904, Ravinia Festival had to close its gates last year to protect guests, staff and musicians from the COVID virus. But with the lowering of cases and easing of restrictions it will be doing what it does best, presenting a wide range of good music.in its 36-acre park in Highland Park, IL. Just expect to follow recommended protocols that will be announced along with ticket and program information.
“All of our performances will take place outside in our open air Pavilion with reserved-in-advance, distanced seating offered in the Pavilion, on the Lawn, and al fresco at our dining spaces,” said a Ravinia statement released March 16, 2021.
“We are delighted that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will return in July to its summer home here at Ravinia for its annual six-week summer residency. Our anticipation is doubled with Marin Alsop set to lead seven concerts with the orchestra in her first season as our Chief conductor and curator,” the statement said.
Ravinia’s lineup will b e announced in late April.
Arts and entertainment aficionados who check choreographer, teacher, dancer Terence Marling’s COMMONconservatory site on Instagram will see what is happening now in his unique program and classes.
But if they check back closer to June they will find a date and link for COMMON ‘s production featuring the dancers and choreographers in the full conservatory program. Marling created the conservatory when he returned from a stint in Germany to find that A&E dance jobs disappeared, their venues closed and their funding tumbled.
“Dancers have to do barre or muscles go away. When I came back from Germany I realized everything had shut down but dancers need to do ballet every day. The dancers in the COMMONcoservatory program are close to professional,” said Marling. “They are putting in time in the studio but do not touch one another which in ballet is hard,” he said.
Marling whose own professional dance and choreography career extends back to the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater in the 1990s, had moved on to Germany’s National Theater Mannheim. There he added dance instruction. Then he went to Hubbard Street Dance Chicago as a dancer, choreographer and teacher before becoming rehearsal director. In 2013, he took on directorship of Hubbard Street 2 and toured the company internationally with new works he created and commissioned.
The road to COMMONconservatory started in 2017 with freelance choreography, teaching and staging productions for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Visceral Dance Chicago, A&A Ballet and the Chicago High School for the arts.
Just as important was his choreographing solos in the past few years to be used in auditions and competitions because what COMMONconservatory does is get good dancers prepared for their next career move.
However, Marling also offers daily ballet classes that includes what he calls the Flying Biscuit Show, a live broadcast of the barre portion that viewers could also try.
If going to Classes/COMMON the note about limited space is not a come-on. Dancers or, as Marling likes to say, “artists,” a term he prefers to students because of their high skill level, who want to be in the full conservatory program, have to audition. It was limited to 10 artists this year and may go to 15 next year.
Some of the conservatory program dancers commute from family homes while others moved here from Brazil, Russia, both US coasts and North Carolina.
They are dancers such as Lauryn Masciana who worked with Marling three years ago at Hubbard Street Summer Intensives.
“I enjoy his teaching style and then I had been taking barre classes in his Biscuit program. The classes meant I could keep up dancing and ballet work during the pandemic. It really helped me through the pandemic.
Masciana, a former Fordham University student, had moved back to her parents’ home in New Jersey during the pandemic. She moved to Chicago for the conservatory program.
“His program really helps me toward the next step professionally which hopefully is in Chicago. I really like the contemporary dance that is here. The program is excellent training and also provides networking,” she said.
Her goal? “Step into my professional dance career.”
Dancer Anna Isaacs, a commuter from Elburn, IL where she lives with her family, heard about COMMONconservatory through social media. (Check facebook).
“I was undoubtedly captivated by the program as well as the principles Terry created and believes in,” Isaacs said.
“At the time, I had already enrolled with my former dance studio for the year and didn’t think it was a possibility to audition for COMMON.,” she said.
“I met with Terry later on. He was truly unfeigned and welcoming. He introduced me to the space and offered that I take class with the conservatory for a day. I knew this program was the right fit for me and an entity for furtherance. I joined the COMMON family in January 2020.”
Isaacs is not bothered by her weekly five-day commute. “It is tolerable and it is worth every minute for the exceptional training and guidance I receive. Movement to me is indispensable. I would be adrift in the absence of it. Training with COMMON Conservatory this year has been out of this world.”
She added, “COMMON is unique. Working with many knowledgeable choreographers has sparked an unused artistic creativity and an unrecognized internal curiosity. I have obtained a finer comprehension for why I love this art every day. I am forever thankful to Terry for creating an environment for growth, community, and possibility.”
The program’s itle, COMMONconservatory is more than unique. It’s key to understanding Marling’s philosophy and goals.
“I enjoy juxtaposition as an artist. I really like how differing things shed light on each other. A conservatory brings to mind both serious study of a discipline and also is a rather snobby word, to put it bluntly. COMMON is the opposite of a snobby word and is entirely inclusive,” he said.
“I’m a “new school” teacher. I don’t teach dance with the body shaming, negativity, and verbal abuse that went with dance training in the past. I believe that dance is for everybody, no matter the shape, size or inherent ability. It is something to be shared as a community with joy and curiosity. We all have in common at least some inkling of a compulsion to move our bodies.”
His philosophy is shared by the programs’ choreographers who are also teachers such as Alysia “Allie” Johnson, a full-time member of the Hubbard Street Chicago Dance company who met Marling when he was her teacher. After “testing the waters” elsewhere she returned to Chicago to work for Hubbard. “But now we have a peer relationship,” she said.
As to her choreography style Johnson said, “I rely heavily on rhythms and musicality. Groove is my style.”
Characterizing the group as a wonderful “gumbo” she said “They are all at a high skill level but have different backgrounds, different flavors of experience. ”
She worked with COMMONconservatory in December for about two weeks and will be back in April to refresh the choreography for the June program. Now, Johnson is preparing for a Hubbard Street Chicago program that will stream live March 2, 2021.
“I like performing but also like choreography. I love teaching. I love dancing. No priorities.”
Talking about the dancers she has been working with, Johnson said, “I want to challenge them and they also challenge me. It’s about challenge and comfort. I want them to be able to walk into a room with the confidence that they will be comfortable with the choreography being done.”
For now, Marling is concentrating and pulling all the choreography together so it flows in the June showcase. And while still viewing the dance world clouded by the pandemic he is considering expanding conservatory enrollment to 15 next season.
But his goal? I would like to form my own dance company,” said Marling.
If you watched the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice award ceremonies you likely have an idea of who and what will be on the 93rd Oscars® list of nominees.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ nominees were announced early this morning by actor/producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas and singer/songwriter/actor Nick who streamed live from London. For a repeat go to shows/Oscars.
The list has 23 categories ranging from actors and actresses (yes, the Academy still calls female actors, actresses) in leading and supporting roles to the best feature and short documentaries.
Here are just a few of the nominees.
Performance by an actor in a leading role has Riz Ahmed in “Sound of Metal,” Chadwick Boseman in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Anthony Hopkins in “The Father,” Gary Oldman in “Mank” and Steven Yeun in “Minari”
Supporting role actors nominated are Sacha Baron Cohen in “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Daniel Kaluuya in “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Leslie Odom, Jr. in “One Night in Miami.,” Paul Raci in “Sound of Metal” and Lakeith Stanfield in “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
Leading ladies nominated are Viola Davis for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Andra Day for “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” Vanessa Kirby for “Pieces of a Woman,” Frances McDormand for “Nomadland” and Carey Mulligan for “Promising Young Woman.”
“Actresses” in a supporting role nominees are Maria Bakalova in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” Glenn Close in “Hillbilly Elegy,” Olivia Colman in “The Father,” Amanda Seyfried in “Mank” and Yuh-Jung Youn in “Minari.”
Some of these places, such as the Chicago Botanic Gardens and Morton Arboretum didn’t really close because they are outside but they want to remind visitors to come back and that their hours may have expanded. Others, such as Brookfield Zoo are re-opening and the Cook County Forest Preserve has March events.
Visitors will find some new residents at Brookfield Zoo which re-opened March 1, 2021.
Hope, a 5-year-old female polar bear arrived the end of January, 2021 in time for Chicago’s icy weather. Look for Hope in the zoo’s outdoor habitat in the Great Bear Wilderness.
Also look for Sibi and her nearly 2-year-old daughter, Lorena, in the Regenstein Wolf Woods habitat. The two female Mexican wolves recently arrived from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in Socorro, New Mexico..
While at the zoo, go over to the Dinos Everywhere exhibition that is up March 1 through Sept. 6, 2021. Find the three-story-high Argentinosaurus on the zoo’s West Mall.
But don’t forget to see the grey seals, snow leopards and bald eagles that also can go into their outdoor habitats.
Brookfield Zoo is a Chicago Zoological property at 8400 31st St., Brookfield, IL. For hours, timed-ticket entry and other information go to Plan your visit Brookfield Zoo.
As with the Brookfield Zoo and the Chicago Botanic Garden visitors Morton Arboretum visitors need timed tickets. See Plan Your Visit for tickets and other information. Wednesday is discount day.
Located 4100 Il Hwy 53 in Lisle, there are plenty of trails and paths for biking and hiking from 7 a.m. to sunset. In addition, the Visitor Center is open with restrooms from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Children’s Garden and Maze Garden are open. The Ginko Restaurant will re-open March 12, 2021.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The Garden View Café is open for Grab and Go and the Garden Shop open with a limited number of visitors at one time. The paths are open and busy now that the weather is more spring-like so wear the mask.
The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe just east of Edens Expressway.
In the Chicago area, it’s time to tap into the sap that is moving in maple trees.
The Lake County Forest Preserves usually takes folks on guided maple syrup walks, talks and tasting trips. But with the pandemic changing 2020-21 in-person trips, the forest preserves’ staff has come up with a virtual and a self-guided program. They are free but require registration.
” Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s programming will be different. “COVID-19 has made us rethink how we can safely offer our maple syrup programs,” said Director of Education Nan Buckardt.
“Though there will be no in-person programming this spring, people will be able to go on self-guided Maple Syrup Hikes through Ryerson, as well as take part in a variety of related virtual programs,” said Buckardt.
Environmental Educator Jen Berlinghof noted, “There are plenty of opportunities to learn about the sweet science of tree physiology and maple sugaring through virtual experiences.”
Berlinghof suggested checking the free monthly “Virtual Nature Club” for the 3:30 p. m. March 3, program that offers first through fourth graders a chance to learn about trees and how the sap collected is used to make sweet syrup.
“Ask an Educator Live” will be on Zoom and Facebook March 10 at 7 p.m. where people can bring questions about backyard syruping.
“This should be a popular program. We’ll be showing participants how they can do this historic tradition themselves,” said Berlinghof, who has been running the maple syrup programming for 17 years.
“If your family is ready to hit the trails, we are providing self-guided Maple Syrup Hikes for the entire month of March. Through informational signs, you’ll learn the science behind how trees make sap and how we turn that sap into real maple syrup as you walk along the designated trail at your own pace,” Berlinghof said.
“The temperature dictates what you will see along the trail. The timing for tapping maple trees comes down to temperature–above freezing during the day but still below freezing at night–plus precipitation and the hours of sunlight in a day,” Berlinghof said.
“Changing temperature is what causes the sap to surge upward from the roots toward the branches, where it helps the leaves grow and the buds bloom. Then in the summer, the leaves will produce more sap, which will settle back down in the roots come winter.”
Instead of trying to snag tickets to hot shows at bargain prices during Chicago Theatre Week, the annual event happens online in 2021 from Feb. 25 to March 7.
Coordinated by the League of Chicago Theatres with Choose Chicago the event will switch to digital content and theatre support.
Along with enabling theater-lovers to see shows without changing out of sweats and pjs, it will be a good chance to discover different theatre companies and use money saved to keep Chicago’s vibrant theatre scene alive for another year.
“While nothing can truly replace in-person performances, theatres across Chicagoland have been finding new ways to produce their art,” said Deb Clapp, League of Chicago Theatres executive director.
He added, This year, we invite the community to engage with their favorite companies—or discover new ones—during Theatre Week. Until we can welcome audiences back into our theatres, we invite you to learn about, engage with, and support Chicago theatres during Chicago Theatre Week 2021.”