Nearly 700 guests went wild for an exclusive sneak peek at the Goodman’s new musical “The Jungle Book” at the theater’s May 18 gala in the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park (200 N. Columbus). Written and directed by Tony Award-winner Mary Zimmerman, the show included a seven-song set from the production, featuring a standout performance from Broadway legend André De Shields.
A Better Chicago’s first annual benefit, held at the UIC Forum (725 W. Roosevelt), set the bar high for future fundraising efforts — more than 400 guests helped the organization surpass the $1 million mark. Co-chairs Trisha Rooney Alden, Stephanie Harris, Jack Keller and Tim Schwertfeger welcomed business and civic leaders to the May 16 bash, which kicked off with a whiskey- and gin-centric cocktail hour and a deluge of comfort foods like sliders, fried chicken and mac ‘n’ cheese.
The sounds of world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma filled the Hilton Chicago (720 S. Michigan) May 17 at the Arts Alliance Illinois’ Voices of a Creative State Luncheon. A crowd of 500 corporate and civic leaders came together for the event, along with honorary co-chairs Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Pamela Crutchfield, Joan W. Harris and Kassie Davis. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) presented Fay Hartog-Levin with the organization’s first Citizen Advocate award for her vision and civic leadership in the arts, and Jerlane Payne, a student at the University of Chicago Woodlawn Charter School, stole the spotlight by performing her spoken word piece, “The Flowship of Friends,” accompanied by Yo-Yo Ma.
Fundraising took center stage at the Steppenwolf Theatre’s annual gala May 4. The night started in the Downstairs Theatre, where more than 600 guests — including co-founder Gary Sinise and board chair Nora Daley — got a sneak peek at Steppenwolf’s newest production, “Head of Passes.” The party then moved to event space Blackhawk on Halsted for drinks, dinner, dancing and a live auction, which featured star-studded items like dinner with “The Good Wife” actor Josh Charles. The event helped raise $1.1 million for the Theatre’s educational and community programs.
The Hilton Chicago (720 S. Michigan) was overrun with lions May 8, but guests had nothing to fear — it was a traditional Chinese Lion dance, performed at the Chinese American Service League’s 24th annual gala. Co-chaired by Michael Tang and Michael Ferro, chairman of Sun-Times parent company Wrapports, the bash was filled with delicious food from some of the city’s top chefs — Charlie Trotter, Art Smith, Tony Hu and Hsing Chen each created a course.
Hay bales, sunflowers and a banjo player set the scene at The Women’s Board of the Lyric Opera’s “Celebrating Oklahoma!” event, inspired by the opera’s latest production. Nearly 200 guests dug into a family-style Southern picnic at the May 9 bash, passing around a traditional pickle board, fried chicken, mac and cheese and pecan pies crafted by chef Art Smith. Co-chairs Trisha Rooney Alden and Jacky Ferro, whose husband is the chairman of Sun-Times’ parent company Wrapports, mingled with attendees before the Lyric’s cast put on a performance of the musical.
The Chicago skyline just got a little more stylish with the recent opening of the K2 apartments (365 N. Halsted). To mark the occasion, Splash, in partnership with the Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, helped welcome more than 400 guests to the upscale residence to sip cocktails and tour apartments and penthouses (starting at $1,650) with interior designs by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, Morgante Wilson and Design for a Cure.