Head downtown for a dose of cultural enrichment with Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of Emma. Artistic Director Barbara Gaines stages an enchanting musical adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel. This lush period production features one of literature’s most fiercely independent heroines—privileged, pampered, and preoccupied with romance, Emma Woodhouse—played by Lora Lee Gayer, who has appeared on Broadway as Linda Mason in the acclaimed 2016 revival of Holiday Inn, the New Irving Berlin Musical. Brad Standley takes on the role of Mr. Knightley, a well-mannered voice of reason that tempers Emma’s impulsive nature. Standley comes to Chicago fresh off the National Tour of Waitress. Two-time Jeff Award-winner Roberta Duchak returns to Chicago Shakespeare as Music Director of Emma—with book, music, and lyrics by Tony Award-nominated composer Paul Gordon, whose world premiere production of Sense and Sensibility captivated Chicago Shakespeare audiences in 2015. Emma runs through March 15 in Chicago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theater. Single tickets start at $49. For more information, visit chicagoshakes.com.
In the words of Nelson Mandela, “History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children.” Barrington-based Let It Be Us lives this mantra every day. The nonprofit is dedicated to changing the landscape of foster care and adoption in Illinois. Back by popular demand, its second annual fundraiser event, “Be Mine,” chaired by Ann Liston of A|L Media and Peter Schwarzbach of Vin Chicago, will take place starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 28 at the Tortoise Club in Chicago. Help celebrate and support the children Let It Be Us serves with an evening that will feature craft cocktails, supper club food, a live auction and “Buy a Heart” jewelry raffle, and live jazz pianist. What better way to show your support of children? Tickets are $165. For more information, visit letitbeus.org.
Congratulations to Barrington Hills resident Richard J. Stephenson, who was recently awarded the 2019 Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifetime of achievement and service to numerous institutions, organizations, and communities. The award, given by the Austrian Economics Center (AEC), is the preeminent research institute‘s highest honor. Stephenson was recognized for his contributions to the field of cancer treatment and care, both as the founder and chairman of Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) and Gateway for Cancer Research, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding early phase clinical trials. Terry Anker, member of The Friends of the AEC board, closed the tribute to Mr. Stephenson noting that his “leadership of a remarkable revolution in healthcare, attentive generosity, and inspirational spirit as an entrepreneur stands as a brilliant reminder of the immutable truth of free-market innovation and thoughtful compassion.” For more information, visit gatewaycr.org and austriancenter.com.