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The Top Ten Things to Do This Week in Chicago

Outsider artist Howard Finster, a Columbia College arts festival, a theatrical tribute to Patti LaBelle, and more

'When I Grow Up' by Emil Olsson
Emil Olsson’s When I Grow Up from 20x20x20 Photo: Courtesy of Vertical Gallery

The Ten

Don’t-miss picks for May 10 through May 16, 2018

1 Chicago Moving Company

Dance:CMC’s annual Dance Shelter highlights new and reimagined works by this year’s artists in residence, Rachel Bunting and Ayako Kato, and guest choreographer Emma Draves. In Draves’s Transpennie, company members dance in the nooks and crannies of the Hamlin Park field house in a delightful demonstration of the choreographer’s winding, lyrical style.
5/10–11. Hamlin Park Theater. $12–$15. chicagomovingcompany.org

2 The Originalist

Theater:Can a lesbian law clerk working for an ultraconservative Supreme Court justice manage to keep her job without muting her outspoken beliefs? That’s the setup for John Strand’s judicious dramedy, which pits an ambitious young woman against the staunchly right-leaning Antonin Scalia.
5/10–6/10. $38–$71. Court Theatre. courttheatre.org

3 Manifest

Festival:Columbia College students head out into the streets for live music, dance performances, and DJs. Plus, campus buildings open their doors, with gallery exhibitions highlighting the innovative work of next-generation artists working in film, visual art, fashion, gaming, and more.
FREE 5/11. Various venues. manifest.colum.edu

4 Saint-Saëns’s “Organ” Symphony

Classical:The Chicago Symphony Orchestra fires up its rarely switched-on resident organ for Saint-Saëns’s Symphony No. 3 (“Organ”), a piece last heard here four years ago with the same soloist, the impressive Paul Jacobs. Making it a two-soloist concert, Isabelle Faust plays Schumann’s Violin Concerto.
5/11–15. $34–$221. Symphony Center. cso.org

5 Howard Finster

Art:For decades, art lovers have made a pilgrimage to northern Georgia to visit Finster’s Paradise Garden, a sprawling compound of imaginatively repurposed junk. The folk artist died in 2001, but his work ensures his eccentric spirit perseveres—in this instance, with Man of Visions, a gallery show featuring portraits of people he admired.
FREE 5/11–6/29. Carl Hammer Gallery. carlhammergallery.com

6 Philip Carey

Art:Philip Carey used his sedentary hours on dialysis making works of art on No. 10 envelopes. Intuit hosts a workshop to close out their Carey exhibition where you can learn to make your own postal art and print limited reproductions with the artist. Postage included.
5/12 at 1 p.m. $20–$25. Intuit. art.org

7 20x20x20

Art:For two weeks, Vertical Gallery hosts Galleri Ramfjord, one of the preeminent venues in Oslo, Norway, for showcasing emerging Scandinavian artists. Twenty of them were tasked with sending a 20-square-inch painting, thus the exhibit title. The show ends up being a sampling of Nordic styles and themes—consider it a cultural excursion minus the jet lag.
FREE 5/12–26. Vertical Gallery. verticalgallery.com

8 Paddle to the Sea

New Music:Third Coast Percussion composed a new score for the short film Paddle to the Sea (nominated for an Oscar in 1968), based on the children’s book about a wooden doll that an indigenous Canadian boy sends via canoe on the seaway from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. The quartet of virtuoso performers fills the bill with other aquatic music, such as a piece by Philip Glass and music from the Shona culture of Zimbabwe.
5/13 at 7:30 p.m. $23–$40. Thalia Hall. thaliahallchicago.com

9 A New Attitude: In Tribute to Patti LaBelle

Theater:Rueben D. Echoles writes and directs the musical biography of the incomparable LaBelle, the woman who brought the world such hits as “On My Own,” “Love Has Finally Come at Last,” and the gotta-dance title tune. Odds are you’ll be on your feet by the finale.
5/13–6/17. $45–$65. Black Ensemble Theater. blackensembletheater.org

10 Midori Takada

New Music:Takada’s 1983 album Through the Looking Glass, reissued last year by Palto Flats and WRWTFWW Records, made a splash with hip record collectors. The Japanese percussionist and composer makes a rare stateside appearance here, where she’ll be performing her distinct brand of ambient music, combining traditional styles from Africa and Asia with modern minimalism.
5/14 at 7:30 p.m. $20; $10 for members. Art Institute of Chicago. artic.edu

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