A scene from the play 'FML: How Carson McCullers Saved My Life'
THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER Steppenwolf for Young Adults premieres high-
school survival story FML: How Carson McCullers Saved My Life (above) on 2/28.


Don’t-miss picks for Wed 2.22.12 through Tue 2.28.12:


theatre FML: How Carson McCullers Saved My Life
If you saw Sarah Gubbins’s The Kid Thing, you know she’s a playwright of sass and brass. With this world premiere, the LaGrange native tells the story of a lesbian in the potentially toxic Petri dish of high school—an environment she can tolerate with the help of McCullers’s books.
GO: 2/28–3/18. $10–$20. Steppenwolf for Young Adults, 1650 N Halsted. steppenwolf.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Humphrey Bogart starred in the film version of The Petrified Forest, a tale of rain-slicked city nights, gangsters, and double-crossing dames. Shade Murray, once a reliably excellent regular in these parts, returns to direct the Strawdog Theatre Company revival, which begins previews on 2/23.


jazz Chicago Jazz Ensemble
CJE’s season with heavy-hitting guest artists nears its end with a doozy, the incendiary Puerto Rican alto saxophonist and MacArthur grant winner Miguel Zenon. He brings his fleet fingers and seemingly limitless imagination to Ornithology: The Music of Charlie “Bird” Parker.
GO: 2/24 at 7:30. $5–$48. Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph. chijazz.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: Big bands rule Elmhurst College Jazz Festival this weekend (2/23–26), when the college’s own talented student groups mix and mingle with guest outfits, including the legendary Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.


museums Genghis Khan
Bloodthirsty warmonger or esteemed diplomat? You decide, with the help of this exhibit-as-biodrama.
GO: 2/24–9/3. Open daily 9–5. General admission free (kids under 3) to $15; all-access passes $20–$29. Free general admission 2/22–23, 2/27–29; exhibit $12–$17. The Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore. fieldmuseum.org


shows International Kennel Club of Chicago
The events at one of the nation’s largest show-dog competitions are “benched,” meaning canines and trainers stay on the sidelines when they’re not competing. Spectators can approach the pups and talk to their handlers (who really know their shih tzu).
GO: 2/24–26 from 8 to 4. Free (kids under 13) to $18. McCormick Place Lakeside, 2301 S Lake Shore. ikcdogshow.com


tours The Great Migration: African American Heritage
The latest of the city’s Chicago Neighborhood Tours traces the tracks of African Americans who immediately made an imprint on the city’s culture after arriving from the South in the early to mid-20th century. Stops include Chicago's oldest African American church, Quinn A.M.E. Chapel.
GO: 2/25 from 10 to 2:30. $30–$35. Bus leaves from Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E Washington. chicagoneighborhoodtours.com


Kyle Vegter
Kyle Vegter

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Kyle Vegter, a composer and member of the five-person shadow puppetry company Manual Cinema. This week, Vegter’s score for the string quartet Chicago Q Ensemble accompanies FJORDS, a Poetry Foundation performance series 2/23–26. Each show begins with readings by Oregon-based poet Zachary Schomburg, followed by Manual Cinema’s shadow-puppet interpretations of the work. “It’s basically an hour-long movie of Zach’s poems, but with live performers and music,” Vegter says.

This weekend is going to be insane—I’ll pretty much be performing or getting ready for performances. Zach [Schomburg] is staying at my house in Uptown. We’d never met before this week, so I’m looking forward to showing him around the city when we have time. His book, FJORDS, will be available for sale at the Poetry Foundation shows, but it’s officially released during the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference in Chicago next week. He’s made a lot of changes since I first read the poems, so I’m excited to check it out.

Several friends also are in town for the weekend, and I assume we’ll be at Lula Café at least once or twice. A few Manual Cinema members live in Logan Square, and brunch at Lula is a company ritual. We tend to spend the whole day there and drink way too much coffee. After performances, we almost always head to The Whistler. Their Old Fashioned is the best in the city. We all order it.

After our last show Sunday, I’m going to sleep for 12 hours straight. Then Manual Cinema is taking the show on tour with Zach. It’s our first tour together, so there’ll be quite a bit of prep. I imagine we’ll take a couple days off, and then we’ll hit the road.

—As told to Lena Singer


talks DesirÉe Rogers and Common
Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing Company (and number 73 on Chicago’s list of the most powerful people in the city), joins rapper Common for an inspirational chat, aimed at young people, in celebration of Black History Month.
GO: 2/23 at 7. Tickets available at att.com/28days. Park West Theatre, 322 W Armitage.