The challenge was simple: Three wildly different shows in four days. My 68-year-old mother joined me and provided her input. Here’s the recap:
Living the History — 125 Years of the Auditorium Theatre
Chicago’s historic landmark performance venue, the Auditorium Theatre, received a classy and compact 125th birthday celebration on Dec. 9. Following an introduction by emcee John Mahoney, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel offered a few words on the importance of the venue in delivering world-class art to the city. And then, performers representing the wide range of the Auditorium’s programming entertained the mostly black-tie and befurred audience.
Highlights included performances by Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s brass ensemble, performances by dancers from Alvin Ailey and Joffrey Ballet, and the star of the night, Broadway powerhouse Patti LuPone, whose grand grand-aunt, soprano Adelina Patti, performed at the venue when it opened in 1889. The only misstep in this glorious evening was the inclusion of a random rock band to represent the various rock concerts the venue has hosted since the ’60s.
But all was forgiven when, during the finale, the legendary theatre’s side panels flanking the proscenium flew up into the rafters revealing the backstage, stage hands and technical crew. It took my breath away. A very fitting tribute to an army of people who make the art: it’s more than just the performers on the stage — it’s the team behind the curtain who make it happen.
Mom rating: “Beautiful evening and amazing acoustics, but that rock band was loud.”