BY KYLE MACMILLAN | FOR SUN-TIMES MEDIA
Some classical arts events worth checking out this week:
Visits by touring orchestras remain something of a rarity in Chicago, especially at the Ravinia Festival where the famed Chicago Symphony Orchestra reigns supreme. But this week, audiences will get a chance to hear the voice of another orchestral ensemble, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, when its makes a stop at Ravinia, 200 Ravinia Park Road, in Highland Park at 8 p.m. today as part of national tour. The well-regarded German ensemble, led by noted conductor Paavo Järvi, will present a program of works by Johannes Brahms, including his “Academic Festival Overture,” Op. 80, and Symphonies No. 2 and 3. Tickets, $65 reserved; $10 lawn. (847) 266-5100; ravinia.org.
Art and Theater
With his strange, inimitable images of fantastical worlds and epic battles, Henry Darger has become something of a star in the world of outsider art. Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, 756 N. Milwaukee, which houses a significant collection of Darger’s work, is presenting a pair of staged readings of a play about the reclusive artist that is still in development. The dramatic work, titled “The Strange Case of Henry Darger,” was written by BBC producer Judith Kampfner. The staged readings at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday will star Troy West, a member of the Lookingglass Theatre as Darger. Tickets, $10. (312) 243-9088; art.org.
Darrian Ford, who was recently seen in the first national touring production of the “The Color Purple,” is a singer, songwriter and regular Broadway performer. In addition to his other work, and has appeared around the country since 2008 in a tribute to the great soul singer, Sam Cooke, that he created. “The Cooke Book — The Music of Sam Cooke,” showcases favorite hits and lesser-known selections by the the famed artist, including “Twistin’ the Night Away,” “Cupid,” “Wonderful World,” and “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.” Ford will perform his Cooke homage at 8 p.m. today at the City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph, and 8 p.m. Aug. 29 and 30 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln. Tickets for tonight’s show, $25. (312) 733-9463; citywinery.com.
20th-century Music Theater
No one took music theater in more interesting, new directions in the 20th century than Kurt Weill, a German composer who fled the Nazis in March 1933 and eventually settled in the United States. Among his most unconventional creations was “The Seven Deadly Sins,” a satirical ballet chanté or sung ballet in seven scenes with a libretto by Bertolt Brecht. Vocalist Storm Large, who has toured internationally with the “retro-chic” band, Pink Martini, will take centerstage when conductor Carlos Kalmar and Grant Park Orchestra present the 1933 work at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion, 205 E. Randolph, as part of the Grant Park Music Festival. Also on the program are Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished,” and “Dance of the Seven Veils” from “Salome.” Free. (312) 742-7638; grantparkmusicfestival.com.
Shepard Fairey, whose 2008 “Hope” poster for Barack Obama gained him international attention and spurred a lawsuit over copyright infringement, has organized Lollapalooza’s first-ever art exhibition. Titled “Art Alliance: Provocateurs,” it features more than 200 music-themed works by 40 diverse artists, illustrators and album-cover designers. The show, which ends today, runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Block Thirty Seven, a 25,000-square-foot space at 109 N. Dearborn. Tickets, $12 at the door. Artalliance.com.