Edra Soto Solo At Cleve Carney Museum
The Cleve Carney Museum of Art presents the solo exhibition “The Myth of Closure | El Mito del Cierre,” opening Saturday, December 10, featuring work by artist, educator and curator Edra Soto, known predominantly for her large-scale public sculptures and installations. Soto honors the loss of what once was, while seeking a path of acceptance for the transition of her aging mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s. She channels her struggle to reconcile this new reality through deconstruction, collage, and familiar themes in her art practice. More here.
As Free Fares Are Considered In D.C., Who Will Ultimately Pay For Urban Transit?
Weighing the costs, Gabrielle Gurley writes at the American Prospect in an extensive resport that “Chicago’s eighteen-month K-9 team CTA contract costs nearly $31 million.” Washington, D. C.’s WMATA “paid $70 million for new fare gates, but the furor over fare evasion now has system officials mulling over whether to shop around again for fare gates that are more difficult to vault over or squeeze through. All of which raises the question of how long an agency is willing to underwrite additional enforcement and deterrence costs that could exceed the lost fare revenues… The District of Columbia City Council plans to vote on eliminating fares for all bus routes that originate within the city limits. If the proposal advances, Washington would be the largest city in the country to support free fares for everyone… There is little disagreement on the value of free bus fares. The question is, as always—who pays? …One of the problematic by-products of the mass transit social norms that COVID-19 chewed up and spit out is fare evasion. The ensuing enforcement crackdown has reignited a long-simmering debate—if mass transit is a public good, why not let it be free?”
David Adjaye Unveils $3.5 Billion Plan For Downtown Cleveland’s Cuyahoga Riverfront
“Real estate firm Bedrock, jointly with the City of Cleveland and architect David Adjaye, revealed a comprehensive master plan for the Cuyahoga Riverfront,” reports Designboom. “This $3.5 billion, fifteen-to-twenty-year vision will reimagine thirty-five acres of downtown Cleveland’s riverfront, transform Tower City Center, and prioritize accessibility, equity, sustainability, and resilience by developing an urban hub.”
DINING & DRINKING
Hyde Park’s La Petite Folie Sets Final Menu
With very little adieu, La Petite Folie announces its closing with a final menu: “With much gratitude and a multitude of fond memories we present our final menu. We will serve our last dinners on Friday, December 23. Mille remerciements a tous. Au revoir.” Final starters include black mussels with Bilbao chorizo, Basque peppers, spiced tomatoes, black olives and saffron rice; and a duck mousse made with Port wine, smooth pate served with cornichons and Dijon mustard. Mains include pan-seared jumbo sea scallops, with sauté of asparagus and wild mushroom citrus sauce with parsley, chives and sweet butter; and beef carbonade flamande, the Flemish beef stew with beef braised slowly with dark ale, onions and warm spices; served with Brussels sprouts, glazed carrots and steamed potatoes. Dinner only, by reservation, Wednesday-Sunday until December 23. More here.
Boonie Foods Relocating To Lincoln Square From Revival Food Hall
“When Boonie Foods debuted in 2020, Joe Fontalera pumped some excitement into Revival Food Hall with his Filipino American dishes,” reports Eater Chicago. Boonie’s two-year-run will end on December 22. Fontalera told Eater Chicago he’s taking his silog, lumpia and dinugaun to Lincoln Square, where he’ll take over the Crab Pad storefront at 4337 North Western. From Instagram: “It has been a very wild ride with many incredible highs and very painful lows, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything else… We have been blessed to have been able to serve true Filipinx food here in the Loop, Chicago, in a way that honors our traditions without being bound by them. It has been humbling to see and feel the reception of what we do by the Filipinx community as well as the general population passing by, many of which have never had Filipinx food before but are now totally in love with it.”
Dissecting The State Of The Proposed Albertsons (Jewel Osco)-Kroger (Mariano’s) Merger
“Higher prices have fueled record profits for Kroger, the nation’s largest grocery store chain,” writes Judd Legum in a concentrated analysis at Popular Information. “Kroger recorded a $3.5 billion profit in 2021 and projects an even larger haul, $4.9 billion, in 2022. Kroger itself has fueled the consolidation, acquiring a slew of competing chains… Kroger, which operates 2700 stores under a variety of brand names [including Mariano’s], has been able to pass on large price increases without losing businesses to competitors. Now, Kroger wants to get much bigger. Kroger recently announced an agreement to purchase Albertsons, the nation’s second-largest grocery store chain, for about $25 billion. Albertsons itself acquired another major competitor, Safeway, in 2015 for $9.2 billion. The Kroger-Albertsons deal, which is subject to review by the FTC, would create a grocery behemoth that would ‘operate nearly 5,000 stores across forty-eight states and the District of Columbia.’ The combined entity, with revenue exceeding $200 billion, would control about twenty-two percent of the grocery market in the United States, trailing only Walmart.” A “combined Kroger-Albertsons and Walmart ‘would control seventy percent or more of the market in 167 cities in the United States.'”
FILM & TELEVISION
Gone With The Events: 1928 Pickwick Theater Closing
“Co-owner Dino Vlahakis, sixty-three, said his family is closing the vintage Pickwick movie theater, which has been losing money almost consistently since the onset of the pandemic; however, they hope a ‘knight in shining armor’ will take over the operation,” reports the Park Ridge Herald-Advocate (via the Trib). “The Vlahakis family has owned the 900-seat theater since 1967. It has stood in Park Ridge since 1928 after opening as a vaudeville house, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.” Vlahakis will hold onto the building, which has twenty-four other tenants. The theater’s closing attraction, slated for January 8, is planned as “Gone With The Wind.” (Some Pickwick pictures here.)
The Call Sheet Magazine Debuts
Camera Ambassador and Cinema Femme have announced the first issue of a new Chicago magazine, The Call Sheet. Led by Cinema Femme’s managing editor Rebecca Martin Fagerholm [Newcity Film 50 2022], “the writing staff is composed of all femme and non-binary writers covering cinematic work, ranging from animated short films to feature films from veteran filmmakers. The writing team has completed a mix of interviews and personal essays about specific filmmakers, films, and the industry overall,” Camera Ambassador relays in a release. “We always love working with Cinema Femme,” says Camera Ambassador founder and CEO Erica Duffy [Newcity Film 50 2022], “and we’re so excited to be spotlighting an incredible level of talent in the film industry and an amazing team of writers and creators.” More here.
A Practical Guide To Cooking With Fruit From Chef Abra Berens
James Beard-nominated Michigan chef and former farmer Abra Berens will release a new cookbook, “Pulp: A Practical Guide to Cooking with Fruit” in April from Chronicle Books. “‘Pulp is the third cookbook in Berens’ award-winning ‘practical guide’ series—where the first two books, ‘Grist’ and ‘Ruffage’ focused on grains and beans and vegetables, respectively, ‘Pulp’ is a comprehensive guide on the utility of incorporating fruit in both sweet and savory cooking and baking.” The book concentrates on the variety of fruits grown in the Fruit Belt along Lake Michigan (all of which are common around the country) and incorporating brief profiles of farmers and producers across the state, ‘Pulp’ is a beautiful ode to the agriculture of the Midwest.”
New York Times Thursday Walkout Appears To Be On
“Eleven-hundred New York Times Guild members have pledged to walk out on Thursday for one day to push a foot-dragging management to negotiate a fair contract. That’s seventy-five-percent of the newsroom, an extraordinary statement of unity,” posts Times politics national correspondent Trip Gabriel. “Next step may be a strike authorization vote, a major escalation of pressure if it passes.”
Buzzfeed Laying Off Nearly Two-Hundred Employees
“Worsening macroeconomic conditions” are given as the reason for Buzzfeed laying off twelve-percent of its workforce, reports CNN, “making the digital news and entertainment conglomerate the latest media company to make painful cuts amid a deteriorating economic climate… There were no cuts made to its Tasty food brand, BuzzFeed News or HuffPost.”
Facebook Prepared To Remove News If Required To Make Payments
“Meta/Facebook is threatening to remove all local news from its platform following reports that proposed legislation to force Big Tech to pay publishers for news content is being added to a defense bill in a bid to win approval during the lame-duck Congress session,” reports Robert Channick at the Trib. Said Meta/Facebook on Twitter, “If Congress passes an ill-considered journalism bill as part of national security legislation, we will be forced to consider removing news from our platform altogether rather than submit to government-mandated negotiations that unfairly disregard any value we provide to news outlets through increased traffic and subscriptions.”
Chicago Philharmonic Presents Tan Dun American Premiere
The Chicago Philharmonic Society will begin 2023 with a program celebrating the work of Chinese American composer Tan Dun on Saturday, January 14 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. Led by artistic director and principal conductor Scott Speck, the orchestra will perform the North American premiere of Tan Dun’s “Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra (Yi2)” with guitarist Sharon Isbin. Also featured is cellist Joshua Roman in Tan Dun’s “Crouching Tiger Concerto” and a world premiere cello concertino, “Rise,” by composer-in-residence Reinaldo Moya. Relays the Philharmonic, “‘Yi2’ was inspired by Tan Dun’s interest in the Yi-Ching (a Chinese philosophical work from the fifth century) and the converging worlds of East and West. ‘Yi2’ blends traditional guitar idioms with that of the pipa, a plucked instrument of Chinese origin.” Tickets and more here.
Oak Park Festival Theatre Names Artistic Director
The Oak Park Festival Theatre, Oak Park’s premiere Equity theater and the oldest professional classical theater in the Midwest, has named Peter G. Andersen as its artistic director, beginning in January. Andersen “will set the stage for the thousands of annual attendees who look to Oak Park Festival Theatre not just for summer Shakespeare in the park but also for new interpretations of classic works year-round,” the company relays. “Oak Park Festival Theatre has set a vision for the coming three-to-five years that includes broadening our audience and our perspective to be more diverse and inclusive,” Barbara Cimaglio, president of the board of directors at Oak Park Festival Theatre, says in a release.
”I have been a long admirer of Oak Park Festival Theatre. It’s a company which has an outstanding reputation within the theater community of Chicago, and one I feel a great sense of kinship with,” Andersen adds. The company “is approaching its fiftieth season, and I am thrilled to lead it into its next chapter. This company has a long history of producing ‘classical’ plays, and I plan on bringing my years of experience working with the classical canon to produce fresh productions for modern audiences. I am eager to explore what constitutes ‘classical’ or ‘canonical’ plays by producing works by queer artists and artists of color which have historically been excluded. This is a thrilling time to be working in American theater, because there is a collective examination and conversation around the type of work theaters should produce.” As the artistic director, Andersen “is responsible for establishing the artistic vision of the company, stewarding creative relationships, and ensuring the highest production value on stage and the richest aesthetic experience for audiences.”
Lifeline Theatre Sets Fillet of Solo
Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Dorothy Milne and former Live Bait Theater artistic director Sharon Evans have announced the twenty-sixth annual Fillet of Solo Festival, to be presented by Lifeline Theatre from January 13-22. “Celebrating the breadth of Chicago’s enduring storytelling and live lit scene, Lifeline brings storytelling collectives and solo performers together in a two-week, multi-venue selection of powerful, personal stories,” Lifeline says in a release. “This year’s fest will include perennial favorites such as ’80 Minutes Around the World: Immigration Stories with Nestor Gomez,’ featuring stories from immigrants, their decedents and allies; ‘The Sweat Girls’; ‘GeNarrations’; ‘The Lifeline Storytelling Project’; ‘Story Sessions’; ‘Back Room Stories’; and ‘Tellin’ Tales with Tekki Lomnicki.'” The festival will perform at Lifeline Theatre’s Rogers Park location and South of the Border. Ticket prices are $12 for regular single tickets, and $60 for a Festival Pass (allows admission to any performance). More here.
New “Into The Woods” Coming To Nederlander
The current Broadway revival of “Into the Woods” will begin limited engagements across the country after ending its St. James Theatre run in January, reports Playbill. After opening at the Kennedy Center in February, the musical will play Boston, Philadelphia, Charlotte and then the James M. Nederlander Theatre in Chicago.
Columbia Grad, Playwright Josefina López, On Theater For Everyone
American Theatre talks to writer-actor-producer Josefina López, “best known for the 1990 play ‘Real Women Have Curves’ as well as the screenplay for the popular film version (which introduced America Ferrera and recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary).” “You went to Columbia College in Chicago. Did you see much of the city’s famous theater while you were there?” “No; I was so broke. I could only ever go if I got free tickets. But I did get produced at Victory Gardens.” Of theater among her multiple vocations, López says, “I tell people that the reason I do theater and the arts is because I want to remind people that we’re not just cheap labor—that we have a heart, that we have a soul, that we have dignity. That we are more than your ‘essential’ workers; we are human beings with dreams. And so for me, theater has been an opportunity to give voice to all this wounding pain and suffering, and to help people see themselves beyond just the Mexican who does your dirty work. God gave us gifts; we were endowed with all this beauty and grace, and I want to see that onstage. And I want our stories to inspire, because I tell people, look, in our community, you join a gang or you join the Christian church, right? To me the theater is in between. We’re not telling you to join a gang; we’re not telling you to believe in Christ. We’re just telling you to love yourself.”
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