Water Lilies and Caricatures: Monet At The Art Institute of Chicago

Yes, the Art Institute of Chicago is open and it’s first feature show is Monet And Chicago! It’s a wonderful show that surprised me.

Let’s start with the least familiar thing about Claude Monet…his caricatures. If I had ever known that he was known for caricatures, I had certainly forgotten it and found myself bemused and amused when I walked into the gallery featuring a number of his pieces. They really are quite clever…here’s an example…but I didn’t take any photos in this gallery so this is from the catalog:

photo by Ed Heinzelman from the catalog to Monet And Chicago, 2020

The core of this show is the many Monet paintings from the holdings of the Art Institute itself and that was pretty much what I expected to see. But it is augmented with quite a few other paintings from anonymous private collections that we probably don’t get to see very often. That alone makes the show well worth taking the time to visit. But of course the room that everyone will spend the most time in, features a number of Monet’s most loved water lily paintings. These are living room size paintings, not the all encompassing and breathtaking mural size paintings at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, but this room is still a perfect refuge from the storm. Here are my three favorites but these aren’t all of the water lily paintings on view (and I apologize for my average photos):

© 2020 Ed Heinzelman : Monet : Water Lily Pond 1900
© 2020 Ed Heinzelman : Monet : Water Lilies 1904
© 2020 Ed Heinzelman : Monet : The Water Lily Pond circa 1917 – 1920

There are any number of charming and delightful paintings through out…some themes that will be very familiar and some that will feel new. Particularly some of his earlier landscapes. I fell in love with this painting, and I am not sure if I have ever seen it before. It is from a private collection and it is an exquisite water scene.

© 2020 Ed Heinzelman : Monet : The Mill At Limetz 1888

And there are a number of atmospheric paintings from foggy old London including two of Waterloo bridge…one in fog and one in sunlight. Here is the cheerier of the two:

© 2020 Ed Heinzelman : Monet : Waterloo Bridge, Sunlight Effect 1903

This show is absolutely delightful and I encourage everyone with even a slight interest in Monet to visit and see it all for yourself. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who doesn’t like Monet! The show will run through January 18, 2021, so there should be plenty of time to visit.

Wondering about safety in the era of COVID? AIC is limiting the number of visitors to the museum in general but we went on a week day and it wasn’t an issue. I was surprised at how few people were in attendance. The Monet show requires a timed ticket. It is free for members but an additional $7 for everyone else. BUT I would buy them as far ahead of time as possible because they are selling out. They will text your phone when it is your turn to enter the exhibit area. The exhibit area itself is fairly open, there are lines on the floor, and the one video has a limited audience with spaced footprints on the floor. The guards are enforcing entry to the video. Masks are required. Benches are marked for spacing. Parking in the Millennium Park parking garage is currently discounted. I think that covers it!

And just as we transition from summer to fall…winter is coming…so here are two final paintings featuring snow! Enjoy:

© 2020 Ed Heinzelman : Monet : The Seine at Port Villez, Snow Effect 1885
© 2020 Ed Heinzelman : Monet : Sandvika, Norway 1895

Milwaukee Repertory Theater Resets Their 2020/21 Season part 2

This morning the Milwaukee Repertory Theater announced their 2020/21 Season Rest…essentially moving the plays originally scheduled for this coming season out to the 2021/22 Season…see our post on that announcement here.

But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be live theater at the Rep this season…it is just going to look a bit different than what we are used to. There will still be shows in the Quadracci Powerhouse and Stiemke Studio theaters…just to greatly reduced audiences…and yes there will still be a presentation of A Christmas Carol, but it will be a much different presentation…see below!

So first a bit of how this will work…AND then we’ll get to the plays being performed.

But we are determined to still have a 2020/21 Season. We’ve developed a creative way to bring you amazing theatrical experiences via our 2020/21 Season Reset. The Season Reset features five plays that provide entertaining and uplifting stories in theaters that are socially-distanced and revamped for the safety of everyone. We recognize that returning to the theater will be a personal decision. To aid you in this decision, we have developed a RISK-FREE Reset Pass:

Experience shows live in theaters with capacities limited to 35% OR via high-definition recordings delivered directly to your screens at home (your choice).

If COVID-19 causes cancellations, you will automatically receive a refund.

When you purchase a Reset Pass, you will be seated in socially-distanced locations with the best seats offered on a first come, first served basis. As a thank you, all Reset Pass options come with a free ticket to A Christmas Carol presented by Wells Fargo.

And now the PLAYS!

Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol written by Tom Mula and directed by Mark Clements and presented in the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater from December 1 through December 24, 2020. This one-person intimate tour-de-force adaptation, featuring Lee E. Ernst, embodies the very heart of this beloved holiday classic.

Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song Presented in the Quadracci Powerhouse from February 16 through March 14, 2021. Award-winning actress Alexis J Roston salutes America’s favorite jazz singer, Ella Fitzgerald. Classic tunes by Ellington, Gershwin, Porter and more include “Summertime,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.”

McGuire Presented in the Quadracci Powerhouse from March 23 through April 18, 2021. McGuire is a touching portrait of the uncommonly funny and profound man behind the legend with the man himself played by Tony Award-winning actor Anthony Crivello.

Antonio’s Song/I Was Dreaming Of A Son Written by Dael Orlandersmith and Antonio Edwards Suarez and directed by Mark Clements. Presented in the Stiemke Studio from April 7 to May 2, 2021. World Premiere Event: A poetic journey of a dancer/artist/father questioning the balance of his passions – art, culture family. A story that, questions/challenges the legacy of stereotypes: of manhood/race/fatherhood. Antonio Edwards Suarez, a breathtaking performer, share the legacy with pain, promise and hope. 

Nina Simone: Four Women Written by Christina Ham and presented in the Quadracci Powerhouse from April 27 to May 23, 2021. Through storytelling and song, Nina Simone: Four Women reveals how this iconic artist found her true voice.

So Milwaukee still has opportunities to experience some very compelling live theater in the coming season. Hopefully these plays won’t be interrupted again. I am really looking forward to seeing actors on stage and to share the experience with other theater lovers.

So you are going to want to know how to secure tickets…follow this link to the 2020/21 Season Reset pass information.

And for those theater nerds like me who want to see the new Season Reset brochure, here’s the link!

I think I pretty much have it all covered!

Milwaukee Repertory Theater Resets Their 2020/21 Season part 1

This morning I received an email from the Milwaukee Repertory Theater about COVID-19 imposed changes to their already modified 2020/2021 season. Essentially the season has been reset to 2021/2022 with subscriber tickets being moved accordingly. This is incredibly disappointing but not unexpected news. But I was personally wondering if I would feel safe this season and was working out the logistics in my head. Sigh.

In the meantime, five plays will be presented during the season in the Quadracci Powerhouse and Stiemke Studio theaters…to much reduced capacities. The Stackner Cabaret will not have any performances this season. There will be a part 2 post to cover the new season program.

In the meantime, here is an excerpt of the Rep’s announcement and here is the link to the full announcement on their website.

We have important news to share about our 2020/21 Season. We’ve been working diligently to reopen in a way that is safe for both audiences and artists. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 constraints, we cannot present the season as scheduled and will move the entire season to the following year.

Our 2020/21 Season was designed to be experienced as a whole by our more than 200,000 patrons and when it became apparent that we couldn’t produce some shows fully due to safety protocols, and would have to significantly limit seating to socially distance, we concluded the entire lineup should move to the 2021/2022 Season.

For the convenience of current Subscribers, we have automatically shifted their 2020/21 Subscription forward to the 2021/22 Season.

But we are determined to still have a 2020/21 Season. We’ve developed a creative way to bring you amazing theatrical experiences via our 2020/21 Season Reset. The Season Reset features five plays that provide entertaining and uplifting stories in theaters that are socially-distanced and revamped for the safety of everyone. We recognize that returning to the theater will be a personal decision. To aid you in this decision, we have developed a RISK-FREE Reset Pass:

Experience shows live in theaters with capacities limited to 35% OR via high-definition recordings delivered directly to your screens at home (your choice).

If COVID-19 causes cancellations, you will automatically receive a refund.

When you purchase a Reset Pass, you will be seated in socially-distanced locations with the best seats offered on a first come, first served basis. As a thank you, all Reset Pass options come with a free ticket to A Christmas Carol presented by Wells Fargo.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Mark Clements : Artistic Director

Chad Bauman : Executive Director

More details on the 2020/21 Season Reset right here!