PLEASE NOTE: Events may be postponed or simply canceled. Please call ahead to make sure they are still scheduled to take place.
Barbara Kruger: THINKING OF YOU. I MEAN ME. I MEAN YOU.
Multimedia artist Barbara Kruger’s provocative inquiries into consumerist culture don’t just fill the Art Institute’s Regenstein Hall for this massive exhibition, which covers her nearly half-century of work. Kruger’s vinyl banners, wraps, and installations — some created especially for this show — spill out across the museum’s buildings, some placed in direct conversation with pieces in the Art Institute’s permanent collection.
Through Jan. 24. Art Institute of Chicago. Loop. Free with museum admission. artic.edu
Chicago International Film Festival
Catch in-person or virtual screenings on the final weekend of the 57th CIFF. Highlights include an early look at Pablo Larraín’s Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, and the closing-night presentation at the Music Box of King Richard, with Will Smith as Venus and Serena Williams’s determined dad.
Through Oct. 24. Various locations. Prices vary. chicagofilmfestival.com
Songs for Nobodies
Actor and singer Bethany Thomas puts her inimitable voice through its paces, performing in the styles of five distinctive midcentury divas — Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf, and Maria Callas — in this solo play by Joanna Murray-Smith about ordinary fans, or “nobodies,” recounting their brushes with greatness.
Through Oct. 31. Northlight Theatre. Skokie. $30–$89. northlight.org
Spektral Quartet: Plain, Air
Grammy-nominated experimentalists Spektral Quartet commissioned composer Tania Ko to write this 2018 work, which intermingles field recordings and live sound to suggest the natural “music” of Chicago’s lakeshore. This performance, presented by the Chicago Humanities Festival, is hosted by Braiding Sweetgrass author Robin Wall Kimmerer.
Oct. 23. Cafe Brauer. Lincoln Park. $20. chicagohumanities.org
Visual artists are paired with local musicians for this experimental cinema event, with each duo playing one-hour “sets” of projected visuals and live accompaniment. The outdoor screening is a project of production company Full Spectrum Features and the Chicago Underground Film Festival.
Oct. 23. Comfort Station. Logan Square. Free. fullspectrumfeatures.com
Roots & Wings
Celebrating its 25th year, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater returns to the Auditorium Theatre’s stage for the first time since 1999 with a full-length program. The mix of new and repertory works includes excerpts from GOSHEN, a retelling of Exodus set to music by gospel artist Donald Lawrence, which was meant to debut at Millennium Park in August in a performance that was ultimately rained out.
Oct. 23. Auditorium Theatre. Loop. $25–$71. auditoriumtheatre.org
Windy City Soul Club
At this long-running dance party, the DJs favor obscure soul tracks and only spin genuine 45s. Now comfortably in residence at Sleeping Village, it’s one of the most reliably funky nights in town for getting down.
Oct. 23. Sleeping Village. Logan Square. $5. sleeping-village.com
Music Box of Horrors
Strap in for an unlucky 13 feature screenings at the Music Box Theatre’s annual 24-hour scary-movie marathon. The eclectic slate spans nearly a full century of spooky cinema, from 1924 silent thriller The Hands of Orlac to the very current horror comedy The Scary of Sixty-First.
Oct. 23–24. Music Box Theatre. Lake View. $35. musicboxtheatre.com
What the Constitution Means to Me
Playwright and actor Heidi Schreck’s not-quite-solo play, a 2019 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama and an unlikely Broadway hit, was inspired by her teenage experiences speaking about the Constitution at American Legion–sponsored competitions, along with her grownup qualms about the document’s limitations. Its March 2020 Chicago bow, meant to be the kickoff of a national tour, was cut short by the pandemic; now it’s back for an amended run.
Oct. 26–Nov. 21. Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place. Gold Coast. $30–$106. broadwayinchicago.com
L.A.-based singer-songwriter Melchor spent the early months of the pandemic recording a new “lullaby” every week, for release to fans who texted a special phone number. That project inspired the dreamy album Melchor’s Lullaby Hotline, Vol. 1, which he released earlier this year after signing with Warner Records. He plays Lincoln Hall with support from Field Medic.
Oct. 27. Lincoln Hall. Lincoln Park. $20. lh-st.com