Frames of Reference

Our top five picks for things to do this week: Chicago comics go highbrow… homegirl Nora Dunn improvises … Neil LaBute chews the fat … Gary Griffin does Shakespeare … a found photographer comes to light … plus, what Bloodshot Records co-owner Nan Warshaw is doing this weekend

An excerpt from 'The Lagoon' by Lille Carré
DRAWN AND QUARTERED A show of works by four Chicago comic artists,
including Lilli Carré (above), opens Jan 8 at the MCA.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 01.05.10 through Tue 01.11.11:

1

comedy Nora Dunn Presents: Mythical Proportions
The SNL and Entourage vet and West Side native launches a new solo show she’s calling a “work in progress.” Which sounds a lot like the Bears’ playoff plans. Plus: Read our 2008 story on Dunn from Chicago’s archives.
GO: Jan 6, 13, 20, 27 at 8. $12. iO Theater, 3541 N Clark. ioimprov.com

2

museums New Chicago Comics
Not the Nora Dunn kind—the other sort of comic for which Chicago is known: the graphic art form with a long and lively history here. The MCA presents a flip through the pages, panels, and animations of four notable practitioners working today: Jeffrey Brown, Paul Hornschemeier, Anders Nilsen, and Lilli Carré—who’s not only a Chicagoan but also a Chicagoan.
GO: Jan 8–30. $7–$12; free Tue. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago. mcachicago.org

3

theatre Neil LaBute
The playwright, filmmaker, and part-time local spends the evening reading and answering questions at his Chicago home away from home, Profiles Theatre, where his Tony-nominated Reasons to Be Pretty makes its Midwest premiere later this month. At a similar chat last year, LaBute gave several pages of an unpublished script to a woman in the audience, just because she asked. But don’t get greedy. As fans of LaBute plays know, the greedy and the grasping tend to come away looking very unpretty indeed.
GO: Jan 8 at 7:30. $60. Profiles Theatre, 4147 N Broadway. profilestheatre.org

4

theatre As You Like It
Find out why all the world’s a stage when the Rockfordian Gary Griffin (Broadway’s The Color Purple, Lyric’s The Mikado) directs the Bard’s oft-quoted comedy of love and cross-dressing.
GO: Previews Jan 5­–11; $44. Run continues through Mar 6; $44–$75. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier, 800 E Grand. chicagoshakes.com

5

classical Prokofiev 5
First-rate bill or James Bond plot? As part of the citywide Soviet Arts Experience, two British VIPs, the conductor Sir Mark Elder and the pianist Stephen Hough, pair up for an all-Russian caper through the music of Liadov, Prokofiev, and Tchaikovsky (including the latter’s Piano Concerto No. 1—blissfully not The Nutcracker).
GO: Jan 6, 8 at 8. $28–$211. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan. cso.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: The performance artist extraordinaire Laurie Anderson unleashes her latest multimedia extravaganza, Delusion, featuring funky screen projections and lilting narration Jan 11 at the Harris.

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

Co-owner of Bloodshot Records, Nan Warshaw
Nan Warshaw

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals (a.k.a. people we like): Nan Warshaw, the co-owner of Chicago’s Bloodshot Records.

“My weekend will be uncommonly chill—not at all like a typical weekend. We’ll untrim our tree and take it to be recycled. I’ll likely have time to cook up a big ol’ pot of hearty organic potato-leek soup and make an eggplant–tomato–red wine pasta sauce with a touch of toasted sesame oil. Saturday night a friend is having a late holiday party at Delilah’s, then we might make it out to the Friendly Tap in Berwyn to see Dollar Store. On Sunday we may go computer shopping to replace my so-very-slow old computer at Bloodshot. Could even have time for a full game of Scrabble with my kid.

“Tonight, Wednesday, I’ll be DJing at Delilah’s, spinning hard country and roots-inflected indie rock, as I have been doing there for the past 19 years. I treat my long-standing first-Wednesday-of-each-month DJ night as my whiskey-tasting night, sampling from their 350-plus whiskeys.”

GO: Warshaw DJs from 9 until 2 on Jan 5 at Delilah’s. Her set doubles as a viewing party for the Bloodshot artist Justin Townes Earle’s Wednesday appearance on David Letterman; in addition to spinning songs from Earle’s new album, Harlem River Blues, Warshaw will give away Bloodshot swag.

 

FREEBIES OF THE WEEK

galleries Finding Vivian Maier: Chicago Street Photographer
The tale of the photos’ unearthing sounds like an episode of American Pickers, but the pictures themselves tell an even more compelling story of Chicago from the 1950s through the ’70s. Don’t miss this chance to see the work of the late Vivian Maier—a North Shore nanny with a secret talent for street photography—in her first known Chicago show.
GO: Opening reception Jan 7 from 5:30 to 7:30. Exhibition continues through Apr 3. Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington. 312-744-6630

galleries The Collective
David Weinberg Gallery ends its nearly five-year run on a high note with this salon-style show of works by 21 gallery artists. A roomy floor plan, eclectic range, and eagerness to exhibit young up-and-comers alongside established pros made the space a regular Friday-night-crawl stop. Don’t miss this opportunity to say farewell.
GO: Opening reception Jan 7 from 5 to 8. Exhibition continues through Feb 18. 300 W Superior, Ste 203. davidweinberggallery.com

 

Photography: (COMIC) Lilli CarrÉ. Excerpt from The Lagoon, 2008. Courtesy of the artist. (WARSHAW) Kentaro Murai

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