The best events in Chicago, week of May 10 – 10 Things To Do News

on May10

10 May 2017 | 1:30 pm

Two years ago, the Museum of Science and Industry debuted an exhibit, designed in house, displaying a menagerie of cutting-edge robots that could, for example, play soccer against each other, deal blackjack or look and sound like a cute baby seal for therapeutic purposes. After traveling the country like Johnny Five, “Robot Revolution” has revolved back to its home charger for a repeat run, although, unrobotically, it’s not an exact replica. “Robot Revolution” redux raises the robot ranks with a Rubik’s Cube solver, a snake-meets-bug hexapod called Hex and a greeter humanoid called RoboThespian. May 11-Feb. 4, 2018. $9-$18 museum admission plus $9-$12 special exhibition ticket. Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive.

With most film festivals, potential attendees are left to their own devices to slog through the lineup, reading summaries and watching previews, to find their best guesses at the good ones, or maybe they rely on schmos like me to point out a few highlights. The real-live film-critic curators of the Chicago Critics Film Festival program only movies at least one of them personally vouches for, frequently from seeing it at a previous festival, pulling rank on my own selections. That said, I will point out that “Beach Rats” and “Dina” won awards at Sundance, “Mr. Roosevelt” is in 35mm and Aubrey Plaza (a.k.a. sorceress of sarcasm April Ludgate from “Parks and Recreation”) is scheduled to appear in person for “The Little Hours.” May 12-18. $10-$15 per film; $150 fest pass. Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave.

For its spring engagement, “Danc(e)volve: New Works Festival,” Hubbard Street Dance Chicago features four new and newish works from Chicago-based choreographers. The company world-premieres “Cloudline” by its longtime collaborator and ex-member Robyn Mineko Williams and an as-yet-unnamed work by the theatricalized-dance leader Julia Rhoads of Lucky Plush Productions. “Danc(e)volve” also involves the sympathetically parenthetical “Clan(device)” by Alice Klock and the duet “Berceuse” by Penny Saunders. May 10-14. $65. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave.

Quick—name a banjo player. If you didn’t pick Steve Martin (who clearly is more famous for other things), you probably chose Bela Fleck, who eponymized Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and has a trophy case full of Grammys, a decades-long bluegrass presence so sturdy he puts the joist in banjoist. Another good answer is Abigail Washburn, the clawhammer player also possessed of the kind of sepia-tinged, half-ironic voice that can engineer a minor-key version of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” Fleck and Washburn, joined both in a band and by their wedding bands, appear together this weekend, partially excerpting their Grammy-winning album “Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn.” Full disclosure/brag: I went to high school with Washburn. May 12, 8 p.m. $25-$85. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.

In the cultural prototype of him, Albert Einstein is old, unkempt, maybe playful with his tongue out, obscuring his young-man days. Before his smartest-man-in-the-world reign at Princeton, even before his patent time-filler of a job as a patent clerk, Einstein wrestled with physical life more than physics, fathering a baby girl, Lieserl, out of wedlock with a woman his parents disapproved of. Lieserl disappeared from the historical record two years later. Mark St. Germain’s play “Relativity,” framed with a reporter interviewing the familiarly frumpy Einstein, gravitates toward this story and its philosophical offshoots. The Chicago stage legend Mike Nussbaum, an actor old enough that he was born only two years after Einstein won the Nobel Prize, energizes Einstein. May 11-June 18. $15-$81. Northlight Theatre at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie.

In another woman-forgotten-to-history story embedded in a scientific setting this week, the one-woman show “The Other Mozart” visits the performance space at Fermilab. Maria Anna Mozart, nicknamed Nannerl, played as a child prodigy alongside Wolfgang, but as a career in music was considered girllike but not ladylike, she quit when she grew up. “The Other Mozart” unfolds in the pleats of an 18-foot-wide dress, with props hidden to illustrate Nannerl’s lost story, with multisensory accompaniment from original music by International Contemporary Ensemble standbys Nathan Davis and Phyllis Chen, as well as perfumes. May 13, 8 p.m. $13-$25. Ramsey Auditorium, Fermilab, Kirk Rd. and Pine St., Batavia.

Ending the world of Music of the Baroque’s 2016-17 season, Georg Philipp Telemann’s oratorio “The Day of Judgment” cyclones together four vocal soloists (including Ying Fang, a young soprano just sinking her teeth into what looks to be a promising career), full chorus and an orchestra bolstered by plenty of horns and timpani, a piece that’s a revelation to those who think of Telemann as innumerable interchangeable sonatas and concertos. “Day” quarters into four “contemplations,” featuring Jesus, John the Revelator, a chorus of Believers and a philosophy lecture’s worth of personified ideas such as Reason and Disbelief. The oratorio packs enough power and pizzazz that even people who stay far away from Telemann judge it deserving of resurrection. May 14-15. 7:30 p.m. $27-$75. May 14: North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. May 15: Harris Theater, 201 E. Randolph Drive.

The Chicago Sinfonietta extends the diversity visible onstage and in the audience to its choices of guest performers, ranging in past seasons from teenage soloists on concertos to dancers to a punk marching band. Its upcoming program, “Rightness in the Rhythm,” wields a rightness in its booking, matching the orchestra with the Marcus Roberts Trio, a jazz combo headlined by the blind pianist Roberts. Roberts here returns to a specialty in coloring George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with improvisation, jazzing up the solo parts while the orchestra plays what’s notated, an arrangement he has performed in decades past at the Grant Park Music Festival and Ravinia. Sometimes the Sinfonietta’s partnerships devolve into pleasant-enough strange-bedfellow double-bills; here they’re integrated. May 12 & 15. $10-$99. May 12: Wentz Concert Hall, North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. May 15: Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.

Vin Chicago periodically holds tasting events at its stores, but tasters don’t stray outside the store. On Thursday, Vin cultivates the selections at Lincoln Park Uncorked, a chamber-of-commerce meander along Armitage and Halsted for a progressive tasting of more than 30 wines, punctuated by hors d’oeuvres, trips into the brisk air and discussions of stone-fruit and spice-box notes. Tickets to the tannin salon are cheaper for those who plan. May 11, 6-9 p.m. $34-$40. Armitage from Sheffield to Halsted, and Halsted from Armitage to Dickens.

Well-timed to this month’s release of season 5 of “House of Cards,” Kevin Spacey comes to town to accept the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Renaissance Award at its annual gala this weekend. Between drinks and dinner, he’ll converse with the actor Jeremy Piven (“Entourage”), maybe about Spacey’s roles in “K-Pax” and “Fred Claus,” and possibly his two Oscar-winning parts as well. Get in touch with Dionne Nicole Smith (dsmith16@saic.edu or 312-846-2072) for tickets. May 13, 6 p.m. $500-$1,000. $10,000-$50,000 per table. Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, 120 E. Delaware Place.

Event schedules and availability change; phone ahead. Send your weekend tips in an email (without attachments) with the date in the subject line to 10things@chicagobusiness.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of submissions makes it impossible for us to respond individually to emails.Would you like to be notified via email of our weekly “10 Things to Do” column? Click here to sign up.



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