Rarely heard operatic gems are on the roster for the latest edition of Lyric Opera’s Rising Stars in Concert, which features an ensemble of artists who have trained at Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center. The performers are sopranos Maria Novella Malfatti and Denis Vélez; mezzo-sopranos Katherine Beck, Katherine DeYoung and Kathleen Felty; tenors Martin Luther Clark and Lunga Eric Hallam; baritones Leroy Davis and Ricardo José Rivera; bass-baritone David Weigel, and bass Anthony Reed. Accompaniment is provided by a chamber ensemble of Lyric Opera Orchestra members and Ryan Opera Center pianist Chris Reynolds; Christopher Allen conducts. The concert streams at 7 p.m. April 29 and then on demand. Visit lyricopera.org.
Suddenly sea shanties are a thing. The genre has been trending online and awakening interest in these work songs that originated on large merchant sailing ships. For decades Tom Kastle has been traveling the world, collecting and performing these maritime songs and stories while also captaining sailing ships on the Great Lakes. The Madison, Wisconsin-based singer performs shanties and more in a livestreamed concert at 8 p.m. April 29 via the Old Town School of Folk Music. Tickets: $20. Visit oldtownschool.org.
Chicago sports fans can catch the annual Ring Lardner Awards Ceremony when the event streams live at 7 p.m. April 29. The awards, presented by Union League Boys & Girls Clubs, honor excellence in sports journalism. This year’s honorees are former Chicago Sun-Times sportswriter Toni Ginnetti; WGN-Channel 9 sports anchor Dan Roan and, posthumously, former Chicago Tribune sports editor Cooper Rollow. Featured are panel discussions about their experiences in sports journalism and a silent auction of sports memorabilia with proceeds benefiting Union League. Visit ulbgc.org/events/ringlardner2021/.
Out of this world
Lauren Ferebee’s new play “Goods,” a sci-fi adventure about two intergalactic trash collectors, recently won the 2021 Planet Earth Arts Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. The play now receives its virtual world premiere via Artemisia Theatre. Julie Proudfoot and Shariba Rivers star as the trash collectors who embark on a mysterious mission in their small and dingy spaceship; E. Faye Butler directs. “Goods” streams May 5-30. Tickets: $30. Visit artemisiatheatre.org.
Reconnect with hope
The Joffrey Ballet’s Studio Series continues with “Under the Trees’ Voices,” a new work choreographed by the company’s rehearsal director Nicolas Blanc. Featuring 15 Joffrey artists, the piece is set to “Symphony No. 2” by Italian composer Ezio Bosso. Blanc was listening to the piece in the spring of 2020 as he walked along Lake Michigan and was inspired to create the new work as he noticed the changes in people’s moods as the weather began to improve. “It was so nice to reconnect with nature, which is such a powerful component in our lives as it helps us regain more profoundly our inner self,” Blanc says. “The piece is definitely meant to be hopeful.” “Under the Trees’ Voices” streams free at 7 p.m. April 30 and then on demand. Visit joffrey.org.
We’re halfway to Halloween, so what better time for “Half-O-Ween: Horror Weekend at the Drive-In,” a mini-fest featuring five classic horror films presented by the Music Box Theatre and Creepy Co. The lineup features “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” (April 30), “Midsommar” and “Alucarda” (May 1), “Friday the 13th, Part III” and “Sleepaway Camp” (May 2). Enjoy the chills at Chi-Town Drive-In, 2343 S. Throop. Tickets: $30/car for single feature, $45/car for double feature. Visit musicboxtheatre.com.
The Martha Graham Dance Company celebrates its 95th anniversary with “GrahamFest95,” a three-day virtual festival featuring an array of Graham’s classic works (including “Saraband,” “Deep Song” and “Conversations of Lovers”), the company premiere of Elisa Monte’s “Treading,” four solo works by Sir Robert Cohan, a duet from Troy Schumacher’s “The Auditions” and more. The festival wraps up with a closing night Zoom event with the dancers. Streams from April 30-May 2. Tickets: $30/program; $95 festival pass; closing night party $40. For more information, visit marthagraham.org.
Ma-Yi Theater Company and Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival present “Vancouver,” a puppet play about a mixed-race family who relocate from Japan to the Pacific Northwest. Streams at 6 p.m. April 30. Free, donations appreciated. Visit ma-yistudios.com or chicagopuppetfest.org. … American Blues Theater’s reading series continues with Karissa Murrell Myers’ “On the Greenbelt,” a drama about a woman who can’t shake the memories that haunt her. Tickets: pay-what-you-can. Visit americanbluestheater.com. … Ghostlight Ensemble presents a reading of Victoria Benedictsson’s “The Enchantment.” Streams at 2 p.m. May 2. Tickets: pay-what-you-can. Visit ghostlightensemble.com. … Del Shores’ “Southern Baptist Sissies” is featured in a reading by Pride Arts. Streams at 7 p.m. May 4. Tickets: $10. Visit pridearts.org.
Mary Houlihan is a Chicago freelance writer.