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Review: Olympic Fundraiser at Millennium

By Amy Mikel in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 15, 2008 7:57PM

The Chicago 2016 committee and Mayor Daley co-hosted a massive fundraiser in Millennium Park last night, raising more than $12 million for Chicago’s Olympic bid. Unlike former speech-heavy Olympic celebrations, the gala fundraiser event, “Chicago Believes,” was presented in the format of a concert, dipping into some of the best entertainment that Chicago has to offer.

We didn’t make it for the pre-performance athletic demonstrations in the park, such as the rhythmic gymnasts performing in front of the Bean, but we arrived in time to catch the main celebration over at Pritzker. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Hubbard Street Dance, Cirque Shanghai, a local gospel choir, and tenor Rodrick Dixon all contributed to the excellent program, which was (naturally) interspersed with speech-making and Olympic montages streamed onto the big onstage screen.

The sizable crowd at Pritzker would dutifully clap at every speech or presentation, but seemed to be there generally for the free entertainment. Frankly, the sentiment at the pavilion seemed to be similar to our evening companion, who when asked how they felt about Chicago hosting the Olympics, said, “Meh, I would be happy either way.”