Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright
SHAKESPEARE. SIGH. Rufus Wainwright presents his Ravinia co-commission,
5 Shakespeare Sonnets,
this week.


Don’t-miss picks for Wed 08.10.11 through Tue 08.16.11:


classical Rufus Wainwright
The New York–based singer-songwriter’s latest venture is also his boldest: a crack at joining the ranks of Verdi, Berlioz, and Britten by setting the Bard to music. Hear the CSO play his 5 Shakespeare Sonnets, a Ravinia co-commission, then stick around for Wainwright doing what he does best: piano pop that’s pure pomp. Bonus: Find out why Wainwright says all Chicagoans seem drunk come August.
GO: 8/14 at 5. $25­–$50. Ravinia, Lake Cook and Green Bay, Highland Park.

ALSO THIS WEEK: Have you heard? Word on the street is the Chicago Sinfonietta’s new music director, Mei-Ann Chen, rocks it. Catch her official debut leading the orchestra in a free concert 8/14 in Millennium Park.


farrago World’s Fair of Money
It can’t buy happiness, but it can buy admission to this goldmine for numismatists (if you don’t know, you’re not one). In addition to international coins and bills galore, the traveling showcase includes an exhibit organized by the U.S. Treasury Department that features more than $1 billion in historic currency and live demos of a Civil War–era money printing press. Plus, in a stroke of fate that’s either pure genius or downright sinister, the brand new Rivers Casino is less than a mile and a half away. Ka-ching!
GO: 8/16–20 from 9 to 5:30. Free (kids under 13) to $6 per day. Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N River, Rosemont.


galleries Built Festival
Take the Guerrilla Truck Show, subtract the U-Hauls, Penskes, and high-end furniture; add shipping containers and work by local artists and printmakers; and voilá: the first ever Built Festival—or at least that’s how we understand it. Experience the moveable eye-feast for yourself when the guys behind Art on Track roll their new endeavor into Bucktown. One other difference worth noting: Unlike Guerrilla, this gig isn’t free.
GO: 8/12 from 5 to 10:30, 8/13 from noon to 10:30. $10. 1767 N Milwaukee.


galleries Slow and Low
Get your mind out of the smoker: We’re talking sweet rides, not barbecue. Chicago Urban Art Society curates this lowrider convention, featuring the jaw-dropping bodywork of some 23 local car clubs. An all-day party sets up shop in the gallery, but the event’s highlight, no doubt, will be the neighborhood cruise from 8 to 9 p.m.
GO: 8/14 from 11 to 9. Free (kids under 6) to $10. Chicago Urban Art Society, 2229 S Halsted.


film The Interrupters
The Siskel hosts the long-awaited Chicago premiere of this documentary, from Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and Alex Kotlowitz (There Are No Children Here—and also our very first Off the Grid writer-in-residence), about three former felons turned Chicago antiviolence activists. Fourteen of the 26 scheduled screenings will be followed by discussions with members of the filmmaking team. If a director is willing to sit through seven showings of his film in just over a week, you can rest assured he thinks the subject matter is important. Buy your ticket now.
GO: 8/12–25; see website for showtimes. $4–$11. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State.


Fashion designer Maria Pinto
Maria Pinto

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Maria Pinto, the fashion designer who rose to fame dressing Michelle Obama and now serves as the women’s creative director of Mark Shale. Also? A native Chicagoan, which we love.

“I have a friend coming in from out of town, so it’s a good weekend to be active—much better than last weekend, when I was just coming back from a crazy week in New York. She’s flying in late on Friday, then we’ll probably go to the Green Mill to hear some jazz.

“My friend hasn’t been to Mark Shale yet and I’m excited to show her what I’ve been doing, so we’ll probably do a little shopping on Saturday and she can see all of the new collections I just bought for the store, including Matin De Mai, an exclusive out of Paris. Then we’ll be so close, we’ll go to one of my favorite spots for lunch, Le Colonial.

“And dinner at Sepia, my absolute favorite. I’m very good friends with the owner and the chef, who’s always trying new things. The Sepia Mule [ginger-infused Moon Mountain organic vodka, lime, ginger beer; $12] is always a good start. I want to be sure to take my friend to places that are really unique to Chicago, so maybe Violet Hour afterward.

“Sunday will be a slower morning, but we’ll go to the Modern Wing and for a walk through the Lurie Garden. Summer is so great in Chicago, I want to be sure and take advantage of it.”


galleries Found Sound: Chicago
If the only noises you’ve heard coming from the alley involve errant fireworks and superfluous honking, prepare to open your mind—and ears: This inaugural day of sonic art brings pop-up performances to sidewalks and garages across Ukrainian Village. Warning: Outdoor voices may ensue.
GO: 8/13. Schedule and locations:

jazz Ryan Cohan, Geof Bradfield
Cohan, a pianist, and Bradfield, a saxophonist, explored Africa together in 2008, then returned home to write and record independent, and impressive, suites influenced by their trip: Cohan’s The River, Bradfield’s African Flowers. Hear both in African Journeys, part of the city’s annual Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz lineup.
GO: 8/11 at 6:30. Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Washington.

farrago Star Party
And you thought Chicago’s recent rainstorms were crazy. The NASA astrophysicist and Wisconsin native Michelle Thaller discusses wild extraterrestrial weather as part of a stargazing party in the parking lot of one of our favorite exploratoriums.
GO: 8/12 at 8:30. American Science & Surplus, 5316 N Milwaukee.

film Movies in the Parks: Grant Park
It happened so quietly you may not have noticed, but two years after the Chicago Outdoor Film Festival in Grant Park was canned due to budget cuts, movies have returned to the Loop’s backyard, now under the citywide Movies in the Parks banner. Dr. No? Yes, please.
GO: Dr. No (8/16); A Raisin in the Sun (8/23); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (8/30). All films at dusk. Grant Park, Balbo and Columbus. Full schedule:


Photograph: (WAINWRIGHT) Courtesy of Ravinia Festival