WBEZ | ETA Creative Arts Foundation http://www.wbez.org/tags/eta-creative-arts-foundation Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Don't-Miss List: New musical approaches and an African-American classic http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-11/dont-miss-list-new-musical-approaches-and-african-american-classic <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/suitcases%20flickr%20masochism%20tango.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px; " title="(Flickr/Tom Godber)" /></div><p><u><em>The Suitcase Opera Project</em>, <a href="http://www.chicagovanguard.org">Chicago Opera Vanguard</a> at Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph; free (donation suggested); Nov. 8-10 only, 7:30 p.m.</u></p><p>&quot;People tell me in 10 years I will be in the gutter. I&#39;m almost looking forward to the prospect,&quot; Jimmy writes to his friend Howard in 1948. Jimmy is eighteen, gay, dishonorably discharged from the Marines, and living in New York.&nbsp; In 49 letters he documents his pre-Stonewall life of cruising the bars and streets and partying with Gore Vidal, Anais Nin, and Truman Capote, while rhapsodizing on art, love, and sexuality. Sixty years later, famed monologist David Kodeski buys the letters at random in an online auction and discovers Jimmy&#39;s lost world. For two years Kodeski has been turning the material into a non-fiction chamber opera, <strong><em>The Suitcase Opera Project</em></strong>, with composer Eric Reda, artistic director of Chicago Opera Vanguard. These weekend performances at Pritzker Pavilion are the culminating workshops in the development of the piece. FYI: in the cold-weather off-season, the Pritzker Pavilion is sealed off from the rest of Millennium Park and you and the performers all will sit in cozy comfort on the Pavilion stage.</p><p><u><em>Ceremonies in Dark Old Men</em>, <a href="http://www.etacreativearts.org">eta Creative Arts Foundation</a>, 7558 S. South Chicago Avenue;&nbsp;1-773-792-3955; $30; through Dec. 23</u></p><p>Lonnie Elder III (1927-1996) was the first African-American writer nominated for an Academy Award (for the 1973 film <em>Sounder</em>), but before that this actor-turned-author had scored on Broadway in 1969 with <strong><em>Ceremonies in Dark Old Men</em></strong>, which ranks close to <em>A Raisin in the Sun</em> as &nbsp;a seminal drama of urban African-American life. Set in and around a Harlem barbershop, the play chronicles the disintegration of a Black family in the midst of the 1960&#39;s social revolution, with a particular focus on the disenfranchisement &mdash; real or imagined &mdash; of African-American men within their own community. Vaun Monroe is the director of this American classic. FYI: Be sure to check out the gallery exhibit at eta Creative Arts.</p><p><u><em>Pippin: A Bollywood Spectacular</em>, <a href="http://www.circle-theatre.org">Circle Theatre</a>, 1010 W. Madison, Oak Park; 1-708-660-9540; $27.90-$29.97 (with service fee); runs through Dec. 23</u></p><p>A young man goes in search of the world or at least some good sex and, like Candide, ultimately finds more satisfaction in simple things, perhaps. With a pop score by Stephen Schwartz and a polyglot, meta-theatrical book by Roger O. Hirson, <em>Pippin</em>, was a huge Broadway hit of the 1970s (ran for five years), bringing a contemporary anti-authoritarian vibe to its fictionalized story of the son of Charlemagne in the 9th Century. Many feel the show hasn&#39;t aged well, especially without the hip-grinding original staging of the legendary Bob Fosse. Circle Theatre proposed to restore the show&#39;s oomph by making it a Bollywood spectacular. Circle artistic director Kevin Bellie has successfully re-burnished many other shows after their luster has dulled, and he is both director and choreographers of <strong><em>Pippin: A Bollywood Spectacular</em></strong>.</p></p> Thu, 08 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-11/dont-miss-list-new-musical-approaches-and-african-american-classic A look inside the mayor's arts & culture transition team http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-03-10/look-inside-mayors-arts-culture-transition-team-83531 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/109357689.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="415" width="500" alt="" title="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-11/109357689.jpg" /></p><p>So maybe I missed it, but now I get it 'cause someone actually has sent out a press release that makes it all clear: Chicago Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel's Transition Team--which heretofore most folks understood to be a tight-knit handful of people--actually is a broad-spectrum set of six committees addressing areas as diverse as Economic Planning, Public Safety, Energy and Environment and Arts and Culture. Naturally, we're ONLY interested in Arts and Culture (joking).</p><p>The Arts &amp; Culture Committee has 13 members about evenly split between arts managers and powers in the funding community. Among the arts managers are Lane Alexander (a dancer, and founding artistic director of the Chicago Human Rhythm Project), Sound Culture founder David Chavez, Marwen (visual arts education) Executive Director Antonio Contro, MCA Board Chair Mary Ittelson, Broadway In Chicago Vice-President Eileen LeCario, Chicago Children's Choir Artistic Director Josephine Lee and Philip Thomas, newly-appointed head of eta Creative Arts Foundation.</p><p>The money folk include top-name representatives of the Boeing Company (Angel Ysaguirre), Chicago Community Trust (Cheryl Hughes) and the Joyce Foundation (Michelle Boone). Also on the Arts &amp; Culture Committee are consultants Helen Doria and Marj Halperin plus Arts Alliance Illinois Executive Director Ra Joy.<br /><br />It's a diverse and experienced line-up, and one which is NOT dominated by representatives of Chicago's clout-heavy major Downtown cultural institutions (Lyric Opera, Chicago Symphony, Goodman Theatre, Art Institute, Joffrey Ballet, etc.). Emanuel has said that the strength of the arts in Chicago can be found in the neighborhoods (well, he was speaking specifically about theater) and, certainly, the funding agents on the Committee are intimately acquainted with many smaller neighborhood non-profits.</p><p>The presence of Ra Joy also means the Committee has someone plugged into a state-wide network. No chair of the Committee has been appointed. According to a spokesperson from Emanuel&rsquo;s press office &ldquo;they all sit as equals.&rdquo; The spokesperson stopped short of saying the Committee would develop a comprehensive cultural plan for Chicago (as Emanuel pledged during the campaign) and said only that the group would develop &ldquo;both long-term and short-term recommendations.&rdquo;</p><p><meta charset="utf-8" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 11 Mar 2011 04:56:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-03-10/look-inside-mayors-arts-culture-transition-team-83531 Dueling Critics: 'Tearing Down the Walls' at the ETA http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/dueling-critics-tearing-down-walls-eta <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Tearing down the walls.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>This year marks the 40th anniversary of <a href="http://etacreativearts.org/mainstage_shows.html" target="_blank">ETA Creative Arts Foundation</a>. Over the decades, ETA has aimed to present, in their words, &quot;Valid projections of African American lifestyles, experiences and aspirations.&quot; The company also provides a platform for emerging playwrights and new productions.</p><p>The new play &quot;<a href="http://etacreativearts.org/mainstage_shows.html" target="_blank">Tearing Down the Walls</a>&quot; hits all these points. Set in Bronzeville, the walls of the title are both physical and emotional.</p><p>&quot;Eight Forty-Eight&rsquo;s&quot; <em>Dueling Critics</em>, Jonathan Abarbanel and Kelly Kleiman, joined host Alison Cuddy to discuss the production.</p><p>&quot;Tearing Down the Walls&quot; is at ETA&nbsp;Creative Arts Foundation through Feb. 13.</p></p> Fri, 07 Jan 2011 16:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/dueling-critics-tearing-down-walls-eta