The good LED screen: The CSO accompanies The Two Towers at Ravinia

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Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Look out, Frodo!
Ads on LED billboards competing with skyline views on Chicago highways? Ugh. (And, as a possible safety hazard: Eeek!)

But a giant, temporary LED screen on the lawn at Ravinia for a two-night run of an epic film with a Grammy-winning score played live by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra? Hurrah!

This movie-and-music fan fantasy will play out—in what looks to be perfect weather—tonight and Friday, when the Ravinia Festival screens The Two Towers, the second film in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, as the CSO plays the innovative and dramatic score by Howard Shore.

Given a choice, I'd take a seat in the pavilion, where you can see both the film and the orchestra. So would a lot of other folks: the pavilion's sold out. But the lawn option (which provided the better images when the first film of the trilogy was shown two years ago) promises to be terrific: Ravinia officials say that with new technology in use (the very same technology that lures drivers' eyes from the road), the huge screen on the north lawn's going to deliver a spectacular image.

Ludwig Wicki conducts the Chicago Children's Choir, Chicago Chorale, Lakeside Singers, and vocalist Kaitlyn Lusk. For the real aficionado, Chicago-based music journalist Doug Adams will be on hand before the concert to sign copies of his comprehensive book, The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films.

Showtime is 7:30 PM, but the park opens at five o'clock. Get there early: lawn admission ($25) is free for kids under 15 and older students with school ID; there'll be a crowd.

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