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Ten Things to Do in Chicago This Week

Cupcakke, Sea Level: Above and Below, Wired to Wear, Legends of Hip Hop, Giordano Dance Chicago, and more

Chicago Tattoo Arts Convention   Photo: Hilary Higgins for Chicago Tribune

The Ten

Don’t-miss picks for March 21 through March 27, 2019

1 Cupcakke

Hip-Hop:This local artist’s earliest songs established her reputation as a campy and freaky provocateur, taking feminist raunch à la Lil’ Kim or Trina to its most bugged-out extreme. Turns out that was a shallow read — over the past few years, and especially on last year’s Ephorize and Eden, the 21-year-old, born Elizabeth Harris, has proved herself to be Chicago’s most fearless MC in both subject matter and style, with formidable bars to silence any doubters. Still, just because she can rap her ass off doesn’t mean she won’t lead the crowd in a rousing communal sex moan.
3/21 at 8:30 p.m. $18. Thalia Hall. eventbrite.com

2 Sea Level: Above and Below

Dance:Hedwig Dances, one of the most visually rich groups in local performance, hosts an event commanded by two of its members. Taimy Ramos and Rigoberto Fernandez Saura split the bill: Saura tackles the “above” part with a piece that examines contrasts, like heavy objects on a fragile surface. Ramos’s A Flor de Piel (Skin Deep) looks at destructive human emotions such as betrayal as a means of exploring art’s capacity to promote healing.
3/21, 3/23. $10–$25. Ruth Page Center for the Arts. hedwigdances.com

3 Wired to Wear

Design:If you’ve ever contemplated that your smartphone is an extension of your body, then this futuristic exhibit will make your head spin. The Museum of Science and Industry explores the ways in which technological innovation and the human body intersect, from jetpacks to hats that change colors based on your emotions. Plus, you can try on some of the pieces, such as the SpiderSense vest, which vibrates when someone (or something) approaches you.
3/21–Spring 2020. Free–$32. Museum of Science and Industry. msichicago.org

4 Legends of Hip Hop

Hip-Hop:This showcase isn’t using the word “legends” lightly — you’d be hard-pressed to find a more impressive lineup of bona fide rap greats this year. The tour corrals ’80s and ’90s pioneers from the West Coast (pimp storyteller Too Short and funky Renaissance man DJ Quik) to the Dirty South (Cash Money OG Juvenile and a full Mount Rushmore of Houston rappers, from Bun B to Scarface to 8Ball & MJG). If there were ever a time to cash in your aging-hip-hop-head tokens, this is it.
3/22 at 8 p.m. $52–$125. Credit Union 1 Arena. ticketmaster.com

5 Giordano Dance Chicago

Dance:Marinda Davis’s pieces have been featured on Dancing With the Stars and World of Dance, but her early days were spent assisting Gus Giordano. For this series, Davis creates a new work for his company informed by her history of managing her numerous autoimmune disorders. Joining Davis’s composition are Ray Leeper’s Soul, Brock Clawson’s film-noir-inspired Sneaky Pete, and more.
3/22–23. $15–$75. Harris Theater. harristheaterchicago.org

6 Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell

Art:A vast retrospective of this Mexican American photographer, who died last year at age 58, doubles as an homage to her life. Aguilar was known for shooting compassionate portraits of her contemporaries in Los Angeles’s LGBTQ and Latinx communities. Largely self-taught, she explored ideas around identity, the body, and acceptance. In her later years, Aguilar often photographed tender self-portraits amid desert landscapes — her physical shape echoing a nearby boulder or tree branch.
FREE 3/22–8/18. National Museum of Mexican Art. nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org

7 Jeff Tweedy

Rock:Maybe you’re experiencing Tweedy burnout, due to the nonstop publicity surrounding the Wilco frontman’s recently released memoir, Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back), and accompanying solo album, Warm. Except that album is really good! Watch him perform it and presumably other material at this relatively intimate hometown concert.
3/22 at 8 p.m. $75. Vic Theatre. ticketfly.com

8 C2E2

Expo:At the 10th annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, the city’s most passionate pop culture enthusiasts will descend on McCormick Place in elaborate capes, masks, and makeup. Fans can rub shoulders with the artists, actors, and technicians who helped create their obsessions. Among this year’s panel participants: David Tennant and Matt Smith from Doctor Who; Paul Rudd and Alicia Silverstone from Clueless; and William Zabka, who infamously played Johnny in the Karate Kid movies.
3/22–24. $10–$85. McCormick Place. c2e2.com

9 Chicago Tattoo Arts Convention

Convention:At this celebration of the alternative and fringe, all forms of body artistry are welcome (even “Mom” tattoos). Hundreds of body-ink professionals from around the world will set up shop just outside O’Hare, including special guest stars from the competition shows Ink Master and Best Ink. In between getting full sleeves done, attendees can pop into any of the burlesque, contortionist, and human suspension demonstrations happening in conjunction throughout the weekend.
3/22–24. $20–$40. Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. villainarts.com

10 Renée Fleming 25th Anniversary Concert and Gala

Opera:The no-introduction-necessary soprano casts a houseful of operatic friends (Sondra Radvanovsky, Susan Graham, Lawrence Brownlee, and Eric Owens, just to pull a Tiffany-level luxury quartet) in a concert celebrating a quarter century since her first appearance at Lyric. Speaking of luxury, gala at the Ritz to follow.
3/23 at 7 p.m. $69–$199. Lyric Opera House. lyricopera.org

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