Ask 'Mimi' July 13, 2014
Mimi, is there a summer TV program you're watching besides "Under the Dome"?
I had looked forward to the premier Thursday evening of the CBS series "Extant," starring Halle Berry. But I ended up feeling disappointed. It's well-produced and -acted — at least better than "Dome" — but it seems flat and seems to cover old sci-fi ground, with Berry's character's son being an inhuman, computer-programmed child. If you want (non-computerized) possessed children, see the chilling 1960 British sci-fi movie "Village of the Damned."
What's going on in the art world this summer?
I'm most excited about "Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938," on view through Oct. 13 at the Art Institute of Chicago. I missed the media preview last month but hope to get up there soon. The exhibition was co-curated by Josef Helfenstein, former director of the Krannert Art Museum on the UI campus.
That's one reason to go. And also because Belgian artist Ren Magritte created some of the 20th century's most memorable images. This is the first major museum show to focus on his most inventive years. It has more than 100 paintings, collages, drawings and objects, and photographs, periodicals and early commercial work that trace the birth of the themes and strategies Magritte would use during his long career.
Mimi, do you ever go to Shakespeare festivals?
A few years ago, I went to Bloomington to cover the Illinois Shakespeare Festival at Ewing Manor. I enjoyed it. It's a beautiful setting, and the repertory of plays often features local actors. This summer Illinois Shakes is presenting "Elizabeth Rex," "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Antony and Cleopatra."
Bonuses: You may bring your own picnic and eat beforehand on the lovely grounds or buy food offered by the festival.
And: Jazz saxophonist Glenn Wilson, an adjunct professor at the UI School of Music, and Friends (sometimes UI faculty and students) will perform from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday through Aug. 9 at Illinois Shakes. In case of inclement weather, they move to the lobby of the Center for the Performing Arts on the Illinois State University campus. The jazz shows are free; the Shakes plays are ticketed. thefestival.org/.
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