Top 5 Things to Do This Week

On your agenda: An arts and local-business fest dubs Bridgeport the community of the future … The Art Institute remounts the photographer Dawoud Bey’s ’70s street portraits … The cabaret chanteuse Spider Saloff plays eight characters in one show

An exhibit by Jason Lazarus
LOCAL OPTION The Version 12 fest sets up camp in Bridgeport for a month of
community-minded pop-up shops, performances, and exhibits—such as the one
pictured here by the artist Jason Lazarus.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 5.2.12 through Tue 5.8.12:

1

festivals VERSION 12: Bridgeport: The Community of the Future
Billed as a “month-long urban experiment,” this art festival–cum–local-business expo brings together Bridgeporters and outsiders alike with the aim of remaking the ‘hood into a vibrant cultural and economic destination. On the lineup of opening-weekend festivities: A launch party on 5/4 at Co-Prosperity Sphere for SMALL Showroom, a collaborative pop-up shop featuring local businesses including Half Acre Beer Company, Urban Belly, and Bridgeport Coffee.
GO: Through 5/31. Schedule and locations: versionfest.org

2

museums DAWOUD BEY: HARLEM, USA
Bey’s photographs asks us to consider how much a portrait reveals—or hides. This remounting of the Columbia College professor’s first foray into street portraiture hasn’t been seen in its entirety since 1979, when it was exhibited at Harlem’s Studio Museum.
GO: 5/2–9/9. Mon–Wed, Fri–Sun 10:30–5; Thu 10:30–8. Free (kids under 14) to $18; free 5/2, 9 for Illinois residents. Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan. artinstitutechicago.org

3

theatre THE ROAR OF THE BUTTERFLY
The Chicago cabaret chanteuse Spider Saloff wrote the book, lyrics, and music for her new one-woman show, wherein she plays eight characters paying their respects to a late, great Asian drag queen. Catch it now: Saloff and Butterfly head off-Broadway soon after this run ends.
GO: Preview 5/2, $32. Regular run 5/3–20, $32. Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater, 2433 N Lincoln. victorygardens.org

4

galleries SHELBY LEE ADAMS: SALT & TRUTH
Adams’s “documentary” portraits of Appalachian people living off the land are controversial because they’re partly staged: The artist often tells his subjects where to stand and even which objects to hold. Even still, Adams’s images capture a vanishing culture in eastern Kentucky.
GO: 5/4–6/30. Catherine Edelman Gallery, 300 W Superior. edelmangallery.com

5

concerts THE PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT
These five cellists are on a mission to bring the instrument’s beauty to a repertoire of practically everything—from speed metal to Jay-Z.
GO: 5/4 at 10. $15. Schubas, 3159 N Southport. schubas.com

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

Susan Blackman
Susan Blackman

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Susan Blackman, the art consultant and curator who hand-picked the outdoor sculptures recently installed inside the Inland Steel Building (77 S. Dearborn St.) for Alterpolitan: An Indoor Sculpture Garden. On 5/3 from 5 to 8 p.m., the public is invited to attend a gallery walk that features the exhibit, which is not unlike an enormous, art-filled terrarium.

On Friday, Columbia College is having its Manifest Urban Arts Festival, where the school’s graduating students exhibit their work. It goes all day, and it’s really great. I always check it out—you never know when you’re going to find that shining star student. Then that night, my husband and I are going to the Green Mill to see Matt Wilson’s Arts and Crafts, a jazz band from New York. You can’t go wrong with them, but we’ll have to go early to get a seat.

On Saturday, there are lots of choices. I may go to the Smart Museum of Art to check out its current exhibit, Feast. A lot of the work is interactive—they’ve occasionally had events like beer tastings, and this weekend they’re hosting a symposium on hospitality. I may also go to the MCA to check out This Will Have Been, its exhibit on art in the ‘80s. For dinner, if it’s at all possible, I’d like to go to The Publican. I went to Fear No Art’s The Dinner Party this past Monday. The Publican did the food, and it was yum-o.

Sunday, I have a wedding to go to in the afternoon. But before that, I’m going to Ina’s for brunch. They have really good coffee, and I’m a sucker for Ina’s French toast.

FREEBIE OF THE WEEK

rock/pop BIG “C” JAMBOREE
Rockabilly rules the roost at this monthly open mic, which celebrates its 21st anniversary this month.
GO: 5/3 at 9:30. Martyrs’, 3855 N Lincoln. martyrslive.com

 

Photography: (VERSION) JASON LAZARUS; (BLACKMAN) RON SEYMOUR

 

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