Don’t-miss picks for May 3 through May 9, 2017
1 En Mas’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean
Art:On the Caribbean islands, Carnival takes the form of a rambunctious street circus where revelers wear masks and costumes in a last gasp of hedonism before Lent. The curators of this exhibit reveal how art meets life in the Carnival parade, including Ebony Patterson’s adorned coffins and Cauleen Smith’s photos of New Orleans’s jazz scene.
5/1–8/13. $2–$10. DuSable Museum of African American History. dusablemuseum.org
2 W. Kamau Bell
Reading/Comedy:Catch up on the comedian and writer’s influences here ahead of this stand-up set and discussion about this new book, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell.
5/4 at 7 p.m. $33. The Arts Center of Oak Park. brownpapertickets.com
3 Malcolm Gladwell
Lecture:The University of Chicago’s Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience hosts a talk by New Yorker writer and social psych whiz Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point, Outliers) titled “The Brown Decision and the Trouble with Psychology.”
FREE 5/4 at 4 p.m. Rockefeller Chapel. rockefeller.uchicago.edu
4 Chicago Zine Fest
Festival:Chicago is home to a teeming ecosystem of self-publishers, indie cartoonists, and outsider poets, many of whom dutifully produce their own zines. This annual fest is a one-stop shop for quirky quarterlies, oddball pamphlets, and original comics, all handcrafted by local artists and makers.
FREE 5/5–6. Various venues. chicagozinefest.org
5 Kilimanjaro: The Last Glacier
Art:The world’s rare tropical glaciers are on a course to extinction in the next decade, including Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro glacier. Photographer Ian van Coller accompanied climate scientists on expeditions to study the melting ice; the result is an oversize book (three by four feet) as weighty as the urgent topic itself.
FREE 5/5–7/1. Schneider Gallery. schneidergallerychicago.com
6 Polish Constitution Day Parade
Parade:On May 3, 1791, Poland formed the first constitutional democracy in Europe—second in the world after the United States. Naturally, Chicago hosts the biggest Constitution Day celebration this side of the motherland. For its 126th run, the parade gets a ritzy new route down Columbus Drive.
FREE 5/6 at 11:30 a.m. Grant Park. may3parade.org
7 Laurie Anderson
Experimental:In 1984, this Glen Ellyn native released the bewildering spoken-word track “The Language of the Future.” Although Anderson’s sound has expanded over the past three decades, her experimental live show remains as jarring as ever. Here, she performs a new multimedia work named after that 1984 track.
5/5–7. $58–$60. Old Town School of Folk Music. oldtownschool.org
8 Avalon Quartet
Classical:Ending its poetry-tethered season, the Avalon Quartet plays Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 3, a work written under Soviet censorship, and welcomes a second viola and second cello to blanket the hall in Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, a pre-atonality masterpiece based on a poem about an anxious woodland walk.
5/7 at 2 p.m. Free with admission. Fullerton Hall at Art Institute of Chicago. avalonquartet.com
R&B:Last year yielded this R&B singer a Grammy nomination, which she promptly followed up with a critically acclaimed studio album, SweetSexySavage. Wielding intricate choreography and an army of backup dancers, the onetime America’s Got Talent star puts on a stunning live show.
5/7 at 6 p.m. Sold out; see resellers. Concord Music Hall.
10 Laura Marling
Folk:English folk star Laura Marling performs at the Metro in support of her beloved sixth studio album, Semper Femina.
5/7 at 8 p.m. $24. Metro Theater. etix.com