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The Top Five Things to Do in Chicago This Week

Neko Case, M. Butterfly, and where to see the big names on stage at the Studs Terkel Festival this weekend.

LOVE’S A DRAG Catch M. Butterfly at Court Theatre.   Photo: Courtesy of Court Theatre

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, May 7 through Tuesday, May 13

1 M. Butterfly

Theatre: Court Theatre mounts playwright David Henry Hwang’s fascinating Tony-winning reenvisioning of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. With Charles Newell directing, you know it’s got to be good.
5/8–6/8. $35–$65. Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis. courttheatre.org

2 Eric Owens

Classical: Get used to seeing this baritone around town. Here to sing Schubert lieder with the sensitive soprano Susanna Phillips, he’ll also play Porgy for Lyric this fall, make two CSO appearances next season, and take part in Lyric’s ongoing Ring saga.
5/11 at 3 p.m. $55–$99. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. cso.org

3 Lifeloggers

Art: Thirteen local contemporary artists track their daily routines using maps, diagrams, and image collections in this exhibit examining why American culture tends to be so self-obsessed.
5/11–8/17. Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 Cottage Hill. elmhurstartmuseum.org

4 Neko Case

Rock: The twangy Canadian siren dropped one of her best albums to date: The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You—cumbersome title not withstanding.
5/13 at 7:30. $35. Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. thechicagotheatre.com

5 Judy Roberts Quartet

Jazz: The former Chicagoan pianist and singer teams up with her saxophonist husband Greg Fishman for a night of beautifully interpreted standards.
5/8–5/11 $25–$45. Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth. jazzshowcase.com

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Paul Durica
Paul Durica Photo: Courtesy of Paul Durica

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Paul Durica, festival program coordinator for the Let’s Get Working: Chicago Celebrates Studs Terkel Festival, which runs Friday, May 9 through May 11.

“Friday night, I’m at the opening reception for Let’s Get Working. Food and drink are provided by Pleasant House Bakery and Rick Kogan will be hosting the opening event. We really wanted to focus on how [Studs Terkel’s] work remains relevant to the present.

“Later that night, I’ll be at a program with Andrew Davis, best known for directing The Fugitive. He’ll be talking with English professor Jim Chandler about working with Studs on Medium Cool [a political documentary based on Terkel’s book Division Street: America].

“Saturday, I’m going to be at the festival from 9 in the morning to 11 at night. The Old Town School of Folk Music will be getting contemporary musicians to do a program that Studs did in 1950s. Ira Glass will be speaking that night and The Hideout and Jane Addams Hull-House [will be doing] a concert based on work songs that evening.

“And then Sunday, I’ll be at the Hideout for a recreation of Studs’s TV show, Studs’s Place. ” —As told to Tomi Obaro

Freebie of the Week


Johalla Projects

Art: The painter Ron Ewert’s latest exhibit, If I Had My Life to Live Over, I’d Live Over a Delicatessen, features cheeky, irreverent work.
5/9–6/15. Free. Johalla Projects, 1821 W. Hubbard. johallaprojects.com

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