SpotOnChicago News 5/9

  May 9:  There’s good news and bad news concerning the arts in recent weeks. The good news: there are many new online fundraising events hosted by big name celebrities aimed at helping impacted communities. The bad news: traditional, large scale events are being cancelled - not postponed. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra cancelled the remainder of its season that was scheduled to run through June 27. We estimate that since the shelter-in-place order took effect, the CSO has cancelled over 30 programs. Similarly, the Grant Park Music Festival, which usually hosts over 300,000 fans during the summer, cancelled its entire 2020 season. Other bad news came Thursday at a Lincoln Forum/Union League Club event. Rick Bayless and other Chicago chef/owners agreed that the restaurant industry, as we know it, might not survive COVID-19. Thin margins and fewer customers when restrictions are loosened may make the business untenable. In the face of all this bad news, the arts community has been very active in creating new forms of gathering to support fundraising efforts…On a local basis, Pants Optional, airing tonight, supports Steppenwolf Theatre Company and features Claire Danes, Shonda Rhimes, Chris Rock, John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf, and many others. (See the links below for all these featured events.) The other locally sponsored theatre-centric effort is Chicago Acts Together, a website to support the Chicago Theatre Workers Relief Fund. Similar events loaded with celebrities include Broadway Does Mother’s Day and A Night of Covenant House Stars. Not to be outdone, #TheNewGig sponsored by the Jazz Foundation of America, will support the music community. Hosted by Keegan-Michael Key,  the event will feature Jon Batiste, Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Robert Cray, and many others…If information is what you are after, several great talks were announced this week including: The American Presidency in a Time of COVID; COVID-19: Surveillance & The Future of Privacy; Wilder Than Weather: The Limitations of Predicting Pandemics; Fury: Women’s Lived Experiences During the Trump Era; and a Chicago Council on Global Affairs presentation by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright…Finally, the theatre community has announced several upcoming streaming plays - November by David Mamet, Molly Sweeney by Brian Friel, Love Letters with Bryan Cranston and Sally Field, A Streetcar Named Desire with Gillian Anderson,  and Shakespeare’s Coriolanus with Tom Hiddleston. (See the links below.)..Let’s be careful out there… Just Added Virtual Events:
Opening Event Category
-- Chicago Acts Together Other
-- Spotlight on Plays - November by David Mamet Theatre
-- Fat Bill's Roadside Café Theatre
-- Gray Gallery - Frieze Viewing Room Exhibitions
5/9 Pants Optional - Supporting Chicago Theatre Other
5/10 Trinity Irish Dance - At Home with the Auditorium Dance
5/10 Broadway Does Mother's Day Other
5/11 The American Presidency in a Time of COVID Talks
5/11 COVID-19: Surveillance & The Future of Privacy Talks
5/12 Molly Sweeney by Brian Freil Theatre
5/12 The Hilarious World of Depression - John Moe Talks
5/12 Wilder Than the Weather: Predicting Pandemics Talks
5/12 Mallory Lewis &Lamb Chop, daughters of Shari Lewis Talks
5/13 Madeleine Albright on Hell and Other Destinations Talks
5/14 Significant Other by Joshua Harmon Theatre
5/14 Neighborhood Check-In: Englewood Talks
5/14 #TheNewGig - Jazz Foundation of America Music
5/15 Gender, Education, and Progress - A Symposium Talks
5/15 Marlo Thomas/Phil Donahue-What Makes a Marriage Talks
5/18 A Night of Covenant House Stars Other
5/19 Live Stream: The Global Resurgence of Antisemitism Talks
5/21 Love Letters with Bryan Cranston & Sally Field Theatre
5/21 The Lost Book of Adana Moreau Talks
5/21 Natl. Theatre at Home: A Streetcar Named Desire Theatre
5/23 Come Together (A Virtual Night of One Acts) Theatre
5/26 Facebook Live: Ben Vereen Talks
5/28 Fury: Women's...Experiences During the Trump Era Talks
5/28 Natl. Theatre at Home: This House Theatre
6/4 Natl. Theatre at Home: Coriolanus Theatre
6/5 Touch: A Virtual Exhibition Exhibitions