About Jerald Smith

Posts by Jerald Smith:

Mischievous Medieval Minstrels at the top of the Logan Center

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic It can be fun and fascinating to learn about something just as it coalesces into being. Sunday night the newly formed University of Chicago Medieval Minstrelsy gave their first concert and I was there at the ground floor. And by ground floor I mean the penthouse of the university’s(…)

New murder mystery novel draws from Hyde Park

New murder mystery novel draws from Hyde Park

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Hyde Parker K.B. Jensen has published a new murder mystery novel, drawing inspiration from the neighborhood and her professional life. Entitled “Painting with Fire,” her book tells the story of an unemployed woman sharing an apartment with a man who has a shadowy past, on the heels of a murder(…)

Murray Elementary wins Illinois Spotlight Award

Murray Elementary wins Illinois Spotlight Award

Murray Elementary wins Illinois Spotlight Award By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Murray Elementary School recently received its second Illinois Spotlight Award. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) gives the award to schools with high poverty rates that are closing the academic achievement gap. Murray, 5335 S. Kenwood Ave., is one of 37 schools(…)

Landscape architect reimagines Olmsted’s Jackson Park, makes pitch for conservancy and nixing golf driving range

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Nearly 40 people packed into the Hyde Park Historical Society, 5529 S. Lake Park Ave., last Monday evening for the first neighborhood appearance by a landscape architect who may shape Jackson Park for years to come. Vermont-based architect Patricia O’Donnell was picked earlier this year by privately-funded non-profit Project 120(…)

Hyde Park teacher who cared for carjacking victim calls for trauma center

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer A man who was recently pinned underneath a car following a carjacking in Hyde Park waited 15 minutes for an ambulance to transport him to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment. On Saturday, May 10, around 11 a.m., a 16-year-old boy entered a vehicle that had been left unattended at the(…)

Better Government Association to host citizen watchdog training

The Better Government Association (BGA) will be hosting a citizen watchdog training session next Wednesday, May 21, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the U. of C. Institute of Politics, 5707 S. Woodlawn Ave. The event will focus on the Freedom of Information Act and how citizens can monitor their government. The event is free,(…)

Chicago Ensemble charms at I-House

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic The Chicago Ensemble, now in its 37th season, is clearly one of Chicago’s most durable music performing groups. Artistic director Gerald Rizzer has consistently proven that he can craft engaging programs that combine well-known works with music off the beaten path. Sometimes the lesser-known pieces are by the most(…)

Review: “In the Garden: A Darwinian Love Story”

RECOMMENDED Where: Lookingglass Theatre Company, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. When: through June 15 Tickets: $45-$70 Phone: 312-337-0665 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic   The very best thing about the world premiere of Sara Gmitter’s “In the Garden: A Darwinian Love Story” at Lookingglass Theatre Company is Andrew White’s performance as Charles(…)

U. of C. faculty to take on fossil fuel divestment

U. of C. faculty to take on fossil fuel divestment

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Four University of Chicago faculty members will tackle the issue of U. of C. divestment from fossil fuels at an upcoming panel discussion. The event, presented by the UChicago Climate Action Network (UCAN), will take place next Monday, May 19, from 6-8 p.m., at International House, 1414 E. 59th St.(…)

Hyde Park man charged in murder role

Hyde Park man charged in murder role

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer A Hyde Park man was charged with illegally selling the gun that was used in the murder of a 14-year-old girl two weeks ago. Robert James, 34, of the 1300 block of East Hyde Park Avenue, was charged with one felony count of disorderly conduct — false report of offense(…)

Memorial planned for U. of C. law student killed in crash

Memorial planned for U. of C. law student killed in crash

Laura Anne LaPlante, 26, of Hancock, N.H., died May 2 from injuries sustained during a car crash on Lake Shore Drive, when a car traveling the wrong way collided with her vehicle. LaPlante distinguished herself among her classmates as a leader whose sharp intellect was matched by her kindness. She was a third year student(…)

Rodfei Zedek congregants recall terror under Nazi regime

Rodfei Zedek congregants recall terror under Nazi regime

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Three members of Congregation Rodfei Zedek, 5200 S. Hyde Park Blvd., will share their childhood stories of Nazi-era Europe early next week. The panel discussion, which serves as this year’s final meeting of the Congregation Rodfei Zedek Sisterhood, will take place at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 19, at the(…)

Second City-trained director bringing improv back to Hyde Park

Second City-trained director bringing improv back to Hyde Park

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Improvisational performer and software development executive Dan Friedrich recently purchased office space at East Park Tower. The space will serve as both a software company and an improv theater, said Friedrich. The 4,000-square-foot space, which he has named the “Silicon Gargoyle,” is located on the ground floor of the(…)

Advocates say U. of C. can afford trauma center, presidential library

Advocates say U. of C. can afford trauma center, presidential library

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Some South Siders would like to see the University of Chicago have the Barack Obama Presidential Library, but want a trauma care center first. Advocates on the South Side of Chicago have been lobbying the university to add a Level 1 adult trauma care center to its medical center since(…)

Kenwood Academy hires new basketball coach

Kenwood Academy hires new basketball coach

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Marlo Finner is the new head basketball coach of Kenwood Academy High School. Finner replaced coach Jim Maley, who was terminated from the position, amidst parent protest, in March. Finner became head basketball coach at Kenwood, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., on April 24. Before coming to Kenwood, Finner was(…)

Private funds being raised for Army’s Corps’ $5-10M Jackson Park rehab

Private funds being raised for Army’s Corps’ $5-10M Jackson Park rehab

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Key details about the cost and funding of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) planned restoration of Jackson Park were shared at a public meeting last week. Community members met with representatives from the USACE and Chicago Park District (CPD) last Tuesday to hear about and discuss their five-year,(…)

U. of C. seeks to raise funds ahead of major projects

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The University of Chicago formally launched the largest fundraising campaign in its history last week. The U. of C. plans to raise $4.5 billion before the end of the decade. President Robert Zimmer will stay on through 2019, the university said in a press release. The U. of C. has(…)

Review: “The Sound of Music”

Where: Lyric Opera of Chicago, Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive When: through May 25 Tickets: $29-$199 Phone: 312-332-2244 By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic The 1965 movie “The Sound of Music,” starring Julie Andrews, is one of the greatest musicals ever put on film. Millions of people who have seen the screen version(…)

Review: “The Sound of Music”

RECOMMENDED Where: Lyric Opera of Chicago, Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive When: through May 25 Tickets: $29-$199 Phone: 312-332-2244 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic I had very high hopes for “The Sound of Music,” the second annual installment in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s five-part American Musical Theater Initiative. After all, the resources available(…)

Hyde Park Garden Fair returns

The Hyde Park Garden Fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, May 16, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, at the shopping plaza by Treasure Island. The 55th annual garden fair will split its profits. Forty percent of the profits will be donated to the(…)