A Dose of Class: Cultural Touchstones in The Loop

  |     |   Neighborhood Guide

There are few things better than getting dressed in your best and doing something just a little fancy. As a city brimming with class and sophistication, Chicago has a plethora of options to indulge in the high arts.

Break out your tux or formal gown, and prepare yourself for a night you won't soon forget. Here are 4 ways you can get your fill of culture.

Art Institute of Chicago

One of Chicago's most popular destinations, the Art Institute is home to some of the most famous works of art in the world. From Vincent Van Gogh to Georgia O'Keefe, and from ancient Chinese pottery to Andy Warhol prints, there is something here for every art lover. The Institute features many classics, such as Seurat's masterpiece A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jattewhich have called the museum home for years. They also offer a rotating trove of visiting collections from artists like Picasso and Auguste Rodin, sculptor of The Thinker. be sure to visit the Thorne Miniature Rooms on the lower level. This collection features more than 65 full decorated miniature room with meticulously crafted furniture and decorations on a tiny scale.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Just across the street from the Art Institute is the home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Orchestra found its beginnings in 1890, and since then have been performing the works of the greatest composers of all time. The repertoire runs the gamut from Bach to John Williams. One night you could revel in Mozart's haunting Requiem, and the next night see Star Wars: A New hope with full live orchestra accompaniment. If live classical music is a new experience for you, it can be helpful to close your eyes and imagine a Tom and Jerry or Bugs Bunny cartoon happening in time to the music.

Goodman Theatre

Founded in 1925, the Goodman Theatre has become one of the greatest regional theaters in the country, regularly producing works by amazing playwrights from Shakespeare to Eugene O'Neill to August Wilson. Their plays often showcase the business' finest actors and directors. If there is a premiere happening at the Goodman, you can bet the entire theater world has their eyes on it.

Chicago Opera Theater

Opera has long been seen as an art form that is largely inaccessible to the average person. Chicago Opera Theater aims to change that perception. They tend to shy away from more classic operas by composers like Mozart and Puccini and produce more contemporary stories like Moby Dick. They focus on bringing in newcomers to the opera world, and provide a supportive environment for up and coming opera composers.

It is easy to find options for a classy night out in this beautiful city. Take in one of these great experiences and maybe discover a new passion. Who knows? Maybe exploring the art scene will change your life!

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