Eighth Wonder of Chicago

Chicago’s globe-trotting, Grammy-winning sextet Eighth Blackbird wraps up a much-lauded tour, including an acclaimed performance at Carnegie Hall, back on home turf, 7:30 p.m. Thursday the 29th at the Harris Theater (205 E. Randolph Dr.; 312-334-7777). The night’s program, The Only Moving Thing, plays out like a who’s who of cutting-edge composers (Steve Reich, David Lang, Michael Gordon, and Julia Wolfe, plus the seminal choreographer Susan Marshall), all of whom contributed new commissions for the ’Birds. Tickets are $30, but entering the code “MOVING” at harristheaterchicago.org now through Tuesday the 27th will get you half-price seats. Or, hear the music then shake hands with its performers, plus Reich and Wolfe, at an aftershow gala—featuring a second, more intimate performance—for $180.

Best Bets for Things to Do This Week:

Luna Negra Dance Theater
Photo: Audia

Watch those elbows: There’s art everywhere you turn at Encuentro, a sneak peek of new works-in-progress by Luna Negra Dance Theater, set amidst the sculptures of ceramicist Tyler Lotz at Dubhe Carreño Gallery (1841 S. Halsted St.; 312-337-6882). The party begins 6 p.m. Thursday the 29th and includes live music, tapas, and cocktails. Tickets are $50 per person or $80 per couple; all proceeds benefit Luna Negra. .

Prep those necks for fireworks season—you know, all that upward craning—with a new show by Aloft Loft (937 N. California Ave.; 773-507-2604). The aerial dance team swings from enormous props (think lampshades and clotheslines) during the full-length Dinner of our Discontent. The final three shows take place 8 p.m. Friday the 23rd, Saturday the 24th, and Sunday the 25th. Tickets, $20 to $30, are available at brownpapertickets.com.

It’s cheaper than filling up the tank—and a heck of a lot more satisfying. Local playwright Brett Neveu’s Gas for Less takes a look at gentrification in Chicago through the lens of a struggling mom-and-pop gas station on the North Side. Previews begin Saturday the 24th  at 8 p.m., and the show runs through June 22nd at the Goodman Theatre (170 N. Dearborn St.; 312-443-3800). Tickets are $23 to $38.

John Patrick Shanley—the triple-crown Tony-, Oscar-, and Pulitzer-winner who mined his Bronx stomping ground for both Moonstruck and Doubt—returns to his roots for the autobiographical Beggars in the House of Plenty. The Chicago premiere, which tackles the author’s coming of age in the 1950s and 1960s, opens 8 p.m. Sunday the 25th and runs through June 29th at Angel Island (735 W. Sheridan Rd.; 773-871-0442). Tickets are $18 to $22.

There are only two reasons to wake up before dawn on a holiday weekend, and for cyclists, Bike the Drive is even better than Santa: It’s the only time all year when Lake Shore Drive is cleared of weaving cabs and ornery drivers. The 15-mile ride begins 5:30 a.m. Sunday the 25th at Grant Park (Michigan Avenue and Jackson Boulevard), and the road stays closed through 10:30 a.m. Fees range from $35 to $75; proceeds benefit the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation. Register at bikethedrive.org.