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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Sunday, May 26

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Performance Mon Oct 14 2013

Get Into The Pit and Explore Futures History Sunday at the CBOT

Explore Chicago's rowdy history of commodities trading and the futures market in a one-hour theatrical event this weekend at the Chicago Board of Trade building. The Pit, presented by Pocket Guide to Hell tours, will be a staged reading of a scene from Frank Norris' 1903 novel of the same title, featuring actors, costumes, props, music and play-by-play announcing. The event is part of the Chicago Architecture Foundation's Open House Chicago event, which offers behind-the-scenes access to 150 buildings across Chicago this weekend, October 19-20.


The trading pit of the Chicago Board of Trade, around 1900. Photo courtesy of Pocket Guide to Hell tours.

While the 1890s traders jostle for position and prices in the pit, the play by play about an attempt to corner the wheat market will be described by Alex Keefe of WBEZ, with color commentary by cultural historian Tim Samuelson and Mike Gorham, IIT Stuart School of Business finance professor. Treating theater as a form of sports event is an idea suggested by Bertolt Brecht, according to Pocket Guide to Hell founder Paul Durica.

The traders will be played by volunteers from a diverse list of Chicago organizations including Slow Food Chicago, Northwestern University Press, Archeworks, The Hideout, Paddy Long's, Public Media Institute, Civic Lab, MAKE Magazine and Architecture for Humanity.

Justin Amolsch of Brass Inferno will provide marching band accompaniment, while Chef Maggie Hennessy will be selling "commodities-based concessions."

Pocket Guide to Hell is a series of free walks, talks and reenactments dealing with Chicago history; see the website for information about upcoming events.

The Pit reenactment will take place at 3pm this Sunday, Oct. 20, at the Chicago Board of Trade building, 141 W. Jackson Blvd. Admission is free; donations are suggested. More information is available here.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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