The new year is now settled in and as we all deal as we can with our resolutions and try to figure out exactly what kind of jacket works best in freezing rain conditions, the city just keeps moving. While new commercial building projects pop up across the city with seeming abandon, some community organizers celebrated a new children's theater in the West Loop. Meanwhile, yet another rising act announced a headlining tour, some fellow artists debuted a new film project and plenty more is all available, bite-size for you below.
Saba Announces Headlining 'Bucket List' Tour
2016 was a big year for Saba and this week our December cover story subject looked to follow up similarlyin the new year, by announcing his first headlining tour. The 'Bucket List Tour' kicks off in Seattle on March 3 and carries fourteen dates that will see the west side native hop north of the border for some shows in Canada before wrapping things up just north of home in Milwaukee on April 4.
The tour is an obvious step forward for Saba, who solidifed his standing amongst Chicago's growing scene with the uber-talented Bucket List Project that, two years in the making, was a long-anticipated follow-up to 2014's ComfortZone . With a few national TV spots alongside Chance The Rapper under his belt and plenty of time performing live already logged, the young man appears perfectly suited for the next leg of his career. Catch him in your town by picking up tickets here.
The Cool Kids Debut New Show
After being hot and cold over the course of the last few years, it seems as though The Cool Kids are really getting to work as of late. In the wake of several shows that saw the pair reunite onstage throughout the end of 2016, Sir Michael Rocks and Chuck Inglish are apparently looking to diversify and unveiled a new digital short that they plan to roll out in the new year.
The comedy series, reportedly titled The Shit Show, is slated to hit the internet and assorted airwaves sometime in the near future, with local director Jimmy Regular handling the camera and editing duties. The show announcement follows on the heels of the duo's admission of a new project in the works, Special Grand Master Deluxe.
Former West Loop Police Station Now Children's Theater
In a sort of poetic evolution for an ages-old structure, a former police station in the West Loop was re-opened as a children's theater this week in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new location of "The Station," the Chicago Children's Theater's new home at 100 S. Racine Ave.
Set amongst the fast-gentrifying West Loop developments, the theater is a win for the community that sees a symbol of imprisonment renewed as an incubator for young creativity. DNAInfo, who reported on the story, spoke to Frank Maugeri, community programs artistic director at Chicago Children's Theatre, who shared the sentiment.
"I almost immediately thought, 'I'm in,' mostly because that message is absolutely undeniable," Maugeri said. "To take a place that was once about literally imprisoning ideas and expression and turning it into the exact opposite is such a powerful statement for young children."
According to DNAInfo, the site includes: "five classrooms, a dedicated, year-round space for Red Kite interactive theater for students with autism, a lobby with box office and concessions, the flexible, 149-seat Pritzker Family Studio Theatre and support space in the building.
The Pritzker theater was built in an old cell block and the "Red Kite" theater was built in the judge's former chambers in the old police station. An old shooting range in the former police station now houses Chicago Children's Theatre costumes and props."
There are additional plans for a 299-seat mainstage theater as well, which is slated for 2021.
Meyer's Ace Hardware Closing Endangers Jazz History
In one of the more peculiar and interesting stories this week, an Ace Hardware in Douglass Park is facing closure, which has far-reaching consequences for a sub-section of the city's musical history. While on it's face, Meyer's Ace Hardware at 315 W. 35th St. appears to be like any other aging storefront in the near south side neighborhood. The stories it's walls have seen however, hold gems from a previous generation of talented musicians to roll through the city.
Prior to life as a tool shop, the location was known as Sunset Café and later the Grand Terrace, both well-recognized jazz clubs that played host to the likes of Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald and others. Today, business is so bad that owner Dave Meyers, who's family has owned the location for 95 years, has had no choice but to sell, leaving much of the history within it's walls in question.
Check out the full piece over at DNAInfo.