'Mythbusters' hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage
THE MEN, THE MYTHS Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, hosts of the Discovery
Channel series MythBusters, visit the Museum of Science and Industry on 3/15 to
help unveil MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition.


Don’t-miss picks for Wed 3.14.12 through Tue 3.20.12:


museums MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition
The Museum of Science and Industry debuts this 8,000-square-foot exhibit—based on the popular Discovery Channel series—with 14 interactive displays that aim to confirm or debunk common myths. Take, for example, the old saying that running to escape the rain really makes you more drenched. At MSI’s exhibition, you might get wet, but you’ll finally know whether it's true or false. Also: On 3/15, the hosts of the MythBusters series, including Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, stop by the museum at 10:30 a.m. for the exhibit’s official premiere.
GO: 3/15–9/3. Timed-entry tickets required, $18–$25, which include general admission. Open daily 9:30–4. Extended spring break hours: see MSI website. 57th and Lake Shore. msichicago.org


film Sound of Silent Film Festival
An artier brew and view, this annual fest, presented by Access Contemporary Music, premieres live new-music soundtracks by local composers for modern silent films—including La jetée, the director Chris Marker’s groundbreaking 1962 science-fiction flick.
GO: 3/16–17 at 7:30, 3/18 at 3. $8–$20. Chopin Theatre, 1543 W Division. acmusic.org


festivals St. Patrick’s Day
The Windy City was going green before it was trendy. This year marks the Chicago River's 50th emerald dye job. Celebrations continue a little ways south, with more than 25 marching bands, 40 floats, and thousands of onlookers congregating for the annual Irish-themed extravaganza.
GO: 3/17. Dyeing of the river: 10. Free. Chicago River near Michigan and Wacker. Parade: 12. Free. Columbus from Balbo to Monroe. chicagostpatsparade.com


galleries Yto Barrada: Riffs
The Western world knows Tangier as a notorious spy haven and a setting for espionage films, but in this coolly conceptual exhibit of Barrada’s photographs, the North African enclave is where ordinary people live, work, and, in some cases, dream of crossing the border.
GO: 3/18–4/22. Renaissance Society, U of C, 5811 S Ellis. renaissancesociety.org


rock The Black Keys
A guitar-and-drums duo would have to make a pretty big sound to fill the United Center. The Black Keys and their woozy, 70s-style blues-rock seem up for the challenge.
GO: 3/19 at 7:30 $39–$59. United Center, 1901 W Madison. ticketmaster.com


Megan Stielstra
Megan Stielstra

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Megan Stielstra, an Uptown resident and the author of Everyone Remain Calm, a collection of short stories published last year. She’s the literary director for 2nd Story, a local organization that promotes live storytelling, and teaches creative writing and writing and performance at Columbia College and The University of Chicago. This weekend, Stielstra hosts a kick-off party for Columbia College’s Story Week Festival of Writers, which runs March 18th through 23rd and is free to the public (see more details below).

My family lives in a condo the size of a closet, and I have a four-year-old son and a really big dog. Now that it’s finally warm, we’re all going to Lincoln Park Zoo on Friday so everyone can run around. After that, we’ll head to Bistro Campagne in Lincoln Square. They have the absolute best garden in the city, and their martinis aren’t bad either.

On Saturday, my kid and I are going to North Park Village Nature Center. After that, we’ll eat at Costello’s, a sandwich shop in Lincoln Square. They show old Bugs Bunny cartoons, and there are always lots of kids running around. In the middle of the afternoon, though, they have live music. I never went there before I had my son, but the atmosphere lets me hold on to some of my old, pre-parenting life. Then we’re heading to Women and Children First in Andersonville, where I’m going to pick up Wild, the new memoir by Cheryl Strayed. Later Saturday, I have a sitter coming so I can run out to Paper Machete, a live weekly magazine show at Horseshoe, where it’s performed and recorded for WBEZ. I’m a staff writer for the show, but I’m not performing this week. It’s just always a raucous, really good time.

Sunday morning, I’m in rehearsal for a show called Listen to Your Mother that I’m performing in May 6th. It’s being staged in multiple cities in honor of Mothers Day, and it funds local charities that support single moms and other mothers in need. Then all Sunday afternoon and night, I’ll be at the 2nd Story kick-off party for Story Week. I’m hosting this year, and we’re at Buddy Guy’s Legends. We’ll have storytellers and the band Seeking Wonderland is playing, too. It’s always a great time.


festivals Story Week Festival of Writers: Surviving the American Dream
Columbia College presents six days of readings, author conversations, panels, performances, book signings, and films about getting by and ahead in America. The lineup of writers includes Audrey Niffenegger, Irvine Welsh, and other local bold-faced names, as well as up-and-comers such as Samuel Park (This Burns My Heart).
GO: 3/18–23. Locations and schedule: colum.edu/storyweek