Your Top 5 Plans This Week

On your agenda: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater bounds into town for a five-day engagement … Lizzy Caplan premieres her new flick at the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival … Art, photography, and film are fair game for the fashion designers featured at the Art Institute

An Alvin Ailey dancer
LEAPS AND BOUNDS Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater kicks off a five-day stint
at Auditorium Theatre on 4/11.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 4.11.12 through Tue 4.17.12:

1

dance ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
In his first season as artistic director, Robert Battle infuses post-modern history into the beloved troupe’s repertoire—which more recently seemed stuck in a pop-oriented rut. This 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.
GO: 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

ALSO THIS WEEK: Natya Dance Theatre and Mordine & Company Dance Theater—two frequent Chicago collaborators—engage in a cross-cultural experiment in motion at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie on 4/14.

2

film CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL MOVIES & MUSIC FESTIVAL
This fourth-annual fest has a lineup of docs and features about music—including Queens of Country, a twang-tinged comedy starring Lizzy Caplan. Caplan makes an appearance—along with costar Joe Lo Truglio and the film’s directors—at its Chicago premiere at Wicker Park Art Center on 4/12.
GO: 4/12–15. Schedule, locations, and ticket prices: cimmfest.org

3

museums SURVIVAL TECHNIQUES: NARRATIVES OF RESISTANCE
During politically turbulent times, a camera can be even more powerful than the acts of civil disobedience it captures. Davide Quadrio, who was in Thailand during the 2010 antigovernment protests, curates this group show, which includes work by Yto Barrada (whose images also are being exhibited at The Renaissance Society) and collects photographs of recent social unrest in Asia, the Arab world, and the Americas.
GO: 4/13–7/1. Free. Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S Michigan. mocp.org

4

museums RASHID JOHNSON: MESSAGE TO OUR FOLKS
Johnson, born in Chicago but now based in Brooklyn, looks at African American identity, both personal and pop, in an era that has been called postblack and postmedia. His photographs reference figures from Frederick Douglass to Don King, and his installations—filled with plants, jazz albums, gold knickknacks, and fractured mirrors—are like snapshots of spacey ’70s apartments.
GO: 4/14–8/5. Free (kids under 13) to $12; free Tue for Illinois residents. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago. mcachicago.org

5

museums FASHIONING THE OBJECT: BLESS, BOUDICCA, SANDRA BACKLUND
To say fashion these days is just about clothes is to miss the bigger picture. Art, photography, architecture, and film are all fair game for designers, including the three highlighted here.
GO: 4/14–9/13. Free (kids under 14) to $18. Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan. artic.edu/aic

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

Brian Dickie
Brian Dickie

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Brian Dickie, the general director of Chicago Opera Theater, who closes his 13th —and last—season with the company this month. COT sends off Dickie, who has been in the opera business for 50 years, with two April productions at Harris Theater: Moscow, Cheryomushki, a Soviet-inspired satire opening 4/14, and the opera Teseo, set in classical Greece, opening 4/21.

My prime consideration this weekend is making sure our productions get up and running. We have rehearsals [for Teseo] all Friday afternoon and evening. But I’ll be having a dinner party for dear friends that evening. The dinner isn’t for opera people—I had a huge lunch party for them on Easter Sunday with roast lamb. This time, I’ll cook anything that can be put together quickly. There’s a wonderful English cookbook, by Nigel Slater, to knock out something easy in no time at all. The American version is called Real Fast Food: 350 Recipes Ready-to-Eat in 30 Minutes. Jamie Oliver says Nigel is a genius. I say he’s a genius too, so that makes two of us.

[Moscow, Cheryomushki] has its opening night Saturday, and it’s always a time of great excitement. I prepare myself for that by a little relaxation in the morning, like going shopping at Pastoral on Broadway for cheese and the excellent bread they sell. I’ll get to the theatre early and go backstage and kiss the singers—I find they sing much better if they have an opening night kiss wishing them luck. I only kiss the girls, I hasten to add. After the show, of course, there will be a party at the theatre where everybody lets their hair down.

On Sunday morning, if the weather is conducive to it, I’ll go for a walk. I live near the lakeside, and I take full advantage of that. I usually start at Belmont Harbor and go to Diversey Harbor. It takes me a long time because I stop to look at things and take photographs. I normally wander. In the afternoon, we have rehearsals for Teseo. There’s not a lot of time to relax—we don’t have weekends in our business. That’s the nature of the thing.

—As told to Andrea Scott

FREEBIE OF THE WEEK

new music FOURTH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Fourth’s organist, John W.W. Sherer, pulls together an organ concert of music played on the Titanic and other elegies to memorialize the 100th anniversary of when the great ship went down. A serious bummer never sounded so good.
GO: 4/15 at 7. 126 E Chestnut. fourthchurch.org

 

Photography: (ALVIN AILEY) ANDREW ECCLES; (DICKIE) COURTESY OF CHICAGO OPERA THEATER

 

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