Programming this week’s Chicago Live! was no easy task. Knowing it would occur just as Chicago began holding its breath for the NATO summit and all of the surrounding planned (and unplanned?) activities, our producers debated how much NATO-related content to include on the stage and radio variety show.
Avoid the topic and give everyone a break from what is already consuming our news pages? Or run headlong in with a themed show full of protesters and policymakers? As is our habit, we took the more eclectic route and settled on a lineup with an international flavor and a decided nod to the events downtown -- with an injection of satire from our Second City partners.
Last season, Chicago Live! featured an interview with Lori Healy, executive director of the NATO host committee, just after the G-8 conference was shifted from Chicago to Camp David. This Thursday, Chicago Live! host Rick Kogan will talk onstage with Chicago anti-war activist Andy Thayer about Thayer’s efforts to organize protesters in the city over the coming days.
The eclectic and international pieces come through our other guests: Jamaican Debra Ehrhardt, whose one-woman show “Jamaica, Farewell” is playing at the Chopin Theatre, will talk with theater critic Chris Jones, who recently awarded the show three stars.
Ikram Goldman, an Israeli immigrant who realized the American dream by reaching the heights of the fashion industry, will talk with business columnist Melissa Harris. Performing will be David Hernandez and Street Sounds, a mix of music, lyrics and spoken word that evokes a world beat of Latin jazz, blues, classical and Afro-Caribbean music.
And the very American but world-renowned artist Dawoud Bey will talk about photographing people and his recent endeavor, “Strangers/Community” – a title that could very well sum up Chicago this weekend.
Chicago Live!, 7 p.m. Thursday, UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave. More information and tickets at chicagolive.com.
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