There’s a host of different beats to harvest this autumn as this list of female-focused shows shows.

Concert
Classical Trumpeter and Joliet native Mary Elizabeth Bowden takes the stage with Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO) for the city premiere of Vivian Fung’s Concerto for Trumpet in CYSO’s “Fall Concert” at Orchestra Hall (Nov. 17). Bowden, who is already a Gold Medal Global Music Award winner, will be recognized with the CYSO 2021 Alumni Award at the concert.

A conversation about the female trumpeter working in a male-dominated field was the inspiration for Fung’s new work. “Ideas of striving, overcoming challenges, frustration, passion, and ultimately joy and celebration are all explored in this piece. Mary’s journey was a true inspiration in writing this piece, and I am thrilled for the piece to debut in Chicago at CYSO,” says Fung

“It’s such an honor to have our alum Mary Elizabeth Bowden back on our stage,” adds conductor Allen Tinkham. “This is an outstanding program that we can’t wait to show you. But it is particularly gratifying to bring a new work to the orchestral stage, particularly one written by such a gifted composer, who also happens to be female. We hope this work will quickly be accepted as part of the classical music repertoire.”

Dance
To celebrate its return to the stage at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will perform “Fall Series: Re/Turn” (Nov. 18-21). “For our return to the Harris, I have thought deeply about what would excite the audience as we all get back to seeing live performances,” explains Artistic Director Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell. “The…program is a great mix of new pieces, beloved favorites, and artists making their Hubbard Street debut! I am interested in broadening the spectrum of contemporary dance in our repertoire, while broadening our audience reach as well.”

Opera
Audience favorite Ana María Martínez returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago to play the title character in “Florencia en el Amazonas” (Nov. 13-28), the first Spanish-language work to be presented in Lyric’s mainstage opera season. Composed by the late Daniel Catán with libretto by Marcela Fuentes-Berain, the dreamy piece follows an opera diva as she embarks on a life-changing journey to her hometown in Brazil. The cast includes mezzo-soprano Deborah Nansteel and soprano Gabriella Reyes in her Lyric debut.

Theater
Emilie Modaff stars in the Chicago debut of “Hundred Days” (Nov. 7-Jan. 9) at The Chopin Theatre. Presented by Kokandy Productions, the musical features folk-punk songs by The Bengsons (Abigail and Shaun Bengson) who wrote the show’s book with playwright Sarah Gancher on how they’d spend the last 100 days on earth.

E. Faye Butler reprises her role as American civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer in Cheryl L. West’s “Fannie (The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer)” (through Nov. 21) at Goodman Theatre. Among the spirituals Butler performs are “We Shall Not Be Moved,” “I’m on My Way to Freedom” and “I Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round.”

Cabaret
Broadway actress and award-winning chanteuse Karen Mason helps Davenport’s Piano Bar & Cabaret mark its 23rd anniversary with “Vaccinatin’ Rhythm” (Nov. 4-7). “It has been 23 years since Davenport’s opened and I was there,” says Mason. “I am thrilled to be back, again, to celebrate more than two decades of music and memory making!”

Film
The new documentary “Karen Dalton: In My Own Time” features footage of the late folk legend, unearthed material, and conversations with her daughter Abralyn Baird as well as commentary by collaborators and friends including Nick Cave and Vanessa Carlton. The film was exclusively available in Chicago via Music Box Direct. Click here for more information, including the trailer.

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Image: “Karen Dalton: In My Own Time” courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment.

Janet Arvia

Ms. Arvia is an online columnist and critic; entertainment ghostwriter reaching nine million visitors per month; award-winning artist; grant-winning filmmaker; and Janet-of-all-trades. Press releases on...