Wrightwood 659 Announces Spring Exhibitions
Three shows are set for spring at Wrightwood 659, running April 14–July 15. “Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk” features the work of animation director and visual artist Kong Khong-chang, known as Kongkee. Part comic book, part motion picture, part meditation on history, the exhibition is presented through animated vignettes projected across walls and on screens. “Patric McCoy: Take My Picture” is a selection of fifty black-and-white and color photographs documenting 1980s Black gay Chicago. “In the 1980s, Patric McCoy traveled around Chicago on his bike, always with his camera. From the Lakefront to the Loop, McCoy found no shortage of Black men who wanted their picture taken. Over a ten-year period, he shot thousands of images at his subjects’ request.” “Shahidul Alam: Singed But Not Burnt” surveys the four-decade career of the Bangladeshi photographer, writer and activist as he documents the consequences of catastrophic weather, repressive regimes and political upheaval in his home country. Through select projects and more than eighty photographs, “Singed But Not Burnt” showcases art, education and institution-building as forms of resistance. More here.
Color Comes To ARC
The exhibition “Color,” curated by Ann Rintz, “considers artists’ relationship to color, and shares the ways in which they experience and celebrate it. It honors color and its vibrant expressions.” Opens Friday, February 3. More here.
Protesters Tell Cardinal Not To Sell Pilsen’s Saint Adalbert
“Parishioners protested outside Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral to send a message to Cardinal Blase Cupich,” reports CBS 2. “They want to keep the building that once [housed] their beloved church from being sold… The church closed in 2019, but the ‘Saint Adalbert’s Rosary Group’ says the building is architecturally and culturally important to the Polish and Mexican communities it served.”
DINING & DRINKING
McDonald’s President Says Fast Food Wage Laws Are “Job-Destroying”
California is a battleground for restaurant wages: Joe Erlinger, the McDonald’s president “who made $7.4 million last year, says a proposal [that could] pay fast-food workers $22 an hour is ‘costly and job-destroying,'” reports Business Insider. Erlinger’s blog is here.
FILM & TELEVISION
Wrigleyville Alamo Drafthouse Dedicated As “John Hughes Cinema”
A fresh pitstop on Days of Ferris: the newly minted Alamo Drafthouse has been dubbed the John Hughes Cinema, with a “Save Ferris” cocktail for opening week (Jameson Irish Whiskey and Jeppson’s Malort) and a plaque at the third floor entrance:
Director John Hughes has left an indelible mark on our collective consciousness with witty, charming, and heartfelt films like ‘Sixteen Candles,’ ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Planes, Trains & Automobiles.’ In ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,’ he perfectly captured the mischievous and carefree spirit of youth through one teen’s epic day playing hooky, cementing Chicago as a cinematic playground in the process. Because of his incalculable influence on cinema, as of Thursday, January 26th 2023, this Alamo Drafthouse Cinema shall hereby and forevermore be known as the John Hughes Cinema.
Alamo Drafthouse founder, executive chairman and eager advocate Tim League was on hand for the dedication of the six-screen, 372-seat restaurant-bar-theater and said that he feels like the mini-complex will be a complement to local theaters, including the nearby Music Box Theatre and what else survives of American movie exhibition: Alamo Drafthouse “went through a Chapter 11 restructuring process, and we came out of that stronger and leaner. We learned a few things about how to be lean, and now we’re ready to keep marching. It’s funny, the press that you sometimes hear is that cinema is dead and that it’s all streaming from here… but I think that’s utter bullshit. The idea that you have a kitchen in your house but yet you still continue to go to restaurants, that’s been proven tried and true. It’s the obligation of cinemas to have an incredible experience and compel you to come out of your home. Great directors want their movies to be seen with great presentation in this setting, not on a laptop while you’re in bed multitasking and checking email. The industry is strong and it’s coming back. We actually had a great year last year and this year is going to be even stronger. We got close to death during COVID. Regal, which is currently closing theaters, is going through that same sort of restructuring process, so it’s not like Regal is going to die. They’re going to shed a few theaters, and maybe we’ll pick up a couple of those theaters. We’re ready to march, we’re ready to expand and 2023 is going to be a great year for exhibition.”
Des Plaines Mayor Hopes To Set Standards For City-Owned Theater
“I want people to be proud of this theater,” Des Plaines mayor Andrew Goczkowski told the Daily Herald. “We want the theater to draw people to the city. I can’t have it be a point of controversy.” The “controversy” was the booking of an event by a notorious anti-LGBTQ group, Awake Illinois of Naperville, which tweeted that those who opposed the scheduled February 8 event, called “Out of the Echo Chamber: Coalition for Kids,” are “child mutilation advocates.” At a January 17 city council meeting, LGBTQ advocates “accused Awake and the other groups involved with the event of spreading hate.” Goczkowski “would like the theater to stick with ‘content-neutral’ entertainment and avoid gatherings that ‘make people feel uncomfortable’ or are ‘divisive.’ He hopes to work directly with [theater operator] Ron Onesti on the guidelines.”
Sun-Times CEO Out
“Nykia Wright, who has had leading executive roles at the Chicago Sun-Times since 2017, managing ownership changes and a shift toward digital operations, is leaving the newspaper,” reports the Sun-Times. “The announcement follows a leave of absence by Wright this month that generated speculation of her impending departure,” reports the Tribune, “one year after the Chicago Sun-Times joined WBEZ to become a nonprofit newspaper under Chicago Public Media.”
Michael Maggio Directing Fellow For 2023 Announced
Goodman Theatre has selected Jamal Howard as the 2023 Michael Maggio Directing Fellow. A Chicago-based director and choreographer, Howard is the co-artistic director of New American Folk Theatre and an associate company member with TUTA Theatre. His work is in two productions on stage: the world premiere of “The Great Khan,” by Michael Gene Sullivan, which he directed, through February 26 at RedTwist Theatre; and Jonathan Larson’s “tick, tick…BOOM!,” which he choreographed for BoHo Theatre, through February 5 at The Edge Theater. The season-long Maggio Fellowship is an opportunity for an early-career director to assist on a Goodman production and become involved in the theater’s ongoing artistic life. Established in 2002, the fellowship honors the memory and artistry of Goodman Associate Artistic Director Michael Maggio (1951-2000), who directed twenty-two productions at the Goodman and more than sixty productions across the country.” More here.
“Jagged Little Pill” Prescribed Today
Broadway In Chicago announces individual tickets for the Chicago premiere of “Jagged Little Pill,” inspired by Alanis Morissette’s best-selling album. Dates at the Nederlander Theatre are April 11-23. Tickets here.
Destinos 2023 Announces Open Call
Destinos returns for a sixth edition September 28-October 29. CLATA’s open call for full productions by, about and starring Latine artists is open through Sunday March 5. “Destinos Festival is dedicated to showcasing and amplifying the Latino experience as told by Latine theater artists from Chicago, the US and Latin America, on stages across Chicago through the power of theater that transcends boundaries, promoting and engaging cross-cultural experiences.” More here.
Gilbert & Sullivan’s “HMS Pinafore” Docks
The University of Chicago’s annual Gilbert and Sullivan production, presented by the Department of Music and the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company, Inc., returns to the stage (for the first time since 2019) in Mandel Hall on the campus with “HMS Pinafore.” Performances will be March 3-5. Details here.
Ailey American Dance Returns For Six Performances
The Auditorium Theatre will present the return of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on March 8-12. Three distinct programs will showcase Chicago premieres from Kyle Abraham and Jamar Roberts, company premieres of works by Ailey peers Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp, and an all-Ailey program of classics. Ailey’s “Revelations” is the finale of all the performances.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Local Utilities Accelerate Power Cutoffs
“Chicago-area electricity and gas suppliers are among national leaders in cutting off customers for nonpayment,” reports NBC 5.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Raises Entry Fees
“The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park is hiking entry fees for the first time in fifteen years to support the institution’s growth,” reports Block Club. Admission to the Nature Museum, previously $6-$9, “will be $8-$15 depending on the visitor’s age for Illinois residents and $10-$17 for out-of-state visitors… The increase could bring in an additional $150,000-$200,000 each year, Erin Amico, president and CEO of the Nature Museum said.”
Lake Geneva Ice Castles Get Their Freeze
“Warm temperatures have prevented a winter wonderland from taking shape in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, but with readings finally getting back to their seasonal levels, one of the area’s most iconic attractions will make its triumphant return in the coming days,” reports NBC 5.
Millions in Federal Funding For Two Local Universities To Expand High-Speed Internet
“St. Augustine College and Dominican University received federal grants to expand access to high-speed internet on their campuses,” reports the Sun-Times. “The Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program, under the U.S. Department of Commerce, awarded $2.6 million to St. Augustine and $2.5 million to Dominican… The schools are among twelve minority-serving colleges and universities that received grants through the Biden administration’s Internet for All initiative.”
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