Chicago Guide: Seriously Risky Flights of Fancy

Our top five picks for things to do this week: The Flying Wallendas aim to cheat death in Lookingglass’s Hephaestus; plus, Sonny Rollins rolls into town, 2010’s Golden Gloves contenders, more

The Flying Wallendas performing a seven person high-wire pyramid
WIRED The Flying Wallendas stage a seven-person high-wire pyramid as part of Lookingglass’s Hephaestus, at the Goodman.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 04.07.10 through Tue 04.13.10:

1

theatre Hephaestus
Flying Wallendas have died staging the feat in the past; the family’s next attempt at a seven-person high-wire pyramid is only the beginning of Lookingglass’s heart-pounding, circus-inspired take on the tale of a god who fell to earth.
GO: Previews Apr 7-13; $20-$40. Regular run continues through May 23; $25-$70. Lookingglass Theatre Company at Goodman Theatre, 170 N Dearborn. lookingglasstheatre.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: It’s hate at first sight for a couple you just know are going to hook up by play’s end: Previews for The Taming of the Shrew begin this week at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. And Saturday, we’re sorry to say, marks the last night in business for Lakeshore Theater—our 2007 pick for best place to see comedy.

2

sports Chicago Golden Gloves Finals
Who will be the next to join the elite group—Joe Louis, Cassius Clay, Michael “Lord of the Dance” Flatley, Blago—of Chicago Golden Gloves champs? The 87th annual amateur boxing competition wraps this weekend with three nights of one-two punches. On Thu, keep an eye out for the welterweight Jeremy Hall, a U.S. soldier so tough he returned to duty only three days after incurring a roadside bomb–related injury in Iraq. And then there’s the elite heavyweight Robert Jekabson, the son of an Olympic rower and an Olympic boxer who fled the USSR in the wake of threats from the KGB. A student at Harold Washington, Jekabson is boxing toward his own Olympics in 2012.
GO: Apr 8-10 at 8. $20-$50. St Andrews Gym, 1658 W Addison. chicagogoldengloves.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: In other hand-to-hand combat news, the Oscar nominee and sometime Chicagoan Michael Shannon stars in the ever-eccentric Werner Herzog’s latest film, about a man who, while rehearsing a Greek play about a man who sabers his mother, sabers his mother. My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done opens this week at the Music Box.

3

concerts Sonny Rollins
Chicago is no stranger to sax-playing seniors who kick ass (see Von Freeman and Fred Anderson), but a visit from this 79-year-old legend is a real treat. Though he has occasionally shown his age onstage, the Bearded One can still deliver the goods live, as proven by his 2008 collection of killer concert dates, Road Shows, Vol. 1.
GO:  Apr 9 at 8. $40-$141. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan. cso.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Nearly four decades of collaboration can lead to the kind of familiarity that breeds contempt among jazz audiences, but Chick Corea and Gary Burton have kept their cat-and-mouse vibes and piano spontaneous. Or hear Madeleine Peyroux channel Billie Holiday (seriously: it’s eerie), with Chicago’s lovely Nora O’Connor opening; tickets are going fast.

4

farrago CHIRP Record Fair & Other Delights
After more than two years of grassroots seeding, CHIRP, or the Chicago Independent Radio Project, started streaming online in January with the ultimate goal of launching a low-bandwidth broadcast station. Shopping this vinylpalooza, with aisles of records for browsing and guest DJs (Disappears, Mannequin Men) spinning, supports the indie effort.
GO: Apr 10-11. Sat preview 8-10; Sat-Sun sale 10-5. $7; print out an online coupon for $2 off. Chicago Journeymen Plumbers, Local 130 UA, 1340 W Washington. chicagoindieradio.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Since reuniting in 2002, the American postpunk touchstone Mission of Burma has picked back up its calamitous guitar-and-drums assault; hear the band Saturday at Double Door.

5

classical Chicago Chamber Musicians’ Sounds and Spaces
In years past, spring meant Great Chicago Places and Spaces, a handful of mostly free behind-the-scenes peeks at the innards of local structures, from the Trump Tower to the Crown Fountain. Like fellow standbys Venetian Night and the Outdoor Film Fest, GCPS was a 2010 budget-cut casualty, making this concert series—of beautiful music in equally stunning spaces—especially welcome. Don’t miss the incomparable Chicago Chamber Musicians playing in the newly restored Nickerson Mansion (now the Driehaus Museum) and a sanctuary designed by the World Trade Center architect Minoru Yamasaki.
GO:  Apr 11 at 2:30: Driehaus Museum, 50 E Erie. Apr 25 at 2:30: North Shore Congregation Israel, 1185 Sheridan, Glencoe. $50 per concert. chicagochambermusic.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: And also Apr 11—the piano sensation Lang Lang teams up with his mentor, Christoph Eschenbach; Dempster St Pro Musica rocks out to Bach; and the Chopin authority Maurizio Pollini plays what he knows best.

FREEBIES OF THE WEEK

lectures David Remnick
The New Yorker staffer reads from and discusses his new book, The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, with the Trib’s literary editor, Elizabeth Taylor—which, we’re hoping, means lots of quality convo devoted to Obama’s Chicago years. And if not, here’s hoping there’s an audience Q&A.
GO:  Apr 13 at 6. Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State. chipublib.org

museums Kehinde Wiley, Dawoud Bey, Theaster Gates
Speaking of kicking down racial barriers, three leading contemporary artists—New York’s Wiley, and Chicagoans Bey and Gates—give a talk Friday on the uptick of works by African American artists in major museums. It’s a subject they know something about: Bey, a Columbia College prof, had a solo show last year at the Milwaukee Art Museum; Gates, the coordinator of arts programming for the U of C, has shown at the MCA; and Wiley’s works have graced the National Portrait Gallery in DC.
GO: Apr 9 at 6:30. RSVP required: lacevents@artic.edu. Rubloff Auditorium, Art Institute, 111 S Michigan. artinstituteofchicago.com

farrago Real Simple’s 10th Anniversary
As if a decade in the publishing biz wasn’t enough to celebrate these days, the New York–based magazine Real Simple is coming to town for a full day of free tips from pros newly local (The Bachelorette’s Jillian Harris talks home decor at noon), longtime local (NBC Chicago’s Ginger Zee chats about green friendliness at 1), and wish-they-were-local (the designer Tracy Reese talks fashion at 5:30). And while we’re on the subject of anniversaries, weigh in on our list of the 40 best Chicago albums, the first in a series of top 40s celebrating Chicago’s own 40th birthday.
GO:  Apr 9 from noon to 7. Great Hall, Union Station, 210 S Canal. realsimplerewards.com

Photography: Courtesy of Lookingglass Theatre

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