Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, November 30 through December 6, 2016
1 AIDS America
Art:The first-ever exhibition examining how the AIDS crisis changed American art features 100-plus works by artists who either died of the disease or had their communities devastated by it, including Judy Chicago, Roger Brown, Keith Haring, Félix González-Torres, Annie Leibovitz, and Robert Mapplethorpe. As the crisis coincided with the revolution of postmodern art, the resultant work is full of myth, truth, emotion, and life, all displayed here at a bank-turned-museum funded by local art collector Fred Eychaner.
12/1–4/2. Free. Alphawood Gallery, 2401 N. Halsted. artaidsamericachicago.org
2 Chicago Elite Classic
Sports:How does Chicago high school hoops stack up against the rest of the country? Find out at this fifth annual event, which features 14 local teams (including defending state champ Curie) and eight outside powers in a two-day set of matchups. Among the draws: Tar Heel recruit Jalek Felton of South Carolina's Gray Collegiate and super soph R.J. Barrett of Florida’s Montverde Academy.
12/2–3. $10–$15. UIC Pavilion, 525 S. Racine. chicagoeliteclassic.com
3 The Electric Stage
Puppetry:The performance collective Manual Cinema presents this live-action performance mimicking a film, which features shadow puppetry, vintage projectors, handmade sound effects, and a live ensemble. The performance emulates the futurist machine art of László Moholy-Nagy, whose retrospective exhibition is currently on view.
12/2–3. $10–$25. Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan. artic.edu
4 Marc Maron
Theater:Before Marc Maron ever grazed the iTunes top 10 for his interview podcast, WTF, the Jersey native was a staple of New York’s ’90s alternative comedy scene. Here, he reprises his stock brand of confessional ranting on the Too Real tour.
12/3 at 7:30 and 10 p.m. $41. Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield. jamusa.com
5 Stevie Nicks
Rock:After more than four decades in music, Stevie Nicks has begun looking back on her career. In 2014, the singer released an album of reimagined demos (originally recorded between 1969 and 1987) called 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault. Expect a healthy dose of those tracks on this eponymous tour with pop-rock pillar the Pretenders.
12/3 at 7 p.m. $50–$320. United Center, 1901 W. Madison. ticketmaster.com
What I’m Doing This Weekend
Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know-locals: Sarah Fornace, co-artistic director of performance art collective Manual Cinema. Manual Cinema premieres The Electric Stage in the Art Institute’s Rubloff Auditorium on Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3.
“I’m not as involved as some of my co-directors in The Electric Stage, so this weekend I sort of get to join the audience and see the piece in totality. It’s all inspired by the work of László Moholy-Nagy, whose retrospective, Future Present, is up at the Art Institute now. His work deals a lot with positive versus negative space, moving and non-moving imagery—all of which lends itself well to our animation style. Kyle Vegter, one of my fellow co-directors, is doing a really cool soundscape to go with the projections. On Saturday, we’re also doing a puppetry workshop at the AIC: You’ll be able to control your own puppet, and we’re working on some tech to make responsive sound design for each little puppet show.
“Either Friday or Saturday after The Electric Stage, I’m going to see the Neo Futurists’ Best Of show, Too Much Light. They’re one of my favorite theater companies in Chicago—I’ve done some work with them in the past—and Too Much Light is legendary, at this point. The Friday and Saturday shows are late, too, so there’s plenty of time to make it over to their space on North Ashland after our show downtown.
“On Monday, I always try to go to Jane Beachy’s Salonathon. It’s hands down one of the best showcases in Chicago—a place where Chicago’s arts community comes together. This week’s show focuses on sexuality, beauty, and disability, and it’s going on in partnership tithe MCA’s performance of Julia Munz and Matt Fraser’s Beauty and the Beast.
“Beyond that, I’ll be spending time at our studio space in Kimball Arts Center. We’re really lucky to get to be there—there’s always something cool happening in the building, like capoeira classes, archery clinics, kite-making workshops. We’re right off the 606, which, when the weather is nice, is the thing I most often recommend to people looking for something to do. Next weekend, on December 11, they’re doing the second annual Walk with Light: It’s a giant parade of community groups and organizations with glowing floats and crafts everywhere. I’m also doing some work for Lookingglass Theatre—another favorite—on Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth. We’re putting together some puppets and interactive animations for that.
“Other than that, we just like to hang out in Logan Square, where a lot of us live. We do a lot of group outings to places like Scofflaw—they do an amazing Last Word, which is my favorite cocktail—and Reno—especially on Tuesdays, when you can get two pizzas for $20.”—As told to John Hardberger
Freebie of the Week
Art:In perhaps his best new collage series in years, Tony Fitzpatrick toasts the people who built Chicago with cut-paper portrayals of vintage signs he’s spotted in working-class neighborhoods. Displayed among Fitzpatrick’s love poems for Chicago are collaborations with street-wear brand Saint Alfred, such as T-shirt and hat designs.
12/2–23. Free. AdventureLand Gallery, 1513 N. Western. adventurelandgallery.com