Saturday night I headed out to see Tony Bennett at Ravinia. My last trip to Ravinia to see Gypsy Kings ended in disaster when we missed the Metra by literally 45 seconds and then got stuck in crazy traffic and spent over an hour trying to park. This time, my mom offered to drive and insisted on leaving super early so I figured we’d be fine. Even though the show didn’t start until 8:30 pm, by the time we exited 94 just before 6:30 pm the main parking lot was already full. That meant parking in downtown Highland Park and taking the shuttle back to Ravinia. Note to self: make the Metra next time.
It was a perfect night for Ravinia – the sky was relatively clear, the weather was cool but not cold and we had plenty of sunlight remaining to set up our picnic and gorge on cheese, salami, crackers and peanut M&Ms. Plus, when the show was starting, a group of people in front of us left their area so we ended up having even more ground to sprawl out on.
The show itself was perfect. Tony Bennett sounds as good as ever, crooning out tunes that fit the vibe of a late-summer night just right. My favorite song was “The Way You Look Tonight.” I can never hear that song without picturing that scene in My Best Friend’s Wedding where they’re dancing on a boat on the Chicago River. Although, I also found “Smile” to be really touching – I hadn’t realized that Charlie Chaplin originally composed that song!
Ravinia is a classic summer activity in Chicago, so I’ m glad I got to go before the season ends. I might just try to squeeze in one more show this year…