About James Smith

Posts by James Smith:

One promising beginning and one happy ending

One promising beginning and one happy ending

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic It was an inauspicious evening for the opening of an outdoor festival. It had rained that day, and it remained overcast and gloomy well past dark. Yet the first concert of the 80th season of the Grant Park Music Festival had a decent-sized and enthusiastic crowd – a testament(…)

Review: “Days Like Today”

RECOMMENDED Where: Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe When: through July 13 Tickets: $35-$75 Phone: 847-242-6000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Woe to anyone who tries to write a sincere musical about love these days. The topic has been so overworked in every medium that it’s almost impossible to find anything new to say, much(…)

The Land Beneath our Feet

The Land Beneath our Feet

The ground level of the house at the southwest corner of 48th and Greenwood just always seemed too high. Not in the sense of the ridges that once ran diagonally across the landscape of Hyde Park, but specifically and oddly too high just in one place. The driveway at the back of the lot was(…)

Burns to unveil plans for Canter

Ald. Will Burns (4th) is hosting a town hall meeting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, June 16, in the Little Theater to discuss the use of the Canter Middle School building. Canter Middle School, 4959 S. Blackstone Ave., is officially closed as of June 30. Seventh and eighth graders from Kenwood Academy High(…)

Local residents looking for family biking

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Hyde Park resident Juan Boyce is organizing a Kidical Mass biking event for kids at the end of this month. Kidical Mass is a national movement to encourage families to ride bicycles for transportation, exercise and fun, according to its website. It currently has events in neighborhoods including Roscoe(…)

Make Music Chicago returns to HP

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Make Music Chicago will return to Hyde Park for the third time this summer solstice, Saturday, June 21. The annual music festival inviting professional, amateur and spontaneous performers alike to share their music with the public free of charge was first established in Paris, France, in 1982, and first took(…)

Local teachers are awarded

Teacher receives Golden Apple honor at U. of C. Lab Schools, 1362 E. 59th St. Kristin Frank, 5th grade teacher at the University of Chicago Laboratory Lower School, received the Golden Apple Teacher of Distinction Award. In addition to annually naming 10 recipients of the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Golden Apple(…)

Shining art from a dark era

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic The Chicago Symphony Orchestra recently completed its three-week festival entitled “Truth to Power.” The performances are of works written in the 1930s and 1940s and the uniting idea is that though this period of history was fraught with peril “yet in this dark era, Benjamin Britten, Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri(…)