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The Top Five Things to Do in Chicago This Week

Riot Fest, the Lyric Opera’s free show, Jen Kirkman’s standup, and more great events going on in the city.

STARSTRUCK Lyric Opera puts on a free show this weekend.   Photo: Todd Rosenberg

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, September 9 through September 15, 2015

1 Disgraced

Theater: Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer-winning drama went from the American Theater Company to Broadway, with director Kimberly Senior at the helm the whole time. Senior returns to the show for the Goodman staging, once again delving into the troubled world of a high-powered attorney who sheds his Muslim upbringing as he climbs the ladder to success.
9/12–10/18. $20–$82. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. goodmantheatre.org

2 Door Hinges

Art: Don’t miss Chicago’s most anticipated art show this month, featuring multimedia artist Jessica Stockholder, best known for her 2012 installation Color Jam, in which she turned the Loop into a playground of bold hues, by using vinyl to create massive shapes of red, blue, and green.
9/12–1/16. Free. Kavi Gupta Gallery, 219 N. Elizabeth. kavigupta.com

3 Stars of Lyric Opera

Opera: The cast of Lyric’s upcoming The Marriage of Figaro take time out of rehearsals to perform all of act two and mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong and tenor Lawrence Brownlee sing from Cinderella, at this always-popular free Millennium Park concert. Pro tip: get there early.
9/11 at 7:30. Free. Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph. lyricopera.org

4 Riot Fest

Festivals: It’s still on! The festival’s 2015 lineup includes No Doubt, Snoop Dogg, Modest Mouse, Iggy Pop, and Rancid.
9/11–9/13. $190–$950. Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento. riotfest.org

5 Jen Kirkman

Comedy: You can get an idea of Kirkman’s brand of humor from the title of her Netflix comedy special, I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine). The Massachusetts native comes to town this weekend.
9/10–9/12. $20. Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted. steppenwolf.org

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Mike Nourse
Mike Nourse Photo: Marta Sasinowska

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Mike Nourse, director of nonprofit arts org Chicago Art Department.

“On Friday, I’ll be at Chicago Art Department for this show YOUMedia (a digital learning program) has been doing with ChiArts High School and Convergence Academies (a Columbia College youth arts program). It’s teen artists reinterpreting the Studs Terkel archives; it should be pretty exciting.

Culture Coast is a South Side organization that hosts different events and does a lot of partnership work. They’re doing something called ‘Culture Crawl’ on Saturday, all around the South Side. You can either go from place to place or just pick a place to show up at, but they’re going to have programming all day long. At the Logan Center, they’ll be giving a tour of some of their installation work; Turtel Onli, a black comic artist, is doing something at South Side Community Art Center.

“At night there’s an opening for artist Terry Winters at Corbett vs. Dempsey—he’s a friend, and they’re one of my favorite galleries. Jeremy Bolen is an artist and a teacher I’ve worked with, he’s got a show at Andrew Rafacz Gallery.

“Sunday, I’ll be at Hyde Park Art Center because we’ve got an opening for the Center Program, which is a professional development program for artists.”—As told to Hannah Nyhart

Freebie of the Week

World Music Festival

Festivals: Go to the last of the city’s big free music festivals for the year. Highlights include an all-nighter of classical Indian music at the Chicago Cultural Center, an Ethiopian New Year’s party and performances by Orlando Julius & the AfroSoundz and Zedashe Ensemble.
9/11–9/22. Free. Various locations. cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/world_music_festival.html

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