Napoleon, King of Pop; Audrey Niffenegger’s Weekend Plans

Our top five picks for things to do this week: The MCA addresses a Napoleon complex . . . The Interview Show births a new installment . . . the CSO’s wunderkinds debut . . . plus, what Audrey Niffenegger is doing this weekend

A scene from Superamas' EMPIRE (Art and Politics)
NO ONE WANTS TO BE DEFEATED The experimental theatre troupe Superamas
presents its Michael Jackson–inflected take on Napoleon at the MCA.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 09.22.10 through Tue 09.28.10:

1

museums Empire: Art and Politics
You say you want a revolution? The Vienna- and Paris-based experimental theatre troupe Superamas’ at once sublime and absurd—ie, superb—reenactment of the Napoleonic Wars includes a bloody battle set to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” This is metatheatre at its best: sly, irreverent, and smart enough to make your brain spin.
GO: Oct 2–3 at 7:30. $10–$28. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago. mcachicago.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: A chance to hear the subject of the MCA’s current exhibition, Luc Tuymans, talk art with the museum’s director and exhibition cocurator, Madeleine Grynsztejn, plus the writer Aleksandar Hemon and others on Oct 2. Meanwhile, at the Art Institute, the Magnum photographer Josef Koudelka gives a talk Oct 1—a good excuse to see the museum’s retrospective on Henri Cartier-Bresson one last time before it closes Oct 3.

2

comedy The Interview Show
Congratulations: It’s a show! The syndicated RedEye columnist Mark Bazer returns from paternity leave with a new installment of his live and lively talk show. While the lineup is huge—the Aqua Tower architect Jeanne Gang, Chicago buzz band the 1900s, the local author Kevin Guilfoile—the Hideout isn’t. Get there early.
GO: Oct 1 at 6:30. $5. The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia. hideoutchicago.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: The best-selling author Frank Warren chats about his guilty-pleasure/group-therapy website postsecret.com, an online collection of user-submitted postcards bearing the senders’ most intimate secrets. Hear the inside scoop Oct 5 at the McAninch Arts Center.

3

concerts Gayngs
It’s a happening. It’s a concert. It’s an alt-universe frat party. When an ad hoc cohort of indie rockers and rappers teamed up earlier this year for the adroit album Relayted, the result was a set of slow-burning R & B jams infused with trippy idiosyncrasy. This gig enlists ten of the record’s 20-something collaborators—including guys from Bon Iver, the Rosebuds, and Andrew Bird’s band—recreating the all-dude lovefest live. Whatever it is, don’t miss it.
GO: Sep 30 at 9. $21. Metro, 3730 N Clark. metrochicago.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: Bonnie Prince Billy, aka the prolific cult hero Will Oldham, sings minimalist, ruminative folk in the voice of a backwoods hermit; hear him Sep 29 at 7 and 10 at Lincoln Hall.

4

opera Macbeth
She avoided it like the plague for most of her career, then killed it at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in 2009. Now CST’s artistic director, Barbara Gaines, bites her thumb at superstition a second time and directs Verdi’s take on Macbeth at Lyric.
GO: Oct 1–30. $33–$207 (opening night $75–$600). Lyric Opera of Chicago at Civic Opera House, Madison and Wacker. lyricopera.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: On the other end of the Shakespeare-adaptation continuum: The U.S. premiere of The Merchants of Bollywood brings 50 performers, 500 costumes, and 3,000 pieces of sparkly jewelry to the Auditorium Theatre Oct 1–2.

5

classical Music Now
As much as we’ve been rolling our eyes—playfully, of course—at all of the Riccardo Muti worship, we can’t argue with the maestro’s young picks for new CSO composers-in-residence: the moonlighting DJ Mason Bates, 33, and the plucky Brit Anna Clyne, 30. In the pair’s official season debut, Bates presents his Digital Loom for organ and electronics; Clyne presents her Steelworks for flute, tape, clarinet, and percussion; and you can present your thoughts to them both when they host a postshow reception.
GO: Oct 4 at 7. $10–$20 (includes reception). Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph. cso.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Hear another Bates opus, Music from Underground Spaces, inspired by subterranean faults, when Hubbard Street Dance Chicago sets the music to movement in Alejandro Cerrudo’s Deep Down Dos, part of the troupe’s fall engagement, Sep 30–Oct 3 at the Harris.

FREEBIES OF THE WEEK

lit/lecture Sandra Cisneros
The author of the beloved reading-list-staple The House on Mango Street gives a timely chat, “Writing in the Time of Mexiphobia, or Packing Your Papers,” at UIC. Since her appearance last year at the Harold Washington Library filled multiple overflow rooms, our Hideout advice stands here, too: The early bookworm gets the seat.
GO: Oct 4 at 4. Student Center East, Cardinal Room, UIC, 750 S Halsted. RSVP to ivone@uic.edu

galleries Artist-run Spaces Bike Tour
Two things that go together like paint and canvas? Artists and bikes. Spin through a selection of artist-run galleries on a Saturday-morning bike tour organized by the Hyde Park Art Center.
GO: Oct 2 at 11. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S Cornell. RSVP to exhibitions@hydeparkart.org
 

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals (a.k.a. people we like): Audrey Niffenegger, who’s a household name—at least in bookish households—thanks to the widespread success of her novels The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry. Here in Chicago, however, many know her for her prints and drawings (more on those below) and her graphic novels (those, too)—endeavors that are occupying a significant chunk of her weekend:

“My weekends aren’t all that leisurely. This weekend I have three events, and I am having brunch with a blogger. Because I am out and about so much, the thing I do for fun is stay home and read. At the moment I am happily finishing John Crowley’s four-book series AEgypt, and I am planning to go and see my friend Michael Ferris’s show at Packer Schopf Gallery. His work is amazing.”

• Get Niffenegger’s autograph when she signs copies of her new graphic novel, The Night Bookmobile, at the Old Orchard Barnes & Noble on Oct 1

• Or ask her a question when she participates in the panel discussion “Contemporary Authors and the Artistic Process,” Oct 2 at Intuit

• Or seize a second chance to chat her up later that day when she signs copies of The Night Bookmobile Oct 2 at Chicago Comics

• Browse Niffenegger’s latest artistic output in the exhibition Seeing in the Dark, at Printworks through Oct 16

• Read our profile of Niffenegger from Chicago’s October 2009 issue

 

Superamas, Empire. Photo by: Giannina Urmeneta Ottiker
 

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