PLEASE NOTE: Events may be postponed or simply canceled. Please call ahead to make sure they are still scheduled to take place.
Shake Your Tail
This month finally promises some consistent spring-ish temperatures — get outside and stretch those winter-weary muscles, and help some furry friends find forever homes while you’re at it. The no-kill shelter PAWS Chicago has recruited instructors from fitness studios including CorePower Yoga, Fitness Formula Clubs, and Studio Three to teach outdoor group classes throughout the month, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to fund PAWS’ pet adoption centers and other services.
Through May 31. Various locations. $30. pawschicago.org
Planting and Maintaining a Perennial Garden: Shrouds by Faheem Majeed
The local artist really, really loves the South Side Community Art Center. The 80-year-old Bronzeville institution, which lays claim to being the country’s oldest center for African American art, has hosted works by Charles White and Gwendolyn Brooks, among others. For Majeed, a former executive director of the center, the building itself has become an artistic muse. This solo exhibit centers on charcoal rubbings on fabric of SSCAC’s facade, alongside the latest iteration of an installation that reuses cedar planks recovered from the center’s Burroughs Gallery.
FREE Through July 24. Hyde Park Art Center. Kenwood. hydeparkart.org
Yannis Tsarouchis: Dancing in Real Life
Though he’s one of the most revered artists of the 20th century in his native Greece, Tsarouchis is little recognized outside of Europe. Wrightwood 659 hosts the late painter’s first U.S. retrospective, a 200-piece collection ranging from scenes of contemporary Greek life to longingly rendered male nudes inspired by the sailors he saw daily in the port city of Piraeus, as well as studies for his theatrical work as a scenic and costume designer.
May 7–July 31. Wrightwood 659. Lincoln Park. $15. wrightwood659.org
The Sound Inside
While some theaters have begun announcing fall dates for a return to in-person, indoor performances, the Goodman is biding time with a new hybrid experiment: a series of three productions mounted on its stages for a week’s worth of audience-free performances, captured by multiple cameras for you to stream at home in real time. First up is Champaign native Adam Rapp’s tightly wound mystery, a current Tony Award nominee amid Broadway’s pandemic limbo, about the connection between a creative writing professor (Mary Beth Fisher) and a withdrawn but possibly brilliant freshman student (John Drea).
May 13–16. $30. goodmantheatre.org
Drawn to Combat: Bill Mauldin & the Art of War
An esteemed editorial cartoonist (or as he preferred, “cartoon commentator”), Mauldin spent almost all of the last three decades of his 50-year career at the Chicago Sun-Times. But he won the first of his two Pulitzer Prizes at the age of 23, for his Stars and Stripes cartoons depicting World War II’s European frontlines from the soldier’s perspective. This yearlong exhibit focuses on Mauldin’s point of view on American conflicts from WWII to Korea to Vietnam.
May 14–Spring 2022. Pritzker Military Museum & Library. Loop. $10. whoisbillmauldin.com
Hershey Felder Presents — Nicholas, Anna & Sergei
Canadian-born playwright-actor-pianist Felder has built a cottage industry out of his touring shows about great composers like Beethoven, Bernstein, Chopin, and George Gershwin; in Chicago, his productions have had long runs at the soon-to-be-departed Royal George Theatre. Felder’s latest hinges on a real-life meeting between the Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff and Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed to be the surviving daughter of Czar Nicholas II. As the local copresenter of the livestreamed premiere, Porchlight Music Theatre receives 50 percent of sales made through its website.
May 16–23. $55. porchlightmusictheatre.org
Pivot Arts Festival
“Reimagining Utopia,” the artists’ prompt for the ninth annual edition of this boundary-breaking performance fest, sought works that envisioned a better world in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the summer 2020 surge of protests. Live dance and theater performances as well as in-person video installations will be presented at a number of indoor and outdoor venues in the Edgewater neighborhood, while additional video works will be viewable online.
May 21–June 6. Various locations. Free–$30. pivotarts.org
Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall
The British ethologist’s field work studying the social behaviors of chimpanzees in Tanzania, starting in the 1960s, helped make her one of the rare working scientists to achieve household-name status. This immersive exhibition, which includes personal artifacts, interactive components, and a replica of Goodall’s field research tent, aims to inspire future generations of Janes (or Johns) with insights into her life from childhood to her current role as UN Messenger of Peace.
May 21–Sept. 6. Field Museum. Near South Side. $26–$34. fieldmuseum.org
Now in his fourth season on Saturday Night Live and his first as a costar of SNL colleague Kenan Thompson’s eponymous sitcom, the multitalented Redd (he shares a songwriting Emmy with Thompson for an SNL musical sketch) got his start in Chicago. An alum of Naperville’s Neuqua Valley High School and of Chicago comedy venues like the Annoyance Theatre, iO, and Jokes and Notes, he comes home for a Memorial Day weekend stand at Zanies, which reopened at limited capacity in February.
May 28–30. Zanies. Old Town. $30. chicago.zanies.com
Chicago Dance Month Kick-Off
Celebrate the holiday weekend, warm weather, and a preview of June’s ninth annual Chicago Dance Month with outdoor performances by groups including Aerial Dance Chicago, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Mandala Arts, and the Seldoms. Inspired? Get on your feet for interactive lessons in partnered styles from the instructors of the Jefferson Park school May I Have This Dance.
FREE May 29. Navy Pier. 3 p.m. seechicagodance.com