PLUS NIGHT HEIST; MISERICORDIA'S ARTIST IN ALL; GARY SINISE HONORS OUR VETS; BEHIND THE SCENES AT ANTIQUES ROADSHOW; FIG & OLIVE'S GRAND OPENING PARTIES; MACY'S PASSPORT PRESENTS GLAMORAMA; LUX LIFE FOR PRIMO CLASSICO D' EUROPA AND MORE!
Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) celebrated the enduring vitality of Shakespeare with GALA 2014 at its home on Navy Pier. 350 of Chicago’s civic, corporate and cultural leaders attended the event benefiting CST’s civic engagement and education initiatives
including the citywide summer tradition Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks and Team Shakespeare education programs. GALA 2014 dramatically showcased the home of Chicago Shakespeare at Navy Pier with splendor and theatricality. Inspired by the natural beauty
of Chicago’s parks, the venue was transformed into a forest reminiscent of the mystical woods of this summer’s Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The lush foliage decorations by Bukiety included spectacular flower
arrangements and full-size transplantable trees that were donated to the Chicago Park District following the event! During the cocktail hour, guests enjoyed signature cocktails featuring spirits from Koval Distillery while actors dressed as favorite Shakespearean characters and woodland sprites adorned the lobbies as living art installations. Following dinner, guests gathered in CST’s Courtyard Theater for the presentation of the
Spirit of Shakespeare Awards which are awarded annually to honor those that keep the spirit of Shakespeare alive through community service and artistic leadership. This year, CST Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson presented the Civic Honoree award to The Boeing Company and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Greg
Smith and his wife Denise in recognition of the company’s founding partnership and continued support of Shakespeare in the Parks. This free citywide program brings Shakespeare productions to Chicago Park District parks in culturally underserved communities. When accepting the award, Smith said, "The work at Chicago Shakespeare is bold, it’s creative, it’s innovative. The theater rightly deserves its
reputation for pushing the boundaries of the art in Chicago and around the nation in connecting so many people from very diverse backgrounds to the great riches in the experience of Shakespeare. These themes of innovation, excellence and education are highly valued at the Boeing Company, which clearly connects us to the mission of the theater." CST's Gaines presented the Spirit of Shakespeare Award
to the Artistic Honoree Mike Nussbaum. A video highlighting Nussbaum’s prolific acting career showcased footage from his roles in the original and Broadway casts of David Mamet’s American Buffalo and Glengarry Glen Ross, as well as his performances at Chicago Shakespeare. Event co-chairs Anna and Bob Livingston, Robin and Steve Solomon, and Charlene and Bill Tomazin spearheaded the evening’s event which raised more than $1.2 million
for Chicago Shakespeare in Urban Communities. This record-breaking fundraising total was made possible by Lead Sponsors Exelon (Robin and Steve Solomon), Food for Thought Catering and Ventas and with the support of the Host Committee and the advocacy of CST’s Board of Directors.
Congrats to the Evening Associates Board of Directors of the Art Institute of
Chicago! They threw one of the coolest events in recent memory at the Modern Wing of the museum on July 11. Nearly 900 young movers, shakers and art lovers enjoyed an evening inspired by the museum's latest exhibit: Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938. Surrealism was the watchword of the evening as mixologists brewed exotic concoctions inspired by paintings in the exhibit. Liquid
nitrogen poured off Adam Seger's drinks as guests oohed and aahed. Drink-master Alex Renshaw of Drumbar was inspired by the artist's mysterious painting of "The Lovers". Other mixologists included Jeff Donahue, Wade McElroy, Danny Shapiro and Paul McGee. Even the food (from Bon Appetit) evoked surrealism with sweet and savory "mystery" snacks, pork belly sliders and whoopie pies. Spin Spun Confections served gourmet cotton candy on glowing light-sticks in three flavors: maple bacon, chocolate and Cajun flavors. The typical photo booth was decidedly un-typical at this event where guests were encouraged to "unthink" their usual expectations for a party. Christopher Free (Project Captured)
worked his magic in a huge industrial-sized elevator using the shiny metal as the perfect backdrop for the chic crowd, many wearing bowler hats and carrying green apples in a nod to two of Magritte's motifs. Throughout the evening, docent guided tours were also offered to guests (I strongly urge you to see it through
October 13!). Matt Woodburn (Sound Investment) added his touch to the surrealist environment with colorful projections on the walls as DJs Matt Roan, Gilligan Moss and Ryan Paradise kept the crowd on the dance floor. Evening Associates Board President Jeremy Rothschild said, "What makes the EA unique is that in addition to hosting marquee events like Night Heist and After Dark, we also collaborate with the museum on
programming initiatives." Co-chaired by Autumn Fincher and Justin Kay, the event raised more than $60,000 for Evening Associate's programming on behalf of the Art Institute of Chicago. (Check out the fun from this exciting event in my Chicago Tribune column here!
The 17th annual Misericordia Artist In All event was also held at the Art Institute's Modern Wing with more than 1,700 guests in attendance
recently. Rebecca and Charlie Besser were this year's honorary chairs with Rebecca Pasquesi and Jen Surma serving as co-chairs. Artist In All is hosted by the Misericordia Siblings Association, specifically the brothers and sisters of Misericordia artists. The exhibit consisted of more than 200 pieces of
artwork created by the residents of Misericorida that included paintings, ceramic, wood and jewelry. New York based artist Gabriel Specter contributed two collaborative paintings with Misericordia residents. In addition to the silent auction, guests enjoyed a delicious array of culinary edible arts catered by Jay Sympson and the onsite
staff of Bon Appetit. More than $500,000 was raised through event sponsorship and art sales with all of the money going to Misericordia Heart of Mercy Home in Chicago that supports more than 1200 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Northern Trust Company was the Grand Sponsor. Love this organization and the beloved Sister Rosemary Connelly! (Photos by Gregg Hartemayer)
Gary Sinise will honor our nation's veterans, defenders, first responders and their families with a special benefit luncheon, Inspiration to Action, at Arlington International Racecourse on Sunday, August 3. Proceeds from this day at the races will benefit the Gary Sinise Foundation which provides unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities for those in need.The event will honor U. S. Army Sargeant Bryan Anderson who lost both his legs and much of
his left arm in an IED attack three months before he finished his second tour in Iraq in 2005. He is a Purple Heart recipient. Hosted by beloved comedian and Foundation Ambassador, Tom Dreesen, the program will begin at 11:30 am with the luncheon scheduled for noon. A $250 ticket will include a Chef's Table, Supreme Bar and a seat in the International Ballroom for the program. Howard Sudberry, Sr. Director of Marketing and Communications for Arlington International Racecourse, will offer betting lessons and exciting auctioneer Greg Dellinger will be on hand to hammer down some unique auction packages for this worthy cause! Come spend a day at Arlington and pay tribute to the brave men and women that protect us and have given so much for our country and our freedom. #GivingBack (Gary Sinise explains his mission here.)
What?! An entire menu prepared with NO butter, just olive oil? They had me at hello for the grand opening of Chicago's newest hotspot, Fig & Olive, located at 104 E. Oak Street. This stunning "olive oil oasis" brings a delicious taste of the French Riviera, Italy and Spain to the Gold Coast in grand style. Chef Pascal Lorange's menu had the opening night crowds of more than 600 oohing and aahing for the dual Red Carpet events that included the Mayor of Mougins, France, Richard Galy, as
well as Fig & Olive founder Laurent Halasz.
During the first Thursday opening, themed "An Evening in Italy", Neiman Marcus upped the glam factor with looks from its Italian Designer Collections as models donning the designer duds wended their way through the appreciative crowd. For Friday's event, themed "An Evening in the South of France,
Lanvin showcased looks from its elegant collection. I LOVE Fig & Olive! Besides the delicious food, the staff there is wonderful, too! Jasper Nowell does a great job as guest relations manager and Joe Taylor, regional operations director, is fabulous. Robin
McKay is their capable events manager and sommelier Michael Burch really knows his stuff in the wine department, too. We adore sweet server Jessie, too!
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and brunch on Sundays. On weekends, special holidays and for private events the ambiance is amplified by top notch DJs like
St. Tropez celebrity DJ Nolan. Fig & Olive has six other locations, four in NY and two in California, each serving delightful fare in an elegant "yet approachable setting suitable for any occasion." It's just what we needed on the Gold Coast, a beautiful, inviting spot for locals to congregate with great food and great service. Welcome Fig & Olive! (312.445.0060)
Don't wait to snag your ticket for the hottest fashion event of the summer, Macy's Passport Presents Glamorama, coming to the Harris Theater on Friday, August 8! This exciting show featuring recording sensation Jason Derulo, will include eye-popping choreography, gorgeous models and the chicest Macy's fashions from Calvin Klein, Diesel, I.N.C International Concepts, Tommy Hilfiger and MORE! With any ticket purchase of $175 or more, you can join other fun-loving fashionistas at an exclusive after-party on the Rooftop Terrace at Millennium Park!! SHOW ONLY TIX $75!
On Sunday, September 21, the Primo Center for Women and Children will hold its third annual signature fundraiser, Primo Classico d' Europa. Hosted and co-chaired by Diane and Quintin Primo, this year’s event will be held at Lake Forest Sportscars in Lake Bluff and will once again immerse attendees in an afternoon of the European
lux life: precision automobiles, fashions and jewelry, gourmet cuisine and wines, culture and a super deluxe auction conducted by the one and only Greg Dellinger. This year's celebrity Man of Vision honoree will be legendary tennis star Jimmy Connors. Chicago's own Kate Gaynor will be
honored as the Woman of Vision for her dedicated, ongoing support. Last year more than $400,000 was raised for the Center, a highly regarded non-profit servicing the critical transitional and permanent housing needs of Chicago-area homeless families. The funds raised are crucial in helping a portion of the almost 94,000 homeless individuals in Chicago. I
hope you can attend this event to help the Center continue its life-altering impact for homeless families. For tickets and more info, please click here. I hope to see you there!
It's been ten long years since Antiques Roadshow was in Chicago and it took less than an hour for it to sell out completely. We were watching PBS when the offer came up during its fundraising segment. Our fingers flew to the phone and, as luck would have it, we were able to purchase two Golden Tickets to this show dedicated to discovering America's hidden treasures! Shortly after our ticket purchase, we were contacted by Dan Protess, senior producer for WTTW's "Behind the Scenes at the Roadshow", asking if we would be interested in letting him and his crew follow us during the process. They came to our house the day before to film and interview me about what we intended to bring. I took my Playboy Bunny of the Year costume along with a lot of collateral material that included two trophies (one from the local Chicago pageant and the other from the International Bunny of the Year contest that was filmed in LA for ABC at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion) among other items. The LA pageant attracted every celebrity you could think of. My program booklet (which I also brought) had autographs from O.J. Simpson (who had ironically included the word "peace" below his signature), Milton Berle, Dick Martin, Ringo Starr, Jim Brown and, of course, Hef. My silver lame costume was complete with two sets
of matching ears, well worn heels, a pair of cuffs with the original black Bunny head cufflinks, collar with clip-on bowtie, extra silver costume laces, extra "Candy" rosette name tag.....I even had the pack of bobby pins I used to keep the ears on as well as my hose! To say it was "complete" was an understatement! Additionally, I brought my Playboy Bunny training manuel that included instructions on how to do the famous "Bunny Dip". We were shepherded
to the front of the line at McCormick Place (the original one on the lake) since we were going to be filmed for the "Behind the Scenes" show, but when we reached the appraiser, she immediately asked for the show producer who asked us if we would appear on the national show. Woot! Woot! (It will air in January). We were then taken to the Green Room where those who were going to be on-camera were spruced up by makeup artists. I signed a release and watched other people having their things appraised on a monitor. One woman had
brought about 5 vintage outfits from Abbey Road, a clothing boutique the Beatles had owned for a few months before they shut it down. Apparently, the staff and customers were stealing more than they were buying, so the Fab Four closed the store. I heard one of the outfits was estimated at $3500 (she had paid $100 in the early '60's)....I don't know how many pieces she had, but it was cool to find out the Beatles had tried their hand at retail! Who knew? Before the event, we were sent all sorts of info concerning the experience. There were 70 appraisers who covered more than 22 specialties at the show. They don't appraise
coins, stamps, paper currency, bicycles, fossils, tools, glass fire extinguishers (?!) or explosives and hazardous materials (?!?!?)...No surprise here! Each ticket holder was allowed two items. We also took two rare books and an autographed movie script. Since I'm a Harry Potter freak, I was curious about my Goblet of Fire first edition presentation copy inscribed by J.K. Rowling to her father. In the full page inscription, she also reveals who the character Ron
Weasley was in real life. The book is dedicated to "Mr. Ridley", who was a friend of her father's and the person who inspired Ron. I also took a script signed by the entire cast from the first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Chuck is a collector of modern first editions and he was curious about an Ian Fleming book. The first James Bond film was Dr. No starring Sean Connery. His first edition book was signed by the actor with an accompanying photo. The Roadshow team operates like Seal Team 6 and are super-pros!
It was a positively delightful experience from beginning to end! Stay tuned for my segment coming in January to find out if we were successful or not! :-))) #RoadshowRules
This blog is going to be a little shorter than usual, which you may like better! LOL! I enjoyed a getaway last week with Chuck as we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary! We enjoyed a lot of fun in the sun that I'll share in my next post. In the meantime, here are some tips I shared on Chicago Now
last year on our 24th anniversary for keeping the spark alive and how to have a happy marriage!
Love, as always,
P.S. Hope you enjoy Candid Candace in the Chicago Tribune every Sunday! If you missed it this week, read here!