Alfresco Fanfare for Free

Call it a lesson in carpe sunny diem: If we’ve learned anything this spring, it’s that winter lurks around almost every corner. So if the weather cooperates on Tuesday, June 3rd, don’t dillydally inside; head outdoors for Tuesdays on the Terrace at the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago Ave.; 312-397-4010). First up in the annual alfresco jazz series is local rising-star trumpeter Corey Wilkes, whose repertoire ranges from classic standards to his own funky compositions. What’s more, admission is free, and it’s the last free day to catch the museum’s Karen Kilimnik exhibition, which closes Sunday, June 8th. The music begins at 5:30 p.m. on the MCA’s back patio.

Best Bets for Things to Do This Week

Also at the MCA: Everyone and his inflatable chrome rabbit is familiar with the iconic work of contemporary artist Jeff Koons. But nobody has seen it quite like this. The first major museum exhibition devoted to Koons in 15 years, curated with the artist’s approval, opens Saturday, May 31st. Admission is $10.

Forget Hillary Clinton. No one has greater reserves of hope than a true Cubs fan—and now locals have a new venue to espouse their thumb-to-the-nose-of-fate boosterism. Hear performers and writers, including Newsweek contributor Jonathan Alter and baseball expert and former Chicago staffer Jonathan Eig, at the latest installment of the Lovable Losers Literary Revue, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 4th at Wrigleyville’s El Jardin (3335 N. Clark St.). Admission is free, and attendees are invited to stick around and watch the San Diego game on TV. Details at

She doled out wit, candor, and homespun wisdom with level-headed panache, but drama lurked behind the scenes for advice columnist Ann Landers. Judith Ivey plays The Lady with All the Answers in a comic one-woman show adapted from Landers’s life and writing. The play opens 8 p.m. Friday the 30th at Northlight Theatre (9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie; 847-673-6300). Tickets are $35 to $55.

Psalms of a Questionable Nature
a psychological thriller by local 20-something wiz kid Marisa Wegrzyn, is onstage now through June 29th at Live Bait Theater (3914 N. Clark St.; 773-334-7728). The play follows a pair of estranged stepsisters who return home after their parents’ deaths to confront the demons in the basement. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; tickets run $15 to $20.

It’s not age-ist when everybody benefits: In celebration of Zanies Chicago’s 30th birthday, those over 30 receive free admission on Friday, May 30th to the 8:30 p.m. show; those under 30 get in free at 10:30 p.m.; and those who are 30 on the dot can waltz in, sans admission, to either show (1548 N. Wells St.; 312-337-4027). Tim Walkoe, the winner of America’s Funniest People, headlines. (For another dose of comedy, get details on the Chicago Improv Festival, running June 2nd through 8th, at

Festival season kicks off Friday, May 30th with the 24th annual Gospel Music Festival. Highlights among the 90-plus performances include a ladies night, Sunday, June 1st, featuring Lady Tramaine Hawkins and the Grammy-winning Clark Sisters in Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion (Michigan Avenue and Randolph Drive). The free fest runs 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday, May 30th, and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 31st and Sunday, June 1st; details at And that’s only the beginning. Close on gospel’s heels is the Chicago Blues Festival, starting Thursday, June 5th; find a full schedule at

Photo: Jeff Koons’s Rabbit, 1986.
Credit: Collection Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Partial gift of Stefan T. Edlis and H. Gael Neeson. © Jeff Koons.