We’re relaunching “Ten Things to Do This Week” on November 4! There will be a weekly roundup of what we’re doing around town — from events to restaurants to shopping. Plus, you’ll get the editors’ favorite recent chicagomag.com stories and a long read for the weekend.
PLEASE NOTE: Events may be postponed or simply canceled. Please call ahead to make sure they are still scheduled to take place.
Fannie (The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer)
The powerhouse actor-singer E. Faye Butler portrays Mississippi-born civil rights activist Hamer in this solo play by Cheryl L. West, laced through with spirituals like “I’m On My Way to Freedom” and “We Shall Not Be Moved.”
Through Nov. 14. Goodman Theatre. Loop. $15–$40. goodmantheatre.org
Dead Ringers for Dead Singers
Pay homage to your favorite departed icon at this musician-themed costume party, a benefit for American Blues Theater. Expect a costume contest and plenty of live performances; actor Zachary Stevenson, who won a Jeff Award in the title role of ABT’s Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, hosts the evening as “Bloody Holly.”
Oct. 29. American Blues Theater. Ravenswood. $25. americanbluestheater.com
34th Annual Streeterville Dog Halloween Party
Bring your costumed pups to the MCA’s Sculpture Garden to compete for best in show — or just come to take in the canine cuteness. It’s B.Y.O. doggie treats, but people treats like coffee and Eli’s Cheesecake will be provided.
Oct. 30. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Streeterville. Free. mcachicago.org
Arts in the Dark
Launched in 2015, this family-friendly Halloween parade features participants from arts organizations across the city — literally, as organizers claim to be the only parade to feature performers from each of Chicago’s 50 wards.
Oct. 30. State Street between Lake and Van Buren Streets. Loop. Free. artsinthedark.com
The Grammy-nominated electronic pop duo Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn, who are spouses as well as bandmates, play a Halloween night show on their “Shaking Out the Numb” tour. (The title comes from a track on Sylvan Esso’s 2020 album Free Love, but feels appropriate for our halting return to live music.)
Oct. 31. Aragon Ballroom. Uptown. $37.50. jamusa.com
The first Broadway-bound musical to play downtown since 2018, this new show depicts the forgotten community in Civil War–era New York City where Black Americans and Irish immigrants shared music, started businesses, and formed families. Get a first look before its February opening in NYC.
Nov. 2–Dec. 5. James M. Nederlander Theatre. Loop. $45–$172. broadwayinchicago.com
Elvis Costello and the Impostors
The English modern-rock legend formerly known as Declan Patrick McManus hits town on his “Hello Again” tour. Setlists from early dates in other cities suggest Costello and his band are eager to play the hits now that their forced hiatus is over.
Nov. 3. Chicago Theatre. Loop. $24–$104. ticketmaster.com
Comedy in the Sanctuary
When was the last time you saw stand-up comedy in a church? In Chicago, perhaps, not that long ago. But the solid lineups of local comics at this new biweekly night, produced and hosted by Saku Yanagawa, are a good excuse to check out one of the city’s newer interdisciplinary arts centers, housed in a decommissioned 19th-century house of worship.
Oct. 23–24. Music Box Theatre. Lake View. $35. musicboxtheatre.com
The Magic Flute
Mozart’s familiar fairy tale gets a cinematic treatment in this inventive new production, which uses video projections, supertitles, and stylized character designs to evoke the aesthetic of the silent-film era.
Nov. 3–27. Lyric Opera of Chicago. Loop. $39–$319. lyricopera.org
Jacqueline Novak: Get on Your Knees
Comedian Novak explores the ups and downs of a certain oral sex act in her acclaimed solo performance. The show’s extended Off Broadway run earned spots on The New York Times’ “best comedy of 2019” and “best theater of 2019” critics’ lists. Novak plays just six performances on the Den Theatre’s mainstage.
Nov. 4–7. The Den Theatre. Wicker Park. $26–$50. thedentheatre.com