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The Best Things to Do in Chicago This Week

Talib Kweli, the Small Print Exhibition, and more

Talib Kweli   Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for We

The Ten

Don’t-miss picks for January 3 through January 9, 2019

1 Emmy Blotnick

Comedy:This charmingly tense comic, a staff writer for Stephen Colbert’s Late Show, blends smart observations with witty self-deprecation. She drops into town for seven stand-up performances in four days.
1/3–6. $25. Zanies. zanieschicago.laughstub.com

2 Frankly Mine: A Solo Exhibition by Nancy Rosen

Art:If this local painter’s work looks familiar to you, then you’ve probably been watching a lot of Netflix: Her oddly colored and skewed figurative paintings are repurposed as the artworks of Frankie, the character played by Lily Tomlin on Grace and Frankie. See Rosen’s material in person at this solo exhibit.
FREE 1/4–2/15. Gallery Studio Oh. art-studio-oh.com

3 Fuente Ovejuna

Theater:In 1476, the peasants of the title Spanish village rose up against a despot who had been raping and robbing the locals for years. Lope de Vega’s dramatization of the event hasn’t been produced in Chicago for at least a quarter century, and director Terry McCabe famously works with material in which history, art, and politics collide.
1/4–2/17. $12–32. Edgewater Presbyterian Church. citylit.org

4 Cinematic Encounters: A Conversation with Jonathan Rosenbaum

Film:The beloved movie critic, best known for his lengthy reviews and essays in the Reader, discusses Cinematic Encounters, a collection of interviews from his 40-year-plus career. In this public discussion, fellow critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky (formerly of the A.V. Club) asks the questions.
FREE 1/5 at 3 p.m. Seminary Co-op. semcoop.com

5 From Morn to Midnight

Film:The outstanding repertory-screenings outfit Chicago Film Society kicks off its winter series with a morning matinee of this despairing 1920 silent picture, directed in Germany by Karlheinz Martin. The gloomy tale of a man who self-destructs due to his fixation with a woman was nearly lost, but the movie’s unusual popularity in Japan lead to the 1959 discovery of the sole existing copy. Music Box house organist Dennis Scott will play alongside the showing, preceded by a seven-minute Felix the Cat cartoon from 1927.
1/5 at 11:30 a.m. $11. Music Box Theatre. musicboxtheatre.com

6 Talib Kweli

Hip-Hop:The Brooklyn-born MC broke through to backpack-wearing underground hip-hop fanatics in the late ’90s, thanks to a breathless flow boasting verbal mastery and thoughtful maxims perfect for a high school yearbook. Twenty years in, Kweli is still unspooling airtight verses over straightforward sample-based beats — though one wonders how that will translate to a venue that emphasizes wine and dinner service.
1/5 at 7 and 10 p.m. $38–$45. City Winery. citywinery.com

7 Zafa Collective: Life and Death

Classical:These new kids on the contemporary classical block have become a Constellation perennial since its founding two years ago. Sunday’s program — honoring trailblazing composer George Walker, who died last year — is built around composers whose works are seldom heard in Chicagoland, from established doyennes like Gabriela Ortiz and Tania León to up-and-comers like Nathan Hudson and Emily Koh.
1/6 at 8:30 p.m. $15. Constellation. constellation-chicago.com

8 Tricontinental ’66 and Other Acts of Liberation

Art:During the 1960s and ’70s, the citizens of multiple African countries fought successfully to liberate their nations from European colonialism. This multidisciplinary exhibition collects artifacts from that roiling era, anchored by the pivotal 1966 Tricontinental Conference in Havana.
FREE 1/6 at 6 p.m. Stony Island Arts Bank. hothouse.net

9 29th Annual International Small Print Exhibition

Art:At the Chicago Printmakers Collective, January is even more exciting than the holidays: New works from around the world are regularly added to this big collection of small prints.
FREE Through 1/31. Chicago Printmakers Collective. chicagoprintmakers.com

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