FATHER FIGURE Radical Disciple, onscreen Sunday at the Siskel, tells the story of Chicago’s Michael Pfleger.


Don’t-miss picks for Wed 08.26.09 through Tue 09.01.09:


farrago Radical Disciple: The Story of Father Pfleger
From Bob Hercules, the director of Senator Obama Goes to Africa, comes this documentary on the indomitable pulpit activist and longtime pastor of Chicago’s St. Sabina, Michael Pfleger. Hercules and Pfleger are slated to attend the screening and host a postfilm Q&A.
GO: Aug 30 at 5. $10. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State. siskelfilmcenter.org


concerts Jazz Institute of Chicago’s Seventh Annual Gala
Speaking of special guests, Michelle isn’t scheduled to attend—yet—but the acclaimed local flutist and composer Nicole Mitchell’s Honoring Grace: Michelle Obama, a musical ode to the first lady (and first jazz advocate), still makes for a whiz-bang prelude to the 31st annual Chicago Jazz Festival.
GO: Sep 1 at 6. $150 includes dinner. Spertus Museum, 610 S Michigan. jazzinchicago.org


farrago An Evening with Cleve Jones
Not so much a chitchat as a barnstorming, Cleve Jones—Harvey Milk’s close friend and collaborator, and the founder of the AIDS Memorial Quilt (a.k.a. the Emile Hirsch character in last year’s Milk)—headlines an evening devoted to equal-rights awareness. Also on the bill: LGBT-themed readings from the teenage writers of Young Chicago Authors.
GO: Aug 29 at 6. $5 suggested donation. Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N Lincoln. Reservations recommended: haymarketbooks.com


concerts Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello
Another twofer at Ravinia. The years may be on display in Bennett’s raspy tenor, but time has enhanced the appealing streak of melancholy that runs through his trademark crooning. Meanwhile, Costello keeps the momentum humming from his recent album of country-folk—with the revered dobro master Jerry Douglas along for the ride.
GO: Bennett: Aug 28 at 8; Aug 29 at 7:30. $23-$91. Costello: Aug 26 at 8. $22-$55. Ravinia, Lake Cook Rd and Green Bay Rd, Highland Park. ravinia.org


dance Dance for Life
If you missed last week’s Chicago Dancing Festival, think of this one-night survey of local talent as your rain check. Every year the Chicago dance community volunteers its time and talent for a witty, uplifting show benefiting local AIDS charities. This year’s cast includes Giordano, Hubbard Street, Joffrey, and River North, but we’re especially excited about a world-premiere finale from the Chicago-based choreographer Randy Duncan.
GO: Aug 29 at 7:30. $75. Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph. danceforlifechicago.com


concerts Robbert Bobbert and the Bubble Machine
A kiddie concert? Really? Yes, absolutely, if it means we get to hear the brains behind the delightful indie band Apples in Stereo. Robert Schneider plays a show as his alter ego in a concert that should please adult and pint-size fans of his sunny pop alike.
GO: Aug 31 at 6:30. Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph. millenniumpark.org

farrago Argonne Open House
It’s been three years since this institution last threw open its doors, making this a rare opportunity for budding scientists of all ages to see the innards of the country’s first national laboratory. Test your sense of smell against an electronic nose, battle fuel cell­­–powered model cars, and tour the Advanced Photon Source, the Center for Nanoscale Materials, and the Argonne Tandem-Linac Accelerator (we’re not sure exactly what those are, but we’re pretty sure you shouldn’t touch anything).
GO: Aug 29: 9-4:30. Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S Cass Ave, Argonne. anl.gov/Community_and_Environment/Open_House.html

farrago Bucktown Arts Fest
And, finally: one festival that’s actually worth braving. Think fewer beer puddles, more gorgeous handcrafted jewelry and other artisanal goodies.
GO: Aug 29, 30: 11-7. Free. Senior Citizens’ Memorial Park, 2200 N Oakley. bucktownartsfest.com

PHOTOGRAPH: Courtesy of the Gene Siskel Film Center