Don’t-miss picks for April 12 through April 18, 2018
1 Kay Ryan and the Apollo Chorus of Chicago
Poetry/Choral:One of the key pleasures of poetry is reading it aloud, but what might happen when someone tries to sing a poem? For this National Poetry Month event, Apollo Chorus adapts former U.S. poet laureate Kay Ryan’s stanzas for choir, conducted by Emmy-winning composer Jeff Beal (who scored the theme music for Monk and House of Cards).
4/12: Poetry Foundation. 7 p.m. Free. 4/13: Nichols Concert Hall. 7:30 p.m. $10–$30. poetryfoundation.org
2 Okwui Okpokwasili
Dance:In Poor People’s TV Room, Bessie-award winner Okpokwasili and her husband, Peter Born, use two events in Nigeria as fodder for an interdisciplinary performance. The Women’s War (in which Nigerian women challenged the British Crown) and the Bring Back Our Girls movement (a response to the Boko Haram kidnappings) inspire a larger narrative about race, body, and gender.
4/12–15. $10–$30. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. mcachicago.org
3 Lincoln Portrait
Classical:Music director Riccardo Muti leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in an American program, beginning with George Walker’s gorgeous Lyric for Strings and ending with Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World, written when the Czech composer checked out New York. The concert centers on Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait, in which a narrator reads Abraham Lincoln’s works—here performed by John Malkovich.
4/12–17. $45–$272. Symphony Center. cso.org
Art:Tired of the lack of appreciation for commercial photography, Tom Michas and Madeline Telford have curated an exhibition set on erasing the border between commercial and fine art. Eleven photographers will be exhibited in the one-day event—including Jason Little, whose snapshots you may recognize from the pages of Chicago magazine.
FREE 4/13. 3500 S. Archer.
5 Sound of Silent Film Festival
Film:This one-night-only annual fest is the logical next step for fans of the Music Box’s organ-accompanied screenings, which pair original scores—performed live—with contemporary silent features. The result: pure cinematic alchemy.
4/14 at 7 and 9:30 p.m. $15–$35. Davis Theater. acmusic.org
6 Hay Fever
Theater:ShawChicago presents Noel Coward’s splendid comedy of an eccentric family and the houseguests who are terrified and bewildered by them. Set in the Roaring Twenties, the piece is a perfect storm of deliciously bad manners and social intrigue.
4/13–5/7. $20–$35. Ruth Page Center for the Arts. shawchicago.org
7 Jessica Campbell
Art:The local artist, graphic novelist, and New Yorker contributor gets a solo show for her “carpet paintings,” cartoonish artworks made out of floor covering.
FREE 4/14–5/26. Western Exhibitions. westernexhibitions.com
8 Hank Willis Thomas: Unbranded
Art:Thomas “unbrands” advertisements from the last century by removing product names and all text, revealing how studio photography, clever design, and editing promoted and fueled an artificial lifestyle promised by consumerism. It turns out that America never exited the golden age of advertising; after the Mad Men era, manipulation thrived.
FREE 4/14–8/5. Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University. blockmuseum.northwestern.edu
9 Satellite Turntable Orchestra
New Music:Kid Koala (Eric San), an eccentric Canadian turntablist who’s toured with Radiohead, conducts the audience. How does it work? He provides a turntable and color-coded records to all visitors, and they change up the selections based on corresponding lighting cues.
4/17–18. $10–$25. Art Institute of Chicago. artic.edu
10 The B-Series
Dance:Columbia College faculty member Kelsa Robinson curates the spring edition of this series dedicated to hip-hop and street dancing, which includes panel discussions, presentations, workshops, and an exciting dance battle.
FREE 4/13–14. Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago. colum.edu/dancecenter