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Opening a restaurant during a pandemic is very risky, but BarDavid on the ground floor of the David Rubenstein Forum benefits from an appealing concept and the University of Chicago's resources.

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When the coronavirus pandemic caused concert halls to go black, music organizations scrambled to keep musicians working and music flowing by creating video concerts accessible via the Internet. What began as a kind of experiment developed, in many cases, into a genuinely new way to present c…

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As summer melts away and autumn looms on the horizon, music lovers know that a new season of performances is not far away. One marker of this is Lyric Opera of Chicago’s annual concert at Millennium Park. For years this has been one of the major events of the waning summer as well as an anno…

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I hadn't seen Blue Man Group in years — decades, actually — so an invitation to the post-lockdown reopening of the iconic show that made its Chicago debut in 1997 was irresistible.

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Sometimes a perfectly ordinary event becomes extraordinary. Stravinsky premieres a ballet and writers report a riot. A concert of music by Sibelius inspires many Finns to seek independence. Beethoven provides part of the soundtrack to reunification of Germany in the 20th century.

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There’s nothing like a lazy evening in a local park surrounded by music. Thanks to the “Night Out in the Parks” program of the Grant Park Music Festival, that’s just what we had in Hyde Park last Thursday when the Project Inclusion String Quartet performed in Nichols Park.

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This past Saturday, Hyde Park Records was the site of a pop-up shop hosted by El Da Sensei, half of the New Jersey–based underground hip-hop duo the Artifacts. The sun was blazing and the temperature was perfect for a temporary store set up for passers-by. 

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If music is a large contributor to your enjoyment, then no matter what kind of music rests most pleasantly on your ears you know that a live performance has a special kind of power. To be there as the music unfolds has a unique attraction and appeal. Throughout the pandemic, as I listened to…

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Who is the meanest of them all? That's one of the questions that pervades our perceptions of Jocelyn Bioh's exuberant “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play,” which marks Goodman Theatre's return to live performances.

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Teatro ZinZanni is unlike any other entertainment around. One of the first shows to reopen in the Loop combines circus acts, dinner theater, comedy, cabaret and copious amounts of audience participation into an extravaganza more than worthy of a Las Vegas showroom.

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The Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is nothing new under the sun. That observation came to mind last week listening to the music of Heinrich Biber, where I thought that many of the musical gestures used by this Baroque composer to create little musical portraits of ani…

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Music organizations often plan events years in advance, booking guest conductors and soloists, as well as any necessary freelancers, and ensuring the availability of scores and other materials. The selection of works for an individual concert may be painstaking, and sometimes special rehears…

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A balmy (but not too buggy) summer evening was the perfect backdrop for my first in-person theater experience since March of 2020. It was the opening of Oak Park Festival Theatre's “The Tempest” outdoors in Austin Gardens, and just the act of being able to gather together to see a show made …

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In an opening reception befitting the name of the Smart Museum of Art’s new exhibition — “Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change, and the MacArthur Fellows Program at 40” — the Forward Momentum Youth Dance Ensemble and the Azania Youth Drummers performed in the museum’s courtyard July 17. L…

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The Grant Park Music Festival is back and this year they have captioned their event “The Season of Renewal.” Being back at the Pritzker Pavilion after last year’s silence did indeed feel like a homecoming. Last Saturday night, Millennium Park was full of happy folks meandering about, taking …

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When Porchlight Music Theatre moved its six-year-old “New Faces Sing Broadway” series online last winter because of COVID-19, I was delighted. Before that, the shows —inspired by eponymous New York musical revues produced from 1934 to 1968 and each devoted to a single year of Broadway openin…

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The virtual world premiere of Susan Chenet's “Dingleberries” is subtitled “a crappy comedy based on real events,” but the satirical one-act also could be called “the playwright's best revenge.”

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All over Chicago, as the pandemic eases, theaters are planning to welcome live audiences with everything from individual outdoor productions to entire indoor seasons. Besides Court Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company and a few others covered in a June 1 story, here are several late summer a…

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Reginald Edmund's “Ride Share” taps into the zeitgeist of our turbulent times. Based on the playwright's experiences as a rideshare driver, some of which he posted on Facebook, the 100-minute monologue takes us on a very bumpy ride through the mind of a man pushed to extremes — and played to…

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The Renaissance Society’s new show, "Heirloom," contains a set of eight paintings by Chicago artist Matthew Metzger. Four are black paintings that appear to be black sandpaper, all named “Gray”; two are paintings of the same mannequin, both of which appear to be photographs, one the negative…

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Samantha Turner is an artist who creates hand-painted works that pay homage to the city of Chicago under the handle S.Rose Chicago. Her works almost exclusively feature graphic caps that have sayings such as “Chicago Bae” or “Excuse the Chicago in Me” fashionably. Over the weekend S. Rose wa…

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Chicago’s International Music Foundation is best known as the umbrella group that presents the well-known and widely admired Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert series. Yet the IMF also supports many other music-making endeavors, including Make Music Chicago and the Rush Hour concert series.

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Faheem Majeed greets you at the door to his new exhibit, “Planting and Maintaining a Perennial Garden: Shrouds,” at the Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC). The exhibit is exposed to the street — HPAC’s garage doors are open wide to Cornell Avenue and deep purple walls make a public entrance intense…

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Juneteenth weekend saw many celebrations across Chicago, including the grand reopening of the DuSable Museum of African American History. The public reopening ceremony took place on the lawn in front of the museum’s main entrance, with guests such as Alder.  Jeanette Taylor (20th), Cook Coun…

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One of the inevitable developments of the coronavirus pandemic was the video performance. When audiences could no longer congregate in a single place to both view and hear an event, organizations quickly regrouped and looked to video delivered via the internet as a way to continue to produce…

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I had high expectations for Court Theatre's “Titanic (Scenes from the British Wreck Commissioner’s Inquiry, 1912)” after talking to director Vanessa Stalling for a Herald preview (see May 27 issue). Rather than staging Owen McCafferty's play based on verbatim transcripts from the British inv…

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Like other student art shows, the University of Chicago MFA exhibition "The Long Day" featured a number of artworks consisting of consumer goods stacked on top of each other so as to produce a scary effect.

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As Chicago emerges from pandemic restrictions, music fans of all stripes can begin to purchase tickets for live events they can attend in person. For classical music lovers, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the leaders, having already recommenced performances with live audiences last month.

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A Red Orchid Theatre bills “American Bottom” as an “experimental audiobook,” but that's neither entirely accurate nor adequate.

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Novelist Sandra Jackson-Opoku carried a stack of her books to the balcony outside her apartment, where we sat at a table facing Nichols Park. Describing herself, she said, “I’m a Chicago writer, born and raised, but I write about the world.”