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The Top Five Things to Do This Week in Chicago

DOUBLE DUTY Pop Art Design, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s exhibit of functional pop art, closes this weekend.   Photo: Nathan Keay

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, March 23 through March 29, 2016

1 Oh, Hello

Comedy Comedians John Mulaney and Nick Kroll play two oblivious Upper West Siders in this traveling rendition of their beloved sketch routine.
3/23–24 at 7:30. $60. The Athenaeum, 2936 N. Southport. athenaeumtheatre.org

2 Mosque Alert

Theater In Jamil Khoury’s Naperville-set drama inspired by the “ground zero mosque,” an Islamic center proposed for the site of a local landmark sends a divided suburb reeling.
3/24–5/1. $13–$35. Silk Road Rising at Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington. silkroadrising.org

3 Pop Art Design

Art The pop art movement of the ’60s also flourished in the field of industrial design, giving an ironic, colorful slant to furniture, lamps, and architecture. This weekend is your last chance to see work by some of that era’s most forward-thinking designers, such as Charles Eames and Ettore Sottsass.
Through 3/27. $7–$12. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago. mcachicago.org

4 Dan Ramirez

Art Raised on Chicago’s South Side, Ramirez worked as a steel hauler for years before discovering minimalist painting. His palette favors silver, black, red, and blue over sharply cut planes of color on large canvases.
3/25–10/9. Free. 1852 W. 19th. nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org

5 Poetry Off the Shelf: Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Conor O’Callaghan, and Caitríona O’Reilly

Poetry Three Irish bards bring their poetry across the pond.
3/29 at 7. Free. 61 W. Superior. poetryfoundation.org

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Nathalie Joachim
Nathalie Joachim Photo: Arthur Moeller

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals: Nathalie Joachim, flutist in Eighth Blackbird. The Grammy-winning new-music act plays the Museum of Contemporary Art this Friday and Saturday. (Tickets have sold out, but check the museum’s waitlist policy.)

“Friday and Saturday during the day, Eighth Blackbird will be in the theater sound-checking and prepping for our evening shows. Will Oldham [a.k.a. Bonnie “Prince” Billy] is flying in to perform with us, so we’ll rehearse with him. And since the museum’s Pop Art Design exhibit is closing Sunday, we’re all going to try and sneak away and check that out.

“Our program Friday and Saturday is called Ghostlight, which is the name of a piece we commissioned David T. Little to write for us. We premiered that at the Kennedy Center a few weeks ago. In addition to that, we’re going to play some fantastic arrangements of Will Oldham songs put together by our pianist Lisa Kaplan. We’ll also play Bryce Dessner’s Murder Ballades from our latest, Grammy-winning album, Filament. Then, we’ll also do a piece by Frederic Rzewski. It’s a pretty politically- and socially-charged piece involving Will, as the narrator, reading a letter written by a man in prison. It’ll be a thrilling program—really wide range, super theatrical. It conjures a lot of historical context.

“We’d like to take Will out after one of our shows, too—probably Saturday. That part of town closes down pretty early, so a regular favorite after MCA late-nights has been Bar Toma. They stay open pretty late, and they’ve got delicious pizza and really great cocktails. So we’ll probably head there for drinks and burrata.

“Sunday’s my free day. I’m new to Chicago, so every time we’re home, I try and do a little bit of a getting to know the city. Since I’ll be tied up at the MCA Friday and Saturday, I’d like to dedicate Sunday to the Art Institute. I’ll also maybe go to brunch. They do a great job at Lula Cafe in Logan Square. And since I’ll be in the neighborhood, I might stop by Analogue for some biscuits. They’ve got warm, hot biscuits all day long, which is amazing. After that, if it’s nice, I’ll take a ride down the lakefront—I live really close, in Edgewater. It would be my first ride of the spring. Then, I’ve got some Netflix to catch up on. I’m watching their new series, Love, which is super hilarious. And, of course, I still have to finish the new season of House of Cards.” —As told to Matt Pollock

Freebie of the Week

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Classical Grieg’s String Quartet in G Minor and Brahms’s seminal Piano Quintet in F Minor combine in a CSO Chamber All-Access concert, always free and always full.
3/28 at 6:30. Free. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. cso.org

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