A Red Orchid Theatre will stage a one-night-only reading of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches on June 18, with a cast including some of Chicago theater’s finest stage actors. Spearheaded by director Shade Murray, an AROT ensemble member, and Will Von Vogt, who will appear in the cast, the reading is “conceived as a response from Chicago theater artists to the current political climate,” with proceeds split between A Red Orchid and the ACLU of Illinois. Murray’s cast for the reading includes 18 actors as of this announcement, with the possibility of more to be added; Kushner’s play is written for a cast of eight each playing multiple roles. A Red Orchid Theatre ensemble members Jennifer Engstrom, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Mierka Girten, Lawrence Grimm, Steve Haggard, Doug Vickers and Natalie West are all set to participate, joined by Charin Alvarez, Esteban Cruz, Emjoy Gavino, Megan Gerachis, Ricky Harris, Ike Holter, Niko Kourtis, Caroline Neff, Liz Sharpe, Kristina Valada-Viars and Von Vogt. Doug Peck serves as music director. The first half of Kushner’s two-part epic, subtitled A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play in 1993. (Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika joined part one in repertory on Broadway the following season and won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1994.) Set in the mid-1980s, as the AIDS crisis began to break through to mainstream consciousness while Republ
River North has no shortage of late-night munchies, but Imperial Lamian is hoping to bring something different to the pizza- and taco-saturated area. This weekend, the modern Chinese restaurant will debut its new Wok Up Window. Though the new to-go option will be in full swing on Saturday, May 27, guests are invited to stop by on Friday night between 10pm and midnight for a complimentary preview of the offerings. (Free food. This is not a drill.) The Wok Up Window's menu reads like a roster of elevated on-the-move bites including pumpkin puffs with roast duck and butternut squash, fried wontons with shrimp and sweet chili sauce, BBQ pork fried rice and baked charsiu bun. Everything is priced at $3, and you can spot the window by its flashy neon sign. The new late-night option will be open Thursday through Saturday from 10pm to midnight. If your late-night palate is craving something a bit more refined (truffle oil mushroom buns, anyone?), enjoy freebies on Friday night and mentally bookmark this spot for future drunchie needs. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Union Station has been in need of a makeover for quite some time, and it looks like Amtrak and City Hall have found a developer to tackle the massive project. According to DNAinfo, Chicago-based development firm Riverside Investment & Development has been tapped to lead the $1 billion redevelopment of the train station, which will include the construction of five new buildings. Once final plans are approved, construction will roll out in three phases and take an estimated six years to complete. While renovations will improve the infrastructure of the existing Union Station building (originally designed by famed urban designer Daniel Burnham), developers will also construct two residential towers above the station, two office buildings to the south of the station and an additional residential high-rise that will be built atop the railroad. Among the most interesting additions planned for Union Station are a food hall (which will take up residence in the existing building, along Clinton Street), a series of public plazas and two new rooftop areas. While more than 120,000 commuters pass through the station each day, it's not really a destination for anything other than catching an Amtrak or a Metra train. A new food hall and public spaces could help bring additional visitors into the station—at the very least, it might become a new destination for lunch in the West Loop. There's no word yet on when the project will start or what kind of service disruptions—if any—Amtrak and M
The Japanese art of origami usually concerns itself with miniature representations of much larger objects, but a new sculpture exhibit hosted by the Morton Arboretum makes the folded forms much larger. "Origami in the Garden" opened at the Lisle park over the weekend and will be on display throughout the Arboretum’s east side until October 22. The stainless steel sculptures are the work of Santa Fe-based artists Kevin and Jennifer Box, who based the designs on pieces mades out of folded paper by noted origami artists. "Origami in the Garden" includes 40 sculptures, which are arranged into 25 different displays, located throughout the arboretum. One of the most impressive pieces in the exhibit is "Master Peace," a tower made up of 1,000 cranes that reaches 24 feet into the air and weighs more than 10,000 pounds. Morton Arboretum will offer programming throughout the summer that ties to the exhibit's Japanese roots, including classes about bonsai, gardening, papermaking and more (check out the full list here). While you're planning your escape to nature, take a look at these photos of the origami sculptures in their new home. Photograph: Courtesy Morton Arboretum Photograph: Courtesy Morton Arboretum Photograph: Courtesy Morton Arboretum Photograph: Courtesy Morton Arboretum Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
If you love cocktails and appreciate a good challenge, West Loop hard-stuff haven Moneygun has just the thing to boozy up your summer. The idea is simple: Try all 30 of Moneygun's classic cocktails for "bragging rights, glory and a sick Polaroid photo forever emblazoned on Moneygun's walls." If you're up for the mission, you'll get a card—appropriately titled the "Dirty 30 Card"—and gather stamps for each completed cocktail. Once you finish (there's no time limit involved), a Polaroid of your mug will go on the wall. The bar wisely suggests not trying to knock out the entire challenge in one sitting, but two or three cocktails at a time seems perfectly reasonable. The menu includes classics like a strawberry margarita, sidecar, last word, French 75 and Manhattan, so by the time you're done, you can also call yourself a cocktail connoisseur. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Actor, comedian and butch icon Lea DeLaria will serve as grand marshal for Chicago’s 48th annual Pride Parade on Sunday, June 25, organizers announced today. DeLaria is probably best known for playing “Big Boo” on Orange Is the New Black (which drops its fifth season on Netflix June 9). She became the first out gay stand-up comic to appear on a late-night talk show with her 1993 debut on The Arsenio Hall Show; she’s also performed on Broadway in the musicals On the Town (winning the Drama Desk and Theatre World awards) and The Rocky Horror Show. A native of downstate Belleville, Illinois, outside of St. Louis, DeLaria was given the Equality Illinois Freedom Award in 2015. Also an accomplished cabaret artist and jazz singer with six albums to her name, DeLaria will perform a concert at the Ravinia Festival’s Martin Theatre at 7:30pm on Pride Sunday after leading the parade. Tickets for that show are $45–$65 for reserved seats in the theater, or $20 to hear the broadcast from the lawn. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Can’t sneak away to Michigan or Wisconsin this Memorial Day Weekend? Consider yourself lucky—this weekend is a fantastic one to spend in Chicago. The city’s brimming with summer kick-off parties, new museum exhibitions, and oh, did we mention the beaches will be open? Yep. When you’re not day-drinking at the best patio bars and rooftop bars or playing Frisbee at the city’s best parks, hit up these great things to do over Memorial Day weekend in Chicago. Hit the beach! Pack a towel, some sunnies, a beach read and a picnic and head to the beach this weekend. Chicago beaches are officially open this weekend—summer has arrived! (Various beaches on the Lakefront, Fri–Mon during daytime hours. Free, see our guide for full details) Travel to Jurassic World Jurassic World: The Exhibition opens up at the Field Museum this Friday, May 26. Swing by to see the huge, animatronic dinosaurs, which are said to be the most realistic depiction of the lizard kings to date. (The Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Fri–Mon 9am–5pm. Museum admission + $10–$15) Go to a giant parade downtown Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade doesn’t have the debauchery of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade—and yes, that’s a good thing. See a wreath laid at the eternal flame at Daley Plaza, then watch the cadets march through the Loop. (Daley Plaza, Washington and Dearborn Sts, Sat 11am. Free) See a comedy legend in the flesh The eternally hilarious Mel Brooks returns to the Chicago Theatre this weekend. Brooks will be
When it comes to getting down, Chicago can keep up. According to a new study by adult app Lazeeva, Chicago is the 25th most sex-positive city in the world. Researchers polled more than 450,000 adults ages 18 to 70 in order to rank a variety of criteria, including sexual activity, sex toy consumption, porn consumption and LGBTQ friendliness. Each category was ranked out of 10 possible points and added up to create an overall score for each city. Here's a quick look and how Chicago stacked up across the board. Sexually active: 8.7Sexually experimental: 6.2Sexually satisfied: 7.5Sex toy consumption: 9.6Porn consumption: 5.3Adult entertainment: 7.1Swingers score: 5.4Access to contraception: 6LGBT friendliness: 5.6Gender equality: 4 Paris holds down the No. 1 spot followed by Rio de Janeiro, London and Los Angeles. Cork, Ireland, caps off the list at lucky No. 100. Chicago is in good (freaky) company with an overall score of 65.4, but there's always room for improvement. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Your eyes aren't deceiving you—there's a definite connection between all of the films screening in Wicker Park this summer. While other Movies in the Parks participants will be watching The Lego Batman Movie and Star Wars: Rogue One, anyone who brings a blanket to Wicker Park will be treated to selections from the cinematic catalog of Nicolas Cage. The staff at Wormhole Coffee (the shop sponsors the Wicker Park summer film series) are responsible for this year's theme, which includes key entries in the filmography of Francis Ford Coppola's nephew. From his breakout role in the Coen brothers' 1987 film Raising Arizona to his turn as a cryptologist in National Treasure, there's plenty of Cage to go around. Take a look at Wicker Park's "Summer of Cage" film lineup and the amazing poster commissioned by Wormhole Coffee below. June 15 at 8:30pm - Moonstruck June 29 at 8:30pm - Raising Arizona July 6 at 8:30pm - National Treasure July 20 at 8:15pm - Wicker ManAugust 24 at 3pm - Gone in 60 Seconds Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Coming up with a concept for a music video featuring Chicago music scene royalty Jamila Woods and Chance the Rapper might seem like a lofty goal for a high schooler, but it's about to become a reality for one lucky student. Woods announced on Twitter yesterday that she's making a new video to accompany her tribute to Chicago's lakeside expressway, “LSD,” taken from her record HEAVN (which was one of our favorite Chicago albums of 2016). Instead of coming up with a treatment for the video herself, she's asking Chicago Public Schools students to submit ideas for the new clip. According to Woods' announcement on Twitter, “the winning treatment will become a full production shoot with Jamila and Chance,” directed by VAM Studio co-founder Vincent Martell and Brown Girls creator Sam Bailey. The student who comes up with the treatment will be given the opportunity to shadow the director and production crew during the shoot—plus, they'll get to meet the stars of the video. If you know any budding directors who attend CPS high schools, let them know that they need to submit their music video treatments in a PDF to email@example.com by June 2. We're looking forward to seeing what some of Chicago's brightest young minds come up with. Looking for a CPS high school student to write the treatment for the LSD music video featuring me & @chancetherapper! Submissions due 6/2 🌊 pic.twitter.com/0Fl4vSRPye— jamila woods (@duhmilo) May 23, 2017 Want more? Sign up here to stay in the k