This Detroit musician invented techno in the early ’80s as part of the trio Cybotron and in his solo work as Model 500. At this live performance (rather than a more common DJ set), you might hear genre-defining techno classics like “No UFOs” or atmospheric recent material; either way, it’ll probably sound like the hoverboard-filled future we used to dream about.
Details:Pilsen. Thalia Hall. 8 p.m. $18. eventbrite.com
Expect resident artists Rachel Bunting and Ayako Kato to make challenging, imaginative work for Chicago Moving Company’s annual dance incubator, which at times hinges on delightful absurdity. In the same vein, former Chicagoan Jessie Young, now based in Brooklyn, returns with a performance about orifices: Her movements aim to project invisible lines of energy that connect her ears, nose, and mouth to … elsewhere.
Details:Lake View. Hamlin Fieldhouse. $12–$15. chicagomovingcompany.org
Muti Conducts Pines of Rome
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s music director, Riccardo Muti, brings two works on his native Italy to the first of two programs in his May residency: Bizet’s Roma Symphony and Pines of Rome, an orchestral suite by Muti favorite Ottorino Respighi. But the curiosity of the program is the characteristically oddball Berlioz’s operatic minidrama The Death of Cleopatra, sung here by the sensitive mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who is uniquely suited to pulling off Cleopatra’s dramatic extremes.
Details:Loop. Symphony Center. $37–$241. cso.org
I Bet You Think This Dance Is About You
Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble artistic director Sara Maslanka expands her compelling two-year solo project into an evening-length group work in a converted church sanctuary. Developed around traumatic events in Maslanka’s life, this raw and exquisite piece blends dance with text from Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey to explore physical and psychological wounds from sexual assault and domestic abuse.
Details:Andersonville. Ebenezer Lutheran Church. Free–$20. danztheatre.org
West Side Story
Lyric Opera’s spring stagings of classic Broadway musicals have become a welcome opportunity to hear masterly scores played by an ample orchestra. Glimmerglass Festival artistic director Francesca Zambello helms Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s 1957 street-gang riff on Romeo and Juliet; Broadway actor Corey Cott and newcomer Mikaela Bennett play star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria.
Details:Loop. Lyric Opera House. $20–$219. lyricopera.org
Polish Constitution Day Parade
Every year, the Loop becomes a sea of red and white as the city hosts the largest Polish parade outside of, well, Poland. On May 3, 1791, Poland became the first European country to adopt a democratic constitution — second worldwide only to the United States. The celebration, now in its 128th year, will feature a concert of Frédéric Chopin’s most popular etudes, waltzes, and mazurkas.
Details:Columbus from Balbo to Monroe. 11:30 a.m. Free. polishparade.org
The Winter’s Tale
When Goodman artistic director Robert Falls tackles Shakespeare, the results tend to be ostentatiously imagined affairs. So his staging of The Winter’s Tale, one of Shakespeare’s weirdest plays, with its sharp tonal swing from tragedy to romantic comedy, is sure to be an eye-popping event.
Details:Loop. Goodman Theatre. $25–$80. goodmantheatre.org
On War & Survival: National Veterans Art Museum Triennial
Five veterans of the Iraq War curate this first-ever triennial of art influenced by wartime, from World War I to the present day. Iraqi American artist Wafaa Bilal, for one, will present an all-white library of blank books as a disquieting monument to his native country’s cultural losses from conflict.
Details:Loop. Chicago Cultural Center. Free. nvam.org
The critically acclaimed Danish punk band is both glamorous and goth, like if Joy Division were resurrected as millennials from Copenhagen who read French poetry. But despite looking like a quartet of vampire models, Iceage is more substance than style, with sharp-edged, passionate anthems that counter brutality with beauty.
Details:Lincoln Park. Lincoln Hall. 8 p.m. $17. lh-st.com
The local girl made good — an operatic soprano with credits in London, Amsterdam, and New York — sings a recital in the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago’s Lieder Lounge series. Brugger’s creamy voice suits her program of songs by Richard Strauss, Sergei Rachmaninoff, modern miniaturist Francis Poulenc, and gifted contemporary melodist Lee Hoiby.
Details:Lincoln Park. Gannon Concert Hall, DePaul University. 7 p.m. $17–$37. caichicago.org
Having thrust themselves into string-quartet fame during their residency at Northwestern, DQ performs a modest series on campus for lucky in-the-know audiences. This particular concert includes two emeralds of the Second Viennese School — Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite and Anton Webern’s Langsamer Satz — as well as Schumann’s Quartet No. 3. And more to come: The quartet re-upped its residency for at least another year.
Details:Evanston. Galvin Recital Hall, Northwestern University. 7:30 p.m. $10–$30. music.northwestern.edu
This ambitious British band makes being over-the-top look cool. Its latest record, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, channels ’80s power pop and R&B grooves with a heaping side of millennial neuroses. If any working band embodies Where We Are Right Now, it’s this one (last year’s “Love It If We Made It” is basically this decade’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”). If such subject matter sounds too heady, be advised that lead singer Matt Healy sometimes takes his shirt off.
Details:Near West Side. United Center. 7 p.m. $29–$55. ticketmaster.com
Next to Normal
Last year David Cromer, a Skokie native and a former Columbia College faculty member, won his first Tony Award as director of the intimate musical The Band’s Visit. Chicago will get a look at that piece in September when it arrives on tour at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. But first Cromer comes home to stage Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt’s Pulitzer-winning 2008 rock musical about one family’s struggles with mental illness. His cast includes Keely Vasquez as a troubled mom and Northwestern freshman Liam Oh as her son.
Details:Glencoe. Writers Theatre. $35–$80. writerstheatre.org
The Adventures of Augie March
Hailed by some as the Great American Novel and by virtually everyone as a great Chicago story, Saul Bellow’s midcentury picaresque is a free-flowing portrait of a young idealist from Humboldt Park drifting from one adventure to the next. Bellow was a University of Chicago faculty member for 30 years, so it’s appropriate that Augie will make his stage debut on its campus with this new adaptation penned by Pulitzer–winning alum David Auburn (Proof). Court Theatre artistic director Charles Newell takes the helm.
Details:Hyde Park. Court Theatre. $38–$74. courttheatre.org
Flutist Nicole Mitchell, cellist Tomeka Reid, and drummer Mike Reed are enough of a draw individually to merit seeing live, so when they play together, know that it’s not to be missed. This trio formed in 2015 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and the collaboration evidently encouraged them to extend their alliance beyond a one-off performance. Few trios are arranged this way — expect a show that persuades you to rethink your assumptions of what jazz is.
Details:Lake View. Constellation. 8:30 p.m. $12–$15. eventbrite.com
Manifest Urban Arts Festival
Live music, dance performances, fashion shows, gallery exhibitions, film screenings, and poetry readings will stream out of the classroom and onto the streets of the South Loop in this annual art party hosted by Columbia College students. One of the headlining exhibitions, Through a Dog’s Eyes, fosters cross-species love by creating art for dogs, tailored to their sight level and red-green colorblindness.
Details:Wabash from 9th to 11th. Noon. Free. manifest.colum.edu
Hazy California folk makes for a nice prelude to the impending euphoria of summertime Chicago, and there’s no working artist who does that better than Pratt. Her latest, this year’s Quiet Signs, sounds like dreamy afternoon reveries soundtracked by a dusty old jukebox — warm acoustic guitar, delicate tambourine and flute, and lyrics that read like Ralph Waldo Emerson poetry. Recommended for those who fantasize about driving up the Pacific Coast Highway in a rented convertible.
Details:Avondale. Sleeping Village. 9 p.m. $15. etix.com
A decade ago, local journalist Mark Guarino wrote an absurdist western play inspired by the songs of the Mekons and Waco Brothers frontman Jon Langford (a fellow Chicagoan); All the Fame of Lofty Deeds, which shared a title with Langford’s 2004 album, was staged by the House Theatre of Chicago. Now Guarino and Langford have teamed to write this original musical about a woman who makes a pilgrimage to Roswell, New Mexico, on the advice of the aliens she believes she’s contacting.
Details:North Center. Strawdog Theatre. $18–$35. strawdog.org
Yoko Ono: Poetry, Painting, Music, Objects, Events, and Wish Trees
While its title might suggest a survey, the focus of this show is actually trained on one work: Grapefruit, a book filled with whimsical instructions framed as musical scores. A facsimile of this landmark conceptual artwork will be on view, but don’t miss the installation Wish Trees — a grove of living trees in the courtyard, where visitors can write down their hopes for the future and hang them on branches.
Details:Near North Side. Poetry Foundation. Free. poetryfoundation.org
It’s been seven years since this blockbuster company last came to the Chicago area with its reliably fun mix of Latino-influenced contemporary ballet. The lineup of work by all-Latina choreographers includes Sombrerisimo by powerhouse Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Con Los Brazos Abiertos, a piece by former Chicagoan Michelle Manzanales about growing up Mexican American in Texas.
Details:Glen Ellyn. McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage. 7:30 p.m. $49–$59. atthemac.org
You wouldn’t know it from American radio, but Korea’s BTS is arguably the biggest boy band in the world. This beloved seven-piece stands out among the K-pop pack — its U.S. crossover has been unprecedented compared with other Korean acts. You may not understand the mostly Korean lyrics, but you’ll witness a bona fide global phenomenon.
Details:Near South Side. Soldier Field. 7:30 p.m. $93–$9,745. fieldchicago.org
The Boston-based DJ and production duo of Eli Goldstein and Charles Levine have a soft spot for moody disco, deep house, and the kind of R&B that makes you think about silk sheets and rainy nights. In other words, their selections are of the sort that some might consider cheesy — and others might consider transcendent. Choose your own adventure.
Details:Wrigleyville. Smartbar. 10 p.m. $15–$20. etix.com
Evanston Literary Festival
Chicagoland’s avid readers and writers will lift their noses from their books for this fifth annual celebration of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and comics. Free readings, panels, creative writing workshops, and an all-day book fair will be held at Evanston’s most beloved literary institutions, including Northwestern University, Bookends & Beginnings, and Comix Revolution. Among the highlights are New Yorker cartoonist Ken Krimstein discussing his graphic biography of philosopher Hannah Arendt and an event on how to tell the stories of refugees ethically, assembled by the local organization 90 Days, 90 Voices.
Details:Various locations. Free. evanstonlit.org
La Havana Madrid
Longtime Chicago actor Sandra Delgado’s 2017 play was inspired by a largely forgotten Lake View nightclub that served as a social hub for Spanish-speaking immigrants from the Caribbean and South America in the 1960s. Laced with music and warm vignettes inspired by interviews with real patrons (including Delgado’s Colombian parents), La Havana Madrid sold out back-to-back runs at Steppenwolf and the Goodman; theater companies Teatro Vista and Collaboraction are producing a beefed-up remount this month.
Details:Wicker Park. Den Theatre. $30–$60. thedentheatre.com
In his second Symphony Center appearance of the month (he’s also playing bread-and-butter duos with the violinist Itzhak Perlman on May 1), the international superstar pianist performs a recital with some familiar crowd pleasers — Chopin nocturnes, Debussy preludes — and a pianist’s pianist’s capper, Scriabin’s sidereal Sonata No. 4.
Details:Loop. Symphony Center. 3 p.m. $55–$110. cso.org
Strauss and Cerrone
The Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s training ensemble, throws itself another party in its season-long centennial with Richard Strauss’s mountainous An Alpine Symphony and an untitled-at-presstime world premiere by New York composer Christopher Cerrone, created for Civic and the mallet bearers of the local new-music quartet Third Coast Percussion.
Details:Loop. Symphony Center. 8 p.m. Free; reservations required. cso.org
Carris Adams: Double Talk
The University of Chicago grad fixates on language in urban settings, like billboards, store signs, or graffiti on a newspaper box. By isolating something as seemingly benign as “Food Mart,” Adams questions how signage reflects assumptions about race, class, gender, and geography. For this show, she presents a new series of graphite drawings that depict an absence of writing — the haunting remnants of signs that have faded or been removed.
Details:East Garfield Park. Goldfinch. Free. goldfinchgallery.org
Tim Hecker and the Konoyo Ensemble
For last year’s Konoyo, experimental composer Hecker traveled to Japan, where he recorded improvised sessions of gagaku, the music of the Japanese imperial courts, in a Buddhist temple outside Tokyo. The result is a fascinating and meditative conversation between past and present, with synths and sequencers interacting with traditional Japanese flutes, drums, and strings. Here, Hecker brings the album to life, with the gagaku players in tow.
Details:Pilsen. Thalia Hall. 9 p.m. $25–$35. eventbrite.com
Art of Resilience 2.0
Red Clay Dance is a vital part of the South Side’s cultural renaissance. A converted horse stable designed by Daniel Burnham, the DuSable Museum’s Roundhouse offers a playground of possibilities for a site-specific retooling of the company’s 2017 Art of Resilience that moves around the venue, bringing the audience into various small performance spaces. Red Clay uses dance, song, and text to reflect on the Black Arts Movement and other underrepresented histories of the South Side.
Details:Washington Park. Roundhouse, DuSable Museum of African American History. $24–$100. redclaydance.com
Chicago Zine Fest
The zine — a 502-year-old publishing model, if you consider Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses to be the first — has done a remarkable job evolving with the times. The 10th edition of this yearly DIY-publication fair will feature an exhibition of more than 250 indie publishers and small presses, workshops and panels on topics ranging from making art about the occult to using zines as a tool for social justice, and a zine-themed Jeopardy! show at the Cards Against Humanity Theater in Bucktown.
Details: Various locations. Free. chicagozinefest.org
The Other Art Fair
Calling all collectors with expensive tastes and tight budgets: The online gallery Saatchi Art organized this market to prioritize affordability, with original works by 110 emerging artists selling for as low as $150. In an added twist, the artists, rather than the galleries, run the booths.
Details:Pilsen. Mana Contemporary. $14–$30. eventbrite.com
Hahn Plays Sibelius Violin Concerto
Also featuring the 20th-century sage Einojuhani Rautavaara’s A Requiem in Our Time under the baton of Mikko Franck, this glossy Finnish program centers on the title concerto, with the solo by Hahn, a former child prodigy who is now nearly 40 but still worthily drawing crowds. Rachmaninoff’s not-Finnish Symphony No. 2 caps the concert.
Details:Loop. Symphony Center. $35–$224. cso.org
Eighth Blackbird: Dissolve
Steppenwolf’s LookOut series presents the instrumental sextet performing works by big names (Steve Reich, Missy Mazzoli) and intimacies composed by the Blackbirds themselves, such as flutist Nathalie Joachim’s Madam Bellegarde, featuring the recorded voice
of her grandmother.
Details:Lincoln Park. Steppenwolf Theatre. $15–$35. steppenwolf.org
The Pygmalion Effect
Two years after its triumphant Red Giselle, the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, Russia, returns to the Auditorium with the North American premiere of artistic director Boris Eifman’s take on the Greek myth about a sculptor who falls in love with a statue. In the choreographer’s first comedy in 20 years, the main character is a dancer who attempts to mold a woman with two left feet into the perfect partner.
Details:Loop. Auditorium Theatre. $34–$104. auditoriumtheatre.org
Chicago Fringe Opera and the chamber ensemble Latitude 49 shack up to present a portrait concert of Christopher Cerrone, a New York–based composer and winner of the Rome Prize (who also debuts a new work here on May 12; see “Strauss and Cerrone”). The program will travel through song cycles titled The Naomi Songs and I Will Learn to Love a Person, the one-act opera All Wounds Bleed, and a world premiere of a new commission.
Details:Lake View. Stage 773. $20–$35. chicagofringeopera.com
Wright Plus Housewalk
Architecture buffs make an annual pilgrimage to Oak Park for a walkable megatour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s earliest work (such as the Francis J. Woolley House, one of three “bootleg” houses that Wright worked on in secret while under contract at Adler & Sullivan). The tour grants access to two public buildings and eight private homes — four of which have never before been included. As an added perk, your ticket gets you a free tour of the newly restored Robie House in Hyde Park.
Details:Various locations. 9 a.m. $85–$110. flwright.org
After years of pitching its big top outside the United Center, Cirque du Soleil makes its first visit to Soldier Field for its latest production. With an aesthetic that incorporates X Games sports — it’s the upscale circus troupe’s first show with BMX freestylers among the acts — Volta is performed to an original score by Anthony Gonzalez, the primary force behind the French electronic group M83.
Details:Near South Side. Soldier Field. $49–$275. cirquedusoleil.com
About Face: Stonewall, Revolt, and New Queer Art
Fifty years after police raided New York City’s Stonewall Inn, harassing patrons of the gay bar, this exhibition poses a salient question: What does queerness look like as a collective political identity? The response arrives in the form of 250 works by international artists — from exquisite black-and-white portraits by the late photographer Peter Hujar to Jacolby Satterwhite’s trippy videos.
Details:Lincoln Park. Wrightwood 659. $20. tickets.wrightwood659.org
Why limit yourself to one side of a canvas? The Brooklyn-based artist known for her gestural and abstract drawings started a series of two-sided, large-format works on paper. In this solo show, her colorful paintings will hang on a line like fresh laundry.
Details:Streeterville. Arts Club of Chicago. Free. artsclubchicago.org
Manet and Modern Beauty
The Art Institute hosts its first survey of the French modernist’s oeuvre in more than 50 years, but sticks to the last decade of his career. The subjects are by and large women, and the portraits incorporate lush plant life that waves its branches in the direction of impressionism. To give context to these paintings, the exhibit also features Manet’s handwritten (and illustrated) letters, as well as flower studies — vivid and iridescent renderings of swoon-inducing floral arrangements.
Details:Loop. Art Institute of Chicago. $14–$25. artic.edu
Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration
Pianist Jason Moran won a MacArthur “genius” grant in 2010 on the heels of Ten, his ambitious album exploring genres such as funk and hip-hop within a solidly postbop jazz approach. For this performance, Moran continues in his adventurous mode with a composition about the Great Migration, incorporating a wide range of musical styles and featuring a number of talented musicians, including singer Alicia Hall Moran (his wife), the woodwind ensemble Imani Winds, and the Kenwood Academy Jazz Band.
Details:Loop. Symphony Center. 8 p.m. $26–$83. cso.org
Mole de Mayo
For residents of Pilsen, this chile-and-chocolate-based sauce is serious business — many consider it to be Mexico’s national dish. That’s why, for 10 years running, local chefs and restaurants have been duking it out for best recipe in the city. In addition to tastings, there is live music, Mexican folk dancing, an open-air market where you can buy goods straight from the artists, and lucha libre matches — professional wrestlers only, but you can certainly BYOM (bring your own mask).
Details:Pilsen. Ashland and 18th. Donations accepted. moledemayo.org
Queen of the Mist
Firebrand Theatre, a musical theater troupe with a feminist mission, is only in its second season but has impressed out of the gate with powerful stagings of Lizzie, a rock musical retelling of the Lizzie Borden legend, and the Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori stunner Caroline, or Change. Now Firebrand is mounting the Chicago premiere of this piece by cult fave composer Michael John LaChiusa about Annie Edson Taylor, a schoolteacher who at 63 became the first daredevil to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
Details:Wicker Park. Den Theatre. $25–$55. firebrandtheatre.org
Fragments of a Crucifixion
This exhibition (which takes its title from an unfinished painting by Francis Bacon) explores the many connotations of the crucifix through work in the Museum of Contemporary Art’s collection; on the roster are feminist icon Ana Mendieta and the notorious Andres Serrano. But don’t expect a procession of messages related to religion: Only incomplete and suggested images of the Christian symbol are featured, inviting broader considerations of faith in art.
Details:Streeterville. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. $15. mcachicago.org
Bike the Drive
One day a year, Chicago’s cyclists take over Lake Shore Drive and ride as far as the eye can see — or at least as far as Hollywood or 57th Street, and at least until 10:30 a.m. The event is billed as a festival rather than a race, meaning that riders are untimed and can start and end at different points.
Details:Lake Shore Drive. 5:30 a.m. $17–$91. bikethedrive.org
Jorja Smith, Kali Uchis
The 21-year-old rising British singer Smith’s modern take on quiet storm R&B lands somewhere between Sade and Amy Winehouse — though she’s got some bangers up her sleeve, like 2017’s UK garage dance-floor-filler “On My Mind.” The sultry mood kicks off with Uchis, the Colombian American singer who’s one of the brightest new names in West Coast soul. Last year’s Isolation sprawled leisurely from doo-wop to indie pop, creating a chill universe where guests like Bootsy Collins and Tyler, the Creator casually coexist.
Details:Uptown. Aragon Ballroom. $45–$47. ticketmaster.com
The two halves of this landmark gay musical from composer William Finn were written as separate one-acts nearly a decade apart, in 1981 and 1990. In between came the AIDS crisis, and the contrasting moods help give the combined work its devastating power. Act 1 is a neurotic comedy about Marvin, his ex-wife, their young son, and Marvin’s new boyfriend negotiating a new kind of family; in act 2, as one of the song titles puts it, “Something Bad Is Happening.” This touring production, based on the 2016 Broadway revival, is led by Tony-nominated actor Max von Essen (An American in Paris).
Details:Loop. Nederlander Theatre. $24–$157. broadwayinchicago.com
Stravinsky & the Joffrey Ballet
After the success of the Lyric Opera’s recent crossover event, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra offers one of its own: Joffrey dancers perform while accompanied by two works by Stravinsky. For choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s Commedia, it’s Pulcinella; for a world premiere by Stephanie Martinez called Bliss, it’s the Dumbarton Oaks Concerto.
Details:Loop. Symphony Center. $37–$253. cso.org
Anne Imhof: Sex
Hooded falcons, drones, and donkeys have been featured in this German choreographer and art world provocateur’s performances. At the 2017 Venice Biennale — where she received the top prize — Imhof enlivened the German Pavilion with barking Doberman pinschers. This new commission, which is part installation, part durational performance, will no doubt be just as hardcore and entrancing.
Details:Loop. Art Institute of Chicago. $14–$25. artic.edu
Chromatics, Desire, In Mirrors
Lovers of all things dark and melodramatic, rejoice: Synth-pop cult act Chromatics is embarking on its first tour in more than five years, playing fan favorites and previews of its long-awaited Dear Tommy album. The Portland outfit is joined by Italians Do It Better label mates Desire and In Mirrors, establishing a bill fit for a modern-day noir soundtrack.
Details:Lincoln Park. Park West. 9 p.m. $31. ticketfly.com
Lincoln Park Greek Fest
The words “Lincoln Park” and “Greek” may conjure images of sorority pledges and raucous frat parties, but rest assured that this annual kómma (party) is less hellish than it is Hellenic. Experience philoxenia (Greek hospitality) with traditional music and dance, an arts and crafts fair, and homemade Greek cuisine, like souvlaki, baklava, and spanakopita.
Details:Lincoln Park. St. George Greek Orthodox Church. Donations accepted. lincolnparkgreekfest.com
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