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Because the Hyde Park Youth Symphony could not have a live spring concert as they would normally do, they decided to have an online one. On May 20, they unveiled a 20-minute video that featured both music and spoken word. Both of the leaders of the organization, Matthew Sheppard and Lindsay …

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University of Chicago Presents has been a local leader in offering Chicagoans alternative ways to experience classical music during the pandemic. Late last month they joined with the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, the Academy of Early Music (Ann Arbor), and WFMT to present a free livestre…

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The 57th Street Art Fair has gone virtual, after canceling its annual in-person show due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Hyde Parker August Tye is a ballet dancer, teacher, and choreographer. She is ballet mistress at Lyric Opera of Chicago and the founder of the Hyde Park School of Dance (originally, the Hyde Park School of Ballet, which expanded its offerings and necessitated a name change). She began winnin…

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The biggest April event for American musical theater lovers was “Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration” on April 27. Although belated (Stephen Sondheim's birthday was March 22) and plagued by a half-hour delay and technical difficulties at the start, the live stream on Y…

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Classical music fans received bad news only days ago when the Ravinia Festival announced on May 1 that it was cancelling its entire 2020 season. Ravinia is the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, so all those concerts will be lost along with the other concerts at the leafy, north …

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Luther Vandross soundtracking a Greater Grand Crossing block party. Kids rollerblading over Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” A young couple sitting and laughing with each other while Curtis Mayfield sings “I wanna go back, to the sweetness of time/I wanna go back, and reminisce what was mine.” 

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When the COVID-19 pandemic closed down Lookingglass Theatre Company's world premiere of J. Nicole Brooks' “Her Honor Jane Bryne” just a few days after it had opened, the theater also had to cancel everything it had scheduled around the production. This included a series of post-show panel di…

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Katherine Davis has been learning the piano at home the last month. In fact, she’s been learning the piano for years, despite the fact that, as a blueswoman, she’s tended to stay downstage with the audience during her performances. “I let the musicians play the music, and they let me sing an…

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When the coronavirus shut down Chicago theaters, Court Theatre canceled its production of Henrik Ibsen's “The Lady from the Sea,” which was supposed to begin previews on March 12.

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This week was the scheduled opening of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung,” the final opera in the Ring Cycle. But the three full Ring Cycles as well as two performances of “Götterdämmerung” were cancelled due to restrictions on large gatherings enacted by G…

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For over 60 years the Hyde Park Youth Symphony has served the South Side of Chicago by offering an orchestral experience for kids. Saturday afternoon at the Logan Center a good-sized audience was on hand for the HPYS’s spring concert that featured three different ensembles: the Preparatory S…

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“I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like” Jane Austen is said to have remarked as she started work on “Emma,” the last of her four novels to be published before her death in 1817. While English professor Stuart Sherman points out in his program essay for Chicago Sh…

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When asked in an interview how “Stick Fly” came about, playwright Lydia R. Diamond said she set out to write a “well-made play” that also was “fun.” She went on to explain that she wanted to explore fatherhood, interracial relationships, how we look at one another, and how we perceive that w…

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Lori Waxman was in the lobby of the Smart Museum, but she couldn’t talk about the painting right behind her, an 8-by-13-foot linen canvas painted with ash collected from temples in Shanghai. She couldn’t talk about the painting — “Seeds,” by the Chinese artist Zhang Huan — because she was pr…

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Conghao Tian stoops down and dips his calligraphy pen in the channel of water circumscribing the base of the dark grey vertical slab of metal standing in the Smart Museum gallery.

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“Bug” is very high on my list of plays that are likely to make your skin crawl and your brain buzz. Tracy Letts's blend of psychological thriller, science fiction, and love story is fraught with enough paranoia, conspiracy theories, and creepiness to give anyone nightmares. And even though i…

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A stream of perplexed and dismayed patrons filed out of the Lyric Opera House last Saturday, after Lyric unveiled a new-to-Chicago production of Tchaikovsky’s “Pikovaya dama” (“The Queen of Spades”). Pushkin’s short story, on which the opera is based, is about greed. The composer’s brother M…

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Anyone who saw “On Clover Road” at American Blues Theater last year knows the Steven Dietz can write a hair-raising thriller. The world premiere of his “How A Boy Falls” at Northlight Theatre isn't in that league, but the 75-minute play, which was commissioned by the theater and directed by …

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Toward the end of “Verböten” at The House Theatre of Chicago, when the members of the eponymous Evanston punk rock band finally put aside their arguments and angst to get up onstage at the Cubby Bear and play, what we see is a film clip of the actual band performing.

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“Folk music at the time was still kind of underground music,” said journalist, author and panelist Mark Guarino as he recounted the early history of the University of Chicago Folk Festival during a celebration of the Fest’s 60th year at the Hyde Park Historical Society, 5529 S. Lake Park Ave…

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It’s not just any living composer who can draw 350 people to a concert of a single modern string quartet. But that’s just what happened Friday night at the Logan Center, when University of Chicago Presents hosted the JACK Quartet playing the String Quartet No. 9 of Georg Friedrich Haas.

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Sunday afternoon was cold and icy in Hyde Park, and as I trudged through the neighborhood to International House, I wondered if it would affect the audience at that afternoon’s concert by the Chicago Ensemble. Indeed, the audience was much smaller than usual, but those present were treated t…

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“As a scholar of the Great Migration, I have spent most of my career trying to understand the multiple meanings of Black bodies in motion. If I’ve learned anything from my explorations, it is that a Black body in motion is never without consequence.”

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In a culturally rich city like ours, it is easy to find a wide range of solo piano concerts and recitals nearly every week of the year. Less common is the slightly old fashioned piano duo. Such duos may share a single piano (and a remarkable degree of physical proximity), or perform with two.

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Jasmin Taylor, a Hyde Park native, is one of 38 dancers and choreographers across the globe to be selected to study with world-renowned Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Israel in their Dance Journey Program for five months in 2020.

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A flyer inserted into the program for Writers Theatre's production of Eleanor Burgess' 2018 “The Niceties” advises viewers not to take sides in the debate between an esteemed, white, Baby Boomer college history professor and her black Millennial student, a political science major.