The Moving Architects copresent
1,001 Afternoons in Chicago

1,001: A Chicago Odyssey

Ben Hecht’s screenplay The Front Page has launched a remarkable four incarnations to date, including the 1940 Cary Grant/Rosalind Russell classic, His Girl Friday, so it seemed likely his work had some legs left yet. Another item from Hecht’s oeuvre that’s even more beloved than Friday—locally, at least—gets its own music and dance adaptation this week when Accessible Contemporary Music and The Moving Architects present 1,001 Afternoons in Chicago, based on the book-length compilation of Hecht’s long-running Chicago Daily News column. The performances, which pair theatrical choreography with a Jazz Age score, take place 2 p.m. Saturday the 14th at Curtiss Hall in the Fine Arts Building (410 S. Michigan Ave., 10th floor), followed by an architecture tour, and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday the 18th at the Music Institute of Chicago (1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston), preceded by a talk with the Tribune’s Rick Kogan and the Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door; visit

Best Bets for Things to Do This Week


In what we imagine is only the beginning of a string of Olympic-themed stunts aimed to ramp up excitement for the city’s 2016 bid, the 1996 U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team—featuring the unforgettable vaulting-while-wounded champ Kerri Strug—presents an exhibition on rings, balance beam, and floor. The now late 20s and 30-something crew hoofs it inside the Great Hall of Union Station (210 S. Canal St.) from 8 to 10 a.m. Thursday the 19th. The event is free.

The controversial political satire War, Inc.—starring hometown heroes John and Joan Cusack, plus Marisa Tomei and Ben Kingsley—wasn’t originally scheduled for a Chicago release, but early buzz, mostly about some scene involving a scorpion and Hilary Duff, has earned it extra attention and extra screens. Catch it while you can starting Friday the 13th at Landmark Century Centre (2828 N. Clark St.) or Landmark Renaissance Place (1850 Second Pl., Highland Park); showtimes at

Country Music Hall of Famer and 12-time Grammy winner Emmylou Harris performs songs from her brand new album, All I Intended to Be, released this past Monday, amidst the trees in the Morton Arboretum (4100 S. Route 53, Lisle; 630-725-2066). The lawn opens at 4:30 p.m. and the show begins at 6 p.m. Saturday the 14th. Tickets are $42 to $50.

In an equally picturesque setting but with a much larger cast, the 150-member Dong Fang Chinese Performing Arts Association kicks off the outdoor Legacy Music Series at Garfield Park Conservatory (300 N. Central Park Ave.; 773-638-1766). The concert, featuring Chinese folk music, opera, and dance, begins at 7 p.m. Thursday the 19th. Tickets are $10 for general admission; $50 includes a preparty with appetizers and drinks.

The weather looks like it could hold, but even making like Gene Kelly and dancing in the rain would be worth it: Summerdance, one of the best uses of an evening alfresco, opens this weekend in the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park (601 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-742-4007). One hour of tips from pros leads into two hours of dancing with live music; styles change daily. Friday the 13th kicks off with two-stepping to honky-tonk at 6 p.m.; 6 p.m. Saturday the 14th is jitterbugging; and 4 p.m. Sunday the 15th is rumba. The event is free.

School’s barely out and the kids are climbing the walls already? Trot them over to the Kohl Children’s Museum (2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview; 847-832-6600) for the spectacular and interactive exhibition Chagall for Children, which runs through August 31st. Kids can use magnets to create a picture of Paris and animate a painting using a touch screen—not to mention get a lesson in art history without even realizing it. Admission is $7.50.

Photo by Peter McCullough