So you thought last year’s Police reunion, or a new U2 album, was nostalgic? Get ready for a fortieth-anniversary Woodstock “World’s Largest Lawn Party” at Ravinia with one of the most memorable of that legendary festival’s performers, Joe Cocker, minus the hair. A lawn party in 1969 would have had plenty of fondue and incense but Ravinia is providing more traditional fare such as hot dogs, cheeseburgers and a “selection of salads” from 5pm-7pm included in the admission price and a cash bar from 4pm-8pm. Of course, back in 1969, there were other things going on out on Ravinia’s lawn, but those involved aren’t talking because they can’t remember. Ironically, several acts that performed at Woodstock appeared at Ravinia in those years—some the very same summer and within days of appearing at Woodstock—but this represents Cocker’s long overdue Ravinia debut. Given the Woodstock theme, Cocker will be emphasizing his many hits that are most associated with that era. For reasons that are unclear, Wisconsin-based 1990s folk singer Willy Porter will open the show; was Joan Baez or Richie Havens not available? (Dennis Polkow)
June 28, Ravinia Festival, Lake-Cook & Green Bay, Highland Park, (837)266-5000, 7pm. $20-$50.
Dennis Polkow is an award-winning veteran journalist, critic, author, broadcaster and educator. He made his stage debut at age five, was a child art prodigy and began playing keyboards in clubs at the age of fourteen. He holds degrees in music theory, composition, religious studies and philosophy from DePaul University in Chicago. Polkow spent his early years performing and recording in rock and jazz bands while concertizing as a classical pianist, organist and harpsichordist and composing, arranging and producing for other artists. As a scholar, Polkow has published and lectured extensively and taught at several colleges and universities in various departments. As an actor, narrator and consultant, Polkow has been involved with numerous films, plays, broadcasts and documentaries. As a journalist, Polkow helped co-create the experiential Chicago Musicale and Spotlight, the award-winning tabloid arts and entertainment section of the Press Publications chain of newspapers, which he later edited. He also created and ran the nationally recognized journalism program at Oakton College and was faculty advisor to its award-winning student newspaper; many former students went on to major media careers, including Channel Awesome’s the Nostalgia Critic. Polkow’s research, interviews, features, reviews and commentaries have appeared across national and international media and he has corresponded from the Middle East, Asia and Africa for the Chicago Tribune. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org