(Clearwisdom.net) On January 25, the Chinese New Year Spectacular staged its first show at the Arie Crown Theater, the largest theater in Chicago. The "Myths and Legends" production showcased the 5,000-year culture bestowed upon China by divine beings and received warm applause and enthusiastic reviews from the audience.

An attentive audience watches the Spectacular at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago

Though the Spectacular has been a sweeping success at each city it has visited, some interference from the Chinese Communist regime has occurred. According to the Chicago Spectacular Organizing Committee, this past December, several government officials in the Midwest region indicated that they received some faxed materials from the Chicago Chinese Consulate. Titled "Talking Points", the document had no signature and was not dated. The main contents were propaganda against Falun Gong and a request asking officials not to attend the Spectacular in Chicago, Detroit, or Minneapolis.

Sen Yang, a member of the Spectacular Organizing Committee and Chairman of the Mid-USA Falun Dafa Association, commented that in sending such materials, the consulate violated diplomatic norm. He said that the incident further revealed that the Chinese Communist Party is weakening as even their subordinate branches, such as the Chicago Consulate, made no effort to implement its orders [to interfere with Falun Dafa or the Spectacular].

One month later, the Illinois House of Representatives passed a resolution to honor the Spectacular, which the Chinese Consulate tried to sabotage. The resolution stated: "The Spectacular, a presentation of genuine Chinese culture free of the culture of the Communist Party, showcases a renaissance and reclamation of the long-lost treasures of China" and, "The Mid-USA Falun Dafa Association is dedicated to the promotion and practice of the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance," and endeavors to extend far and wide these most precious and noble human ideals."

On January 9, the Chicago City Council also passed a similar resolution recognizing the Spectacular and extending, "our sincerest congratulations and support for the 2008 Chinese New Year Global Spectacular festivities..."

According to the Chicago Spectacular Organizing Committee, the Spectacular has received supporting resolutions from the Illinois House and Senate, greetings from Governor Rod Blagojevich, US Senator Richard Durbin, and more than twenty state representatives. Meanwhile, the Spectacular also received more than 10 proclamations from cities in the Chicago area, recognizing the Spectacular's outstanding contribution to promoting diversity in culture and performing arts.

Dulcie C. Gilmore, director of the Arie Crown Theater, fondly recalled her memory of the first visit of the Spectacular to the theater in 2006. She said that she then received a phone call from the Chinese Consulate requesting her not to host the Spectacular. Gilmore not only declined the request but also brought her daughter and mother-in-law to the show. "It was a very, very good show. We will come this year," she said.

Arie Crown Theater is the largest theater in Chicago, and has hosted many renowned artists such as Bill Cosby, Sheryl Crow, Pink Floyd and Tom Jones and many political figures such as Presidents Ford, Kennedy, Clinton, and Reagan.