Rahm Emanuel: ‘Frankenstein’ at Joffrey Ballet shows Chicago’s dedication to the arts

By Chicago 7 Min Read

On Oct. 22 while in town for a quick visit, I attended the final performance of the Joffrey Ballet’s production of “Frankenstein” at the Lyric Opera House. As someone who loves ballet and has been to many performances over the years — from classical to modern dance — this was one of the best shows I have seen in years.

From the technique to choreography to staging to lighting, the performance demonstrated excellent preparation and dedication to craft. If you missed it, I am sorry to say you really missed out — no sugarcoating it. It was that good and that memorable. I feel fortunate to have caught the final show.

As an example of this show’s aesthetic staying power, I have been to a number of final shows and went backstage to congratulate the dancers. Usually, the dancers were smiling and joyful to be done. Sunday, some dancers were crying. Tears of joy, some tears of sadness to be over and others tears of emotional exhaustion. It was a sight to witness and absorb the meaning.

As pillars of the Chicago performing arts community, the partnership between the Joffrey and the Lyric Opera House has blossomed into something truly inspiring for our city. It has surpassed my hopes when we announced the Lyric Opera House as the new home for the Joffrey Ballet. 

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The experience compels me to share this inspiration to define what makes Chicago different: it’s a knee-jerk commitment and dedication to the arts. The arts community is woven deeply into our city’s cultural fabric, contributing to the vibrancy and livability of our hometown. Sometimes, we take this point for granted, and we shouldn’t. The Joffrey embraces this, using their power to wield the human spirit into a profound artistic experience. 

It’s incumbent upon all of us to acknowledge the invaluable contribution the arts play in the tapestry of our lives: socially, economically and emotionally. It is a blessing for Chicago to have had “Frankenstein” at the Joffrey Ballet, and it is a blessing to have the Joffrey Ballet call Chicago home.

Rahm Emanuel, U.S. ambassador to Japan and former Chicago mayor

  • Joffrey Ballet tells ‘Frankenstein’ story with menace and beauty

Nursing homes take ‘miserly approach’

Thank you to Robert Herguth for writing the article “Nursing home industry gives big to Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, who goes to bat for it on bid for tax breaks.” 

I find for-profit owners to be less than admirable; many are multimillionaires who trim expenses. Their miserly approach to management negatively impacts the care given to nursing home residents.

Now they want a tax break!? Oh, please! Speak to the staff who are frustrated by working in these homes. U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky continues to scrutinize this industry.

As a nurse, I am sickened by these less-than-ethical owners. Please continue to shed light on this very troubling situation.

Amy M. Lewitz, Lincolnwood

We can’t become numb to mass shootings

It seems we are getting numb to mass shootings. In the past, it was front-page news, talked about for a while, and there would be efforts to try to prevent it from recurring. The Maine shooting was on Page 9. These are life-or-death events, and something still needs to be done. Every one of us should not forget it.

Tom DeDore, Garfield Ridge

Another mass shooting, still no action by Republicans

The following letter is one I submitted to the Sun-Times on March 28 (and it was published) after the mass shooting at a school in Nashville. With the most recent mass slaughter in Lewiston, Maine, I was able to copy and paste the exact same letter and resubmit it with very few revisions. Please see below.

“Here we go yet again. Oct. 25 was just another Wednesday in today’s America where 18 people were slaughtered, and countless others wounded in yet another mass shooting. The question is asked over and over again: Why do these mass shootings continue to occur in our schools and countless other venues?

We all know the answer to that question, and one is kidding themselves if they claim not to know. Spoiler alert: It’s guns. While it’s very easy to blame the deranged psychopaths who carry out these atrocities, the real blame should be aimed toward the spineless and gutless members of Congress (and various state legislatures) who continue to weaken existing gun laws and who actually go out of their way to make it easier for virtually anyone to own and carry a gun.

When I say spineless and gutless congressmen, I’m referring to the Republicans in office and a handful of Democrats who continue to kowtow to the NRA.

There have always been lunatics in this country determined to cause death and destruction. Why make it easier for them with the most lax gun control laws in the world? If one were to take it a step further, I would ask those who vote to elect, and reelect these pro-gun politicians, are you too not contributing to this epidemic of mass murder?

The next time one of these mass shootings takes place, save your thoughts and prayers and instead vote these cowards out of office. To do otherwise would be to accept these atrocities as just another day in the good old USA. If we do not purge ourselves of these politicians, when this happens again you may not have squeezed the trigger but you will have blood on your hands.”

I hope I do not need to copy and paste the same letter in the near future, but I have my doubts.

Tom Scorby, St. Charles

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