Molly Brennan in Peter Pan
See Molly Brennan in Peter Pan

Ranked from highest profile to biggest surprise

TONI MORRISON 10/19–20 You could spend $1,000-plus to rub elbows with her and Oprah—or you could hear her read for free from her One Book, One Chicago selection the previous night. Your choice.

CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 10/7–21 Will David Schwimmer’s Trust, based on his 2010 Lookingglass premiere, win over audiences? Unknown. Will its local debut woo celebs? Here’s hoping.

PETER PAN 10/20–12/12 Peter as a—gasp!—boy and the unsinkable Molly Brennan (right) as a salty pirate? Finally somebody gets this casting right. Plus ten other fall plays with spunk in our Anticipation Index.

FARM AID 10/2 Sure, we are the world, but we’re also a quick 90-mile drive from Milwaukee. Willie Nelson, Norah Jones, Jeff Tweedy, and Band of Horses in one 25th-anniversary concert? Just road-trip it already.

MACBETH 10/1–30 She avoided it like the plague for most of her career, then killed it at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in 2009. Now Barbara Gaines bites her thumb at superstition a second time and directs Verdi’s take at Lyric.

GOLD 10/22–3/6 Last year it was diamonds, this year it’s gold. Somebody at the Field Museum has jewelry on the brain—and now so do we.

JP, CHRISSIE & THE FAIRGROUND BOYS 10/10 One failed romance with a productive ending? That of the Pretenders’ 59-year-old Chrissie Hynde and her 32-year-old ex-beau, JP Jones, who play roots rock like they’ve got something to prove.

MUSIC NOW 10/4 Pipe organ, laptop, audiotape: With instruments like these, Anna Clyne and Mason Bates don’t stand on ceremony—so give the CSO’s two new composers-in-residence a hearty Chicago welcome when they host a reception following their official season debut.

LUNA NEGRA DANCE THEATER 10/16 It’s a new moon for Luna Negra when the troupe’s new artistic director hits town.

CHICAGO OPERA THEATER 10/29–11/7 Pop-up restaurants, pop-up shops. What’s next, pop-up opera? Yes—and it’s free.


Photography: (Brennan) Chicago Tribune archive photo by Bill Hogan, (sparkle) elly99/, (Mixtec Bell) © Craig Chesek/AMNH, (Dancer) Cheryl Mann