Lincoln Park is so perfectly situated to take advantage of all that the city has to offer. The best views you can imagine. The best in shopping and restaurants at your fingertips. The best schools one could ask for. And an ongoing stream of cultural events and activities that could make your head spin.
With the annual Chicago Humanities Festival in full swing, now is the time to step outside your home (or make a visit, if you are not a Lincoln Park resident yet) and come see why the neighborhood is the place to be!
One prestigious local school, Francis W Parker School, is hosting a number of events for the Chicago Humanities Festival continuing this week. What better reason could there be to jump on out and experience just one bit of the culture our own Lincoln Park has to offer this year?
The Helen B. and Ira E. Graham Family ASCAP Cabaret
Pianist Dave Frishberg, a perennial jazz standout, headlines the festival’s annual ASCAP Cabaret. Dubbed the “Woody Allen of song” by the London Daily Telegraph, Frishberg has penned pieces wry and witty, occasionally tender and bittersweet, that defy neat categorization. The man responsible for classics “Peel Me a Grape,” “I’m Hip,” “You Are There,” “My Attorney Bernie,” and “Heart’s Desire” shares the stage with fellow cabaret cats, including soloists Karen Morrow and KT Sullivan.
Wed, Nov. 11 7:30 – 9:00 PM
Four Women Talk About Being Funny
What do funny and feminine and feminist have to do with each other? Anything? A lot? Four influential women in Chicago’s theater scene talk about what they’ve learned about being funny. With experiences—some funny, some not—in writing, directing, improvising, and acting, their conversation may range far and wide in search of what role gender plays in delivering and receiving humor, or if gender plays a role at all. Martha Lavey, ensemble member and artistic director of Steppenwolf Theatre, will moderate the roundtable discussion, which will include Leslie Buxbaum Danzig, actor and director of 500 Clown; Tanya Saracho, writer, actor, and founding artistic director of Teatro Luna; and Lauren Katz, founding member of ED, a long-form improv group born in Chicago.
Sat, Nov. 14 10:30 – 11:30 AM
Paul Provenza & Katie Watson: Crossing the Line
Making searing and honest observations about people and the world around them is a comedian’s stock in trade. But are there times when comics go too far? Does it matter who, or how many, are offended by a joke? Does it matter who’s telling it? Paul Provenza joins Katie Watson for an incisive conversation exploring the volatile side of comedy. Provenza is an actor, comedian, and filmmaker. He directed the 2005 film The Aristocrats and is a regular on Chicago Public Radio’s Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! Watson is an attorney, medical ethicist, and faculty member of The Second City. This program is not recommended for those who are easily offended. Really.
Sat, Nov. 14 12:30 – 1:30 PM
Ilan Stavans: The Riddle of Cantinflas
To American audiences, he was simply the devoted valet Passepartout in the 1956 film Around the World in 80 Days, but Mario Moreno “Cantinflas” was one of Mexico’s most prolific actors, appearing in more than 50 films. Ilan Stavans, Amherst College professor of Latin American and Latino culture, asserts Cantinflas was not just a popular entertainer but also a verifiable genius whose work redefined Latino humor. Designed as a journey through Cantinflas’s 60-year career with Stavans as guide, this program examines the indelible legacy of Cantinflas through film and archival materials.
Sat, Nov. 14 3:00 – 4:00 PM
Yuri Lane: From Tel Aviv to Ramallah, A Beatbox Journey
With a synergy of beatboxing and storytelling, Chicago-based performance artist Yuri Lane breathes new life and humanity into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this hip-hop travelogue of peace, the lives of two young men, one Israeli and the other Palestinian, collide at a West Bank checkpoint against a soundscape of dance club beats, muezzin calls, and Tel Aviv traffic. Video disc jockey Sharif Ezzat provides amazing live visual backdrops for this tour-de-force play, written and directed by Professor Rachel Havrelock. The New York Times heralded the show as “vivid, heartening,” and the Chicago Tribune dubbed it “a coolly extraordinary 55 minutes.”
Sat, Nov. 14 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Commedia dell’arte: Managing Chaos
Why is commedia dell’arte, a 500-year-old Italian theatrical tradition, still relevant today? And, why does it still make us laugh?
Il Dottore (the Doctor), one of commedia’s classic characters and an unapologetic busybody and know-it-all, guides us through the rich history and delightfully silly machinations of commedia dell’arte—literally, the art of comedy.
With a lighthearted style, a band of merry pranksters define and contrast comedy and tragedy, shed light on the language of commedia, provide a history of the art form and its masks, and perform improvisations from the tradition. Thomas Simpson, senior lecturer in Italian at Northwestern University, Italian director and teacher Paola Coletto, and performers David Gaines and Sean Michael Kaplan, who trained at the legendary Jacques Lecoq School in Paris, collaborate on this original lecture-demonstration.
Sun, Nov. 15 1:30 – 2:30 PM
A Beckett Brouhaha Greg Allen, Danny Thompson, and Lucky Plush Productions
Nothing is funnier than unhappiness,” wrote Samuel Beckett in his great play Endgame. The Festival salutes this funniest of unhappy playwrights with a unique, collaborative program. Lucky Plush Productions performs Endplay, a vibrant dance piece inspired by one of Beckett’s short dramas, and Greg Allen of the Neo-Futurists and Danny Thompson of Theater Oobleck present a sequel to their award-winning original show “A Few More Last Lost Complete Works of Samuel Beckett As Found Even Deeper In The Envelope (partially burned) In A Dustbin In Paris Labeled “Never to be performed. Never. Ever. EVER! Or I’ll Sue! I’LL SUE FROM THE GRAVE!!!””
Sun, Nov. 15 3:30 – 5:00 PM
For more information and tickets for each event, either click on the headings for each topic or visit: http://www.chicagohumanities.org.