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Top 5 Things to Do This Week

Your agenda for the days ahead: One man, decades of battle at Court Theatre . . . a jazz up-and-comer with a famous last name returns to Chicago . . . what to hear in place of Tune-Yards’ sold-out shows . . . plus, playwright Seth Bockley’s weekend plans and free stuff

Actor Timothy Edward Kane
HOMER RUN Timothy Edward Kane stars in the one-man play An Iliad, now in
previews at Court Theatre.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 11.09.11 through Tue 11.15.11:

1

theatre An Iliad
Consider it Cliffs Notes for the exceptionally literate: Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare compress a decade of battle and thousands of warriors into a 90-minute one-man recounting of Homer’s classic story of slaughter. (How does it feel to be the only guy up there for curtain call? Read our interview with An Iliad’s sole cast member, Timothy Edward Kane, and find out.)
GO: Previews through 11/18; $30–$40. Run continues through 12/11; $40­–$60. Court Theatre, 5535 S Ellis. courttheatre.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Before there was Rick Perry or Dubya, there was another plain-talking, larger-than-life governor of the Lone Star State, albeit from the other side of the aisle—and she was a she. Whatever your politics, Holland Taylor’s one-woman play about Ann Richards, 11/13–12/4 at Bank of America Theatre, should be fascinating.

2

jazz John Scofield Quartet, Ravi Coltrane Trio
The jazz-guitar chameleon Scofield touches on everything from straight-ahead bebop to gutbucket blues; here, he’ll likely lean toward his softer side, drawing from his new ballads collection, A Moment’s Peace. Sharing the bill is the saxophonist Coltrane, who returns in the wake of the Chicago Jazz Festival to further prove himself a worthy heir—to both his family name and his storied instrument.
GO: 11/11 at 8. $26–$86. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan. cso.org

3

pop Bell X1
Just because the Irish are brooding doesn’t mean they can’t be funky. Bell X1 sets poignant melodies to spacy electronics, with a dash of U2-esque grandeur. It’s a different sort of concert than Lincoln Hall’s other big gig this week—the sold-out Tune-Yards—but Chicago’s pop critic, Kevin McKeough, gives the band two thumbs-up. Those who lean toward the eclectic and lament missing Tune-Yards tickets, see “ALSO THIS WEEK,” below.
GO: 11/13 at 8. $15–$18. Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln. lincolnhallchicago.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: The Swedish indie-pop singer Lykke Li plays the Vic 11/14, while the Japanese kitsch-punk trio Shonen Knife pays tribute to its greatest influence with songs from its new album, Osaka Ramones, 11/12 at Empty Bottle.

4

theatre Season’s Greetings
Do we really need another story of a dysfunctional family Christmas? If the premise sounds unimpressive, the cast—featuring the Steppenwolf ensemble member Francis Guinan, the Chicago Shakespeare regular Matt Schwader, and, freshly escaped from The Playboy Club, John Hoogenakker—is anything but.
GO: Previews 11/11–17; $10–$45. Run continues through 12/18; $10–$65. Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie, Skokie. northlight.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Three more originals that should provide a breather from the typical seasonal treacle: Playwrights Tanya Saracho (Our Lady of the Underpass), Rohina Malik (Unveiled), and novelist Elizabeth Berg each contribute a tale to 16th Street Theater’s Our Holiday Stories, on stage 11/10–12/4. And just a nudge: Both Steppenwolf’s outstanding Clybourne Park and Chicago Shakes’s razzle-dazzle Follies close 11/13.

5

museums Crime in Chicago
The Chicago History Museum’s month-long exploration of the city’s seedy underbelly gets its hands dirty with a lineup of November events. Coming up: a duo of bus tours into the North and South Sides’ checkered past (11/12 and 19 at 1; $45), an after-hours prowl through Bohemian National Cemetery (11/20 at 3:30; $30), and a talk on street gangs past and present by UIC’s John Hagedorn (11/15 at 7; $10).
GO: Related events continue through 11/19; full schedule and details: chicagohistory.org

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

Playwright Seth Bockley
Seth Bockley

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: the playwright Seth Bockley (Jon, The Twins Would Like to Say), whose latest, Ask Aunt Susan, is in staged readings at the Goodman 11/10–20 as a part of the theatre’s New Stages Amplified series.

“I really enjoy mid November. I do a lot of bicycling and admire the half-naked trees, and I love sweater-wearing season. I guess another reason I love it is because it’s my birthday. I turn 30 on Sunday. You’d think I would plan a wild weekend, but I’m going to spend most of it working: There will be performances through Sunday as part of New Stages Amplified. I’ll be doing a talkback after each show in the form of a dunk tank. [There’s not actually a dunk tank—but there are talkbacks].

“Friday I want to see the show ADA/AVA at Links Hall, presented by my friends at Manual Cinema, a shadow puppetry company. It combines beautiful illustrations, hand shadows, actors in silhouettes, and moody music. It’ll be badass. And Saturday I want to go to the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago to check out the Wood Type, Evolved exhibit. It’s contemporary letterpress and wood-type printing. A lot of artists do this kind of work at an amazing place in Wisconsin I discovered accidentally: I was on a bike ride along the lake with my girlfriend last summer when we stumbled upon the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin [as seen in the 2009 Kartemquin Films documentary, Typeface.]

“Sunday I’ll be going to the Logan Square Farmers Market, inside the Congress Theater. It’s the Logan Square social event of the season. It feels like going to the prom: If you show up disheveled, you end up really embarrassed. You have to get ready for it. I see everyone I know there. I’ll probably get some radishes from this guy, Dominic, who runs The Gentleman Farmer. And Sunday evening, to celebrate my birthday, I’ll have a very small hootenanny—the smallest hoedown ever. It’ll be really low-key, with tacos from Taqueria Las Brasas and a fire pit going in the front yard. It’ll be BYOB—definitely some apple cider. If it’s raining, The Hideout is my plan B. It’s a good standby when the weather is frightful.” —As told to Heather Youkhana

FREEBIES OF THE WEEK

film Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Prepare for the long, slow Thanksgiving slog home: This loveable Steve Martin/John Candy chestnut gets reheated as part of Lincoln Hall’s The 3 Penny Was Here film series. You know the script by heart, but the night offers a few surprises, such as which drinks will be on special for $3.
GO: 11/16 at 7. Tommy Boy follows at 9, also free. Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln. lincolnhallchicago.com

tours CHIRP Record Crawl
Our favorite indie radio station curates its first-ever record crawl, with stops at Dusty Groove, Logan Hardware, Laurie’s Planet of Sound, and more—plus a sweet Record Crawl badge for those who RSVP in advance.
GO: 11/13 from 11 to 6. Details: chirpradio.org or follow @chirpradio on Twitter for real-time crawl updates

 

Photography: (KANE) Anna Knott; (BOCKLEY) Joseph Moran

 

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