We’ve scoured the North Shore to find out what you’re into at the moment (check it out—some of the answers may surprise you!), and then we made our own list. Here are a few things Sheridan Road can’t live without…and neither should you.
By Kate Ancell and Evangeline Politis
Art: If there’s one voice who’s well-loved in British art criticism, it’s Peter Campbell’s. Having served not only as the art critic for the rightly esteemed London Review of Books for the past 10 years, but also as its in-house designer since its 1979 inception, one thing’s for sure…this is a guy who knows his stuff. His prose has been described as “thoughtful, jargon-free, and notably inquisitive about technique”—for all of which we’re grateful—and his fine design eye always includes the reader in the space of the exhibits he’s reviewing. Now Stateside art aficionados can check out the best of Campbell’s work in the just-released At…Writing, Mainly About Art, from the London Review of Books. Get yours now.
Design: Those who loved (okay, admit it—were obsessed with—) Bunny Williams’ great book An Affair with a House will be beyond thrilled to see that her latest tome, Bunny Williams’ Scrapbook for Living, details just those perfect touches for which the author and designer is best known. After all, anyone who provides her pets with sweetly simple Chinese fish bowls for their drinking water and can provide a straight-faced reason for doing so must know a thing or two about attention to detail. — KA
Naughty: Ever wondered what the Wicked Witch of the West’s backstory was? Or contemplated the creation of the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion? Or wished you hadn’t procrastinated about going to see the smash-hit musical Wicked the first time around? You’re in luck! The show about the best bad girl ever, Elphaba, is back in town at the Cadillac Palace Theatre from December 1 through January 23: run, don’t walk, to get the best seats in the place. For more information, or to book tickets, visit broadwayinchicago.com.
Nice: If it’s the holiday season in Chicago, it must be Nutcracker time! The Joffrey’s astounding annual production is back again to delight even the most non-ballet-loving family members with extraordinary choreography, eye-popping sets, and athletic-yet-graceful moves a’plenty. The opening party scene alone, with its classical dancing, is enough to get you in the holiday mood (not to mention the delightful second-act Kingdom of Sweets sequence.) And the tree really grows!
The Nutcracker is presented by the Joffrey Ballet from December 10–26 at The Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. For tickets and information, visit joffrey.com. — KA
Blogospherites might not know the name Tracey Cleantis (yet), but they very probably follow—at least occasionally—her hugely successful blog, labeletterouge.com, which has been named one of the top 15 blogs for Francophiles, and one of the top 15 memoir and psychology blogs (Cleantis is a Jungian psychotherapist and dream coach). And she’s currently working on a memoir about her life and time in therapy herself: Thursdays with Igor. Whew! All that aside, what we love about La Belette Rouge is her devotion to our very own North Shore—specifically, Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, where she lived very happily and where she currently longs to return. Her evocative musings about “home” not only have the power to make us nostalgic even in the present tense, but remind us to be properly grateful for what we have, each and every day. Come home soon, Tracey—we’ll meet you at Starbucks on Bank! labeletterouge.com — KA
Teaming up again with legendary producer T Bone Burnett on his new album, Elvis Costello still has the same musical chops he had in the “Pump It Up” era. Led by his iconic voice, National Ransom continues with the country and roots influences he explored on his album last year. He’s also releasing four songs on a pair of 78 rpm discs (an awesome holiday gift for that person who is still listening to "My Aim Is True" on vinyl). — EP