Navy Pier to host free Chicago Live Again with performances from CSO, Lyric Opera

Event to be capped with fireworks show
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Navy Pier announced Tuesday that the Chicago performing arts community will come together for a special two-day event later this month.

Chicago Live Again will be a free event taking place over two days on two different stages at Navy Pier next weekend.

"We hope that Chicago Live Again reminds our community of how important performing arts has been to the vibrancy of the city," said Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner.

The lineup will be jam-packed with performances by more than 40 organizations, including Broadway in Chicago, Chicago Children's Choir, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Joffrey Ballet, Black Ensemble Theatre, Lyric Opera's Ryan Opera Center.

"We need the audience as the audience needs music from the musicians," said Esteban Batallan, the principal trumpeter for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Batallan said not being able to perform during the pandemic has been difficult.

"I think we were trying to survive as everybody did during this weird times," he said.

For 18 months, theaters have been dark and symphonies and opera houses have been silent. Live entertainment workers on stage and behind the scenes found themselves unemployed.

"Chicago Live Again is a celebration to bring back the creative sector as the backbone of our city's social, emotional and economic recovery," said Eileen LaCario, Broadway in Chicago.

There are also options for young people aspiring to have careers in the theater. Students can take part in free Public master classes offered by professionals.

"It's a really exciting opportunity for them," said Tina Boyer Brown, Chicago High School for the Arts.

Boyer Brown said this is a great chance for students to learn their craft.

"We have students from every ward in the city," she added.

The free event will take place on September 24-25 on two stages, the Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park and the East End Stage, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and from noon to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
There will also be a special fireworks display on September 25 at 9:45 p.m.

Guests will be required to show proof of a COVID vaccine or a negative test within 48 hours of the event.

ABC7 will air a 30-minute special hosted by Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini with highlights of the performances.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.