The pandemic has added a major boost to the art essay mill: For three consecutive Septembers in the Tribune’s fall arts guide, we’ve kicked off the new season in mostly melancholic mode, with metaphor-laden conversations about painful absence, systemic disruption, and a slower process. Our valuable cultural institutions are expected to recover. While the reasons are debatable, anyone paying attention knows that our city’s arts institutions still face challenges, to say the least.
But it’s all smallpox. Dear reader, look through these pages and see what Chicago has done for you!
Enough thought and analysis. Enough of the comparisons to that meaningless term “normal”.
This year, we are handing over this area to artists and their exhibitions.
You’ll see some of them explored in more detail in our fall critics’ picks section. We mention some of them here only for what we hope will be a great explosion of artistic possibility.
Ready? Here we go.
A. Pearl Cleage Festival At the Goodman Theater from September 14 to October 15 (and welcome back). A celebration for the late choreographer, led by the Joffrey Ballet Gerald Arpino Heavenly 100th birthday at the Auditorium Theatre. Chicago premiere of Noah Haidle’s deeply moving film “birthday candles” at the Northlight Theatre. “Hamilton.” Again they all fall long. “The Lehman Trilogy” Masterful exploration of American business for the first time in Chicago. “A Wonderful World” The first of a great pre-Broadway page. musical essays They all fired up again in the town and set off one by one.
Wizard Dennis Watkins The basement of Petterino’s restaurant, where Mel Brooks once danced on the tables with Anne Bancroft, is poised to catch fire again. A. “Camille Claudel” It is exhibited at the Art Institute. “Picasso: Drawing from Life” more. Michael Tilson ThomasHe eventually returned to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in better health. Choreographer Akram Khan reimagines Rudyard Kipling’s complex “The Jungle Book” at the Harris Theatre. jazz celebrations Englewood And Hyde Park. Joseph Jefferson Awards For the local theater on October 2nd. Destinations From September 28 to November 12. Printers Row Illuminated Festival this weekend. Cleveland graphic designer Dan Friedman at the Art Institute (“Stay radical”). This weekend taste of chicago. faith face gold At the Contemporary Art Museum. Art in March, During the month of December. “Bop!” (see: boop-oop-a-doop).
the coming of the new artistic director Edward Hall -most Chicago Shakespeare Theater. New artistic director’s first full seasons susan booth -most Goodman Theater and new art director braden ibrahim -most Writers Theater in Glencoe. 25th anniversary of its founding Congo Square Theater Company. Chicago Architecture Biennale. Ongoing reemergence Studebaker Theater As a valuable arts venue in an area of the Loop in need of foot traffic and energy (thanks to the Robert Berger family, “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me”). rehabilitation Bean. a new Stage etc. Revue at Second City. “The Flying Dutchman” at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The continuing boom in stand-up artists Theatre It’s in Wicker Park, a venue where comics of all stripes love to play.
A lot of laughter comes from elsewhere too: Eddie Izzardsatirist, actor and politician at the Chicago Theatre, where you’ll also find British comedians Jimmy Carrlong time late night host Trevor Noah And Chelsea Handler. Indestructible jay leno Hard Rock Casino is in Northern Indiana. Dave Chappelle He will undoubtedly make news at the United Center. Keegan-Michael Key and Elle Key He will attend the Chicago Humanities Festival in October. So is it Rachel Maddow And Maria Bamford. And it’s all new 312 Comedy FestivalFollowing in the footsteps of recent times, there are plenty of comics at the lamented Just for Laughs festival. There is the Court Theater “The Lion in Winter” always a great work. Steppenwolf Theater “Shelter City” It’s a play that has a lot to say about other aspects of the Chicago fall. Chicago Shakespeare Theater “Twelfth Night,” Just like the nights are getting shorter and we’re moving inside.
Let’s be willing.
Re-open the historic Victory Gardens Biography Theater in Lincoln Park!
Bring back full houses!
Bring back Chicago artists interested in Chicago audiences and Chicago audiences interested in Chicago artists!
New works, classics, epics, works, farces, symphonies, premieres, concertos, operas, monologues, two-handed, three-handed, solo shows, stand-ups, tragedies, operas, exhibitions, batons, re-evaluations, deconstructions, celebrations , nostalgia, melodies, misfits, entertainments, communities, collectives, entrepreneurs, capitalists, anti-capitalists, challengers, radicals, freethinkers, conservatives, aesthetes, dissidents, agnostics, and perhaps most of all, true believers.
Bring them all to our beloved city this fall arts season so they can pull us away from our debilitating little screens and teach us a little more about ourselves.
Chris Jones is a Tribune critic.