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Alan Cumming, Whales, More Beer

This Week’s Five: No exotic getaway planned this Memorial Day? No sweat. We’ve got great picks, plus a weekend agenda from the Art Institute’s design guru, Zoë Ryan

A scene from 'Porgy and Bess'
ALANTOWN The Good Wife’s Alan Cumming performs live Saturday at the Harris.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 05.25.11 through Tue 05.31.11:

1

theatre Alan Cumming: I Bought a Blue Car Today
If you only know Cumming for his recurring role on the Chicago-set The Good Wife, now’s your chance to see one of Broadway’s most charismatic in all of his versatile fabulousness. As for the title of this native Scot’s solo show? That’s the answer he gave on his U.S. citizenship test when asked to write a proper English sentence. He passed.
GO: 5/28 at 7:30. $35 –$65. Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph. harristheaterchicago.org

2

museums Whales
Has the Field got a whale of a tale for you and your kiddoes this holiday weekend: Hear songs, see skeletons, and touch teeth from the deep at the museum’s new—and, yes, in-depth—look at the giants of the sea.
GO: Exhibition continues through 1/16. Open daily 9–5. Admission $15–$22; all-access passes $20–$29. Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore. fieldmuseum.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Or cruise past the museum on a breezy sunrise cycle down Lake Shore Drive, no cars allowed. Bike the Drive begins 5/29 at 5:30 a.m.; registration is required.

3

museums Mark Bradford
Mark Bradford constructs multilayered paintings influenced by the streets around him, not unlike the formation of your average teenager—a subject in which the L.A. artist has taken an interest. In advance of his inaugural survey at the MCA, Bradford spent a year mentoring two groups of Chicago high schoolers. Learn more at themarkbradfordproject.org, then visit the museum Saturday when Bradford leads a gallery talk.
GO: Gallery talk 5/28 at 11. Exhibition runs 5/28–9/18. Open Tue 10–8, Wed–Sun 10–5. Free (kids under 12) to $12; free Tue. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago. mcachicago.org

4

theatre Brothers of the Dust
The company mentored by the late, great August Wilson hasn’t been producing as much as it did in the early aughts, thanks in part to economic woes. All the more reason to celebrate this Congo Square world premiere by Darren Canady: a tale of blood and land ties set on a Kansas farm.
GO: Through 6/26. $30. Congo Square Theatre Company at Chicago Center for the Performing Arts, 777 N Green. congosquaretheatre.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: John Mahoney stars as Gunner, a fellow with a singular plan to assure his family’s financial future on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, in the world-premiere The Outgoing Tide, at Northlight.

5

beer Lambic Beer Festival
Chicago Craft Beer Week runs through 5/27, but if you wake up 5/28 with a hankering for a hair of the dog, point your taste buds toward Delilah’s for a tasting of lambics—a Belgian beer style fermented by airborne yeast. After sampling from the 80-something varieties on offer (Drie Fonteinen, Oud Beersel, dozens of Geuzes), the yeast may not be the only thing gone wild.
GO: 5/28 from noon to 5. $20 for 20 beer tickets. Delilah’s, 2771 N Lincoln. delilahschicago.com

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

Zoë Ryan, chair and John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago
Zoë Ryan

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Zoë Ryan, chair and John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago.

“I’m very excited that Randolph Street Market is open. I like to keep an open mind and find things I’m not typically looking for, but I always look at the fashion—the vintage dresses and bags—and the tableware, especially now, for entertaining over the summer.

“And I’m really remiss at seeing some exhibitions in the city, so I’d like to see the Anne Tyng show at the Graham Foundation. They’re always on the mark. I’d also like to see Design for a Living World at the Field Museum. I saw the exhibit at Cooper-Hewitt in New York, and I love seeing how different places design an installation. I guess that comes from working at a museum. I find it very exciting that the Field Museum is doing these kinds of projects: edgy, sustainable design.

“And I just want to get out: cycling on the lake, having friends to dinner on my balcony. Hopefully, we’ll have good weather.”

We second that.

FREEBIE OF THE WEEK

concerts Parkington Sisters
Don’t miss the Parkington Sisters, a too-romantic-sounding-to-be-true but honest-to-goodness band of five talented siblings (Lydia, Rose, Nora, Sarah, and Ariel) from Cape Cod who play lovely and ephemeral hipster folk.
GO: 5/26 at 6:30. Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington. explorechicago.org

 

Photography: (CUMMING) HELEN MAYBANKS; (RYAN) RANDY KORWIN

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