Summer Who?

Our top five picks for things to do: With a week this flush, we hardly miss Chicago’s favorite season. On tap: An indie-rock icon returns (again) . . . fall theatre ignites with a sizzle . . . furry fashion from the pages of Vogue . . . and weekend plans from the director of Ballhawks

Nick Cave's soundsuit
STUFFED With a week this flush, we hardly miss summer. Freebies include a video installation of eye-popping designs by the School of the Art Institute’s fashion chair, Nick Cave, whose Soundsuits (above) also appear in the September issue of Vogue.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 09.08.10 through Tue 09.14.10:

1

concerts Pavement
Talk about pounding it: The Pitchfork headliner returns for a second gig in as many months. The group’s combination of slacker melodies, fuzzy guitars, and wobbly rhythms produced one of indie rock’s greatest records, 1992’s Slanted and Enchanted, but the band’s reunion 11 years after its breakup may be most significant in demonstrating that the alt-rock generation is officially old enough for nostalgia.
GO: Sep 13 at 7. $21.60-$49.80. Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph. ticketmaster.com

2

theatre Louis Slotin Sonata
Why did we name A Red Orchid the best theatre company in Chicago? See for yourself when the troupe—which just nabbed seven more Jeff nominations—opens its fall season with this premiere by Paul Mullin. The Los Alamos scientist Slotin’s millisecond slip of the fingers was as fleeting as a trill, but, like the main theme of a sonata, returns to haunt him. Here’s hoping the play does the same.
GO: Previews Sep 10-12; $15. Regular run continues through Oct 24; $25-$30. A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N Wells. aredorchidtheatre.org

3

theatre Detroit
When it comes to gauging sizzle in Lisa D’Amour’s blistering new dark comedy—wherein a quartet of boozy neighbors dance as their suburb burns—our bets are on the spitfire Laurie Metcalf. This is one desperate housewife who should bring the house down as it goes up in flames.
GO: Previews Sep 9-18; $20-$50. Regular run through Nov 7; $20-$73. Steppenwolf, 1650 N Halsted. steppenwolf.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Hot on the heels of its Joyous Outdoor Event at Belmont Harbor, Redmoon Theater debuts yet another eye-popper, this time at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The Astronaut’s Birthday, featuring gigantic illustrations by the Marvel Comics regular Chris Burnham and narration by the artist-about-town Tony Fitzpatrick, runs Sep 9-26.

4

history Logan Square Preservation House and Garden Walk
Long before its current incarnation as hipster central, Logan Square—the northern terminus of Chicago’s “emerald necklace,” a turn-of-the-century boulevard district of grassy easements and imposing mansions—was home to two Masonic halls, a fraternal organization of Norwegians, and much of the city’s immigrant elite. Get a glimpse of that pre-skinny-jeans past on this ambling history lesson. Hey, you’ve got to pass the time somehow while you wait for a table at Lula.
GO: Sep 11 from 10 to 5. $12-$18. Historic Comfort Station, 2579 N Milwaukee on the square. logansquarepreservation.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: A short jaunt up Milwaukee, the Irving Park Historical Society Housewalk and Garden Tour, also on Sep 11, includes peeks inside six grand Victorian-era homes, exemplars of the onetime suburb’s ambitious past.

5

dance The Seldoms
If you haven’t seen Steelroots, the exhibition of gigantic steel sculptures by the artist Steve Tobin, visit the Morton Arboretum this weekend, when a standout local dance company debuts an unexpected pas de deux starring the artworks. The Seldoms habitually leave us mouths agape in awe, and we expect no less from the troupe’s latest piece, inspired by Tobin’s towering structures. Bonus: The performance is free with admission to the Arb.
GO: Sep 11-12, 18-19 at 3. Grounds open daily 7 to sunset. Free (kids under 2) to $11. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Rte 53, Lisle. mortonarb.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Another local dance troupe spins through another local attraction: See The Dance Colective perform free at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum, Sep 10-11 at noon.

FREEBIES OF THE WEEK

festivals Renegade Craft Fair
Like craft fairs of old on steroids, with tattoos. Hundreds of hipsters hawk handmade goods—think jewelry, T-shirts, and shadow puppets—at this ever-growing behemoth’s eighth-annual outing.
GO: Sep 11-12 from 11 to 7. Division from Paulina to Damen. renegadecraft.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: Polka! Pilsner! Authentic German accents! Find them all at the German American Fest, featuring the 45th annual Von Steuben German Day Parade.

film Up
We won’t butter coat it: Summer is over—but you can still squeeze in one more popcorn-friendly flick alfresco when this Oscar winner, the penultimate film in the Movies in the Parks lineup, screens in Irving Park.
GO: Sep 10 at dusk. Independence Park, 3945 N Springfield. Full schedule: chicagoparkdistrict.com

fashion Soundsuits
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a flock of life-size plushies! OK, really, it’s a video installation featuring the furry, fuzzy, candy-colored costumes of Nick Cave, the chair of the School of the Art Institute’s Fashion Design Department, whose Soundsuits, spotlighted here, also appear in the September pages of Vogue. Accompanying the installation is a pop-up shop featuring all kinds of goodies—gift wrap, T-shirts—emblazoned with Cave’s art, which means you can wear your own Soundsuit of sorts without sweltering beneath yards of plumage.
GO: Installation: Sep 10-17 nightly beginning at 8. Pop-up shop hours: Sep 10 from 8 to 10, Sep 11-17 from 6 to 9. 23rd and Michigan. soundsuitshop.com

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): Mike Diedrich, director of the Bill Murray–narrated documentary Ballhawks, about Cubs fans who haunt the intersection of Waveland and Kenmore, waiting for homeruns to come flying . . .

“This time of year, I’m usually scrambling to get in a few last sessions on my paddle board, so I’m hoping to squeeze in a few hours early Sunday morning on Lake Michigan. It’s a great way to relax at the end of a busy weekend like the one coming up: Saturday I have a screening of my film, Ballhawks, at the Music Box as part of the Chicago United Film Festival. Before the film, we’re meeting up with friends at Mia Francesca on Clark for dinner, and, after, I’m sure we’ll end up at Murphy’s Bleachers to properly honor the Ballhawks.” 

• See Ballhawks Sep 11 at 7 at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport; tickets are $9.25

• Watch a trailer for the film

• Read our story on the documentary from Chicago’s September issue

• Try paddle boarding for yourself with the aid of a local outfitter

Photograph: James Prinz

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