Chekhov vs. Chekhov

Our top five picks for things to do this week: Theatre’s most depressive Russian, times two . . . Lebowski, the musical . . . Schwimmer’s Trust on film . . . free Toni Morrison . . . and what Sound Opinions’ Jim DeRogatis is doing this weekend

A leafless tree with hanging apples
IN THE HOT SEAT Two Chekhov adaptations begin previews this week: The Seagull,
directed by Robert Falls (left) at the Goodman, and Three Sisters, adapted by Sarah
Ruhl (right) at Piven.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed10.13.10 through Tue 10.19.10:

1

theatre The Seagull, Three Sisters
Two iconoclasts have at two masterpieces by Chekhov, theatre’s most depressive Russian. Will Bob Falls bring the bombast to The Seagull? Will the Pulitzer-nominee Sarah Ruhl unleash her trademark blend of whimsy and quirk on Three Sisters? Find out this week.
GO: The Seagull: Previews Oct 16–24; $10–$25. Run continues through Nov 14; $10–$45. Goodman Theatre, 170 N Dearborn. goodmantheatre.org. Three Sisters: Previews Oct 16–17; $15. Run continues through Nov 21; $25. Piven Theatre Workshop, 927 Noyes, Evanston. piventheatre.org

2

theatre Kingsville
With last season’s Suicide, Incorporated, the playwright Andrew Hinderaker reduced sold-out audiences to emotional smithereens for a twice-extended run at the Gift Theatre. Stage Left debuts Hinderaker’s second Chicago production, which shines a disquieting glare on homicide, handguns, and deadly machismo. Core controversial question: If students were armed, could they stop school shooters? Expect provocation. And tears.
GO: Previews Oct 15–18; $10. Run continues through Nov 21; $22–$28. Stage Left Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W  Belmont. stagelefttheatre.com

3

theatre The Dude Abides
Here’s one that didn’t make our best-of-fall-theatre list, but we’ve got a hankering for it—not to mention a White Russian—all the same. In the wake of last month’s Lebowski Fest comes a new rock ’n’ roll musical based on the Coen Brothers’ 1998 cult flick, The Big Lebowski. We always thought Sam Elliott should have been a singing cowboy.
GO: Oct 14–Nov 18: Thu at 8. $6–$12. iO Theater, 3541 N Clark. chicago.ioimprov.com

4

concerts Gorillaz
Both a real-world, all-star collaboration and a fanciful cartoon band, Gorillaz plays a spacy mix of funk, hip-hop, and island music. This tour marks the first time the actual humans, led by Damon Albarn of the Brit rockers Blur, won’t be hidden behind a screen featuring their animated avatars—although those likenesses will be visible, too, for maximum reality-bending spectacle.
GO: Oct 16 at 7:30. $49.50–$95. UIC Pavilion, 525 S Racine. ticketmaster.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: The New Pornographers plays the Vic, while Jon Langford unleashes his new album, The Old Devil’s Ball, at Martyrs’ with friends Sally Timms and Andre Williams in tow.

5

film Trust
Will the film version of the newlywed David Schwimmer’s 2010 Lookingglass play win over local audiences? Cannot predict now. Will it woo the director to town for its Chicago debut? Signs point to yes.  Schwimmer is slated to attend the Oct 18 screening, part of the 2010 Chicago International Film Festival, as well as a postfilm Q&A and an afterparty at Rockit in River North.
GO: Oct 16 at 5, Oct 18 at 8 (party at 10), Oct 19 at 8. $10–$13 film only; $50 includes Oct 18 afterparty. AMC River East, 322 E Illinois. chicagofilmfestival.com

FREEBIES OF THE WEEK

film Telling the Truth, Triple Threat
More filmmakers drop by for a pair of CIFF panels this week: Participants in the chat Telling the Truth include Jon Siskel (Gene’s nephew and the coproducer/codirector of the documentary Louder Than a Bomb); while the writers/producers/directors Edward Burns and Chicagoan Carmen Marron sit down with another slashie, Domenica Cameron-Scorsese (Martin’s daughter and director of Roots in Water), for Triple Threat later the same day.
GO: Telling the Truth: Oct 15 at 2. DePaul University, 247 S State, lower level. Triple Threat: Oct 15 at 3. Festival Filmmakers Lounge, Lucky Strike Lanes, 322 E Illinois. chicagofilmfestival.com

lit/lectures Toni Morrison
You could spend $1,000-plus to rub elbows with her and Oprah, or you could hear her read from her One Book, One Chicago selection, A Mercy, for free the previous night. Your choice.
GO: Oct 19 at 7. Reservations are officially full, but seats could open up—i.e., get there early and cross your fingers. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan. cso.org

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

DeRogatis's diorama of British troops storming the Spanish fortress of Badajoz during the Napoleonic wars
DeRogatis’s diorama of British troops storming the Spanish fortress of Badajoz during the Napoleonic wars won a gold medal at the 2009 MMSI show.

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals (a.k.a. people we like): Jim DeRogatis. The longtime Chicago rock critic, Vocalo music blogger, cohost of the rock ’n’ roll radio talk show Sound Opinions, and coauthor of the new book The Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock ’n’ Roll Rivalry (read our survey polling local tastemakers on the topic then weigh in yourself) shares his zeal for another subject entirely:

“One does not live by rock ’n’ roll alone. Sometimes you’ve just got to give your ears a rest, get away from the damn computer screen, use your hands instead of your head, and do something completely different.

“To that end, about eight years ago, I resumed a hobby I’d fallen away from around college: sculpting and painting military miniatures. I’ve always been fascinated by military history, more for the human drama than the politics, and like a lot of kids, I built plastic model tanks and planes when I was growing up. But Chicago is home to some of the best miniature artists in the world—I wrote a book cataloging the work of one of them, Sheperd Paine—and [what they produce] is light years beyond what you could call models or toy soldiers.

“Every year, the Military Miniature Society of Illinois hosts a show that draws hobbyists and enthusiasts from across the country and around the world. This juried exhibition features miniature historical and fantasy figures, vignettes, and dioramas that will blow your mind, and I’m thrilled to say I’ll be there for every minute of it.”

GO: Oct 15 from 5 to 8 and Oct 16 from 9 to 5. $7 weekend pass. Chicago Marriott Schaumburg, 50 N Martingale, Schaumburg. mmsichicago.com

Photography: (Falls) Andreas E. G. Larsson; (Ruhl) Susan Johann; (diorama) Bob Sarnowski

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