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Whoopi’s ‘White Noise,’ Sarah Vowell

This Week’s Five: White Noise at the Royal George … Joe Lovano at Jazz Showcase … CHIRP Record Fair returns … plus, what Sarah Vowell is doing this Wednesday and two don’t-miss gallery openings

A scene from 'White Noise'
NOISES OFF White Noise, inspired by the white-supremacist pop duo Prussian Blue,
opens this week at the Royal George.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 04.06.11 through Tue 04.12.11:

1

theatre White Noise
File under “Biggest Audience Anxiety Producer That Will Draw Crowds Nonetheless.” Inspired by the white-supremacist pop of the blond-haired, blue-eyed sisters of the real-life preteen duo Prussian Blue—who looked like Disney princesses and sounded like Klansmen—this musical comes courtesy of producer Whoopi Goldberg and Broadway choreographer–turned-director Sergio Trujillo (The Addams Family, Jersey Boys).
GO: Previews through 4/8; $49.50–$64.50. Run continues through 6/5; $54.50­–$74.50. Royal George Theatre, 1641 N Halsted. whitenoisemusical.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: From the Pulitzer-short-listed playwright Adam Rapp, a story—of book banning, school libraries, and a hard-drinking author whose best work may be behind him—that’s as current as the latest censorship debate. The Metal Children opens 4/13 at Next.

2

jazz Joe Lovano Us Five
Even without the singular bassist and Grammy-appointed Best New Artist Esperanza Spalding sitting in (she’ll be playing solo gigs in London, Girona, and Barcelona while her fellow Four play Chicago), this is one booking not to be missed. With the imposing visage of Charlie Parker looming overhead—figuratively and, on Joe Segal’s stage, quite literally—the veteran tenor sax player Lovano and his now-quartet tackle the Bird oeuvre, as documented on the recent tip-top Blue Note release Bird Songs.
GO: 4/7–9 at 8 and 10; 4/10 at 4, 8, and 10. $25–$30. Jazz Showcase, 806 S Plymouth. jazzshowcase.com

3

farrago CHIRP Record Fair & Other Delights
The Chicago Independent Radio Project—aka CHIRP, which celebrated its first year of community-supported radio in January—continues its quest to graduate from webcast to broadcast. Shopping this vinylpalooza, with aisles of records for browsing and guest DJs spinning, supports the indie effort. No hipster beard required for entry.
GO: 4/9 preview from 8 to 10 am; $25. Sale continues 4/9–10 from 10 to 5; $5–$7. Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union, Local 130 UA, 1340 W Washington. chicagoindieradio.org

4

museums After Hours at Robie House
When it comes to drinking beer in the name of education, you snooze, you lose: April’s Chicago History Museum–organized pub crawl is sold out (you might want to sign up for May’s outing—a meander through bars associated with L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz—like, yesterday). You can, however, sip cocktails while admiring Prairie School architecture at an After Hours soiree every Friday in April, when the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed home plays host to live music, drinks, appetizers, and you.
GO: 4/8, 15, 22, 29 from 5 to 8. $35. Robie House, 5757 S Woodlawn. gowright.org

5

museums Chornobyl +25
In the wake of the ongoing crisis in Japan comes this exhibition, a look at Chernobyl (also spelled “Chornobyl”) 25 years after a reactor exploded at the Ukrainian power plant, resulting in the worst nuclear accident in history. While the ensuing evacuation displaced more than 400,000 from the Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia, an estimated 5.5 million people still live on contaminated land. This exhibition—largely composed of photos but also featuring traditional costumes from the region and medals given to the accident’s first responders—offers a window onto the area before and immediately after the disaster, plus photos taken last summer of residents who still live in the decimated town.
GO: Opening reception 4/8 at 7; exhibition continues through 5/25. Museum open Thu–Sun 11–4. Free (kids under 12) to $5. Ukrainian National Museum, 2249 W Superior. ukrainiannationalmuseum.org
 

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEDNESDAY

Author Sarah Vowell
Sarah Vowell

Up next in our series of plans from notable, in-the-know locals (a.k.a. people we like): the former Chicagoan Sarah Vowell—author, This American Life alumna, and recipient of an M.A. in art history from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago—who’s in town for one night only to read from her new book on the history of Hawaii, Unfamiliar Fishes.

“I’m pretty excited about the fact that I’ll be reading at the Unity Temple because I’m such a big Frank Lloyd Wright head in general. I love his work in concrete, and that church is a landmark in the use of reinforced concrete. There’s something magical about how he can make a concrete building have so much warmth, especially a public space. Concrete architecture, in general, is sort of the bane of the American aesthetic, but I feel like any form of architecture can be used for good or ill. It might be difficult to pay attention to what I’m supposed to be doing and not just gawk around the room.”

GO: Read more from our conversation with Vowell in The 312 then catch her 4/6 at 7 at the Unity Temple, 875 Lake, Oak Park. Admission is free.

FREEBIES OF THE WEEK

galleries Ebersmoore
First the artist Heidi Norton places living plants in vibrant 3-D compositions. From there, she might photograph them, trap fresh cuttings in chunks of painted wax, or situate the leafy specimens behind sheets of Plexiglas. The resulting ikebana-inspired sculptures require constant care and feeding to survive, injecting a breath of fresh, if fragile, air into the all-too-predictable still-life tradition.
GO: Opening reception 4/8 from 6 to 9. Exhibition continues through 5/14; see website for hours. Ebersmoore, 213 N Morgan, 3C. ebersmoore.com

galleries He Said She Said
The spouses behind this intimate living-room gallery—she’s an artist; he’s a maritime chef—consistently lure a roster of bold-face names who revel in the chance to kick off their shoes and relax. Here the New Yorker Sheila Pape crafts a large-scale web from rope, shoelaces, and crocheted yarn, inviting visitors to unravel and reweave the environment for themselves.
GO: Opening reception 4/9 from 6 to 8. Exhibition continues through 5/14; open by appointment. He Said She Said, 216 N Harvey, Oak Park. hesaid-shesaid.us

 

Photography: (White Noise) Carol Rosegg; (Vowell) Bennett Miller

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