Don’t-miss picks for March 22 through March 28, 2017
1 Charlie Parker’s Yardbird
Opera:In this 2015 jazz-opera, Lawrence Brownlee plays Charlie Parker narrating his life from a vantage point after his death. Although it jangles jazz harmonies and orchestration, the 90-minute work resembles opera more closely than bebop.
3/24, 3/26. $45–$125. Harris Theater. lyricopera.org
2 A Canary Torsi
Dance:NYC-based Yanira Castro presents Court/Garden, a three-act spectacle that juxtaposes the birth of ballet in the French imperial courts with the Occupy Wall Street protests to explore how people assemble in their roles as citizens.
3/24–25. Free. Chicago Cultural Center. cityofchicago.org
3 Charles Atlas, Rashaun Mitchell, Silas Riener
Dance/Film:Former Merce Cunningham dancers Mitchell and Riener collide with experimental film artist Atlas in Tesseract, an immersive 3D performance challenging perceptions of time, space, and bodies.
3/23–25. $10–$30. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. mcachicago.org
4 Egon Schiele: Death and the Maiden
Art Film:In Egon Schiele’s hands, a simple line could represent bone, flesh, desire: The Austrian painter redefined nudity in art in the early 20th century. Though his career was cut short by a deadly flu at age 28, Schiele managed to create dozens of expressionist masterpieces, all of which are on display in this new biopic presented as part of the Chicago European Union Film Festival.
3/25, 3/27. $6–$11. Gene Siskel Film Center. siskelfilmcenter.org
5 Chicago Improv Festival
Comedy:For 20 years, this fest has anchored Chicago’s thriving improv scene. Comics compete in categories like long form and musical, but pay special attention to the emerging artists contest, reserved for local performers primed for the big leagues.
3/27–4/2. $5–$35. Athenaeum Theatre, Stage 773, Annoyance Theatre, and Second City. chicagoimprovfestival.org
What I’m Doing This Weekend
Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know-locals: Kelly Hogan, whose pop-vocal band The Flat Five plays back-to-back sold-out shows this weekend at The Hideout.
“Thursday, I have a rehearsal with my band, The Flat Five. We usually rehearse for about five or six hours, ’cause we’re insane. A lot of times we look forward to the practices more than the shows. I’m kind of the set list manager for The Flat Five. I think we’ve got 157 songs in our repertoire, so we’ll be prepping tomorrow and adding new songs as well. Friday and Saturday we have two sold-out shows at The Hideout. Our singing is pretty strenuous, so if we’re smart, we’re going to go to bed after the first show. After the Saturday show, I might hang out at The Hideout for a bit.
“During the day on Friday or Saturday, I’m going to get my little dogs over to Montrose Dog Park on the lakefront. I’m on tour a lot, so when I’m home we do fun stuff as much as possible. I have two little shelter rejects. I actually used to work at the Near North Animal Hospital on North Wells Street for Dr. Boin, who’s like The Hideout veterinarian. He treats a lot of musicians’ animals.
“Me and my friend Nora O’Connor, who’s also in The Flat Five, are going on tour with The Decemberists on April 6. So Sunday, when I get up with my coffee I’m going to put on The Crane Wife. I sang on their last record and came on board for their 2015 tour. They call us the sixth and the seventh members of the band. I just got off tour with Neko Case, and she likes to do the same set every night, but Colin [Meloy] likes to throw us curve balls in sound check.
“I need to be relaxed, so maybe on Sunday I’ll go to Relax Feet. It’s like a reflexology place. I have to forget the 157 Flat Five songs and start re-upping on about 55 Decemberists songs.
“I might go eat at Sai Cafe. April 1 is my 20-year anniversary of moving to Chicago, and it’s my favorite restaurant in Chicago and my favorite sushi place. I also like the restaurant Ada Street across from The Hideout. They have these deep fried black-eyed peas. It’s a great little restaurant. I will have some tamales from Claudio, the tamale man at The Hideout. He’s saved many a person’s liver there.” —As told to Jamison Pfeifer
Freebie of the Week
The Presidential Library Project: Black Presidential Imaginary
Art:As Chicago prepares to break ground on the Obama Presidential Center, a group of artists takes aim at the essence of the institution with a mock archive. Expect simulated artifacts and commentaries on presidential commemoration. Works by Rashayla Brown, Nate Young, Deb Sokolow, and others question what happens to legacies marred by war, controversy, and doublespeak.
3/26–7/2. Free. Hyde Park Art Center. hydeparkart.org