About the Town in November



By Philip Vidal



Blair Kamin’s “Who is the City For? – Architecture, Equity and the Public Realm in Chicago” featuring photographs by Lee Bey comes out this month. with a book launch on November 10 Photo courtesy of The University of Chicago Press.


Chicago is world-renowned for its architecture.  Out this month is “Who is the City For? – Architecture, Equity, and the Public Realm in Chicago” (University of Chicago Press) by Blair Kamin with photographs by Lee Bey.  Kamin is a former Chicago Tribune architecture critic and Bey a photographer and a former Chicago Sun-Times architecture critic.


For this new opus, the Chicago Architecture Center hosts a hybrid in-person and virtual book launch on November 10.   Kamin and Bey then join the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Lecture on Architecture about Chicago’s Public Spaces: Past, Present, and Future, part of the Chicago Humanities Festival (October 22-December 9), on November 29.


The Ambassador East Hotel is highlighted in portions of the film “North by Northwest.” In collaboration with Chicago Architecture Center, the Music Box Theatre presents a screening of the film on November 6. Photo courtesy of  Chicago Architecture Center.


As part of the Chicago Architecture Center’s ‘Chicago on the Silver Screen,’ the Center and the Music Box Theatre present a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” (1959) at the Music Box Theatre on November 6 that includes a discussion focused on architecture and design.  Portions of the movie were filmed in Chicago, with memorable scenes of the Ambassador East Hotel.


Just a few blocks north of the Ambassador East Hotel is Louis Sullivan’s Charnley-Persky House, an absolute treasure and the international headquarters of the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH).  The organization hosts SAH Celebrates: Stewardship – Charnley-Persky House at the Arts Club of Chicago on November 10 to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the house, to support the maintenance of the Charnley-Persky house, and to honor the stewards of the house, especially Pauline Saliga, Executive Director Emerita, SAH and the Charnley-Persky House Museum Foundation, who passed away in September.   Landmarks Illinois’s Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards honors nine statewide preservation efforts in-person at the Chicago Cultural Center and online on November 4.


Getting into the holiday spirit! The Art on theMART projection of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago’s “The Nutcracker” begins November 19. Photo by Art on theMART.


The enormous façade of theMART, aka the Merchandise Mart (the world’s largest building when it opened in 1930) makes a fitting canvas for the latest Art on theMART projection, “Chicago Design through the Decades,” November 18-December 30.   Concurrent with that projection, Art on theMART programming celebrates the “Year of Chicago Dance,” with images from the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago’s “The Nutcracker.”  The latest immersive experience at the Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago is “The Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter’s Miracle,” November 19-January 2, 2023.   The world premiere of another immersive experience, “Harry PotterTM: Magic at Play,” comes to Water Tower Place November 11.


For Anglophiles, the highly anticipated “The Crown: Season 5” premieres November 9 on Netflix.  British actress Lesley Manville should be brilliant as Princess Margaret.


Perfect for kids ages 2 and 6, the Chicago Children’s Theatre’s “The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party” is back this year, November 19-December 24. Photo by Chicago Children’s Theatre.


British author P.G. Wodehouse’s characters include the upper-class twit Bertie Wooster and his valet Reginald Jeeves, who always saves the day.  Wooster and Jeeves are among my favorite characters in English literature.  The final season of First Folio Theatre opens with Margaret Raether’s “Jeeves Intervenes” at the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, November 2-December 4.  A Chicago holiday tradition, the Goodman Theatre’s 45th annual production of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” runs November 19-December 31.  Chicago Children’s Theatre’s “The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party” targeted for those ages 2-6, is back this year, November 19- December 24.


For something non-holiday related for the kids, Facets’ 39th annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, the oldest and one of only two Oscar®-qualifying children’s film festivals in the world, runs November 4-20.


The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center presents the 28th annual Black Harvest Film Festival, November 4-27 (November 4-20 in person and November 21-27 online).  This year’s festival is dedicated to Sergio Mims, the festival’s co-founder, who passed away on October 4.


As part of the Black Harvest Film Festival and their 50/50 series celebrating the center’s 50th anniversary, the Gene Siskel film Center screens Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq” (2015) on November 7.  Lee’s movie channels Aristophanes’ ancient tale “Lysistrata” to modern day Chicago.


Lookingglass Theatre Company has released the first five of fifty short films in their “50 Wards: A Civic Mosaic” series.


The world premiere of “Q After Dark” will be held at the Auditorium Theatre on November 5. Photo by Deeply Rooted Dance Theater.


Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, featuring the world premiere of “Q After Dark” pays homage to the music of Chicago’s Quincy Jones on November 5 at the Auditorium Theatre.


Chicago Opera Theater’s 50th anniversary season opener is “King Roger,” Karol Szymanowski’s Polish language opera with a blast-you-out-of-your seat 120-person choir comprised of members of the Lira Chamber Chorus, Apollo Chorus of Chicago, and Uniting Voices Chicago, at the Harris Theater, November 18 and 20.


 Celebrating Chicago artists who have a powerful impact on the city and beyond, the 15th annual 3Arts Awards is online and free with registration, November 7. Photo by 3Arts Awards.


The 15th annual 3Arts Awards on November 7 is free and online.  The organization supports Chicago’s women artists, artists of color, and Deaf and disabled artists.   The awards ceremony includes performances by Aram Han Sifuentes, Robby Lee Williams and Bethany Thomas, who recently won the 2022 Equity Jeff Award for her solo performance in Northlight Theatre’s “Songs for Nobodies.”


The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame inducts luminaries Ray Bradbury, Ethel L. Payne and Carol Shield, at an in-person ceremony at City Lit Theater and online on November 3.


Three time Tony Award nominated, Sandy Duncan, is honored at this year’s Sarah Siddons Award Benefit, November 14. Photo by Sarah Siddons Society.


The School of the Art Institute’s Art Auction benefiting student scholarships features works by the school’s faculty and alumnae. The online auction runs November 1-14 on Artsy.net with an in-person ‘A Happening Auction Party’ at the SAIC Galleries on November 11.  Celebrating its 70th anniversary, the Chicago-based Sarah Siddons Society provides scholarships for theater arts students at Chicago universities and hosts an annual gala honoring a person for an outstanding achievement in the theater.  Past honorees include Helen Hayes, Carol Channing, Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury, Chita Rivera, Patti LuPone, Brian Dennehy, and Audra McDonald.  This year’s Sarah Siddons Award Benefit honors actress Sandy Duncan and the 2022 scholarship recipients on November 14 at the Watts Theatre at DePaul University.


The Glessner House hosts an in-person and online panel discussion, Frederick Stock at 150, celebrating the 150th birthday of one of the most influential persons in Chicago’s rich musical history, on November 10.  Stock was the head of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 37 years, from 1905-1942.  He founded and was the first director of the Civic Orchestra.


Don’t miss the world premiere of 2 ballet performances from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Joffrey Ballet at Symphony Center on November 10-12. Photo by Chicago Symphony Orchestra.


One of November’s highlights is the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and the Joffrey Ballet’s performances at Symphony Center on November 10-12.  The Joffrey performs the world premieres of two new ballets: a piece choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa to Rameau’s suite from Platée, and another piece choreographed by Cathy Marston to Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll.


Take part in the festivities! Christkindlmarket opens November 18 at Daley Plaza, Wrigleyville’s Gallagher Way and Aurora’s RiverEdge Park. Photo by Christkindlmarket Chicago.


One of the highlights of my November has been scoring the first Stollen of the season from the Dinkel’s stall at the Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza.  Sadly the 100-year-old Chicago bakery closed earlier this year, so I’m hoping another bakery offers this most traditional German Christmas bread. This year’s Christkindlmarkets run November 18-December 24 at Daley Plaza and Aurora’s RiverEdge Park, and November 18- December 31 at Wrigleyville’s Gallagher Way.  Check out the State Street Holiday Market on weekends (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays) November 18-December 18.


Patrons at Chicago bars like the Globe Pub and Galway Arms, together with my German and Italian relatives, and most of world, will tune in to watch the FIFA World CupTM (November 20-December 18), the first World Cup held in the Middle East in Qatar. It isn’t usually on my radar, but one of the first matches is the United States versus Wales on November 21.  I plan to watch the game.


Thanksgiving is this month and it reminds me that I’m beyond thankful for my editor, Judy Bross, and publisher, Megan McKinney, who allow me write just about anything I want.  Happy Thanksgiving!



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.