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The Top Five Things to Do in Chicago This Week

David Carl’s Celebrity One-Man Hamlet, King, Neha Vedpathak, Square Roots Festival, and Taste of Chicago

TASTY TUNES The Roots perform at Taste of Chicago Wednesday.   Photo: Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, July 6 through July 12, 2016

1 David Carl’s Celebrity One-Man Hamlet

Theater:See award-winning Gary Busey double David Carl mimic the lantern-jawed actor as he attempts to perform each role in Hamlet—with puppets.
7/12–17. $35. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand. chicagoshakes.com

2 King

R&B:After breaking into the underground in 2011 with its brand of girl-group R&B, King effectively disappeared, allowing lackluster peers to steal the spotlight. That changed this year with the release of ‘We Are King.’ The long-awaited full-length debut is chock-full of the same lulling orchestrations that had the group exciting so many so quickly.
7/8 at 8. $35–$75. The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park. promontorychicago.com

3 Neha Vedpathak

Art:Using only a thumbtack, this Chicago artist picks and plucks the fibers of Japanese paper until a layer of fuzz accumulates on the surface. She then sculpts the sheets into colorful, abstract shapes that seem to defy gravity. This exhibition offers the opportunity to contemplate Vedpathak’s intricate materials.
7/11–9/15. Free. Poetry Foundation, 61 W. Superior. poetryfoundation.org

4 Square Roots Festival

Folk:Produced by the Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago’s veritable folk fest this year features newgrass favorites Lydia Loveless and Sarah Jarosz (additional ticket required), folk hero Lera Lynn, and world music from Mexican folk to Ethiopian pop. Also catch Debo Band and the Villalobos Brothers.
7/8–10. $5–$20 donation. Lincoln between Montrose and Wilson. squareroots.org

5 Taste of Chicago

Festivals:The Big Eat returns with its best musical lineup in years—consider the lunch options gravy. Can’t-miss sets include the Roots and Whitney Young alum Nico Segal (a.k.a. Donnie Trumpet) on Wednesday and the folksy Decemberists on Friday.
7/6–10. Admission free, concert tickets $15–$23. Grant Park. tasteofchicago.us

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Min Song artwork
Art: Courtesy of Min Song

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals: Min Song, a conceptual artist who splits her time between Chicago and Los Angeles. She returns this weekend for her show Life Still Life Still Life, opening at Carrie Secrist Gallery on Saturday, July 9.

“I lived in Chicago for 15 years, and now that I’m back there’s so much to see and do—and not nearly enough time for it all. Today, I’m going to lunch at Big Star, where I used to work, with my sister and her boyfriend. I still have a lot of friends who work there, so I’m excited to see them and to eat some of those amazing tacos.

“I’ll spend most of this week setting up my show at Carrie Secrist Gallery. I tend to make a lot of installation-based work, and while this show incorporates a lot of different elements, some aspects of it will be site-specific. I haven’t seen any of my work in the gallery yet, so I’m excited to figure out how we’re going to set it up. If I can get away from the gallery for a few quick breaks, I’ll try to grab a bite to eat in the area. Fortunately, Secrist is right off the Randolph corridor, so I’ve got my pick. I might go to Publican Quality Meats, or see if I can squeeze into Avec.

“On Friday, I’m going to try and sneak away to go to Corbett vs. Dempsey; they’re launching a book of new art from Jimmy Wright. I don’t know much about the book—the paintings seem to be of New York underground hangouts in the 1970s—but I have immense respect for what Corbett vs. Dempsey do, and it’s one of those places that’s always good to stop into. That night, after I’m done at Secrist, I’m meeting some old friends at Skylark for drinks and tater tots.

“Before my show opens Saturday, I’m going to make some time to go by Shane Campbell Gallery—another place I really admire—for a group show opening at 1:00. I’ll be tied up with the show the rest of the day, but afterwards, the gallery is taking us all out to Duck Duck Goat. I’ve heard a lot about it, and I’m incredibly excited to eat there. Post-show dinners happen all the time, but this is shaping up to be a special one.

“Sunday morning, my only plan is to eat a good meal with my sister before I head back to Los Angeles. If I’m not still full from the night before, we might go to Lula Cafe, but if we need something lighter, I love Floriole Cafe & Bakery on Webster.” —As told to John Hardberger

Freebie of the Week

Life Still Life Still Life

Art:Chicago émigré Min Song uses found materials to turn still-life photography of familiar objects—say, a shot of a fruit bowl—into twisted sculptures that traverse the second and third dimensions.
7/9–8/20. Free. Carrie Secrist Gallery, 835 W. Washington. secristgallery.com

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