Michael Shannon
WHEN A WRONG MAKES A WRIGHT Michael Shannon (above) stars in Craig Wright’s Mistakes Were Made.


Don’t-miss picks for Wed 09.02.09 through Tue 09.08.09:


theatre Mistakes Were Made
Revolutionary Road’s Oscar-nominated mental patient, Michael Shannon, returns to the theatre he cofounded for Craig Wright’s new black comedy. We follow suit.
GO: Sep 8–Oct 18. $15-$30. A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N Wells. 312-943-8722


concerts Jazz Club Tour
The run-up to Jazz Fest (see "Freebies," below) includes this hop-on, hop-off trolley tour of the city’s full-time, occasional, and not-really jazz rooms, featuring local players in clubs from Uptown (saxophonist Frank Catalano at the Green Mill) to Lincoln Square (keyboard whiz Justin Dillard at the Old Town School of Folk Music) to the South Side, and everywhere in between.
GO: Sep 2 at 6. $25-$30. Details: jazzinchicago.org


concerts The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
These New York newcomers combine guitar hooks and sunny, ’60s-flavored melodies with familiar postpunk touchstones (think Joy Division and Morrissey). The result? Irresistible indie pop.
GO: Sep 8 at 8. $13-$15. Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N Kedzie. ticketweb.com


farrago The Encyclopedia Show
The Green Mill Poetry Slam is so traditional, so familiar, so … T. rex-less. Enter The Encyclopedia Show, a monthly slam and then some, with each installment dedicated to a different topic. Next up? Dinosaurs. In addition to a roster of poets riffing on raptors—including the National Poetry Slam champ Roger Bonair-Agard—this week’s lineup includes a chat with the renowned U. of C. paleontologist Paul Sereno. Bonus: The show’s BYOB.
GO: Sep 2 at 7:30. $6. Chopin Theatre, 1543 W Division. encyclopediashow.com


theatre Million Dollar Quartet
In a just-announced coup, Quartet, the Jeff-nominated musical that’s been running nonstop in Chicago since last fall, will open on Broadway next spring. If you haven’t checked out this foot-tapper yet—about the singular day in 1956 when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins converged on Sun Records in Memphis—go now. It’s not too late to claim I-saw-it-when bragging rights.
GO: Tickets currently on sale through Oct 25. $59.50-$70. Apollo Theater, 2540 N Lincoln. milliondollarquartetlive.com


concerts Chicago Jazz Festival
Though lacking the swagger of last year’s towering Sonny Rollins–Ornette Coleman bookends, Jazz Fest’s 31st edition still packs a wallop. Not sure how to attack the swinging free-for-all? Our picks include the hypervirtuosic pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba (Fri at 8:30), Dave Holland Big Band (Sat at 8:30), and the AACM legend Muhal Richard Abrams (Fri at 3 and 6; Sun at 8:30), plus daylight sets from the local vets Jason Adasiewicz on vibraphone (Fri at 2:20) and Dan Cray on piano (Sat at 1:10). Bonus: top-shelf aftershows at Velvet Lounge.
GO: Sep 4-6 from 11 to 9:30. Grant Park, Jackson and Columbus. chicagojazzfestival.us

farrago Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City
Centennial toasts to Daniel Burnham’s Plan of Chicago are nearly as plentiful as cabs on the Boul Mich. But not every nod takes place in a Burnham-envisioned space—i.e., the city’s lush lakefront lawn—or features Governor Pat Quinn as guest speaker. For history buffs, the civic-minded, and those who just like watching movies outdoors, we recommend this documentary premiere.
GO: Sep 2 at 7:30. Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph. millenniumpark.org


Talk about social climbing: On Oct 25, 100 daredevil types will rappel down the 27-story facade of The Wit Hotel in a feat of urban bravado. If you hear your inner thrill seeker calling, go to lungchicago.org to register. Spots are limited, and participants must commit to a minimum donation of $1,000, which goes to the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago. But the views? Priceless.

PHOTOGRAPH: Katrina Wittkamp