A variety of exhibitions and exhibitionists entertained Chicagoans with class acts and classic shows as this list of 2012’s top 10 area-events reveals.
10. For the first time since 2007 Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, North America’s longest-running dinner attraction, premiered a new show to the delight of Schaumburg audiences in March.
9. In December, Amanda Barker, Drew Moerlein and Michelle Vezilj earned big laughs with Jim Millan’s SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody at the Royal George Theatre.
8. Following the opening of City Winery Chicago in August, the Waco Brothers rocked the house with T.Rex tunes and a wine pairing in September.
7. Successfully striking a balance between comedy and drama, Phylicia Rashad directed Paul Oakley Stovall’s Immediate Family at Goodman’s Owen Bruner Theatre from June to August.
6. November welcomed the Chicago premiere of Moulin Rouge® –The Ballet, superbly performed by Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet at the Auditorium Theatre.
5. Navy Pier was the setting for exotic adventure this summer with Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon—featuring China's daredevil motorcycle troupe Imperial Thunder—on the Pepsi Skyline Stage and the Tall Ship Windy—a 148-foot four-masted schooner modeled after a traditional Great Lakes trading ship from Tall Ship Adventures of Chicago—on the water.
4. For one night only in August, the Music Box Theatre hosted a special surprise screening of Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master in 70mm. This nearly-secret premiere of the then unfinished film starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams benefitted The Film Foundation.
3. During the DTBS Just For Laughs Chicago Festival in June, Sarah Silverman’s Pro Choice Show took the stage at the Chicago Theatre. The lineup of comedians featured Hannibal Buress, Natasha Leggero, Kyle Dunnigan, Marc Maron, Reggie Watts, and Silverman herself, who proved she is the Queen of Comedy.
2. Also in June, the Queen of Country Loretta Lynn performed for three nights at the Drury Lane Theatre in Oak Brook. Opening for the legendary singer was The Lynns, Loretta’s twins Patsy and Peggy. But even they, like today’s other country stars, can’t hold a candle to the one and only Coal Miner’s Daughter.
1. With more than 160 works, the Art Institute of Chicago’s unparalleled and unprecedented Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective marked the first of only two American stops. Boasting works as fresh and revolutionary as they were 50 years ago, the exhibition that ran from May to September was the must-see show of the year!