Patrick Stump, formerly of Fall Out Boy

J Hud isn’t the only homegrown crooner looking good (did you see our March cover?). This Glenview native and former Fall Out Boy returns with a soul-inflected solo album, a sharp new haircut, and a gig at Schubas.


April 3–4 Stump shows off his new svelte look and smooth soul tunes at a pair of hometown concerts in a room the size of FOB’s old touring van. Is it any surprise both nights are sold out? At 7:30. Schubas, 3159 N Southport.


Photograph: Tamar Levine


A dancer from Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

HSDC’s choreographer-in-residence (and another of our 50 Most Beautiful Chicagoans), Alejandro Cerrudo, unveils a new collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Talk about making beautiful music together.


April 27–May 3 For the past seven years, this perennially evolving company has shared the stage with CSO in a much-anticipated collaboration. For 2011, HSDC’s Cerrudo applies his witty choreography to Martinů’s 1946 Toccata e due canzoni and reprises his Blanco, an all-female reflection on the music of Mendelssohn. 4/27 at 6:30, 4/28–30 at 8, 5/3 at 7:30, $28–$133. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan.


Photograph: Todd Rosenberg


A scene from 'Next to Normal'

If you thought the Chicago-bred Chad Deity losing the 2010 Pulitzer was emotional, wait until you see the play that beat it: this musical about a manic-depressive mother, starring the Tony winner Alice Ripley. Don’t hold a grudge; do get tickets.


4/26–5/8 One of the best examples of acting, ever? Ripley’s performance in this Pulitzer Prize musical. Her portrayal of a woman struggling with manic depression is both radiant and heartbreaking. $37–$125. Bank of America Theatre, 18 W Monroe. 


Photograph: Joan Marcus


A vintage jacket and comb

On the other end of the musical spectrum, American Theater Company Director PJ Paparelli goes under the hood to restore some va-va-voom (and R-rated raunch) to this long-neutered, Chicago-born classic, set on the city’s Northwest Side. Tell us more, tell us more.


4/21–6/5 Playwrights Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey promise revised music, lyrics, and scenes. Will Frenchie finally finish beauty school? We can’t wait to find out. Previews 4/21–5/1; $30. Regular run $35–$40. American Theater Company, 1909 W Byron.




A piece by Rinus Van de Velde

Stories that unspool across entire rooms, massive photo-realist drawings: The Belgian artist Van de Velde is part Chuck Close, part Chicago’s own Deb Sokolow, and all over the walls at Monique Meloche.


4/2–5/14 Van de Velde’s charcoal drawings have the crisp look of 1950s-era snapshots, yet there’s clearly an artist’s hand at work. By adding his own fictitious captions to images based on National Geographic photos and scientific illustrations, he creates stories that figure the artist as protagonist. The effect is wildly imaginative: When the drawings are scaled up to mural size, it’s like stepping straight into the pages of a graphic novel. 2154 W Division.


Photograph: Courtesy of Monique Meloche Gallery, Perhaps It’s Plump, Valdimir, But At Least It’s Something, 2010, siberian charcoal on paper, 151 × 200 cm, private collection, Spain