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The Top Five Things to Do This Week in Chicago

Homelessness Is a Crime!, Jens Lekman, The Hard Problem, Thodos Dance Chicago, and Eternal Youth

GO GREEN The South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade hits Beverly this Sunday.   Photo: José M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for March 8 through March 14, 2017

1 Homelessness Is a Crime!

Talk:Alan Mills, executive director of the Uptown People’s Law Center, leads a discussion on housing justice in Chicago, centered on the idea that the city’s homeless are criminalized by laws that impinge on their way of life.
3/8 at 6:30 p.m. Free. Weinberg/Newton Gallery. weinbergnewtongallery.com

2 Jens Lekman

Rock:After a five-year break from making any full-length albums (spent in part releasing a song a week throughout 2015), this Swedish singer returned last month with Life Will See You Now, a quietly devastating collection of his signature literary pop. Take the first single, “What’s That Perfume That You Wear?,” which samples the bright steel drums of Ralph MacDonald’s “The Path” to underlie a tale of lost love.
3/9 at 9 p.m. $24. Metro. etix.com

3 The Hard Problem

Theater:Audiences waited nearly a decade for a new Tom Stoppard play, which makes the Chicago premiere of 2015’s The Hard Problem one of the most anticipated of the season. Better still: Charles Newell, a preeminent Stoppard interpreter, helms the drama about a psychologist whose research burrows into the mysteries of human existence.
3/9–4/9. $38–$68. Court Theatre. courttheatre.org

4 Thodos Dance Chicago

Dance:Melissa Thodos toasts 25 years of her company with Full Circle, part of the Auditorium Theatre’s Made in Chicago series. The evening includes the local premiere of Nos Duraturi by West Coast modern master Bella Lewitzky and a world premiere companion piece to two of Thodos’s signature works.
3/11 at 7:30 p.m. $29–$68. Auditorium Theatre. auditoriumtheatre.org

5 Eternal Youth

Art:Adolescence isn’t what it used to be—or at least that’s the claim behind this photo exhibit focusing on teenagers in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. Featured are rarely seen works by Dawoud Bey, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Francesca Woodman and stills from Larry Clark’s game-changing 1995 movie Kids.
3/11–7/23. $7–$12. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. mcachicago.org

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Melissa Thodos
Melissa Thodos Photo: Courtesy of Melissa Thodos

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know-locals: Melissa Thodos, artistic director and founder of Thodos Dance Chicago, which has a final company performance at the Auditorium Theatre on Saturday, March 11.

“There are a lot of folks coming into town for our Saturday performance. During the days this week, I’ll be in rehearsal with the dancers. But I’d love to take my twin sister to the Art Institute if I have the chance. My sister is a painter and we love going there together.

“On Thursday night, I was thinking of taking my friend, who’s coming in from Germany, out for dinner at Fig & Olive or Maple & Ash in River North.

“On Friday, I’ll spend the day at the Auditorium Theatre and work on lighting for the show. That night, I’m going to have dinner with my mom. I’m from a big Greek family, and my mom’s going to cook a big Greek dinner.

“Saturday, I’ll be in the Auditorium Theatre all day. There’s a really neat energy around the studio with the collaborators and the designers. I love curating a show; it’s like putting a meal together. With this performance in particular, which celebrates 25 years [of the company], I wanted to have components that were current and contemporary. There’s a work by Brian Enos, director of the Big Muddy Dance Company in St. Louis. He’s been a guest artist before. I really like his aesthetic.

“The second act is very special to me, because I don’t feel like there’s a lot of dance that comes to Chicago from the West Coast, even though we get so much from Europe and the East Coast. But the he West Coast has its own flavor. I’m bringing in a legacy work, Nos Duraturi, by Bella Lewitzky, who was the grande dame of modern dance on the West Coast in her time. It’s a really challenging piece. It’s going to be wonderful and refreshing for our Chicago audience.

“The final act will be three different works from three different periods in my career. The one thing each has in common is a big wheel, a prop that my late father made for me. I didn’t want to be alone on stage for my very first dance piece, but I also didn’t want to be on stage with another dancer.

“Post theater, there’s a big party at The Gage for donors and alumni. It’s like the kind of party you’d have at a wedding where everyone comes together.” —As told to Jamison Pfeifer

Freebie of the Week

South Side Irish Parade

Parade:Following Chicago’s downtown parade by one day is the South Side iteration—a more family-oriented affair in the Irish American stronghold of Beverly, featuring bagpipes, Irish dancing, and more.
3/12 at noon. Free. Western from 103rd to 115th. southsideirishparade.org

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