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The Five Best Things to Do in Chicago This Week

CIMMfest, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Even Longer and Farther Away, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, and the Taj Mahal Trio

TCHAIKOVSKY’S TRAGEDY Riccardo Muti leads the CSO’s take on Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet this week.   Photo: Armando L. Sanchez

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, April 13 through April 19, 2016

1 Chicago International Movies and Music Festival

Film Fans of all things audio-visual best flock to Wicker Park and Logan Square for CIMMfest, a celebration of the relationship between music and movies.
4/13–17. $79–$149. Various locations. cimmfest.org

2 Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Classical Romeo and Juliet makes yet another appearance in the CSO’s take on Tchaikovsky’s overture fantasy. Muti leads that piece, along with another Tchaikovsky take on Shakespeare (The Tempest) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, featuring one of the maestro’s go-to sopranos, Rosa Feola.
4/14–16 at 8, 4/22 at 1:30, 4/24 at 3. $45–$265. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. cso.org

3 Even Longer and Farther Away

Theater Chelsea Marcantel ambles the Appalachian Trail in the story of a hiker who gets snowed in with strangers who know far too much about him. Thrisa Hodits helms the mountainous world premiere.
4/15–5/15. $15–$20. New Colony at Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee. thenewcolony.org

4 Honey Pot Performance

Dance Local arts activist and dance ethnographer Meida McNeal presents her 3Arts-funded Ma(s)king Her, a surrealist coming-of-age narrative culled from a series of workshops on the experiences of black women.
4/14–16. $15. Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph. jaypritzkerpavilion.com

5 Taj Mahal Trio

Blues Living legend Taj Mahal brings his sweet blend of blues and world music to Chicago, promising a long, eclectic set of contemporary takes on global sounds.
4/14 at 9:30. $46–$48. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln. oldtownschool.org

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Carmine Cervi
Carmine Cervi Photo: Lisa Dell

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals: Carmine Cervi, co-founder of and director at large for CIMMfest, which begins tonight and runs through April 17.

“We’ll kick things off tonight at the Music Box Theatre with the documentary The Smart Studios Story. Smart Studios, in Madison, was this legendary place where Nirvana recorded Nevermind among other things. Right after that, I’m following the crowd over to the after party at Metro, where we’ll have live music from two bands who wrote and recorded at Smart.

“Friday, I’ll be spending some time at CIMMCity HQ (1896 N. Milwaukee), where we have an ongoing reception from 4 to 6 p.m. every day. It’s free, so anyone can stop in and say hi. The only other thing I’ve got blocked out for sure is A Song for You: The Austin City Limits Story at the Old Town School of Folk Music. It’s our first time collaborating with Old Town, and that particular movie is one I always have to see when it’s on—just great performance after great performance. After that, I might stick around for the next screening at Old Town: the first two episodes of the American Epic series. It explores the history of recorded music in America.

“Saturday is all about CIMMcon, the conference arm of the festival. It’s a distillation of everything we’ve ever wanted to do with CIMMfest: 50 panels over two days about the practical side of artistic life. We really wanted it all to be practical, take-home info, without the cheesy anecdotes that usually go with that kind of thing. At some point, I’ll duck over to Rosa’s Lounge to refuel and catch my breath. It’s a great place to relax during the day—we’re lucky to have it in the neighborhood.

“Also on Saturday, I’m having lunch with the festival jurors at Lucia’s on North. I’m Italian, so I never go to Italian restaurants because my standards are very high. I need the real deal, and that’s what you get at Lucia’s. She’s been in the neighborhood for a long, long time, and doesn’t have a bad thing on the menu. There’s also a good chance we’ll get drinks at the Green Eye Lounge on Western.

“Sunday, I’m really excited about the video game live-score. It’s at 2 p.m. at 1st Ward, the private event space at the back of Chop Shop on North. We’re going to have two bands performing live in response to the games, which are being played live on a projector. It’ll be next-level improvisation. Last is our film award show at 1st Ward at 7 p.m. Really it’s less of a ceremony and more of a variety show, free-for-all kind of thing. Dancing bears, fire breathers, and so on. We’ll have some great bands playing and we’re also going to screen this hilarious short film The Chickening—I guess the best way to describe it without spoiling it is to say that’s a fast-food themed recut of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. It’s something you really need to see for yourself.” —As told to John Hardberger

Freebie of the Week

Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Art Not since Josef Albers has an artist approached color with such scientific rigor. Using as inspiration such intangibles as the color of the sky on 9/11, Spencer Finch turns ideas into color samples and compositions for his large-scale public sculptures.
Through 4/16. Free. 118 N. Peoria. rhoffmangallery.com

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