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Top 5 Things to Do This Week

On your agenda: The Seldoms dance their way through Harris Theater … a Southern-style tragedy strikes Stage 773 … CSO’s composers in residence premiere works inspired by a farm, Fermilab, and Franz Schubert … plus, what the Chicago Dramatists resident playwright and actor-about-town Jon Steinhagen is doing this weekend

The Seldoms
ALL THE THEATRE IS A STAGE The Seldoms (above) set off their tenth year with
This Is Not a Dance Concert, a roving romp through the Harris Theater.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 2.1.12 through Tue 2.7.12:

1

dance The Seldoms
True to its site-specific mission, the experimental local collective kicks off its tenth anniversary with This Is Not a Dance Concert, a one-hour roaming performance in the Harris Theater’s lobby, restrooms, freight elevator, backstage area, and, finally, on the actual stage. Sartorialists take note: The Chicago fashion designer Maria Pinto—known for outfitting Michelle Obama and Oprah—created the street-meets-couture costumes.
GO: 2/4 at 7, 8:15, and 9:30. $20. Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph. harristheaterchicago.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Bonedanse Excavation opens This Is a Damage Manual, a dance-theatre project with source material ranging from vintage instruction manuals to old self-help recordings, at Theater Wit on 2/2.

2

theatre Orpheus Descending
Not the Sarah Ruhl production with whimsical umbrellas—the Tennessee Williams play with bone-deep tragedy. Williams moved the ancient Greek tale of a musician and his kidnapped bride to the Deep South and examines the erotic, alluring energy of a lonesome guitar.
GO: Previews 2/7–9; $18. Run continues through 3/11; $28–$34. Shattered Globe at Stage 773, 1225 W Belmont. shatteredglobe.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Starting 2/2 at Chopin Theatre, The Hypocrites take their turn at Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, a twisting classic about the theatre of theatre.

3

classical Composers in Residence
Riccardo Muti conducts world premieres by Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s resident composers, Mason Bates and Anna Clyne. Bates’s Alternative Energy blends a live orchestra with his trademark electronica (he moonlights as a DJ), including sounds from a 100-year-old farm and Fermilab’s particle accelerator (2/2–4, 7). Clyne’s orchestral work Night Ferry grew from the mentally turbulent life of Franz Schubert, whose own Ninth Symphony and Entr’acte No 3 from Rosamunde complete the bill (2/9–11).
GO: 2/2–11. $27–$209. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan. cso.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: The Chicago-born experimental composer, jazz trombonist, and former MacArthur fellow George Lewis joins International Contemporary Ensemble 2/5 at the MCA for a program of his work and that of other composers inspired by him.

4

concerts Carrie Rodriguez, Pieta Brown, and Kelly Joe Phelps
Three acoustic troubadours take turns in Old Town School of Folk Music’s spotlight, which showcases Rodriguez’s pretty, pensive songs and soulful fiddling, Brown’s honey-coated singing, and Phelps’s interpretation of blues tradition.
GO: 2/2 at 7:30. $18–$22. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln. oldtownschool.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Circle back to Old Town School of Folk Music 2/3–4, when Ladysmith Black Mambazo brings the a cappella sounds of South Africa to the stage, or 2/4 to hear country folkie Diana Jones play tunes that draw on old-time Appalachian tradition.

5

galleries Corbett vs Dempsey
Molly Zuckerman-Hartung is on a roll, with recent successful gallery shows in Milan and New York, an upcoming Chicago Works exhibition at the MCA, and here, her first solo outing. Her trademark is thickly painted abstract canvases. Here’s hoping her newest works will be as juicy as ever.
GO: 2/3–3/17. Free. 1120 N Ashland. corbettvsdempsey.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: In the past, Scott Wolniak has exhibited crushed canvases and a painting that looked like someone threw a brick through it. We expect the unexpected from his second solo outing, opening 2/4 at Andrew Rafacz Gallery.

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

Jon Steinhagen
Jon Steinhagen

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Jon Steinhagen, the Signal Ensemble Theatre company member and Chicago Dramatists resident playwright who has not one but two new plays showing on Chicago stages this month: Dating Walter Dante, a brooding comedy that premieres 2/7 at Raven Theatre, and Blizzard ’67, a four-man drama running through 2/12 at Chicago Dramatists. And he’s playing Walter Franz in the Raven’s late-February production of Arthur Miller’s all-in-the-family drama The Price. And covering the occasional ticket-taking shift.

“On Friday, I’ll be learning my lines for The Price. It’s the first time I’ll have done any play by Arthur Miller and it’s an emotionally heavy one, so it’s going to be intense. For some reason, when I’m studying a script I confine myself to the kitchen. I can’t seem to remember lines unless I’m there, pacing back and forth with the script propped on the counter.

“Saturday I have a rehearsal at Raven Theatre, then I’ll head to get some food at Mrs. Murphy and Sons Irish Bistro, where I usually order the special, no matter what it is. It’s around the corner from Signal Ensemble Theatre, where I’ll be running the box office that night for Motion, a new play by Ronan Marra that’s showing through March. After performances, Signal Ensemble people tend to head to Konak Pizza & Grill on Clark Street. It’s a local place with a small bar, good food, and a lounge in the back where you can play pool. Or lose at pool, as the case may be for me.

“I have another rehearsal Sunday, but other than that, my plans are up in the air. To me, a perfect Sunday would start with ham and eggs—maybe at the Golden Apple in Lake View. Then the rest of the day would be spent working on material, catching up on reading, and meeting friends. Signal Ensemble is having a Super Bowl party after an early matinee of Motion, but I might use the free evening to catch up with life. I hate to admit it, but I’m not really a football fan.”

—As told to Lena Singer

FREEBIE OF THE WEEK

classical Civic Orchestra of Chicago
The CSO’s training orchestra performs an open rehearsal of César Franck’s Symphony in d with Maestro Muti. Or, you could pay anywhere from $23 to $201 to hear Muti conduct the A-team orchestra the next night. Your choice.
GO: 2/6 at 7. Tickets required; see website for details. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan. cso.org

 

Photography: (The Seldoms) William Frederking; (Steinhagen) Bob Knuth

 

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