Millennium Park Grand Opening | Festival | Chicago Reader

Millennium Park Grand Opening 

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The city's new lakefront open-air arts center on Michigan between Randolph and Monroe makes its long-awaited official debut with a weekend of free performances. A sampling of theatrical, dance, and multimedia attractions follows; see Fairs & Festivals in Music listings or log on to for more information.


Pathway Performances

Spontaneous performances along the park's walkways feature puppetry, magic, and dance as well as music of many genres. Participating artists include vaudevillian illusionist David Kovac, the Incurable Theater, Hedwig Dances (performing with blues pianist Erwin Helfer), the Tamboula Haitian dance ensemble, the Minianka African Drum & Dance Ensemble, and the stilt-walking Robot Liberation Front. 5-7:30 PM.


This clown trio draws on Native American, European, and postmodern styles, offering a stellar demonstration of the volumes that can be said through concentrated, original physical comedy. (JG) Great Lawn, 5-7:30 PM.

Redmoon Theater

Following a concert by the Grant Park Symphony, the acclaimed visual-theater troupe puts on a "dramatic installation of lanterns, fire, and film." Pritzker Pavilion (100 N. Michigan), 10-10:30 PM.


Chicago on Parade

This showcase of music and dance groups features the American Indian Center Drum & Dance Troupe, the Chinese Cultural Center's Lion Dance, Clinard Dance Theatre (flamenco), the Happiness Club (hip-hop), Hromovytsia Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, the Indonesian Dance Troupe, M.A.D.D. Rhythms (tap), Mexican Folkloric Dance Company, Muntu Dance Theatre (African), Na Kupuna Ukelele Club (hula), Olympian Greek Dance Troupe, Punjabi Cultural Society (bhangra), Sanabel Palestinian Debka, Siumni Polish Highlander Folkloric Ensemble, and the Trinity Academy of Irish Dance. 12:30-3:30 PM.

Pathway Performances

See listing for Friday, July 16. Performers include Gingarte Capoeira, Las Guitarras de Espana (flamenco), Kalapriya Dance (Indian classical dance), Dan Nicky and Blue Lotus Tribe (belly dance), Pocomania Jamaican Dance Company, the Incurable Theater, and the Robot Liberation Front. 3:30-7:30 PM.


See listing for Friday, July 16. Great Lawn, 6:30-7:30 PM.

Redmoon Theater

See listing for Friday, July 16. Pritzker Pavilion (100 N. Michigan), 9:30-10 PM.

Late-Night Performances

The Harris Theater for Music and Dance (205 E. Randolph) hosts interdisciplinary presentations on its rooftop terrace, including a program of spoken word and visuals by Ira Glass and Chris Ware. 10 PM-midnight; Glass and Ware are scheduled for 10:45-11:10 PM.


Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me

A live taping of the NPR radio show at the Pritzker Pavilion (100 N. Michigan) features Adam Felber, Roy Blount Jr., and host Peter Sagal. 10 AM-12:30 PM.

Three Ring Circus

The Pritzker Pavilion features performances and demonstrations by the Bumblinni Brothers, members of the Actors Gymnasium, and the Chicago Youth Circus. Noon-3 PM.


See listing for Friday, July 16. Great Lawn, 5:30-6:30 PM.


Listen In

Throughout the weekend, the city offers prerecorded aural performances inspired by different areas of the park. These pieces can be accessed by phone: call 312-742-2004. The pieces were created by C.C. Carter, Johnny Arena, Heather Rafferty, Connor Kalista, Chloe Johnston, and Stephen Lapthisophon.

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Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
March 21
Galleries & Museums
May 07

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