Welcome to our first ever Chicago Theatre Tour! Each day, we’ll be sharing some of our adventures as we see plays, explore the city, and have conversations about the theatre we see.
Day One was a smooth start, followed by a terrific evening. Many of us flew together from Bradley to Midway Airport in Chicago, where we were met by a charter bus to our hotel. As we drove into the city, the sky was cloudy, but we had a marvelous view of the Loop and downtown. At the Hotel Monaco, our rooms were all ready for us, and we were welcomed graciously. Our hotel is located right in the Loop, with the Chicago River (& the new Riverway) just behind us.
Everyone checked in, and tour goers enjoyed the afternoon in small groups.
A few of our travelers went off to explore the Museum of Contemporary Art, and returned enthusiastic about an exhibit entitled “The Freedom Principle; Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now.” They took a guided tour of the exhibit with a docent, and came away marveling about “seeing music” and “hearing art.” I suspect more of us will go check out the exhibit later this week, particularly as it’s just at the base of the Magnificent Mile, and around the corner from Lookingglass Theatre, where we’ll be seeing Treasure Island on Friday evening.
Others explored Millennium Park, or began to sight see the astonishing architecture of Chicago–either on foot or by boat tour. Some began the process of visiting the Art Institute of Chicago. The Art Institute is one of those rare museums that will reward as much time as the visitor can give it, and we plan to give it much more this week.
At 6:30, we met back at the Hotel Monaco for drinks, followed by our Welcome Dinner. We had a wonderful chance to get to know each other at our tables, then we heard from Producing Artistic Director Daniel Elihu Kramer (that’s me, by the way, writing this entry), and our wonderful Board President, Cipora Brown. After dessert, our 32 travelers introduced themselves. We headed back to our rooms, to get ready for our first full day in Chicago, which will include a talk from Steven Oxman–Chicago Theatre Critic for Variety–and a trip to Steppenwolf Theatre to see the premiere of East of Eden.