1. Albany Park Theater Project is teaming up with Josh Groban, he of the wavy hair and swooning fans. Groban's foundation Find Your Light "which is dedicated to enriching the lives of young people through arts, education, and cultural awareness" has chosen to donate money to APTP, the third arts education nonprofit to have had such an honor. Conveniently, Groban is also in Chicago as part of his "Straight to You" tour, during which he's partnered with Americans for the Arts as part of some sort of text-to-give situation. Stars! They really do care!
2. Porchlight has named L. Walter Stearns as the first recipient of their The Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago. Walter Stearns left his role as artistic director at Porchlight in 2010 for the executive director position at Mercury Theatre, as announced in 2010.
3. The Chicago Dancing Festival -- which is FREE -- is August 23 to 27. But, like Grant Achatz's Next (note: not at all like Next) tickets will go super fast when they're distributed next week. Head to the MCA on Tuesday, the Harris Theater on Wednesday, and the Auditorium Theatre on Thursday for each tickets to each locations specific performances. In early June, Laura Molzahn gave us her favorites pieces to look for, which include the day of dance filmes at the Claudia Cassidy Theater of the Chicago Cultural Center, a live program at the Harris Theater and a lecture/demonstration with such impressarios like Janet Eilber of Martha Graham and Bonnie De Jong of Paul Taylor at the MCA.
4. The Adventures of Pinocchio opens tomorrow at Chicago Shakes. They'd calling it family-friendly; I'd argue that it was a very scary Disney movie, by the way, and I hope they took a tip from that film and avoided including the scary puppet con man.
5. Writers' Theatre has hired a cool new architect to design their new space, but what everyone's really up in arms about is the fact that they don't actually own it. The Women's Library Club of Glencoe owns the land, and they the Theatre has signed a 99-year lease agreement. That's a long time, I think. Interesting, the theater will own the building, just not the land.
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