Controversial singer Michelle Shocked will perform three shows at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., this summer.
The performances form what's being called a "trilogy residency," with shows focused on the albums Short Shapred Shocked ( June 27 ), Captain Swing ( Juy 27 ) and Arkansas Traveler ( Aug. 23 ).
Shocked initially acquired a large lesbian following in the 1990s, and she even came out as bisexual in Outlines newspaper ( which purchased and merged with Windy City Times in 2000 ). However, in 2013, she told a San Francisco crowd that "God hates fags" and that she lives in fear of same-sex marriage. In the wake of that, her tour was cancelled and she reportedly tried to have the anti-gay rant erased from YouTube ( while claiming the comments were taken out of context ).
The singer often expresses herself on social media, and even got into an exchange on Twitter with a Chicagoan named Susana Darwin. At one point, Shocked directed several people, including Darwin, to "'Truth VS Reality' with Michelle Shocked ( vimeo.com/97973389 )." The open letter at this site, written by "J.C.," addresses what the poster calls Shocked's "completely unsubstantiated vilification as a 'homophobe.'"
In part, the letter states, "Michelle Shocked is the most morally upright, loving, and ethical human being I've ever met, and those among us who believe in the sanctity of the arts in any capacity should be devoting a serious amount of our time and energy toward rectifying the rampant misinformation that relentlessly hounds her."
In an email exchange with Darwin, City Winery Marketing Director Dan Conroe said, " We understand the outrage that followed Michelle's comments on stage in 2013 and we certainly do not agree with the statements that she made. But we do not believe that we should only present artists who share our views and we do not believe that we should silence artists who make controversial statements.
"We understand that some of her fans ( and fans of City Winery ) will choose not to attend these shows and we absolutely respect that. We very much appreciate your support of City Winery and we do hope that you will join us again soon."
Tickets are $26-$35 each; visit CityWinery.com .