Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, November 20, through Tuesday, November 26
1 Cameron Esposito
Comedy: Like Jay Leno said after the former Chicagoan’s network TV debut on Late Night with Craig Ferguson: “White men are on their way out! Lesbians rule!”
11/26 at 8:30 p.m. $15 plus two-item minimum. Zanies, 1548 N Wells. chicago.zanies.com
2 Joshua Redman Quartet
Jazz: Quick-fingered saxophonist Joshua Redman and his thrilling quartet, plus local pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, ensures that this is one of the best jazz concerts of the fall.
11/22 at 8 p.m. $28–$88. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan. cso.org
3 Choreography Showcase
Dance: Choreographer Kate Jablonski’s enthusiastic, pop-driven work is the must-see in an otherwise mixed bag of events put on by the folks of Dance Chicago, which is now in its 19th year.
11/23 at 8 p.m. $17–$30. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N Southport. dancechicago.com
4 Chicago Book Expo
Literature: Book lovers, this expo is for you. In addition to a pop up bookstore and sessions offering publishing and writing advice, some of the city’s brightest literary minds, including Aleksandar Hemon and Samantha Irby, read excerpts of their work.
11/24 at 11 a.m. Free. St. Augustine College. 1345 W Argyle. chicagobookexpo.com
5 La Traviata
Opera: The trending New York director Arin Arbus helms this Lyric Opera production, which features the Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka as Violetta.
11/20–12/20. $34–$264. Lyric Opera, 20 N Wacker. lyricopera.org
What I’m Doing This Weekend
Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: musician and Young Chicago Authors director of communications Demetrius Amparan. Louder than a Bomb: University takes place at the Chicago Cultural Center from Friday, November 22 to Sunday, November 24.
“Friday, I’ll go to Louder Than A Bomb: University. It’s the college slam for the largest high school poetry festival in the country and it’s free and open to the public. On Friday, there will be three bouts that happen from 5 to 7 p.m. At 8, there’s an event called All Black Woman Everything at Claudia Cassidy; it will feature more established poets like Mo Brown and Kush Thompson.
“On Saturday, I love to go to Hollywood Grill in Wicker Park. I really like the nostalgia in there; it reminds you of an old classic diner. They have amazing pancakes and if you ask them nicely, they’ll put cinnamon on them. I also usually go to the studio Music Garage on Saturdays, even when I’m not recording. I like to hang out and listen to some up-and-coming artists.
“Sunday, I will try to relax with my daughter. There’s this person that teaches tumbling sessions at Union Park, but it might be too cold now. For lunch, I like to go to the Harold’s Chicken on Taylor and Western, because they’re the fastest.” —As told to Tomi Obaro
Freebie of the Week
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Readings: Daniel Day-Lewis couldn’t have nabbed his Oscar for Lincoln without this presidential historian, who wrote the book that became the much ballyhooed award-winning film. She discusses her latest project, a look at journalism during the Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft years.
11/21 at 6 p.m. Free. Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State. chipublib.org