Lightscape Electrifies the Chicago Botanic Garden This Season with Dazzling Theatrics

By J.P. Anderson | November 5, 2019 | Lifestyle

Producer Arny Granat takes holiday light shows to the next level at the Chicago Botanic Garden.


Over the course of his 47-year career, iconic Chicago producer Arny Granat has pulled off several lifetimes’ worth of events—100,000, he estimates—from tours by U2 and the Rolling Stones to Tony-winning Broadway shows like Fun Home and The Band’s Visit. So when the Jam Productions co-founder says he has a hit on his hands, it’s safe to say something big is in the works.

His latest high-profile project? The U.S. premiere of Lightscape, produced by Chicago Botanic Garden in partnership with Granat’s WAD Entertainment and Sony. An immersive after-dark installation that will surround attendees in tunnels, waterfalls and ribbons of light, Lightscape has been a massive hit at multiple locations across the U.K. and Germany, and Granat expects nothing less when it debuts here on Nov. 22. “It’s a light show on steroids,” says the downtown Chicago resident. “Walking through it is an experience you’ve never had.”

Granat expects strong attendance for the production’s debut year (“Get your tickets now,” he quips), and there are big plans for the future, including an expansion to New York in 2020 and other cities to follow in the years to come. That’s a big wager on an experience untested in the U.S., but Granat is confident he’s close to a sure thing. “I have five words in my business,” he explains, describing his high hopes for the production. “No matter what it is, there are five words you want to hear: ‘You’ve got to see it.’ That’s all any producer wants. And then the word just spreads and spreads and spreads. It speaks for itself.” Nov. 22-Jan. 5, Nov. 21 preview event tickets from $450 per person, general admission tickets $8-$25, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, 847.835.5440

Photography by: Photo courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden