Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Why I Love "The Devil’s Ball"

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By Julia Nash, Junior Board Member

The Auditorium Theatre lobby never ceases to amaze me.  I've taken in the ornate decor and stunning 19th century architecture countless times for various shows, programs, parties and celebrations at the theatre, but never have I been quite so blown away as I was at last year's "Devil's Ball."  As a member of the hosting Junior Board, my love for the event last year was twofold; not only was it fundraising success for the theatre, one of Chicago's oldest national landmarks and architectural masterpieces, but seeing the lobby come alive with a new generation of supporters experiencing the building and having a great time made it truly unforgettable.  It was a great event for the theatre, and one of the most fun nights I've had out in the city to date!

This year we're bringing "The Devil's Ball" back with all the style and panache of last year's event, plus a few new surprises.  Highlights of last year's party for me included the DJ & dancing, Smilebooth, the silent auction & wine auction, as well as the most coveted of all features, backstage tours of the theatre!  I was pleasantly surprised when so many of my friends told me what a great time they had touring the theatre.  It meant a lot to me that, more than just being a really great time, people got to see the theatre I love so much in all of its 3,500 light bulb decorated glory.   It's a rare opportunity to step backstage in a theatre that's almost 125 years old, and this year we're making sure these tours are accessible again, so be sure not to miss it when you arrive.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention what a great, sophisticated crowd of Chicagoans (and out-of-towners!) the ball drew last year, and is sure to expand on this September.  I loved getting to meet the other ball-goers who share interests in either the architecture, programming, history or even just curiosity about this incredible Chicago landmark.  Dressed to impress and ready to party in a location fit for the cause, seeing the Auditorium lobby buzz with new energy and awestruck faces was the highlight of last year's "Devil's Ball" for me.  The Junior Board has been working hard this year to make sure this "Devil's Ball" is all that and more, and we hope to see as many of you there as possible!  And don’t miss out – tickets are just $65 if you buy before September 13th.  Donations are also welcome.  See the Auditorium Theatre "Devil's Ball" site for details.


The Devil's Ball
Presented by the Auditorium Theatre Junior Board

Venue: Auditorium Theatre Lobby
Dates: Friday, September 28, 2012
Times: 7:30 pm
Price: $65
Save the date to join the Auditorium Theatre Junior Board for the second annual Devil's Ball. The evening includes cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live DJ, theatre tours, auction and the return of the ever popular Smilebooth!

$65 until September 13
$75 from September 14 - September 27
$85 at the door (cash only)
Use code word BALL when purchasing

"The Devil’s Ball" in a Nutshell

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By Gina Sopron

Last year I had the privilege and the pleasure of being able to attend "The Devil’s Ball" at the beautiful and historic Auditorium Theatre. Being a marketing intern at the time allowed me to be a part of the event; I was able to see the theatre transformed and see the guests arrive excited for what was in store for them.  That night you could partake in a silent auction that featured all kinds of incredible items,  from theatre tickets to packages for a night out on the town. Also, there was a wine raffle (one of my favorite things of the night) which was very clever: you purchased a cork with a number on it and at the end of the night the staff matched it up with a numbered bottle. It was a complete surprise what kind of wine you won!  Another favorite was the toast at 11:11 (as the date of the event was 11-11-11) which was a perfect way to bring the night to a close.

This is the perfect event for young professionals to attend: great food, open bar, live DJ, Smilebooth, theatre tours, and dancing. It is really fun to be able to go to an event that has an environment made for mingling, where I can meet people who are the same age as me and also have common interests. The night is so enjoyable, you may even forget the great cause you are contributing to just by attending; the proceeds from this event go to the continued restoration of the theatre and help to support the Auditorium Theatre’s educational programming.

Overall, you do not want to miss the second annual "Devil’s Ball" presented by the Junior Board. It is an event that you will remember for years to come and it is a perfect way to contribute to a great cause. I cannot wait to see you all there this year on September 28th! 


The Devil's Ball
Presented by the Auditorium Theatre Junior Board

Venue: Auditorium Theatre Lobby
Dates: Friday, September 28, 2012
Times: 7:30 pm
Price: $65

Save the date to join the Auditorium Theatre Junior Board for the second annual Devil's Ball. The evening includes cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live DJ, theatre tours, auction and the return of the ever popular Smilebooth!

$65 until September 13
$75 from September 14 - September 27
$85 at the door (cash only)
Use code word BALL when purchasing

Friday, August 24, 2012

WWII Song Book [Guest post by Tammy McCann with VIDEO]

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By Tammy McCann

I'm so thrilled to have this opportunity to share my musical vision with the Auditorium Theatre Membership.   Music for me is a basic and expansive form of human communication.   It’s a medium that is the most personal form of expression and also brings people together.  Jazz, in particular, is such a rich and varied idiom that allows one to create their own language. With this show I hope to  uplift and connect with the listener and the intimate setting of the Katten/Landau Studio is the perfect venue.

In my research of this time period I found music rich with humanity, love and longing.  The show is entitled “I'll Be Seeing You” because I felt this song embodied the heartfelt wish of a soldier to his young bride or a mother to her beloved son. That this was not good-bye but just a short moment in time that would be over before they knew it.  I’m so fascinated by the amazing strength of the men and women who endured so much during this time in our nation's history and I  wanted to share my interpretation of these timeless stories.   Please join me to celebrate the” WWII Song Book” and lets create some new memories together .

Tammy McCann is an internationally recognized Jazz Vocalist whose powerful, sultry, and soulful voice paints pictures and tells stories by merging Classical vocal technique and Gospel esthetic with Jazz to create a sound that is completely her own.  Or as Jazz Critic Stanley Crouch would put it, “Her pitch is superb,…clear on the top and startling at the bottom, while all of the steps in between are polished with swing...”    Ms. McCann’s warm delivery allows her audience to go on the musical journey with her and her engaging personality imprints the memory of her performance on their hearts.  McCann has performed with such luminaries as Von Freeman, Ramsey Lewis, Les McCann, and toured as a ‘Raylette’ with the great Ray Charles. With sold out shows in some of the top jazz venues in America including Birdland, The Blue Note, and Jazz at Lincoln Center's Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola and the Jazz Showcase.  Tammy McCann is one of the rising stars with a one of a kind voice.  Or as Chicago Tribune’s Arts Critic, Howard Reich would put it McCann has, “A voice that soars in all registers, at all tempos, on all occasions .. a voice that inspires wonder!”

About her upcoming show, “I’ll Be Seeing You – The World War II Songbook,” McCann says, "I’m so fascinated by the amazing strength of the men and women who endured so much during this time in our nation’s history.  In my research I found music rich with humanity, love and longing.  Timeless stories that need to be shared."

The show will feature, "Do Nothin' Til You Hear From Me" by Duke Ellington with lyrics by Bob Russell, "I'll Be Seeing You"  by Sammy Fain with lyrics by Irving Kahal, "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" by Duke Ellington with lyrics by Bob Russell and "Straighten Up and Fly Right" written by Nat King Cole and Irving Mills.


Tammy McCann: I’ll Be Seeing You – The World War II Songbook
Venue: Auditorium Theatre Katten/Landau Studio, 425 S. Wabash
Dates: Saturday, August 25, 2012
Times: 8:00 pm


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2012 Chicago Dancing Festival - Dancing East and West of Chicago

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From Arizona, California, Seattle and New York, five of America’s leading dance companies are brought together tonight to share the grand stage of Chicago’s famous Auditorium Theatre presenting dance classics and new creations. Follow the links below to learn more about the pieces, the choreographers that created them and the dancers that will be dancing them!

The program tonight includes:

Jerome Robbins (Choreographer)
Pacific Northwest Ballet guest artists Lesley Rausch and Seth Orza

George Balanchine (Choreographer)
Ballet Arizona

Marius Petipa (Choreographer)
Stars of San Francisco Ballet
Sofiane Sylve and Vito Mazzeo

Martha Graham (Choreographer)
Martha Graham Dance Company

Brian Brooks (Choreographer)
Brian Brooks Moving Company

Dancing East and West of Chicago
Venue: Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University
Dates: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Times: 7:30 pm

Unclaimed tickets will be released 15 minutes prior to curtain time to customers in a standby line. The standby line begins one hour before the performance, in person only. 

Because of the popularity of the Festival, audience members not able to secure tickets to the indoor venues are encouraged to attend the Celebration of Dance grand finale on the stunning outdoor stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on Saturday, August 25. No tickets are required for this outdoor performance and all seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dance for Life - 20+ years of fighting HIV/AIDS in our community

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The mission of Dance for Life is to promote dance in Chicago while supporting HIV/AIDS care, education, and prevention in metropolitan Chicago.

In 1992, the first Dance for Life was held at Chicago’s Organic Theatre and raised approximately $18,000 for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Tickets were $25 and the 400-seat theatre sold out weeks in advance.

Over the past 20 years, all performances have sold out, raising nearly $4 million dollars in the fight against HIV/AIDS and has grown into the Midwest’s largest performance-based AIDS fundraiser. Now, Dance for Life takes place at the 3,000+ seat Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and tickets range from $50 for general reserved performance seating to $500, which includes premiere performance seating and the pre-performance gala reception.

Since 1992, Dance for Life has supported 26 AIDS Service Providing Organizations in metropolitan Chicago with unrestricted funding that provide critical services to those whose lives are impacted by HIV/AIDS. This number does not include the additional local organizations that also benefit from AFC’s increased ability to award additional grants.

Dance for Life has also presented 29 Chicago-based professional dance companies and choreographers presenting its audience with a wide array of dance styles over the years. It also supports a South African school each year with a $5,000 grant for AIDS prevention and education.

The Dancers’ Fund, a funding program of Dance for Life, was created in 1994 as a one of a kind fund with the mission to provide emergency financial assistance to dancers living with HIV/AIDS. Later, the fund was expanded to include anyone in the dance community living with HIV/AIDS (administration and backstage support services) and expanded again to assist anyone in the Chicago dance community living with any life-threatening illness. Since all the dance companies perform gratis, the Fund acts as an insurance policy for dancers who often lack health insurance.

This year, Dance for Life hosts two exciting, world-premiere performances by renowned choreographers Randy Duncan and Harrison McEldowney.

Participating Companies Include:

The Joffrey Ballet                                             
Giordano Dance Chicago
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
River North Chicago Dance Company
Luna Negra Dance Theater
Ron de Jesus Dance

Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012
5:00 p.m. – Gala Reception – Hilton Chicago Grand Ball Room (720 S. Michigan Ave.)
8:00 p.m. – Dance for Life Performance – Auditorium Theatre (50 E. Congress Pkwy.)
*Complimentary shuttle bus service provided between the two venues.

$50-$75 (performance only)
$175-$500 (includes admission to 5:00 p.m. gala reception and premiere seating at the performance)
To purchase tickets, please call 800.982.ARTS (2787) or visit http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/07004887B6C7358B

$15 student rush tickets will be available 1 hour before the show at the box office.  2 tickets per valid student I.D. Subject to availability.

Performance – Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy., Chicago
Gala Reception – Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Art Mark

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By Patricia Morris

There is something about the arts that just sticks with you. It could be the memory of a happier time, the sentiment about a certain song or a dance piece, or maybe it reminds you of what you actually thought you would become when you were younger. But, I guess no matter where you are standing, what you are doing, where you are living, who you love…art lives inside you. That’s why it’s easier to get the chills when you listen to Tchaikovsky, share a tear when you see Natalia Osipova do an arabesque, get excited when you watch little children create art work or even when they act in a play. It’s easier to get along with former dancers, singers or actors. It’s just like a secret community, and it seems like we are all walking on the street with our faces different from everyone else; we can actually recognize each other. Apparently, art marks you for life.

According to the dictionary the word ‘mark’ means: “Clearly defined and evident; noticeable. Singled out for notice or especially for a dire fate.” I stopped for a second and thought a little bit about the idea of ‘a dire fate.’  I think this is how the four of us (three former dancers and a singer) landed at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (ATRU). The venue, the organization, the staff, everything and everyone is marked. For the four of us coming from totally different places and various backgrounds, learning the ‘how to’ of the Auditorium has been a lifetime experience.

Personally, as the marketing intern, being involved in the creation of a particular brand for some of our new season shows has been amazing, especially learning how things work in The United States and also the importance of grassroots marketing. I learned a lot from the staff; I love how passionate and dedicated they are, and most of all their openness to opinions and new ideas. I think that is the key for a great team. One of my favorite random things I learned about the Auditorium, maybe is silly, but I loved the idea that once this venue was used as a bowling alley. Just seeing the pictures and the way the stage was changed to fit a bowling alley on the stage, it all sounded like a very good idea.

In talking with the other summer interns, Rachel and Aurélie, the two Art Administration interns, and Tori in Education, they also shared their favorite memories from the summer.

“I think for me” Rachel said, “one of my favorite memories was the day Aurélie and I went to the Newberry Library to do a search for our theatre archives. We were able to view a personal scrapbook that Ferdinand Peck, the visionary behind the Auditorium, put together of the dedication of the theatre and opening night in 1889.” The scrapbook included, among other things, newspaper clippings from all over the world, letters from colleagues, and an original program from opening night.

“I thought it was hilarious,” Rachel added, “that Dankmar Adler had so carefully calculated the building’s future settlement to a maximum of six inches, but that while he was away on business Louis Sullivan and Ferdinand Peck decided to make the Auditorium the tallest building in Chicago, which required adding an extra floor to the main building and another level to the tower. They accomplished their goal, but with all that extra weight the building has settled 29 inches over time! Poor Adler!”

Aurélie added, “I also was very impressed by all of the history of the Auditorium Theatre and how modern it was when it opened in 1889. It is really amazing to learn all about this architectural marvel and historic building, and to think that it is still alive, hosting some of the best performances in the world. I’m so lucky that I’ll be working at ATRU throughout the fall; one of the things I’m really excited about is Moulin Rouge® – The Ballet and Sister Act. I am currently working on Moulin Rouge for the sales, the concessions and the gala and I love it.”

 “Sometimes I cannot believe how quickly this summer has passed,” commented Tori. “Although the bulk of my internship was spent at Hands Together, Heart to Art (HTHTA) I was able to get a small taste of other projects that the education department oversees. In a perfect world, HTHTA would be accessible to children everywhere. It’s certainly hard to choose, but I would have to say that my favorite memory is from the last day of camp when all seven Junior Counselors I supervised surprised me with a thank you card and a group hug—I was definitely not expecting either!”

What will you do after an internship at ATRU?

Rachel: I’ll return to Butler University to finish my senior year where I’m studying Arts Administration and Music. In the upcoming semester I’ll start blogging for our Arts Administration department, discussing this internship and other senior wisdom, which I’m very excited about. Also, I’ll continue my choral singing in ensembles.

Tori: I will return to Northwestern University for my senior year where I will finish my degree in the School of Education and Social Policy. I will be a Community Assistant in a residence hall for my second year, continue with a few other extracurricular commitments, and take a dance class as often as possible. 

Aurélie: I’ll be staying at ATRU until mid-December, but when I return to France, I will have to choose different options in which to specialize myself, and this internship has helped me a lot to define what I need to learn in order to succeed in this area. But, so far what I am sure about is that I definitively love working in non-profit organizations.

Patricia: As for me, I still have one more year to finish of my Master’s Degree at The School of the Art Institute. Then, I’ll decide what I want to be when I grow up! I have an internship this winter at the New York International Ballet Competition, and I’m also working on my thesis as we speak. I’m seriously thinking about applying to a fellowship in Washington D.C. next year, but we’ll see what happens.

On behalf of all the interns this summer, I really want to thank the wonderful staff that made this feel like home. Thank you for your patience, your hugs, the great conversations from desk to desk, and the pep talks in the halls and sometimes in the kitchen. Thank you for helping us every step of the way, and above all for inspiring us. All of you are mentors now, thank you for that!


Tori, Rachel, Aurélie and Patricia

“Arts are an integral part of living, creating, healing, and celebrating. As long as my work serves that purpose, I can’t imagine a better kind of success. “Victoria Romba (aka Tori, Education Intern) 

Friday, August 3, 2012

It’s All in the Name – The Junior Board presents The Devil’s Ball

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“He play'd the music at the Devil's Ball
 In the Devil's hall
I saw the funniest devil that I ever saw…”
- Irving Berlin

The Devil’s Ball is a is an annual fundraiser thrown by our Junior Board in order to raise money and generate awareness for the Auditorium Theatre for continued support in artistic programming, education, and restoration efforts.

So now you ask, why the name, “The Devil’s Ball?” We’ve had several questions about the name lately, so we thought we’d clear up the confusion. The event was partially named after the song At the Devil’s Ball (1913), composed by Irving Berlin. The song offers a view of life in a contemporary city of 1913 as exciting and glamorous. Mr. Berlin is a very well know composer, having created the scores for Madame Butterfly, Top Hat and even White Christmas, a song featured in Holiday Inn (1935). And just as a side note, he was popular icon within the Hollywood elite of the era; he was a very close friend and colleague with Fred Astaire, Judy Garland and Ginger Rogers. We encourage you to listen to the song and read the full lyrics.

The Devil’s Ball was also inspired by the popular novel by Erik Larson and Chicago’s connection to the 1893 World’s Fair that the Auditorium Theatre was a part of. The author actually quotes some of the features of the Auditorium in his novel: "The result was an opulent structure that, for the moment, was the biggest private building in America. Its theater contained more than four thousand seats, twelve hundred more than New York's Metropolitan Opera House. And it was air-conditioned, through a system that blew air over ice."

And finally, although this is only the second Devil’s Ball the Junior Board has hosted, we will continue to host the gala in the fall, sometime around Halloween season.

So, now you know a little bit more about this event and the reference it has not only to the Auditorium Theatre, but also to Chicago’s history. The Devil’s Ball is a cocktail party that celebrates not only the Auditorium, but also ‘old Chicago’ in a gala event for those 21 years of age and above, as there will be an open bar.  The Junior Board is a group of young professionals dedicated to the preservation and restoration of our National Historic Landmark, Auditorium Theatre.  The event will also feature a silent auction, wine raffle, heavy appetizers, guided theatre tours of the historic Auditorium Theatre, a DJ and dancing.  Plus, make a trip to our popular return attraction, the Smilebooth. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore Chicago in a whole new way; dance with us at the Devil’s Ball.

The Devil’s Ball
Friday, September 28, 2012
7:30pm – Midnight
$65 before Sept. 13

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