You know an interesting evening is brewing when it starts in Billy Corgan's Highland Park tea shop, with the rock singer/businessman holding forth with a hopeful conversation about bringing new cultural offerings to the north suburbs.
The conversation preceded Chicago Live!'s second performance in the suburbs, this time at Ravinia's Bennett Gordon Hall in Highland Park, with the Tribune's Rick Kogan as host, and appearances by Corgan; poet Kevin Coval and some talented students; advice columnist Amy Dickinson; chef Curtis Duffy; author Rebecca Skloot; opera tenor Bernard Holcomb; and rock band the Shoes.
Between the interviews, sketch comedians from The Second City earned laughs with cultural jabs and riffs off the news. The highlight may have been a Valentine's Day wedding proposal skit set in a Skokie Applebee's, launching a slew of jokes built off suburban food franchises.
Welz Kauffman, president and CEO of Ravinia, also spoke with Kogan about
The conversations before and after the show were useful to us, too. It was a chance to visit with our readers in lovely surroundings, and get feedback on what's important to them in the news.
Both on stage and in his tea room, Madame Zuzu's, Corgan talked about staying fresh creatively while also encouraging a flourishing arts community in downtown Highland Park, built around an inviting place to relax and create.
The night was as warm and inviting as a summer evening on the Ravinia lawn, a chilly winter evening that began with a steaming cup of tea in downtown Highland Park.
-- James Janega