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The Top Five Things to Do in Chicago This Week

The New Contemporary, Renée Fleming and Patricia Barber, Hubbard Street Dance, Vince Staples, and Stir-Friday Night

TECHNICOLOR TAYLOR Check out the Art Institute’s newest exhibition this week.   Photo: The Stefan T. Edlis Collection, partial and promised gift to the Art Institute of Chicago. © 2015 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The Five

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

1 The New Contemporary

Art The largest donation ($400 million) of artwork ever to the Art Institute includes 44 masterpieces of modern art, with iconic works by Jeff Koons, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol.
12/13 at 10:30. $14–$25. Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan. artic.edu

2 Renée Fleming and Patricia Barber

Classical Get first peek at this relatively unusual pairing of top-shelf soprano Fleming and jazz pianist and vocalist Barber before the duo heads to the Kennedy Center. Hear new arrangements of Barber’s inventive art songs, as well as traditional holiday numbers.
12/14 at 7:30. $95–$125. Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph. harristheaterchicago.org

3 Hubbard Street Dance

Dance The company’s winter series presents a program of works by women choreographers, including the highly anticipated company premiere of Crystal Pite’s Solo Echo, considered to be the Canadian’s signature piece.
12/10–12/13. $30–$109. Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph. hubbardstreetdance.com/winter

4 Vince Staples

Rap The 22-year-old MC missed out on his Pitchfork slot due to inclement weather, but he returns this month headlining a concert that’s double the audience he would’ve had. An added bonus for fans: five extra months to digest his complexly bleak June record, Summertime ’06, one of the year’s best.
12/15 at 9. $17–$60. Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake. ticketweb.com

5 Stir-Friday Night

Comedy For 20 years, this all–Asian American nonprofit comedy troupe, which counts Danny Pudi (Community) and Steve Yeun (The Walking Dead) among its alum, has performed improv shows with the likes of Second City and iO. Now they mount this party and sketch show at Hyde Park’s new comedy club.
12/11 at 8. $5–$10. The Revival, 1160 E. 55th. the-revival.com

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Robert Eric Shoemaker
Robert Eric Shoemaker Photo: Courtesy of Robert Eric Shoemaker

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals: poet and playwright Robert Eric Shoemaker.

“Friday I’m working with Eighth Blackbird, the contemporary music ensemble that was just nominated for another Grammy, on a video documentary about a new piece they’re working on called Olagón. They’re in residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art and their rehearsals are open to the public if people want to stop by.

“Saturday, I’m going to a matinee of my production of Bernarda Alba and Her House, produced by Poetry Is and Redtwist. The play is about a family of sisters who are being lorded by their mother who won’t let them out of the house and what they do to try to escape. Before the show, I’ll check out the coffee shop Zanzibar. They’ve got really awesome coffee and great baked goods with huge portions. I recommend their chocolate cake.

“After the show, since I live in Rogers Park, I’ve been going to the Rogers Park Social, which is this trendy bar, kind of small but very cozy. They serve lots of interesting cocktails. I also want to see Incident at Vichy, also at Redtwist. It’s an Arthur Miller play that’s pretty relevant right now because it’s about political propaganda and an oppressive regime trying to take over.

“Sunday, I’m going to be spending some time in Hyde Park. I am working on the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company’s production of Princess Ida. While I’m down there, I plan on checking out the Smart Museum. Their expressionist exhibit is something I’ve been wanting to see. And I’ll probably check out Powell’s and 57th Street Books.” —As told to Tomi Obaro

Freebie of the Week


New Music Based in New York, James Hoff intentionally infects his electronic music with computer viruses, playing musical host to these nefarious digital pathogens.
12/12 at 8. Free. Graham Foundation, 4 W. Burton Pl. lampo.org


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