Photo by Chris Beirens
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is a classic tale of wealth, privilege, consequence, and the schism between the haves and have-nots. It’s also, as you probably remember from high school, a full-length book—which means Gatz, a marathon theatrical staging of the unabridged novel by the New York troupe Elevator Repair Service, runs a good six-plus hours. Even more remarkable? Scott Shepherd, who plays the narrator Nick Carraway, has the entire book memorized. The play—presented in two acts, with a one-hour dinner break in between—starts 3 p.m. daily Friday the 14th through Sunday the 16th at the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago Ave.; 312-397-4010). Tickets are $32 to $40.
Best Bets for Things to Do This Week
Top-notch indies of the rock and classical worlds convene when Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche joins the new-music ensemble Eighth Blackbird in concert 7:30 p.m. Tuesday the 18th at the Harris Theater (205 E. Randolph Dr.; 312-334-7777). But that’s not all: Further genre-bending ensues when the group tackles a new interpretation of local son Common’s “The Corner,” originally a duet with Kanye. Tickets are $30.
You can’t underestimate Oprah’s seal of approval. Sometimes it helps win a presidency; sometimes it sells oodles of books. O-anointed author David Wroblewski discusses his bestseller The Story of Edgar Sawtelle with Victoria Lautman 6 p.m. Monday the 17th at the Harold Washington Library Center (400 S. State St.; 312-747-4050). Admission is free.
Don’t come looking for an exposé: Accuracy isn’t really the point of the Obie-winning A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant. If, however, you’re in need of a laugh, this tongue-in-cheek musical attempts to untangle the group’s tenets and the story of founder L. Ron Hubbard. Previews begin 8 p.m. Friday the 14th at A Red Orchid Theatre (1531 N. Wells St.; 312-943-8722); the show opens Sunday the 16th and runs through December 28th. Tickets are $20 to $25.
It’s been 56 years since the Gershwin masterpiece Porgy and Bess last graced the Civic Opera House stage. Don’t wait for the Haley’s Comet of opera to come back around; do get tickets to this production, mounted by the Washington National Opera for the Lyric (20 N. Wacker Dr.; 312-332-2244). The show runs November 18th through December 19th; seats are $32 to $197.
Darn that Jon Langford. He’s making the rest of us look bad. The multitalented musician, who plays in bands from the Mekons to the Waco Brothers, is also an accomplished painter with a show of new works at Thomas Masters Gallery (245 W. North Ave.; 312-440-2322). But don’t let jealousy get in the way of a good time: The show’s opening Friday the 14th from 5 to 8 p.m. features a performance by rockabilly royalty Rosie Flores and complimentary Three Floyds beer.