By Kacie Whitman By Kacie Whitman | December 9, 2021 | Lifestyle Feature
Immerse yourself in Chicago exhibitions, performances and cuisine from cultures near and far.
SHOP The latest high-fashion destination at Oakbrook Center, Louis Vuitton unveils a newly expanded location that pays homage to the international designer’s heritage and fine craftsmanship. From timeless bags to ready-to-wear collections for both men and women, ultimate luxury can be found at every turn. 196 Oakbrook Center, Oakbrook, louisvuitton.com
Alla Vita serves Italian cuisine in swoonworthy surroundings.
TASTE The latest in Boka Restaurant Group’s portfolio, Alla Vita arrives in the West Loop featuring delectable Italian fare from Michelin-starred chef Lee Wolen. Savor dishes like chicken Parmigiana with fireroasted tomato sauce and buffalo mozzarella, cacio e pepe-style ricotta dumplings or wood-fired oven pizza in a lovely, lush, gardenlike setting. 564 W. Randolph St., allavitachicago.com
Traditional Indian dance is on tap this month at the Harris Theater.
EXPERIENCE The sacred city of Varanasi, India—considered a divine portal between ancient and current civilizations—is reimagined on the Harris Theater stage by Minneapolis-based Ragamala Dance Company in Fires of Varanasi: Dance of the Eternal Pilgrim. The Bharatanatyam choreographers celebrate the various art forms of south India and the power of this metaphorical crossing place, where one may leave the mundane to enter into an immortal realm. Dec. 2, 205 E. Randolph St., harristheaterchicago.org
Composer Jessie Montgomery premieres a new work with Chicago Sinfonietta.
LISTEN Chicago Sinfonietta celebrates the joy of music in its new “Revelry!”-themed season with the signature MLK Tribute Concert: Joie de Vivre program. In honor of the civil rights leader’s uplifting message, baritone and narrator Will Liverman will perform throughout the concert followed by a new encore piece. “This [season’s] inspiration, culled from cultures and traditions around the world, derives from a more locally centered destination: the communities that together make up the rich tapestry of our own Chicago community,” says Chicago Sinfonietta CEO Blake-Anthony Johnson. Jan. 16, Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville; Jan. 17, Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., chicagosinfonietta.org
Cydney Lewis’ “Clearing My Judgements Away” (2021) is one of the works featured in Hyde Park Art Center’s latest exhibition.
WATCH For 10 days, the Windy City will be transformed into the puppetry capital of the world with the fourth iteration of the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival. A diverse roster of contemporary and traditional puppetry forms—past performers include troupes like IBEX Puppetry, French Norwegian puppeteer Yngvild Aspeli’s Plexus Polaire and Chicago’s own Cabinet of Curiosity—will be free for the public to attend at the historic Fine Arts Building. Jan. 20-30, 410 S. Michigan Ave., chicagopuppetfest.org
Brooklyn-based artist Nick Lehane brings Chimpanzee to the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival.
SEE After 18 months of honing their crafts through Hyde Park Art Center’s biennial professional development program, 20 local artists unveil the fruits of their labor with the center’s new Dream exhibition. “Each of the artworks takes on larger questions of what is next when former dreams and ways of being must evolve—hence the title Dream,” says curator Asha Iman Veal of the show, which sees these rising artists boldly beginning nuanced visual conversations through their creative practice and proposing their individual vision of a better world. Dec. 12-March 20, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., hydeparkart.org
Photography by: By Paul Warchol; By Amanulla; By Richard Termine; Courtesy of Cydney Lewis; By Jiyang Chen