Top 5 Things to Do This Week

On your agenda: You and Rosie talk Trump at the Siskel … Invisible Man makes its stage debut at the Court … dudes in tutus take over the Harris … plus, what the two-time National Poetry Slam champ Roger Bonair-Agard is doing this weekend

A scene from 'You've Been Trumped!'
MOOR DRAMA Rosie O’Donnell hosts a talkback following a screening of Anthony
Baxter’s documentary You’ve Been Trumped! at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 1.18.12 through Tue 1.24.12:

1

film Stranger Than Fiction
The Siskel’s annual documentary festival wraps with a flurry of Chicago premieres, many with directors in attendance. Our top pick: Filmmaker Anthony Baxter is onsite for a Q&A following both screenings of You’ve Been Trumped!, his look at a band of activists who vow to block Donald Trump’s plans for a luxury golf course on an unspoiled stretch of Scottish coast. For the 1/20 chat, Baxter is joined by Trump’s chief Twitter sparring partner, Rosie O’Donnell, who saw the movie over the weekend and reportedly loved it. This should be fun.
GO: You’ve Been Trumped!: 1/20 at 8:15, 1/22 at 5:15. See website for full film fest schedule. $7–$11 per film. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State. siskelfilmcenter.org

2

theatre Invisible Man
When the lights go up on Court Theatre’s world-premiere staging of Invisible Man, it will mark the first time Ralph Ellison’s protagonist has lived outside the pages of this beloved 1952 novel on being black in America. Court secured not only the rights from the Ellison trust but a boldface-name director (Christopher McElroen, Waiting for Godot in New Orleans) and Broadway-groomed leading man (Teagle F. Bougere, A Raisin in the Sun, The Tempest). For more on how Court succeeded where so many others had failed, read our Q&A from Chicago’s January issue.
GO: Previews through 1/20; $35–$45. Regular run continues through 2/19; $45–$65. Court Theatre, 5535 S Ellis. courttheatre.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: In Race, making its Chicago premiere at the Goodman now through 2/19, David Mamet delivers an acid bath of a courtroom drama, packed with the most eviscerating dialogue on race and gender you’re likely to hear uttered in public.

3

dance Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
The tights, the tutus, the leaps: Ballet comes with the camp built in. Witness the all-male Trocks prove it’s not so far from swan feathers to boas.
GO: 1/24 at 7:30. $45–$75. Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph. harristheaterchicago.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Dance Evolve: New Works Festival, 1/19–29 at the MCA, features world-premiere choreography from Hubbard Street’s resident dance maker, Alejandro Cerrudo, as well as one possible heir to his next-big-thing throne, Penny Saunders.

4

jazz Chicago Jazz Ensemble
Christian McBride is probably the first bass player you’d call when planning a Charles Mingus tribute. The singer-rapper-bassist Meshell Ndegeocello as second bass—that’s a home run. Both join the CJE in Beneath the Underdog: The Musical World of Charles Mingus.
GO: 1/20 at 7:30. $18–$48. Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph. chijazz.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: On the rock front, The Kills prove less is more with stripped-down vocals, scuzzy guitar, and lean beats. Hear the coed twosome 1/20 at the Riv.

5

theatre Home/Land
After months of research and interviews, the teenage producers/performers of Albany Park Theater Project present a ripped-from-the-headlines drama based on real-life stories of undocumented immigrants in Chicago. If you’re not sold on kid-generated theatre for adults, a gentle reminder: APTP’s last production, Feast, was extended five times.
GO: 1/20–2/25. $6–$22. Laura Wiley Theater, 5100 N Ridgeway. aptpchicago.org

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

National Poetry Slam champion Roger Bonair-Agard
Roger Bonair-Agard

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: the two-time National Poetry Slam champion and Logan Square resident Roger Bonair-Agard, who offers a sneak peak of his book in progress at WBEZ’s Winter Block Party for Chicago’s Hip-Hop Arts, 1/21 at the Metro. Bonair-Agard’s talk is at 3, and admission is free.

“Friday at 8 I’m cohosting Real Talk Live at Elastic Arts Foundation in Logan Square. It’s a monthly variety arts show that has an open mic, as well as two featured performers in two genres. This month we have Boston poet Simone Beaubien and a hip-hop act by Tha Steinmenautz, a group of five rappers who recently graduated high school from Steinmetz [and who appear in the award-winning documentary Louder Than a Bomb]. With this show, we try to bridge as many populations in Chicago as we can. We encourage people to come and perform whatever art form they want.

“I’m taking part in a collective discussion, Word: Across Generations, at the Metro on Saturday for WBEZ’s Block Party. We will be discussing the influence music has on people’s writing—the idea that the music you grow up listening to is huge in terms of the choices you make as a writer, what you write about, and rhythmically how you write. I’ll be talking about how calypso and hip-hop both influence my works. We each will be performing a few pieces. I’m choosing to share some works from a manuscript I’m working on that will release in spring 2013, The Gospel According to Saint Moses the Black.

“I’ll be sticking around and checking out the dance competition at 4. Also, there’s a street art and graffiti gallery exhibit with a couple local artists whose works I find really refreshing: Angela Davis Fegan and Krista Franklin. They’re both collagists that do eclectic work.

“After the block party, Saturday night will be quiet for me. I’ll head back home, pack, and get ready for my flight to New York on Sunday. I have to prep for a creative writing class I teach on Tuesdays at Fordham University.” —As told to Heather Youkhana

FREEBIE OF THE WEEK

galleries The Renaissance Society
Not many artists can conjure searing emotional scenarios out two half-nude mannequins, a stove, and weird bric-a-brac, but the Irish artist and 2008 Turner Prize nominee Cathy Wilkes nails it. At times bordering on the absurd, her best works cut close to the bone.
GO: Opening reception 1/22 from 4 to 7; artist talk at 5. Exhibit continues through 3/4. The Renaissance Society, U of C, 5811 S Ellis. renaissancesociety.org

 

Photograph: (BONAIR-AGARD) Jerry Schulman

 

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