From left: Patti Smith, a sculpture by artist Michael Rea, Anna Nicole Smith


Ranked from highest profile to biggest surprise

DETROIT THROUGH 11/7 Who else could make us love fake barf? Two months into this Steppenwolf main-stager, and we still can’t get enough of Laurie Metcalf. Read our Q & A with the former Roseanne star »

CHICAGO HUMANITIES FESTIVAL 11/2–14 Pushed it, feeds it, advises how to titillate it: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Paul Kahan, and Dan Savage are just three of the names signed on to chat about this year’s theme, the body.

ANNA NICOLE 11/18–23 The bombshell’s legacy lives on—only this time it’s opera buffs, not tabloid hounds, stoking the scandal. Be there when the CSO performs a sneak-peek movement by an ex-composer-in-residence.

CHICAGO TOY AND GAME FAIR 11/20–21 Go under the aegis of scouting holiday gifts for the kids; stay for the guilty pleasures (a Star Wars breakfast with Darth Vader).

PATTI SMITH 11/30 Consider camping out: The Chicago native’s last talk, back in February, filled up faster than you could say “Because the Night.”

THE 1900S 11/2 After a two-year stint in the school of hard knocks, Chicago’s indie-rock darlings come back swinging with a new fighting-weight album. Read their comeback story »

THE PIANO TEACHER 11/4–12/5 We can’t decide which we’re more excited about: Next Theatre’s shocker of a season opener or that the embattled company has a season at all.

UMBRELLA MUSIC FESTIVAL 2010 11/3–7 A light at the end of a tough year for jazz fans: This annual free-jazz (as in improvised) fest kicks off with two free (as in gratis) nights.

MICHAEL REA 11/5–12/10 Even if you don’t remember his name, this NIU grad’s surreal sculptures will haunt your dreams. See them at Ebersmoore.


Photograph: (Patti Smith) Steve Sebring; (sculpture) Courtesy of Ebersmoore Gallery; (Anna Nicole Smith) AP Photo/Reed Saxon