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Five Great Things to Do This Week in Chicago

Riot Fest, Hand to God, Andersonville City Made Fest, Tadashi Endo, and Ensemble Dal Niente

PUNK OUT Riot Fest hits Douglas Park this weekend.   Photo: Cousin Daniel

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, September 14 through September 20, 2016

1 Riot Fest

Rock:The 12th annual punk rock carnival—the festival’s second in Douglas Park—features Morrissey, Death Cab for Cutie, Sleater-Kinney, and, for the first time since 1983, the original Misfits.
Sept. 16–18. $85–$700. Douglas Park. riotfest.org

2 Hand to God

Theater:Puppets are front and center in playwright Robert Askins’s irreverent screed about an evangelizing puppeteer and a Satanic hand puppet. Gary Griffin directs a story aptly described by the New Yorker as Sesame Street meets The Exorcist.
Sept. 16–Oct. 23. $20–$60. Victory Gardens Theater. victorygardens.org

3 Andersonville City Made Fest

Festival:Local innovators, brewers, and performers turn out to support the Andersonville Sustainable Community Alliance. Everything you drink, eat, and buy at the event is made right here in Chicago, with local acts (notably Marrow and Celine Neon) providing the score.
Sept. 17–18. $5. Clark between Argyle and Carmen. andersonville.org

4 Tadashi Endo

Dance:Butoh master Tadashi Endo opens the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago’s 43rd season with a one-night-only solo performance. Fukushima Mon Amour channels the Japanese experience in the wake of the 2011 tsunami and resulting Fukushima nuclear disaster—and the resilience that carried the country forward.
Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. $24–$30. The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago. colum.edu/dance-center

5 Ensemble Dal Niente

New Music:By winning a competition on the YouTube channel Score Follower, the composer received a commission from Ensemble Dal Niente, one of Chicago’s fiercest new art acts. The result, a quartet for soprano, viola, harp, and piano, premieres here at EDN’s season opener, alongside works by Chicago-based composers.
Sept. 18. $10–$15. Constellation. 8:30 p.m. constellation-chicago.com

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Ben Melsky
Ben Melsky Photo: Karjaka Studios

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals: Ben Melsky, harpist for Ensemble Dal Niente, who performs at Constellation Sunday evening.

Bang Bang Pie Shop just opened in my neighborhood, Lincoln Square, so I may go there for breakfast Friday morning. At night, a couple of people in Dal Niente, Jesse Langen and Amanda Deboer Bartlett, are performing as Hasco Duo at the Musical Offering in Evanston—I’ll probably head to that. I was also thinking about going over to Cafe Mustache, where I may be doing a show in November. They have live music there at night, and they’ve really been trying to grow their experimental and contemporary music bill. Past that, there’s a new bar by me called the Sixth—they have really great cocktails.

“Saturday morning, I’ll probably try and catch the NU Wildcats football game—I’m an alum. My wife and I love going out to eat, so we’ll probably go to Ampersand for dinner—it’s an excellent wine bar.

“Sunday I’ll have brunch at Julius Meinl at Montrose and Lincoln. Then, that night is our Dal Niente Debuts concert at Constellation. The programming is informed by Chicago—all the composers are from the community at large and live in Chicago, except one, who’s the winner of the YouTube FollowMyScore competition. Members of Dal Niente will perform a couple of duets, a solo, and as a quartet—I’m playing in the YouTube piece, by Julio Zúñiga, for harp, viola, soprano, and piano. The evening is sort of a primer for Ear Taxi, which is this huge festival of Chicago’s new music ensembles in October. We’re doing a little part of promoting Chicago composers, and Ear Taxi goes all the way.” —As told to Matt Pollock

Freebie of the Week

Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera

Art:This relentlessly inquisitive photographer died young at 39, but left a body of over 100,000 images—mostly of New York’s hip downtown scene, including portraits of Warhol, Haring, and Basquiat in their studios. Not just a documentarian, the artist also showed his identity on film as a gay Asian immigrant adapting to the tumultuous 1980s.
Sept. 17–Dec. 11. Free. Block Museum of Art. blockmuseum.northwestern.edu

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