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Five Great Things to Do in Chicago This Week

Actress Kate Fry takes the lead in Ibsen’s masterpiece about domestic alienation.

<strong>DESPERATE HOUSEWIFE</strong> Kate Fry stars as Hedda Gabler.
DESPERATE HOUSEWIFE Kate Fry stars as Hedda Gabler.   Photo: Courtesy of Writers Theatre

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, January 1, through Tuesday, January 7

1 Hedda Gabler

Theatre: Due to make her Broadway debut this year, director Kimberly Senior teams up with Kate Fry for Ibsen’s scathing, tragic, and relentlessly unblinking look at a master manipulator struggling with middle class malaise.
1/7–3/16. $35–$70. Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor, Glencoe. writerstheatre.org

2 Otis Clay

Blues: Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame this year, the local septuagenarian and West Side community activist never disappoints live. Fingers crossed for his version of “Trying to Live My Life Without You.”
1/4 at 8 p.m. $16–$36. Space, 1245 Chicago. evanstonspace.com

3 Chicago WinterDance

Dance: Burn those holiday calories with some free dance lessons and DJ sets at the Chicago Cultural Center.
1/3–5. Free. Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington. cityofchicago.org

4 Beyond the Swastika and Jim Crow

Museums: When the Nazis forced Jewish academics to flee Europe, some scholars relocated to the United States and found refuge in an unlikely place: historically black colleges. This exhibit explores the surprising relationship between the oft-marginalized groups.
1/2–4/14. $10 DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl. dusablemuseum.org

5 The Fillet of Solo Festival

Readings: The Kates, 2nd Story, Write Club—the city’s most popular live reading clubs unite for some midwinter tall tales.
1/3 to 1/19. $10–$30. Lifeline Theatre, 6912 Glenwood, and the Heartland Studio, 7016 Glenwood. lifelinetheatre.com

Freebie of the Week


Pianoforte Salon Series

Classical: Steal away for a lunchtime performance from San Francisco concert pianist Jeff LaDeur, who is slated to perform some Beethoven and works by two contemporary composers, Derek Bermel and Robert Schuman.
1/3 at noon. Free. PianoForte Studios, 1335 S Michigan. pianofortefoundation.org

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