Best things to do in Chicago in May

POCKET GUIDE: A cultural short-list for May, in order of buzz

Grizzly bear

Polar bears, grizzlies, and bison—oh my! at Brookfield Zoo
 

Ranked from highest profile to biggest surprise

CONAN O’BRIEN, CRAIG FERGUSON Late-night wars, Chicago-style: O’Brien’s shows (5/19-20) sold out as fast as he could tweet them, while, as of presstime, seats remained for Ferguson’s second set (5/1). Not that it’s a competition. (Who are we kidding? Of course it is.)

DIANA ROSS 5/27 Gratuitous costume changes, big sets, even bigger hair. We can’t wait.

FREDERICA VON STADE 5/10 Speaking of divas (see Ross), this mezzo-soprano bids Chicago adieu in May. Sort of. Get details, then get tickets.

GLEE 5/25-26 Choir practice is cool again. Sway along with abandon when the cast of Fox’s hit TV show belts it out live.

STARS ON ICE 5/8 Naperville’s golden boy Evan Lysacek skates into town on the heels of Vancouver glory. The roar of the crowd should just about drown out the sound of Yevgeny Plushenko whining.

LOW DOWN DIRTY BLUES 5/27–7/3 The Tony nominee Felicia P. Fields + the Jeff winner Mississippi Charles Bevel = theatre seats you should be reserving right this minute.

GREAT BEAR WILDERNESS 5/8 Polar bears, grizzlies, and bison—oh, my! Brookfield Zoo unveils a new habitat that triples its old ursine stomping grounds. Now if the bears could just get a covered garage.

CHICAGO CELTIC FESTIVAL 5/8-9 Your what-to-do-for-Mother’s-Day prayers answered: Mom doesn’t have to be Celtic to appreciate the Men in Kilts contest.

WRIGHT PLUS 5/15 Anyone can eyeball the exteriors of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park projects, but this pilgrimage offers peeks inside eight private homes, including two open to the public for the first time ever. “Plus” indeed.

THE REAL ESTATE THROUGH 5/23 On the darker end of domestic voyeurism: This new show of photos by a German-turned-Chicagoan duo documents Chicago-area homes in foreclosure.

 

Photograph: © Valeria Titova/istockphoto.com

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