The Ten

Don’t-miss picks for October 4 through October 10, 2018

1 Excavating the World’s Fair

Lecture:Anthropologist Rebecca Graff shares stories about what she found during her 2008 excavation of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition fairgrounds in Jackson Park. Her talk accompanies an exhibition of artifacts (like admission tickets and playing cards) that illuminate what life was like in 19th-century Chicago.
FREE 10/4 at 6 p.m. Newberry.

2 Patience and Sarah

New Music:This spring Lyric packed houses with Fellow Travelers, an opera about a gay romance in 1950s Washington staged by its special projects arm. Third Eye Theatre Ensemble’s next production is somewhat of a companion piece: a lesbian romance set in Connecticut in the winter of 1816. Composer Paula Kimper provides the folkie, tuneful score.
10/5–21. $20–$30. Theater Wit.

3 Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre

Dance:This contemporary company presents three major new works and one revival in its annual “tour of Chicago.” The highlight is the final installment of American Catracho, a suite of dances about immigration that took three years to develop, a tour de force for artistic director Wilfredo Rivera. New collaborations featuring choreography by Monique Haley and Joshua L. Ishmon are also on the bill.
10/5–27. $30–$90. Various neighborhoods and venues.

4 Flyin’ West

Theater:The history of the American West has long been dominated by tales of cowboys. Not so in Pearl Cleage’s vivid drama about a quartet of African American women who head west to stake a claim for land and autonomy in 1898. The frontier town of Nicodemus, Kansas, offers both refuge and challenges — and a rich slice of western lore that all too often gets erased.
10/5–11/3. $19–$39. Stage 773.

5 Mandala Arts

Dance:For Masks and Myths, Sri Lankan dancers perform at the University of Chicago, near the spot where, 125 years ago, their ancestors were commodified for fairgoers at the World’s Columbian Exposition. The three-part performance wrestles with the effects of colonialism on the arts while celebrating traditional Sri Lankan dance.
10/6–7. $15–$50. Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts.

6 La Bohème

Opera:Lyric Opera raises the curtain on its season with Puccini’s classic tale of bohemian life in artists’ garrets and its attendant love, poetry, and tuberculosis. The cast, which will reassemble for another run in January, includes the luminous Maria Agresta, the pixie-ish Danielle de Niese, and Michael Fabiano, a young tenor in his Lyric debut.
10/6–20. $69–$299. Lyric Opera House.

7 Industry of the Ordinary

Art:Celebrated for their wry social commentary and disruptive artworks, the performance duo of Adam Brooks and Mathew Wilson, known as Industry of the Ordinary, take a more solemn approach with Genuflect, a silent vigil for immigrants on Indigenous Peoples’ Day. They’ll carry a life raft and lead a procession to Lake Michigan, where they’ll sail off into the horizon — a metaphor for refugees and migrants finding safe harbor.
FREE 10/8 at 5:30 p.m. St. Vincent de Paul Parish.

8 Welcome to Night Vale

Podcast:This darkly funny podcast follows the fictional and increasingly mysterious town of Night Vale, which is populated by angels, sentient clouds, and an evil beagle. The twice-monthly show is serialized, but the tour features a standalone story, so no need to binge beforehand.
10/8 at 8 p.m. $31. Athenaeum Theatre.


Hip-Hop:This rap group has taken over Bay Area radio with its distinct blend of handclaps, lush synthesizer patches, and grim basslines. But SOB x RBE has also benefited from national exposure, most prominently on the Black Panther soundtrack. The lyrics address standard gangster rap touchstones — drugs, women, violence — but they are delivered with such energy that frustration and celebration become intertwined, establishing an emotional complexity rarely heard in contemporary hip-hop.
10/10 at 8 p.m. $20–$100. Bottom Lounge.

10 Designer Doors for Charity

Charity:On the fifth floor of the Viceroy Hotel, take a gander at doors smothered in paint, depicting radiant flowers, an incandescent butterfly, or a woman boxing. Local artists decorated the guest-room doorways as part of a charity initiative for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Members of the public can peek at the rich imagery after a quick stop of the hotel’s front desk, and revenue from stays in the fifth-floor rooms will go toward the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation.
FREE Through October 31. Viceroy Hotel.