A/C. That’s art and culture in Chicago. Your intrepid blogger is here to report on two items that you should consider adding to your calendar. Plus: what a way to say goodbye! To Lou Reed, the legendary punk rock musician who died last month.
An Iliad at Court Theatre: The poet reports
Court Theatre has remounted An Iliad two years after it was first produced. I was blown away the first time by the power of the story, the language and the acting. Timothy Peter Kane, a very talented Chicago actor, performs a tour de force one-man show as the poet or observer of this classic blood and glory story set at the end of the Trojan War.
The remounting, which runs until December 14, is perhaps even more powerful than the original. Is it because we all, including Kane, have seen two more years of the endless US war in the Middle East? He seems to be sadder, more traumatized and distraught by the many deaths around him. The single most gripping scene is his three-minute soliloquy of wars through history, beginning with the conquest of Sumer and ending, this year, with Libya and Syria. I was in tears at the end of it. Here’s a clip of that speech from the 2011 play.
The play, adapted from the Robert Fagles translation of Homer’s long poem, was written by Denis O’Hare, another masterful Chicago actor, and Lisa Peterson, a director at the New York Theatre Workshop.
An extravaganza of Tiffany at the Driehaus Museum
Richard Driehaus, a successful investment banker, is an important supporter of the arts and historic preservation in Chicago. He purchased the Samuel Nickerson mansion (1883, Burling & Whitehouse, architects) at 40 E Erie St and restored it to its ornately decorated, Gilded Age form. In 2007, it was opened as the Richard H Driehaus Museum of Decorative Arts and it’s worth visiting on its own, but even more so now. Sixty pieces from Driehaus’ large collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany are on exhibit on the second floor of the museum until June 29, 2014. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday until 5pm and you can take a docent-led tour or meander through on your own.
I went with three of my ex-CAF docent friends and, as always, we create our own tour. The four of us have a combined treasure of knowledge on architecture, art and design and we love doing these tours collaboratively.
The photo at left is one of the Tiffany windows, beautifully displayed, in the exhibit.
What a great way to say farewell to an iconic musician like Lou Reed. Just his music, played at the appropriate volume (that is, loud) in a grove of trees near Lincoln Center. It was one of those days I wish I lived in New York…or at least had the wherewithal to fly there on a whim for a landmark event.
Lou Reed, known as a solo musician, guitarist, songwriter and founder of the Velvet Underground, the preeminent punk rock group, died at 71 on October 27.
See Greg Mitchell’s site here for three videos from the event. My favorite is “Walk on the Wild Side.” It’s wonderful to see people communing over music, many singing along, others dancing, all paying tribute to Reed’s music.
The photo is Lou Reed performing at the Hop Farm Music Festival on Saturday, July 2, 2011, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.