Mónica Cervantes Rodriguez of Luna Negra Dance Theater
NEW MOVES Luna Negra Dance Theater, a Chicago-based troupe, premieres new
works including a dance by Mónica Cervantes Rodriguez (pictured) on 6/7 at the
Museum of Contemporary Art.


Don’t-miss picks for Wed 6.6.12 through Tue 6.12.12:


dance Luna Negra Dance Theater
With Luna Nueva, an inaugural festival of new works, the Chicago-based troupe for contemporary Latino dance offers up plenty of heady angst. Case in point: A restaging of the artistic director Gustavo Ramirez Sansano’s En Busca de (In Search of), a darkly lit postmodern display of writhing dancers who appear to be strangled by their own limbs. Heavy.
GO: 6/7 at 7:30. $10–28. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago. mcachicago.org


classical Echo Effect Chamber Music Series
This concert series by CSO musicians pairs Art Institute exhibits with tunes. Here, the pop artist Roy Lichtenstein’s work inspires a program including Jean Francaix, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and a historically incongruous but lovely piece by Ravel. Guided gallery tours are offered after each concert.
GO: 6/10 at 2. $26. Fullerton Hall, Art Institute, 111 S Michigan. artic.edu


folk Willie Nelson & Family
The country legend quickly dispatches the classics in his repertoire, which is understandable—though somewhat disappointing. But his distinctive drawl, offbeat singing, and maverick guitar solos are as compelling as ever. And so is the story of his outlaw country beginnings, recently told by the man himself—among others who lived to relive the tale—here.
GO: 6/7 at 7:30. $43–85. Genesee Theatre, 203 N Genesee, Waukegan. geneseetheatre.com


comedy TBS Just for Laughs Chicago
Aziz Ansari and Patton Oswalt are just a couple of the comedy stars coming to town for this fest, which kicks off with a visit from Team Coco. O’Brien brings Conan—and guests including Andy Samberg, Adam Sandler, and Chicago’s own youth-quaking rap band Kids These Days—to the Chicago Theatre for a week of free tapings, starting 6/11.
GO: 6/11–6/17. Schedule, prices, locations: justforlaughschicago.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: A homegrown all-female comedy fest, Chicago Women’s Funny Festival, kicks off its inaugural run this weekend, packing in performances by hundreds of funny gals from across the United States.


art MCA DNA: New York School
Kline, de Kooning, Rothko, and other abstract expressionist heavies are showcased in this exhibition, drawn from the MCA’s own collection. Some of the paintings may look familiar—a few are often pulled into MCA survey shows—but overall it’s an opportunity to see lesser-known works.
GO: 6/9–9/9. Open Tues 10–8, Wed–Sun 10–5. Free (kids under 13) to $12; free Tues for Illinois residents. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago. mcachicago.org


Lee Crandell
Lee Crandell

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Lee Crandell, Director of Campaigns for the Active Transportation Alliance, a pro-cycling organization that launches its 2012 Bike Commuter Challenge on 6/9. The bike-friendly competition leads into the city-sponsored Bike To Work Week, which runs 6/11 through 6/15.

Friday, I’ll be biking home from work, and I’ll probably stop by Fish Bar in Lake View. I live a couple blocks from there, and my partner, David, and I go often. They have lots of seafood small plates—fried things, grilled fresh things. We usually get the fried clams and grilled scallops.

Saturday is a busy day. It’s the first day of the Bike Commuter Challenge, and I’ll be celebrating by representing Active Transportation Alliance at a public meeting and presentation of Streets for Cycling Plan 2020. Part of my job is rallying Chicagoans around world-class bike routes, and the plan is a roadmap that aims to make biking safe and easy for everyone, regardless of age. After that, I’m checking out the new exhibit, Bus Rapid Transit: Next Stop Chicago, at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Then depending on the weather, I’d like to ride my bike north and have a picnic on the lakefront.

On Sunday, I’ll be one of the hosts of the Bike Lake View neighborhood ride. It leaves from Waveland Avenue and Seminary Avenue every second Sunday at 10 a.m. It’s a family-friendly, leisurely bicycle ride through side and quiet streets. It’s easy to tag along. We usually end with coffee at a local business, though I don’t know where we’ll go this time. Other than that, my only other plans are later in the day, when I’ll be having friends over for dinner and cocktails.


blues Chicago Blues Festival
You can’t deny the steadily declining state of Chicago’s once-essential blues, which could explain why a gospel singer (albeit the reliably stirring Mavis Staples) closes out the city’s annual fest for the genre at 7:45 on 6/10. Even still, the lineup features plenty of bright spots, including Billy Branch and Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials.
GO: 6/8–6/10; Free. Grant Park, Columbus and Jackson. chicagobluesfestival.us


Photography: (LUNA NEGRA) Cheryl Mann; (CRANDELL) Courtesy of Lee Crandell