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The CSO’s Lincoln Quartet composed of violinists Qing and Lei Hou, Lawrence Neuman on the viola and cellist Kenneth Olsen perform in a virtual recital in August. (Clay Baker / Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

For now, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will be focused on intimate, virtual experiences for its fall 2020 season, which includes the launch of a new digital series of performances. 

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Cara Marie Gary in “The Nutcracker.” (Photo by Cheryl Mann)

This fall was to mark the Joffrey’s first season in its new home on the Lyric Opera stage after many years of residence at the Auditorium Theatre.

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Dance for Life (Photo by Todd Rosenberg)

Dancers, perhaps more than any other group of performing artists, have been hit hardest, both artistically and financially, by the fallout from the coronavirus. So this year’s Dance for Life 2020 event will feature a new virtual format.

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(Courtesy of Writers Theatre)

How do you design a pandemic-era theater season? The Glencoe-based theater has devised a multifaceted plan that combines a degree of certainty with the option of built-in flexibility, with the ultimate goal of keeping live theater alive.

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A promotional image for “Il Postino (The Postman).” (Credit: Joe Mazza)

Amid all the dire warnings that live performances might not start up again until 2021, the news that the richly creative company plans to begin its three-production season in November comes as an enormous spirit-raiser.

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(Courtesy of Goodman Theatre)

With all the uncertainty facing theaters and their audiences, the Goodman Theatre is postponing the four productions remaining in its current spring and summer 2020 season, and will announce additional shows for the coming season at a later date.

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Music director Carlos Kalmar leads the Grant Park Orchestra in 2019. (Courtesy of the Grant Park Music Festival)

The news is increasing familiar, yet heartbreaking. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, yet another much-beloved live music series is being silenced this summer. 

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(Courtesy of Ravinia Festival)

The decision to cancel the season was made with the “health and safety of the festival’s artists, staff and neighbors,” in mind, Ravinia’s President and CEO Welz Kauffman said in a statement.

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David Goodloe, center, with Lewon Johns, back left, and Michael Turrentine in Griffin Theatre Company’s Midwest premiere of “Mlima’s Tale.” (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

With 10 nominations, Griffin Theatre led the pack on a list that serves as a vivid reminder of the exuberance of pre-pandemic times on Chicago stages. But it suggests what has been lost, too.

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Dan Burton in “42nd Street.” (Credit: Théâtre du Châtelet / Marie-Noëlle Robert)

Lyric’s canceled productions of “42nd Street” and “Blue” are now slated to run in 2022 and 2021, respectively. Meanwhile, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is partnering with WFMT on a series beginning next week.

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Courtney Rikki Green, left, Tamara Rozofsky, center, and MacGregor Arney in “Teenage Dick,” at Theater Wit. (Photo credit: Charles Osgood)

Because Chicago is the storefront theater capital of this country, it’s worth looking at the situation now facing some of these small companies and how they are trying to deal with the global pandemic.

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Ensemble member Christine Mary Dunford in “Her Honor Jane Byrne.” (Photo by Liz Lauren)

Lookingglass Theatre’s dazzlingly performed world premiere production is a theatrical and sociological gem of a work that should catapult its writer-director, ensemble member J. Nicole Brooks, to genuine fame.

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Judith Jamison’s “Divining.” (Photo by Nan Melville)

Chicago’s dance card is full to bursting. And one of the city’s most beloved “visitors” – the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – is now drawing its usual huge crowds to the Auditorium Theatre.

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Lauren Demerath in TUTA Theatre’s world premiere adaptation of “Hedda Gabler: A Play with Live Music.” (Photo by Austin D. Oie)

When it comes to revivals of Henrik Ibsen’s plays in this era of neo-feminism, “A Doll’s House” attracts the most attention. But it is the title character in “Hedda Gabler” who takes the cake. And in this new production, she has never been more compelling and convincing.

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Pianist Daniil Trifonov (Credit: Dario Acosta)

Many of the concerts at Symphony Center are one-time-only events for which Orchestra Hall’s 2,500 seats are nearly sold out. But attention must be paid to the hours of remarkable music-making brought to the stage. Here are a few recent cases in point.

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Robert Dubac in “The Book of Moron.” (Courtesy of Broadway in Chicago)

In 90 uninterrupted minutes of altogether irresistible satire, Robert Dubac – an actor, writer, comedian and grand master of sleight-of-hand (and mind) – ingeniously nails the current regrettable state of the nation and the world at large.

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