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Five Great Things to Do in Chicago This Week

Tegan and Sara, A-Squared Asian American Performing Arts Festival, Nora Chipaumire, The Magic Play, and Mick Jenkins

SISTER ACT Indie-rock twins Tegan and Sara play the Riviera this Friday.   Photo: Travas Machel

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, October 19 through October 25, 2016

1 Tegan and Sara

Pop:After more than two decades in the music industry, indie-rock sister duo Tegan and Sara only seem to be getting better—their lyrics sharper, their hooks so contagious they’ve started writing songs for other musicians. Catch the ever-charming siblings in their most natural and exciting form: front and center.
10/21 at 7:30 p.m. Sold out; $52–$100 from resellers. Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine. jamusa.com/riviera-theatre

2 A-Squared Asian American Performing Arts Festival

Festival:An impressive lineup of Asian American dancers, musicians, puppeteers, and performance artists present pieces influenced in varying degrees by China, Philippines, India, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. A preshow dinner on Saturday, October 22, at 5:15 p.m., highlights the diverse cuisine of Vietnam.
10/20–23. $15–$45. Links Hall, 3111 N. Western. linkshall.org

3 Bronzeville Home Tours and Progressive Dinner

Art:A rare look inside three South Side collections of contemporary African American and African art includes a guided tour, catered food, and cocktails at each stop.
10/20, 6–10:30 p.m. $250. Various venues. art.org

4 The Magic Play

Theater:Playwright Andrew Hinderaker (I Am Going to Change the World; Suicide, Incorporated) delves into illusion in this tale of a nameless magician, the diver he loves, and the father who haunts him. Halena Kays directs the story of a showman whose power to astonish vanishes in the face of heartbreak.
10/21–11/20. $10–$40. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. goodmantheatre.org

5 Mick Jenkins

Hip-Hop:The heady Burnside rapper appears with Evanston native Kweku Collins and St. Louis rapper Smino before a monthlong stint in Europe behind his new LP, The Healing Component. Tickets are first-come, first-served at the door—so show up early.
10/20 at 9 p.m. $10. Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport. thaliahallchicago.com

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Cary Shoda
Cary Shoda Photo: Marivi Ortiz

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals: Cary Shoda, artistic director of A-Squared Theatre, presenting its Asian American Performing Arts Festival at Links Hall from Thursday, October 20 through Sunday, October 23.

“A-Squared Theatre came together in late 2006, from a group of Asian American actors who felt under- and misrepresented in the Chicago theater scene. We’re typically focused a little more on theatrical performances—with Asian American stories and casts—but with this festival, we’re expanding our wings a bit by venturing into other areas of performance. We will have a play—a semi-comedy by Julia Izumi called A Girl’s Gotta Do, etc., which runs on Saturday and Sunday—but there will also be music, performance art, and puppetry.

Myra Su, who performs with Nasty, Brutish & Short, will be doing some cool projections and shadow-plays with Allyson Gonzalez and Cynthia Campos Costanzo. I’m also really excited to have Tatsu Aoki and his quartet performing on Friday and Saturday. He’s been a part of the jazz scene for many, many years and worked with so many amazing artists. Dahlia Nayar, our only performer who’s not from Chicago, is doing a combination dance, sound-art, performance-art piece called 2125 Stanley Street on Thursday and Friday. It sort of examines a home as an archaeological site, looking at everyday objects as sources of revelation and recollection.

Mitsu Salmon, who’s on the younger side of our roster, is another up-and-coming artist I think everyone should keep an eye on. Like Dahlia Nayar, she brings elements of all different art forms to her work. In the performance she’s doing on Friday and Sunday, she sings, chants, and dances. There are paintings and projections, too—it’s a really fascinating, moving interdisciplinary work about her great grandfather’s immigration journey from Japan to Hawaii.

“After the performances, since we all know each other pretty well now, we like to get a drink at Links Hall’s little bar, or at my go-to after-show hangout, Ten Cat Tavern on Ashland. I like to call it an ‘aging hipster bar’: there’s good beer, but it’s not too expensive, and good music, but it’s not too loud. My kind of place. For more of a night out, I love Hopleaf—they’ve been doing craft beer since long before it was a trendy thing to do.

“When I’m not tied up with the festival, I spend almost every Saturday playing basketball with this group of friends. Some of them have been shooting hoops together since 1993—I joined the group around ’99. It’s a lot of artists who, I think, find basketball to be a good way to loosen up and forget about whatever’s going on during the week. During the winter, we rent a court at Eckhart Park—we’ve been going there for as long as I’ve been a part of the group.” —As told to John Hardberger

Freebie of the Week

The Arts Club Centennial Open House

Art:This private club with a public exhibition program has for a century drawn the world’s most desired artists up its Mies-designed staircase to meet with Chicago’s elite art patrons. Here, the organization pulls back the curtain with a day of free programming, including David Lang–commissioned music by Eighth Blackbird and artist talks by Suzanne Bocanegra, Derrick Adams, and Mark Dion.
10/22 at noon. Free. Arts Club of Chicago, 201 E. Ontario. artsclubchicago.org

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