Upcoming events

    • March 28, 2019
    • Racine
    • 0
    Registration is closed

    Administration Building's Great Workroom


    When we organized this trip in mid-January, we were planning on taking a one-hour tour of Wingspread in the afternoon.  Wingspread is primarily a conference center and at the time we booked, they told us that there was a possibility our tour might be bumped if a conference decided to choose the date of our tour, March 28.  And sadly in early February our tour did get bumped.

    However we will still be doing a tour of the SC Johnson Administration Building and Research Tower along with visits to Larsen's Bakery and Milaegers.   To replace the originally scheduled one hour tour of Wingspread, we will be going to Racine Art Museum's Wustum Museum of Fine Arts which is featuring Watercolor Wisconsin 2018 (details below).

    People who have already registered were sent an email asking if they want to go on the revised itinerary or cancel.
      We did have some cancellations so now there are some spaces left on the bus if you want to register.

    SC Johnson Administration Building and Research Tower                   

    We will have a ninety minute tour of the SC Johnson Administration Building and the Research Tower. 

    Administration Building

     

                 Covered Bridge Connecting the Administration Building to the Tower    

    Designed by Wright for the company's president, Herbert F. "Hib" Johnson, the Administration Building was constructed from 1936 to 1939.  Wright told LIFE magazine that the building "was designed to be an inspiring a place to work in as any cathedral was designed to worship in. "

    The Great Workroom, as the main floor of the Administration Building is called, covers a half acre and is meant to promote efficiency and direct access between the roughly 200 employees. The curved desks, which include rounded drawers and special posture chairs designed by Wright himself, sit within a forest of columns which workers nicknamed mushrooms or golf tees. The constant repetition of curves, from desks to drawers to the outlines of the mezzanine balconies, recalls the building's own streamlined profile.

                                Research Tower                                                  Research Tower Interior

    The Research Tower was built between 1944-1950 and provides a vertical counterpoint to the horizontal administration building. It is one of only two existing high rise buildings by Wright.  The Research Tower is no longer in use because of the change in fire safety codes.   The research labs shown on the tour have been set up to appear frozen in time, including beakers, scales, centrifuges, archival photographs and letters about the building.

    The Administration Building and the Research Tower were designated as National Historic Landmarks in 1976.

    Accessibility

    SC Johnson Administration Building and Research Tower

    Though not physically strenuous, the tour does include standing, walking and climbing stairs both indoors and outside. This is a walking tour, including a two-three block walk outside.

    The Research Tower is not handicapped accessible and visitors are required to climb up and down 45 steps in an enclosed tight spiral staircase.  However, there is a ground-level option for those unable to use the staircase.  In this option, you are still able to get a good glimpse of what’s inside the Research Tower.

    Wheelchair-accessible elevators are available in Fortaleza Hall. The Golden Rondelle Theater and Fortaleza Hall are both walker and wheelchair accessible. The main floor of the Great Workroom is accessible via ramp. 
     
    For the hearing impaired, we offer typed tour scripts in English. Upon request, we can also provide writing pads and pencils to facilitate asking and answering questions. Sign language interpreters are welcome, as well as certified service animals and white canes for the visually impaired. For the films, hearing aid compatible devices are available upon request. 
     
    Bathrooms and water fountains are located in Fortaleza Hall.


     Wustum Museum of Fine Arts


    You will have one hour to explore the  Wustum Museum of Fine Arts on your own. The current exhibition is  Watercolor Wisconsin 2018.  Now in its 52nd year, it was started in 1966 to honor the depth and breadth of watercolor in  Wisconsin.  Limited only by their materials - aqueous media such as acrylic and watercolor - artists are free to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional works on paper.   For 2018, 254 works by 145 artists were submitted for consideration and 108 pieces by 85 artists were selected.

    In the outside garden,  you can enjoy the steel sculptures by Chicago artist John Kearney titled Animals in the Garden. The works, which depict two giraffes, a pelican, two goats, and a standing female nude, are welded out of recycled steel automobile bumpers and are close to life size 

    Accessibility: the second floor is accessible only by stairs; there is no elevator.

              Anne Miotke -  Escanaba Sojourn          Katie Musolff - Swirling, Soaring, Flipping, Flying, 

                                                                                                                  Twirling, Unfurling, Living, Dying


                        James Hartel - Gamboge                                                Giraffe - John Kearney


    We will make three other stops during the day: a brief stop at Larsen's Bakery to begin our Racine adventure, lunch at Reefpoint Brew House, and our final stop at Milaeger's Garden Center.

    Larsen's Bakery


     

    Kringles are the pride of Racine and we will be visiting Larsen's Bakery, home of "Racine's Original Kringle." It will not be a tour of the bakery but rather just an opportunity to buy kringles or other baked goods.  Larsen's bakery uses century old Copenhagen recipes to make 30 varieties of Kringle. Making the pastry is a three day process. Larsen's is a family run bakery and has been for over two generations and over four decades.

    Lunch at  Reefpoint Brew House

    Lunch will be at Reefpoint Brew House overlooking the harbor.  Lunch is included in the registration fee and will be served buffet style. 

    The Sicilian luncheon consists of a tossed salad with ranch & Italian dressings or Caesar salad, penne & meatballs, spinach fettuccini alfredo with grilled chicken, roasted peppers & roasted Italian sausage, cheese ravioli, garlic bread, & brownies for dessert.  The meal includes coffee, tea, or milk.  The tip is included.

    Soft drinks or alcohol are not included but you can go to the bar and pay for it separately.

    Milaeger's Garden Center

     

    One of the finest garden centers in Wisconsin.  We will make a 30 minute stop here.  If you are not interested in exploring the garden center, you can get refreshments and snacks at their cafe.  From a review on YELP:  "LOVE this place!! They have the best and healthiest selection of outdoor and indoor plants that I have seen. In fact, I come here from Chicago to get my plants. Huge hanging baskets, exotic plants, bonsai, planters and everything else for your complete gardening needs. AND they have a great coffee and snack bar to take a break from your plant shopping."

    Itinerary   

    Bear in mind that our boarding bus route is like Madison Metro or any other municipal bus service. Please arrive early at your boarding stop so you don’t miss the bus. When everyone is aboard and seated, we leave.

    – Don’t be late. We can wait just 5 minutes at any one location.

    – Pack water bottles and snacks for sustenance on the journey.

    Leave Madison

    6:45 AM     Bus arrives at Oakwood for boarding

    7:00 AM     Departs Oakwood

    7:20 AM     Arrives Capitol Lakes for boarding

    7:45 AM     Arrives East Towne Sears for boarding                                 

    Racine

    9:45 AM      Arrives Larsen Bakery

    10:15 AM    Departs Larsen Bakery for SC Johnson campus

    10:30 AM    Arrives SC Johnson campus for 1 1/2 hour tour

    12:15  PM   Departs SC Johnson campus for Reefpoint Brew House

    1:45   PM    Departs Brew House

    2:00  PM     Arrives at Wustum Museum

    3:15   PM    Departs Wustum Museum for Milaegers

    4:00  PM     Departs Milaegers for return to Madison

    Return to Madison (Estimate)

    6:00 PM        Arrives at East Towne Sears

    6:20 PM        Arrives at Capitol Lakes

    6:45 PM        Arrives at Oakwood Village West

    Accessibility Policy: On the Badger Bus, you must be able to climb steps to board and exit the bus.

    Non-Member Policy: Members must register their guests. Each PLATO member is entitled to bring one non-member guest per bus trip. (Members may bring more than one guest near the registration deadline date of March 20 if seats are available. Check with trip organizer).  Non-member guests pay an additional $15.00 registration fee.

    PLATO Membership: PLATO membership is $60.00/year and all memberships renew on July 1.  If you join between April 1 and November 30 you will pay the full membership fee of $60.  If you join between December 1 and March 31 you pay half the membership fee - $30.


    For further information contact Frank Lloyd Wright Racine trip organizers:

    Bob Shaw - robert.e.shaw@gmail.com - 608-255-3486

    Irene Zimmerman - irene.e.zimmerman@gmail.com - 608-658-4685

    • April 14, 2019
    • Chicago
    • 27
    Register


    Treat yourself to a personal indulgence by enjoying a quiet early spring afternoon within the welcoming and friendly embrace of any of nine Chicago’s premier museums.

    1st Stop: Museum of Science and Industry 

    2nd Stop: Field Museum of Natural History, Shedd Aquariam and Adler Planetarium

    3rd Stop:  Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Cultural Center and American Writers Museum

    4th Stop and Final Stop: Contemporary Art Museum Chicago and Driehaus Museum


    Museum of Science and Industry 


    The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) is housed in the former Palace of Fine Arts from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.  It is the oldest science museum of its kind in the Western Hemisphere and one of the largest science museums in the world. The exhibits include a full-size replica coal mine, a German submarine captured during WW II, a 3,500 sq. ft. model railroad, and the Apollo 8 spacecraft that carried the first humans to orbit the Moon. The museum covers 14 acres and is home to more than 400,000 sq. ft. of exhibits.

    Address: 5700 South Lake Shore Drive (Map)

    Tickets:  $20 plus

    Hours: 9:30 AM-4:00 PM

    Two restaurants and ice cream parlor on-site, free Wi-Fi and free wheelchairs

    Learn more from the MSI website.


    Field Museum


    The Field Museum is located at Museum Campus, near the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium.  It is named after Chicago’s favorite retailer, Marshall Field, who gave a $1m gift to establish the museum.  It first opened in 1894 in the former Palace of Fine Arts Building, and moved to its present site in 1921.  In 1962, the museum hosted the first exhibition of “Tutankhamen Treasures.”  In 2000, SUE, the largest, most complete, and best preserved T.rex ever discovered, was unveiled to the public.  In 2011, the museum’s bathroom was voted the best in the country. Recently, Maximo the Titanosaur, the largest dinosaur that ever lived can be viewed.

    Address: 1400 South Lake Shore Drive (Map)

    Walking Map: Field Museum <=> Shedd Aquarium <=> Alder Planetarium 

    Tickets:  Senior rate is $21 (depending on the number of special exhibits included)

    Hours: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM

    Two restaurants on-site

    Learn more from the Field Museum website.


    Shedd Aquarium 


    The Shedd houses an indoor public aquarium that first opened in 1930.  It was a gift to Chicago by John G. Shedd, a protégé of Marshall Field.  Located on Lake Michigan, it is part of Museum Campus which includes the Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum.  Several of the sea otters that lived in the aquarium in the past were rescued from the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.  The aquarium contains 1,500 species, including fish, marine mammals, birds, snakes, amphibians and insects.  It is one of the most popular museums in Chicago.

    Address: 1200 South Lake Shore Drive (Map)

    Walking Map: Field Museum <=> Shedd Aquarium <=> Alder Planetarium 

    Tickets: $39.95 (Senior discount of $3 taken on-site) 

    Hours: Sundays 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

    Three restaurants, coffee shop and popcorn kiosk onsite

    Free Wi-Fi, free wheelchairs and walkers

    Learn more from the  Shedd Aquarium website.


    Adler Planetarium


    The Adler Planetarium is dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics.  It was founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler.  It is part of Museum Campus that includes the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum.  It is home to three theaters, extensive space science exhibitions and the Doane Observatory. The observatory is one of the only public urban observatories in the U.S.

    Address: 1300 South Lake Shore Drive (Map)

    Walking Map: Field Museum <=> Shedd Aquarium <=> Alder Planetarium 

    Tickets:  Senior rate is $12.00 plus, depending on number of special shows included

    Hours: 9:30 AM-4:00 PM

    One restaurant on-site, free Wi-Fi and free wheelchairs

    Learn more from the Adler Planetarium website.


    Art Institute of Chicago


    Art Institute of Chicago was founded in 1879. It is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the U.S.  The original building was constructed for the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893.  The most recent expansion, the Modern Wing, pictured above, opened in 2009.  The famous western entrance on Michigan Avenue is guarded by two bronze lion statues created by Edward Kerneys.  The lions each weigh more than two tons.  The museum’s east entrance is marked by the stone arch entrance to the old Chicago Stock Exchange designed by Louis Sullivan.

    West Entrance Address: 111 South Michigan Avenue (Map)

    North Entrance Address: 159 East Monroe Street (Map)

    Walking Map: Art Institute of Chicago <=> Chicago Cultural Center <=> American Writers Museum

    Tickets:  $19.00 Seniors

    Hours: 10:30 AM-5:00 PM

    Three restaurants on-site

    Free Wi-Fi, free wheelchairs

    Learn more from the Art Institute website.


    Chicago Cultural Center


    Completed in 1897 as Chicago’s first central public library, the building was designed to impress and to prove that Chicago had grown into a sophisticated metropolis. The country’s top architects and craftsmen used the most sumptuous materials, such as rare imported marbles, polished brass, fine hardwoods, and mosaics of Favrile glass, mother-of-pearl and colored stone, to create an architectural showplace. Located on the south side of the building, the world’s largest stained glass Tiffany dome ― 38 feet in diameter with some 30,000 pieces of glass ― was restored to its original splendor in 2008. On the north side of the building is a 40-foot-diameter dome with some 50,000 pieces of glass in an intricate Renaissance pattern, designed by Healy & Millet.

    In 1991, the building was established as the Chicago Cultural Center by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the nation's first and most comprehensive free municipal cultural venue. Every year, the Chicago Cultural Center presents hundreds of free international, national, regional and local artists, musicians and performers, providing a showcase where the public can enjoy and learn about the arts.

    Address: 78 East Washington Street (Map)

    Walking Map: Art Institute of Chicago <=> Chicago Cultural Center <=> American Writers Museum

    Tickets: Free Admission

    Hours: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

    Learn more from the Chicago Cultural Center website


    American Writers Museum


    A National Museum Celebrating American Writers

    The American Writers Museum celebrates the breadth of American writing through interactive exhibits and programming that honors the past, promotes the present and inspires the future of writing in the United States. 

    New York Times Feature Article:  An Everyman Museum to Celebrate American Writers

    Address: 180 North Michigan Avenue (Map)

    Walking Map: Art Institute of Chicago <=> Chicago Cultural Center <=> American Writers Museum

    Tickets: $8.00 Seniors

    Hours: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

    Learn more from the American Writers Museum website


    Contemporary Art Museum MCA Chicago


    MCA champions the provocative side of contemporary art and culture. Our innovative exhibitionsperformances, and programs will inspire you.

    Founded in 1967 as a Kunsthalle, or noncollecting art gallery, the MCA is now one of the world’s largest museums dedicated to art since 1945. Since our inception, it has been our mission to exhibit new and experimental work artists in all media, paired with ambitious education programs.

    In 1974, the MCA expanded our mission to include collecting and preserving contemporary art for future generations with the inauguration of a permanent collection that has grown to include more than 2,000 works. After 29 years in a storefront on Ontario Street, the museum moved to our current location in 1996, giving our collection, exhibitions, and programming room to evolve to meet the needs of 21st-century art and audiences.

    Address: 220 East Chicago Avenue (Map)

    Walking Map: Contemporary Art Museum Chicago <=> Driehaus Museum

    Tickets: $8.00 Seniors

    Hours:  10:00 AM-5:00 PM

    Maripol Restaurant: 10 AM-2:30 PM

    Learn more by exploring the MCA website.  


    Driehaus Museum


    Often referred to as Chicago's Downton Abbey, The Richard H. Driehaus Museum immerses visitors in one of the grandest residential buildings of 19th-century Chicago, the Gilded Age home of banker Samuel Mayo Nickerson and his wife, Mathilda Pinkham Crosby Nickerson. Philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus founded the museum on April 1, 2003 with a vision to influence today’s built environment by preserving and promoting architecture and design of the past. To realize his vision, Mr. Driehaus commissioned a five-year restoration effort to preserve the structure and its magnificent interiors.

    Today the galleries feature surviving furnishings paired with elegant, historically-appropriate pieces from the Driehaus Collection of Fine and Decorative Arts, including important works by such celebrated designers as George A. Schastey and Louis Comfort Tiffany.

    The Museum is a premier example of historic preservation, offering visitors an opportunity to experience through its architecture, interiors, collection, and exhibitions how the prevailing design philosophies of the period were interpreted by artists, architects, and designers at the waning of the 19th-century and the dawn of the 20th-century.

    Located at 40 East Erie Street within easy walking distance of Water Tower Place and  Contemporary Art Museum MCA Chicago.

    Address: 40 East Erie Street (Map)

    Walking Map: Contemporary Art Museum Chicago <=> Driehaus Museum

    Tickets: $15.00 Seniors

    Hours: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

    Learn more from the Driehaus Museum website.

    Chicago Museum a la Carte Trip Tips

    After you decide which museum(s) you want to visit, consider purchasing your tickets online in advance.  This will save you time spent standing in line.  Some of the museums have long lines on the weekends. 

    All of the museums have good accessibility and onsite dining.

    Wear sensible, comfortable and be prepared for much walking with the museum and between museums.

    Bring along your seated four-wheel walker to provide more range and stability for sustained exploring.

    See the trip itinerary below for the schedule of museum stops.



    Itinerary

    Bear in mind that our boarding bus route is like Madison Metro or any other municipal bus service. Please arrive 15 minutes early at your boarding stop so you don’t miss the bus. When everyone is aboard and seated, we leave. Arrive early and we will all arrive in Chicago on time to begin our adventure.

    – Don’t be late. We can wait just 5 minutes at any one location.

    – Pack water bottles and snacks for sustenance on the trip.

    Leave Madison

    7:15 AM         Bus  arrives at Oakwood University Woods to begin boarding.

    7:45 AM     Arrive at Capitol Lakes

    8:10 AM     Arrive at East Towne Sears

    8:20 AM     Depart for Chicago (Or, sooner if everyone is aboard)

    In Chicago

    11:00 AM Arrive Museum of Science and Industry 

    11:20 AM Arrive Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Alder Planetarium

    11:30 AM Arrive Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Cultural Center and American Writers Museum

    11:50 AM Arrive Contemporary Art Museum Chicago and Driehaus Museum

    3:30 PM Pick up Museum of Science and Industry

    3:45 PM Pick up Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Plantetarium

    4:00 PM  Pick up Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Cultural Center and American Writers Musuem

    4:30 PM Pick up Contemporary Art Museum (MCA) Chicago and Driehaus Museum and depart for Madison

    Arrive Madison (Est)

    7:30 PM East Towne Sears

    7:50 PM Capitol Lakes

    8:10 PM Oakwood University Woods

    Non-Member Policy Members must register their guests. Each PLATO member is entitled to bring one non-member guest per bus trip. (Members may bring more than one guest near the registration Deadline Date if seats are available. Check with trip organizer.) Non-member guests pay an additional $15.00 registration fee. PLATO Membership is $60.00/year.

                                                                                                                                        

    Accessibility Policy. On Badger Bus, you must be able to climb steps to board and exit the bus. If you need assistance, we require that you bring a friend to give you a hand. 


    Chicago Museums a la Carte Spring 2019 Mail-in Registration Form (including instructions):

    For further information, contact Chicago Museums a la Carte field trip organizer, Bob Blitzke, bblitzke@gmail.com or 608-271-7741


                                                                                                                                        



     



     

     

     

    • April 17, 2019
    • Chicago
    • 0
    Join waitlist


    PLATO Scheduling Note: Registration is limited to the those on the December 7, 2016 Hamilton Trip Wait List, currently totaling 135 members and guests. Hamilton officials have authorized 56 tickets for our use on this trip.

    A special registration code will issued to those authorized from the wait list to register.

    As soon as, future large group Hamilton tickets become available, we will schedule additional trips to serve the wait list people first, before offering new Hamilton trips to the PLATO membership. 

    Hamilton Chicago Cast

    Photo Credit: Chris De'Sean Lee & HAMILTON Company - HAMILTON (c) Joan Marcus 2016

    HAMILTON is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, HAMILTON is the story of America then, told by America now.

    Hamilton Chicago Reviews: Highly Recommended (Based upon 19 Reviews)


    The CIBC Theatre was opened on New Year’s Day in 1906 as the Majestic Theatre. The architects of the venue were Edmund R. Krause and George L. and Cornelius Rapp, and it was the first venue in Chicago to cost over one million dollars. The Majestic Building, the tallest building in Chicago when it was first built, became a Chicago landmark, and the theatre instantly became a popular destination for vaudeville acts.

    In the 1920s, it became part of the famous Orpheum Circuit and host to legendary luminaries Harry Houdini and Lily Langtry. In 1932, during the Great Depression, the Majestic closed its doors and remained empty for 15 years. In 1945, the theatre was purchased by the Shubert Organization and reopened as the Sam Shubert Theatre. The venue was restored and redecorated, although much of the original design was retained. The Shubert stage became home to an astounding array of classic plays and musicals such as CAROUSEL, SOUTH PACIFIC, GUYS AND DOLLS, THE KING AND I, MY FAIR LADY and A CHORUS LINE. In 1991, the Nederlander Organization purchased the Majestic Building from the Shubert Organization. The Shubert continued to host a wide array of quality theatrical productions, including the Chicago premiere of RENT, CHICAGO—THE MUSICAL, CABARET and the Pre-Broadway engagements of THE GOODBYE GIRL and Julie Andrews in VICTOR/VICTORIA.

    Since the formation of Broadway In Chicago in 2000, the rich history of exceptional entertainment has continued with the Pre-Broadway World Premieres of Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp’s MOVIN’ OUT and MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT. In 2005, the theatre closed for a glorious multi-million dollar restoration and was reopened in May 2006 as the LaSalle Bank Theatre, and later the Bank of America Theatre in 2008. Since that time, the venue has hosted the long run of the musical phenomenon JERSEY BOYS, the Pre-Broadway World Premiere KINKY BOOTS, and the Broadway Blockbuster THE BOOK OF MORMON.

    At a press conference on December 8, 2015, Broadway In Chicago and CIBC announced a dynamic partnership that is committed to bring the best of Broadway to our Chicago Theatre District. The CIBC Theatre officially opened with the production of CABARET, on Tuesday, February 9, and is now the new home of Broadway’s biggest hit, HAMILTON.

    Seating Chart (Our seats will be in the lower Mezzanine, Rows B-H)

    11:00 AM - 1:30 PM 
    Free Time for Lunch on Your Own*, Visiting the Art Institute (AIC) and Exploring
    Many Nearby Restaurants From Which to Choose (See Restaurants Map)
    Just a Short Walk from AIC to CIBC Theatre (See Walking Map)

    *Group Lunch Option is available to those who want to register, but may be hesitant...not knowing anyone and uncomfortable eating alone. The group option lunch addresses this concern and is a good way to make new theater trip friends. Just answer "Yes" to Group Lunch questions on the registration form and we will take care of the rest. Our group lunch will be held in the Lockwood Restaurant located on the 2nd floor of the Palmer House, near the CIBC Theatre.


    ~  ~  ~   Hamilton Itinerary  ~  ~ ~        

    Bear in mind that our boarding bus route is like Madison Metro or any other municipal bus service. Please arrive early at your boarding stop so you don’t miss the bus. When everyone is aboard and seated, we leave. Arrive early and we will all arrive in Chicago with plenty of time to enjoy our day.

    – Don’t be late. We can wait just 5 minutes at any one location.

    – Pack water bottles and snacks for sustenance on the journey.

    Depart Madison

    7:15 AM        Begin bus boarding at Oakwood Village University Woods

    7:40 AM        Bus arrives at Capitol Lakes for boarding.

    7:55 AM        Bus arrives at East Towne Sears for boarding.

    8:10 AM         Bus departs for Chicago (Or, sooner if everyone is aboard     

    In Chicago

     11:00 AM       Arrive at Art Institute of Chicago

    11:15 AM       Arrive at CIBC Theatre

    12:45 PM        Return Pick up at Art Institute

    1:00 PM          Arrive at CIBC Theatre

    1:30 PM          Hamilton performance begins

    4:15 PM          Hamilton performance ends and bus boarding begins

    4:45 PM         (Est) Depart from CIBC Theatre (Or, sooner if everyone is aboard)

    Return to Madison (Estimated)

    8:15 PM      East Towne Sears

    8:30 PM      Capitol Lakes

    8:45 PM     Oakwood Village University Oaks

    Accessibility Policy. On the Badger Bus, you must be able to climb steps to board and exit the bus. If you need assistance, we require that you bring a friend to give you a hand. 

    The CIBC Theatre Mezzanine is handicap accessible for the most part. Each outer wall has handrail support for ascending and descending the seating area. However, there are gaps in some portions. Exercise caution. Ask for assistance from fellow group members in getting to your seat if you need it.


    Hamilton 2016 Wait List 3 Theater Trip Mail-in Registration Form (including instructions)

    For further information, contact Hamilton 2016 Wait List 3 theater trip organizer, Bob Blitzke, bblitzke@gmail.com and 608-271-7741


                                                                                                                                        



     



     

     

     

    • May 05, 2019
    • Milwaukee
    • 35
    Register


    Two Trains Running @ Milwaukee Rep
    Quadracci Powerhouse

    Sunday, May 5, 2019


    A CLASSIC FROM AN AMERICAN MASTER PLAYWRIGHT

    It’s 1969 and change is in the air. But for the owner of a rundown diner in a dying Pittsburgh neighborhood, the Civil Rights movement may just be an impractical dream.

    Torn between whether to gamble on an urban-renewal buyout or sell his building to a predatory businessman, he finds himself caught between idealism and brutal reality. From Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson comes this masterpiece about everyday lives in the shadow of great events, and of unsung citizens who are anything but ordinary, in the play The New York Times declared as “Mr. Wilson’s most adventurous and honest attempt to reveal the intimate heart of history.”

    Run Time: Three hours with one intermission (2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

    Learn more by visiting the Two Trains Running website regarding the cast, video clips of cast performances, interviews & rehearsals, and all the latest news as opening day (April 16) draws near.

    Two Trains Running will be staged in the large, yet intimate Quadracci Powerhouse Theater. For information including photos about this unique theater venue, click here.

    Directions to the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater:  From the Milwaukee Rep’s Wells Street entrance, walk straight ahead under the atrium dome. The Powerhouse Theater is located on the Mezzanine Level. Take the elevator or walk up the white marble stairway. From the Mezzanine Level elevator exit, walk around to the right into the Powerhouse Theater entrance. 

    The Quadracci Powerhouse Theater is handicapped accessible. There is handrail support on each row as you descend and ascend the aisle.

    Rep-in-Depth:  An optional, but highly recommended, lively and informative 30-minute pre-talk which starts 45 minutes before every performance in the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater and runs from 1:15 PM to 1:45 PM. It is free and you can drop in any time during the course of the talk.

    Accessibility Policy. On the Badger Bus, you must be able to climb steps to board and exit the bus. If you need assistance, we require that you bring a friend to give you a hand.

    Guest Policy Members must register their guests. Each PLATO member is entitled to bring one non-member guest per bus trip. (Members may bring more than one guest near the registration Deadline Date if seats are available. Check with trip organizer.) Non-member guests pay an additional $15.00 registration fee. PLATO Membership is $60.00/year. 

    11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
    Free Time for Lunch, Shopping & Exploring
    LUNCH is on your own*

    *Group Lunch Option is available to those who want to register, but may be hesitant...not knowing anyone and uncomfortable eating alone. The group option lunch addresses  this concern and is a good way to make new theater trip friends. Just answer "Yes"  to Group Lunch questions on the registration form and we will take care of the rest. 


    For this trip, the location of our Optional Group Lunch will be a favorite French restaurant from past trips, the Pastiche at the Metro located in the Hotel Metro a few blocks east of the Milwaukee Rep. It is walk-able (map) for some, yet bus drop off and pick up is an option especially if it's a rainy day, They serve a great brunch and will seat us in a back banquet room that is carpeted and quiet.


    11:30 AM - Arrives at Milwaukee Public Market


    There are nine unique eateries contained within the Milwaukee Public Market.

    There are also many nearby Third Ward restaurants from which to choose. 

    Historic Third Ward Official Restaurant List

    Historic Third Ward Official Shopping List

    11:45 AM - Arrives at Milwaukee Rep, Wells Street entrance 

    There are a number of restaurants within easy walking distance of the Milwaukee Rep located on both sides of the Milwaukee River and between the Milwaukee Public Market and the Milwaukee Rep. 

    A list of the Milwaukee Rep restaurant recommendations from past PLATO theater trip participants, including websites and map, will be provided.

    Itinerary

    Bear in mind that our boarding bus route is like Madison Metro or any other municipal bus service. Please arrive early at your boarding stop so you don’t miss the bus. When everyone is aboard and seated, we leave. Arrive early and we will all arrive in Milwaukee on time to begin our adventure.

    – Don’t be late. We can wait just 5 minutes at any one location.

    – Pack water bottles and snacks for sustenance on the trip.

    Leave Madison

    8:45 AM Bus arrives Oakwood University Woods for boarding

    9:15 AM Bus departs Oakwood University Woods

    9:35 AM Bus departs Capitol Lakes

    9:55 AM Bus departs East Towne Sears for Milwaukee (or sooner if everyone is aboard)

    In Milwaukee

    11:30 AM Arrive Milwaukee Public Market and other nearby Third Ward restaurants

    11:45 AM Arrive Milwaukee Rep Wells St. entrance for nearby downtown restaurants

    12:50 PM Bus returns to Milwaukee Public Market for those who need a ride to the Rep-in-Depth pre-talk and would rather not walk the five blocks to the Milwaukee Rep. (See Walking Map)

    1:15 PM Rep-in-Depth pre-talk begins

    2:00 PM Two Trains Running performance begins

    5:00 PM Two Trains Running performance ends

    5:00 PM Begin bus boarding for return to Madison. There will be adequate time for coat check retrieval and restroom use.

    5:20 PM Depart for Madison (or sooner if everyone is aboard)

    Arrive Madison (Estimated)

    7:00 PM Bus returns to East Towne Sears

    7:20 PM Bus returns to Capitol Lakes

    7:45 PM Bus returns to Oakwood University Oaks

    Two Trains Running Theater Trip Mail-In Registration Form (including instructions).

    For further information, contact Two Trains Running theater trip organizer, Bob Blitzke, bblitzke@gmail.com or 608-271-7741.

                        
    • May 22, 2019
    • 1:30 PM
    • Chicago
    • 31
    Register


    Join us Wednesday, May 22, 2019 for this stunning production of West Side Story in the iconic Art Deco confines of The Ardis Krainik Theatre at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.


    It may be months away, but demand for the best available tickets has already begun and is building.

    We have 90 great seats to provide the proper proximity to the stage from which to behold this huge production spectacle. They are located on the main floor in the forward rows of its wide aisle partition, rows BB-EE are just behind the wide aisle and across the three middle sections.

    Register now and pay later to claim your seat. (We will order more tickets and 2nd bus if early demand is warrants.)


    Leonard Bernstein's music and Stephen Sondheim's lyrics transplant Romeo and Juliet to the backstreets of New York, giving us this Broadway Musical Masterpiece.

    Tony and Maria are wide-eyed teenagers from opposing gangs who fall in love. As their friends and families battle with one another, Tony and Maria long for "a place for us...somewhere." Their songs illuminate every scene and permeate our culture, from the romance of "Maria" and "Tonight" to the exuberance of "America" and the humor of "Gee, Officer Krupke." Add to the bold, sexy and iconic dances of Jerome Robbins that smolder and sizzle with energy, and you have a musical-theater experience that you'll never forget.

    Run Time: two hours and 20 minutes with one intermission.

    A coproduction of Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera and Glimmerglass Festival of Cooperstown, NY.

    WEST SIDE STORY: Based on a conception of JEROME ROBBINS, Book by ARTHUR LAURENTS, Music by LEONARD BERNSTEIN, Lyrics by STEPHEN SONDHEIM, Original production directed and choreographed by JEROME ROBBINS.


    Meet the ARTISTS

    The Celebrated Musical West Side Story Hit's Lyric's Stage in 2019


    Lyric Opera of Chicago:

    11:00 AM - 1:30 PM
    Free Time for Lunch and Adventure
    within easy walking distance of 
    The Lyric
    (W Madison St and S Wacker Dr)

    A few dining suggestions (Reservations Required):

    Dine at The Lyric Opera of Chicago at three of its three on-site restaurant options

    Rivers Restaurant and Bar conveniently located next to the Lyric across Madison St with spacious riverfront deck. (Note: PLATO Group Lunch will be dining here.)

    Lloyd's Chicago kitty-corner from The Lyric with patio dining available 

    One North Kitchen and Bar located nearby across Wacker Dr from The Lyric 

    Itinerary

    Bear in mind that our boarding bus route is like Madison Metro or any other municipal bus service. Please arrive early at your boarding stop so you don’t miss the bus. When everyone is aboard and seated, we leave. Arrive early and we will all arrive in Chicago on time to begin our adventure.

    – Don’t be late. We can wait just 5 minutes at any one location.

    – Pack water bottles and snacks for sustenance on the trip.

    Leave Madison

    6:45 AM       Arrive at Oakwood Village West to begin boarding.

    7:10 AM     Arrive at Capitol Lakes to begin boarding

    7:30 AM     Arrive at East Towne Sears to begin boarding

    In Chicago

    11:00 AM Arrive at The Lyric

    1:30 PM West Side Story performance begins

    3:50 PM   West Side Story performance ends and begin boarding

    4:15 PM    Estimated departure for Madison

    Arrive Madison (Est)

    7:15 PM East Towne Sears

    7:40 PM Capitol Lakes

    8:00 PM Oakwood Village West 

    Non-Member Policy Members must register their guests. Each PLATO member is entitled to bring one non-member guest per bus trip. (Members may bring more than one guest near the registration Deadline Date if seats are available. Check with trip organizer.) Non-member guests pay an additional $15.00 registration fee. PLATO Membership is $60.00/year.

                                                                                                                                        Accessibility Accessibility Policy. On the Badger Bus, you must be able to climb steps to board and exit the bus. If you need assistance, we require that you bring a friend to give you a hand. 


    West Side Story Mail-in Registration Form (including instructions)

    For further information, contact West Side Story theater trip organizer, Bob Blitzke, bblitzke@gmail.com and 608-271-7741


                                                                                                                                        



     



     

     

     

    • June 02, 2019
    • Glencoe
    • 18
    Register


    Next to Normal

    Writers Theaters

    June 2, 2019

    On the outside, The Goodmans seem like the average American family: house in the suburbs, white picket fence and two sharp-witted kids. But inside, their lives are anything but normal, with long-buried secrets that threaten to tear them apart. Featuring powerful lyrics and an electrifying score, this explosive musical uses wry humor and brutal honesty to explore how family trauma can fracture the American Dream, while ultimately leading to a chance at new beginnings.

    This deeply moving and captivating American musical took Broadway by storm in 2009, winning three Tony awards and the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Now, Chicago and Broadway director David Cromer returns to WT where he has directed A Streetcar Named Desire and Picnic to bring his singularly personal touch to this modern musical where the lines between reality and delusion are never quite clear.

    Run Time:  Approximately 2.5 hours with one intermission

    Monitor Writers Theatre's Next to Normal webpage for the latest news.

    Please Note:  The Next to Normal Theater Trip bus is shared with PLATO members and guests participating in the Chicago Botanical Garden Field Trip. Each trip is allotted 28 seats.


    About Writers Theatre

    Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers Theatre has grown to become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence, being called the top regional theatre in the nation by The Wall Street Journal

    The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of more than 60,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry—providing the finest interpretations of both classic and contemporary theatre in its two intensely intimate venues. 

    In February 2016, Writers Theatre opened a new, state-of-the-art facility. This established the company's first permanent home—a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by Founder and Design Principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA, in collaboration with Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander


    The new facility has allowed the Theatre to continue to grow to accommodate its audience, while maintaining its trademark intimacy. The new facility resonates with and complements the Theatre’s neighboring Glencoe community, adding tremendous value to Chicagoland and helping to establish the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.

    You can find Writers Theatre on Facebook 

    Writers Theatre New Home: Virtual Tour (4:29)

    SUNDAY BRUNCH

    We will be enjoying Sunday Brunch  at the Guildhall Restaurant & Bar in downtown Glencoe.  Note: Your brunch cost is not included your registration fee. 

    Our group will be divided into a number small tables determined by the Guildhall staff. You will be able to order directly from its Brunch MenuEach table will receive just one invoice. Cash payment will be required. Be sure to bring cash for easy payment of your order.

    Guildhall Restaurant & Bar is an easy walk from Writers Theatre. (MAP) You will time after brunch to explore downtown Glencoe and Writers Theatre.

    ITINERARY 

    Bear in mind that our boarding bus route is like Madison Metro or any other municipal bus service. Please arrive 15 minutes early at your boarding stop so you don’t miss the bus. When everyone is aboard and seated, we leave. Arrive early and we will all arrive in Glencoe on time to begin our adventure.

    – Don’t be late. We can wait just 5 minutes at any one location.

    – Pack water bottles and snacks for sustenance on the trip.

    Leave Madison

    7:50 AM         Bus arrives at Oakwood University Woods to begin boarding.

    8:00 AM         Bus departs Oakwood

    8:20 AM         Arrive at Capitol Lakes

    8:35 AM         Arrive at East Towne Sears

    8:45 AM         Depart for Chicago (or sooner if everyone is aboard)

    Chicago Area Schedule

    11:15 AM       Arrive at Chicago Botanical Gardens

    11:30 PM      Arrive Guildhall Restaurant 

    After brunch, Writers Theatre is an easy walk (MAP). There will be time to explore downtown Glencoe before the play begins.

    2:00 PM        Next to Normal performance begins

    4:30 PM        Next to Normal performance ends and boarding begins 

    Madison Return Schedule (Estimated)

    7:30 PM         East Towne Sears

    7:50 PM         Capitol Lakes

    8:10 PM         Oakwood University Woods

    Non-Member Policy. Members must register their guests. Each PLATO member is entitled to bring one non-member guest per trip.

    Non-member guests pay an additional $15.00 registration fee. PLATO Membership is $60.00/year

    Members may bring more than one guest if seats are available. Check with trip organizer near the registration deadline date.

    Accessibility Policy. On the Badger Bus, you must be able to climb steps to board and exit the bus. If you need assistance, we require that you bring a friend to give you a hand boarding the bus and during the trip.

    Next to Normal Theater Trip Mail-In Registration Form (including instructions)

    For further information: Contact Next to Normal Theater Trip trip organizer, Bob Blitzke, bblitzke@gmail.com and 608-271-7741

    • June 13, 2019
    • 7:30 AM - 5:10 PM
    • Rockford
    • 26
    Register

    Frank Lloyd Wright's Laurent House 

    The Laurent House is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed Usonian house in Rockford.  It was the only house that Wright designed for a physically disabled client. Built in the early 1950's, Ken and Phyllis Laurent lived in the house for 60 years from 1952-2012,  Wright himself often urged Chicago-area clients to visit the home, calling it his “little gem.”

    In 2012 the Laurent House Foundation, Inc., an independent, not-for-profit, private foundation purchased the home, the Wright-designed architectural drawings and furnishings, and the Laurent's personal effects.  In 2012 the Laurent House was added to the National Register of Places and it has been open to the public for the past five years.

     

    We will have a one-hour docent led tour of the Laurent House.

    Read more about the Laurent House:

    Frank Lloyd Wright's Little Gem

    Frank Lloyd Wright's Pioneering Example of Accessible Design

    Accessible Frank Lloyd Wright House in Illinois Is Reborn as a Museum

    Anderson Japanese Gardens


    The Anderson Japanese Gardens began in 1978, when Rockford businessman John Anderson was inspired by a visit to the Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon. With the ongoing assistance of renowned Master Craftsman and designer Hoichi Kurisu, the Andersons’ swampy backyard along Rockford’s Spring Creek was transformed into a Japanese-style landscape. From groundbreaking to today, the placement of every rock, alignment of every tree, and layout of all paths has been made with careful consideration by Mr. Kurisu. In 1998, John and Linda Anderson donated the Gardens as a supported organization to the Rockford Rotary Charitable Association. It now exists as a not-for-profit entity and continues to grow and change to this day.

    The gardens include several waterfalls and ponds, Spring Creek, rock formations, a tea house and a guest house built by Masahiro Hamada in 1986.  The Garden of Reflection, which includes a pond filled with koi and other colorful fish, was added in 1999.

    In 2004 Sukiya Living, the Journal of Japanese Gardening rated Anderson Gardens the top Japanese Garden in the United States.

    We will break up into small groups for guided tours by docents.  When we break into groups, there will be one group, if needed, for those who walk more slowly and feel that they might not be able to keep up otherwise.

    We will be outdoors, so please dress accordingly.  Bring a hat and comfortable shoes.  A day bag with water and snacks, as well as your camera, is advised.  If you get tired or just want a break, there are many benches to sit and read.  Do not feel you have to keep up with the tours.

    Lunch at Fresco at the Gardens


    Lunch is included in the Registration Fee - "You Build it Board  - A wide selection of meat, cheeses, sides and buns so you can make your own sandwich. Cheeses Include - Pepper Jack, Cheddar and Swiss. Meats Include - Smoked Ham, Smoked Turkey and Roast beef. Multi-Grain Buns, Ciabatta Squares, Pickles, Tomatoes, pickled red onion and chips. Fresh fruit salad. Cookies for dessert and your choice of beverage (coffee, iced tea, soda.)

    Accesssibility  

    Anderson Japanese Gardens: The paths throughout the gardens are mostly covered with crushed limestone and are easily navigated by strollers and wheelchairs.  However, though you are able to view all areas of the Anderson Gardens from the paths, some areas have steps or uneven terrain and are not accessible except on foot.  

    Laurent House: A 27” wide wheelchair, walker, or other mobility equipment is permissible inside the house, however, we do not allow motorized chairs or scooters. We are happy to accommodate our guests with mobility issues. We have a standard 24” wheelchair available for public use at the house.  There are no restrooms at the Laurent House.

    Itinerary  

    Bear in mind that our boarding bus route is like Madison Metro or any other municipal bus service. Please arrive 15 minutes early at your boarding stop so you don’t miss the bus. When everyone is aboard and seated, we leave. Arrive early and we will all arrive in Rockford on time to begin our adventure.

    Don’t be late. We can wait just 5 minutes at any one location.

    – Pack water bottles and snacks for sustenance on the journey.

    Leave Madison

    7:15 AM     Begin boarding Oakwood

    7:30 AM     Depart Oakwood

    7:50 AM     Arrive Capitol Lakes

    8:10 AM     Arrive East Towne Sears

    8:30 AM     Depart for Rockford (or sooner if everybody is aboard)

    Rockford                             

    10:00 AM   Arrive at Anderson Gardens for tour

    12:00 PM   Lunch at Anderson Gardens

    1:15 PM     Depart Anderson Gardens for Laurent House

    1:30 PM     Arrive Laurent House

    3:00 PM     Depart Laurent House for Madison

    Return to Madison (Estimate)

    4:30 PM      Arrive at East Towne Sears

    4:50 PM      Arrive at Capitol Lakes

    5:10 PM      Arrive at Oakwood Village West

    Accessibility Policy: On the Badger Bus, you must be able to climb steps to board and exit the bus.

    Non-Member Policy:  Members must register their guests. Each PLATO member is entitled to bring one non-member guest per bus trip. Members may bring more than one guest near the registration deadline date if seats are available. Check with trip organizer. Non-member guests pay an additional $15.00 registration fee.

    PLATO Membership: PLATO membership is $60.00/year and all memberships renew on July 1.  If you join between April 1 and November 30 you will pay the full membership fee of $60.  If you join between December 1 and March 31 you pay half the membership fee - $30.

    Mail-In Registration Form: Architectural and Landscape Beauty Field Trip Mail-in Registration Form.pdf

    For further information contact the trip organizer

    Janet Cabot - jbcabot52@gmail.com - 608-280-1067

    • July 28, 2019
    • 1:00 PM
    • Chicago
    • 54
    Register



    Hamilton: The Exhibition

    Journey Through the Founding of America

    Alexander Hamilton’s remarkable story has inspired millions of Americans. Now, you can see it through his eyes in this 360-degree immersive exhibition inspired by the revolutionary musical. The massive Hamilton Exhibition Tent is the size of a football field.

    Featuring an audio tour narrated by the musical’s author Lin-Manuel  Miranda, Hamilton: The Exhibition is designed to take visitors deeper into the life and times of Alexander Hamilton, while at the same time chronicling the American Revolution and the creation of the United States of America.

    With a dynamic and interactive mix of lighting, sound, multimedia, music and historical artifacts, you will experience how it felt to write the way Hamilton wrote, fight the way Hamilton fought, and live the way Hamilton lived.


    Sit at Hamilton’s desk and discover how his work as a trader in St. Croix gave him the skills to create our country’s financial system. Gaze upon the streets of New York with detailed replicas of the city in 1776. Step into George Washington’s war tent as you learn how the Revolutionary Army planned their shocking victory in the Battle of Yorktown.

    Hamilton: The Exhibition posits new questions about Hamilton’s life and the founding of America, ultimately leaving us to ask the question — how can we leave our own legacies for future Americans?

    Grandchildren Welcome

    Bring your granddaughter and/or grandson for a special Sunday summer road trip.

    Lunch and Exploring

    10:30 AM - 12:15 PM

    Caution: Check Sunday Hours to Ensure Eateries Are Open

    Lunch is on your own.

    We will be stopping at the Art Institute of Chicago. 

    Click for Museum Dining Options

    If you want to eat at a nearby restaurant, here are some suggestions:

    Where to Eat Near The Art Institute of Chicago

    Restaurants near The Art Institute of Chicago from TripAdvisor

    Chicago Millennium Park Nearby Eats

    Itinerary   

    Bear in mind that our boarding bus route is like Madison Metro or any other municipal bus service. Please arrive 15 minutes early at your boarding stop so you don’t miss the bus. When everyone is aboard and seated, we leave.

    – Don’t be late. We can wait just 5 minutes at any one location.

    – Pack water bottles and snacks for sustenance on the journey.

    Leave Madison

    7:00 AM     Bus arrives at Oakwood Village West for boarding

    7:20 AM     Departs Oakwood

    7:40 AM     Arrive Capitol Lakes for boarding

    8:00 AM     Arrive East Towne Sears for boarding.

    8:10 AM     Depart for Chicago                                     

    Chicago

    10:30 AM     Arrive Art Institute for lunch and exploring

    12:15 PM     Begin boarding for Hamilton Exhibition on Northerly Island

    1:00 PM       Hamilton Exhibition tour begins

    3:30 PM       Depart for Madison

    Return to Madison (Estimate)

    6:15 PM        Arrive at East Towne Sears

    6:35 PM        Arrive at Capitol Lakes

    7:00 PM        Arrive at Oakwood Village West

    Accessibility Policy: On the Badger Bus, you must be able to climb steps to board and exit the bus. If you need assistance, we require that you bring a friend to give you a hand. 

    Non-Member Policy: Members must register their guests. Each PLATO member is entitled to bring one non-member guest per bus trip. (Members may bring more than one guest near the registration deadline date if seats are available. Check with trip organizer).  Non-member guests pay an additional $15.00 registration fee. PLATO Membership is $60.00/year.


    For further information:  contact Hamilton: The Exhibition Trip Organizer: Bob Blitzke at bblitzke@gmail.com and 608-271-7741.  

 

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For more info about PLATO contact:

PLATO Office Operations, ATTN: Edie or Louise
c/o UW-Madison Continuing Studies
21 N. Park St, 7th Floor, Madison, WI 53715

Email: info@platomadison.org
Phone: 608-262-5823
Fax: 608-265-4555

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