Like some South Loop (and other) institutions caught in the lair of NATO, the Adler decided to open its newest sky show "Welcome to the Universe" on May 25 after the conference. But they invited members to preview it Friday night. It's in the new Grainger Sky Theater that I recently complained about--the one that called for the removal of the quaint and wonderful Zeiss projector in favor of digital on steroids.
We walked over from the Art Institute (which, by the way, has postponed its official Lichtenstein public opening
until the day after NATO although members can preview it from Sunday thru Friday). I wanted to catch a few exhibits that were closing--before the whole place closes for NATO next week. And ironically, I endured my first Nato-related invasion of privacy there in the name of world safety. A guard went through my purse--wearing gloves and poking through it with a stick of some sort. "NATO," he said matter-of-factly explaining why he was doing this. I guess they don't want anyone planting a time-bomb in the place set to go off Sunday night during the Michelle Obama-hosted NATO soiree
On the walk from the Art Institute to the Adler along the lakefront, I experienced my second NATO slap in the face. The south end of Monroe Harbor
adjacent to the Museum Campus
was totally devoid of boats. Not a single boat was tied to a can. All the cans were eerily empty. I'd heard that Burnham Harbor
would be emptied of boats--since it's so close to McCormick Place. But oddly, I could see a few boats lolling in the water there. Maybe yachts that will be giving heads of state rides out on Lake Michigan, who knows?
In any case, Adler seems to have taken my recent criticism seriously. I objected to the fact that one of the foremost scientific institutions in the world was showcasing a sky show that was science fiction
. Well, the new show is the exact opposite. They don't even have a voice-over as part of the production. There is a full-fledged, well-credentialed astronomer who narrates the show LIVE! All the footage on the ceiling is from the finest and strongest space telescopes. It takes viewers from earth into the solar system, through the Milky Way galaxy and beyond. And back again, coursing through other galaxies
. It's clear, scientific, accurate, factual and beautiful--without any hokey story, celebrity script or overly dramatic music. It's real.
I asked an Adler employee what people thought of the last show. Is that why they went to the other extreme? Was the science fiction controversial? I asked. "Some people liked it; some people didn't," she said. "The opinions were mixed."
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