About the Town in March


By Philip Vidal





See artistic director’s Barbara Gaines’ final production with her adaptation Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, March 9 – April 16. Photo credit to Joe Mazza – Brave Lux inc. and Chicago Shakespeare Theater.


As mentioned in my February column, this year marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s “First Folio,” the first published collection of William Shakespeare’s plays.   I’m reminded of the line “parting is such sweet sorrow…” from “Romeo and Juliet” when I think about the eponymous First Folio Theatre at the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook.   After more than 25 years in operation, First Folio will close March 1.  They originally planned to cease operations at the end of their production of “Twelfth Night” in April.   Parting as sorrow also reminds me that Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s longtime artistic director Barbara Gaines’ final production is her adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors,” now running from March 9 through April 16.   She has had a great run.


There are on the order of two-hundred copies of Shakespeare’s “First Folio” in existence.   The Newberry Library has one of them.   The Newberry is a treasure trove.  On March 2, at a private club, I’m looking forward to hearing Newberry Library curator Suzanne Karr Schmidt talk about her exhibition “Pop-up Books through the Ages,” which runs March 21-July 15.  I think it’s amazing that books with paper dials, flaps, etc., from the Middle Ages survive still intact.   The pop-up books that I had when I was a child weren’t so fortunate.


The audience helps decide! Follow Jordan on her journey as she travels through time and space and be part of the interactive audience to help her choose the right path in “Think Fast, Jordan Chase,” March 11-April 16. Photo by Filament Theatre.


Chicago has its own rich history of literature, plays, music and dance.  Filament Theatre continues its 15th anniversary season with the world premiere of Chicago playwright Sonia Goldberg’s “Think Fast, Jordan Chase” about bullying.  It runs March 11-April 16.


The Lyric Opera of Chicago presents the world premiere of “Proximity: A Trio of New American Operas” March 24-April 8. Photo by The Lyric Opera of Chicago.


Chicago Opera Theater presents the world premiere of “The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing” at the Harris Theater March 23 and 25.  The Lyric Opera of Chicago presents the world premiere of “Proximity: A Trio of New American Operas” March 24-April 8.  Learn more about the operas from the composers and the librettist at the Chicago Humanities Festival’s “Celebrating Proximity: A Trio of New American Operas” on March 20 at Epiphany Center for the Arts.


I’m looking forward to hearing the Atos Trio perform works by Mendelssohn and Smetana on March 28 at a private club just off Michigan Avenue as part of Chicago Chamber Music Society’s 87th season.


Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, aka Theo, continues its 25th anniversary season with “a play with music,” Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s “The Threepenny Opera,” March 10-April 30.


I’m a sucker for Gilbert & Sullivan.  After a three-year hiatus, The Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company and the University of Chicago’s Department of Music present Gilbert & Sullivan’s “HMS Pinafore” at Mandel Hall, March 3 and 5.


View magnificent spaces across Chicago in WTTW’s “The Most Beautiful Places in Chicago” airing March 7. Photo by WTTW.


I’ll be interested to see if Adler and Sullivan’s Auditorium Theatre is featured on WTTW’s “The Most Beautiful Places in Chicago,” which airs March 7.   It’s hard to believe, but the Auditorium Theatre was threatened with demolition.  Its south side was modified when Congress Parkway, now Ida B. Wells Drive, was widened.   Architecturally important buildings continue to be threatened.  On March 8, Preservation Chicago reveals its 20th annual Chicago 7, a list of the seven most endangered buildings, neighborhoods and public spaces in Chicago.   Attend this free event either in person at the Chicago Architecture Center or online; registration required.


Join the Auditorium Theatre’s annual gala on March 8 featuring an opening performance by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Photo by Auditorium Theatre.


The Auditorium hosted many events during the 1893 Columbian Exposition.  Hulu’s series based on Erik Larson’s bestseller “Devil in the White City,” set during the exposition, is slated to start filming in Chicago sometime this month.  The Auditorium continues to host events.   The Auditorium Theatre’s annual gala on March 8 begins with a performance by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which kicks off Alvin Ailey’s March 8-12 engagement at the Auditorium.


Continuing their 45th season, Hubbard Street Chicago performs “Elements” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago March 23-April 2.  Giordano Dance Chicago and South Chicago Dance Chicago pair up for “Celebrating Giordano” at the Harris Theater March 31-April 1, culminating in Giordano Dance Chicago’s 60th anniversary gala at the Harris and Pritzker Pavilion on April 1.


Enjoy food and drinks from Lincoln Park’s restaurant and bars at Savor Lincoln Park on March 22. Photo by Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce.


Enjoy Chicago’s magnificent skyline from the vantage point of the Theater on the Lake, and sample food and cocktails from the Lincoln Park’s neighborhood restaurants and bars at the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce’s annual Savor Lincoln Park on March 22.   You can to sample Chicago’s diverse culinary scene in other ways by patronizing restaurants participating in Greektown Restaurant Week (March 1-7), Chicago Northwest Restaurant Week (March 3-12) and Rosemont Restaurant Week (March 5-11).


One of many Irish parades happening around the Chicagoland area! Oak Forest hosts their annual Fleadh, an Irish music and culture festival, on March 4. Photo by City of Oak Forest.


Corned beef and cabbage will be featured this month during Irish American Heritage Month, with celebrations across the city and suburbs.  Oak Forest’s 14th annual Fleadh, an Irish music and culture festival, is March 4, followed by Tinley Park’s 22nd annual Irish Parade on March 5. The main events are on  March 11 with the 68th annual dyeing of the Chicago River green and the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade, both sponsored by the Chicago Plumbers Local 103 UA.  After the parade head to Old St. Pat’s for their Shamrock’n the Block festival, or the Irish-American Heritage Center for their St. Patrick’s Festival. The 20th annual Northwest Side Irish Parade and South Side Irish Parade are both the following day on March 12.  St. Patrick’s Day is March 17.  That evening WTTW airs “I Am Ireland,” featuring traditional Irish tenor Paddy Homan and The City Lights Orchestra.


Four venues will hold the in-person Chicago Irish Film Festival for 4 days until the festival goes virtual for an additional week! Photo by Chicago Irish Film Festival.


The Chicago Irish Film Festival runs March 2-12 (March 2-5 in-person at four venues and March 6-12, virtual). Other film festivals this month include the 26th Chicago European Union Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center, March 1-31, and the 33rd annual Onion City Experimental Film Festival, March 30-April 5 at Chicago Filmmakers.


In addition to St. Patrick’s Day, another notable event in March is Chicago’s birthday.  Chicago was incorporated on March 4, 1837.    March 14 is Albert Einstein’s birthday.  He celebrated his 54th birthday day party at the Standard Club of Chicago in 1933.   Einstein was born in 1879 in Ulm.  My grandfather was born and raised in Oberelchingen, a small town just outside of Ulm, and the scene of a Napoleonic battle memorialized in Paris on the Arc de Triomphe.


March brings hope that winter is almost over.  It brings the greatest gain in daylight and it’s the fastest warming month of the year in Chicago.   The average date for the city’s last subfreezing high is March 14.


And hope always runs high in March concerning Chicago’s sports teams.  A sure of spring are the season openers. The season opener for the Chicago Fire FC is March 4 at Soldier Field, and March 30 for the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.



Dates, times, locations and availability are subject to change.  Please stay healthy and safe and keep up with the latest COVID-19 information, protocols, mandates and guidelines.