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Five Things to Do in Chicago This Week

Arcadia, Katt Williams, Mementos Mori, Bonnie Raitt, and Louder Than a Bomb

BREAK BEATS The annual Louder Than a Bomb slam poetry festival wraps this Saturday at Auditorium Theater.   Photo: Sebastian Lama

1 Arcadia

Theater Tom Stoppard’s masterpiece gets an A-list cast for this production at the new Writers Theatre space, including Greg Matthew Anderson, Scott Parkinson, Kate Fry, Chaon Cross, and Gabriel Ruiz.
3/16–5/1. $35–$80. Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. writerstheatre.org

2 Katt Williams

Comedy Williams’s Conspiracy Theory tour finds him riffing on hot-button issues, including Bill Cosby, creationism, and Ferguson, Missouri.
3/19–20. $52–$175. UIC Pavilion, 525 S. Racine. ticketmaster.com

3 Mementos Mori

Theater With hundreds of shadow puppets and an eerie live soundtrack, Manual Cinema crafts a rich, delicate world for interlocking tales of all that goes awry when death takes a break. This could be the touring company’s only hometown run all year—catch them while you can.
3/18-3/20. $25. 1st Ward at Chop Shop, 2033 W. North. manualcinema.com

4 Bonnie Raitt

Music The queen of country rock hits the road behind Dig in Deep, her 20th (!) career album and first since 2012’s Grammy-winning Slipstream.
3/22 at 7:30. $50–$85. Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. ticketmaster.com

5 Louder Than a Bomb

Poetry Billed as the largest youth poetry slam in the world, this event pits high school poetry teams against one another. Catch the final round Saturday night.
3/19 at 6. $10–$20, Auditorium Theatre. youngchicagoauthors.org

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Kevin Coval
Kevin Coval Photo: Sebastian Lama

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals: Kevin Coval, who hosts poetry slam Louder Than a Bomb’s Sweet 16 Benefit Party Friday and the festival’s final round Saturday.

“Thursday night is Louder Than a Bomb’s individual finals at the DuSable Museum. It’s an elimination style tournament. We’ll go from 12 poets to 8 to 3 and then crown one indie champion. It’s an all ages event—the big rule is there’s no swearing—so it’s intended for shorties and grannies and everybody in between. Earlier in the day, at noon, I’m doing a slot on AirGo Radio on WHPK, with Damon Williams and Daniel Kisslinger. Then, since I’ll be in Hyde Park, I’ll definitely go get that jerk salmon wrap from LiteHouse Grill on 53rd. If there’s something good at the Promontory I’ll pop in and check that out. And of course, every time I’m in Hyde Park I’ll go to the Silver Room to get laced with some new gear and amulets.

“Friday, earlier in the day, I’ll be doing lots of press. When I’m running around, I always try and go see some art to keep my brain balanced. I’ll probably stop by Chicago TruBorn and maybe Vertical Gallery—make a little run in that Logan and West Town area and populate my Instagram with any graffiti art I see. I teach hip-hop aesthetics at UIC, and there’s a run there near Ukrainian Village that’s almost an open prairie to see what writers put up on the walls.

“Friday night is our annual benefit party for the festival at Metro. We’ll have Chuck D, DJ Lord, and Dr. Gaye Johnson, a professor of black and Latino studies, in conversation. Chuck D is actually who we named the festival after when we started it in 2001—Public Enemy has a song called “Louder Than a Bomb”—and this is the first time he’s a part of the festival. We’ll also Jamila Woods premiering a new song. And, of course, I hope to grab a drink with Metro owner Joe Shanahan at the Gman Tavern next door.

“Saturday, we’re holding a conversation at Roosevelt University titled the Art of Intersectionality with Dr. Gaye Johnson and Damon Williams of BYP100 and Page May of Assata’s Daughters about race and gender and class and what we as public educators can do to ensure safe spaces and bring these ideas center stage. Afterwards, I’ll go to Soho House. DJ Lord is going to be doing a convo about a life in the music industry for some of our students in a program called Chi-Track, for 18 to 25 year olds interested in getting into the music industry. And if I’m at Soho House, I’ll probably dip to High Five Ramen. I’m definitely gonna get my hair cut with the best barber in Chicago, Rob, at Chicago’s Best. No shots to other barbers, but he’s the illest. I’ll probably get a fade and a little graphic on one side. After that, I’ll get laced at Una Mae’s, pick up my finals outfit, and maybe get some new kicks at Stash or Saint Alfred.”

“Saturday night is our culminating event at the Auditorium Theater, the Louder Than a Bomb team finals. I think it’s one of the most exciting cultural nights on the city’s calendar. Doors are open at 6 and tickets are available at the door. Chuck D will be handing out an award we named after him 16 years ago—the Chuck D Award for Radical Lyricism. And we’ll have some sort of after party. We might go to Mercat A La Planxa in the Blackstone.

“Sunday, I’ll hit the Frontier for brunch, and maybe grab a cocktail at Billy Sunday later on. They have this can of sake that is crazy. It tastes like cucumber water.” —As told to Matt Pollock

Freebie of the Week

Me and My Arrow

Art Sculptor Tony Tasset has been called the Jeff Koons of Chicago. For his fourth solo show at the gallery, his focus narrows on arrows—bold icons signifying volatile financial markets.
3/18–4/23. Free. Kavi Gupta Gallery, 219 N. Elizabeth. kavigupta.com

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