The coronavirus has affected everything, including the world of entertainment. From businesses closing to events going digital, Chicago is learning how to deal with the changes and loses due to coronavirus.
As the effects of the virus spread in Illinois, the Tribune is keeping a running list of Chicago-area closings and cancellations because of coronavirus and asking experts to answer your questions about COVID-19.
Zanies in Rosemont is closed by stricter COVID rules
The Zanies Comedy Club Rosemont location has been closed by new COVID-19 regulations for suburban Cook County.
Stricter rules designed to help prevent the spread of the virus go into effect Wednesday, affecting Cook County as well as the Metro East region outside St. Louis, and include closing down indoor dining and bar service. According to an announcement Monday by Zanies, shows by psychic/comedian Karen Rontowski Oct. 29-31 at Zanies in Rosemont have been canceled; ticket holders can get more information at rosemont.zanies.com. Read more.
Lyric Opera cancels rest of season due to coronavirus; plans to resume next September
Lyric Opera has canceled the rest of the 2020-21 season due to the pandemic.
“Having to cancel the remainder of our season is devastating but unavoidable, in order to keep our guests, artists, and company safe,” said Anthony Freud, Lyric’s general director, president and CEO in a statement.
“We want nothing more than to get back to the live performances that we are all craving at the Lyric Opera House with all of you, but the safety of our Lyric family comes first. We will continue to follow the policies and guidelines set by the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois' five-phase plan of reopening. In the meantime, Lyric is still hard at work creating a broad array of special digital offerings for our audiences.” Read the full story.
Brookfield Zoo to close for two months after holiday lights show
Brookfield Zoo is planning a coronavirus-related hibernation. The zoo announced Wednesday that after its Holiday Magic seasonal lights show ends Dec. 31, it will shut down for two months out of caution amidst a COVID-19 pandemic with increasing infection rates.
The Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, 2021 closure also coincides with what are traditionally the least trafficked months at the zoo. Read the full story here.
Morton Arboretum makes ‘Illumination’ holiday lights experience into drive-thru
It isn’t immediately obvious why Morton Arboretum would make “Illumination,” its holiday lights experience, drive-thru for the first time this year.
CDC guidelines suggest that outdoor, socially distanced activities are relatively safe in the COVID-19 pandemic. And the three other big end-of-year bulb displays — at Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo and Chicago Botanic Garden — are all sticking with the boots-on-the-ground model.
But the Lisle tree park’s decision to have people stay in their cars this year, when “Illumination” debuts Nov. 20, boils down to two things: a hedge against the uncertainty of a winter season with the virus still coursing through American communities, and perhaps getting worse thanks to folks being forced indoors; and a simple matter of giving the people what they said they want. Read the full story.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra cancels concerts through March 30
All Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association-presented performances scheduled from Jan. 7 through March 30, 2021, have been canceled due to the pandemic. CSOA concerts already had been canceled through the end of this year.
“The decision follows a review of current conditions and restrictions related to the pandemic and is in accordance with the State of Illinois and City of Chicago’s multi-phase recovery plans, as well as current safety guidelines from public health officials,” according to a CSOA statement. Read the full story.
Logan Square’s City Lit Books to close Dec. 1
The pandemic has claimed City Lit, a vibrant independent bookstore and a fixture of the Logan Square neighborhood. Citing a 50% drop in revenue, owner Teresa Kirschbraun said the shop would close for good on Dec. 1.
It’s part of a worrisome trend for book lovers: Nationwide, about one independent bookstore is closing every week — 35 so far, according to the American Booksellers Association. A July survey conducted by the group of its 400 members found that 20% of those surveyed may not survive until January, said ABA CEO Allison K Hill. Read the full story.
More new below:
Monday, June 22
Movies and TV shows can film again in Illinois — with limits — after shutdown for coronavirus
Movies and TV shows will be allowed to shoot in Illinois as soon as Friday if half or less of sound stage or filming location capacity is used and crowd scenes are limited to 50 people.
Chicago will move to phase four of reopening from the coronavirus Friday along with the rest of the state, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday. Film production here has mostly been shut down since March, when the Illinois stay-at-home order went into effect, though some reality TV stars have been shooting scenes themselves.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity laid out guidelines for film production that include having cast and crew members wear face coverings unless they are performing on stage or doing another task that doesn’t allow for it. Workers should complete COVID-19 health and safety training when returning to work, and common areas of sets should be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
Hair and makeup technicians should wear face masks and eye protection such as protective glasses. Castings should be done by tape or a virtual platform. If that’s not possible, auditions should be held by appointment only (no open calls), and employers should remove shared items such as magazines from waiting rooms and configure seats to allow for social distancing.
DCEO is encouraging cast and crew to undergo a one-time nasal swab within 48 to 72 hours before the start of work on set or location.
Lincoln Park Zoo sets public reopening for Monday with Shedd Aquarium likely to follow
After being closed more than 3 months by COVID-19, Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo Monday said it will begin a limited reopening for members on Friday and for the general public Monday.
Other major institutions are expected to go public with their own reopening plans soon, including those whose facilities are primarily indoors.
The news follows Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announcing Monday that the city would enter “Phase 4 1/4 u2033 of its 5-step re-opening plan Friday, confirming the June 26th possible re-opening date cultural leaders have long understood as the likely date for that transition.
Like restaurants that will be allowed to welcome back indoor diners, museums and zoos will be limited to 25% occupancy rule with tours limited to 50 people or fewer, city officials said.
Shedd Aquarium may be the first of the big indoor institutions to open up again. A spokesman said an announcement is likely to come later this week for a limited reopening at some point next week.
Tuesday, June 16
Joffrey Ballet cancels ‘Nutcracker'; Lyric Opera cancels remainder of 2020 season
In a double blow to the performing arts in Chicago, Lyric Opera and the Joffrey Ballet have canceled all performances for the rest of the year.
The Joffrey Ballet’s cancellations include Kenneth MacMillan’s “Manon” (Oct. 14-25) and Christopher Wheeldon’s “The Nutcracker” (Dec. 5-27), the Chicago company announced Tuesday.
Winter and spring performance dates for February, April and May, 2021, “will continue as planned,” according to a Joffrey statement.
“Like all arts organizations, the Joffrey is dealing with unprecedented and unpredictable conditions,” said Joffrey artistic director Ashley Wheater.
“Based on advice from health experts and local officials, it is not feasible to present the first half of our season in a manner that guarantees the safety of our audience, artists, production crew, and staff members. It saddens all of us. Our focus right now is keeping the company whole and in good mental, spiritual, and physical health. We will continue to adapt and be ready to return to the stage when the circumstances allow. We will persevere and find new, creative ways to connect with our audience in the meantime.”
The 2020/21 season is to be Joffrey’s first at the Lyric Opera House.
The cancellation of “The Nutcracker,” MacMillan’s “Manon” and the 2020 spring production of Yuri Possokhov’s “Don Quixote” represent an earned revenue loss of more than $6.5 million, according to the statement.
City Winery CEO Michael Dorf discusses reopening plans: ‘We want to err on the side of caution’
The jury is still out on when City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., will reopen for performances and indoor dining.
But when it does, the place will look and feel different than before the coronavirus pandemic.
Founder and CEO Michael Dorf discussed how he’s conceiving the eventual reopening during a City Winery Town Hall on Monday evening, with singer Bettye LaVette making a guest appearance to share her thoughts.
“It’s been a surreal three months,” Dorf said in starting his online chat.
He was speaking from an empty City Winery Hudson Valley, “75 minutes north of Manhattan.”
Having recently opened the Chicago outpost’s patio for dining and drinking, Dorf said he did not know exactly when the action would move indoors for entertainment and food service.
“The first place we’re going to open indoors probably will be Nashville, given that Tennessee and then Atlanta have been a little more open to allowing people to gather,” he said of a food-wine-entertainment chain with locations nationwide.
Thursday, June 4
Navy Pier to reopen outdoor areas Wednesday, including restaurants and boat rides
Chicago’s Navy Pier, one of the city’s biggest tourist draws, will begin to reopen next week after 12 weeks of COVID-19-related closure.
Parks surrounding and on the pier, the main pier walkways, outdoor restaurant spaces, tour boats and some free programs will reopen starting Wednesday, the pier announced in a press release Thursday.
Rides in the central Pier Park and the Chicago Children’s Museum and Chicago Shakespeare Theater will remain closed. Parking in the pier garages, typically costly, will be free during the first phase of the destination’s reopening.
President and CEO Marilynn Gardner was not immediately available for comment. She said in a statement the not-for-profit destination, which draws almost 9 million guests annually to its six-city-block structure jutting into Lake Michigan, is "anxious to reopen our spaces and safely welcome guests back to the Pier over the next few months as we work collectively to restore our local economy.”
The phased re-opening plan follows a closure that began March 16 as the coronavirus pandemic hit Chicago and Illinois.
Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, the pier will employ new measures aimed at providing safety. These include “multiple layers of stringent cleaning and disinfecting”; signage encouraging social distancing and the employment of “Social Distancing Ambassadors”: and the requirement of face masks and pre-shift temperature screening for employees.
The number of people on the pier at any one time will be controlled, and groups of 10 or more will not be allowed, the organization said. More details are on the pier’s website.
Subsequent phases will see the reopening of some indoor spaces and the return of such cancelled features as fireworks displays and the rides. Not until the final phase will group events be allowed to return to the pier and the new hotel, The Sable at Navy Pier, be allowed to open.
The major cultural institutions, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and the children’s museum, are devising their own plans for when they might be able to reopen.
- Steve Johnson
Milwaukee Summerfest canceled for 2020
Citing “an abundance of caution,” organizers for Milwaukee Summerfest have decided to cancel the major summer event, originally scheduled for June to early July, then moved to September.
In a statement, Don Smiley, president and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, said:
"After careful, diligent, and thoughtful consideration and out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our community - including artists, fans, vendors, participants and staff – Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance will not take place in September 2020, as previously announced.
Refund information has been published at the official Summerfest site.
Wednesday, June 3
Museum layoff wave continues: Lincoln Park Zoo cuts 18 workers amid COVID-19 budget shortages
Even as two outdoor-focused institutions tentatively re-open, the wave of COVID-19-related layoffs at Chicago museums continues. Lincoln Park Zoo said Wednesday it is cutting 18 workers, about 7 percent of its workforce.
The move comes as the free north side zoological park anticipates a budget shortfall in the current fiscal year of $2.5 million to $5 million “minimally,” said Jillian Braun, director of public relations and communications.
Braun said the cuts were painful to the zoo, which has long been Chicago’s most popular attraction with about 3.5 million annual visitors. Like most major museums and nature parks, it closed in mid-March to help prevent the spread of coronavirus during the global pandemic.
Just Tuesday, Chicago Children’s Museum cut about 80 percent of its staff, leaving just 20 workers to prepare for reopening. Previously, Adler Planetarium fired 120 people in a drastic reduction of its payroll.
Similar news from other major institutions is expected as the pandemic continues to sicken and kill Illinoisans, the organizations face uncertain prospects for even partial capacity-reopening, and emergency federal payroll protection loans run out this month.
Tuesday, June 2
Children’s museum drastically reduces staff
Chicago Children’s Museum has laid off almost 80 percent of its employees “in the face of the dimming prospect of a fast recovery from the pandemic,” the Navy Pier institution said Tuesday in a statement.
The museum’s board approved the cuts Monday and workers were notified the same days.
The CCM move, which also furloughs 6 employees and leaves only 20 to prepare for an indeterminate reopening date, is the latest in a spate of job cuts at area museums.
Last week, the Museum of Science and Industry and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum fired or furloughed scores of workers because of the COVID-19 health crisis that has seen the institutions closed since mid-March.
Before that, Adler Planetarium cut a significant number of employees from its payroll.
“While this is a painful time for all of us, these difficult decisions will best position Chicago Children’s Museum for the future health and well-being of the institution, our donors, members, and community stakeholders,” Chicago Children’s Museum CEO and President Jennifer Farrington said in the statement. “We have taken significant steps to reduce expenses, secure additional financing, and other actions to continue our work outside of the museum until it is safe to reopen in our Navy Pier physical space.”
Thursday, May 21
More Chicago suburbs cancel 4th of July firework celebrations
The Tribune is following this story and has new information on fireworks and cancellations for Fourth of July 2020. In addition to the cancellations in Oak Brook, Lisle, Beecher and Carol Stream already reported:
Chicago Navy Pier: The usual summer fireworks displays on Wednesdays and Saturdays have ben celeb through June 6. No official word yet on July 4.
Arlington Heights: The Frontier Days Festival (July 1-5) has been canceled, including fireworks.
Aurora: The annual parade and July 4th fireworks are canceled, along with most other city events for the summer. RiverEdge Park is closed. The city hopes to present a virtual July 4 event, details to come.
Downers Grove: The Independence Day Parade and fireworks display scheduled for July 4th have been canceled.
Evanston: The parade and July 4th fireworks are canceled.
Glen Ellyn: The village has suspended all community-wide events through July 2020, including those hosted by the 4th of July Committee.
Glencoe: The parade and July 4th fireworks are canceled.
Highland Park: The city and park district have canceled annual Fourth of July celebrations including the parade, fireworks and Bitter Jester Music Festival.
Lisle: The 2020 Eyes to the Skies Festival and Carnival and anticipated fireworks over the Independence Day weekend have been canceled.
Mount Prospect: The village’s parade and Lions Club 4th of July Festival (July 1-4) are canceled.
Naperville: The annual Ribfest hosted by the Exchange Club of Naperville and Village of Romeoville has been canceled, including the fireworks display.
North Chicago: The fireworks presented by Naval Station Great Lakes have been canceled.
Northbrook: The annual Independence Day fireworks display has been postponed to Sept. 5.
Oak Park: The parade and July 4th fireworks are canceled.
St. Charles: The city has canceled its annual Fourth of July Parade and Riverfest celebration.
‘Quarantine Creatives’ podcast delves into entertainment industry changes amid the coronavirus
Heath Racela, who said he was recently laid off from his job as a producer for “Ask This Old House,” has launched a podcast where he chats with TV, film, radio and media professionals about how they have been coping amid the coronavirus pandemic and what they think the “new normal” might eventually look like in the entertainment industry. Thursday’s episode of “Quarantine Creatives” features “For All Mankind” actor Chris Agos, author of “Acting in Chicago.” He gives tips on how actors can stay busy during the pandemic.
Wilco reunites virtually to perform on ‘The Late Show’
The members of the Chicago band Wilco reunited via video chat to perform “Tell Your Friends” on Wednesday’s episode of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Frontman Jeff Tweedy, who lives on the Northwest Side, has been fond of performing on late-night shows from his bathroom.
Amazon Studios seeking Chicago essential workers for new docuseries
Amazon Studios is casting Chicagoans for its docuseries “Regular Heroes,” which highlights essential workers who are making a difference in their community during the coronavirus pandemic. The weekly docuseries premiered May 8.
Wednesday, May 20
Oprah Winfrey provides $5 million to start COVID-19 relief network in ‘home city’ of Chicago
Calling Chicago one of her “home cities,” Oprah Winfrey Wednesday launched a major relief effort aimed at fighting food insecurity and providing medical aid in African American and Latinx communities that face increased risk of severe COVID-19 consequences.
The $5 million donation starts Live Healthy Chicago, a consortium of food, religious, medical and other community organizations. It is part of a larger, $12 million relief effort from the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation, she said, aimed at helping the places where she lived on her way to fame and fortune.
“I wanted to not try to serve the world but go back to the places that have given to me,” she said. In addition to Chicago, the cities where organizations are receiving grants are Nashville and Baltimore, where she had early broadcast jobs, and Milwaukee and Kosciusko, Miss., where she grew up. Read the full story.
Monday, May 18
Windy City Smokeout cancels 2020, shifts lineup to 2021
Windy City Smokeout, the annual country music and barbecue fest slated for July in the United Center Parking lots, announced Monday it is canceling this year’s event out of coronavirus concerns.
“We’re optimistic we can all get together again next summer,” says the event’s web page. “If the public health situation allows, we will hold the festival on July 9-11, 2021. Our buddies Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley & Jon Pardi will return as our festival headliners. That’s right; same parking lot, same party.”
The event is offering this year’s ticket holders a food-credit bonus for hanging on to them and using them next year. Refunds are also available but must be requested by June 17, the site says.
Friday, May 15
MTV to spotlight two Chicago-area high schools during virtual prom
Muchin College Prep in Chicago, Thornton Fractional North High School in Calumet City and 18 other high schools from around the country are set to be highlighted next week during MTV's virtual Prom-athon.
The network — along with When We All Vote, Michelle Obama’s voting initiative — selected 20 high schools that entered the “Prom Challenge” to get students to register to vote in creative ways.
Photos, videos and interviews with students from the winning schools are set to air during the May 22 Prom-athon.
An MTV spokeswoman said Muchin was picked because its student-led voter registration team provided teachers with a lesson about the history and importance of voting and a guide to the candidates and how to register.
Thornton students, meanwhile, worked with state Sen. Elgie Sims, D-Chicago, on legislation that gives students two hours to leave school to cast their ballots. The law will take effect June 1.
Forest Park teacher gets financial help from a TV show during the pandemic
“The Real” daytime TV show will cover Forest Park preschool teacher Aja Ross’ mortgage for two months, it was announced on Friday’s episode. Ross is a single mom who has been quarantining with her toddler son since March because of the novel coronavirus. “The Real” airs at 11 a.m. weekdays on WFLD-Ch. 32.
Tuesday, May 12
Morton Arboretum to reopen for members June 1 after coronavirus closure
The last of Chicago’s major nature parks to close because of coronavirus, Morton Arboretum, is also the first to announce its reopening.
Beginning June 1, the expansive collection of pathways, trails and roads through cultivated forests in west suburban Lisle will begin allowing members back onto its grounds, Morton said Tuesday afternoon.
Calling it a phased reopening, the arboretum plans to welcome only members through June 14, with nonmembers allowed in from the 15th on. Visitors must reserve a timed-entry pass in advance, social distancing rules will be observed, and all buildings, including indoor restrooms, and the Children’s Garden and Maze Garden will remain closed. Read more.
Expo Chicago moved to next spring
Claiming a new date on the American visual arts calendar, Expo Chicago, the big fall art fair on Navy Pier, is being postponed until next spring, the organization announced Tuesday.The announcement of April 8-11, 2021, as the event’s next dates reflects an increasing understanding that the traditional late September long weekend was not going to fall early enough in the expected coronavirus recovery cycle, said Expo Chicago President and Director Tony Karman.A month ago, Karman still hoped that the 8-year-old event, which brings together galleries, collectors, curators and other art lovers, could take place on the planned September 24-27, 2020, dates.
Saturday, May 9
Chicago actors raise money for the Greater Chicago Food Depository
Cast members from Dick Wolf’s NBC Chicago franchise got together via video conference May 1 to play a trivia game to raise money for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
“Chicago Fire” showrunner Derek Haas came up with the idea. “Chicago Fire” stars David Eigenberg, Kara Killmer and Miranda Rae Mayo; “Chicago P.D.” stars Jason Beghe, LaRoyce Hawkins and Tracy Spiridakos; and “Chicago Med” stars Nick Gehlfuss, Dominic Rains and Brian Tee participated.
Mayo and Gehlfuss, along with “Chicago Fire” actor Joe Minoso, have also separately hosted virtual bingo sessions with residents of Caledonia Senior Living & Memory Care in North Riverside.
Friday, May 8
Columbia College moves Manifest Urban Arts Festival online, with Jamila Woods as headliner
The show must go on even through the pandemic, according to Columbia College students. For the first time in its 19-year history, the college’s annual Manifest Urban Arts Festival has been moved online, running May 11 through 15 at manifest.colum.edu.
The festival will include daily musical performances, gallery exhibitions, dance and theater performances, sketch comedy and more created and curated by nearly 2,000 Columbia students.
For more information, visit manifest.colum.edu.
Chicago’s Poetry Foundation is sitting on millions — a petition asks it to do more in response to the pandemic
Ever since pharmaceutical heir Ruth Lilly donated $200 million to the Poetry Foundation in 2002, tension has surrounded how the Foundation spends its money. Peter Burghardt, speCt! books publisher and one of the authors of the change.org petition (which garnered more than 1,700 signatures as of publication), called the Foundation’s donation to the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund “vastly insufficient.”
“As layoffs and pandemic infection numbers continue to rise across America, the poetry community is looking to the Poetry Foundation for true leadership and assistance," Burghardt said, noting that the current donation amounts to .01% of the Foundation’s total endowment. Read more.
Thursday, May 7
‘Stranger Things’ star to greet graduates at DePaul’s online commencement ceremonies
“Stranger Things” star Joe Keery will welcome an estimated 6,250 new graduates at DePaul University’s online commencement ceremonies June 13, the university announced Thursday.
Keery, a 2014 DePaul graduate, is slated to greet graduates by video. Each DePaul school or college will have its own dedicated ceremony, featuring messages from DePaul President A. Gabriel Esteban, a student speaker and the school or college’s dean, as well as other inspirational messages from the DePaul community.
Each DePaul graduate will be featured on a digital slide, which the graduate can personalize with a photo and message.
Wednesday, May 6
Can Illinois moviegoing survive Pritzker’s COVID-19 reopening strategy?
“A very tough pill to swallow”: That’s how Downers Grove-based Classic Cinemas CEO Chris Johnson characterizes the 50-seat limit. He’s especially daunted by Pritzker’s Phase 5, a more or less full reopening of the economy. The final phase, regulations subject to change, can come only when there’s a vaccine or a comparable, easily available treatment for COVID-19.
Hours prior to Pritzker’s May 5 press conference, Johnson wrote a letter to the governor on behalf of the National Association of Theatre Owners of Illinois. Johnson serves as NATO Illinois president, representing 90 percent of the state’s movie houses.
In the letter, provided to the Tribune, Johnson cites a federal Centers for Disease Control plan and John Hopkins University “Public Health Principles for Phased Reopening” guidelines. Both, he wrote, “suggest that movie theatre risk and mitigation levels equate to those of dine-in restaurant service.”
Besides: Theater auditoriums, he wrote, “generally much smaller in size than currently open ‘essential’ businesses, also have the added benefit of maintaining strict social distancing as patrons are not moving about — and indeed, not even talking — during their visit."
Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago canceled due to coronavirus
The Pitchfork Music Festival, scheduled for July 17-19 in Union Park, has been canceled because of the novel coronavirus, organizers announced Wednesday.
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Run the Jewels and the National were slated to headline the 15th anniversary celebration. Forty-two acts were set to play across three stages.
Organizers said ticket holders will be contacted via email with refund information. Full refunds are being offered. Some 18,000 music fans typically attend Pitchfork for each of its three days.
Tuesday, May 5
Comments from Chicago’s remaining music festival organizers
Following Pritzker’s comments about large scale events such as music festivals only happening after a vaccine or highly effective treatments being widely available, spokespersons for Lollapalooza (late July), Pitchfork (mid July), Riot Fest (September) all declined immediate comment. Park District spokespersons also did not immediately respond to the Tribune about Taste of Chicago (July) or the Air and Water Show (August). Ravinia, the Grant Park Music Festival, Blues Fest and Gospel Fest have all been canceled for 2020.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker lays out five-phase, regional plan for reopening Illinois
Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday laid out a regional, five-phase plan to reopen the state based on public health data and health care availability in different parts of the state.
The plan divides the state into four regions, which could enter different phases of reopening at different times.
The fifth and final phase — “Illinois restored” — won’t come until a vaccine or highly effective treatment becomes widely available. Festivals, conventions, and all businesses and schools would reopen.
“Until we have a vaccine or an effective treatment or enough widespread immunity that new cases fail to materialize, the option of returning to normalcy doesn’t exist,” Pritzker said at his briefing Tuesday. Read more.
Monday, May 4
Grant Park Music Festival cancels 2020 summer season
For the first time since the Grant Park Music Festival was established in 1935, the institution will fall silent.
The festival has canceled all its events running June 10 through Aug. 15 in Millennium Park and across the city due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full story.
Friday, May 1
Ravinia cancels entire 2020 summer season due to coronavirus pandemic
For the first time since 1935, the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park will fall silent.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this summer’s festival has been canceled.
“There’s not going to be any Ravinia 2020,” said Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman in an interview Thursday afternoon.
“No festival, no Ravinia Steans Music Institute, no events of any sort. The safety and health piece — it just really comes down to that.
“To try to figure that out and make it work, without risk? There’s always risk, but all the various pieces of this — it just doesn’t work. And it’s heartbreaking.” Read more.
Thursday, April 30
Pivot Arts Festival is going virtual
The annual Pivot Arts Festival has been moved online, with a virtual launch on June 5 through June 30. The virtual festival will include live talks, performances and streaming of Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project’s animated short “The Long Term”
The lineup includes Alex Alfaro and Lidieth Arevalo, The Era Footwork Crew, Red Clay Dance Company, DJ Dance Party with artists from The Rosina Project and more.
The organization has been running a weekly Live Talk Series with festival artists and performances via Zoom, with artists such as The Era Footwork Crew, Aaliyah Christina and more.
For more information and the full calendar, check out their website.
Giordano Dance Chicago summer series performance canceled
Giordano Dance Chicago company has announced the cancellation of its Auditorium Theatre Summer Series performance on June 6, due to concerns about the coronavirus.
“The safety of our audience, performers, and staff is our highest priority, and we look forward to welcoming Giordano Dance Chicago to our historic stage again in our 2020-21 Season,” the company said.
Steppenwolf Theatre will remain dark until October
Steppenwolf will not produce a live show at its Lincoln Park theater until the first preview of “Good Night, and Good Luck” on Oct. 22. Read more.
Wednesday, April 29
An all-star lineup of musicians gather to benefit neighborhood organizations
A group of Chicago musicians including Jeff Tweedy, Katie Kadan, The O’My’s, Ric Wilson, NNAMD 1/4 u00cf and more will perform during a virtual benefit concert dubbed “Our City of Neighbors.”
The show goes on at 7 p.m. Thursday and can be streamed at windycityindie.com.
The effort comes from WindyCityIndie, a new local pandemic-support initiative founded by Chicagoans Sonny Garg and Karen Salmon. The idea is to “support independent musicians by drawing attention to their work,” as well as solicit donations to support organizations delivering critical services to the city.
The full list of confirmed acts features Toronzo Cannon, Mariachi Sirenas, The Flat Five, Shawnee Dez, Terriers, Sandra Antongiorgi, Dominizuelan and Jon Langford and Sons — although the website promises a couple surprises. NBC 5’s Matthew Rodrigues will host the event.
Monday, April 27
Ken Vandermark, Macie Stewart in conversation, with music
A don’t-miss livetream is coming our way at 7 p.m. today, as Chicago talents Ken Vandermark and Macie Stewart have a conversation about work, music and ideas. There will also be music from Stewart.
For the unfamiliar, the Option series from Experimental Sound Studio has been producing some remarkable work from some remarkable performers, who expose sides of themselves people might not be as familiar with. Thurston Moore let fly with his avant side. On Sunday, jazz guitartist Monnette Sudler brought beauty, as did cellist Heley Money in a very different way.
Musicians present their work, but hearing them performing in relation to making music, is rare. For those of you who know Stewart from her work as part of Ohmme, this will be particularly interesting. Stewart’s late March performance in the Quarantine Concerts series was a stunner. Be sure to tune in via the ESS space at Twitch TV.
Friday, April 24
Spring Awakening canceled, will resume in 2021
The list of coronavirus-sparked cancellations continued as Spring Awakening, the summer EDM festival scheduled to take place in Union Park June 12-14, will be postponed to 2021, when the event will celebrate its 10th anniversary.
Options for ticketholders includes just standing pat for the 2021 event, or a refund. Patrons will be notified by the fest's ticketing agency.
Also announced by the fest was a virtual Spring Awakening event in the fall. For ongoing information, visit springawakeningfestival.com.
Square Roots Festival moves from July to August
And the hits keep coming for the Chicago summer festival scene, as the Old Town School’s Square Roots Festival announced new dates on Friday.
The event moves from July 10-12 to August 28-30. In a press release, organizers said that, "This decision was made with careful consideration of health and safety concerns regarding current restrictions on large gatherings to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Square Roots Festival organizers will make any future decisions regarding the new weekend, August 28-30, with the health and safety of the community first and foremost as well as following recommendations from the CDC, City of Chicago, and the State of Illinois."
The Lincoln Square mainstay’s 2019 edition featured 20 local eateries, 75 vendors and more than 300 musicians. Visit squareroots.org for more information.
Chicago Symphony Center cancels concerts through June 9
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association has canceled all CSOA-presented events at Symphony Center and other locations through June 9, the institution announced Friday.
‘Windy City Live’ to return with new episodes Tuesday
New episodes of “Windy City Live,” WLS-Ch. 7 1/4 u2032s daytime talk and entertainment show, are set to start airing Tuesday. Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini will host remotely, kicking off the show with their signature “Host Chat” segment. Contributor Roe Conn will also join in. The second half of the hour-long show, which airs at 1 p.m. weekdays, will feature favorite moments from past seasons.
Actor/comedian Deon Cole is slated to be the first guest since the show stopped production March 13. Plans for the return of a live studio audience have not yet been determined.
A Fourth with no fireworks? Some suburban towns have already had to cancel for Independence Day
The Memorial Day Parade and Chicago Blues Fest have been scrapped. No ruling yet on Taste of Chicago but it’s hard to think about. Next in line for what’s shaping up to be a quiet Chicago summer? The question of what will happen with fireworks for the Fourth of July, both in the city and the displays put on in the suburbs.
DePaul student Nate Odenkirk, son of TV star Bob Odenkirk, talks surviving coronavirus
DePaul University student Nate Odenkirk didn’t expect to spend his spring break sick as he’s ever been.
“I had a very mild case of coronavirus,” Odenkirk told the Tribune. “I didn’t have to be hospitalized, and it didn’t last as long as it’s lasted for some people. But it still sucked. It still really, really hurt. There were weeks where I couldn’t really get out of bed.” Read the full story.
A 420 White Mystery festival fete
Looking for something to do while at home doing nothing? Excited about 4/20 because of 420 and for the first time in Illinois you can fete Weed Day legally? Probably worth taking in a festival with Chicago’s noisiest gingers, White Mystery, and an action-packed lineup of performers.
A Facebook Live streaming performance festtival at 4:20 p.m. will feature the band, the sister/brother duo of Miss Alex White and Francis Scott Key, with special guest performers from remote locations. Earlier, lineup clues such as “SNL Alumnus,” “Welsh Troubadour” or “Chicago Hero” were offered. But now it’s all official. Here’s the roster of guests.
Fred Armisen (SNL, Portlandia), White Mystery, Cadien Lake James (Twin Peaks), Chicago 40th Ward Alderman Andre Vasquez, Shannon Shaw (Shannon & the Clams, Jason Narducy (Bob Mould, Superchunk, Verboten), Jon Langford (Mekons, Waco Brothers), realbigsilky (Psalm One & Angel Davanport), Brian Hurd (Daddy Long Legs), Max Hersh (Dirty Fences, Brower), Spacebones, Emily Rose (Zigtebra), Bev Rage & the Drinks, Monarchy Over Monday, Neptunes Core
We knew of one performer early because apparently, some folks couldn’t keep a secret.
For the unfamiliar, White Mystery is a noisy blast of garage rock adrenaline. Anyhow, you can RSVP for the event here.
P.S. If you can’t get enough White Mystery, the band will be releasing, also at 4:20 p.m., “Sonic Sepulcher” on Bandcamp, a trove of more than 400 (well, 420, to be exact) tracks by the duo.
More livestreams from V.V. Lightbody, Ganser
If nothing on the White Mystery 420 bill catches your fancy, revel in the continued magnificence of the Chicago scene with a pair of essential livestreams today, from V.V. Lightbody and Ganser. And you will need two screens, or a very fraught coin toss, as both are at the same time.
V.V. Lightbody has an album due on on May 1, “Make A Shrine Or Burn It,” that already has a spot reserved for it on some year-end best of lists, just off the strength of the three tracks you can hear now on Bandcamp. “If It’s Not Me” is a lush journey through the sonorities of Vivian McConnell’s voice. The off-kilter “Horse On Fire” would be one of the best songs you’ve heard this year were it not for “Car Alarm.” It will be fascinating to see (and hear) how McConnell manages to convey the fire, fury and subtlety of her stunning new music. 5 p.m. at the Audiotree Live Instagram page.
Ganser has a new album, “Just Look At That Sky,” out in mid-July. And if the two tracks available for a sneak peek on Bandcamp are any indication, you devotees of the Chicago sound have something to embrace. The rest of you, craving angular rock with a jangly snarl and a massive drum sound should also click away. People familiar with the band will be quite thrilled with the new music, which hits like a ton of bricks. 5 p.m. at the Empty Bottle Instagram space.
Friday April 17
Major Frida Kahlo exhibition postponed
“Frida Kahlo 2020” is now going to take place in 2021. The new title? “Frida Kahlo: Timeless.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College of DuPage’s Cleve Carney Art Museum is pushing back by almost exactly a year what it says will be the largest exhibition of the iconic Mexican painter’s work in the Chicago area since the 1970s.
Originally scheduled for June 1 to Aug. 31 of 2021, the show will run June 5 to Sept. 6, 2021. Full story.
'Better Call Saul’ star says son, a DePaul student, had coronavirus
“Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk, who grew up in Naperville, said his son contracted the coronavirus a few weeks ago. Nathan Odenkirk majors in political science at DePaul University.
“My only big concern was Nate had dealt with asthma for a good chunk of his life, so I worried that that would be an extra complication. In the end, it was pretty bad, and it was worse than the flu. And according to him, the pain in his throat was the worst thing of all. But I think also the fatigue, and it lasted longer than the flu. But you know I’d say he got out pretty easily, obviously, compared to a lot of people,” Odenkirk said Thursday on “The Late Late Show with James Corden.”
‘Chicago Med’ star hosts virtual bingo session for North Riverside seniors
“Chicago Med” star Nick Gehlfuss hosted a virtual bingo session Thursday for residents of Caledonia Senior Living & Memory Care in North Riverside. Gehlfuss called each of the nine bingo rounds via video conference. The game was made possible with the donation of iPads and a 65-inch TV. Anyone interested in donating to Caledonia or hosting a virtual event for its residents can email email@example.com.
Tuesday April 14
Chance the Rapper helps Chicago through SocialWorks
Chance the Rapper’s non-profit organization, SocialWorks, has created a resource list, a web series titled “SWorkshops” and a space for high school students to create and network in response, #30DaysofOpenMike to help benefit Chicago’s communities.
This resource list includes support for students, parents, mental health, creatives and hospital workers. SocialWorks says “SWorkshops” is a web series that will fundraise for a graduation and prom celebration for students within the Chicagoland area. Viewers can find more information and stream on SocialWorks’ website. And #30DaysofOpenMike is a weekly challenge and way for high school students across the nation to stay creative while in quarantine. The non-profit says this six-week challenge with five different prompts will award $500 to participating students. The winner and new prompts for the week are announced every Sunday morning.
Monday April 13
Do Division, West Fest, Dancing in the Streets canceled
The West Town Chamber of Commerce announced Monday that its big three festivals: Do Division, West Fest and Dancing in the Streets, all scheduled to take place in the June-July timeframe, have been canceled. A statement from WTCC said:
Given the growing concerns around COVID-19, the WTCC Board of Directors made the difficult decision to cancel the following 2020 summer festivals: Do Division Street Fest, West Fest Chicago, and Chicago Brewing District’s Dancing in the Streets. The health and safety of the community, festival patrons, vendors, performers, and everyone who works to put these events together is of paramount importance to our organization. The 2020 fall and winter West Town Chamber events are still being planned as scheduled until future safety guidelines are released.
Old Town Art Fair canceled
After 70 years as a summer thing. the Old Town Art Fair has been canceled in the face of ongoing COVID-19 concerns. The festival has added that it will grant artists slated for the 2020 event (scheduled for June 13-14) automatic entry for 2021 and thus will be accepting no new applications for 2021. They will also be setting up a virtual art fair and gallery with an aim toward helping artist participants.
Friday, April 10
CSO’s Ravi Shankar concert postponed
A Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert celebrating the centennial of sitarist Ravi Shankar, which was to have occurred on May 22, has been postponed to 2021 “due to visa issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association statement.
“It is with heavy hearts that we confirm we are no longer playing concerts in May 2020 in honor of Ravi Shankar’s centenary,” said a statement from sitarist Anoushka Shankar, Ravi Shankar’s daughter, who was to have led the performance.
“Although we are sad about this, it is our intention that all these concerts will be rescheduled. We ask for your patience and understanding until we are able to let you know about the new confirmed dates during this difficult time.”
Patrons may exchange tickets for future concerts, return tickets and or convert the tickets’ value into a tax-deductible contribution.
For more information, visit www.cso.org or phone 312-294-3000.
FitzGerald’s hosts second Stay At Home concert
For the second Saturday in a row, the Berwyn roots music nightclub FitzGerald’s is sending a performer through neighboring streets on the back of a pickup truck in what it is calling the Stay At Home Concert Series.
The locations are being kept secret to prevent folks from gathering, but it’ll be live streamed on the FitzGerald’s Facebook page.
Last week, the singer was Jon Langford of the Mekons and other bands, and the event proved so popular the club is doing it again. The singer Saturday, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. is Dag Juhlin, of the bands Sunshine Boys, Expo ‘76 and Poi Dog Pondering.
Proceeds, via Venmo and Paypal, support “the club, the artist and our staff,” the club says. Full details here.
Chicago Humanities Festival shifts strategy
In reaction to COVID-19, Chicago Humanities Festival has postponed some spring events and switched some to online only. April 15 Artistic Director Alison Cuddy and Director of Programming Tiff Beatty will discuss, in a members-only event, what the 2020 theme, Vision, means in the new circumstances.
April 16 former Chicago comic Cameron Esposito will be in conversation, and the April 21st event will feature “Divergent” series author Veronica Roth. Details are at chicagohumanities.org.
Printers Row Lit Fest is postponed
Near South Planning Board has announced that the annual Printers Row Lit Fest has been postponed. The largest outdoor literary showcase in the Midwest was originally scheduled for June but has been moved to September 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. - 6p.m, along Dearborn Street from Polk Street north to Ida B. Wells Drive.
With nearly 100 events including local and national bestselling authors and more than 100 booksellers, Printers Row List Fest expects more than 100,000 participants. The free festival will still be headlined by New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates, and who will also receive this year’s Harold Washington Library Award.
For more information and festival updates in the coming months, visit printersrowlitfest.org.
Bringing the best tunes in the area to your house
The coronavirus shutdown is hitting Chicago’s small music venues such as The Hideout particularly hard. The idea at this point is surviving. To help the venue and its staff, a series of livestreamed events, Hideout Online, will bring that space and many of its favorite performers to your screen. It begins at 8 p.m. Friday with a show by Robbie Fulks, who needs no introduction. It’s twang and bang for everyone. 10 p.m. Saturday will offer up a dance party with DJ Ariel Zetina.
Other upcoming shows include Megan Stalter on Monday, and Mark Bazer brings his Interview Show to your house on Tuesday. All proceeds go to benefit the venue and its staff. The split from the “suggested tip” will be 80 percent for the performers, and 20 percent for the house. For more information, visit https://www.twitch.tv/hideoutchicago
Elsewhere in the virtual gigging world, The Ratboys continue “touring,” with a series of three performances from “mystery stops” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4 p.m. Sunday. The band is on the virtual road behind its remarkable new album, Printer’s Devil."
These shows will also stream on Twitch. Get more information at https://www.twitch.tv/watchratboys.
And while the status of summer music festivals might be up in the air, there is a spring one you won’t watn to miss, the Meg Memes Fest, a virtual event with quite the hook. Musicians will be interviewed about memes, and play some music. The event starts at 4 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. Saturday. Beach Bunny will be featured at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday.
The lineup is brilliant in general, with the likes of Tenci, The Ophelias, Soccer Mommy and Snail Mail among the performers scheduled. Visit @meg_memes on Instagram for more.
And finally, in the realm of Performers With Alter Egos Who Deserve More Love, Haley Fohr, who most of you know as Circuit Des Yeux, has another performing tentacle in the enigmatic Jackie Lynn. Banging the drum for the new “Jaqueline,” out this Friday on Drag City, Fohr will be taking part in an AMA on Reddit, which begins at 1 p.m. You will want to be there.
Wednesday, April 8
Chance the Rapper says stay inside, you
Flack back to April 2, when Governor Pritzker kicked off the “All In Illinois” initiative, to remind everyone that staying in keeps us all safe. Now come the celebrity reminders.
"Hi, everyone. I’m Chance the Rapper, and I’m from Chicago ... "
In his spot, featuring the rapper from (where else?) home, he talks about doing it for first responders, and his family, with the goal being to flatten the curve. Chance the Rapper joins a list of celebs including former Bear Charles Tillman, Chicago Cub Kyle Schwarber, former Chicago Bull Horance Grant and actress Jane Lynch.
Allen Garfield, ‘Nashville’ and ‘The Conversation’ star dies of coronavirus at 80
Allen Garfield, an actor who appeared in movies like “Nashville” and “The Stunt Man,” has died of coronavirus, according to his “Nashville” co-star Ronee Blakely. He was 80.
“RIP Allen Garfield, the great actor who played my husband in “Nashville”, has died today of Covid; I hang my head in tears; condolences to family and friends; I will post more later; cast and crew, sending love,” Blakely posted on Facebook on Tuesday. Read more.
John Prine, revered singer-songwriter from Maywood, dies at 73 of COVID-19 complications
Talking about the singer-songwriter John Prine, Bob Dylan said, “Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mind trips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs.”
“Proustian existentialism?” Prine told the Tribune in a 2010 interview, shortly before returning to play at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, where he took guitar lessons as a teenager from Maywood. "I can’t even pronounce that.” Read more.
Get a taste of great Chicago sounds, as Nnamdi Ogbonnaya goes live
One of the more anticipated albums on the Chicago scene for 2020 was “Brat,” by Nnamdi Ogbonnaya. The release date was April 3, and there was a show scheduled for April 18 at Lincoln Hall. Well, that obviously isn’t going to happen, as the coronavirus quarantine has derailed a number of tours by Chicago artists, ready to hit the road behind remarkable music. Nnamdi can’t hit the road, but he can blow up your small screen.
“Brat,” by Nnamdi, as he prefers to be known, is a sonic crazy quilt of influences that will leave you at once captivated and confused. It’s genreless, unless the genre is shape-shifting creativity, and you can get a taste of what Nnamdi has to offer during a livetream at Reverb, 7 p.m. Wednesday, at the outfit’s Facebook page.
Take a virtual tour, as the Pedway gets demystified
The Chicago Pedway is a strange, mysterious, sometimes — erm — unique-smelling world in which people can escape the weather, or visit many of the unique spaces that occupy this undergroun warren. Chicago Detours will be holding a virtual event, “Demystifying the Pedway,” at 6 p.m. Tuesday. You can register at the group’s site. And for a change, you won’t make a wrong turn and end up in a parking garage or something.
Sunday, April 5
Sunday Arts Takeover to benefit the arts
Instagram Live is becoming the new arts hotspot as performers look for new ways to connect with audiences. On Sunday beginning at 10 a.m. a trio of Chicago creatives will take over the Instagram account of Mayor Lori Lightfoot for live-at-home performances. Third Coast Percussion will get things started at 10. At noon, singer Jamila Woods takes over. At 5 p.m., a DJ set kicks off with Steve “Silk” Hurley, with house music being just the thing for staying at home. These efforts will benefit the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund, a partnership that looks financial assistance to artists, artisans, and cultural organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, through grants. The application process began on Friday for the one-time grants of $1500.
Friday, April 3
Fall Out Boy gives $100,000 to Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund
Grammy-nominated band Fall Out Boy announced Friday it has donated $100,000 from the Fall Out Boy Fund to the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund.
The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago set up the fund to support nonprofit organizations in the Chicago area.
Fall Out Boy formed on the North Shore about 20 years ago. The Fall Out Boy Fund launched in 2017 to give back to Chicago. The band is scheduled to play Wrigley Field on Aug. 13 with Green Day, Weezer and the Interrupters as part of the “Hella Mega” Tour.
Tribeca Film Festival to proceed, in part, online
The Tribeca Film Festival, postponed by the pandemic, is moving some elements of its annual New York event online.
Tribeca organizers said Friday that much of its programming will be available either to the public or to the film industry over roughly the same days that the festival would have taken place in April. That maintains a showcase for the filmmakers and artists who were relying on Tribeca’s platform for exposure. Read more.
Sara Bareilles reveals she had coronavirus, but has ‘fully recovered’
Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles revealed on Thursday that she had contracted coronavirus, but has since made a full recovery.
In a video on her Instagram story, she told her followers the news while going out for a walk after a therapy session. Read more.
Bucky Pizzarelli dead at 94 from coronavirus
John Paul “Bucky” Pizzarelli, the stalwart jazz guitarist and icon of the New Jersey music scene, died Wednesday from complications due to the coronavirus, according to multiple reports. He was 94. Read more.
Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy release a new song about togetherness in hard times
When Mavis Staples speaks, you better listen. When Mavis Staples issues a quiet, but ear and heart-bursting paean to the situation we find ourselves in, needing each other as a microscopic invader lays the world low, you should really listen.
Released Thursday, “All In It Together” teams her with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, in an effort that is at once a Staples Singers song and a Wilco song. It’s protest music that urges us to be better but the topic is humanity and a reminder that now more than ever, we need each other. Instrumentation is spare, beginning with just guitar and vocals: “We’re all in it together / Every boy and every girl / We’ve all got to get it together / Everybody in the world.”
It’s easy to hear this as one of those happy little “Kumbaya” sing-a-longs, but Staples is lacerating, calling out the world for, essentially, not understanding the universality of sadness and misery. This microbe is coming for everybody. She cries out for opening hearts and minds, and closing doors. “I gave up on hating you / Just for hating me” is a powerful, resonant line that speaks to everything. COVID-19 doesn’t care about race, or gender, or religion or social status. Staples, with her hushed, yet fervent delivery, delivers the goods. And the urgency builds with the instrumentation. “I need you / And you need me / We’re all in it together / And we got to get it right.”
In many ways it’s an echo of the Staple Singers’ great “I’ll Take You There,” another musical picture of a place, a utopian ideal where everybody can be together, a kind of heaven to strive for set to syncopated bliss. “All In It Together” is both jaunty and dirge-like in its plea for unity. It’s a powerful song at a powerful time, another utopia to strive for.
"We all got to do a lot better / Everybody in the world." Ain't that the truth.
The song is available on Bandcamp, and all sale proceeds to go benefit Chicago’s My Block, My Hood, My City, an opportunity-focused youth outreach program.
Broadway’s Aaron Tveit thought he had a cold — it turned out to be coronavirus
In early March, Aaron Tveit felt like he was coming down with a cold. The 36-year-old actor, who had spent the last eight months on Broadway playing Christian in “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” thought it might be spring allergies.
Only a few weeks ago, there were conflicting reports about COVID-19 in the United States. But the producers of “Moulin Rouge!” wanted to be cautious. They huddled with the cast to tell them they were taking extra measures: not allowing guests backstage; asking crowds at the stage door to hold out their playbills for autographs, so they wouldn’t be passing germs back and forth. Tveit refrained from going out to meet with fans that week because of his runny nose. Read more.
Ellis Marsalis Jr., patriarch of jazz family, dead at 85; fought coronavirus
Ellis Marsalis Jr., jazz pianist, teacher and patriarch of a New Orleans musical clan that includes famed performer sons Wynton and Branford, has died after battling pneumonia brought on by the new coronavirus, one of his sons said late Wednesday.
He was 85. Read more.
Wallace Roney, jazz trumpet virtuoso, is dead at 59 due to coronavirus complications
Wallace Roney, a virtuoso trumpeter whose term as Miles Davis’ only true protégé opened onto a prominent career in jazz, died Tuesday in Paterson, New Jersey. He was 59.
The cause was complications of the coronavirus, his fiancée, Dawn Jones, said. Read more.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo, with coronavirus, completes show from basement
A bleary-eyed Chris Cuomo, saying he wanted to be a cautionary tale for his audience, anchored his CNN show from his basement Tuesday after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Via remote link, he interviewed Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, an emergency room nurse and CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who expressed worry about one of Cuomo’s symptoms. Read more.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot join to create an emergency fund for the arts and artists in Illinois
In an attempt to boost the battered arts and cultural communities in the Land of Lincoln, the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago will join with philanthropies to create a new emergency fund. Dubbed Arts for Illinois, the fast-tracked initiative will be seeded with at least $4.5 million in unrestricted support for artists and artisans, many of whom now find themselves out of work. It will also support nonprofit cultural organizations across the state, most of which are now bereft of income, with some staring total ruin in the face. Read more.
Adam Schlesinger, Emmy winner and Fountains of Wayne cofounder, hospitalized with coronavirus
Adam Schlesinger, a musician and three-time Emmy-winning songwriter highly regarded for his work as a member of Fountains of Wayne and songwriter for TV’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” is has been hospitalized with coronavirus and is on a ventilator but is not in a coma, as has been widely reported, Josh Grier, his attorney of 25 years, tells Variety.
Maywood’s John Prine has coronavirus, condition changed to stable from critical overnight
John Prine, the postman from Maywood and Army mechanic who became one of the most revered American songwriters of the past half century, is now in stable condition after being intubated while being treated for COVID-19-type symptoms, his wife, Fiona Whelan Prine said Monday.
Opera Singer Plácido Domingo hospitalized with coronavirus
Spanish opera singer Plácido Domingo has been hospitalized in Acapulco, Mexico, for coronavirus.
“He is doing well and is responding to treatment,” Domingo’s spokesperson told CNN on Sunday.
‘I Love Rock and Roll’ co-writer dies of virus complications
Alan Merrill — who co-wrote the song “I Love Rock and Roll" that became a signature hit for fellow rocker Joan Jett — died Sunday in New York of complications from the coronavirus, his daughter said. He was 69.
Maywood’s John Prine has coronavirus, condition is critical, his family says on Twitter
John Prine, the postman from Maywood and Army mechanic who became one of the most revered American songwriters of the past half century, is in critical condition “after a sudden onset of COVID-19 symptoms,” his official Twitter feed reported Sunday afternoon.
Golden Globes changes film eligibility rules in wake of coronavirus crisis
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is implementing changes to its film eligibility rules for the 2021 Golden Globes because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Since movie theaters and screening rooms are indefinitely closed due to the global health crisis, the organization temporarily suspended the rule that a film had to be screened for HFPA members at a third party facility in the greater Los Angeles area.
National Theatre Live to release productions on YouTube for free
National Theatre Live, which records and broadcasts stage shows from London’s West End to movie theaters worldwide, is unveiling a new at-home initiative amid the closure of theaters due to the novel coronavirus.
Beginning April 2, audiences can watch a number of NT Live’s live-captured productions for free via the National Theatre’s YouTube channel. Every Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern, a production — filmed in front of an audience in the theater — will be streamed and then be available on demand for seven days.
Mark Blum, ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ Star, dies from coronavirus complications
Actor Mark Blum, who appeared in “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “Crocodile Dundee” and the TV series “You,” has died due to complications from coronavirus. He was 69.
The Playwrights Horizons theater group and SAG-AFTRA executive vice president Rebecca Damon confirmed the news on Thursday.
'Hamilton’ star Miguel Cervantes calls on Illinois high school theater kids for #AroundBroadwayIn80Days
Calling all high school musical theater stars, your show hasn’t gone dark yet.
He and Loop theater owner Broadway in Chicago want to see your efforts and share them online via “Around Broadway in 80 Days,” a replacement of sorts for this year’s Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards. Find out more here.
Chef Floyd Cardoz, ‘Top Chef’ winner and restaurateur, dies at 59 of coronavirus complications
Chef Floyd Cardoz, who competed on “Top Chef,” won “Top Chef Masters” and operated successful restaurants in both India and New York, died Wednesday of complications from the coronavirus, his company said in a statement. He was 59.
Tony Awards postponed due to coronavirus pandemic
The Tony Awards are the latest industry event to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The American Theatre Wing, which backs the show, confirmed Wednesday that the 74th edition of the annual celebration of the best of theater will be pushed back indefinitely. It was originally scheduled to air live on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 7 from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. However, Broadway has been closed since March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic, with producers tentatively setting April 12 as the date that theaters will reopen. That may have been optimistic given that the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to grow and New York City is at the epicenter of the public health crisis.
Chicago Symphony concerts canceled through May 10 due to coronavirus outbreak
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association has canceled all its events at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., and offsite locations through May 10, “in cooperation with community-wide efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” according to a statement.
Playwright Terrence McNally, 81, dies of coronavirus complications
Terrence McNally, the author of such exquisitely crafted plays and musicals as “Ragtime," “Master Class,” “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune,” “The Full Monty,” “Love! Valour! Compassion!” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” died Tuesday in a Sarasota hospital, due to complications from coronavirus. Read more here.
Milwaukee’s Summerfest postponed until September
Summerfest, the sprawling lakefront music festival that has attracted hundreds of thousands of concertgoers to Milwaukee, has been postponed from late June to September, according to a statement posted on Twitter Monday night. As with many of the music festivals postponed or canceled in 2020, the reason is the coronavirus outbreak.
Opera singer Plácido Domingo has coronavirus
Spanish opera singer Plácido Domingo said Sunday that he’s infected with the coronavirus.
The 79-year-old Domingo said in a post on his personal Facebook account Sunday that “I feel it is my moral duty to announce to you that I have tested positive.”
Goodman Theatre leads other Chicago theaters in donating masks and safety equipment
On Saturday morning, Goodman Theatre production manager Scott Conn went to work. His mission? Find all of the personal protection equipment stored in boxes in the shuttered theater’s scenic shops and get it to hospitals and emergency care workers, fast.
In an interview Saturday, Conn said that Goodman had long ago stocked as many as 200 of the rare N95 respirator masks, now much in demand to protect local healthcare workers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
Lyric Opera Orchestra takes pay cut to benefit freelancers
Lyric Opera Orchestra members voted unanimously on Wednesday evening to take a pay cut. They did so to financially support extra musicians and stage band members who had been hired to play the rest of the 2019-20 season, which has been canceled in the wake of the coronavirus.
Kartemquin Films’ Gordon Quinn hospitalized due to coronavirus
Chicago documentary filmmaker Gordon Quinn has been hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus. The news was announced on a blog post Thursday on the Caring Bridge website, a resource for family members to keep friends and others updated when a loved one is experiencing health issues.
Daytime Emmys postponed amid coronavirus pandemic
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences will postpone the 47th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, which had been scheduled for June.
“Given our concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided that we will not be staging the 47th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Pasadena this coming June,” NATAS chairman Terry O’Reilly said in a statement. “As there are so many unknowns right now with the flow of information changing on a daily, almost hourly, basis, it would simply be irresponsible to move forward with our annual celebration of excellence in daytime television at this time.”
Lyric Opera Orchestra takes pay cut to benefit freelancers
Lyric Opera Orchestra members voted unanimously on Wednesday evening to take a pay cut. They did so to financially support extra musicians and stage band members who had been hired to play the rest of the 2019-20 season, which has been canceled in the wake of the coronavirus.
Cannes Film Festival postponed, late June dates being considered
Organizers confirmed Thursday evening that the film festival will no longer take place during the scheduled dates of May 12-23, and several options are being considered, including postponing the event until the end of June until the beginning of July.
Chicago Opera Theater postpones rest of season
Chicago Opera Theater has announced an “indefinite postponement” of the rest of its 2019-20 season, “in light of COVID-19,” according to a statement from the company.
This means two productions will not take place as previously scheduled: “The Transformation of Jane Doe,” by Stacy Garrop and Jerre Dye, on April 19; and “Soldier Songs,” by David T. Little, May 14-17.
Brookfield Zoo joins Chicago Botanic Garden in closing after trying to stay open
Brookfield Zoo late Wednesday announced it will close in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The west suburban nature park began the week trying to keep its outdoor spaces open to guests while closing all indoor facilities.
Bonnaroo Music Festival postponed
The 2020 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, in Manchester, Tennessee, has been postponed due to concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The festival, originally scheduled to take place June 11-14 at Great Stage Park, has been moved to the weekend of September 24-27.
Theater union IATSE donating $2.5 million to help workers displaced by coronavirus pandemic
The leaders of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees are donating $2.5 million to charities to help workers displaced by the coronavirus crisis.
In a move announced Tuesday, the IATSE General Executive Board approved the donations to three entertainment charities: the Actors Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund of Canada.
Cinemark shuts down movie theaters indefinitely
Cinemark, the nation’s third largest movie theater chain, has joined AMC and Regal in closing down operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Based in Plano, Texas, Cinemark has 525 North American locations. In addition to Cinemark, the circuit operates Century Theatres, Tinseltown, CinéArts and Rave circuits.
Rolling Stones postpone North American tour
The Rolling Stones have postponed their North American tour, which was scheduled to begin May 8 in San Diego. Check which dates here.
AMC Theatres, nation’s largest movie chain, to close for 6 to 12 weeks
AMC Theatres announced on Monday that it will close all theaters nationwide for six to 12 weeks in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision came as governors of a dozen states announced closures of movie theaters on Sunday and Monday, and as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued strict guidelines limiting public gatherings.
Broadway in Chicago updates plans
Broadway in Chicago, which operates some of the largest theaters in the Loop, has updated its cancellations or new dates for the following shows. Ticket holders should contact their point of purchase:
“The Bachelor Live on Stage” March 14 at Cadillac Palace Theatre, is rescheduled to Oct. 10.
“KEANE – Cause and Effect Tour” March 20 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre is canceled.
“My Fair Lady” March 24 to April 12 at Cadillac Palace Theatre is rescheduled to May 12-23.
“What the Constitution Means to Me” through April 12 at the Broadway Playhouse is canceled.
“Once Upon A One More Time” musical with songs by Britney Spears, scheduled April 14 to May 17 at the Nederlander Theatre, is canceled.
“The Choir Of Man” April 14-19 at the Broadway Playhouse is rescheduled to Feb. 2-7, 2021.
“The Crown – Live!” April 21-26 at the Broadway Playhouse is rescheduled to Feb. 23-28, 2021.
“The Simon & Garfunkel Story” May 12-17 at the CIBC Theatre is rescheduled to Dec. 1-66, 2020.
The film is expected to cost $19.99 to buy on platforms such as Amazon and iTunes, and will be available for rental in April, the studio confirmed to Variety.
‘Game of Thrones’ star Kristofer Hivju tests positive for coronavirus
Kristofer Hivju, best known for playing the formidable, bearded Tormund on “Game of Thrones,” is the latest actor to test positive for the coronavirus.
Hivju revealed the diagnosis in an Instagram post, saying that he is currently self-quarantining with his family in Norway.
Met Gala postponed indefinitely
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced that the upcoming Met Gala in New York City has been postponed indefinitely.
The event, an annual fundraiser for the museum’s Costume Institute, was set to take place on May 4. The theme was “About Time: Fashion and Duration.”
Idris Elba tests positive for coronavirus
Idris Elba is the latest celebrity to test positive for the coronavirus. He made the announcement Monday.
“This morning I tested positive for Covid 19,” he wrote. “I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus.”
‘Windy City Live’ temporarily suspends production
“Windy City Live,” the WLS-Ch. 7 news and entertainment show that airs weekdays, has temporarily suspended production because of the coronavirus.
"Unfortunately, the decision was made over the weekend for us to temporarily suspend production just like a lot of other ABC shows, so we will be in some reruns for now. Obviously, it's a very strange feeling for all of us," co-host Ryan Chiaverini announced Monday on Facebook shortly before the show's 1 p.m. broadcast time.
Monday's episode was supposed to feature a performance by Ayodele Drum & Dance company and interviews with boxing champion and Gary native Mary McGee and broadcasting executive Melody Spann Cooper, according to TV listings.
Chiaverini and Val Warner co-hosted their show last week without a studio audience. The show, which premiered in 2011, is filmed at Channel 7 1/4 u2032s State Street studios.
Gene Siskel Film Center closes
The Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago’s downtown art house cinema, announced Monday that it is suspending operations due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. For now, the cinema expects to re-open April 10.
Elton John postpones 19 ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ concerts
Elton John announced Monday morning that he is postponing at least 19 dates on the upcoming North American leg of his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour, ten days before it was scheduled to start. All dates between March 26 and May 2 will be moved to 2021, with the tour now scheduled to pick up on May 22.
While the announcement feels late, given the dozens of tour postponements and cancellations last week, the tour was on break after completing an Australian leg earlier this month.
AMC Theaters to limit attendance to 50 people per showing
AMC Theaters, the largest movie chain in North America, will limit attendance at all screenings to 50 people to adhere to the CDC’s latest social distancing guidelines.
Cinemas in New York City and Los Angeles on Sunday were order closed by the city’s respective mayors. Many art house theaters nationwide have also shuttered.
More Chicago theaters and dance performances canceled
Teatro Zinzanni at the Cambria Hotel in the Loop has closed as of March 15, reopening date to be announced. Blue Man Group Chicago at the Briar Street Theatre will be suspending performances beginning March 16. Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre in Evanston is suspending performances of “Grey Gardens” for the foreseeable future.
Chicago comedy clubs close
Comedy Bar, Zanies, iO Theater, Annoyance Theater and Laugh Factory are also now closing, per announcements late Sunday. Zanies is closed until March 30. Laugh Factory is closed as of Tuesday. The Chicago Improv in Schaumburg is closed through the end of March.
Lyric Opera cancels all performances of Wagner’s ‘Ring’
Lyric Opera of Chicago has canceled its much-anticipated production of Wagner’s complete “Ring” cycle, which was to have had performances beginning April 13, April 20 and April 27.
“In response to the city’s COVID-19 related protocols, Lyric’s rehearsals will cease immediately, and all three of the ‘Ring’ cycles are canceled,’” the company said in a statement.
In addition, performances of Wagner’s “Gotterdammerung” scheduled for April 4 and 11 have been canceled.
“The health, safety and security of our audiences, artists and employees is our highest priority,” said Lyric general director, president and CEO in a statement. “While this decision is very difficult, there was no other option.”
’Chicago Fire’ and other Chicago-filmed TV shows halt production
NBC is wrapping production on “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.” and “Chicago Med” in the next day or so, in light of concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
The news comes on the heels of both the city and state banning gatherings over 1,000 for the next 30 days. Organizers of public and private events expected to draw more than 250 people have also been encouraged to postpone until May 1.
The number of crew employed on each of the NBC shows can be anywhere from 200-250.
Canceled SXSW Festival moving ahead with awards, expands online screenings
The canceled SXSW Film Festival will still hand out awards by allowing jurors to see the festival’s competition films.
SXSW director of film Janet Pierson made the announcement on Friday, which would have been the opening day of the festival. The event was canceled on March 6 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
She also said the festival will continue to serve as an official qualifying festival for the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards.
AMC Theaters remain open, slash audience capacity by 50%
AMC Theatres is not ready to roll credits on American moviegoers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The theatrical exhibition giant will enforce a new attendance guideline, that it will only fill its theaters to 50 percent capacity so customers can engage in “social distancing” and potentially stave off the transmission of COVID-19.
In addition to the audience restrictions, AMC said each of its reported 661 locations will enforce hourly cleanings of the following “high touch” surfaces": kiosks, counter tops, restroom areas, glass, handrails and doorknobs.
Broadway in Chicago announces cancellations, changes
Broadway in Chicago, which operates some of the largest theaters in the Loop, has announced cancellations and suspensions for the following shows:
“The Bachelor Live on Stage” March 14 at Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., is rescheduled to Oct. 10. “KEANE – Cause and Effect Tour” March 20 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre is canceled. “My Fair Lady” at Cadillac Palace Theatre is rescheduled to May 10-23. “What the Constitution Means to Me” at the Broadway Playhouse will suspend performances through the end of March. The show hopes to resume performances March 31 to April 12 at a reduced capacity. Ticket holders should contact their point of purchase. Check out the full list here.
Cirque du Soleil cancels ‘Alegria’ in Chicago this summer
Cirque du Soleil, due back in Chicago this summer with its tents and its touring show “Alegria,” has canceled due to coronavirus. The reprisal of “Alegria,” which first opened in 1994 and is set in a magical kingdom, was to have played June 5-28 at the Big Top at Soldier Field South Lot, 1410 Museum Campus Drive.
An announcement Friday says in part: “In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and following the World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control’s recommendation of social distancing, Cirque du Soleil will not be performing its show Alegría scheduled to be presented in Chicago from June 5th until June 28th." Ticket holders will be contacted.
Art Institute, Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Shedd Aquarium, Lincoln Park Zoo close
Shedd Aquarium, one of Chicago’s leading attractions, will close for at least two weeks beginning Friday afternoon “in support of city and statewide preventative measures to limit the additional spread and transmission of the novel coronavirus,” the institution announced Friday morning.
The Shedd joins Lincoln Park Zoo in closing in reaction both to the COVID-19 pandemic and to Illinois’ new ban on large gatherings. The zoo, which is the city’s most popular museum or nature park with more than 3.5 million visitors annually, announced its closing Thursday night, hours after Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot canceled any assembly of more than 1,000 people.
Other museums followed throughout Friday.
The Museum of Broadcast Communications said it will be closed beginning Monday, and the Poetry Foundation is canceling its programming through the end of March. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum said it will close for 30 days beginning Saturday.
Chicago Humanities Festival is postponing, canceling or looking to move online its slate of Spring events scheduled through May 1.
Mayor Lightfoot announces ban on events of 1,000 people or more
We gathered a list of all museums, city event spaces, movie theaters, Chicago theaters, Chicago television and more that have announced closures, cancellations and postponements. Check out our full list here.
Tribeca Film Festival postponed
Tribeca Film Festival will no longer be taking place next month.
The 19th annual event for independent film was set for April 15 through April 26, but has been postponed because of coronavirus. No new dates have been announced.
The festival had selections from 12 filmmakers representing 33 countries. “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” was set to open the festival on April 15 with a premiere screening at the Beacon Theatre and live performances from Willie Nelson and Nile Rodgers.
Goodman Theatre, Drury Lane, Chicago Shakes, Paramount, Steppenwolf and others all make decision to close
On Thursday in the wake of the Illinois announcement:
The Goodman Theatre in Chicago announced late Thursday it has suspended all performances until further notice. The current Albert Theatre mainstage production of “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play” by Jocelyn Bioh, directed by Lili-Anne Brown, is currently in previews and was slated to open Monday, March 16. In the smaller Owen stage, “Molly Sweeney” by Brian Friel, directed by Robert Falls, has been postponed to an April 20 opening.
The Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace is voluntarily closing March 13 until May 1. Affected productions include “An American in Paris” and the upcoming “Evita” and “Shrek the Musical.”
Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier has announced it is ending early its current production of “Emma.” The production will not play its final nights March 12-15.
“The Secret of My Success,” currently on stage through March 29 at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, will be closed early. The theater also announced it has postponed but is working to reschedule performances in April by Killer Queen, Frank Caliendo, “STOMP,” Straight No Chaser and Jay Leno.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is canceling the remaining performances of “Bug” for March 12-15. Remaining student and public performances, as well as the juvenile justice facility tour, of “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” will also be canceled, according to a statement from the theater late Thursday. Also affected is visiting company First Floor’s remaining performances of “Plano” in the 1700 Theatre space.
“Be More Chill” announced a three-month postponement. The Chicago production will now begin performances at the Apollo Theater July 7 and will open July 17.
The roller rink musical “Hit Her With the Skates,” now in previews, has announced it is suspending performances effective immediately. The world premiere at the Royal George Theatre will be April 23; preview performances will resume April 21.
Disney has temporarily closed its California theme park -- starting March 14 through the end of the month -- because of the coronavirus outbreak. The move to shutter its park comes as the novel virus continues to rapidly spread across the country. Over the past week it has officially become a pandemic, with cases increasing in the U.S., Asia and across Europe.
Disneyland Resort hotels will remain open until March 16 so guests can make necessary travel accommodations.
Court Theatre cancels ‘Lady from the Sea'
The Court Theatre in Hyde Park on Thursday announced the cancellation of its upcoming production of “The Lady from the Sea,” as well as a postponement of remaining “An Iliad” performances. The theater on the campus of the University of Chicago had previous announced a curtailment of audiences sizes to no more than 100 people, to comply with coronavirus policies from the university.
Art Institute cancels all public events but remains open
The Art Institute of Chicago will remain open to the public but cancel all public events at the museum at least through April 10 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it announced Thursday afternoon.
This makes the encyclopedic art museum the first among Chicago’s major cultural institutions to begin to diminish its public profile as the likelihood of community transmission of the disease increases.
Navy Pier Holi celebration canceled in Chicago
The popular “Global Connections: Holi” on Navy Pier March 14 has been canceled. Celebrating the Hindu spring festival also known as the “festival of colors," the Saturday event 12:45 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom was shut down over coronavirus concerns, though Navy Pier otherwise remains open.
‘NeXt’ crew member in Chicago with coronavirus exhibited symptoms days before leaving Cinespace set
A crew member on the upcoming Fox drama “NeXt” who tested positive for the novel coronavirus stayed on set for days despite exhibiting symptoms, and workers who came into contact with the infected person have since moved on to other shows.
According to three members of the crew who spoke with Variety, the affected crew member was showing symptoms as early as Feb. 29. On that day, the crew member came into contact with multiple department heads on the show and was present onset during filming. That person returned to work on March 2 and was present onset and in the production offices through the end of filming on March 4. They were then hospitalized later that week and tested positive for coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson test positive for coronavirus
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have announced that they have tested positive for the coronavirus, the first celebrities to go public with a diagnosis.
Hanks and Wilson, both 63, revealed the news with a statement on Wednesday. The married couple was in Australia for production of Baz Luhrmann’s untitled Elvis Presley movie, in which Hanks is playing Presley’s iconic manager Colonel Tom Parker.
Cole’s Bar in Chicago shuts down open mic
Cole’s Bar on the North Side has canceled its popular Wednesday night open mic comedy night until further notice, the venue announced late Wednesday, over concerns of the nature of sharing microphones and the stage.
Girma B 1/4 u00e8y 1/4 u00e8n 1/4 u00e8, Akalé Wubé concert, workshop canceled at Old Town School of Folk Music
Ethiopian pianist and vocalist Girma B 1/4 u00e8y 1/4 u00e8n 1/4 u00e8 and Ethiopian jazz-funk band Akalé Wubé have canceled their free performance and workshop at Old Town School of Folk Music in Lincoln Square due to concerns about coronavirus and international travel.
The concert was originally scheduled for March 18 at Old Town School of Folk Music. As part of their weekly World Music Wednesday series, Old Town School of Folk Music hosts free concerts — with a $10 suggested donation — featuring local and touring talent. The band was also scheduled to host an introductory workshop at the school that would include information about the history of Ethiopian music as well as a hands-on session for musicians.
Coachella officially postponed due to coronavirus outbreak
It’s now official: the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals have been postponed due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which for several years has repeated the same lineup over two weekends instead of just one, was set to take place April 10-12 and again April 17-19.
Chicago Children’s Choir cancels concerts
The Chicago Children’s Choir has decided to cancel its World Music Festival 3:30 p.m. Saturday at UIC Forum due to coronavirus concerns. The choir also canceled its upcoming the Allegro Connection Day on March 21 and an open rehearsal March 25.
Chicago’s Court Theatre must limit audiences to 100 due to coronavirus
The nonprofit Court Theatre is caught up in new University of Chicago guidelines, announced Tuesday as part of the coronavirus epidemic, limiting gatherings to no more than 100 people. Although it has a measure of independence, Court Theatre operates on the university’s campus and is subject to the regulations. Court has a capacity of about 250 seats and on Thursday begins previews for “The Lady from the Sea."
This is the first such announcement at a major professional Chicago theater.
Illinois Holocaust Museum cancels annual fundraising event
Due to coronavirus concerns and a guest list featuring the elderly, the Illinois Holocaust Museum on Tuesday called off its big annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner.
The 2,000-attendee Holocaust Museum event, scheduled for March 12, is billed as the biggest fundraising dinner in the city, and its guests typically include Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans, people whose advanced age puts them in the highest risk category for coronavirus harm.
Meanwhile, Shedd Aquarium has joined the Field Museum and Art Institute of Chicago in banning staff travel to those countries most profoundly affected by COVID-19.
Coachella Festival most likely postponed
Multiple sources tell Variety that both weekends of the Coachella Festival as well as the Stagecoach Music Festival that follows have been postponed due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. Goldenvoice is informing agents currently and deducing who is available on consecutive weekends in October -- starting with Oct. 9.
Organizers have yet to release a statement, but insiders say the decision was inevitable as coronavirus panic continues to sweep the live entertainment sector.
Pearl Jam postpones North American tour
Pearl Jam is postponing the North American leg of its Gigaton world tour because of concerns over the new coronavirus, the band announced Monday.
Seventeen U.S. and Canadian performances, beginning on March 18 in Toronto through April 19 in Oakland, California, were indefinitely postponed, according to the band’s website.
Film directors from Japan, Italy and France cancel March appearances in Chicago
On Thursday the Chicago International Film Festival confirmed that renowned Japanese writer-director Hirokazu Kore-eda has cancelled plans to travel to Chicago for a March 15 tribute. Kore-eda was to receive the festival’s Artistic Achievement Award prior to a screening of his new film “The Truth," starring Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche.
The screening will go on as scheduled, to be followed by a pre-taped Skype conversation between Kore-eda (whose “Shoplifters" won top prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival) and Chicago festival artistic director Mimi Plauché.
Citing “increasing travel uncertainties,” festival managing director Vivian Teng issued a statement regarding the tribute, and the now-cancelled screenings of earlier Kore-eda films initially slated for March 14.
The annual Chicago European Union Film Festival, continuing at the Gene Siskel Film Center through April 2, announced two in-person cancellations of its own Thursday. Italian director Mimmo Calopresti will no longer attend the March 29 screening of his film “Aspromonte: Land of the Forgotten.” Also on March 29, the French filmmaker Nad 1/4 u00e8ge Trebal’s EU fest title, “Twelve Thousand,” in which she also stars, will now make its Chicago premiere without the director in attendance.
Field Museum, Art Institute enact travel bans for staff
In response to COVID-19 and its likely spread, the Field Museum of Natural History and the Art Institute of Chicago have banned staff from traveling to areas already profoundly impacted by the coronavirus.
At the Field, “until further notice staff cannot travel to or through any country rated with a Centers for Disease Control Travel Alert Level 3 (currently, China, Iran, Italy, South Korea)," said Public Relations and Community Awareness Director Jaclyn Johnston via email Monday. "And staff returning from any country with a CDC Travel Alert Level 3 are being advised to stay home and monitor their health for up to 14 days.”
Hubbard Street Dance cancels Italy performances and returns home due to coronavirus
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago abruptly cut short the final portion of its European tour last week due to the coronavirus in northern Italy. The dance company arrived in the Italian city of Milan Feb. 23, but made the decision to cancel scheduled performances in Cremona Feb. 24-25 and return home, also scrapping planned performances in Ferrara, Trieste and Trento.
Cremona is located in Lombardy, the region of Europe most heavily affected by coronavirus.
©2020 the Chicago Tribune
Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.