Don’t-miss picks for March 22 through March 28, 2018
1 Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Classical:In this program, CSO music director Riccardo Muti covers a slew of classics, including the grandiose Mass in E-flat Major by Franz Schubert, for which the orchestra will truck in the Chicago Symphony Chorus and a clutch of vocal soloists. But the wild card is Three Lisel Mueller Settings, a world premiere featuring poems by a local Pulitzer Prize–winning escapee of the Nazis.
3/22–24. $34–$220. Symphony Center. cso.org
2 Max Lamb: Exercises in Seating
Design:British designer Lamb—trained at the Royal College of Art—has become notorious for his avant-garde takes on everyday furniture. This survey, focused on his quirky, elegant chairs, coincides with his recent book of the same title.
3/22–8/26. $14–$25. Art Institute of Chicago. artic.edu
Rock:If it seems like this Canadian indie-pop outfit is constantly on tour, well, they are. The hard-working act continues to build a steady fan base, thanks in no small part to their lively, fun shows.
3/23 at 7:30 p.m. Sold out; see resellers. Metro.
4 Janeane Garofalo
Comedy:Garofalo has long flirted with mainstream stardom but never been completely seduced by it (she came famously close to playing Tom Cruise’s love interest in Jerry Maguire). Still, the stand-up comic seems content with her lot: Her appearances in cult classics (Wet Hot American Summer and its recent Netflix reboots) and Gen-X indie hits (Reality Bites) have made her an alternative comedy icon.
3/23 at 8 p.m. $34. Thalia Hall. thaliahallchicago.com
5 Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Dance:In its first solo engagement at the Auditorium in 20 years, the modern company presents work by resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo, including a world premiere. Also on the bill: Cerrudo’s 2015 hit Silent Ghost, a subtle, linear piece originally created for the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.
3/23–24 at 7:30 p.m. $29–$110. Auditorium Theatre. auditoriumtheatre.org
6 Cedric the Entertainer
Comedy:One of the most instantly recognizable voices in comedy, Cedric the Entertainer has been around the block a time or two. The Barbershop star and frequent Steve Harvey sidekick admittedly has struggled to stay with the times—see his brief run as the host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire—but still takes the stage with his trademark fedora and bravado.
3/24 at 8 p.m. $63–$84. Chicago Theatre. chicagotheatre.com
7 Mura Masa
Electronic:In 2017, the Guernsey-born producer Alex Crossan, who performs as Mura Masa, released his self-titled third album, one of the most widely acclaimed and gorgeous new LPs of the year. The record of lovely house-inspired dance music features a who’s who of cutting-edge musicians, from Christine and the Queens’s Héloïse Letissier to Brooklyn rapper Desiigner and English singer NAO. Though Crossan’s not likely to trot out any marquee guests at this stateside show, new fans ought to get a taste of his sound before he blows up.
3/24 at 10 p.m. Sold out; see resellers. The Mid.
8 St. John Passion
Classical:On Palm Sunday and Holy Monday, Music of the Baroque heads back to one of their backbone composers, J.S. Bach, and his setting of the Passion story according to the Gospel of John. Along with the St. Matthew Passion and the B Minor Mass, the St. John Passion is a pillar of Bach’s triumvirate of choral-orchestral wonders of the world.
3/26. $39–$78. Harris Theater. (3/25: Sold out.) baroque.org
Pop:In 2017, this New Zealand pop sensation made headlines as the only woman that year to receive an album of the year nomination from the Grammys, for her sophomore LP, Melodrama. Though it didn’t win, the accomplished, poignant album, about first love and its near-inevitable demise, is more than deserving of praise. Hear the artist’s latest at her first Chicago show since a rainstorm ended her set at last year’s Lollapalooza after only 20 minutes.
3/27 at 7:30 p.m. $39–$99. Allstate Arena. ticketmaster.com
10 Justin Timberlake
Pop:It’s been more than a hot minute since Timberlake’s last full-length album—2013’s The 20/20 Experiment: Part Two—but that hasn’t stopped the pop star from leaking out stray singles over the years. Case in point: 2016’s inescapable “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” for the kids’ movie Trolls. In February, just before his Super Bowl halftime appearance, Timberlake released Man of the Woods, his fourth full-length album, which taps Timberlake’s Tennessee roots. The music may not be as strong or interesting as on his 2006 masterpiece, FutureSex/LoveSounds, but after a mediocre first quarter of music in 2018, the return of such a beloved pop star is welcome.
3/27–28 at 7:30 p.m. $95–$972. United Center. ticketmaster.com