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Here’s What’s Happening in Chicago Culture This Week

Nicki Minaj is coming, Robert Plant is coming, and the NFL draft is ballooning.

Robert Plant at Taste of Chicago in 2013   Photo: Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune

Welcome back to Chicago’s Tuesday culture roundup, a quick and dirty guide to what’s opening, closing, and buzzing in local arts each week. Note that this isn’t a curated event list like Chicago’s in-print Go Listings or weekly Chicago Guide—just a roundup of what’s coming, going, and breaking throughout the city. Got a tip, quibble, or sweet nothing? Let us know in the comment section.

News

The Goodman announces its 2015–16 season…

…featuring a Kimberly Senior-directed run of Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced and a grant-aided adaptation of Chilean novel 2666 by Robert Falls and Seth Bockley. Check out the entire lineup here.

Writers Theater also announces its season

The Glencoe company will kick off its 2015–16 with yet another Kimberly Senior vision (Marjorie Prime at Books on Vernon) followed by Arcadia, Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf—A Parody, and Company at its new Studio Gang-designed space.

Two new pilots are filming in Chicago

ABC’s Runner, a drama about the illegal gun trade, and NBC’s Love Is a Four Letter Word, an ensemble drama featuring multiple Chicagoans, will be filming at Cinespace Studios in North Lawndale and elsewhere throughout the city over the next two weeks.

Vote your favorite local rapper into XXL’s Freshman Class

Four Chicagoans made it into XXL’s 2014 up-and-comers issue, and now seven more are in the running for 2015’s tenth spot. Through March 22 you can vote Alex Wiley, Dreezy, Lil Herb, Johnny May Cash, Mick Jenkins, Spenzo, or Tink onto this year’s cover. So, you know, go do that.

The NFL draft keeps growing

On top of moving the Joffrey Ballet’s spring season from the Auditorium Theatre, new documents obtained by the Tribune show that City Hall has granted the NFL two weeks’ access to Grant Park and Congress Pkwy. between Michigan and Wabash, rendering the May 2 Polish Constitution Day Parade routeless. 

Nicki looms

For the first time since 2012, Nicki Minaj will play Chicago as part of the first leg of her Pinkprint Tour. Tickets to the August 9 show at First Midwest Bank Amphitheater in Tinley Park go on sale Friday, March 20, and run $25–$79.50.

As does Robert Plant…

…along with superopeners The Pixies on June 10 at Northerly Island. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 20, for $30–$130 via RP’s official website.

Opening

March 19: La Bête, a comedy written entirely in couplets. Trap Door Theatre (1655 W. Cortland)

March 19: End Days, Windy City Playhouse’s Henry Godinez-directed debut. Windy City Playhouse (3014 W. Irving Park)

March 20: A Midwinter Night’s Tale: A Midsummer Night’s Dream meets The Winter’s Tale in the heart of the Polar Vortex. Duplicity Ensemble at Filament Theatre (4041 N. Milwaukee)

March 21: Homefront, in which a Tennessee emigre returns home from New York to his rupturing family. Project 891 at Heartland Studio (7016 N. Glenwood)

March 21: The One and Only Ivan, LifeLine’s kid-friendly take on Katherine Applegate’s bestselling children’s book. LifeLine Theatre (6912 N. Glenwood)

Open Now: Outside Mullingar, the Chicago premiere of John Patrick Shanley’s comedy about two shy lovers in rural Ireland. Northlight at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts (9501 Skokie Blvd.)

Open Now: The Full Monty, a musical based on the 1997 film in which a group of pink-slipped steelworkers turn to stripping to support their families. Kokandy at Theater Wit (1229 W. Belmont)

Open Now: Today We Escape, a series of 12 short plays inspired by Radiohead’s eternally freaky OK Computer. Tympanic Theatre at the Den Theatre (1329 N. Milwaukee)

Open Now: Scenes from an Execution, in which a 16th-century Venetian artist is commissioned to commemorate a war victory and goes rogue with the project. Royal George Theatre (1641 N. Halsted)

Open Now: Traces, an urban faerie tale charting the travails of 20-something Chicagoan Jenny. Feast Productions at the Frontier (1106 Thorndale)

Open Now: The Hammer Trinity, Nathan Allen and Chris Mathews’s six-hour BYO marathon play. The House Theatre of Chicago at Chopin Theatre (1543 W. Division)

Open Now: Antigonick, Anne Carson’s modern-day, free translation of Antigone. Sideshow Theatre at Victory Gardens (2433 N. Lincoln)

Open Now: The Diary of Anne Frank, directed by the unerring Kimberly Senior. Writers Theatre at Books on Vernon (664 Vernon, Glencoe)

Open Now: Four, Christopher Shinn’s lusty summertime drama. Jackalope Theatre at Broadway Armory Park (5917 N. Broadway)

Open Now: Marie Antoinette, David Adjmi’s hyper-modern take on the young French queen’s tale. Steppenwolf Theatre (1650 N. Halsted)

Open Now Endgame: Beckett’s classic through the eyes of Halena Kays, who served as the Hypocrites’ artistic director during founder Sean Graney’s recently ended three-year hiatus. The Hypocrites at Den Theatre (1329–1333 N. Milwaukee)

Open Now: The Real World: Space Edition—set in 2153 and likely 2153 times funnier than the actual filmed-in-Chicago Real World. Public House Theatre (3914 N. Clark)

Open Now: The Trial of Moses “Fleetwood” Walker, a look at the first-ever black baseball player’s 1891 murder trial. Black Ensemble Theater (4450 N. Clark)

Open Now: First Date, which sets two hopelessly mismatched singles together just in time for Valentine’s Day. Royal George Theatre (1641 N. Halsted)

Open Now: Game of Thongs: A Game of Thrones Burlesque. Breasteros. Yep. Gorilla Tango Theatre (1919 N. Milwaukee)

Open Now: Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, the Other Theatre Company’s inaugural show, which focuses on the 1992 LA race riots. The Other Theatre Company at Chopin Theatre (1543 W. Division)

Closing

March 19: Fur Elites, a parlor musical about a boy surrounded by nutters in the fur shop where he works. Annoyance Theatre & Bar (851 W. Belmont)

March 20: Contention, a comedy examining love/hate relationships from all manner of wily angles. Annoyance Theatre & Bar (851 W. Belmont)

March 21: Outreach 1974–1984, film and video by Argentinian artist Jaime Davidovich. Threewalls Gallery (119 N. Peoria #2C)

March 21: Yes x 1000, a sound installation by Latham Zearfoss featuring a whole lot of the word “yes." Threewalls Gallery (119 N. Peoria #2C)

March 22: Yankee Tavern, in which a group of New Yorkers probe 9/11 trutherism from deep within their bottles. Greenhouse Theatre Center (2257 N. Lincoln)

March 22: Dunsinane, David Greig’s imagined Macbeth sequel featuring members of the National Theatre of Scotland and Royal Shakespeare Company. Chicago Shakespeare Theater (800 E. Grand)

March 22: Ground Floor, a 20-artist show focused on emerging names. Hyde Park Art Center (5020 S. Cornell)

March 22: What Remains, photos by Barbara Diener, Pao Houa Her, Jon Rafman, and Lieko Shiga. Museum of Contemporary Photography (600 S. Michigan)

March 22: You and Me, a tag-team exhib by German photographers Oliver Sieber and Katja Stuke. Museum of Contemporary Photography (600 S. Michigan)

March 22: The Talking Cure, a look at early psychoanalysis from the lens of Jung’s first patient. Idle Muse at Rivendell Theatre (5775 N. Ridge)

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