A SIMPLE PLAN: A new pavilion (shown here in a rendering) designed by the Pritzker Prize winner Zaha Hadid fetes the centennial of Daniel Burnham’s Plan of Chicago.


Don’t-miss free events for Wed 06.17.09 through Tue 06.23.09


farrago Bob Odenkirk, Archer Prewitt @ Quimby’s
A tale of two signings and four sightings: Naperville native Bob Odenkirk, of HBO’s Mr. Show fame, is in town as part of the three-ring comedy circus Just for Laughs, but thrifty fans can hear him yuck it up for free when he signs copies of the audio version of his Comedy by the Numbers Saturday at Quimby’s. That very evening, the über-able artist and musician Archer Prewitt—whose band The Sea and Cake play a free show two days later in Millennium Park—drops by to autograph copies of his new book, Works on Paper.
GO: Odenkirk signing: June 20 at 4. Free. Quimby’s, 1854 W North. quimbys.com. Odenkirk @ Just for Laughs: June 18, 19 at midnight. iO, 3541 N Clark. June 19, 20 at 8:30 with David Cross. Lakeshore Theater, 3175 N Broadway. Each show $15-$20. justforlaughschicago.com. Prewitt signing: June 20 at 7. Free. Quimby’s. The Sea and Cake: June 22 at 6:30 with Dirty Projectors. Free. Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park. millenniumpark.org.


classical South Shore Opera Company
Two words you never thought you’d hear juxtaposed: “free opera.” Helmed by the much-ballyhooed Elizabeth Norman Sojourner, the SSOC caps its inaugural season with a free evening concert of selections from La Bohème, The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen, Porgy and Bess, and more. Happy hour indeed.
GO: June 20 at 5:30. Free. South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S South Shore. chicagoparkdistrict.com. Optional dinner with the artists, $25, follows at 7:30; reservations: 773-602-5333.


farrago Burnham Plan Pavilions
The best eye candy to hit Millennium Park since the Bean? This pair of temporary pavilions, designed by biggie architects Ben van Berkel of UNStudio and Zaha Hadid, unveiled as part of the citywide centennial toast to Daniel Burnham’s Plan of Chicago. Airy, otherworldly, and illuminated, these pieces of walk-in public art should provide the perfect Friday-afternoon antidote to a long workweek.
GO: June 19–Oct 31. Free. Millennium Park, Michigan and Washington. burnhamplan100.uchicago.edu.


classical Plans
Burnham gets a musical nod this week, too, in the form of the world-premiere Plans, composed by Michael Torke and performed by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus. Torke based his five-movement piece on five points from a statement by Burnham that included the legacy-building directive: “Make no little plans.”
GO: June 19 at 6:30; June 20 at 7:30. Free. Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph. millenniumpark.org.


farrago Monica Ali
Last but not least: She’s been hailed as the new Zadie Smith; make your own comparisons when Ali reads from and discusses her latest novel, In the Kitchen.
GO: June 18 at 6. Free. Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State. chicagopubliclibrary.org.


And a few options that deserve your dollars. First: A restaging of Jon, based on The New Yorker short story by George Saunders. Collaboraction is unrivaled when it comes to merging multimedia with old-fashioned actors, and this play—wherein futuristic technology is slowly but surely trumping humanity—provides material worthy of the troupe’s postmodern, gut-punching might. $17.50 at Theater on the Lake. … Ample West Loop grazing (De Cero, Veerasway) and music by indie darlings Dr. Dog and The Hold Steady makes this weekend’s Taste of Randolph a two-fer winner at $10. … And finally: three nights of concerts from the legendary band X, which both defined and transcended the L.A. punk scene of the early 1980s. The group will play songs chosen online by fans at xtheband.com. $25 at Double Door.


farrago Summer Lovin’
From the shameless self-promotion division: Summer Lovin’—our annual mixer cosponsored by the Auxiliary Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, this year benefiting brain tumor research—takes over the MCA on Friday. While we’re not above tooting our own horn, this is one party that deserves the fanfare: It’s a chance to meet our top 20 singles of 2009—an impressive bunch, if we do say so ourselves.
GO: June 19 at 7. $75-$95. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago. summerlovin.net.


PHOTOGRAPH: Zaha Hadid Architects