Ravinia Festival today announced the launch of a 20-minute weekly variety show, RaviniaTV, webcast on Ravinia’s YouTube channel and Facebook page every Friday at 7 p.m. CDT. The series, sponsored by Exelon, kicks off July 3rd with Chicago sharing performances of songs recorded from concerts last year along with jazz legend Ramsey Lewis performing from his living room.
“It broke our hearts when the Covid pandemic forced Ravinia to cancel a season for the first time since the Great Depression, so the whole team got together to create ways to stay connected to the Ravinia Family, our artists, and audiences in what would otherwise be our silent summer,” said Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman. “So many of the longtime legends, as well as nascent stars, associated with Ravinia shared the same sense of urgency to keep the music playing as we all struggle with the hardships of this strange new reality. The solution was a show that not only shares music but offers a casual, conversational feeling like you would have on the Lawn at Ravinia.”
The show, created by Nick Pullia, Ravinia’s longtime director of communications, breaks down into departments like a magazine, including “Ravinia from Home,” in which guests share their work from their living rooms as well as new performances recorded on Ravinia’s main stage without an audience; “Zoom into Highland Park,” which familiarizes audiences with the movers and shakers of Ravinia’s hometown; “Chicago’s Own,” which spotlights local music makers; “Reach Teach Play,” directed to young viewers; and “TOPical5,” which features Chicago radio personalities counting down the top five songs related to our reality—such as Melissa Forman from WLIT counting down the top hair bands while craving a little hair care of her own, or Maggie Clennon Reberg of WFMT essaying the top operatic “mad scenes.”
Ravinia welcomes all festival fans to follow, connect, and interact online with @RaviniaFestival on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram as well as their blog, backstage.ravinia.org. – Watch Chicago on the live broadcast July 3rd at 7pm CDT on Facebook @RaviniaFestival or on Youtube at @ www.youtube.com/user/raviniafestival.
Ravinia Festival is a not-for-profit organization.