Not just flowers but the arts are also in full bloom in May. If you are scouting for something different to do this month besides the old stand-bys (movies, touring museums, or club-crawling), here are six dates sure to inject some added spark into your social calendar.
While Chicagoans flock every fall to the Chicago Humanities Festival, a lesser-known fact is that the festival has a sister version each spring. This year’s festival is titled, “Stages, Sights and Sounds” and features 40 performances by four theater companies from Scotland, Italy, Canada, and The Netherlands. The companies will perform at the Museum of Contemporary Art and on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus.
When art, like life, hands you a lemon, make lemonade. That’s precisely what Chicago Opera Theater general manager BrianDickie did when the previously announced production, Shostokovich’s opera,”Cheryomushki,” was put off to next season. Dickie then had an inspired notion: stage two song cycles about obsessive love and add visual special effects by the Chicago Symphony’s “Beyond the Score” team of Gerard McBurney and animator Hillary Leben. The dream images, Leben says, are “meant to lead the audience through the expressive emotional content of the songs. It’s a chance to experience them on a deeper level.” The Chicago Opera Theatre will present Robert Schumann’s, “A Woman’s Love and Life” and Leos Janacek’s “The Diary of One Who Disappeared.” But hurry. There are only two performances at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. Tickets range from $25-75 with half-price seats for students.
Are you new in town or simply want to know the story behind some of Chicago’s most famous structures? The Chicago Architecture Foundation will begin a series of 11 “After Five” walking tours in May through September 2011. Learn more about our city’s heralded architectural heritage after work and be home in time for dinner. Some offerings include “Downtown Deco,” “Modern Skyscrapers," and ”“Gold Coast: Astor Street." Tours are led by the foundation’s trained docents and cost $15.
At a time when blogging passes for reporting, and newspapers are in financial peril, relive what Chicago journalism was like in its 1920s heyday while laughing. “The Front Page,” by Chicago legends Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, draws on their exploits (more like shenanigans) at the City News Bureau in this landmark comedy that exposes the rampant corruption and hijinks synonomous with Windy City politics and journalism of that era. The crack TimeLine cast bring the madcap antics of star reporter Hildy Johnson Death Row inmate, Earl Williams, and the paper’s tyrannical managing editor, Walter Burns, to life.
Some people read The New York Times for its political coverage, others for its business news or op-ed pundits, but the city’s entire fashion and society world read it for Bill Cunningham’s weekly photo essays. However, everyone will find the documentary, Bill Cunningham New York, enchanting for its portrait of a delightful 82 year-old, humble gentleman who gets around New York by bike and whose singular passion is capturing Manhattan’s street and night life on film. Make this movie a top priority. You will exit the Music Box on a high note.