The Top Five Things to Do in Chicago This Week

See Magritte! See Pride Fest! Plus, there’s art, dance, music, and more.

ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER René Magritte’s exhibition opens this Tuesday.   Photo: Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, June 18 through Tuesday, June 24

1 René Magritte

Art: The Belgian surrealist master René Magritte created some of the most hallucinatory paintings in the history of art. This major exhibition includes more than 100 mind-bending works.
6/24–10/13. $12–$15. Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan. artic.edu

2 Red Bull Flying Bach

Dance: Flying Bach, a German break dance group that performs to live classical music, makes its only US pit stop at the Civic House. It’s like all the best parts of Step Up: all dance, no cheesy dialogue.
6/20–29. $24–$88. Civic Opera House, 20 N Upper Wacker. ticketmaster.com

3 Chicago Pride Fest

Festival: With gay marriage now legal in Illinois, no doubt this Boystown bacchanal will be revved up to ridiculous, fabulous levels. Jennifer Hudson and Mya are scheduled to perform and the famous parade happens next week on Sunday, June 29.
6/21–22 at 8. Suggested $10 donation. North Halsted between Belmont and Addison. chicago.gopride.com

4 We Do What We Like and We Like What We Do

Art: For the past decade, Western Exhibitions has been one of Chicago’s most cutting-edge contemporary art galleries. How does it do this? With a distinct voice representing the new Chicago school of art. Top pieces from Western’s stable of artists are on display this 10th-anniversary show.
6/20–7/19. Free. Western Exhibitions, 845 W. Washington. westernexhibitions.com

5 Rickie Lee Jones

Folk: Jones has a career spanning nearly 40 years at this point, and has shape shifted from music-media darling to powerful lady-rock figure. Don’t miss a night with this legend.
6/20 at 8. $45. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln. oldtownschool.org

What I’m Doing This Weekend

David Chack
David Chack Photo: Courtesy of David Chack

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: David Chack, artistic director of the Chicago Jewish Film Festival. The Chicago Jewish Film Festival runs Thursday, June 19 through Sunday June 29.

“Thursday night, we’re starting our film festival. Chicago is the only major city that doesn’t already have one. We want to expose Chicago to a full range of Jewish expression. We have amazing movies on Thursday—Before the Revolution, about Israelis and Jews in Iran before the Shah returned and then there’s an incredible Holocaust film called La Rafle. It really shows the best and the worst of humanity.

“Friday, we’re observing the Sabbath, so I’m going to dinner with friends and family. I love to go to Julius Meinl. I can get great coffee, they have incredible pastries, and they have a great grilled sandwich with caramelized onions.

“Saturday, we have some incredible screenings. We’ll be showing the pilot of Jill Soloway’s Amazon show Transparent and then we’ll be having a panel discussion afterwards with someone from the Jewish LGBT group Kesher. We’re also showing an incredible film, The Pin, about a young boy and girl who find each other in a bar and are running away from the Nazis during World War II. There was a thriving Yiddish film industry that was wiped out because of the Holocaust and this film is partly a tribute to that. The performances are very powerful. If I wasn’t at the festival, I would want to see Death and the Maiden at Victory Gardens. Ariel Dorfman is very dear to my heart and I hope to lead one of the talkbacks in July.

“Sunday, we’re bringing in Shlomi Eldar, the winner of the Israeli version of the Oscars to talk about his film Precious Life, which is about an Israeli pediatrician who helps a Palestinian mother whose baby is sick. Then I might go to Milt’s Barbecue for the Perplexed; it has incredible barbecue and ribs and good Scotch.” —As told to Tomi Obaro

Freebie of the Week


Make Music Chicago

Classical: Last year this fete comprised 180 performances in 40 venues; this year it aims for 75 venues. As before, people are encouraged to bring their instruments to participate in large-scale public performances downtown. The day ends with a grand finale at St. James Cathredral in River North, where the Euclid Quartet, singers from the Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center, and others will perform.
6/21. Free. Various times and locations. makemusicchicago.com

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