Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: Chicago, Mom & Dad, special events

It’s been a busy two nights. Two nights of fun. Two night of music.
Two nights under the stars enjoying fine music, friends and food at Ravinia!
Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois is known for bringing a wide assortment
of music to the northern suburbs. Ravinia is a music venue with a large pavilion
and an even larger grassy meadow surrounding it with “lawn seats” for those of us
too cheap to pay for pavilion seats… plus the picnic is a BIG part of the experience!

So Friday night, after camp, I went up to Ravinia with my friend Nancy for a fun night
of retro fun. As a kid of the 70’s, I sang along and knew every word… as the concert was
a tribute to ABBA. Yes, it was a night with Fernando, Chiquitita and the Dancing Queen!
Okay, so it wasn’t the “real” ABBA – as they no longer perform and keep raking in
the royalty checks! Imagine how much they got from the musical & movie adaptation
of “Mamma Mia” – not to mention the resurgence of their own ABBA popularity.
Ravinia was packed – and SOLD OUT… including the lawn!

Then tonight, I returned for another night of music with my parents, aunt & cousin
for a night in the park with night of Broadway melodies. It was a night to celebrate
the 80th birthday of Broadway lyricist Stephen Sondheim. Famous for his wonderful
lyrics for many of the most popular modern musicals; including Gypsy, Sweeney Todd,
Sunday In The Park With George, Passions
, and A Little Night Music. The orchestra was
great – with vocal performances by Broadway legends Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald,
Michael Cerveris and George Hearn. I was a bit disappointed that the show was kind of short.
And they skipped over a lot of Sondheim classics like West Side Story and Into The Woods.
Plus, I’m not a huge fan of Patti LuPone – I think she’s overrated, a little brassy and annoying.
Audra McDonald was incredible, as were both gentlemen. So, even though the show wasn’t
everything I had hoped for, the evening was still great fun. Enjoying the park, the gardens,
the sculptures, the food and the fun with my family. Another fun night under the stars!

So, all in all it was another wonderful night at Ravinia Festival. Plus, we got to see a lot of
“beautiful people” as tonight was also the Ravinia Women’s Club fundraising black-tie gala!
So there were a lot of heavy-hitters in their finery milling about – plus the huge, decked-out
gala tent out in the large meadow area. Tuxes, ball gowns, ladies who lunch and more!

For the schedule of upcoming shows, check out the Ravinia website…

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