Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bitches Brew 40th Anniversary Band Performance at Martyrs' Sold Out Tonight

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In April 1970, Miles Davis released his first gold album Bitches Brew, which highlighted Davis’ continual experimentation with electronic music. While Bitches Brew received mixed reviews due to Davis’ unconventional style and rejection of traditional jazz rhythms, the album was beyond influential, selling more than half a million copies and ranking on the top of most “best albums” lists.

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Bitches Brew as well as the 85th anniversary of Davis’ birth, the Bitches Brew 40th Anniversary Band will be performing at Martyrs’ tonight as part of the Auditorium Theatre’s Miles Davis Festival. Featuring an all-star lineup (Trumpet: Nicholas Payton, Sax: Gary Thomas, Bass: Darryl Jones, Guitar: Blackbyrd McKnight, Tabla: Badal Roy, Percussion: Mino Cinelu, Percussion: Munyungo Jackson, Keyboards: Robert Irving III, Keyboards: John Beasley, Drums: Vincent Wilburn Jr. and Turntables: DJ Logic), the show will allow attendees to judge for themselves what critics are still debating—is Bitches Brew “jazz tradition” or “jazz mutation?”

While today’s show is sold out, you can experience Davis’ Bitches Brew and the 40th Anniversary Band, both albums available at And make sure to let us know what you think!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Auditorium Theatre Participates in Earth Hour 2011

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Auditorium Building
Photo by Marit & Toomas
on Flickr
As a theatre that has been in operation for over 120 years, we certainly know the importance of sustainability, and the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University is especially sensitive to maintaining a healthy environment-both inside our venue and in our community. In addition to our sustainability committee that is constantly evaluating ways each of our departments (from marketing to concessions - and everything in between) can positively improve the environment, the Auditorium will once again participate in Earth Hour. At 8:30pm this Saturday, the Auditorium Theatre will turn off our marquee to show our committment to preserving energy and our dedication to sustainability. We encourage all of you to participate too! 

CJ Dillon is the Auditorium Theatre's Director of Operations and a member of the sustainability committee.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Registation Now Open for Hands Together, Heart to Art: Summer Camp for Children Who Have Experienced the Death of a Parent

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Now that spring has officially sprung, Chicagoans can dare to dream of stirring from hibernation as we get a little closer to the illusive Chicago summer. I am one of those “live for summer” people so the arrival of spring means we’ve actually turned a corner. I happen to think all the best things happen in the summer months: acceptable overindulgence in ice cream, my birthday (though that one gets less and less exciting for some reason), street festivals, running in 5ks, taking in a leisurely glass or two of a great sauvignon blanc, and attending shows like the Beach Boys and The All New Original Tribute to the Blues Brothers™ at the Auditorium Theatre. Yet, even with all the fun I have during the summer months, the thing I find most enjoyable, most exciting and most challenging about my summer is Hands Together, Heart to Art (HTHTA) camp run by our Department of Creative Engagement.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Get Ready for Summer in Chicago: The Beach Boys Kick-Off Summer 2011 at the Auditorium

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I don’t know about everyone else, but I am sick of winter. And as I returned last night from a weekend fiesta in Mexico, I wasn’t quite prepared to exchange the flip flops for boots or the sunny weather for gloom and wind. However, the Auditorium office is feeling a bit warmer today as we announced The Beach Boys—and their sunny Californian lyrics have been keeping me warm—“Let’s go surfin’ now. Ev’rybody’s learnin’ how. Come on a safari with me.”

Presented by the Auditorium Theatre and 94.7 WLS-FM, The Beach Boys will return to Chicago on Thursday, June 9, 43 years after their Auditorium debut. Performing for one night only, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band will kick-off the Auditorium’s summer with founding Beach Boy Mike Love (lead vocals) and Beach Boy-vet Bruce Johnston (vocals/keyboards) along with Christian Love (guitar/vocals), Randell Kirsch (bass/vocals), Tim Bonhomme (keyboards/vocals), John Cowsill of The Cowsills (percussion /vocals) and Scott Totten (guitar/vocals).

In addition to single tickets, which go on sale this Friday, March 18 at noon, there is a special VIP package available for $250, which includes prime pit seating and a post-show meet & greet with The Beach Boys with food and cocktails. The VIP package has limited availability and is available only by calling 312-922-2110 ext. 368.

Friday, March 4, 2011

An Auditorium Theatre Engagement

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Every so often, history happens at our theatre and not just on the stage. Recently, Arne and Kris Johnson visited our theatre and mentioned to our front of house team that they got engaged outside our theatre 20 years ago. I spoke with them later and got the details of the big day.

Arne and Chris Johnson 1
Arne and Kris Johnson. Photo by staff member CJ Dillon.

After a candlelight dinner on borrowed china and a guitar serenade by Arne, they dashed off to celebrate Kris' 25th birthday at the Auditorium Theatre to see Phantom of the Opera on Saturday, January 19, 1991. Having just graduated college, starting his first job in structural engineering and with Kris still in grad school, they sat in the balcony but sightlines were excellent.

After the show, Arne surprised Kris with a horse-drawn carriage waiting outside the theatre to pick them up. Inside, Arne gave Kris a box for the perfume Beautiful by Estee Lauder. Kris had an idea that the night was going to be special and was taken aback by the fragrant gift but, when opened, a gorgeous diamond ring was inside, and Arne was down on one knee proposing. It goes without saying that the calculations were correct for the young engineer and Chris said yes.

As the proposal took place, the horse and carriage took our couple to Palm Court at The Drake Hotel for a celebratory drink, and Arne gave Kris a poem he had written to explain the significance of the engagement ring. After the recent passing of Arne’s mother, his father had passed down to him his mom’s wedding ring, since Arne was the youngest and only unmarried child among six siblings. Arne had the diamonds from his mom’s wedding ring re-set into Kris’s engagement ring. A line in the poem read, “diamonds from a hand I loved, diamonds to a hand I want to hold forever.”

On behalf of myself and the staff at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, we congratulate Arne and Kris on 20 years and wish them the best for many more years to come.

If you have a special story about time spent at the Auditorium Theatre, we want to hear from you. Email jhallissey [at] auditoriumtheatre [dot] org.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Student Rush: $15 Tickets For Eric Whitacre's Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings

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A groundbreaking work of music theater with book by Edward Esch, music by acclaimed composer Eric Whitacre and lyrics by director David Norona and Whitacre. Infused with the style of Japanese anime and manga, Paradise Lost is a powerful and visceral hybrid of musical theater, opera, electronica, film score and Asian drumming.

The story follows the last remaining tribe of angels, who were marooned as children in a post-apocalyptic Paradise and have now grown into young adulthood. Within their fortress they have created a militant, martial society, always training for the next attack, always afraid. One angel, Exstasis, remains untouched by the brutal world in which she lives and dreams only of flying.

Conducted by Whitacre, and starring Grammy-winning soprano Hila Plitmann, Paradise Lost also features a radically diverse chorus assembled by DCINY from all over the country.

You can get $15 Student Rush tickets one hour before show time at the Auditorium Box Office (located at 50 E. Congress Pkwy). Remember to bring your valid college ID; there's also a limit of two tickets per ID. Student Rush tickets and locations are subject to availability and cannot be reserved in advance.

The performance is Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 2 p.m.

Sign up for e-mail Student Rush Alerts and be among the first to know when Student Rush becomes available.

* Student Rush tickets are sold at the discretion of the presenter. Policies differ from show to show.

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