Choose Chicago Media Relations
Contact: Cole Schrand, Coordinator, Media Relations
What’s New and Happening in Chicago – Fall/Winter 2019
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (October 30, 2019) – Chicago was recently named the “Best Large City in the U.S.” by Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards for the third consecutive year. Discover Chicago’s unique architectural legacy at the Chicago Architectural Biennial or marvel at early works by Andy Warhol at the Art Institute of Chicago’s latest exhibit, From A to B and Back Again. Check out what’s new and happening in Chicago this fall and winter 2019 below, and visit www.ChooseChicago.com for more information.
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago, as a part of the Kimpton-wide project, launches the #StayHuman room from October 1 to December 31, 2019. The interactive room encourages guests to connect with past and future guests of the room by leaving a part of themselves, via photo or note. Upon entering Room #1111 at Hotel Monaco Chicago, the guest will be greeted by a vintage typewriter that holds a welcome letter explaining the purpose of the room and its unique elements. A Polaroid guest book holds a collection of images from previous guests smiling under the room’s neon #StayHuman sign or from the window seat overlooking the Chicago River. The Polaroid camera lives in the room for guests to snap their own photo and leave it behind with a friendly note for the next guest. There is no other room like the #StayHuman room at the hotel, or in Chicago, nor is there an additional cost to book.
Embracing its locale where water, glass and concrete converge, Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago welcomes guests to experience its newly transformed 191 guest rooms and 22 suites, with the unveiling of its enhanced living-room lobby to come later this spring. The elevated redesign takes inspiration from Lake Michigan and the robust development along the Chicago Riverwalk, visible from the hotel’s famed window seats. The 191 newly renovated guest rooms have high ceilings and large bay windows, a Monaco Chicago signature. Redesigned bathrooms include tiled walk-in showers with marble accents, rain showerheads, detachable hand faucets and lighted mirrors framing a custom vanity. Twenty-two suites offer generous spaces for working and relaxing, with oversized bathrooms and a separate sitting area in each.
Set to open in winter 2019, the 21c Museum Hotel combines a 297-room boutique hotel, a multi-venue contemporary art museum and an independently branded, chef-driven restaurant in downtown Chicago. Building on the founders’ mission to bring contemporary art to the public, the hotel will have innovative exhibitions and programming that integrates art into daily life. 21c Museum Hotel will feature over 10,000 square feet of exhibition, meeting and event space showcasing rotating curated exhibitions, interactive site-specific art installations and a roster of cultural programming based on collaborations with local and national arts organizations. Welcoming local residents and visitors alike, the museum will be open to the public free of charge, 365 days a year. The property will also feature a unique, chef-driven food and beverage concept, full-service spa, business center and fitness center.
Offering 115 stylishly appointed guest rooms and suites, Nobu Hotel Chicago is centrally located in Chicago’s West Loop Neighborhood and famed “Restaurant Row.” Nobu Hotel Chicago allows guests to enjoy an unmatched luxury dining experience. Indulge in new-style Japanese cuisine at the 10,000 square foot world renowned Nobu Restaurant on the ground level or experience ‘Nobu on the Roof’ complete with elegant indoor and outdoor bar space looking out onto Randolph Street. The hotel is scheduled to open early 2020.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is transforming Chicago’s old Cook County Hospital into a dual-branded Hyatt House Hotel/ Hyatt Place, accompanied by medical office and retail space. The 14-story, 167,000 square feet, 200-room development will be the first hotel in the Fulton Market district to cater to extended-stay corporate travelers. Amenities will include an indoor pool, green roof, fitness center, bar and lounge. The hotels are slated to open in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
The Reserve Hotel, a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, will be a 234-room luxury hotel occupying the top five floors of the former Continental Bank building, which currently houses the JW Marriott Chicago on the first 12 floors. The Reserve Hotel began construction in late 2018 and is expected to open in late 2020. With its location in a historic oﬃce building in the heart of Chicago’s financial district and next door to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the design, finish and artwork throughout The Reserve Hotel will reflect the building’s history and the story of the LaSalle Street financial district.
Opening in spring 2020, the exclusive Curio Collection by Hilton hotel will debut the 222-room hotel adjacent to Fall Festival at the eastern end of Chicago’s Navy Pier. The hotel will feature a state-of-the-art fitness center and a 30,000 square foot rooftop restaurant, bar, and event space in addition to floor-to-ceiling windows offering unmatched views of Lake Michigan and Navy Pier.
O’Brien’s Hotel will take residence on the site of Old Town’s much-loved O’Brien’s Restaurant and Bar, and will feature 13 stories, with potential plans for a new O’Brien’s Restaurant anchoring the site, a high-end restaurant on the second floor, and an open-air rooftop bar. The hotel is scheduled to open fall 2020.
The Vista Tower has recently taken the spot as the third tallest building in Chicago. When completed, this Jeanne Gang-designed building will house the Wanda Vista Hotel, a 192-room contemporary hotel located in the low-rise portion of the tower. The hotel is scheduled to open October 2020 in the New East Side neighborhood.
The Collection at McCormick Square announces two new meeting venues: The Tap and the recently restored American Book Company (ABC) Building. These venues will serve as multi-purpose social and professional gathering spaces for events of all sizes. The ABC Building is a five-story Chicago landmark building connected to the Marriott Marquis. Core elements of the building from 1912, such as its original main entrance, foyer, and lobby, are paired with contemporary décor, elegantly blending past and present. Following its November 2017 restoration project, the ABC Building has hosted everything from cocktail parties to team building sessions. The Tap will be a 15,000 square foot multifaceted space located at the intersection of the West Building, Wintrust Arena, Marriott Marquis and Hyatt Regency. Construction began in August and the project will be complete by early 2020. This meeting space is bookable for private events, also acting as a coffee shop by day and bar by night. With plug and play capabilities during business hours and pre and postgame activities in the evening, this facility has something for all The Collection visitors.
JW Marriott Chicago, located in the heart of Chicago’s financial district, proudly announces a redesign of all 610 guest rooms including 29 suites, hotel corridors and the executive lounge. The hotel, which blends modern elegance into the Daniel H. Burnham Continental & Commercial National Bank Building, opened in November 2010 and will undergo a multi-million-dollar guestroom renovation to be completed a decade after its inception. The transformation, under the design of Looney & Associates, is a nod to a storied past. Exemplifying a luxury rail car motif, Looney & Associates’ design utilizes rectilinear lines and soft curves reminiscent of travel paths both past and present. Layered metal finishes, plush wovens, and dark wood tones signal the richness of the Pullman era while soothing neutrals are accented with saturated pops of color to convey comfort and authenticity. With a new sparkle from modern lighting, reminiscent of a conductor’s lantern, guests will be transported to another time. JW Marriott Chicago will remain open for the duration of the renovation program, which is anticipated to be complete by spring 2020.
Hotel Chicago West Loop, a dual-purpose independent concept known best for its unique art initiative called The Annex, has announced the completion of a property-wide renovation. New sleek furnishings, guestroom amenities and other technology enhancements are the latest touches added to the hotel’s colorful palette. Managed and operated by Portfolio Hotels & Resorts, the 116-room boutique hotel located in the city’s trendy West Loop is continually pushing the envelope in an effort to create extraordinary guest experiences.
Scheduled to open in 2021, the 58-story Equinox will have 165-rooms and 370 residential units in the West Loop. It will include an on-site fitness club and parking for 150 vehicles accessible via Court Place.
Please note: Some hotel information has been compiled from publicly available sources. Project scope and completion dates are subject to change.
ATTRACTIONS & TOURS
Andrew Rafacz Gallery will relocate to a new 2,000 square foot space in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood November 8, 2019. Inaugural exhibitions feature new work by Julia Bland and Robert Burnier. Additionally, artist Cody Hudson will unveil a large-scale, multi-story mural on the exterior sidewall of the building in spring 2020.
Brookfield Zoo brings back Holiday Magic for its 38th year. It is the Chicagoland’s largest and longest-running lights festival with over a million twinkling LED lights, a 41 foot tall talking tree, skating rink, ice carvers, larger than life LED animal sculptures, Zoo Chats and much more! Holiday Magic is open from November 30 – December 31, 2019.
Experience Lightscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden this holiday season. Along a mile-long path, the night comes alive with color, imagination, and sound, from a playful choir of singing trees to a spectacular waterfall of light. At times, you’ll find yourself in the center of it all — stepping inside a cathedral of golden light, walking down an avenue of luminous linden trees, moving through colorful ribbons of light.
Top-rated tour company Chicago Detours’ new Architecture of Money and Power Financial District Walking Tour shares the opulent architecture of Chicago’s downtown financial corridor and secret stories of flamboyant characters from Chicago’s past. This private group tour takes place mostly indoors, making it great for any weather. The tour visits grand landmarks like The Rookery and the Chicago Board of Trade, and then the tour heads to the area’s gritty “back door” for drinks in an old-school dive bar under the “L” tracks. This 2.25-hour walking tour is available for corporate and family groups on weekdays.
Chicago Detours has redesigned their popular Historic Chicago Walking Bar Tour to step inside the Gilded Age mansion that is now Lawry’s restaurant. This educational pub-crawl tour shows a secret side to Michigan Avenue. Guests get to see opulent architecture, now including the hidden architectural details on the outside of Lawry’s. On this new tour stop, guests also step inside to hear more history while enjoying a glass of wine or Lawry’s signature “Brown Gown Ale,” and taste house-made potato chips deliciously doused in Lawry’s famous seasoning. Located just a block off Michigan Ave, this building also once held a theater with quirky performances. This new revised tour is available year-round, five nights a week.
Chicago Food Planet has teamed up with Gallagher Way to showcase the variety of culinary options found around Wrigley Field. From Buffalo Chicken Waffle Cones and Homemade Cracker Jack Beignets, to freshly baked quiche and more, this 2.5-hour Wrigleyville Brunch Crawl at Gallagher Way is sure to ignite taste buds. In between tastings, the group will explore the Wrigleyville neighborhood with one of Chicago Food Planet’s expert tour guides. Guests can kick the tour up a notch with a full brunch experience by upgrading a $60 food tour ticket with a $20 alcohol package and do the weekend right. By the end of the tour, bellies will be full and brains will be filled to the brim with fun facts about the Wrigleyville neighborhood and architecture, insider stories about the Chicago Cubs and unknown tidbits about Gallagher Way. Limited tickets are available this fall; tour runs on weekends only.
The traditional German-Style Christkindlmarket returns with two Chicagoland locations in 2019! The free outdoor holiday market has been a Chicago favorite since 1996. Enjoy international and local food, merchandise, and live entertainment at the Christkindlmarket Chicago at Daley Plaza from November 15 – December 24, 2019 and at the Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville at Gallagher Way from November 22 – December 31, 2019. Guests can also quench their thirst with a refreshing imported German beer or warm up with a cup of Glühwein (hot spiced wine), which is served in the popular collectible souvenir mug.
The City of Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting will feature Grammy® Award-winning artist Jonathan Butler and Cielito Lindo. The lighting of the tree takes place November 22 at 6 p.m. at Millennium Park’s Wrigley Square. Following, rag doll Eleanor and the elves from Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Wish – The Musical will show off their wrapping and “rapping.” The music performances will be followed by a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus. The tree will be in Millennium Park from November 22, 2019 – January 6, 2020.
Macy’s on State Street is thrilled to revitalize the iconic store and create a more vibrant shopping destination for its customers in Chicago. Many departments on the 1st floor of the store have been renovated with new flooring, lighting, and fixtures. Newly upgraded departments include fine jewelry, fragrance and men’s. The store also renovated and expanded its Starbucks at the corner of Randolph and Wabash, and debuted STORY at Macy’s, a new narrative driven retail concept that changes themes every few months. The upgraded men’s department now features the Burnham Fountain as its centerpiece, the iconic three-tiered waterfall fountain designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham. The brand-new fine jewelry department spans roughly 11,000 square feet, and features state-of-the-art shops including Movado, Tag, Longines, Gucci, Tous and Swarovoski. In the newly renovated fragrance department, shoppers can experience Fragrance Bar, a new digital concept where customers can browse and sample perfumes by different brands grouped into separate scent categories, allowing them to choose perfumes by scent, rather than by brand. Macy’s on State Street has also recently debuted STORY at Macy’s, a new narrative driven retail concept shop bringing to life an editorial approach to retail. With themes changing every few months, STORY at Macy’s will deliver new concepts through its signature blend of unique collaborations, narrative driven merchandising and dynamic event programming. All renovations at Macy’s on State Street are scheduled to be complete by the end of the year.
The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival returns in 2019, starting on 4:00PM on Friday, November 22 and then again at 11:00 AM on Saturday, November 23. The Lights Festival promises TWO days of free, family-friendly activities, leading up to the beloved tree-lighting parade on Saturday evening, November 23. Grand Marshals Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World illuminate more than one million lights on 250 trees along the route!
Explore the Museum of Science and Industry’s rich holiday traditions from around the globe while creating your own traditions with loved ones at Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light. It began in 1942 with a single tree. Today, the Museum’s beloved annual celebration features a four-story, floor-to-dome Grand Tree, surrounded by a forest of more than 50 trees and displays decorated by volunteers to represent the holiday traditions from cultures around the globe. On the weekends, you can also enjoy live holiday performances. It’s the one-of-a-kind experience that brings a whole world of holiday joy under one roof. Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light runs from November 14, 2019 – January 5, 2020.
Navy Pier Winter Wonderfest is back December 6, 2019 – January 12, 2020. Packed with indoor family fun, Winter WonderFest is a delightful family tradition featuring 170,000 square feet of attractions, including rides, giant slides, indoor ice skating, and holiday decor that is sure to get you into the holiday spirit!
Autumn After Hours at the Robie House is the best time to visit the Robie House when Wright’s Prairie-style palette exquisitely reflects the season. Guests are invited to make the house their own, moving freely through beautifully restored rooms, socializing with friends, learning about the house from Wright docents, enjoying regional wines and seasonal brews, live music and presentations by local craftspeople. Autumn After Hours takes place October 4 to November 22 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 for nonmembers and $35 for FLWT members.
Biennial Wednesdays at the Robie House offer extended tour hours in honor of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. This tour is offered from September 25 to December 18 from 12:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 and free for FLWT members.
Wright Around Chicago World Heritage Tour takes you to two of the designated sites in the Chicago area, Unity Temple and Frederick C. Robie House, magnificent buildings of the Prairie period. The tour also includes Wright’s Home and Studio, the birthplace of American architecture, where both World Heritage sites were designed. Frank Lloyd Wright’s paramount architectural achievements have recently received UNESCO World Heritage designation. Tickets for nonmembers are $170. Tickets for FLWT members are $145. The event runs through January 2020 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and includes guided tours, coach transportation, lunch, and a Prosecco toast.
ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo is a one-of-a-kind, festive holiday experience offers a free, merry, family-oriented celebration of joy right in the heart of the city. ZooLights features hundreds of luminous displays and incredible seasonal activities, all under the glow of 2.5 million lights. We ensure that it will be the hap, hap, happiest season since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny Kaye. ZooLights is open from November 29, 2019 – January 5, 2020.
FOOD & DRINK
Michelin awarded stars to five new Chicago restaurants. The list includes Kikko (chef Noah Sandoval’s new restaurant), Mako, Next, Omakase Yume and Yugen, all in the West Loop, reinforcing the neighborhood as a top culinary destination and reinforcing Japanese omakase as a new dining trend.
Avli River North, the follow up to Avli Taverna in Lincoln Park and Avli Estiatorio in suburban Winnetka, opened in September in River North. Compared to restaurateur Loui Alexakis’s other locations, Avli River North will be a more formal setting for the “inspired Greek” fare the establishment is known for. The restaurant will span three floors, the first being a bar and dining space; the second will accommodate main dining and private dining; and the patio will hold 56 seats. The interior and exterior designs are inspired by Greek summers, comprised of lots of whites, blues and natural textures, like stucco and brick.
Personifying the ultimate urban shopping, dining and entertainment experience, Block 37 is centrally located in the heart of the Loop and Chicago’s Theater District, offering five-levels of must visit lifestyle destinations from fashion and beauty brands, to award-winning restaurants and lively entertainment attractions. Including iconic glazed doughnut brand Krispy Kreme, which after a long hiatus, is set to open in the city on Block 37’s highly populated Pedway this fall. The 1,000 square foot shop will stand across from Starbucks, perfect location for commuters to grab their favorite fresh doughnuts, when traveling between train stations. In addition, Chicago-based shoe company, Chinelas has moved locations to the Pedway expanding not only its’ square footage, but also its’ offerings. Inspired by their Argentinean-style shoes, Chinelas now serves empanadas, Yerba Matte tea, and candles, to offer a unique twist on your traditional shopping experience. The space also received a significant upgrade by local Chicago artist, Gabby Ciut, who colorfully decorated the interior walls with murals that take you on a journey right to Buenos Aires.
Bon Appétit, the award-winning food lifestyle brand, announced the launch of Bon Appétit, Delivered, a virtual restaurant featuring dishes curated by the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen. The delivery-only concept is available exclusively in Chicago through Grubhub, the nation’s leading online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace. The virtual storefront is operated by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE), a multi-concept restaurant group based in Chicago. Bon Appétit, Delivered brings the brand’s most popular dishes from the pages of its magazine, website and Instagram feed to life. All recipes are developed by the brand’s famed Test Kitchen editors and are produced in collaboration with LEYE. Bon Appétit, Delivered is open for delivery Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday between 3:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. CST.
The famous Brick Bar will be in Chicago from January 31 – February 2, 2020, and will consist of over one million LEGO ® bricks transported and assembled into the ultimate nostalgia trip. The bar will feature sculptures made completely from Lego bricks as well as an abundance of blocks for people to shape into their own creations. The session will involve building competitions for prizes, a table tennis competition played on a Lego built table with over 22,000 bricks, a wishing well and more. Admission to the Brick Bar is on a first-come, first-served basis with limited tickets available. To register, simply sign up on their website for pre-release tickets.
Catalog is the new retail, food and entertainment annex wrapping the base of the Willis Tower. The 300,000 square foot, five-story space will take-over what was once a blank stone wall; the overhaul is obvious. The space will have a curving glass skylight, brawny, black vertical beams and a publicly accessible rooftop green space expected to open in spring 2020. The highlight of Catalog, however, are the restaurant offerings including Brown Bag Seafood Co., Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken, Shake Shack, Sweetgreen, Rick Bayless’ Tortazo and a food hall by Urban Space. The largest tenant will be Convene, a meetings and events space for those who wish to rent flexible meeting rooms.
From the team behind Le Sud, the French Mediterranean hotspot in Roscoe Village, and Koi Fine Asian Cuisine & Lounge in Evanston, comes Club 77, a hip downtown destination ideal for power lunches and after-work dinner and drinks. Located downtown, Club 77 features a menu by Executive Chef Patrick Sheerin inspired by the history and global influence found in Chicago’s iconic neighborhoods, and a refreshed interior space that mimics the history of the building in which it is located. Not only does the menu pay homage to The Windy City, but all of the collectibles that cover the bookcases and shelves throughout the restaurant were sourced from local antique stores throughout the Midwest, each with its own storied past. Club 77 is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., on Saturdays from 5 to 10 p.m. and closed on Sundays.
Hayden Hall, a 30,000 square foot food hall, will open in the South Loop in the iconic “big red building” in January 2020. From developer John Buck Company and DMK Restaurants, the space will include vendors like DMK’s County BBQ, a partnership with chef Erick Williams, or Virtue, vegetarian focused Mana Food Bar, which shuttered in Wicker Park in 2018, and more. In addition to those fares, the space will also house a new coffee and food bar called Julia Coffee and Brioche, Great Lake Meat Company, a new hot sandwich spot, and a grab-and-go market called Love Foods. DMK co-owners David Morton and Michael Kornick have cultivated other bars and restaurants including aforementioned County BBQ, Ada Street – which will receive a second location at Hayden – Rec Room and Marshall’s Landing.
Hubbard Inn recently reopened in October 2019. The three-story restaurant and club has been revamped and redecorated per new ownership under 8 Hospitality, who also operates Broken English Taco Pub and Joy District, among others. The first floor will have a center island and plush booths surrounding where customers can order food and drinks, plus brunch on the weekends. The second floor, called Blue Violet, is the Instagrammers’ dream. The space will be packed with floral touches and swing chairs by the windows away from the dance floors, all aimed at snapping the perfect selfie. The third floor club will be for bottle service and live performances with the appeal of a retro aesthetic.
José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup announced that its beloved Jaleo brand will open in the River North neighborhood of Chicago in mid-2020. As a pioneering brand that popularized tapas dining in the U.S., Jaleo brings alive the spirit and flavors of Spain as seen through the creative lens of Spanish Chef Andrés and his team.
Eric Zhou, owner of Chicago dumpling darling Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings in Chinatown has debuted his second outlet. JIAO, a quick-serve spinoff of QXY, which is known for its soupy, hand-pressed, Northern Chinese-style dumplings has opened in the Loop.
Top Chef Season 15 winner Joe Flamm is slated to open a new restaurant concept in summer 2020. Flamm is partnering with the owners at BLVD in Fulton Market on a Croatian-Italian restaurant. Flamm hails from Michelin star studded Spiaggia. His new digs will be nothing short of his famous spaghetti specials. Other staples will include grilled whole fish and pita-like sandwiches stuffed with lamb and beef sausage that’s been cooked in a charcoal hearth. Chicago has a handful of casual Croatian cuisine options, but none with the fine dining experience Flamm possesses.
The Gwen has partnered with James Beard Award-winning chef Carrie Nahabedian and Michael Nahabedian to open Kostali, a Southern European and North African style restaurant scheduled to open late October 2019. The restaurant will combine Nahabedian’s many years in the hospitality industry, including restaurants like NAHA, Brindille, as well as The Ritz-Carlton and The Four Seasons hotels. The restaurant will be in the former location of Circa.
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, the city’s most storied deep dish pizzeria, opened a restaurant in the Wrigley Building on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. It will be located on the north side of the Wrigley building. And it’s not a moment too soon for the city’s deep dish pizza-loving, faithful and hungry tourists. With the addition of this location, the company’s city footprint will expand with an additional 200 seats available for dine-in along with more oven capacity for fulfilling catering and delivery orders throughout the city, which is good news for locals and tourists alike. The restaurant will feature a distinctive design with a vintage twist. The space will pay homage to the history of the building in unique ways, including utilizing the existing terrazzo floors, still intact from when the space was long ago part of the building’s cafeteria. The new location will offer dine-in, carryout, delivery and catering services. It will also include a private dining space, which will be able to accommodate groups of 30-40.
Philz Coffee, a San Francisco-based company with a loyal following, has opened locations in the Wicker Park, Hyde Park, Lincoln Park neighborhoods. They will be opening an Evanston location in October 2019. Philz Coffee is made of 12 secret coffee blends from countries like Brazil, Yemen and more. Each location will sell baked goods sourced from local Chicago companies.
Bobby Hitz, Chicago’s longest-running boxing promoter and key figure in the city’s entertainment arena, announces the opening of Giglio’s State Street Tavern in the South Loop. At Giglio’s, Bobby shares his grandparents’ recipes and love for family dinners around tables filled with home-cooked food. Soon to be a neighborhood staple, Giglio’s is a cozy eatery focused on authentic Italian dishes and nightly drink specials, while decked out with 20 television screens for sports fans.
This fall, Revival Food Hall, 16” on Center hospitality group’s all local, chef-driven food hall, announces the newest addition to its roster of premier fast-casual dining options as Art of Dosa sets up shop as the hall’s newest permanent food stall. Art of Dosa is a South Indian dining concept founded by owner Ravi Nagubadi. Set to open its first brick-and-mortar location in the massive 24,000 square foot venue in the city’s bustling Loop this fall, Art of Dosa centers around the Masala Dosa, a wildly popular dish originating in the Southern portion of India. Housed in the stall between Smoque and Fat Shallot, Art of Dosa will feature a menu of 100% vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free fare, bringing the unique flavors of the prized cuisine of Nagubadi’s ancestors to the people of Chicago.
Pacino’s, a new Italian eatery helmed by Sicilian Chef Mike Serratore, opened early October at Roosevelt Collection in the South Loop. The restaurant will feature Chef Mike’s housemade pastas, pizzas and more – with each dish inspired by his Sicilian roots and served with a contemporary twist.
The X Pot is a new restaurant concept opening at Roosevelt Collection in early 2020. The concept is an innovative eatery from the team that created the authentic Chinese hot pot experience, Chubby Cattle. This project will unveil dynamic interactive layers and groundbreaking technology to add to the immersive dining experience. This will be The X Pot’s second location after their planned opening in Las Vegas later this year. Similar to past projects, The X Pot team aims to take traditional Asian dishes and give them a high-tech, high-quality twist. Founders Haibin Yang and David Zhao wanted to combine the comforts of hot pot cuisine and elevate them with quality ingredients and unique flavor combinations.
The Lucky Well, known for its Memphis-style dry-rub meats, is looking to bring the warm, inclusive environment of its Ambler, Penn. location to the South Loop. Ambitious and self-taught, Chef Chad Rosenthal (Food Network Star: Seasons 9 and 10, Chopped Grill Masters) is excited to introduce his expanding Pennsylvania concept to Chicagoans. Like in Ambler, the Roosevelt Collection location will focus on delicious barbecue, top-shelf whiskey and classic craft cocktails, and a live blues atmosphere. While researching the city, Rosenthal visited a number of local barbecue joints and legendary blues stages; he’s committed to making the restaurant a genuine coming-together moment of the iconic atmosphere of Chicago blues and delicious cuisine.
Roots Handmade Pizza, the home of authentic Quad Cities-style pizza in Chicago, opened its third location at Second City in Old Town. Roots will bring new flavors to Old Town with their hand crafted comfort food made with fresh, local ingredients, house-made sodas and organic sweets for the kids.
RPM On The Water, an ideal location for private events and weddings in downtown Chicago, is now open on the Chicago riverfront in River North. It comes from the RPM team of partners including R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, chef Doug Psaltis and Bill and Giuliana Rancic. Designed by award-winning architecture and design firm Rockwell Group, the flexible event space is 6,000 square feet and can host 250 guests for a seated function and 425 for a reception. Guests enter through a private entrance into the main foyer then descend down the grand staircase past a pre-function room and a dedicated VIP/bridal suite before entering into the grand ballroom. At 2,100 square feet, the pre-function room has a full bar and is perfect for cocktail hour or smaller events. The grand ballroom can be divided into three independent spaces with access to the outdoor terrace, providing sweeping views of the Chicago River along the entirety of the venue. Amenities include valet, full A/V capabilities, indoor/outdoor lighting, designer linens and glassware and more. RPM On The Water offers a fully customizable culinary experience, allowing guests to mix and match signature items from RPM Italian, RPM Steak and RPM Seafood. Each event menu is created by Chef / Partner, Doug Psaltis, with wine lists curated by Beverage Director, Richard Hanauer, to provide guests with the best of RPM Restaurants.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery is scheduled to open November 15, 2019 on the Magnificent Mile. Occupying 43,000 square feet and spanning across four stories, this will be the world’s largest Starbucks. The Reserve will include on-site roasting of its rare Reserve beans, interactive tours, exclusive drinks inspired by Chicago culture and tradition and a kitchen full of desserts, breads, pizzas and salads from Italian bakery Princi. Besides coffee, the reserve will also be highlighting specialty cocktails by local mixologists Annie Beebe-Tron of Fat Rice, Julia Momose of Oriole and Kumiko, and Rachel Miller of Community Tavern. That way, customers can enjoy from dawn until dusk.
Stockton, a restaurant and nightlife venue in the former Jellyfish space in Gold Coast, opened in early October, 2019. Co-owners Josh Carl and Joseph De Vito, previously of Jellyfish, have doubled the square footage of the space to create four distinct spaces: the Atrium, Bar, Semi-Private Dining Room and The Lounge. Executive chef Gerardo Martinez’s (previously at Maple & Ash) menu includes a seafood tower, raw bar and shareable bites like truffle burrata, Asian barbecue baos and lobster mac. The aesthetic is softer than Jellyfish with a live plant wall, plush lounge seating and velvet banquets that create a cozy yet clubby feeling.
As Time Out Market Chicago prepares for its opening in the heart of the Fulton Market District, the latest additions to its impressive culinary lineup have been revealed. Joining the curated mix of some of the city’s top chefs and restaurateurs are Abe Conlon, John Manion, Kevin Hickey, Lost Larson, FARE, Funkenhausen and Dos Urban Cantina. Chef Brian Fisher, The Purple Pig, Chef Thai Dang, Mini Mott and more have previously been announced. Time Out Market Chicago is a food and cultural market bringing the best of the city under one roof: its best chefs, drinks and cultural experiences, based on the editorial curation Time Out has always been known for. Opening later in 2019, Time Out Market Chicago will give guests a true taste of the city with 18 eateries to choose from, three bars and a demonstration kitchen. The 50,000 square foot brick building—spanning three floors—will also offer an event venue, a retail area, an entertainment platform with bleacher seating and an indoor/outdoor rooftop complete with impressive views of the city skyline.
Topgolf is the premier entertainment destination in Schaumburg. Whether it’s for birthday parties, bachelor or bachelorette parties, corporate events, date nights, or just a night out with friends, everyone will have a great time. No matter the occasion or who you share it with, Topgolf believes that every great time starts with play, is fueled by food and drinks, moved by music and all made possible through community.
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE), a multi-concept restaurant group, and Grubhub, the nation’s leading online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace, are partnering to offer Whole30 Delivered, Whole30’s first-ever branded restaurant. This delivery-only restaurant concept from Whole30, the 30-day dietary reset chosen by millions for stunning, life-changing results, is operated by LEYE and provides diners across Chicago access to prepared, Whole30-compliant meals for delivery exclusively on Grubhub, making it easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The culinary team at LEYE worked directly with Whole30 to create a menu for the virtual restaurant that keeps with the lifestyle brand’s commitment to real, whole, unprocessed foods. The menu is available to order for lunch and dinner – and will rotate seasonally to showcase the freshest ingredients. Menu items include: Thai Chicken-Coconut-Curry Soup, Melissa’s Buffalo Chicken Salad, “Spaghetti and Meatballs” made with spaghetti squash and chicken meatballs, Roasted Chicken Tikka Masala, and more. Visit whole30delivered.com for the full menu of dishes that are available now for delivery through Grubhub. Whole30 Delivered from LEYE and Grubhub is open for delivery Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. CT and Sunday from 3:30 – 9 p.m. CT.
Forbes Travel Guide listed The Peninsula Hotel Chicago’s – Z Bar on their 2019 Verified List. Z bar is one of only 44 bars from around the world named on this list. This comes on the heels of the Forbes Five-Star Awards announcement in February 2019, in which The Peninsula achieved Forbes Five-Star status across all ten of its hotels, resulting in The Peninsula Hotels being the first and only hotel brand to achieve the highest possible Forbes Travel Guide rating for all of its properties. Located above Chicago’s iconic Michigan Avenue, The Peninsula Chicago’s recently-opened rooftop lounge, Z Bar, boasts expansive city views, an array of distinctive, globally-inspired cocktails, boldly-flavored food and the latest tunes from around the world.
MUSEUMS, EXHIBITS & FESTIVALS
“My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today,” the latest exhibit at the American Writers Museum, gives visitors and students a deep and personal experience, bringing them face-to-face with contemporary authors who are immigrants and refugees from all parts of the world. The authors featured in “My America” will delve into questions about writing influences, being multilingual, community, family, and what it means to be American. This interactive exhibit, designed to elicit thoughtful dialogue on a wide variety of issues and features works by more than 30 immigrant and refugee writers opens November 21, 2019 and runs through May 2021. Free with regular price admission (starting at $6).
Andy Warhol – From A To B and Back Again is the first US retrospective of Andy Warhol since 1989 — and reconsiders the work of one of the most inventive, influential, and important American artists. This Art Institute of Chicago exhibit reveals new complexities about the artist we think we know and introduces a Warhol for the 21st century. Featuring more than 300 works, the exhibition positions Warhol’s career as a continuum, demonstrating that he did not slow down after surviving the assassination attempt that nearly took his life in 1968 but entered into a period of intense experimentation. The exhibit runs from October 20, 2019 – January 26, 2020.
The Chicago Architecture Biennial 2019 edition, titled … and other such stories, forms an expansive and multi-faceted exploration of the field of architecture and the built environment globally. Developed through a research-led approach, the biennial addresses the potency of space, architecture, and the natural world as they relate to four areas of inquiry: No Land Beyond, Appearances and Erasures, Rights and Reclamations, and Common Ground. The Biennial, which is free and open to the public across all citywide locations, will run through January 5, 2020.
The Chicago Children’s Museum has added a new permanent experience to their wonderful lineup of activities. Designed by artist Kevin Winters, Cloud Buster is a climbable structure made up of steel, wood, wire, rope, acrylic, fiberglass and turf. Cloud Buster will be located in Navy Pier’s Fifth Third Family pavilion and offers multiple levels of explorable fun. Cloud Buster opens November 1, 2019.
Fantastic Bug Encounters!, the Field Museum’s newest exhibition, gives visitors a peek into the hidden world of bugs. Through larger-than-life models and hands-on interactives, visitors will discover how bugs’ incredible adaptations—from flight to camouflage to performing “brain surgery” on prey—are changing the world. Fantastic Bug Encounters! will even feature a live bug zoo where visitors will be able to see (and even hold) bug species from around the world. The exhibition, presented in both English and Spanish, is included with either a Discovery or All-Access Pass. Fantastic Bug Encounters! runs until April 19, 2020. Please visit fieldmuseum.org/fantastic bugs for exhibition updates.
New additions to SUE the T. rex’s suite at the Field Museum: multisensory stations that allow visitors to smell, hear and feel what the late Cretaceous forest might’ve been like. From the sweet scent of Cretaceous plants, and SUE’s putrid breath and its subsonic rumble, every detail in these multisensory stations is based on current research about the T. rex and the diversity of flora and fauna it lived alongside.
State of Water: Our Most Valuable Resource at the Field Museum showcases the designs and architecture behind the water systems we use every day. The exhibition features 31 photographs from award-winning photographer Brad Temkin’s book The State of Water, published by Radius Books. A native Chicagoan with a passion for capturing overlooked and unknown places, Temkin’s work is also an important tool for conservationists. This exhibit closes January 12, 2020.
On display now through January 12, 2020, at Illinois Holocaust Museum, Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross highlights rare, unearthed photographs that reveal the tragedy and devastation of Ghetto life during the Holocaust. An experienced photojournalist, Henryk Ross was assigned to take official identification photographs for the Nazi-controlled Jewish Administration and risked his life to capture powerful photos of Jewish life in the Lodz Ghetto from 1940 to 1944. There are nearly 300 of Ross’ photos on display in this exhibit.
Using absurdist satire to address critical issues of our time, Mika Rottenberg: Easypieces at Museum of Contemporary Art offers subversive allegories for contemporary life. Her videos and installations interweave documentation with fiction, and often feature protagonists in factory-like settings who manufacture goods ranging from cultured pearls to millions of brightly colored plastic items sold wholesale in Chinese superstores. This exhibit runs from October 2, 2019 – March 8, 2020.
The Shape of the Future features works from the Museum of Contemporary Art’s permanent collection that reckon with the dubious dream of a universal design language. Coinciding with the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the exhibition explores global modernism as a framework for utopia and speculative world making, marked by traces of labor, political fantasy, and cultural turmoil. Highlighting the histories and ideologies embedded in the built environment, these artists reveal the complexity—and at times absurdity—of the modernist project as a collection of disasters and reveries. This exhibit runs October 19, 2019 – April 5, 2020.
Direct Message: Art, Language, And Power at the Museum of Contemporary Art looks at the ways artists since the 1960s have used words to challenge our ideas about all of the messages we read, write, hear, and speak daily as well as their forms. In this innovative exhibition, artists remix conventional modes of communication, challenging our perceptions of language and, by extension, power. This exhibit runs from October 26, 2019 – January 26, 2020.
Routes and Territories brings together three works from the Museum of Contemporary Art collection that address human migration by focusing on a particular region, Latin America, where colonialism and the forced movement of entire cultures have deeply affected communities. Human migration takes place across the world, but its stories and circumstances vary. The experiences of people who have left their country of origin to establish a new life elsewhere are rooted in longstanding—and myriad—histories of displacement. This exhibit runs from November 2, 2019 – April 19, 2020.
Housed at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago is Third Realm, a collection of contemporary Asian art from the FarEastFarWest collection, a Shanghai-based organization that commissions and acquires contemporary Asian artworks. Many of the pieces exhibited use the concept of ritual to investigate liminal spaces—between past and present, local and global, secular and sacred—to uncover the “third realms” that lie between. Featuring artists predominantly from China, as well as Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and others, Third Realm connects works primarily from East and Southeast Asia to present contemporary Asian art that, while conceptually grappling with shared themes, is still resistant to broad categorization. Artists include Birdhead, Cao Fei, Comfortable Collective, FX Harsono, Jompet (Agustinus Kuswidananto), Lu Yang, Sutee Kunavichayanon, Surasi Kusolwong, Gary Ross Pastrana, Paola Pivi, Sun Xun, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Xijing Men, Yang Zhenzhong, and Zhou Xiaohu. The exhibit runs through December 22, 2019.
The Oriental Institute (OI) of the University of Chicago commemorates 100 years of pioneering research and study of the earliest human civilizations in the ancient Middle East. The OI houses one of the world’s largest collections of Middle Eastern artifacts outside of the British Museum and the Louvre, with more than 350,000 objects mainly excavated by OI archaeologists and some 5,000 on display to the public at the OI Museum. The OI Museum is undergoing a multi-million-dollar gallery renovation that was unveiled in conjunction with the Centennial celebration launched in September 2019. Additional OI Centennial programming throughout the 2019–20 academic year will include new OI Museum exhibits, artistic performances, academic conferences, visual art exhibitions, and a film series. For more information and the most up-to-date schedule of events, visit oi100.uchicago.edu.
Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Commissioner Mark Kelly, Grammy® and Oscar Award-winning artist Che “Rhymefest” Smith and many other civic, arts and music leaders announced plans to designate 2020 as the ‘Year of Chicago Music.’ This citywide, year-long focus on music is one of the first of its kind in the United States. The City of Chicago and its partners will launch a new marketing brand for Chicago music, provide additional financial grants for music projects, encourage dialog around inclusion and equity, and call on civic, philanthropic, arts and business leaders to support the music industry. The Year of Chicago Music follows the success of 2017, 2018 and 2019 initiatives celebrating Chicago’s public art, its creative youth and its vibrant theatre scene. Its mission is to place a spotlight on Chicago’s music landscape – one of the most influential and dynamic musical sectors on the globe – highlighting its legacy, expanding its audience and strengthening the sector.
The Auditorium Theatre closes out 2019 with “Chicago Celebrates Sondheim!,” a salute to America’s most beloved composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, with some of Chicago’s best-known theatre and cabaret performers. The 2019-20 Season continues in January 2020 with “Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel [CT1] Messiah,” celebrating 15 years in Chicago on January 18 and 19. This unique twist on Handel’s classic Messiah will have guests clapping and singing along. The theatre’s National Geographic Live series returns on January 26 with the wildlife photographer Steve Winter, known for his National Geographic photos of cougars, lions, and tigers. On Leap Day, Trinity Irish Dance Company returns for two electrifying performances, followed by a busy March at the theatre that features performances by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and American Ballet Theatre. This National Historic Landmark theatre, recently named the Outstanding Historic Theatre for 2019 by the League of Historic American Theatres, celebrates its 130th birthday on December 9. Stop by for a historic theatre tour.
Come see “Tidings of Tap” at Chicago Tap Theatre for one performance only on Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 3 p.m. Audiences have made CTT’s annual warm and witty celebration of Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s and the Winter Season part of their holiday tradition for over a decade. Enjoy many of your favorite holiday songs in this inclusive celebration at the beautiful North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. Even long-time fans will find a lot that is new this year, as CTT refreshes the story, adds new dances, and gives you more of the amazing rhythmic gymnastics of Dasha. Tickets range from $25 – $41.
Right now at Chopin Theatre in Wicker Park with the Rough House Theatre Company, audiences are invited to a once-in-a-lifetime tour of “The Silence of Harrow House,” the secluded home and studio of Milton Harrow, the world’s most influential and reclusive architect. Through puppetry, environmental and sonic design, “The Silence in Harrow House” brings audiences face-to-face with cosmic horrors, nightmarish to behold and yet uncannily familiar. The show runs through November 10. Regular run: Thursdays and Fridays at 7 and 8:45 p.m., Saturdays at 6, 7:45 and 9:30 p.m., and Sundays at 6 and 7:45 p.m. Tickets range from $15 – $32 and are recommended for audiences aged 14 and over. Credits: conceived and directed by Mike Oleon, written by Mark Maxwell & Claire Saxe.
The House Theatre of Chicago brings The Nutcracker back for its 10th Anniversary production. Appearing again at the Chopin Theatre, and featuring all new puppets, The Nutcracker is fast-paced, beautifully choreographed, family-friendly, and moving, even for those of us that might be on the Grinch’s side from time to time. A modern holiday tradition weaving together riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, original songs, this spellbinding spectacle tells a heartwarming, darkly moving story of magic and hope—a fun outing fit for the whole family. Experience the magic from November 8 – December 29, 2019. Regular Run: Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 3 and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. with added performances Friday, November 29 at 3 p.m., Sundays, December 8, 15 and 22 at 7 p.m. and Monday, December 23 at 7 p.m. Note: There is no performance on Thursday, November 28. Tickets range from $20 – $50. Credits: based on the story by E.T.A Hoffman, adapted by Jake Minton, Phillip Klapperich & Kevin O’Donnell, and directed and choreographed by Tommy Rapley.
In the eleventh installment of their late-night variety, The Factory Theatre in Rogers Park presents “Factory After Dark 11.” This year’s show is filled with the best Chicago talent and sprinkled with some Factory surprises. Who’s on the docket? A big bucket of hell yeah Eric Roach, the beloved host and monologuist, Hannah Simpson – Clowning, Andy Monson & Robert Alan – Golem: Storytelling Through Music, Chloe Adamo – Singing: Summertime Sadness, Forseit Fox – Cabaret, Sierra – Poems and more. Get tickets now as the show is for one night only, Saturday, November 2 from 10:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
“Oh Sh#t! It’s Haunted!” will run regularly on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m now through November 9 at The Factory Theatre in Rogers Park. They say that the old Lockwood place is haunted, not just by a heartbroken old man, but by actual ghosts. Sounds of polka music, acid guitar and people chomping on pirogi can be heard inside. Can our gang of Darla, Mo, Slats and Henry get to the bottom of this before the opportunistic Mrs. Ingersson gets her hands on it? Find out in this very Scooby-Doo–like tale from ensemble member Scott O’Ken, author of Factory’s 2017 hit, “Fight City.” Tickets are $25.
Do you like Christmas plays? The Factory Theatre goes overtime with their sequel to their first-ever holiday extravaganza, 2018’s The Xmas War: A Christmas Play. This year, it’s “The Xmas War II” and it runs from December 13 – 21, Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. Credits: Created by Scott O’Ken.
The Joffrey Ballet will whisk audiences away this winter with their performance of The Nutcracker. Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s acclaimed turn-of-the-century tale opens on Christmas Eve, 1892, mere months before the grand opening of the 1893 World’s Fair, as young Marie and her mother prepare for a Christmas Eve potluck celebration. The magic of the season takes hold when a visit from The Great Impresario sets off a whirlwind journey of romance and adventure through a dreamlike World’s Fair. The Nutcracker runs November 30-December 29, 2019. Single tickets are on sale now.
Lifeline Theatre in Rogers Park presents “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile.” While the Primm family is busily moving into their new home on East 88th Street, they are shocked to discover a crocodile in their bathtub! His name is Lyle, he performs tricks, and, oh, he only eats Turkish caviar. The Primm’s are quick to welcome Lyle into the family, but not everyone is so thrilled about a crocodile living on the block. Discover the meaning of family in this musical based off the beloved classic by Bernard Waber. Catch a show with your little one October 26 – November 24, Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Ticket Price: Adults: $20; Child (ages 2 – 18): $15. Credits: based on the book by Bernard Waber, adapted by Lifeline Theatre ensemble Christina Calvit, music and lyrics by George Howe, directed by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Amanda Link.
“Whose Body,” the beloved 1923 whodunit play based on the classic mystery novel by Dorothy L. Sayers, has been adapted by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Frances Limoncelli. When a dead body turns up in a bathtub wearing nothing but a pair of pince-nez, amateur detective Lord Peter Wimsey assigns himself to the case. However, when the mystery becomes labyrinthine he enlists the help of close friend Inspector Parker to follow his only lead, a teaching hospital near the scene of the crime. Could it be a harmless prank by a medical student or something more sinister? Follow the clues and uncover the truth. The show runs through October 27. Regular Run: Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sundays at 4 p.m. regular run tickets: $45.
The 23rd Annual Fillet of Solo Festival will be held from January 10 – 26, 2020. Celebrating the breadth of Chicago’s enduring storytelling and Live Lit scene, Lifeline Theatre brings together numerous solo performers and storytelling collectives for a three-week, multi-venue selection of powerful personal stories. Ticket prices are $10 per performance or $60 for a Festival Pass.
Lifeline Theatre presents ensemble member Aly Renee Amidel’s adaptation of “Bunny’s Book Club,” based on the book by Annie Silvestro. Ever since he overheard the librarian reading outside of the library, Bunny has been enamored with books. But upon reflection, he isn’t sure if animals are allowed in the library. With the help of his furry friends, Bunny decides to share his love for reading and start a book club, but how can they get their hands on those books? Celebrate the joy of reading in this world premiere adaptation of Annie Silvestro’s celebrated picture book. The show runs from January 11 – February 16, 2020. Regular run: Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for children ages 2-18.
Lyric Opera of Chicago amazes, inspires and engages audiences with thrilling live performances by outstanding singers and the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus. The 2019/20 season starts with Rossini’s sparkling romantic comedy “The Barber of Seville” (September 28 – October 27), inspiring laughter on every page of the score. Then comes Verdi’s passionate romantic drama “Luisa Miller” (October 12 – 31). “Dead Man Walking,” based on real-life events that inspired the Academy Award-winning movie with the same title, profoundly explores human nature, friendship and forgiveness; it’s considered among the most riveting operas of the 21st century (November 2 – 22). Full of memorable characters, Don Giovanni is Mozart’s brilliant tale of lust and revenge in a gorgeous production set in 1920s Spain (November 14 – December 8).
Four-time Grammy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Renée Fleming returns to Chicago in a new production of “The Light in the Piazza,” presented by John Berry & Anthony Lilley for Scenario Two and Karl Sydow, for ten performances only, December 14-29, 2019 at the Lyric Opera House. Joining Fleming are three-time Olivier Award winner Alex Jennings (Netflix’s The Crown) and rising star Solea Pfeiffer (Almost Famous, Hamilton). Tickets start at $49 and are on sale now. The Chicago engagement follows the production’s acclaimed run at the Royal Festival Hall in London this summer.
The Poetry Foundation presents “Verböten,” a band made up of outsider teens with seriously complex home lives. As they gear up for a show at The Cubby Bear that is sure to change their lives forever, can they keep their parents from destroying the fabric of their self-made punk rock family? With lyrics and music by Verböten’s original guitarist Jason Narducy (Split Single, Superchunk, Bob Mould) and book by Brett Neveu (Odradek, Pilgrim’s Progress, Traitor), Verböten is inspired by the true story of Chicago’s own young punks. Running from January 16 – March 8, 2020, regular run schedule and ticket prices are to be determined.
Porchlight Music Theatre presents “Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies.” A celebration of the artist many consider “the most important composer in the history of jazz,” this stylish salute to “The Duke” will transport audiences on a high-stepping, dynamic journey through the life and times of one of America’s greatest showmen. The show will run from January 24 – March 7, 2020 on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3:30 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with weekday matinees on Thursday, February 6 and February 13 at 1:30 p.m. Plus, added performances on Monday January 25 at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday March 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Mach 4 at 7:30 p.m. Ticket Price: $39 – $66. Credits: music by Duke Ellington, concept by Donald McKayle, directed and choreographed by Brenda Didier and Florence Walker Harris, music directed by Jermaine Hill.
Porchlight Music Theatre revisits “Call Me Madam.”From the combined talents who created “Annie Get Your Gun” and “The Sound of Music” and created for the original “The Hostess with the Mostess’ on the Ball,” Ethel Merman, here is one of the Golden Age of Broadway’s biggest musical comedy hits. All the timelier today, it’s a satire on politics and foreign policy that spoofs America’s penchant for lending billions of dollars to needy countries and centers on Sally Adams, a well-meaning but ill-informed socialite who is appointed United States Ambassador to the fictional European country of Lichtenburg who charms the local gentry and, of course, falls in love. There are only three performances – Wednesday, November 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, November 21 at 2 and 7:30 p.m - so get your tickets ($37) soon. Credits: starring Jeff-Award Winner Donica Lynn, music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, directed by Christopher Pazdernik.
Winner of eight Tony Awards, “Sunset Boulevard,” running from October 11 – November 24, 2019, has electrified audiences around the world. In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, faded, silent-screen goddess, Norma Desmond, lives in a fantasy world. When impoverished screenwriter Joe Gillis, on the run from debt collectors, stumbles into her reclusive domain he is persuaded to work on Norma’s “masterpiece,” a screenplay that she believes will put her back in front of cameras. Seduced by Norma and her luxurious lifestyle, he finds himself trapped in her clutches until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free with shattering consequences. Credits: directed by Michael Weber, choreographed by Shanna Vanderwerker, music by Andrew Lloyd Weber, music directed by Aaron Benham, book and lyrics by Don Black & Christopher Hampton. Regular Run: Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3:30 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with weekday matinees on Thursday, October 24 and November 14 at 1:30 p.m. and an added performance on Sunday, November 24 at 6 p.m. Ticket Price: $39 – 66.
“Burning Bluebeard,” created and performed by the critically acclaimed theatre troupe The Ruffians, has been touted as “a show you won’t quickly forget and that you could only see in Chicago” by the Chicago Tribune, and New City says the production is “filled to the brim with irreverent humor, riveting dance sequences and enough charm to fill a bucket…” Told with music, clowning, tumbling, acrobatics and dance, Burning Bluebeard is a physical-performance phenomenon inspired by the true story of Chicago’s former Iroquois Theatre and the unforgettable events that resulted in tragedy for 600 theatergoers at Christmas time in 1903. A holiday tradition for many since its debut in 2011, each performance is a vaudevillian delight with a story that excavates the poetic and poignant remains of a piece of Chicago’s rich history and leaves the audience with an unforgettable experience. Grab tickets from December 13 – 20, $45 per ticket. Regular Run: Thursday, December 19 at 7:30 p.m, Friday, December 20 at 8 p.m., Saturday, December 21 at 3:30 and 8 p.m., Sunday, December 22 at 2 and 6 p.m., Thursday, December 26 at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. & Friday, Dec 27 at 3:30 and 8 p.m. Credits: written by Jay Torrence, directed by Halena Kays.
“The Tall Boy“ – The Tall Boy is a moving tale told by the American matron of an orphanage for “unaccompanied children” in occupied Germany following World War II. Examining the fragility and resilience of children in war, she tells the story of three boys: a 15-year-old Czech, a 14-year-old Pole and a 12-year-old Italian. The boys have become mascots to the GIs and are desperate to get to America to be reunited with their US Army buddies but only one boy has a soldier willing to adopt him. The Tall Boy, based on “The Lost” by Kay Boyle, stars Tandy Cronyn, was written by Simon Bent, and directed by David Hammond. The show runs from December 5 – 15 on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Ticket Price: $35 – $39.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company begins the 2019/2020 Season this fall and continues into the winter with a dynamic lineup of productions. The large-scale production of ensemble member Eric Simonson’s “Lindiwe” with music written and performed by the world-renowned Ladysmith Black Mambazo in a stunning love story that travels from Chicago’s Kingston Mines to South Africa and beyond. The show will play from November 7 – December 29, 2019. Following its hit NYC run, the fiercely funny Dance Nation by Clare Barron receives its highly anticipated Chicago premiere, directed and choreographed by Lee Sunday Evans, featuring ensemble members Audrey Francis, Caroline Neff and Karen Rodriguez. It will run from December 12, 2019 – January 26, 2020. Rounding out the winter is Pulitzer Prize-winning ensemble member Tracy Letts’s cult classic “Bug,” which will be produced in the Downstairs Theatre, helmed by Tony Award-winning director David Cromer and featuring ensemble members Carrie Coon and Namir Smallwood. The show will run January 23 – March 8, 2020. Performances take place at 1650 N. Halsted St. Chicago IL 60614. Tickets start at $20, for more info call 312-335-1650 or visit steppenwolf.org.
SPORTS & RECREATION
For the first time in over three decades, the NBA All-Star Game will be returning to Chicago. NBA All Star 2020 is a weeklong basketball celebration that brings together the world’s most talented and passionate athletes before a global audience. It is one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year and features a full slate of events designed to make Chicago the basketball capital of the world. The NBA All-Star Game reaches fans in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages. Additionally, hundreds of members of the international media will convene in Chicago to provide firsthand coverage of NBA All-Star 2020. Finally, as part of NBA All-Star 2020, the NBA works closely with the local community, host city, and local franchise to conduct hands-on service activities designed to leave a lasting and positive impact on underserved populations.
The 69th Annual NBA All Star Game will be on Sunday, February 16th at the United Center. In addition to the All Star Game, ancillary events such as the Celebrity Game and All-Star Practice will take place at Wintrust Arena. Click here for more information.
The Chicago Department of Aviation is overseeing major modernization efforts at both O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport. At Midway International Airport, a nearly $400 million modernization program is underway to improve travel to and from the airport including a larger security checkpoint for faster screening; more dining and shopping options; and an expanded garage for convenient parking next to the terminal. These improvements are set to be completed by summer 2020 and will improve the customer experience and meet growing demand for air travel through Chicago.
O’Hare International Airport has added a number of new domestic and international routes beginning service in 2019 and 2020:
- Delta Airlines service to Boston began in September 2019
- Hainan Airlines service to Chengdu began in September 2019
- American Airlines service to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands will begin in December 2019
- American Airlines service to St. Lucia will begin in December 2019
- EL AL service to Tel Aviv will begin in March 2020
- Daily United Airlines service to Zurich will begin in March 2020
- Daily United Airlines service to Tokyo-Haneda will begin in March 2020
- 4 x weekly Qantas Airlines service to Brisbane will begin in April 2020
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About Choose Chicago
Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor and meetings destination, leveraging the city’s unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. For more information, visit choosechicago.com. Follow @ChooseChicago on Twitter and on Instagram @choosechicago. Like us on Facebook.