Michelle Obama, Rahm Emanuel celebrate Auditorium Theatre's 125th anniversary

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 12/09/2013, 11:33am
Chicago's Auditorium Theatre will celebrate its 125th anniversary season in 2014. | HANDOUT PHOTO

Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre will celebrate its 125th anniversary season in 2014. | HANDOUT PHOTO

Chicago’s landmark Auditorium Theatre will celebrate its 125th anniversary season in 2014, and in honor of the event, Mrs. Michelle Obama has been named the honorary chair. Mayor Emanuel and his wife Amy Rule have been named honorary co-chairs.

“On behalf of all Chicagoans, we are thrilled to celebrate the Auditorium Theatre’s 125th birthday,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in a prepared statement. “This national historic landmark is representative of our rich history in the arts as well as the unique Chicago architecture styles that have influenced American building structures for generations. The Auditorium Theatre continues to make Chicago a leader in the arts and culture today, and I wish the Theatre nothing but good fortunes in the coming years.”

The Auditorium Theatre: 125 Years from Sally Films on Vimeo.

A special gala performance on Dec. 9 2014 (125 years to the date of the theater’s opening night) will featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, singers from the Lyric Opera and the Apollo Chorus. Additional celebrity guest musicians and vocalists will be announced at a later date.

At a press conference this morning, general highlights of the 2014-2015 season were announced, and include:

International Dance Series,
featuring The Royal Ballet (returning to Chicago for the first time in 37 years), led by director Kevin O’Hare, and presenting Carlos Acosta’s production of “Don Quixote,” Wayne McGregor’s “The Art of Fugue” and Christopher Wheeldon’s “Aeternum”; the Dance Theatre of Harlem, returning after a 16-year absence; Tango Buenos Aires; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg; and American Ballet Theatre;

Made in Chicago Dance Series,
featuring Thodos Dance Chicago, Giordano Dance Chicago and River North Dance Chicago;

Made in Chicago Variety Series,
featuring “Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah”; Susan Werner; and the United States Army Band;

Made in Chicago Film Series, which pays homage to movies filmed in Chicago and selected by a public voting process (details to be announced at a later date);

Creative Engagement Programming,
featuring free lectures throughout the year, Family Fun Day and “Dance Fit Day,” in homage to Mrs. Obaman’s “Let’s Move!” fitness agenda;

Other programming, events and productions will be announced soon. Current subscribers’ series tickets go on sale in March; new subscription series will go on sale in April. Individual tickets will be available at later dates.

According to a release issued at the press conference: “At the time of its opening in 1889, the Auditorium Building [at 50 E. Congress] was the epitome of modern design, the largest structure in the United States and the tallest in Chicago. It housed not only the glorious Auditorium Theatre, but also a luxurious 400-room hotel and 136 offices. The theatre itself was a marvel of cutting-edge technology, featuring the prominent display of an astounding 3,500 bare carbon filament light bulbs (only publicly seen for the first time in 1879), unrivalled acoustics, air conditioning (which called for the delivery of 15 tons of ice daily), 26 hydraulic lifts that could easily raise and lower sections of the stage, and an expansive 95-foot loft above the stage for flown scenic elements.”

For more information, visit AuditoriumTheatre.org/125