Star-studded, not-free-for-all downtown seder

March 31, 2011

I got all warm and fuzzy when I first heard about the “Downtown Seder” at the Cultural Center on April 13. Dang, I thought: the city is making this piece of ecumenical theater available to all Chicagoans, in the true inclusive spirit of seders! Among those on the guest/entertainment list are comedians Judy Gold and Aaron Freeman, Al Franken and Lewis Black (both via video feed), Chicago beatboxer Yuri Lane, Anshe Emet cantor Alberto Mizrahi, the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, and the ChickenFat Klezmer Orchestra (full disclosure: my husband plays in ChickenFat).

Oh—or should I say “oy”?—and Rahm Emanuel. Delivering the third kiddish, and putting the finishing touch on this non-citywide celebration.

Technically, I guess, everyone is invited—if you can afford the $118-$500 per plate, or the bargain per-table price of $1,800-$3,600. Though the net proceeds benefit the Ark and the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the event is basically a promo for Michael Dorf’s City Winery, a New York working winery/event space planning to branch out to a Chicago location next fall. Lincoln Park wannabe winemakers, take note!

Maybe my husband can sneak me into the seder at no charge. But my warm, fuzzy feeling has fizzled.