An actor rehearsing for ‘Other Desert Cities’
A NEW JOPLIN? The beguiling Grace Potter takes the stage at the Riviera.


Don’t-miss picks for Wed 1.16.13 through Tue 1.22.13:


concerts Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Potter’s powerful Janis Joplin-esque vocals and captivating stage presence (along with bluesy instruments) light up the Riviera this weekend.
GO: 1/18 at 7:30; $28.50. Riviera Theatre, 4746 N Racine.


art Tom Tormluemke: Fearsome Fable—Tolerable Truth
Immerse yourself in Tormluemke’s 170-foot interactive mural, which tells two stories—one of utopia and one of decay—at the Hyde Park Art Center.
GO: 1/20 at 3; free. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S Cornell.


performance Mummenschanz
The 40-year-old Swiss troupe eschews traditional miming with a fantastical nonverbal show, where everyday objects (think toilet paper and boxes) and bizarrely shaped props come to life.
GO: 1/18 at 7:30; $25–$55. Harris Theatre, 205 E Randolph.


concerts Tomorrow Never Knows Festival
Who says music festivals are a summer affair? Chicago’s winter rock fest takes advantage of the long nights with a fully-stocked roster of buzz-worthy bands.
GO: 1/16–20; $15–$100. Details:


theatre The Magnificents
Dennis Watkins, the House Theatre’s resident Houdini, pens a quasi-autobiographical play about a young boy and his magician grandfather.
GO: 1/18–3/10; $25. House Theatre and Chopin Theatre, 1543 W Division.


Brett Batterson
Brett Batterson

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Brett Batterson, the Auditorium Theatre executive director. The Auditorium Theatre’s annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz Gospel Messiah, is on 1/19 and 20.

“This Friday I'm going to take my wife Veronica to dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Aurora, La Quinta de los Reyes. They have a mariachi band and handmade guacamole at the table, so it's our favorite. After that, we will probably go for a nightcap at the Hollywood Casino in Aurora. We tend to stick to the cheap slot machines, the penny and nickel slots. If we come home with $20, we're in heaven.

“Saturday, Veronica and I will go to Gateway Riding Center, where we go every Saturday morning. We both have had a long-held interest in horses and we just wanted to find a hobby that we both enjoyed. After I scrub the smell of horse off me, I'll head downtown and check into the Palmer House where I’ll stay for the weekend. That evening I’ll head to the Auditorium Theatre. We have our Fireside Chat at 6:00, which is a pre-performance talk with the artist from Too Hot to Handel. The performance of Too Hot to Handel is at 7:30. After, we’ll all go to Miller's Pub on Wabash for a late dinner. It's convenient, it's close, it's open late, and has good food.

“Sunday morning I'll head back to the Auditorium Theatre to attend the Willow Creek Chicago church service. It’s a little known fact that we have the Willow Creek Chicago church service there every Sunday. Later that night I’ll head home, pick up some dinner at Go Roma in Warrenville, which has great carryout Italian. At home, my wife and I will watch Downton Abbey with the rest of the world.” —As told to Emmet Sullivan


art Open House: Art About the Home
Everything is art! The artist Alberto Aguilar riffs on the house-as-museum idea by filling the Elmhurst Art Museum galleries with sculptures made from everyday items like houseplants and toys.
GO: 1/19 at 6:30. 150 S Cottage Hill, Elmhurst.


Photograph: (Potter) Williams & Hirakawa