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The Top 10 Things to Do in Chicago This Week

A naked bike ride, Chicago Blues Festival, a food truck bonanza, and more

Chicago Blues Festival headliner Mavis Staples   Photo: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune

The Ten

Don’t-miss picks for June 7 through June 13, 2018

1 Chicago Underground Film Festival

Film:There are “indie films” and then there is radically alternative cinema, far more experimental than what one can expect to see at the local art house. The Chicago Underground Film Festival specializes in the latter, offering cinephiles admission not just to a carefully curated program of films but to a subculture (to paraphrase the late Roger Ebert).
6/6–10. $10–$100. Logan Theatre. cuff.org

2 Gavin Turek

R&B:Disco never died, at least according to ’70s style-embracing singer Gavin Turek. The Los Angeles native distills the best elements of the genre—from the slinky rhythms and thick, gooey bass to Donna Summer’s soft coos—and adds a clean, contemporary touch. Her live shows are guaranteed to get you moving by the end of the first song.
6/7 at 9 p.m. $13–15. Sleeping Village. ticketfly.com

3 Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Dance:The local dance gem caps its 40th anniversary season with a special program by Israeli superstar Ohad Naharin. The evening includes the highly anticipated return of Naharin’s iconic Minus 16, introduced to American audiences by Hubbard Street in 2000.
6/7–10. $25–$110. Harris Theater. hubbardstreetdance.com

4 A Home for Surrealism: Fantastic Painting in Midcentury Chicago

Art:Did you know that Chicago was a hotbed for surrealist painting in the 1940s and ’50s? Influenced by masters like Dalí and Magritte, local artists gave the whimsical European movement a dark Midwestern twist, such as Gertrude Abercrombie’s Self-Portrait, the Striped Blouse (1940), a haunting scene of a woman alone in a house. This rare exhibit brings together nearly 50 paintings by Abercrombie, Dorothea Tanning, John Wilde, and others.
FREE 6/7–8/17. Arts Club of Chicago. artsclubchicago.org

5 Chicago Blues Festival

Pop:To those versed in Chicago’s musical history, Mavis Staples needs no introduction—and a recent string of critically acclaimed albums (including three produced by Jeff Tweedy) have introduced her unmistakable voice to a new generation. Staples is sure to close out this year’s fest on Sunday with a bang, but she’s not the only local legend on the bill: Billy Branch, a journeyman of blues harmonica, pays tribute to Little Walter, the mouth harp pioneer, on Saturday.
FREE 6/8–10. Millennium Park. cityofchicago.org

6 Giordano Dance Chicago

Dance:Chicago’s premier jazz-dance company closes its 55th season with a must-see performance. Cesar G. Salinas comes out of retirement to carry out Gus Giordano’s iconic solo Wings, complete with live musical accompaniment by multidisciplinary family, the Bournés. Frank Chaves’s Grusin Suite and Joshua Blake Carter’s Take a Gambol epitomize Chicago jazz dance, while the closer, Pyrokinesis, will knock your socks off.
6/9 at 7:30 p.m. $29–$78. Auditorium Theatre. auditoriumtheatre.org

7 World Naked Bike Ride

Recreation:This group ride through the heart of town has a somewhat misleading name—the guideline is actually “bare as you dare.” Yet hundreds of cyclists do choose, each year, to pedal in the buff. For those who aren’t as bold, plenty of body paint is available preride, and elaborate risqué costumes are nearly as popular as birthday suits. The precise starting place is kept secret until the eve of the event to throw off rubberneckers, so would-be streakers should keep an eye on the group’s website.
FREE 6/9 at 6 p.m. Near West Side. chicagonakedride.com

8 Pilsen Food Truck Social

Festival:Each year, this congregation of Chicago’s finest food trucks turns 18th Street into a face-stuffing, rug-cutting carnival, scored by a Latino-leaning bevy of DJs and bands. The real deal is the $20 sampler ticket, which entitles its hungry holder to six sample-size portions from the assembled trucks.
6/9–10. $5 donation. 18th from Racine to Throop. pilsenfoodtrucksocial.com

9 Printers Row Lit Fest

Literature:Now in its 34th year, the Midwest’s largest literary festival returns this weekend to the streets of Printers Row. A mix of booksellers and other vendors flood the area around Dearborn Station each spring, and this year’s edition includes headliners like Rick Bayless, Jamila Woods, and Joyce Carol Oates.
6/9–10. Free–$50. Printers Row. printersrowlitfest.org

10 Anita Baker

R&B:Baker’s last jaunt across the country was nearly a decade ago: Who knows if the 60-year-old honeyvoiced icon will return to the stage again after this latest handful of stops? Better to catch her now, while lounging on the verdant grounds of Ravinia, a perfect setting for the poignant “quiet storm” that defines Baker’s sound.
6/10 at 7:30 p.m. $38. Ravinia. ravinia.org

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