Faust Company

Our top five picks for things to do this week: Lyric unveils its own lavish Faust … Dog & Pony trots out another genre-buster … Booker T slow boils … Tortoise revs up … Patti Smith comes home (for free)

Redmoon's latest extravaganza, Spectacle '09, runs through Sunday at Belmont Harbor.
FAUSTIAN BARGAIN Tickets for Lyric’s The Damnation of Faust start at $33.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 02.17.10 through Tue 02.23.10:

 

1

opera The Damnation of Faust
Forget the Olympics. This week we’re pitting Chicago against New York, as, in the wake of the Met’s 2008 hit, Lyric Opera mounts its own mega staging of Berlioz’s Faust. One ace in the hole? The luscious mezzo-soprano Susan Graham as Marguerite, a role she nailed in the Big Apple. Let the games begin.
GO: Feb 20–Mar 17. $33-$207. Civic Opera House, 20 N Wacker. lyricopera.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Not your grandma’s opera: The city’s most avant-garde swimmer in the opera pool, Opera Cabal, presents USW, a commission by Oberlin’s Lewis Nielson (think silent actors and snippets of vintage porn).

2

theatre The Twins Would Like to Say
Those who saw Dog & Pony Theatre Co.’s 2008 play As Told by the Vivian Girls, a highly unusual production inspired by the Outsider artist Henry Darger, are familiar with the troupe’s genre-busting style. And D&P’s new play, based on the true story of sisters who spoke to no one but each other and acted in perfect unison for 20 years, is indeed unconventional.
GO: Feb 21–Apr 25. $12-$20; pay what you can Wed. Steppenwolf Garage, 1624 N Halsted. steppenwolf.org

3

theatre The Rant
Few are as qualified to direct a cop story as Sharon Evans: As artistic director of Live Bait Theater, she had police and teens performing together onstage—and her production of What Cops Know back in the ’90s? Unforgettable. While Live Bait is on hold, Evans returns to the stage with Andrew Case’s drama about a police shooting, an autistic child, and a racism-riddled justice system. Just book it.
GO: Feb 18–Mar 28. $18-$22. Mary-Arrchie Theatre, 735 W Sheridan. maryarrchie.com

4

concerts Booker T. Jones
The warm gurgle of Jones’s B-3 organ has been one of pop music’s most pleasurable sounds since his days leading the MGs, and 2009’s Potato Hole shows he’s still in fine form, firing off delightful flourishes on slow-boil instrumentals. To those who’ve been jonesing, don’t delay: An early show at 7 is already sold out.
GO: Feb 20 at 10. $34-$38. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln. oldtownschool.org

5

concerts Tortoise
Last year’s Beacons of Ancestorship was this experimental Chicago group’s first studio album of new material in five years—and the time away seems to have revitalized the band. Expect the five-piece’s trademark mix of exotic rhythms, riffs, and textures, but with a more aggressive edge. In other words, Tortoise out of its shell.
GO: Feb 20 at 10. $20. Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln. lincolnhallchicago.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: St. Vincent, our favorite Laurie Anderson knockoff of the noughties, plays the Metro.

FREEBIES OF THE WEEK

lit/lectures Patti Smith
The author, muse, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and—seldom mentioned fact—Chicago native discusses her new book, Just Kids, about her New York summers of love with the equally iconic photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Go early: Smith’s chat takes place in the Harold Washington Library’s Pritzker Auditorium, which fills up faster than you can say “Because the Night.”
GO: Feb 21. Library opens at 1; auditorium doors open at 1:30; talk at 2. 400 S State. chipublib.org

bonus Nominate a Single
We want you. Chicago is looking for the area’s most eligible men and women to spotlight in our July issue. To find out how to nominate yourself or a friend, visit chicagomag.com/singles.

Photography: Set model design: George Souglides; set photo: Dan Rest

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