Don’t-miss picks for October 11 through October 17, 2018
1 Hari Kondabolu
Comedy:Speaking to the BBC last year, the Indian American comedian said of the lone Indian character on The Simpsons: “Apu was the only Indian we had on TV at all, so I was happy for any representation as a kid.” As he grew older, however, Kondabolu began to recognize Apu as a joke at his expense. This epiphany is the emotional core of The Problem with Apu, the surprise hit documentary he wrote and starred in last year. Expect a similarly deft hand as he returns to standup.
10/11 at 8 p.m. $26. Thalia Hall. eventbrite.com
2 The Many Hats of Ralph Arnold
Art:This overdue retrospective examines a gay black veteran and artist whose collages from the 1960s and ’70s address the era’s social and cultural revolutions. Want to Pick-Nick? Or Any Day? (1969), for example, is a revamp of A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Georges Seurat’s iconic 1884 impressionist painting, adding graffiti and public protest.
FREE 10/11 through 12/21. Museum of Contemporary Photography. mocp.org
3 Eat, Drink, Korea
Food:Chefs from restaurants like En Hakkore, Del Seoul, Dak, and more join forces to celebrate Korean cuisine and culture. The evening also includes plenty of beer and cocktails. All proceeds benefit Crossing Borders, an organization providing aid to North Korean refugees.
10/12 at 6 p.m. $95. Ravenswood Event Center. eventbrite.com
4 Takács Quartet
Classical:For more than 40 years, Takács has ranked among the world’s best string quartets. The ensemble opens UChicago Presents’ 75th season with pieces by masters of the form (Haydn and Shostakovich), along with one by a master of everything (Brahms).
10/12 at 7:30 p.m. $10–$38. Mandel Hall, University of Chicago. chicagopresents.uchicago.edu
5 Open House Chicago
Architecture:Ever wondered what’s inside the dome of the Elks National Memorial, or what the view is like from the top of the Aon Center? For this annual citywide open house, the Chicago Architecture Foundation pulls back the curtain on more than 200 of the city’s architectural marvels, many of which are rarely open to the public.
FREE 10/13–14. Various neighborhoods and venues. openhousechicago.org
Opera:Lyric’s Mozart foray for this season is the lesser-known story of the shipwrecked king of Crete and the sacrifice he offers to Neptune, with a love triangle thrown in for good measure. The cast has a distinct Chicago tint: Matthew Polenzani, a north suburban native and alumnus of Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center, in the lead role; Erin Wall, also a Ryan alum; and Chicago native Janai Brugger (see “The Hometown Prima Donna”).
10/13–11/2. $39–$279. Lyric Opera House. lyricopera.org
7 Midwest Flair Fest
Festival:Dozens of artists and vendors from across the world gather in one spot to show off their best wearable art. Spice up your existing wardrobe — items for sale include patches, pins, and hand-stitched goods.
FREE 10/14 at noon. Thalia Hall. midwestflairfest.com
8 Idris Ackamoor & the Pyramids
World:Chicago native Ackamoor formed his band at Antioch College in the 1970s, and the Pyramids traveled all across Africa, recruiting new musicians and developing a distinctive fusion of jazz, funk, and Afrobeat. Ackamoor and his group return home for what’s sure to be a sweaty night of muscle-moving grooves.
10/14 at 8:30 p.m. $12–$15. Empty Bottle. eventbrite.com
9 Pinball Expo
Convention:Pinball wasn’t invented in Chicago, but local firms like Bally Manufacturing, Stern Pinball, and Williams Electronics Games perfected it. This four-day jamboree toasts that legacy: Casual players can enjoy free play on dozens of machines on Thursday and Friday, while pinball aces can show off their skills in Saturday’s high-score tournament. New this year is a tour of the Stern Pinball factory, where attendees can witness a table’s construction from start to finish.
10/17–20. $30–$210. Westin Chicago North Shore. pinballexpo.net
10 Swan Lake
Dance:Christopher Wheeldon’s 2014 reimagining of the classic ballet moves the plot from a German castle to the studios of the Paris Opera Ballet — a real-life depiction of Degas’s ballerinas. Joffrey debuted the work amid skepticism about doing such a stodgy full-length. But Wheeldon’s vision made it feel fresh again. It’s the highest-grossing production in company history.
10/17–28. $35–$200. Auditorium Theatre. joffrey.org