Michigan Avenue by MODERN LUXURY

2014 - Issue 8 - December/January

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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"Building an ensemBle and sticking around for 20 years is incredible," exults Jeff Christian, an ensemble member of the irish Theatre of Chicago (formerly seanachaí Theatre Company) since 2003. now, Christian kicks off the Jeff award–winning company's 20th anniversary season by directing Conor mcPherson's Shining City. "This one isn't necessarily uproarious," Christian says of the play, which is set in a therapist's offce, "but there are defnitely moments of humor when you wouldn't expect them, which the irish tend to do well." November 26–January 4, The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., 866-811-4111; seanachai.org Holiday Headliner Crooner Sam Fazio kiCks off the season with a festive new album. He's an esteemed psychologist at the Alzheimer's Association by day, but recently, Sam Fazio is generating even more buzz with his evening gig as a jazz crooner. On December 1, Fazio celebrates the release of his third album, Swingin' Through the Holidays, which he'll perform live at Rogers Park's Mayne Stage on December 14. With two collections of standards (The Songs We Love, I Wish You Love) under his belt, the DePaul University School of Music graduate—who has a weekend resi- dency at the Hilton Chicago—was eager to put his stamp on Swingin' Through the Holidays' roster of familiar tracks. "Everybody knows holiday songs," says Fazio. "What was challenging was finding a fresh way of doing them…. Staying classic, but then having a fresh little twist." Alongside more traditional carols, the album ties in unexpected tunes (think Dean Martin's "Christmas Blues" and Elvis Presley's "Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me") and complex arrangements, like the New Orleans – style jazz take on "Jingle Bells." Says Fazio, "I think it's something that is going to live for a long time." December 14, 7 pm, Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse Ave., 773-381- 4554; samfaziomusic.com MA TwenTy-TwenTy profile must-see moving pictures Can austerity and whimsy coexist? Artist Mathias Poledna believes as much, as expressed in the new animation-filled exhibit of his work at the University of Chicago's Renaissance Society. "He investigates and learns new techniques him self, which is fascinating, and [in doing so] he gets new knowledge for each work," says Renaissance Society director Solveig Øvstebø of the LA–based film artist, who blends 1930s-style cartoons with post-punk influences to tackle social, political, and cultural elements. "He's an artist [who] is very aware of his context." December 7– February 8, 5811 S. Ellis Ave., 773-702-8670; renaissancesociety.org Mathias Poledna's subversive animations come to the Renaissance Society in December. high performance ChiCago's Cultured set knows that shaking off the cold is as easy as checking out an indoor spectacle, and three upcoming productions will give audiences both an eyeful and an earful. First, on december 20 and 21, Taiko Legacy 11 brings Japanese taiko drumming to the stage at the Museum of Contemporary art (220 E. Chicago Ave., 312-280-2660; mcachicago.org). anne washburn's critically lauded homage to The Simpsons— Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play—imagines how the cult animated series lives on in a postapocalyptic world; the dark comedy makes its Midwest debut at theater wit (January 8–March 1, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., 773-975- 8150; theaterwit.org). and the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival returns for its 14th year with 150 troupes, 170 shows, and 1,000 comics performing at stage 773 (January 8–18, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., 773-327-5252; chicagosketchfest.com). Warming Up culture collision clockwise from top: Comedy groups Off Off Broadway, Siblings of Doctors, and Jody will perform at the 2015 Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival. 64 MiChiganaveMag.CoM culTure Spotlight

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