Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, September 28 through October 4, 2016
1 Demetri Martin
Comedy:The sometime Daily Show contributor and heady heir to Steven Wright’s style of one-line, observational comedy hits the Vic Theater.
10/1 at 8 p.m. $40. Vic Theater, 3145 N. Sheffield. jamusa.com
2 Hamlet (the Revenge of Prince Zi Dan)
Theater:The Chinese theater company Shanghai Jingju reimagines Shakespeare’s Hamlet, moving the tale to the fictitious Red City and employing traditional Chinese dramatic aesthetics.
9/28–29. $35–$125. Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph St. harristheaterchicago.org
3 Le Vin Herbé
Opera:Chicago Opera Theater launches into the first piece of its longer 2016-17 season—the Tristan and Isolde story Le Vin Herbé, by the 20th-century Swiss composer Frank Martin. An eight-piece chamber orchestra backs a 12-singer chorus in the piece, a sort of operatic oratorio.
9/30–10/9. $50–$75. Chicago Opera Theater at Music Box Theatre. chicagooperatheater.org
4 Shaw’s Oyster Festival
Festival:This beer-and-fish fest celebrates the humble half shell, with help from Grand Rapids brew crew Founders. Sip their All Day IPA while sampling six varieties of oyster to a soundtrack of funk and Mississippi blues. Shaw’s Crab House, which has hosted the fest for 28 years, will have nightly oyster slurp-offs in the week leading up to the main event.
9/30 at 3 p.m. $20–$50. Hubbard and Rush. oysterfestchicago.com
5 Trip the Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStrip
Dance:Following its March premiere at the Harris Theater, Lucky Plush’s Trip the Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStrip gets a weekend reprise at a cozier venue. Dance theater is more than meets the eye in this smart and hilarious story of washed-up superheroes on a mission for self-actualization in the nonprofit world.
9/29–10/1. $24–$30. Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, 1306 S. Michigan. colum.edu/dance-center
What I’m Doing This Weekend
Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals: Julia Rhoads, artistic director of Lucky Plush Productions, which presents Trip the Light Fantastic: the Making of SuperStrip for its second run at the Columbia College Dance Center, starting Thursday, September 29.
“I’ll spend most of the week in rehearsal with the Lucky Plush ensemble at our new practice space, Dovetail Studios on Montrose. We just started at Dovetail a few weeks ago, so we’re still figuring out the area, but some of the ensemble members went down the street to Finch’s Beer Co. the other day, and they really liked it! From the sound of it, they have some good vegan options on-menu at their adjoining brewpub, The Finch Kitchen. I also teach at the University of Chicago, and while I’m in the neighborhood, I love to grab a bite at the Currency Exchange Café—which is part of Theaster Gates’s Arts Block.
“Thursday night, Trip the Light reopens at the Dance Center at Columbia College. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the show translates into a more intimate space—we typically work in smaller venues, because our performances rely on a lot of audience interaction, but when the Harris Theatre commissioned this piece we had to translate our style to the larger space. It was a really fun challenge, and it worked out wonderfully, but I’m looking forward to having that closeness again. Plus, the space at Columbia has some really high-quality AV, so all of our comic book-inspired multimedia elements translate perfectly. The performance is largely about do-gooders and everyday people trying to make a difference, and the systems of power that often underlie charitable giving—very relevant at the moment, I think.
“I’ll be performing Friday and Saturday nights, so I’ll probably be spending as much daylight as I can at my home in Riverside with my kids. Riverside is a beautiful community designed by Frederick Law Olmsted—best known as the man who created Central Park. It’s got a nice river running through it, and there are lots of parks and woods for us to walk and bike. We like to stop in at the Chew Chew for a quick lunch while we’re out.
“Sunday, Sojourner Zenobia, one of our Lucky Plush ensemble members, will be a part of this performance put on by the Chicago Folklore Ensemble. It’s called The World in Chicago, and it celebrates the stories and songs of refugees and immigrants from around the world. It starts at 4 p.m. at the 2nd Unitarian Church on West Barry in Lake View. While I’m in the city, I might try to grab a bite at one of my old Chicago favorites, like Cafe Mustache (home of many a Lucky Plush company meeting), Irazú, or Ethiopian Diamond.” —As told to John Hardberger
Freebie of the Week
Art:A 16-ton 1957 Cadillac DeVille encased in concrete was an idiosyncratic, underknown local sculpture by the German artist Wolf Vostell until it fell into a state of disrepair. Freshly conserved, the car-in-concrete marks its return to Chicago with a procession of events as it travels from the MCA to the Arts Club and finally to the University of Chicago, anchoring lectures and events along the way. Read our article here.
9/30 at 11:30 a.m. Various venues. arts.uchicago.edu/concretehappenings