Find Your Own Brilliant Corners

What to do this week: The Pulitzer-winning Clybourne Park opens at Steppenwolf … two exhibits spotlight Bertrand Goldberg … a carnival of a music fest lands in West Town … Ald. Scott Waguespack goes for a bike ride (or three)

A scene from 'Clybourne Park'
PARK AND RIDE Your to-do list: See Bruce Norris’s Pulitzer-winning Clybourne Park
at Steppenwolf (pictured above); go for a bike ride with Ald. Scott Waguespack (see
“What I’m Doing This Weekend,” below).

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 09.14.11 through Tue 09.20.11:

1

theatre Clybourne Park
Amy Morton directing a Pulitzer winner by Bruce Norris with a cast that includes John Judd, Kirsten Fitzgerald, and James Vincent Meredith? To say we’re enthused about this Chicago-set tale of race, gentrification, and the scars of war would be putting it mildly.
GO: Previews through 9/17; $20–$52. Run continues through 11/6; $20–$75. Steppenwolf, 1650 N Halsted. steppenwolf.org

2

museums/galleries Bertrand Goldberg
The fate of his 1975 Prentice Women’s Hospital hangs in preservation limbo, but fans can show their support for the Chicago architect’s would-be landmark by visiting two new exhibits celebrating his singular space-age style. Where The Arts Club’s Bertrand Goldberg: Reflections lifts the curtain on Goldberg’s personal photos and art collection, the Art Institute’s retrospective, Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention, spotlights his very public works, featuring more than 100 drawings and models for projects from furniture to the iconic Marina City. Want to do more? Call Rahm’s office.
GO: Reflections: Opens 9/16. Mon–Fri 11–6. Free. The Arts Club of Chicago, 201 E Ontario. artsclubchicago.org. Architecture of Invention: 9/17–1/15. Open Mon–Wed, Fri–Sun 10:30–5; Thu 10:30–8. Free (kids under 14) to $18. Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan. artic.edu/aic

3

sports/rec Flatwater Classic
This year’s paddlepalooza relocates to the North Branch of the Chicago River for a six-and-a-half-mile canoe/kayak; landlubbers can choose between a 7-mile and a 13-mile cycle. All routes convene at a party in Morton Grove’s Linne Woods. And, yes, all routes earn you bragging rights.
GO: 9/18 from 10 to 4. $17 (under 18) to $35. Chicago River at Willow Road Dam, Willow and Lagoon, Winnetka. chicagoriver.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: The Garfield Park Conservatory’s Eleventh Annual County Fair, on 9/17, brings old-fashioned fall fun to the heart of the urban grind: pony rides, composting demos, a recipe swap, tool sharpening, and, for the cutthroat urban gardener, a best-in-show competition.

4

theatre In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play
The Wilmette native, MacArthur fellow, and Pulitzer finalist Sarah Ruhl sings the body electric in a quivering tale of what 19th-century doctors euphemistically deemed “hysterical paroxysm.” Is modern-day feminism grounded in the invention of the personal massage device? Tune in to find out.
GO: Previews through 9/18; $20–$40. Run continues through 10/9; $20–$50. Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N Lincoln. victorygardens.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Even though Spunk, a trio of Zora Neale Hurston stories adapted for the stage by George C. Wolfe, doesn’t include the titular tale, with Alexis J. Rogers—the voice of last season’s Porgy and Bess—providing bluesy narration, we’ll be listening. On stage now at the Court.

5

concerts Brilliant Corners of Popular Amusements
The official explanation includes sword swallowing, carnival rides, and cheese for sale, but to oversimplify: BCOPA is a music festival. A very fine-sounding music festival—featuring Chicago’s own Shellac, Bill Callahan (aka Smog), Sidi Touré, and Dan Deacon—just when you thought music festival season was over. Some will consider the à la carte ticketing brilliant while others may find it less amusing, but at $15 to $20 a pop per bill, one or two concerts won’t break the bank.
GO: 9/16–18 from 5:30 to 11. See website for individual ticket prices. Eckhart Park, Chicago and Noble. brilliantcornersofpopularamusements.com

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

32 Ward Alderman, Scott Waguespack
Scott Waguespack

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Scott Waguespack, 32nd Ward alderman, native Chicagoan, Bucktown resident, and avid cyclist.

“The biggest thing we have going on this weekend is our bike ride Saturday through the ward [details below]. Last year we took people through the recycling center; we might ride past some of the historic homes in Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village, maybe a couple of statues, other artwork that people might not know about. It’s a diverse ride, very leisurely. It usually lasts about three or four hours. We try to ride at a pace where we’re not leaving anyone behind.

“We’ve been doing it for a few years. We ride along the borders of the ward, and people tend to be pretty surprised about where those run. Last year we had a few German students come who used the ride as part of their architectural tour, and I got to speak German with them. It’s mostly adults, but we’ve had kids as young as 13 or 14.

“I try to get out on my bike as much as I can. On weekends, I do a lot of ward work, going to different events. We were doing a lot of late night and early morning neighborhood watch walks on the weekend, and we switched those over to bike rides. Throughout the summer, I’ll do six or seven different police bike-enforcement events, helping the police work with the city bicycling ambassadors. We’ll hand out hundreds of bike lights to people who don’t have them. We’ll stop people who are riding up and down Milwaukee Avenue without lights and explain the rules of the road. Sometimes we have to chase them down, but that’s pretty fun, too.

“Also on Saturday, I’ll probably take a ride up to the Guinness Oyster Fest in Roscoe Village. And I’m a big Chicago Fire fan. That’s way out in Bridgeview, and it’s a 3 o’clock game, but if I get everything done, I’ll go. I have season tickets, but I don’t get to go all that much, so this is one weekend I want to try and get out there.

“On Sunday morning, we have another bike event cosponsored by four different aldermen: Like Bike. That one goes through Wicker Park and Buckton, up through Logan Square. It’s more of a community, kid-friendly ride, helping promote bikes as a way to get healthier.

“I have a mountain bike and a road bike, but I turned my mountain bike into more of a street bike, with slicks [smooth, skinny tires] on it—no knobbies—so that’s what I’ll ride. It handles potholes better.

“And I should probably take my wife to dinner once in a while. I like Silver Cloud because they have beef stroganoff.”

GO: Tour the 32nd Ward with Alderman Waguespack. 9/17 from 9:30 to 1:30. Free; bring snacks and/or cash for a lunch stop. The 22-mile ride begins in the backyard of 1113 W Webster (enter through the alley via Seminary or Clifton). More info: 773-248-5499

FREEBIE OF THE WEEK

film E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
For those hoping to squeeze every last second out of summer, Movies in the Parks winds down with an outdoor screening of this nostalgic tearjerker. For something that will really make you cry—seriously, Drew Barrymore, was E.T. your last good role?—wait for 50 First Dates, 9/20 at 7 (Erie Park, 630 N Kingsbury).
GO: E.T.: 9/17 at 7. Harold Washington Playlot Park, 5200 S Hyde Park. Full schedule of remaining films: chicagoparkdistrict.com/moviesintheparks

 

Photography: (CLYBOURNE PARK) Michael Brosilow; (WAGUESPACK) Kathy Schubert

 

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