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Five Things to Do This Week in Chicago

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Silencio Blanco, Unreal Realms, Joan of Arc, and John Cleese and the Holy Grail

NI! John Cleese hits the Chicago Theatre this Sunday for a talk, Q&A, and screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.   Photo: E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for January 18 through January 24, 2017

1 Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah

Jazz:This Grammy nominee may be a famed composer and producer, but he’s also one of the best-known trumpeters in the country. More than just jazz, Scott draws on Latin music, rock, and even hip-hop for his soulful tunes to craft a sound undeniably his own.
1/19 at 7 and 10 p.m. $17–$42. The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park. ticketweb.com

2 Silencio Blanco

Puppetry:Part of the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, Chiflón, el Silencio del Carbón uses newspaper marionettes to portray a young miner entering a dangerous quarry. Santiago Tobar and Dominga Gutiérrez give the show its North American premiere. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
1/19–22. $10–$30. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 E. Chicago. mcachicago.org

3 Unreal Realms

Art:Celebrate the 125th birthday of Chicago outsider artist Henry Darger, a hospital custodian who died in obscurity but left behind a 15,000-page illustrated fantasy novel. Now internationally collected, Darger’s work is essential to Chicago history. See original artwork and a reconstruction of his Lake View painting studio.
1/20–3/26. $5. Intuit, 756 N. Milwaukee. art.org

4 Joan of Arc

Rock:This experimental Chicago favorite, led by Tim Kinsella, plays a hometown show in support of its first studio album in four years, He’s Got the Whole This Land Is Your Land in His Hands. Despite the gap, Kinsella’s new music could have been plucked directly from Chicago’s gritty ’90s underground.
1/21 at 8 p.m. $15. Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, 12 S. Michigan. ticketweb.com

5 John Cleese and the Holy Grail

Comedy:When the legendary comedy troupe Monty Python’s Flying Circus was sued in 2013 over royalties surrounding the musical Spamalot, the group rallied for one final tour, with the explicit purpose of paying legal fees. Barring another court date, a second reunion seems unlikely—but this evening with the group’s de facto frontman is the next best thing. See Cleese riff on the group’s storied run after a screening of the slapstick classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
1/22 at 3 p.m. $65–$85. Chicago Theatre. thechicagotheatre.com

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Tim Kinsella
Tim Kinsella Photo: Chris Strong

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know-locals: Tim Kinsella, frontman of Chicago-based band Joan of Arc, who plays the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel on Saturday.

“Right now, I’m in Tallahassee. I’ve been here the last two weeks—I’m doing a residency at FSU. So I’ll really only be in Chicago for the weekend, playing on Saturday [at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel], and then going on tour after that.

“I know the one big event this weekend is the protest. The inauguration protest that morning is the place where everyone in the city will be, I think. I don’t do very well with chanting—I just can’t chant in a group. But I find it very life affirming and spiritually powerful to know that you’re not alone in thinking that the situation is nuts. So [the band and I are] going to load in Saturday, sound check, and then we’re going to go outside. We’re going to coordinate our sound check and set-up so we can make it to the protest. And it might also be a nice day.

“My other plan is to eat at Amitabul in Norwood Park. It’s a vegan Korean restaurant. It’s an intense Buddhist place. It’s been kind of [the band’s] home base for twenty years. There’ve been tours where we pull into town and go straight there. It’s far, but it just feels so nourishing. It’s a good way to get grounded before you protest. And they’ve got pictures of Richard Gere with the Dalai Lama.

“And then a couple times a year I try to make it to the Seminary Co-op bookstore. I’m definitely going to make a run there before we travel. It seems like a good time to be reading—what with the inauguration and all. If we’re entering a world where power wants to say it’s a post-fact world, people need to start being intentional about their reading.”

“After the show on Saturday, we’ll probably have a nightcap at Rainbo. I worked there for 16 years, and I lived in the building for a long time—and Joan of Arc practiced in the building. It was like band headquarters. Even in the mid to late ’90s, it felt like a neighborhood cafeteria. Before there was Instagram, you could know what all your friends were up to just by going to Rainbo. That’s where we go when we think we’re staying in.

“And then on Sunday, I might go to 90 Miles Cuban Café, which I really love. It’s like a big Cuban feast.” —As told to Jamison Pfeifer

Freebie of the Week

A Wish to Repair

Art:Fascinated by the way adults outgrow their childhood imaginations, Jessie Mott plumbs the depths of the unconscious, drawing out beings with animal heads and human bodies, all rendered in a surreal style that evokes a children’s book. Mott debuts 30 ink drawings, a spray-painted mural, and an existential animation.
1/22–4/23. Free. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell. hydeparkart.org

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