As 2015 comes to a close, it’s time to open up about the year’s 10 best cultural events in Chicago as previously covered in my Examiner columns.
MCA Chicago’s concurrent art exhibitions Pop Art Design and The Street, the Store, and the Silver Screen are now on display so, unlike some of the other entrees on this list, they can still be experienced first hand. To learn more, visit mcachicago.org.
One of the city’s best treasures is the Music Box Theatre which regularly offers special screenings and interactive events. The historic cinema celebrated the 20-year film career of Noah Baumbach with its Growing Up Baumbach series which culminated with a preview of While We’re Young and post-show Q&A with the filmmaker on March 18. Later in the year, Agnès Varda visited the venue to discuss French New Wave cinema after a screening of her 1962 film Cléo from 5 to 7 on October 14.
Goodman Theatre was on a roll in 2015 with the revival of August Wilson’s masterwork Two Trains Running directed by Chuck Smith in April and a fine adaptation of Lillian Hellman’s Little Foxes in May.
It’s only fitting the June Carter vehicle Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash played at Mercury Theater in June. The run (which was extended through August) resulted in a Jeff Award for Cory Goodrich. Meanwhile, director Taylor Hackford and producer Hershey Felder’s treatment of Louis & Keely ‘Live at the Sahara’ lit up the Royal George stage during the spring.
The female-focused and free Chicago Dancing Festival which celebrated works by Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Twyla Tharp and more helped make dance accessible, available and appreciated in August.
Special City Events
Wells Street eateries from Dinotto Pizza e Vino to Kamehachi opened their doors with discounts, deals and delicious dishes during Old Town Restaurant Week in October.
10 Best Cultural Events
1. Two Trains Running at Goodman Theatre
2. Growing Up Baumbach/While We’re Young with Noah Baumbach at Music Box Theatre
3. Pop Art Design and The Street, the Store, and the Silver Screen at MCA Chicago
4. Cinderella at Lyric Opera of Chicago/Civic Opera House
5. Old Town Restaurant Week on Wells Street
6. Ring of Fire at Mercury Theatre
7. Louis & Keely ‘Live at the Sahara’ at Royal George Theatre
8. Agnès Varda/Cléo from 5 to 7 at Music Box Theatre
9. Little Foxes at Goodman Theatre
10. Chicago Dancing Festival at various venues throughout the city