Center Stage

The Comedy of Errors
September 16–October 17. Court Theatre, 773.753.4472. Director Sean Graney continues to stage classic works of farce—following 2007’s What the Butler Saw and 2009’s The Mystery of Irma Vep—with Shakespeare’s comedy about two sets of twins separated at birth.

Visible Speech: The Origins of Writing in the Ancient Middle East
September 28, 2010–March 6, 2011. Oriental Institute, 773.702.9520. Curated by Oriental Institute Sumerologist Christopher Woods, “Visible Speech” is the first U.S. exhibition on writing’s origins in 25 years. It shows new research on four civilizations that seem to have developed languages independently, with no previous exposure to writing: Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and Mesoamerica.

Echoes of the Past:
The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan

September 30, 2010–January 16, 2011. Smart Museum of Art, 773.702.0200. A group of man-made caverns adorned with sculptures, the cave temples of Xiangtangshan (“Mountain of Echoing Halls”) were damaged by early 20th-century looters who sold pieces on the international art market. Based on six years of research and reconstruction by UChicago archaeologists, art historians, and collaborators from other institutions, this exhibit pairs the ornate sixth-century Buddhist sculptures with digital scans and 3-D imaging.

Rebecca Warren
October 3–December 12. Renaissance Society, 773.702.8670. Rebecca Warren, a British sculptor best known for her stark, elemental, clay figures of women, showcases new work in this solo show, her first in an American museum. Three of Warren’s bronze sculptures of abstract human forms also will be installed on a terrace above the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing.

Shakespeare Goes to the Opera Symposium
October 17. 2 p.m. Thorne Auditorium, 312.332.2244. Chicago Shakespeare scholar David Bevington joins a panel of opera directors and singers, including Chicago Shakespeare Theatre director Barbara Gaines, to discuss why the Bard’s plays inspire great opera. Classical-music critic Wynne Delacoma and Chicago Public Radio’s Steve Edwards moderate.

Humanities Day
October 23. Multiple locations, 773.702.7423. The Division of the Humanities hosts its annual day of lectures, discussions, tours, and performances in a celebration of Chicago scholarship. Martha Feldman, chair of the music department, gives the keynote address, “Castrato De Luxe: Bloods, Gifts, and Goods in the Making of Early Modern Singing Stars.” Other faculty speakers include Germanic-studies professor David Wellbery and comparative-literature professor Françoise Meltzer.

University of Chicago Presents: Fretwork
October 29. 7:30 p.m. Mandel Hall, 773.702.8068. Similar to the violin and popular during the Renaissance, the viol has experienced its own renaissance in recent years, with viol consorts such as Fretwork touring worldwide. The six-member ensemble plays “Birds on Fire: Jewish Music for Viols,” the work of composers from two Italian Jewish families in the 16th and 17th centuries.


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