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The Top Five Best Things to Do in Chicago This Week

Louder Than a Bomb celebrates its 15th fest, plus more great activities for the week ahead.

GIFTED HANDS Check out painter Eldzier Cortor’s works at the Art Institute this weekend.   Art: Eldzier Cortor. Environment No. V, 1969, printed 2000. Gift of Eldzier Cortor in memory of Sophia Cortor.

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, February 25 through March 3, 2015

1 Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn

Folk: Widely regarded as one of the world’s best living banjoists, Béla Fleck hits the road with fellow banjoist-singer and wife Abigail Washburn for a short string of Midwestern tour dates. Prepare for speed.
2/28 at 5 and 8. $43–$45. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln. oldtownschool.org

2 Eldzier Cortor Coming Home: Recent Gifts to the Art Institute

Art: The 99-year-old painter and printmaker recently bequeathed a number of his signature works on dignified laborers, divine dancers, and energetic abstractions to the Art Institute. See them here in all their glory.
Through 5/31. $23. Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan. artic.edu

3 The Passenger

Opera: The first opera written after 1940 performed fully staged at Lyric since Doctor Atomic (2007–8), don’t miss Miecyzslaw Weinberg’s drama about a former SS officer who thinks she spots her former prisoner aboard a cruise ship.
Through 3/15. $20–$329. Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker. lyricopera.org

4 Louder Than a Bomb Festival

Readings: For the next few weeks, sharp-tongued teenagers battle for spoken word supremacy. The venerable fest celebrates its 15th anniversary with a gala at the Black Ensemble Theater on 3/1 hosted by actor Alec Baldwin and A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad.
2/25–3/28. $5–$20. Various times and locations. youngchicagoauthors.org/blog

5 Bump & Grindcore

Parties: If you love Bey and Jay, this monthly R&B jams party is just for you: music by the Carters will be playing all night.
2/27 at 9. $5 with RSVP. Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago. facebook.com/BumpAndGrindcore/photos/a.320328461403604.1073741826.294096340693483/569335926502855/?type=1&theater&_rdr

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Casey Hogan
Casey Hogan Photo: Courtesy of Casey Hogan

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: president of Special Children’s Charity/Special Olympics Chicago Casey Hogan. The Polar Plunge takes place at North Avenue Beach on Sunday, March 1.

“Friday, I have a family dinner with my sisters and nieces and nephews that we do every Friday night. We go to Tuscany on Taylor Street. I love their roasted pear ravioli.

“Saturday, I start the day with a jog with my running group and then we go to Yolk for breakfast. I live in the South Loop, so I might go to the museums at Museum Campus or the Art Institute. Maggie Daley Park is also great. After going there, I’ll get lunch at Park Grill.

“Sunday is our Polar Plunge at North Avenue Beach. We’ll be there from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We have Vince Vaughn as our VIP plunger and we have about 5,000 children that we fundraise for. Afterwards, we’ll have our post-Plunge celebration at Carnivale.” —As told to Tomi Obaro

Freebie of the Week


Drunken Geometry

Art: Before the show closes for good, go see the striking abstractions of painter Leslie Baum and sculptor Allison Wade.
Through 3/7. Free. Devening Projects +Editions, 3039 W. Carroll. deveningprojects.com

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