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The Five Best Things to Do in Chicago This Week

Head out to a craft fair, a block party, or a Lyric Opera showcase this week.

OPERA AL FRESCO Susanna Phillips performing in Millennium Park last year.   Photo: Joel Wintermantle

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, September 3 through Tuesday, September 9

1 Stars of Lyric Opera

Classical: Way better than clicking through a maze of YouTube opera clips, this annual showcase brings together singers from the upcoming season. This year’s greatest-hits include the banquet scene and finale from Don Giovanni, the overture to Tannhäuser, and the full final act of Rigoletto.
9/6 at 7:30. Free. Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Washington. lyricopera.org/millenniumpark

2 Renegade Craft Fair

Festivals: Get some holiday shopping done early at this expertly-curated tchotchke fair.
9/6–9/7. Free. Division between Damen and Paulina. renegadecraft.com

3 AV Fest/Hideout Block Party

Music: Falling somewhere between a street fair and a megafest, this event’s single-stage is a breath of fresh air after running between overlapping sets at Pitchfork, Lolla, and North Coast all summer. Death Cab for Cutie is this year’s obvious blockbuster, but keep an eye out for electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso, whose gloomy self-titled debut made the public-radio rounds all summer.
9/5–9/6. $39–$65. The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. ticketfly.com

4 Dominick Di Meo: Good Night, Good Mourning

Art: Di Meo was part of Chicago’s “Monster Roster” in the 1950s, an influential group of artists who saw the world through existentialist eyes and sought to give a painted form to their anxieties. Now residing in New York, Di Meo continues to make thought-provoking artwork. See some here.
9/5–10/11. Free. Corbett vs. Dempsey. 1120 N. Ashland. corbettvsdempsey.com

5 Bit Bash

Festivals: Gamers, take note: Here’s your opportunity to test more than 30 games created by local designers and to nosh on food and beer from Arcade Brewery.
9/6 at 2. $10 donation. Threadless, 1260 W. Madison. bitbashchicago.com

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Shawna Tucker
Shawna Tucker Photo: Courtesy of Shawna Tucker

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: actress and writer Shawna Tucker. Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra: Undone premieres on Friday, September 5.

“Friday, I’ll go to Luzzat Restaurant. It’s really close to the Side Project Theatre Company where we have our show and they have marvelous lentil soup and wonderful breads. Then we’ll do the first preview of our show, Antony and Cleopatra: Undone. It’s a 70-minute adaptation of Shakespeare’s original play. We’re focusing on the love story and a little less on the political intrigue. You don’t have to have read Shakespeare’s play to get our play—that’s our hope, but we still tried to include much of his magnificent poetry.

“Saturday, when my husband I go out for breakfast, we like to go the Original Pancake House. You would be silly not to order the pancakes even though everything on their menu is amazing.

“If I wasn’t doing my show Saturday evening though, I’d go see Coraline. It’s a new musical adaptation of the book by Neil Gaiman. Local playwright Ed Rutherford adapted it and I love the creativity and the risks that local actors and writers take. I’d also love to see Hank Williams: Lost Highway at American Blues Theater. They’re a theater that doesn’t disappoint.

“Sunday, I go to church in the mornings and then I have our matinee. In the evening, I like to catch up on TV shows. My husband and I love NCIS.” —As told to Tomi Obaro

Freebie of the Week


Zoovies

Film: Plop down on Lincoln Park Zoo’s south lawn for a screening of Best in Show, Christopher Guest’s classic send-up of dog shows.
9/5 at dusk. Free. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2011 N. Clark. lpzoo.org

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