WHO’S THE BOSS? Contributors to 50 Aldermen/50 Artists include Eric Lebofsky (that’s his take on John Rice) and Jennifer Greenburg, who photographed Ed Burke.
FREEBIES OF THE WEEK
Our top five picks for things to do this week: The free stuff gets top billing, which means you have no excuse to stay home.
galleries 50 Aldermen/50 Artists
So simple it’s genius: 50 portraits of all 50 Chicago aldermen by 50 different artists. The project comes from the minds of locals Jeremy Scheuch and Lauri Apple, who—in addition to asking all participating artists to sit down with their aldermanic subjects for getting-to-know-you chats—have invited the entire city council to the portraits’ unveiling. There’s no roll call planned (though good bets include Vi Daley and George Cardenas, who stopped by the project’s kick-off party back in February), but let’s just say we’ll be counting heads, machine-style.
GO: Opening Mar 19: 7-11. Show continues through Apr 2. Johalla Projects, 1561 N Milwaukee. chicagoaldermenproject.blogspot.com
theatre American Theater: Writing for Change
Miss this talk, and you can go ahead and hand in your I-love-Chicago-theatre card. Together onstage, a panel of the best and brightest emerging playwrights shoot the bull about what makes theatre viable—vital, even—in Chicago and beyond. The cast: Young Jean Lee, the genre-busting Korean American provocateur whose neovaudevillian romp The Shipment (onstage at the MCA Mar 26-28) tackles the subject of being black in America; Kristoffer Diaz, whose play The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity earned a lovefest of critical reviews last year and opens off-Broadway next month; Tanya Saracho, who tackled the no-small-feat of staging Sandra Cisneros’s modern-day classic, The House on Mango Street; and Tarell Alvin McCraney, the newly named Joyce Award winner whose Brother/Sister Plays are currently tearing up Steppenwolf.
GO: Mar 23 at 6. Reservations recommended: 312-397-4010. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago. mcachicago.org
concerts Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
ALSO THIS WEEK: A double header at the Old Town School offers a chance to sample the past and future of Latin jazz, as the Chicago-based, Nicaraguan-born pianist Darwin Noguera sets the stage for the Cuban trumpeter and Dizzy Gillespie associate Arturo Sandoval.
theatre Uncle Vanya
ALSO THIS WEEK: A Life, starring not just John Mahoney but a whole A List of local actors, opens, as does the Chicago premiere ofBilly Elliot, starring four twirling Billys and a score by Elton John.
dance Thodos Dance Chicago
museums Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917
Illustration: Eric Lebofsky (Rice), Photograph: Jennifer GreenburG (Burke, detail)