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Top 5 Things to Do This Week: All Free!

On your agenda: Recover from holiday spending with a week of free stuff, from a documentary on Carl Sandburg to a digest of ten-minute plays by boldface names. Plus, what WFMT’s David Polk is doing this weekend.

Carl Sandberg, Pete Seeger, and Paul Bonesteel
Carl Sandburg (far left) gets the bio treatment in a new documentary featuring Pete
Seeger (center), from the filmmaker Paul Bonesteel (right). See it this week at the
Poetry Foundation.

THE FIVE: ALL-FREE EDITION!

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 1.04.12 through Tue 1.10.12:

1

film The Day Carl Sandburg Died
Isn’t it poetic to think of others before oneself? On its own centennial, the Poetry Foundation honors the late Carl Sandburg—two-time Pulitzer winner, biographer, journalist, novelist, poet, political organizer, and folk singer—with the premiere of The Day Carl Sandburg Died. The documentary, six years in the making, includes interviews with Studs Terkel and Pete Seeger, and a conversation between the Chicago poet and slam founder Marc Smith and the film’s director, Paul Bonesteel, follows each screening.
GO: 1/6 at 7, 1/7 at 3. Free! Poetry Foundation, 61 W Superior. poetryfoundation.org

2

theatre Ten
The Gift Theatre celebrates its tenth anniversary with ten new ten-minute plays from ten playwrights whose work The Gift has produced in the past ten years. With heavyweights including Eric Bogosian (Suburbia, Talk Radio) and Craig Wright (Mistakes Were Made) on the program, don’t be surprised to witness ten standing ovations.
GO: 1/5–15. Free! The Gift Theatre, 4802 N Milwaukee. thegifttheatre.org

3

museums Culture Catalyst: Stephanie Izard
What or whom, pray tell, is a culture catalyst? See: Stephanie Izard, a Chicago influencer and the next participant in the MCA’s ongoing series of chats with local movers and shakers. Get to know the girl behind the Goat during a Q&A, then stick around while she signs copies of her cookbook Girl in the Kitchen: How a Top Chef Cooks, Thinks, Shops, Eats, and Drinks.
GO: 1/10 at 6; book signing at 7:30. Free! Cash bar. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago. mcachicago.org

4

sports/rec Snowshoeing and Crosscountry Skiing on Northerly Island
Weekends in January, the city grooms its 91-acre peninsula for seasonal traversing. What better way to appreciate the wintertime skyline than from one of the best—and driest—scenic outlooks the lake has to offer? (Unless you get hit with a snowball, of course. Consider this fair warning.) If this weekend’s forecasted highs in the 40s means there’s no snow to ski on, you’ll still have three January weekends left. Call 312-745-2910 for updates.
GO: 1/7–8, 14–15, 22, 28–29 from 10 to 4. Free if you have your own equipment; $5 rental for two hours. Northerly Island, 1400 S Lynn White. chicagoparkdistrict.com

5

talks The Community of the Future
If you haven’t read our story from Chicago’s January issue on Ed Marszewski, the publisher, bar owner, and unofficial mayor of Bridgeport, you can find it here. Besides serving up one of the city’s best beer lists at his tavern, Maria’s, Marszewski has a vision for the neighborhood: He and like-minded fellow residents are relaunching a bar night devoted to a different urban-planning topic each week. First up: “Do we need a health clinic in Bridgeport?,” moderated by Marszewski and his wife, the artist responsible for Maria’s awesome beer-bottle light fixtures, Rachael. The confab is perfect for those whose New Year’s resolution is either “Get involved” or “Drink more beer.”
GO: 1/8 at 6. Free! Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar, 960 W 31st. community-bar.com

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

David Polk, host and founding producer of WFMT's 'Introductions'
David Polk

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: David Polk, host and founding producer of the WFMT program Introductions, featuring performances from young classical musicians. Hear it Saturdays at 11 a.m. on 98.7.

“I like to have my Friday lunch at a Korean diner near the studio called Ban Po Jung [3450 W. Foster Ave.]. It’s delicious and absurdly cheap. If I don’t have my Korean kimchi at least once a week, I start to get the shakes. And I get my weekly fix of this Korean version of American Idol that’s always on [the TV]. It’s so vibrant and intense that I honestly wouldn’t watch it anywhere else.

“I have a rare Saturday off because the performance for this weekend’s show is pretaped—and I’ll take advantage. Friday night I’m going to see a friend perform in a remake of the Pirates of Penzance by The Hypocrites at the Chopin Theatre. I love Gilbert and Sullivan. I typically don’t like to learn too much about a performance before seeing it, but I’ve heard that this one is particularly wacky. Gilbert and Sullivan are already wacky to begin with, so you can only imagine.

“I have about two months’ worth of New Yorker magazines to get through, so I hope to plow through those on Saturday while listening to the radio. My new favorite radio program is on WFMT Saturdays at 6 p.m.: The Piano Matters, with David Dubal. He’s a Juilliard professor and absolutely insane in the best possible way. He plays gorgeous piano music, which is perfect to read to. Radio is also great for doing things like laundry and cleaning—makes them seem much classier. And Sunday mornings at midnight are always a treat, because Blues Before Sunrise is on WDCB. The host, Steve Cushing, is a Chicago treasure, and there’s nothing like old blues and jazz wafting through the apartment late at night.

“Sunday is full of aspiration—anything and everything—but since it’s supposed to be nearly 50 degrees, I may skip everything and just go for a walk.” —As told to Heather Youkhana

 

Photography: (Sandburg) Dana Steichen; (POLK) Bill Richert

 

 

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