Fire damage closes Harris Theater for two weeks: COT “Queenie Pie” performances moved to March

Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:23 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson


Wednesday’s electrical fire at the Harris Theater proved more serious than originally reported, causing damage to operational and mechanical equipment that will keep the venue shuttered until March 6.

The Hamburg Ballet performances scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday were cancelled. On Thursday, Harris released a statement saying that safety officials determined that no structural damage had occurred and that repairs would take two weeks to complete.

Chicago Opera Theater’s three remaining performances of Duke Ellington’s Queenie Pie, which opened last Saturday, have been moved to March 19, 20 and 23, said Jerry Tietz, COT’s general manager Thursday night. Tickets for the February COT performances will be honored for the new dates. Click here for information.

Music of the Baroque’s concert scheduled for March 3 will be impacted as well. As of late Thursday night, no decision has yet been made public as to whether the Handel and Bach program will be moved or canceled.

Other events affected by the fire and closing include the Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and the Joffrey Academy of Dance Choreographers of Color Awards.

In a statement released by the venue, Michael Tiknis, Harris president and managing director, said “We remain in a state of sadness over the loss of the performances of the Hamburg Ballet. But we are confident that repairs to the Theater can be made, and schedules altered in a way that will maintain the majority, if not all, of those that have been affected by this serious electrical malfunction.”

“We are grateful no one was hurt, and we appreciate tremendously the communication and cooperation the Harris displayed in working with us on this,” said COT’s Tietz. “Andreas [Mitisek] and I are very proud of our staff in exhibiting such grace under pressure getting the job done.”


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