The title character from ‘Meet Vera Stark’
Photo: Courtesy of the Goodman Theatre

MEET VERA STARK Chuck Smith directs the spotlight on Lynn Nottage’s story of an African American actress in the 1930s


Don’t-miss picks for Wed 4.24.13 through Tue 4.30.13:


Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage shines a spotlight on an African American actress in the 1930s and her conflicted legacy.
GO: 4/27–5/2; $25–$81. Goodman Theatre, 170 N Dearborn.


classical ARS VIVA
The composer John Corigliano is celebrating his 75th birthday with a series of concerts around town. His Gazebo Dances kicks off a performance with the suburban orchestra that also includes Sibelius’s Second Symphony.
GO: 4/28 at 3. $36–$75. North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie, Skokie.


This young man’s take on the Dominican tradition of bachata music mixes African and Caribbean influences. Joyous and uplifting, these songs pulse with syncopated rhythms.
GO: 4/24 at 8:30; Free. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln.


Don’t believe the naysayers—Krall is not as numblingly bland as they say. She hits the town to promote her new album Glad Rag Doll.
GO: 4/27 at 8; $39.50–$95. The Chicago Theatre, 175 N State.


L.A. sisters Jennifer and Jessie Clavin, formerly of Mika Miko fame, have hit the road again with their new band Bleached. The music is short, sweet, and full of zingers. Brooklyn dark wave duo Hunters opens.
GO: 4/27 at 9:30.; $10. Subterranean, 2011 W North.


Ashley Wheater
Photo: Jim Luning

Ashley Wheater

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Ashley Wheater, artistic director of the Joffrey Ballet. The Joffrey’s final performance of Othello opens this Wednesday, April 24.

“Thursday is a free day for the company. For me, I have some meetings, but I will have a nice dinner in the evening. There’s a new restaurant on Division Street called Carriage House. I live in Wicker Park, and it’s always packed when I walk by. It looks like a good place for traditional Southern cooking. I want to try the grits and the crayfish. I recently went to Grace, and it was a total experience. It’s a performance within itself.

“We rehearse on Friday, but my favorite thing to do before a performance is going to The Gage. There’s nothing better than going there and getting a super, super dry, squeaky-clean vodka martini, and they have oysters from different parts of America every day.

“On Saturday, I’m moderating Meet the Artists at 1:00 p.m.It’s a pre-performance talk for anyone who has a ticket to Othello. We have a matinee and evening show, but I’ll take a break between performances and probably end up going to Mercat in the Blackstone Hotel. They do amazing tapas—grilled octopus, bacon and prunes. I love their roasted pardon peppers.

“Sunday I will go to Trencherman for brunch. It’s not your standard brunch fare. It’s the way they put spice and sweeter ingredients together, things like bitter chocolate with maybe eggs. I also like to walk around and end up at Big Star. A couple of pulled pork tacos and beers are great. I try to experience as much theatre as I can, so I will go to the Lyric Opera, which is opening with Oklahoma!, or the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. I want to find time to go to the Picasso exhibit [at the Art Institute]. I love Picasso’s work.” —As told to Amanda Sims


The MacArthur “genius” is known for his gorgeous descriptions of the American psyche and landscape. Hear him deliver the keynote speech for the 14th annual Chicago Public Library Poetry Fest.
GO: 4/27 at 2. Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State.