Five Best Things to Do in April

THE SHORTLIST: Five musts from our April culture calendar

An Alvin Ailey dancer

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER

Now under the direction of the famed choreographer Robert Battle, this New York troupe presents the audience-participatory Minus 16 (consider it the seventh-inning stretch of dance), plus three other works that pulse with hip-hop, gospel, soul, and club influences.

DETAILS:

4/11–15 In his first season as artistic director, Battle infuses post-modern history into the beloved troupe’s repertoire, which more recently seemed stuck in a pop-oriented rut. The Chicago engagement includes Home, Rennie Harris’s hip-hop/gospel-house reflection on people living with HIV; Arden Court, Paul Taylor’s lush and intimate swell of human interaction; and Minus 16, Ohad Naharin’s eclectic showstopper with ballroom-style audience participation. 4/11–13 at 7:30, 4/14 at 2 and 8, 4/15 at 3. $30–$90. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E Congress. ticketmaster.com.

 

  NEXT: RODRIGO Y GABRIELA »

 

Photograph: Andrew Eccles

 

Rodrigo y Gabriela

RODRIGO Y GABRIELA

It’s worth springing for seats near the stage to fully appreciate this adroit guitar duo, whose rapid-fire flamenco strumming would resemble a hummingbird’s flight pattern—if hummingbirds knew how to rock.

DETAILS:

4/12 The Mexican duo takes a brilliant left turn here, performing with CUBA, a large Havana-based ensemble. The result is a hot dish of Latin jazz piano, tumultuous rhythms, and blazing horn fanfares. At 7:30. Sold out. Chicago Theatre, 175 N State. ticketmaster.com.

 

  NEXT: CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL
MOVIES & MUSIC FESTIVAL »

 

Photograph: Tina Korhonen

 

Jason Becker

CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL MOVIES & MUSIC FESTIVAL

On the bill: movies about music—as in films starring punks, Brit rockers, and hip-hoppers—plus live performances. Chicago premieres include Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet, a doc about an ALS-stricken guitar god (right) who composes music by moving his eyes.

DETAILS:

4/12–15 This fourth-annual fest has a lineup of features and docs about music—from hip-hop to Brit pop. Live rocking happens on the side, at venues throughout the city. Schedule, locations, and ticket prices: cimmfest.org.

 

  NEXT: SAIC’S THE WALK »

 

Photograph: Courtesy of Cimm Fest

 

A model in a SAIC runway show

SAIC’S THE WALK

See the next Cynthia Rowley—herself a School of the Art Institute grad and the honoree of this year’s bash—when SAIC hosts its annual runway shows of designs by students. Care to rub elbows with Rowley and more of fashion’s boldface names? Walk this way.

DETAILS:

4/19 Fashion’s biggest night out in Chicago also includes a benefit gala. At 6. $500–$1,000. Millennium Park, Randolph and Michigan. saic.edu/fashionshow.

 

 

  NEXT: THE ICEMAN COMETH »

 

Photograph: James Prinz

 

Brian Dennehy and Nathan Lane

THE ICEMAN COMETH

Back to Goodman, that is. In 1990, when the theatre last staged Eugene O’Neill’s tale of delusions deferred, Brian Dennehy starred as the play’s whippersnapper. This time, he’s the elder statesman (or rather, philosophizing drunk), with Nathan Lane in the younger man’s shoes. Goodman’s on-site O’Neill expert, Robert Falls, directs the two Tony winners.

DETAILS:

4/21–6/10 If you missed Dennehy in the theatre’s 1992 staging of this barroom drama, now’s your chance to see the O’Neill specialist have at it again. As for the role of Theodore Hickey? Lane takes his turn playing the reformed drunk, whose abstinence becomes tragic. $53–$119. Goodman Theatre, 170 N Dearborn. goodmantheatre.org.

 

Photography: (Dennehy) Courtesy of Goodman Theatre; (Lane) Michael Sofronski

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