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Hypocrites, Manu Chao, Kevin Coval

What to do this week: The complete four-hour Sophocles … getting to know Manu Chao … how to win free theatre tickets … and more

A scene from 'Oedipus
BLOOD BATH If you thought you saw red when the Hypocrites staged Oedipus in
2009 (above), wait until the troupe brings the mayhem in Sophocles: Seven
Sicknesses.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 09.07.11 through Tue 09.13.11:

1

theatre Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses
Sean Graney wraps his tenure as the Hypocrites’ founding artistic director with a larger-than-life flourish: a four-hour adaptation of Sophocles’s entire dramatic catalog. Together Ajax, Antigone, Ian Trachis, Oedipus the King, Elektra, Philoktetes, and Oedipus at Colonus add up to a matricide-, patricide-, suicide-, and fratricide-riddled epic of incest, oracles, and monsters. Talk about going out with a bang.
GO: Previews 9/7–10. Run continues through 10/23. All tickets $36. The Hypocrites at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W Division. the-hypocrites.com

2

theatre The Guys
In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Francis Guinan, our 2010 pick for best actor, and Ora Jones, our 2011 pick for best actress, come together for a reading presented by Timeline, our 2011 pick for best theatre company. The play in question is Anne Nelson’s The Guys, about an editor and a fire captain who spend an afternoon crafting eulogies for firefighters lost in the collapse of the World Trade Center. It’s just one of the many 9/11 tributes going on around town, most offered for a nominal fee; two more picks below.
GO: 9/11–12 at 7. Free; donations accepted for Ignite the Spirit. Timeline Theatre Company at Mercury Theater, 3745 N Southport. timelinetheatre.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: Fulcrum Point New Music Project joins the New Classic Singers in an interfaith concert featuring a work by the Pulitzer winner Aaron Jay Kernis 9/11 at the Harris. And at Chicago History Museum, Laura Washington of the Sun-Times and Steve Bynum of WBEZ’s Worldview participate in a panel on 9/11’s local legacy; admission is free.

3

dance The Other Dance Festival
For its annual modern and avant-garde showcase, Other invites back every dance maker who has participated over the past decade, even featuring Skype performances from prominent locals—Asimina Chremos, Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts—who have since moved away. The roster, curated by Chicago Moving Company, includes the wildly unconventional Lucky Plush Productions, Hedwig Dances, The Seldoms, Matthew Hollis, Ayako Kato, and many more in a Park District location that lends a distinctly unpretentious vibe.
GO: 9/8–30: Thu–Fri at 7:30. $15 per night; $55 fest pass. Hamlin Park Fieldhouse, 3035 N Hoyne. chicagomovingcompany.org/otherfest

ALSO THIS WEEK: Momix’s artistic director, Moses Pendleton, is an avid gardener, so it’s only natural that in Botanica, 9/9–10 at Ravinia, the troupe’s acclaimed dance illusionists re-create floral landscapes—opening like orchids, blooming like marigolds—while a score of Vivaldi-meets-chirping-birds tweets in the background.

4

rock/pop Manu Chao
Though not Lady Gaga famous in the United States and heard live here even less, this globetrotting Spaniard enjoys global-superstar status elsewhere for his playful Latin and Caribbean music injected with oddball pop flourishes. Get to know him.
GO: 9/13 at 7. $32. Congress Theater, 2135 N Milwaukee. congresschicago.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: The Del McCoury Band plays traditional bluegrass with a vengeance, with Robbie Fulks and Nora O’Connor opening, at the Old Town School of Folk Music on 9/10, while the mandolin master Chris Thile expands bluegrass’s boundaries with the guitarist Michael Daves at Lincoln Hall the same night.

5

gardens/parks Honeybee Weekend
If you haven’t visited the Morton Arboretum yet this year, make an early fall memory worth savoring and head out this weekend, when the Arb hosts a swarm of buzz-worthy activities. Both the adult-oriented tour of the on-site hives (9/9 at 9:30; $32) and the more family-friendly hikes (9/10 at 11, 1, and 3; $5–$6) include honey samples; Sunday features a screening of the documentary Queen of the Sun, on the global bee crisis (9/11 at 11, 1:30, and 4; $3–$6).
GO: 9/9–11; see website for full schedule. Grounds open daily 7–sunset. $8–$11. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Rte 53, Lisle. mortonarb.org

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

Kevin Coval, cofounder and artistic director or Louder Than a Bomb
Kevin Coval

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Kevin Coval, the poet, teacher, author, and cofounder and artistic director of Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival. Coval will read from his new book, L-vis Lives! Racemusic Poems, out this month from Haymarket Books, at a release party and concert 9/14 at Metro.

“I’m finishing this book I’m loving, by Martín Espada, called The Lover of a Subversive Is Also a Subversive: Essays and Commentaries. Martín, he’s one of the people whose work taught me that the poet is an advocate—that the poet is political and that poetry can be political. I’m really feeling it right now. A book of his poems, probably his most well known, Imagine the Angels of Bread, taught me how to write books of poems. Prior to that, whenever I read poetry collections, I felt like I was reading random bits of work written over five years or ten years and then assembled by a poet or an editor into a book. Martín’s book felt more like a novel, like it had a discernible narrative arc. That book allowed me to think about why poems make sense together, in one collection.

“And then I have a whole calendar of events . . . Is it a cliché to say I’m going to the Renegade Craft Fair?”

Read Kevin’s unabridged weekend agenda in The 312.

FREEBIES OF THE WEEK

festivals Berwyn Historic Route 66 Car Show
Where Chicago ends, the spirit of the open road begins: Some 300 classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles line suburban Berwyn, just a few miles from the historic byway’s starting point. We can feel the wind in our hair already.
GO: 9/10 from 10 to 4. Ogden from Oak Park to Ridgeland, Berwyn. berwynrt66.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: More than 300 DIY vendors set up shop down the center of Division Street for the ninth annual Renegade Craft Fair, 9/10­–11, while the city’s most authentic Oktoberfest—the German American Festival, featuring the 46th annual Von Steuben Parade—tunes its tubas 9/9–11 in Lincoln Square.

opera Stars of Lyric Opera of Chicago at Millennium Park
The grande dame soprano and the Lyric’s recently designated creative consultant, Renée Fleming, makes her Pritzker Pavilion debut with the leads of the company’s new season, including the tenor and native Evanstonian Matthew Polenzani, who sings the title role in October’s season opener, The Tales of Hoffmann.
GO: 9/10 at 7:30. Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Washington. lyricopera.org

literature Collection and Cocktails
When the Poetry Foundation threw itself a star-studded bash celebrating its new digs back in June, most of the high-profile readings—Elizabeth Alexander, Sandra Cisneros—filled up faster than you could say “free verse.” So if you haven’t seen the inside of the new $21.5 million building yet, go this week, for a decidedly lower-wattage but lovely-sounding night designed to introduce locals to the 30,000-volume library. Scheduled diversions include poetry fortune telling, a scavenger hunt among the stacks, and wine and snacks.
GO: 9/7 from 5:30 to 8:30. Admission is first come, first served; RSVP recommended: collectionandcocktails.eventbrite.com. Poetry Foundation, 61 W Superior. poetryfoundation.org

theatre Free Night of Theater
September 9 marks the first day you can sign up to win free tickets for as many as five different local productions on stage in October. How it works: Go to freenightchicago.com, peruse the list of participating theatres, and pick the top five plays you’d most like to see next month. The only stipulation: Since the point of the promotion is to get new bodies in seats, you’re asked to choose theatres where you haven’t previously attended a play. The ticket distribution will take place at the end of September, and voilà: If you’re lucky, you and a friend could see a handful of new plays.
GO: Submit your top five picks between 9/9 and 9/23. More details: freenightchicago.com

 

Photography: (HYPOCRITES) Paul Metreyeon; (COVAL) Rebekah Raleigh

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