Two lawmakers from Chicago’s North Side are sparking an effort to legalize recreational weed in Illinois. State Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy introduced legislation on Wednesday that would make it legal for adults to possess, purchase and grow small amounts of marijuana, as well as create a process for the regulating and licensing of businesses looking to cultivate, process, test and sell legal pot. Specifically, the house and senate bills propose changing the Cannabis Control Act to allow people 21 and older to purchase marijuana and make it legal for residents to possess up to 28 grams of weed. Nonresidents could possess only 14 grams, and it would be illegal to smoke your stash in public. Similar to alcohol, you wouldn't be able to get high behind the wheel and regulations such as restrictions on marketing would be developed. Oh, and there will be taxes. The bill includes a tax of $50 per ounce at the wholesale level and the standard 6.25 percent sales tax on retail sales. According to estimates from the Marijuana Policy Project, Illinois could expect as much as $699 million a year in new revenue by legalizing and regulating weed. “In a regulated system, the money would go into the cash registers of licensed, taxpaying businesses,” Steans, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, said in a statement. “It would generate hundreds of millions of dollars per year in new revenue for our state.” Marijuana legalization advocates also see the legislation as
About Face Theatre, Chicago’s premier company focused on LGBT stories and themes, has announced a search for its next artistic director, as Andrew Volkoff will step down at the end of the current season. Volkoff, who will have completed four years at About Face’s helm, cited personal reasons for stepping away. “After my battle with cancer and the loss of my father last year, I feel the need to devote more time to my family and my health. I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my life and am confident that I leave About Face in a stronger place,” he said in a prepared statement. Volkoff arrived in Chicago in 2013 to succeed Bonnie Metzgar, who had served as About Face’s artistic director since 2008. Metzgar in turn succeeded the company’s co-founder, Eric Rosen, who had led About Face since its founding in 1995. About Face Theatre’s 2016–17 season concludes with the Chicago premiere of Bright Half Life by Tanya Barfield, running May 26 to July 1 at Theater Wit. Keira Fromm directs the two-hander about a modern lesbian couple played by Elizabeth Ledo and Patrese McClain. The company has yet to announce its 2017–18 lineup. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
One of the coolest things about the Field Museum is its impressive collection of rare and massive dinosaur fossils—the most famous (and fearsome) being Sue the T. rex. But while these creatures just stand around looking awesome, the museum's new dino residents will act much more like they did 75 million years ago. In May, the Field Museum will debut “Jurassic World: The Exhibition,” which promises to be the most life-like simulation of dinosaurs to date. Visitors will get up close and personal with a Brachiosaurus, Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus rex, all while learning about the actual science of dinosaur DNA. And although that sounds a lot like Richard Attenborough's giddy description of actual dinosaurs in the original Jurassic Park, the Field Museum is looking to the blockbuster film franchise for inspiration (minus the dinosaurs-eating-people part). “One of our goals as a museum is to provide visitors with the best dinosaur experience in the world,” Field Museum President Richard Lariviere said in a statement. “Our fossil collections are one of the greatest things about the Field Museum, and the Jurassic World dinosaurs are an incredible way to spark our imaginations about them.” The traveling exhibit, which is produced by Universal Brand Development and Imagine Exhibitions, made previous stops in Philadelphia and Melbourne, Australia. The Creature Technology Company (known for its work on the BBC miniseries Walking with Dinosaurs) designed the animatronic dinosaurs, w
Belgian director Ivo van Hove’s stripped-down revival of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge will open the Goodman Theatre’s fall season, announced today. It's the leadoff of a season that also includes new works by Suzan-Lori Parks, Rogelio Martinez, Sarah DeLappe and Ellen Fairey, as well as a Robert Falls–helmed revival of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People and a new production of Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years. Van Hove’s Bridge originated at London’s Young Vic in 2014 and transferred to the West End, then to Broadway, racking up Olivier and Tony Awards along the way (not to mention five-star reviews from my counterparts at Time Out London and Time Out New York). It’s since been seen at L.A.’s Ahmanson Theatre and the Kennedy Center in Washington; it comes to the Goodman’s Albert Theatre September 9 to October 15. Later in the Albert, Goodman artistic director Falls will stage the world premiere of Martinez’s Blind Date (January 20–February 25), about the 1985 Geneva Summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, and the concurrent and equally tense meeting of Nancy Reagan and Raisa Gorbachev. That’s immediately followed by Falls’s new production of An Enemy of the People (March 10–April 15). Chuck Smith will helm Having Our Say (May 5–June 10), the play adapted by Emily Mann from the oral history of the centenarian Delany sisters. And Kimberly Senior will stage the world premiere of Fairey’s Support Group for Men (June 23–July 29), a contemporary
The Other Theatre Company, a three-year-old company dedicated to stories of “othering” and oppression, has announced casting for its Chicago premiere of Threesome, by Egyptian-born playwright Yussef El Guindi. In the play, Egyptian-Americans Rashid (Demetrios Troy) and Leila (Suzan Faycurry) invite an acquaintance (Mike Tepeli) into their bedroom; what begins as an attempt to liven up their relationship soon turns fraught. Jason Gerace will direct the production, with a design team that includes Matthew Carney (lighting), Lizzie Bracken (scenic), Zach Wagner (costumes) and Sarah Espinoza (sound designer). Threesome runs April 14 to May 21 at the Greenhouse Theater Center. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Millennials make up one-third of the U.S. population and 60 percent of us have some college courses under our belts, which means we’re technically smarter than our parents. That must be why such a high percentage of Generation Y is choosing to forgo a rent payment and save a few bucks by living a bit longer with mom and pops. Of course, we’re using the word “choose” loosely. Between student loans, rising rents, stagnant wages and unemployment, it’s no wonder 34.1 percent of millennials nationwide are still living at home. In the Chicago metropolitan area, the number of 18- to 34-year-olds who have yet to fly the coup is even higher. According to a recent study by apartment finder Abodo, 39.1 percent of millennials in the Chicago, Naperville and Elgin area live at home. Abodo used U.S. Census data to analyze 16 metropolitan areas that exceed the national average, and Chicagoland had the seventh highest ratio of homebound millennials. All of the regions studied had populations of 1 million or greater, meaning many of the country’s largest cities also made the list. The six metropolitan areas with higher percentages of nesting millennials are: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida (44.8 percent); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California (44.5 percent); New York-Newark-Jersey City (43.8 percent); Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim (41.5 percent); Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington (41 percent); and Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan (40 percent). Lack of employment and the
Lifeline Theatre, which specializes in original adaptations of classic and contemporary literature in Rogers Park, has announced plans for its 35th season. The third and final play on the docket will be a new production of a 2010 hit, company member Robert Kauzlaric’s adaptation of the fantasy tale Neverwhere, by the revered author Neil Gaiman. “Whether in comics (Sandman) or prose (American Gods), Gaiman traffics in mythologies,” I wrote in my four-star review of the original production, which takes on Gaiman’s story of an average Londoner who stumbles into London Below, a subterranean version of the city that lurks just underneath. “Neverwhere is his archetypal hero’s quest, and Lifeline’s skillful staging is remarkable in its efficiency. Kauzlaric’s adaptation is faithful in letter and spirit, but he knows where excisions must be made.” The new production will be staged by Ilesa Duncan, to run May 25 to July 18, 2018. Earlier in the season, Lifeline will tackle two world premiere adaptations: Sylvester: or the Wicked Uncle, adapted from Georgette Heyer’s 1957 comic novel by Christina Calvit and directed by Dorothy Milne (September 8–October 29); and Tolstoy’s epic Anna Karenina, adapted by Jessica Wright Buha and directed by Amanda Link (February 16–April 8). Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
The rankings are in and the Labrador retriever is once again Chicago's top dog. Each year, the American Kennel Club puts out its list of the most popular dog breeds in the country, and it should be no surprise that this smart, friendly canine is also America's top-ranked pup. The labrador retriever came in as the most popular breed nationwide for a record-breaking 26th consecutive year in 2016 and also took the top spot by city in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Seattle and Washington, D.C., among others. Rounding out Chicago's top five are the French bulldog, German shepherd, golden retriever and Rottweiler. And although the labrador retriever finished as the city's preferred pooch for a second straight year, its days as pack leader could be numbered. “The labrador retriever may hold the top spot for now, but the French bulldog is quickly rising up the ranks,” AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo said in a news release. “The Frenchie holds the No. 2 spot in 2016; maybe the playful breed will be Chicago’s top dog next year.” Meanwhile, the loyal and lovable Rottweiler is taking back its good name and climbing the ranks locally and nationwide. Rottweilers were the fifth most popular breed in Chicago and eighth in the U.S., which is its highest position in nearly a decade. The top five most popular dog breeds in the U.S. last year were the Labrador retriever, German shepherd, golden retriever, bulldog and beagle. Clearly Chicago is a dog-friendly town, which might be why the city also
For years the annual Tour de Fat festival has taken up residence in Palmer Square, bringing cyclists, circus performers, musical entertainment and plenty of beer to a free one-day event. The festival, which is presented by New Belgium Brewing, is undergoing some big changes this year, moving to a new venue and securing a high-profile headlining act. Tour de Fat will return to Chicago on July 29, taking over the Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island. Hip-hop group and Tonight Show house band the Roots are confirmed to headline the festival, which will also feature "circus performers, vaudeville acts, magicians, comedians and mind-blowing provocateurs." Admission will no longer be free—you'll need to purchase a $30 ticket if you want to sip a Fat Tire and take in the entertainment. Unfortunately, the change in venue will mark the end of the Tour de Fat bike parade, which traditionally rolled through the streets of Logan Square before the festival kicked off in the afternoon. Thankfully, Northerly Island is located just off of the Lakefront Trail, so you'll still be able to pedal over if you choose to do so (here's hoping that organizers provide some bike parking). Proceeds from Chicago's Tour de Fat concert will still go toward a good cause, once again benefiting local nonprofit organization West Town Bikes. Tickets for Tour de Fat are on sale now—and, yes, crazy costumes are still encouraged. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Four-day Lollapalooza passes went on sale at 10am this morning, inciting the kind of mad dash that's usually reserved for Black Friday bargains and free slices of pizza. We've only heard rumors of Lollapalooza's 2017 lineup, but that didn't stop thousands of people from joining the virtual queue to purchase a wristband. Our Twitter feed was clogged with hopeful, celebrating and forlorn ticket-buyers, so we gathered some of our favorite reactions to the annual scramble for Lolla passes. RECOMMENDED: Check out photos and coverage from Lollapalooza "May the odds be ever in your favor" To all those trying to buy @lollapalooza tickets today pic.twitter.com/jC6Z9bbmfP — Melanie (@melaniemaemae) March 21, 2017 Some found the anticipation to be unbearable Staring at my screen waiting for @lollapalooza tickets like pic.twitter.com/zmhYbbSTMI — Miguel Reyes (@miggy_mig) March 21, 2017 Waiting for @lollapalooza tickets like pic.twitter.com/pAkS5vbM8D — Clare Marie (@ClareSandack) March 21, 2017 Plenty of people were using multiple screens @lollapalooza I'm ready. pic.twitter.com/PHKSEW4H8d — Camryn Wood (@camstille) March 21, 2017 when you're at school but @lollapalooza tickets come out in 30 minutes pic.twitter.com/bajAF18rYd — nathan (@NathanMcFadden7) March 21, 2017 Once tickets went on sale, the stress didn't stop When @lollapalooza tickets have gone live 13 minutes ago but youre still stu