Don’t-miss picks for Wed 10.9.13 through Tue 10.15.13:


jazz Herbie Hancock
The pianist’s status in the stratosphere will be confirmed in December when he receives his Kennedy Center Honors. Before then, catch the keys man with his touring quartet at the Symphony Center.
GO: 10/11 at 8. $38–$134. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan.


readings George Saunders
You know a writer has hit the jackpot when his commencement speech goes viral. Short story writer Saunders reads from his acclaimed Tenth of December.
GO: 10/9 at 6. Free. Rubloff Auditorium at the Art Institute of Chicago. 230 S Columbus Drive.


theatre Once
Don’t miss this highly-anticipated musical about a Dublin street musician who draws unlikely inspiration from a Czech piano player in this Tony winning adaptation of the 2007 film.
GO: 10/9–10/27. $27–$95. Broadway in Chicago at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W Randolph.


dance Fall Series
Hubbard Street Dance’s autumn series begins with four works, including the Chicago main stage debut of Robyn Mineko Williams and a world premiere by Alejandro Cerrudo.
GO: 10/10–13. $25–$99. Harris Theatre, 205 E Randolph.


film Chicago International Film Festival
A screening of James Gray-helmed The Immigrant, featuring Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard, followed by a Q&A with the director and a fancy reception at the Chicago Cultural Center, kicks off the 49th annual festival.
GO: 10/10 at 6. $25–$150. Chicago Theatre, 175 N State.


Matti Bunzl
Photo: L. Brian Stauffer

Matti Bunzl

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Matti Bunzl, artistic director of the Chicago Humanities Festival, which begins on Sunday, October 13.

“Friday is going to be very relaxed. We’re probably going to have dinner somewhere in our Lake View neighborhood. My favorite restaurant is Ping Pong. It’s pan-Asian and has a nice setting and décor. Whenever I want to feel cool, that’s where I go.

“On Saturday, I’m hoping to go to Rhona Hoffman Gallery—they have a show of Judy Ledgerwood. She’s an amazing artist, I love her work.

“The other show I’m curious to see is at the Kavi Gupta Gallery—the Theaster Gates exhibit. I also don’t want to miss The Wheel at the Steppenwolf, with Joan Allen’s return—that’s a must-see.

“Sunday is the first day of the Chicago Humanities Festival. This year’s theme is ‘Animal: What Makes Us Human.’ It really came out of a sense that there’s all kinds of new work being done that sees what it means to be human by looking at animals. I’m going to be in the presence of Julia Kristeva, probably France’s most famous thinker. She uses psychoanalysis as an attempt to understand humans in a new way. Junot Diaz is going to close that day for us. It’ll be morning until night for me.” —As told to Tomi Obaro


jazz Remembering Jodie Christian
The pianist Miguel de la Cerna pays homage to the late Chicago keyboard man.
GO: 10/11 at 7. Free. West Pullman Park, 401 W 123rd St.