Music, theater, architecture and more: these are the hottest happenings this spring and summer in Chicago.
FRIDA: IMMERSIVE DREAM
After the critically acclaimed success of the Immersive Van Gogh exhibition, the Lighthouse Immersive creative team announces the Chicago arrival of its next experiential art installation, Frida: Immersive Dream. Expect to see beloved 20th century Mexican painter Frida Kahlo’s most compelling works brought to life for audiences to explore and examine her powerful story in a new light. Bold with color and raw with emotion, Frida’s portfolio has maintained a timelessness with viewers, who intimately connect with the brilliant artist and her unflinching authenticity. Lighthouse ArtSpace at Germania Club, 108 W. Germania Place, immersive-frida.com
An 1871 Currier and Ives lithograph on view at the Chicago History Museum’s City on Fire: Chicago 1871 exhibition dramatically depicts the destructive path of the Great Chicago Fire.
CITY ON FIRE: CHICAGO 1871
No event has had a more lasting impact on the city of Chicago than the Great Fire of October 1871, which burned the wooden city to the ground over the course of three days, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless, with the blame squarely placed on the Irish immigrant O’Leary family. Now, the Chicago History Museum is taking an in-depth look at the events and conditions before, after and during the inferno with City on Fire: Chicago 1871, a family-friendly exhibition featuring stunning visuals and more than 100 artifacts from the museum’s collection complemented by interactive and multimedia elements as well as personal stories from fire survivors. 1601 N. Clark St., chicagohistory.org
MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL
After winning an impressive 10 Tony Awards in 2021, Moulin Rouge! The Musical arrives in Chicago to unveil a spectacular world of glitz, grandeur and glory. Based on the iconic film by Baz Luhrmann in which a young English poet falls madly in love with a cabaret actress, this musical mashup celebrates the enchanting bohemians and aristocrats who revel in electrifying songs all night long. James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., broadwayinchicago.com
HOUSES OF TOMORROW: SOLAR HOMES FROM KECK TO TODAY
Celebrating 25 years of inspiring and enriching the community through art, education and architecture programming, the Elmhurst Art Museum presents an anniversary exhibition that honors the midcentury solar innovations of Chicago’s award-winning architecture firm Keck & Keck in its latest multimedia installation, Houses of Tomorrow: Solar Homes from Keck to Today. The firm was headed up by brothers George Fred Keck (who originally designed the glass-walled “House of Tomorrow” for display at the 1933 Chicago World Fair) and William Keck. The exhibition features a dedicated gallery illustrating Keck & Keck’s history, a commissioned interpretation project by Jan Ticky utilizing original 1933 artifacts of the visionary home model and more, all in honor of the sibling duo’s breakthrough in energy-efficient architecture and solar power long ago. 150 S. Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst, elmhurstartmuseum.org
The talented cast of Six brings 16th century history to wildly entertaining life, belting out the stories of each of King Henry VIII of England’s wives.
Having made its North American debut in Chicago in 2019, the rollicking musical production Six returns to the Windy City stage after an acclaimed Broadway run. The show reimagines the 16th century history of King Henry VIII of England’s six wives in a modern-day, concertstyle performance, with an all-female cast belting a mix of pop ballads paired with glittery costumes and girl band-esque choreography. As the six women reclaim their stories, they reveal what really happened in King Henry VIII’s royal court and prove to be much more than merely a footnote in our history books. CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., broadwayinchicago.com
Katsukawa Shunko’s “The Actor Ichikawa Monnosuke II in an Unidentified Role,” a work from around 1785, is part of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Clarence Buckingham Collection and featured in The Golden Age of Kabuki Prints exhibition.
THE GOLDEN AGE OF KABUKI PRINTS
In 18th century Edo (now Tokyo), actors in the highly stylized stage form of Kabuki—featuring exaggerated makeup, facial expressions and hand gestures— were society’s biggest stars, and prints depicting them were in high demand. Now, in the new exhibition The Golden Age of Kabuki Prints, the Art Institute of Chicago digs into these compelling artworks with a selection from among the institution’s more than 700 prints from the highly regarded artists of the Katsukawa school. Why is this new show a must-see? “Prints of actors on the Kabuki stage represent the finest technical and artistic achievements of their age,” notes Janice Katz, the Art Institute’s Roger L. Weston Associate Curator of Japanese Art, Arts of Asia, “featuring bold colors, specialized printing techniques and a new interest in creating recognizable portraits of each actor for their fans.” 111 S. Michigan Ave., artic.edu
Paul Cezanne, “The Bay of Marseille, Seen from L’Estaque” (about 1885, oil on canvas), 31 5/8 inches by 39 5/8 inches, The Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1116
Classic art aficionados will be in heaven this spring and summer as the Art Institute of Chicago presents Cezanne, a major exhibition of works by the pivotal 19th century French artist Paul Cézanne. Admired by the likes of Claude Monet, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, Cezanne has been revered in the art world for the breadth of his paintings while upholding his personal truth in even the smallest of details. Marking the first time in 70 years that the Art Institute of Chicago is showcasing the pioneer’s work, the new exhibition will feature around 75 oil paintings (including his iconic bather scenes and depictions of Montagne Sainte- Victoire), 40 watercolors and drawings, and two complete sketchbooks; some of the works have been borrowed from private, rarely seen collections. 111 S. Michigan Ave., artic.edu
Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1909 Laura Gale House is one of the Oak Park gems whose doors will be open for public tours during the Wright Plus Architectural Housewalk.
WRIGHT PLUS ARCHITECTURAL HOUSEWALK
With more than 25 buildings designed or remodeled by iconic architect Frank Lloyd Wright, west suburban Oak Park is a mecca of incredible architecture—and the Wright Plus Architectural Housewalk is one of the village’s highlights of the year, when eight homes designed by Wright or his contemporaries are opened to the public. Each home on the walk, including the Kennedy House and the Lauren Gale House, retains its own unique character, with beautifully organic architectural elements and a sense of individual taste. Guides will be on hand to detail the original features and history of each masterfully designed abode. flwright.org/wrightplus
The Joffrey Ballet brings a fresh interpretation of the revered classic Don Quixote in June, as choreographer Yuri Possokhov reimagines the eccentric nobleman’s fateful journey to reach his lifelong dream of becoming a valiant knight. “Don Quixote is a staple of the ballet world, and has earned this position, in part, because of its demanding technical bravura, and universal themes of bravery, chivalry and pure romance,” notes Ashley Wheater MBE, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet. “In our production, we retain much of the well-known choreography, but look at the tale through Don Quixote’s eyes. He is a truly sympathetic character, and we trust that the audience will want to join his fanciful journey. We are thrilled to present this delightful piece of dance theater at the stunning Lyric Opera House.” Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, joffrey.org
Few concert settings are more scenic than Pritzker Pavilion, which hosts the beloved annual Grant Park Music Festival each spring and summer.
GRANT PARK MUSIC FESTIVAL
For more than 80 years, the Grant Park Music Festival has honored the city of Chicago’s rich cultural heritage through the power of song. The festival’s 2022 season boasts a diverse lineup featuring many women and composers of color; some of the talents on display include Grammywinning jazz musician Billy Childs, violinist Rachel Barton Pine, local composer Mischa Zupko and more. From classical favorites to Pulitzer Prize-winning musicals, these summer concerts at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion are family-friendly and free of charge. 201 E. Randolph St., grantparkmusicfestival.com
Photography by: MICHAEL BROSILOW; COURTESY OF CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM; LIZ LAUREN; COURTESY OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO; COURTESY OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO; JAMES CAULFIELD/COURTESY OF FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT TRUST; PATRICK PYSZKA/CITY OF CHICAGO