Celebrate Chinese culture with The White Snake and the Chinese Fine Arts Society

| May 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

The White SnakeMay is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, a federal program to pay tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success. Most people think of Chicago’s Asian culture as being centered in either Chinatown, on Argyle Street, or at KoreaTown, depending upon which side of Chicago you call home. Two of Chicago’s wonderful cultural organizations have family programs planned to help your family learn more about Asian heritage in May and throughout the year.

The Goodman Theatre production is described as “An ancient love story with a modern feel. Tony Award-winner Mary Zimmerman’s new stage adaptation of a nearly 2,000 year-old Chinese fable that has been reimagined throughout the centuries. Young (ages 10+) and seasoned audiences alike can enjoy the charming tale of girl meets boy and falls head-over-heels in love. The trouble is, the girl is a white serpent from the spirit world who must join the human world in order to attain her heart’s desire—a sincere and simple young man. A vengeful monk, appalled by what he perceives as an immoral interspecies relationship, then intends to thwart her pursuit. Can love prevail?”

This show uses “puppets, singing, live music, elaborate choreography…even the darkest evil is brightly beautiful in The White Snake” (New York Times). In TimeOut Chicago’s review, Kris Vire gave the show 4 out of 5 stars, saying, “Zimmerman’s White Snake is ultimately both moving and engaging in its inventive but not overwhelming visual and conceptual devices.” Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun Times, opened her review with “If you were a child, you would surely beg director Mary Zimmerman to tell you a bedtime story every night of the year, because her interpretations are so filled with whimsy and color, music and motion, goofy humor and surprises.” She also highly recommended the 140 minute show.

The White Snake runs through June 8 in the Albert Theatre. Tickets can be purchased by telephone at 312.443.3800 or at http://www.goodmantheatre.org/Tickets/.

The Chinese Fine Arts Society describes itself as “the leading champion of Chinese arts and culture in Chicago – from traditional to contemporary. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Chinese Fine Arts Society. In honor of such an occasion, the Chinese Fine Arts Society presents the Five Elements Project. The five elements: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth are used in Chinese philosophy, art, and science to describe natural phenomena. The Chinese Fine Arts Society’s Five Elements Project is a yearlong celebration of concerts, lectures, and events inspired by these elements. This ancient concept provides a rich platform to broaden knowledge of Chinese culture and pave the way for further exploration of our 5000 year old artistic heritage.”

The next two concerts are Five Elements Project: Fire and Metal, August 10th at 6:30 pm Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, and Five Elements Project: Season Finale, November 14th at 7:30 pm, Nichols Concert Hall at the Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston.

 

Shari writes about life with twins at Two Times the Fun. Image courtesy of The Goodman Theatre.

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Category: Shari's Corner

About Shari: Shari is a mom, wife, marketing communications professional, gardener, Chicago Blackhawks fan, college sports fan, traveler, quilter, community volunteer, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Siberian Husky owner, Girl Scout troop leader and book lover. You can find Shari blogging about life with twins at Two Times the Fun and tweeting @slcs48n1. View author profile.

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