Top 5 Things to Do This Week

On your agenda: Frankenstein tells Pinocchio’s story at The Neo-Futurarium … The Chicago Flower & Garden Show springs up at Navy Pier … Robert Glasper tinkles the ivories at the Double Door … plus, what the artist Michael Fleming and his twin brother and collaborator, Alan Fleming, are doing this weekend

A scene from the play 'FML: How Carson McCullers Saved My Life'
I’M A REAL BOY! The Neo-Futurists debut The Strange and Terrible True Tale of
Pinocchio (The Wooden Boy) as Told by Frankenstein’s Monster (The Wretched
Creature)
, a world premiere by Greg Allen, starting 3/9.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 3.7.12 through Tue 3.13.12:

1

theatre The Strange and Terrible True Tale of Pinocchio (The Wooden Boy) as Told by Frankenstein’s Monster (The Wretched Creature)
Who could relay Pinocchio’s story better than another infamously motherless creation? With this world premiere, the Neo-Futurists revive the classic children’s fable through the eyes of Frankenstein. But do not—repeat, do not—bring the kids to this violent, intriguingly weird show.
GO: Preview 3/9; pay what you can. Regular run 3/10–4/14; $10–$20. Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N Ashland. neofuturists.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: After more than 16 years of drifting, the women of Rivendell Theatre Ensemble get a space of their own—a snazzy new black box in Edgewater. Beginning 3/8, they stage Falling: A Wake, a play loosely based on the 1988 explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

2

shows Chicago Flower & Garden Show
Spring is in the air—for the predictable future, at least. It may be too soon to start digging in the dirt, but it’s as good a time as any to gather seeds, plot flowerbeds, or plan a rooftop or backyard garden with tips from the dozens of horticulture experts and vendors at this annual expo.
GO: 3/10–18. $5–$19. Navy Pier, 600 E Grand. chicagoflower.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: Dose Market pops up 3/11 in River East Art Center for its March bazaar, which features lifestyle and food wares from local purveyors including Sir & Madame boutique, Mess Hall & Co. preserves, and City Olive oils.

3

concerts Robert Glasper
Jazz piano at the Double Door? When it’s Glasper, it makes sense—especially given the NYC pianist’s penchant for genre-bending collaborations with the likes of Erykah Badu, Lupe Fiasco, and Yasiin Bey, the rapper formerly known as Mos Def.
GO: 3/10 at 9. $25–$35. Double Door, 1572 N Milwaukee. doubledoor.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: EMA, also known as Erika M. Anderson, bonds distorted guitar to stricken singing that is hushed and harsh, beautiful and unsettling. She plays Lincoln Hall on 3/10 with the punk duo Nü Sensae.

4

dance Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre
Celebrating its 15th anniversary, SPDW presents two premieres: Peter Carpenter’s fifth installment of Ritual of Abundance for Lean Times, on the relationship between excess, plenty, and ownership, and It is What it Is, Joanna Rosenthal’s examination of artists’ frustrations through the lens of vaudeville.
GO: 3/8–10 at 8. $15–$24. Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N Lincoln. victorygardens.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago debuts the frantic JOLT at Harris Theater 3/9–10 at 8. The choreographer Autumn Eckman, a GJDC artistic associate, was inspired, in part, by her grandfather’s caffeine addiction.

5

film Talking Pictures Festival
Celebrate International Women’s Day on 3/8 at this fourth-annual independent film fest, which runs through 3/11. The lineup puts a spotlight on lady directors—many of whom make appearances—and is heavy on local productions, including Chicago filmmaker Xan Aranda’s 2011 documentary, Andrew Bird: Fever Year.
GO: 3/8–11. $10–$12. Various locations, Evanston. Schedule and venues: talkingpicturesfestival.org

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

Alan and Michael Fleming
Alan and Michael Fleming

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Michael Fleming, an artist who recently moved from Chicago to Brooklyn, and whose longest-running collaborator is his twin brother, Alan Fleming. The brothers combine dance, sculpture, and even yoga in site-specific art where their bodies hang or rest precariously on walls, windowsills, and/or each other. For a year, the Flemings lived in separate cities—Michael, in Chicago; Alan, in New York—but they continued their joint work through the Internet, the phone, and what they describe as “psychic games.” On 3/9, Game On, an exhibition documenting the long-distance project, opens at Threewalls gallery.

[Alan and I] have been stressing out over this exhibition for a while, so before the opening, we’re going to try to go to the Chicago Sweatlodge. It’s a steam room and sauna on the Northwest Side where we go to de-stress and detox. We also want to stop by another exhibition called Sans at Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport. It’s a group show of a bunch of artists from the ACRE [artists’] residency program, which we participated in last summer. After our opening, we’ll celebrate with cocktails at Weegee’s Lounge.

On Saturday, we’re going to the MCA. Some really good exhibits have opened there recently that we haven’t been able to check out yet. We’re excited about The Language of Less, which is on Donald Judd and other minimalists. We’re also thinking about checking out Chicago Zine Fest, which will be at locations all around the city, likeQuimby’s Bookstore. Then Saturday night we’re hanging out with some of our friends from the painting program at the University of Illinois, where we were both undergrads.

Sunday we’ll be visiting family. We grew up in La Grange Park, right next to Brookfield Zoo. We’ll hang out in the suburbs and eat good food.

FREEBIE OF THE WEEK

film Cinema Q II
This second-annual LGTBQ film festival, staggered through Wednesday evenings in March, kicks off 3/7 with But I’m a Cheerleader, the 1999 cult satire starring Natasha Lyonne as a wholesome cheerleader sent away to a remedial camp for “confused” teenagers.
GO: 3/7, 14, 21, 28 at 6:30. Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington. explorechicago.org

 

Photography: (NEO-FUTURISTS) NOAH SIMONE; (MICHAEL AND ALAN FLEMING) COURTESY OF THE ARTISTS

 

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