Let’s Get Fiscal

Our top five picks for things to do this week: Smart money moves, courtesy of the Seldoms … the reigning Turner Prize winner muses on art … a gem of a film series flickers back to life … free theatre, free snacks … plus—genius alert—what the pianist Reginald Robinson is doing this weekend

A scene from 'Stupormarket' by The Seldoms
DANCING AROUND THE ISSUE Stupormarket, the Seldoms’ new dance work on
the state of the economy, debuts this week at Stage 773.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 02.16.11 through Tue 02.22.11:

1

dance The Seldoms
Pretty much anything Carrie Hanson does, we’re interested; case in point: 2008’s Monument, a dance work inspired by Staten Island’s Fresh Kills landfill. Now the choreographer and artistic director of the local postmodern troupe The Seldoms tackles another stinker: the economy. In Stupormarket, a full-length performance three years in the making, Hanson addresses everything from the declining luxury market to home foreclosures with equally streamlined gestures.
GO: 2/17–19 at 8, 2/20 at 3. $10–$18. Stage 773, 1225 W Belmont. stage773.com

2

museums Susan Philipsz
If there’s such a thing as an art-star maker, the Turner Prize—the UK’s annual nod to one British artist under the age of 50, with a nice check attached—is it. Which makes it a Very Big Deal that last year’s winner, Susan Philipsz, will unveil her first Chicago commission, We Shall Be All, on 2/26 at the MCA—but first she’ll discuss the project, a sound installation inspired by our city’s rich history as a union town and by Maxwell Street’s late blues scene, this week. Are you doing the math? If A = B = C, then your Tuesday night should be spent at the MCA.
GO: 2/22 at 6. $6–$10. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago. mcachicago.org

3

theatre Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart: A Rave Fable
If the title doesn’t grab you—or, worse, puts you to sleep—maybe Halcyon Theatre’s disclaimer will do the trick: “contains adult themes and language, drug use, sexuality, and violence.” Herein, playwright Caridad Svich transplants Greek myth to Latin America to see what happens when an archetypal Good Girl escapes her gilded cage and embraces the self-actualizing agony and ecstasy of sex, drugs, and glam rock.
GO: 2/17–3/27; $10–$20. Halcyon Theatre at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N Lincoln. halcyontheatre.org

4

film Written on the Wind
The Northwest Chicago Film Society was one of those things we didn’t miss until it was gone: a movie buff’s lineup of classics and rarities, projected in fine film form at the Bank of America Cinema on Irving Park Road—until the branch closed in December. Some good news for us, and others, guilty of taking local gems for granted: NCFS has scored a new home at the Portage, and while the film series’ first installment, Douglas Sirk’s 1956 melodrama Written on the Wind isn’t the most obscure of flicks, it’s a fitting candidate for reminding us that nothing is forever.
GO: 2/16 at 7:30. $5. Portage Theater, 4050 N Milwaukee. northwestchicagofilmsociety.org

5

opera Joyce DiDonato
Sure, it’s fun to put on the gems and the furs and settle in for five hours at the Civic, but we don’t always have the patience—or the cash. For the young and/or the restless, we present door number 2: the Chicago recital debut of this mezzo-soprano—as seen in a multiplicity of roles at Lyric, including a gender-bending turn in last year’s The Marriage of Figaro—singing works by Haydn, Rossini, and others. Runtime: a manageable two hours, including intermission.
GO: 2/18 at 7:30. $5–$35. Mandel Hall, U of C, 1131 E 57th, chicagopresents.uchicago.edu

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

Pianist Reginald Robinson
Reginald Robinson

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals (a.k.a. people we like): Reginald Robinson, the pianist, composer, former MacArthur fellow, foremost ragtime scholar, and dad, who plays three gigs—two for adults, one for pint-size fans—this weekend.

“When I’m not performing, I’ll be at home, writing music. That’s what I normally do: Stay home, write my music. What do I do when I’m writing? I do exactly what I want to do. I take breaks, I go into the kitchen, but I rarely look at the TV. Who watches TV anymore? Everything I need is online: I like to find out things, research. But for the most part, I’m writing my music down. I transfer my notes to paper then put it into music software so I can actually listen to it. I can hear it differently that way than when I’m just sitting at the piano, playing. That’s enjoyable right there.”

GO: Robinson accompanies Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre 2/18 at 11 (sold out) and 2/19 at 8. $15–$35. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N Southport. cerquarivera.org. Also: Kidjazz! 2/19 at 10 am. $12. McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell, Glen Ellyn. atthemac.org

FREEBIES OF THE WEEK

theatre Circle Mirror Transformation
We’re not calling you cheap. But. You can catch an open rehearsal of Victory Gardens’ latest—one of our top picks for February theatre—free this week, with equally free snacks and drinks to follow. The play, about a community college Creative Dramatics class, includes one of the best and snarkiest lines ever: “Are we going to be doing any real acting?” There’s also a talkback after the performance, which means, in theory, you could ask your own version of the above query, substituting, say, “seeing” for “doing.” But with the A-plus Dexter Bullard directing, we don’t anticipate any disappoints. Plus, why bite the hand that gives you free food?
GO: 2/17 at 6. RSVP required: 773-549-5788 ext. 2131 or tspeicher@victorygardens.org. Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N Lincoln. victorygardens.org

sports/rec Chicago Winter Dance
Like the city’s perennial favorite, Summerdance, except without the balmy temps or suntans. This second-annual festival in Millennium Park includes dance and ice-skating lessons, plus opportunities to hoof it on the Pritzker Pavilion stage, but we’re especially intrigued by the late-night ice danceathons. This weekend’s soundtrack: Lady Gaga. (Due to weather, not to mention the law, pants recommended.)
GO: Ice-dance parties: 2/18­–19 from 7 to 11. McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, Millennium Park, Michigan and Washington. Full schedule: explorechicago.org

 

Photograph: (Stupormarket) William Frederking

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