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ACTOR and producer Kevin Spacey, a two-time Academy Award-winner (The Usual Suspects and American Beauty), will receive the Gene Siskel Film Center Renaissance Award during the Film Center’s annual benefit May 13 at The Four Seasons Chicago. As part of the evening’s program, Chicago native Jeremy Piven, a Golden Globe and Emmy Award recipient, will lead a discussion that focuses on Spacey’s illustrious film career. The honoree, who stars as the duplicitous Francis Underwood in the Netflix original series House of Cards, joins an impressive list of former Renaissance Award recipients, including husband-and-wife team William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman, Michael Mann, Nicole Kidman, George Lucas, Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson. All proceeds from the benefit support the Gene Siskel Film Center’s curated film programming as well as lecture series and discussions with visiting scholars and filmmakers. Single tickets range in price from $500 to $1,000 (VIP). Table sponsorships range in price from $10,000 to $50,000. Call (312) 846-2072 for tickets, tables or more information.
Chicago Is Talking About . . .
Academy Award-Winner Kevin Spacey
Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford
SINGER/musician Christopher Cross, perhaps best known for his captivating hit song “Sailing,” comes to City Winery for a performance on May 22, and the vocalist/guitarist will highlight familiar tunes and those from his new album, Secret Ladder, which includes contemporary tunes that focus on present-day concerns. Cross made a magnificent splash into the music world in 1980 with his self-titled album that won five Grammy Awards, including––in a historic accomplishment––the four most prestigious awards (Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Sailing”, Best New Artist and Album of the Year). For tickets and more information, go to www.citywinery.com.
THE Garfield Park Conservatory’s popular "Music Under Glass" series of classical music continued with its spring concert, “European String Fling,” which featured the enchanting music of Max Reger, Jean Marie Leclair, Beethoven, Giacomo Puccini and Felix Mendelssohn. The performers included violinists John Robinson and Diane Duraffourg-Robinson, cellist Walter Preucil and violist Eric Shumsky, who also is the music director at the Conservatory. During the afternoon concert at the glass-domed Conservatory, music lovers were captivated by the performances of Reger’s “Suite for viola solo in G minor,” Leclair’s “Sonata for two violins,” Beethoven’s “String Trio in C minor,” Puccini’s “Chrysanthemum for String Quartet” and Mendelssohn’s “Canzonetta Allegretto.” The classical concert series, “Music Under Glass––Classical Notes in Nature,” showcases the Conservatory’s popular combination of music and nature while, at the same time, bringing the wonders of the Conservatory to a new and wider audience. (In an upcoming event, the Conservatory will feature its annual "Beer Under Glass" festivities on May 18. Go to www.garfieldconservatory.org for more information.)
CINEMA/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, will honor two of the film industry’s most noted individuals, Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren and her husband Academy Award-winning director Taylor Hackford, during the gala event at the Loews Hotel Chicago on May 24. The evening will feature an on-stage conversation with the celebrities that will be conducted by celebrated journalist Bill Kurtis. Both honorees, who were married after Hackford directed Mirren in the 1985 film White Nights, will receive the prestigious Gold Hugo Award––Mirren’s for career achievement in acting and Hackford’s for career achievement in directing. Proceeds from the event will benefit the year-round programs of Cinema/Chicago, including the Chicago International Film Festival, Chicago International Television Festival, CineYouth Festival, International Screenings, and Education Program. Individual tickets for Cinema/Chicago’s spring gala are $400. Tables of 10 range in price from $4,000 to $25,000 and include a variety of benefits. Tickets and tables can be purchased by phone at 312-683-0121 x108 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christopher Cross at City Winery