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This Week’s Five: National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch makes its Chicago premiere … dance for $5, theatre for $10, concerts for $15 … plus, what Kartemquin Films’ founder Gordon Quinn is doing this weekend

A scene from 'Black Watch'
THE GREEN ZONE Following two sold-out runs in New York, playwright Gregory
Burke’s Black Watch, based on interviews with Scottish soldiers about their
experiences in Iraq, makes its Chicago premiere.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 03.23.11 through Tue 03.29.11:

1

theatre Black Watch
Vets swapping war stories in a Scottish pub? It only sounds as though you’ve seen this show before. Gregory Burke’s drama won raves in Edinburgh, London, and New York for its brutal immediacy in retracing events in Iraq—and for managing to avoid passing any moral judgments. Don’t miss its Chicago premiere.
GO: 3/29–4/10. $38–$45. National Theatre of Scotland at the Broadway Armory, 5917 N Broadway. chicagoshakes.com

2

dance Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago
Five bucks fewer, and it would qualify as a freebie: Brown-bag it for a dirt cheap peek at this local troupe’s latest boundary-stretching program—featuring one world premiere by the up-and-coming Chicago dance maker Autumn Eckman and another by Del Dominguez that marries ballroom and Latin—performed in full at the weekend’s evening performances. With tickets starting at $15, even those are a steal.
GO: Eat to the Beat matinee: 3/25 at noon. $5. Evening performances: 3/25–­­26 at 8. $15­–$60. Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph. harristheaterchicago.org

3

theatre Graphomaniax
Got another ten bucks? Spend it on theatre—and a chance to feel like a VIP. With the Pritzker Pavilion’s plays-in-progress series In the Works, every last guest gets the best seat in the house: on stage. Next up is Graphomaniax, an experimental piece on our data-driven society from the local theatre company Plasticene, whose artistic director, Dexter Bullard, won raves earlier this month with The Big Meal at American Theater Company and Circle Mirror Transformation at Victory Gardens. Talk about driven.
GO: 3/24–26. $10. Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph. explorechicago.org

4

jazz Chi-Town Jazz Fest
For the second year running, the guitarist and Catholic priest John Moulder calls in favors from his fellow musicians and local club owners, with door proceeds going to Catholic Charities and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. And once again, jazz listeners get the trickle-down benefit, with sets from the drummer Dana Hall at Jazz Showcase (3/23 at 8), The Engines at the Hideout (3/23 at 10), the trumpeter Orbert Davis at FitzGerald’s (3/26 at 8), and many others.
GO: All sets $8–$15. Full schedule: johnmoulder.com

5

rock The Greenhornes, Destroyer
This week’s rock shocker: All three shows from Montreal’s mesmerizing postrock ensemble Godspeed You Black Emperor are sold out (who knew stoners could move so quickly?). But two top alternatives remain, both with connections to groups you already love. The Greenhornes—a.k.a. the Raconteurs, minus Jack White—play bluesy garage rock at Double Door, with the Chicago buzz band White Mystery opening. Meanwhile, Destroyer—a.k.a. the New Pornographers’ Dan Bejar, who’s already locked in a slot at this year’s Pitchfork—brings his icy beats to Lincoln Hall.
GO: The Greenhornes: 3/25 at 9. $12–$20. Double Door, 1572 N Milwaukee. doubledoor.com. Destroyer: 3/29 at 9. $15. Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln. lincolnhallchicago.com

 

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

Gordon Quinn
Gordon Quinn

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals (a.k.a. people we like): Gordon Quinn, who cofounded Kartemquin Films (Hoop Dreams, Stevie) in 1966 fresh out of the U of C and now serves as its artistic director.

“Two things I’m hoping to do this weekend: on Sunday night, go see Ethan Frome at Lookingglass. We had a meeting with [the theatre company] several weeks ago about how our two organizations both try to frame a dialogue with the audience, so I’m interested to see how they stage that.

“And then a documentary at the Siskel Film Center, The Woman with the Five Elephants, which has nothing to do with elephants. It’s about a woman who is the translator of many of Dostoyevsky’s novels. What interests me are the ins and outs of translation. Many years ago, I was involved with the translation of one of our films in Ferrara, Italy. My wife knew a high-school teacher there, and the teacher made it a project for her students to translate this film—about a strike at a factory in the Gary/Hammond area that made chain for the steel companies—into Italian. The students played all of the different parts, and we dubbed the film, all of us in a room together, with me cueing the kids by pointing at them. We showed it in town, and the room was packed, with maybe 400 people there.

“I thought, What a wonderful way to deal with language. It got me very interested in the nuances of language and culture and how the two can’t be separated. Every time I meet a language teacher over here, I mention it. I’ve been pitching this idea as a class project for 25 years, but I haven’t had any takers.”

GO: Quinn and the Trib journalist Howard Reich cohost a screening and discussion of the 2010 Kartemquin film Prisoner of Her Past, about Reich’s effort to understand his mother’s World War II childhood and its lasting trauma, 3/24 at 5. $20–$25. Pritzker Military Library, 104 S Michigan. Other upcoming screenings include a WTTW broadcast of the 1968 documentary Inquiring Nuns, 3/31 at 9. More on these and additional screenings: kartemquin.com/events

FREEBIE OF THE WEEK

galleries Chicago Bike Winter Art Show Closing Party
Less ice on the ground means we’re more likely to cycle our wussy selves to this annual affair’s wrap party, featuring art from the likes of Maria Scileppi, who gave 30 local bike messengers GPS trackers for a day, then turned their paths into a painting; plus puppet and fashion shows, and X-Rays of bikers’ broken bones. On second thought . . .
GO: 3/25 from 7 pm to 1 am. $1 bike valet. Chicago Urban Art Society, 2229 S Halsted. bikewinter.org

 

Photography: (Black Watch) Manuel Harlan; (Quinn) Courtesy of Kartemquin Films

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