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It seems like the stuff of the silver screen: in 1997, husband and wife Donzell and Alisa Starks realized their dream of bringing movies back to Chicago’s South and West sides. Luckily for film fans, this story is true—the Starks founded ICE Theaters, the first African-American-owned theater chain in the country. Today, the cinemas stand as hubs of community and culture in the neighborhoods they serve, entertaining audiences with new Hollywood releases screened alongside independent films highlighted in their Black World Cinema and Shortcutz series.
An after-school-arts -education program for youngsters aged 4–18, CYT Chicago culminates each of its three yearly sessions with a host of musical productions. This October–December, CYT will be hosting the following classical productions throughout the area:
When it comes to describing Kristin Chenoweth, "multitalented" is an understatement. Overlaying a soaring voice with sparkling charisma, Chenoweth won the 1999 Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical and originated the role of Glinda the Good Witch in the smash Broadway hit Wicked, earning both fame as the definitive incarnation of that character and the legal right to carry an Oz passport. Her forays into television have included an Emmy win for Pushing Daisies, a stint on The West Wing, a guest appearance on Glee, and a starring role in ABC's comedy GCB. Mixing classically trained control with the ability to call up a folksy twang from her childhood in Oklahoma, Chenoweth regales audiences with heartbreaking ballads and high-energy romps.
The high-flying acrobats of Cirque du Soleil set their microscopes on the insect world with Ovo, a family-friendly circus spectacle that exposes the beauty of the lowest levels of our ecosphere. Like the lost Disney adaptation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, the show bridges the gap between humans and their minuscular counterparts with the help of whimsical costumes and set designs. As the first act begins, a monolithic egg lands in the midst of a bustling insect community, raising a commotion among the many-legged residents. Ants and crickets creep across the stage’s webby backdrop, extending their antennae for a peek at the mysterious object. By the time a gawky blue insect arrives onstage and a ladybug sets his heart aflutter, audiences are cocooned to their seats in awe of the stylized habitat. Creature-themed stunts and dance routines fill the show’s nine acts, which include a juggling firefly, a trapeze troupe of scarabs, and a pair of Spanish butterflies engaged in a rousing thumb-wrestling bout.