Thursday, July 10, 2008

One of my favorite things about Chicago - Ravinia

Last night, Alex and I went to our first Ravinia concert of the season.

Proof of our attendance

We saw the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Joshua Bell on the violin and Leonard Slatkin conducting. It was culture-rific! Every now and then we like to class things up a bit and get our symphony, art or opera on. And in addition to listening to the symphony we were able to enjoy a wonderful night outdoors.

For those who have never been, Ravinia is an outdoor music festival that runs May-September in the North Shore Suburbs of Chicago. It hosts mellow concerts (like Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, the Beach Boys, Tony Bennett and the BoDeans) and the Chicago Symphony all summer long. Like many outdoor music venues, it has a covered pavilion with just over 3000 seats. What makes it a little different from the others is Ravinia has a HUGE lawn.

A very small portion of the HUGE lawn at Ravinia

People come to Ravinia with chairs and tables and tablecloths and candelabras (!). Most of the lawn area doesn't have a view of the performers, but there are speakers throughout the park so everyone can hear. Of course you are free to walk around and get up close to the pavilion to get a better view, but laying under the stars, listening to lovely music is pretty wonderful in and of itself.

Alex and I were being treated by one of my company's law firms, so we classed it up to the extreme and ate a catered meal before the concert and watched the performance from seats in the pavilion. We'll try to go back again and enjoy the lawn before the season is over.

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