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The Theatre Also Launches New Tagline
“The Theatre for the People”

CHICAGO, IL – The Auditorium Theatre announces its 2017-18 Season under new Chief Executive Officer, Tania Castroverde Moskalenko, and its new tagline, “The Theatre for the People.”

“I am so pleased to announce the Auditorium Theatre’s 2017-18 Season, which will bring exciting new companies, as well as some familiar favorites, to our historic stage,” says Castroverde Moskalenko.

The new tagline, “The Theatre for the People,” is inspired by the vision of the theatre’s founders Dankmar Adler, Ferdinand Peck, and Louis Sullivan, who aimed to make the theatre a place where all Chicagoans could experience the performing arts. The 2017-18 programming reflects this mission, highlighting excellence at the international, national, and local levels.

“This diverse blend of programming shows that we truly are ‘The Theatre for the People,’ and will solidify the Auditorium Theatre’s place in the hearts and minds of all Chicagoans,” Castroverde Moskalenko continued. “Our 2017-18 Season offers something for performing arts enthusiasts, theatre newcomers, and everyone in between.”

Making its Chicago debut this season as part of the International Dance Series is Shen Wei Dance Arts, giving Chicago premieres to Artistic Director Shen Wei’s Folding and Rite of Spring. The revered Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo presents its take on The Sleeping Beauty with Artistic Director Jean-Christophe Maillot’s haunting ballet La Belle. Also featured in the International Dance Series is Ballet Nacional de Cuba, returning to the Auditorium with a production of Don Quixote, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, making its annual visit to the city.

Opera star Kathleen Battle performs at the theatre for the first time as part of the American Music Series, with the program Underground Railroad – A Spiritual Journey. The American Music Series also includes a celebration of Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald in honor of their birth centennials in 2017 and the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Weekend presentation of Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah.

The “Made in Chicago” Dance Series features Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, bringing two nights of works by Alejandro Cerrudo, as well as the return of Giordano Dance Chicago and Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Auditorium Theatre’s re-opening in 1967 (following a 26-year closure), the theatre will host A Golden Celebration of Dance, a mixed repertory program that will feature some of the best and brightest dancers on the scene today. Edward Villella, who danced with the New York City Ballet at the theatre’s re-opening in 1967 and who will be in attendance for the celebration, will serve as Honorary Chair of the Auditorium Theatre’s Annual Gala, which takes place immediately following the performance.

In addition, the Auditorium Theatre offers The People’s Choice, which includes a presentation with WTTW/Chicago PBS from acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns on his new documentary The Vietnam War; a conversation with US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; and an evening with essayist David Sedaris.

The theatre offers a Student Matinee Series to K-12 students throughout its 2017-18 Season. This year, there will be special hour-long performances of Ensemble Español, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah open to students throughout the Chicagoland area. Tickets are $10-$12. For more information on student matinees, call 312.341.2357 or email [email protected].

Subscription packages and tickets for groups of 10 or more are on sale now. Individual tickets for shows go on sale later this year.

The Auditorium Theatre’s 2017-18 Season


International Dance Series

Shen Wei Dance Arts
Saturday, September 23, 2017 | 7:30PM
Sunday, September 24, 2017 | 2PM

Celebrated for its “gorgeous visual imagery” (The London Times) and “mesmerizing flow of invention” (The Boston Globe), Shen Wei Dance Arts makes its Chicago debut with two masterpieces by MacArthur “Genius” Award-winning choreographer and visual artist, Shen Wei. Folding conjures up a dreamlike world at once ancient and timeless that draws “gasps of wonder and contemplation” from the audience (San Francisco Chronicle).  The groundbreaking Rite of Spring, set to Stravinsky’s famed score, brings the fresh eye of the outsider to this well-known music. Shen jettisons all narrative, responding instead with a highly charged abstraction.  “The visual and emotional impact is overwhelming,” says The New York Times of Shen’s work.

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo – La Belle
Saturday, March 3, 2018 | 7:30PM
Sunday, March 4, 2018 | 2PM

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, the premier dance company of Monaco that is known for its elegant, classical style, comes to the Auditorium Theatre with La Belle, a dark and beautiful reinterpretation of Marius Petipa’s classic ballet The Sleeping Beauty. Artistic Director and award-winning choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot has created an enthralling version of the original fairy tale, returning to the story’s roots in a production lauded as “absolutely sublime” by Dance Magazine.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 | 7:30PM
Thursday, March 8, 2018 | 7:30PM
Friday, March 9, 2018 | 11AM – One hour student matinee performance
Friday, March 9, 2018 | 7:30PM
Saturday, March 10, 2018 | 2PM
Saturday, March 10, 2018 | 8PM
Sunday, March 11, 2018 | 3PM

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater brings six breathtaking performances (in addition to an hour-long student matinee) to the Auditorium Theatre, which has been the company’s Chicago home for nearly half a century. Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, Ailey “has created a unique and enduring bond with its audiences” (Chicago Sun-Times) that it strengthens every year with relevant, inspiring new works. Each performance closes with Alvin Ailey’s signature work Revelations, the most widely-seen modern dance work in the world that has been called a “masterpiece” by The New York Times.

Ballet Nacional de Cuba – Don Quixote
Friday, May 18, 2018 | 7:30PM
Saturday, May 19, 2018 | 7:30PM
Sunday, May 20, 2018 | 3PM

Ballet Nacional de Cuba brings its acclaimed version of Don Quixote to the Auditorium Theatre stage when it returns to Chicago for the first time in 15 years. Heralded as a production that will make you “fall in love with ballet all over again” by The Washington Post and “unforgettable” by the Los Angeles Times, the company’s Don Quixote puts its own unique spin on the classic story ballet, loosely based off of the novel by Miguel de Cervantes and reimagined by company director Alicia Alonso. “Those looking for passion, Latin or otherwise, will find it,” says The New York Times.

American Music Series

Kathleen Battle – Underground Railroad – A Spiritual Journey
Saturday, September 30, 2017 | 7:30PM

Legendary soprano Kathleen Battle makes her Auditorium Theatre debut with a powerful program of songs inspired by the Underground Railroad, the secret network that helped bring 19th-century slaves to freedom. The five-time Grammy winner and opera star brings “remarkable freshness and beauty” (The New York Times) to this performance of classic spirituals and traditional pieces, including “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” “Wade in the Water,” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Battle’s voice has been hailed as one of the “most beautiful in the world” by The Washington Post and “an agile, glimmering lyric soprano” by NPR.

Ella & Lena – The Ladies and Their Music
Friday, November 17, 2017 | 7:30PM

Popular Chicago vocalist Joan Curto, called “a seasoned interpreter who makes every note count” by the Chicago Tribune, celebrates the legacies and centennial birthdays of two vocal icons: Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne. Directed by Curto and featuring Chicago favorites E. Faye Butler and Tammy McCann with Paul Marinaro, Sophie Grimm, Beckie Menzie, and Tom Michael, the show will include many of the songs that each woman truly made her own: “A-Tisket, A-Tasket,” “Oh, Lady Be Good,” “Lullaby of Birdland,” “The Man I Love,” “Stormy Weather,” and many more. This big-band celebration will be conducted by Rich Daniels — who has performed with the likes of Smokey Robinson and Dionne Warwick — and his City Lights Orchestra.

Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah
Friday, January 12, 2018 | 11AM – One hour student matinee performance
Saturday, January 13, 2018 | 7:30PM
Sunday, January 14, 2018 | 3PM

Celebrate the transformative power of music at the Auditorium Theatre with Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah, taking place for the 13th consecutive year over Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend. Too Hot, inspired by Dr. King’s message of “Beloved Community,” brings Chicagoans together to witness “a contagiously joyous jazz, gospel, and blues treatment of George Frideric Handel’s famous 18th-century oratorio” (Chicago Reader). Clap along with acclaimed soloists Rodrick Dixon, Alfreda Burke, and Karen Marie Richardson, joined by a choir of over 100 members, an ensemble orchestra, and a world-class jazz combo in what the Chicago Tribune calls “an ebullient holiday tradition.”

“Made in Chicago” Dance Series

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater
Friday, October 6, 2017 | 11AM – One hour student matinee performance
Friday, October 6, 2017 | 7:30PM

“An ensemble of extraordinarily beautiful, passionate, superbly skilled dancers” (Chicago Sun-Times). Following their fiery 40th anniversary finale at the Auditorium Theatre and their triumphant performances in Spain in 2016, Ensemble Español returns to the Auditorium to open the 2017–18 “Made in Chicago” Dance Series with a new program that brilliantly blends flamenco, classical, contemporary, and traditional forms of dance. See the company the Chicago Tribune calls “exciting, sensual, and breathtaking.”

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Friday, March 23, 2018 | 7:30PM
Saturday, March 24, 2018 | 7:30PM

Hailed as “outstanding” and “virtuosic” by the Chicago Tribune, and “sublime” by the Chicago Sun-Times, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago brings innovative and unique dance to the Auditorium Theatre with two nights of works by Hubbard Street Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo. This unparalleled company, acclaimed for its exuberant and inventive repertoire that places it among the most original forces in contemporary dance, “deserves its world-class reputation” (The Boston Globe).

Giordano Dance Chicago
Saturday, June 9, 2018 | 7:30PM

Giordano Dance Chicago, America’s original jazz dance company, closes out its 55th season with its fourth full-evening appearance at the Auditorium Theatre. The company, led by Artistic Director Nan Giordano and called “jazz dance pioneer[s]” by Crain’s Chicago Business, delights audiences with its wide-ranging repertoire and engaging, fast-paced performances. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “[Giordano Dance Chicago] invariably brings high-octane energy to the stage.”

A Special Event

The 50th Anniversary of the Auditorium Theatre’s Re-Opening
Sunday, November 12, 2017 | 3PM

Fifty years ago this fall, a restored Auditorium Theatre re-opened its doors to the public following a 26-year closure. With the theatre returned to its original glory, opening night patrons were treated to an unforgettable performance by the New York City Ballet, starring Suzanne Farrell and Edward Villella. This historic night began an era of world-renowned dance that continues to this day. The Auditorium Theatre commemorates the golden anniversary of our grand re-opening with a one-night-only celebration of dance — featuring a mixed repertory program with some of the best and brightest dancers on the scene today.

Edward Villella, Honorary Chair

Join us for the Auditorium Theatre’s Annual Gala, which includes a ticket to the Golden Celebration of Dance performance, followed by the Gala Reception and Dinner at the Standard Club. This year, the Auditorium Theatre honors Sonia Florian of the NIB Foundation with the second annual Adler and Sullivan Award, recognizing her dedication to the arts and the Auditorium Theatre. When purchasing your subscription, please add the Gala Reception and Dinner. For more information on Gala sponsorships, tables, and tickets, please contact Kelly Saroff at 312.341.2364 or [email protected].

The People’s Choice

The Vietnam War – A Conversation with Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
Thursday, September 7, 2017 | 6:30PM

The Auditorium Theatre and WTTW/Chicago PBS invite you to spend an evening with Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award-winning PBS filmmaker Ken Burns, and his directing and producing partner Lynn Novick, as they preview their new ten-part documentary series The Vietnam War (premiering on WTTW in September). Burns and Novick discuss the project and highlight excerpts from the 18-hour masterpiece, which includes testimony from nearly 100 witnesses to the war; rare, digitally-restored archival footage and photographs; and a score from Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and musician/producer Atticus Ross (The Social Network). Burns’ previous long-form documentary works include Baseball, The Roosevelts, and The Civil War, which The New York Times said cemented his place as “the most accomplished documentary filmmaker of his generation.”

A Conversation with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Monday, September 11, 2017 | 7PM

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks in conversation with Judge Ann Claire Williams of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear Justice Ginsburg, who has served on the nation’s highest court since 1993, discuss her life and career. Justice Ginsburg was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2015 and is the best-selling author of My Own Words (2016).

David Sedaris
Wednesday, November 1, 2017 | 8PM

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America’s preeminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. Sedaris is the author of the collections of personal essays Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modern Bestiary, and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, all of which have become bestsellers. Sedaris’ pieces appear regularly in The New Yorker and have twice been included in The Best American Essays. Since 2011, he can be heard annually on a series of live recordings on BBC 4 Radio entitled Meet David Sedaris. David Sedaris’ new book is a collection of his diaries, entitled Theft By Finding Diaries (1977–2002).

About The Auditorium Theatre

The Auditorium Theatre, located at 50 E Congress Pkwy in Chicago, is an Illinois, not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community, and educational programming to Chicago, and to the continued restoration and preservation of the National Historic Landmark.

The Auditorium Theatre 2017-18 Season is made possible in part with support from the MacArthur Foundation and the Palmer House Hilton. For more information about programming, volunteer, and donor opportunities or theatre tours, call 312.341.2310 or visit For a complete listing of events at the Auditorium Theatre, please click here.

Shen Wei Dance Arts in Folding, photo by Zen Qiang. | Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in La Belle, photo by Alice Blangero. | Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Linda Celeste Sims and Yannick Lebrun, photo by Andrew Eccles. | Ballet Nacional de Cuba in Don Quixote, photo by Nancy Reyes. | Photo of Kathleen Battle. | Photo of Ella Fitzgerald. | Photo of Lena Horne. | Too Hot to Handel, photo by Paul Natkin. | Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater  in Bolero, photo by Joe Davis. | Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Jacqueline Burnett and Jeffery Duffy in Niebla, photo Todd Rosenburg. | Giordano Dance Chicago’s Natasha Overturff Denny and Joshua Blake Carter, photo by Gorman Cook Photography. | Ken Burns, photo by Justin Altman. | Lynn Novick, photo by Stephanie Berger. | Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, photo from the Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States. | David Sedaris, photo by Anne Fishbein. | Auditorium Theatre, photo by Arturo Gonzalez.
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