Friday, December 29, 2017

The Best of 2017: "Other" Live Entertainment and Various Events

Of the 100+ live events I go to every year, 90% or so tend to fall into four categories:

- Rock Concerts
- Musicals
- Plays
- Baseball games

Except for baseball--and this year, I saw 14 Cubs and Sox games, including one between the two--these correspond with my Best of 2017 lists, which is what the hyperlinks above connect to.

But each year I also try to mix in jazz, blues and classical concerts, operas, stand up comedians, improv, ballets, other dance performances, Cirque du Soleil and/or whatever else catches my attention and fancy.

I probably didn't get to as much "other" entertainment as I should have in 2017, with no classical musical performances and almost no jazz. I did see, again, the great bluesman Buddy Guy, but included that among my rock concert rankings.

But some of what I saw was fantastic enough to justify this category and relatively brief post, including my #1 pick, which despite a Special Mention in the Rock Concert post and reference in Best Musicals, didn't really belong in either.

Choices #2, 3 & 4 were also among the best shows I saw, of any type.

Aside from the performances, with the Top 11 below being about all I saw in 2017, I'll also cite some quality events that weren't really entertainment, but quite worthwhile nonetheless.

My Favorite "Other" Live Performances (beyond rock concerts, musicals & plays)
(Date listed is the date seen, even if among a long run)

1. Springsteen on Broadway - Walter Kerr Theatre, New York - December 9 (my review)

2. Savion Glover's All FuNKD' Up (tap dance) - McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL - November 26 (my review)

3. The Nutcracker - Joffrey Ballet - Auditorium Theatre, Chicago - December 1 (my review)

4. Reginald Robinson (jazz/ragtime pianist) - SPACE, Evanston, IL - December 20 (my review)

5. The Invention of Morel (opera) - Chicago Opera Theater - Studebaker Theatre, Chicago - February 26 (my review 

6. The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular - Radio City Music Hall, New York - December 9

7. Julianne and Derek Hough - MOVE Beyond (modern dance) - Chicago Theatre - April 22

8. Dream Freaks Fall From Space (sketch comedy revue) - Second City, Chicago - November 2 (my review) 

9. Charlie Parker's Yardbird (opera) - Lyric Opera at Harris Theater, Chicago - March 24 (my review) 

10. The Nutcracker - Salt Creek Ballet - North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skokie - December 16

11. WWE Raw (professional wrestling) - Allstate Arena, Rosemont - March 6 (my recap & photos)

Non-Entertainment Events
(In chronological order; not ranked.
Doesn't include all baseball games attended.)

- Interfaith Protest Rally & March Against the Muslim Ban - Muslim Community Center, Morton Grove - January 28 (my recap & photos)

- Mike Huff - presentation by former major league baseball player - Wilmette Historical Museum - February 12 (mentioned in this piece)

- Muslims on Stage & Screen panel discussion - Muslim Community Center, Morton Grove - February 12

- Colson Whitehead - author presentation about The Underground Railroad - Evanston High School - February 27 (my recap) 

- Algren: The Movie panel discussion and Albany Park Tour by Chicago for Chicagoans - (my recap)
March 5

- Chicago Blackhawks vs. Vancouver Canucks - United Center, Chicago - March 21

- Democratic Party of DuPage County Annual Gala w/ Keith Ellison, Keynote Speaker - April 23 

- David Ross Book Signing - Barnes & Noble Old Orchard, Skokie - June 1 

- Mark Buehrle Jersey Number Retirement Ceremony - Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago - June 24 (my recap & photos)

- Sameer Banerjee / Gate 1 Travel - Guided tour of Delhi, Jaipur, Abhaneri & Agra, India - August 8-14 (photo gallery)

- Six Word Memoirs - Fresh Off the Boat Book Release Party - Ikram, Chicago - September 7 (my recap)

- Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers - NLCS Game 4 - Wrigley Field, Chicago - October 18 (my recap & photos)

- Jonathan Eig - author presentation on Ali: A Life - Bookends & Beginnings, Evanston - November 7 (my recap)

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