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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow, Chicago Bond With Blues and Elvis

The Chicago Days festival in Moscow began to move into gear Tuesday as organizers and politicians eased out of the spotlight and doctors, musicians and actors took the stage.

The theater of the University of Illinois played the first of three performances of Thornton Wilder's play "Our Town" at the Na Yugo-Zapade Theater on Tuesday night. Outside the Manezh Exhibition Hall, a trio of vintage cars — including a pink convertible that belonged to Elvis — teased the opening of a photo exhibition about the Windy City. Acclaimed blues singer Lynne Jordan will play at the Forte club Wednesday.

The weeklong festival is organized by the Chicago-Moscow Sister Cities Committee. The festival, which has cultural, business, humanitarian and informational aims, consists of more than a dozen events, including movies at the Cinema Museum, medical seminars and charity events for orphans.

"We believe that both our cities have tremendous resources, great people and great culture," Arthur George, the committee chairman, said at a news conference.

Georgy Muradov, head of Moscow's international relations department, welcomed the visitors from Chicago and said the city would send a delegation to the U.S. city next year.

Chicago visitors said they were pleased to be here. "I'm really excited about it," Jordan said in an interview at the opening of the photo exhibition.

In addition to Forte, Jordan will perform at Gorky Park on June 3 and in other clubs throughout the week.

"It's a good way to sing for people of other cultures, especially in places where my culture, African American, is not common," said Jordan, who plans to take an extra week after the festival finishes to explore Moscow.

See for a complete list of events. Chicago Days Festival Web Site