The top events in Chicago for week of May 24 – 10 Things To Do News

on May24

24 May 2017 | 2:00 pm

Dinosaurs, central to the Field Museum’s identity dating back to the Cretaceous Period, have never gone extinct from our cultural, storytelling imagination. The latest apatosaurean-size franchise spinoff, “Jurassic World,” has spawned a traveling fact-meets-fiction, museum exhibit-cum-theme park ride scheduled to inhabit a tent outside the Field for the next seven and a half months. Because the exhibit is set up outside the museum, visitors interested in only the movie dinos and not one of the world’s great natural-history museums can buy a ticket for entry after 5 p.m. most days to buzz through only “Jurassic World.” The exhibit pairs movie-magic stuff such as animatronic dinosaurs and simulated travel to Isla Nublar with nonfictional paleontology informing the series. More traditionalist museumgoers might chafe at the commercialization extending so far as to include a totally fictional dinosaur, the Indominus Rex, in the show, but the brontosaurus turned out to be fictional, too, as anyone can learn by taking in the permanent exhibit Evolving Planet, inside the Field. May 26-Jan. 7, 2018. $15-$36 museum admission plus $10-$15 special exhibition ticket, or $20-$25 special-exhibition-only evening ticket. Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive.

When they write the histories of 20th- and 21st-century contemporary classical music, Frank Zappa may laser through the period as a guiding spirit. At a time when new music forsook tonality and looked inward, disdaining not only other musical genres but occasionally even audiences, Zappa crossed over the boundary between rock and classical—a common passage today—bringing arty prankster Dada to rock and propulsive minimalism to classical, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8e3y5WoBKg neither trope uniquely but maybe with maximal respect in both fields. Northwestern’s music ensembles put on two concerts this week, both free, mooning over Zappa and one of his classical inspirations, the timbral pioneer Edgard Varese. May 26: 7:30 p.m. Free. Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston. May 28: 6:30 p.m. Free. Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue.

The pianist Maurizio Pollini, now 75 years old, has interlaced fingers with the greatest composer for piano, Chopin, his whole life, with a special career fortissimo when he won the prestigious quinquennial International Chopin Piano Competition in the now-distant year of 1960. Pollini tours a recital of Chopin’s showpieces, including nocturnes, ballades and the technically tricky but melodiously honeyed Piano Sonata No. 3. While he doesn’t play with the polish he once did, he can still bring the Polish. May 28. 3 p.m. $35-$103. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.

Centering the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s subscription concerts this weekend, George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F exemplifies a pre-Zappa intersection of popular and classical. The 30-minute, traditionally structured concerto—Gershwin’s only so-titled piece among his several piano-orchestral works—struts with his usual panache for melody and upbeat blue notes, and if you do whatever the aural equivalent of squinting is, you’ll think you’re hearing “Rhapsody in Blue.” Frequent Chicago visitor Inon Barnatan solos, in a program also underscoring Dvorak’s Symphony No. 6. May 25-30. $34-$222. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.

Oh, there’s a musical called “Parade,” you say? Is it sunny and cheery and has the song “Easter Parade” in it? Uh-uh. The not-at-all flowers-and-floats topic of “Parade” is the real-life story of Leo Frank, a Northern Jew falsely accused of murdering a teenage girl in Georgia in 1913. The doom-shadowed show follows Frank through the murder mystery and courtroom drama, with a score quilting together pop, gospel and folk with hymn and march forms. For this production, Writers Theatre is selling ten on-stage seats per show to audience members, up on a raised platform accessible by staircase, creating a sort of theater in the round. Even if it’s not what springs to mind when you hear “parade,” a crowd will still surround the show. May 24-July 2. $35-$80. Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe.

Likening a relationship to a star’s journey from nebular birth to white dwarfhood, the title of the play “Bright Half Life” shines a light on the story at its core, of two women who fall in and out of love. The two-hander chops the narrative into nonchronological scenes, however, and the whole ball wax shows how the beginning prefigures the end and vice versa. The playwright, Tanya Barfield, won the Lambda Literary Award for the play in 2016, birthing her own star. May 26-July 1. $10-$40. About Face Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave.

As the home of house, the city of Chicago throws a seven-hour House Party this weekend, spinning the city’s native electronic dance music form into a full house of house, ironically all outdoors at Millennium Park. The houseguests include the Grammy winner (for his remix of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”) Maurice Joshua and DJ RP Boo, the architect of the subgenre called footwork. Because the form, now over 30, is old enough for people to think academically about it, a two-day conference precedes the get-down. May 27. 2-9 p.m. Free. Millennium Park, Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue.

For 70 years, the Doomsday Clock has ticked forward and also backward (fortunately, given that a Doomsday Clock subject to time’s arrow’s inexorable forward motion would eventually strike apocalypse), its proximity to midnight measuring the measured, sober assessment of scientists of how close we are to destroying civilization. The new Museum of Science and Industry exhibit “Turn Back the Clock” revolves around the Clock, the face of the respected Chicago-based “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,” tracking the movement of the minute hand from a 1991 high of 17 minutes till, back to the duck-and-cover days of 1953 at 2 minutes till, and forward to the current twin tensions of nuclear weapons and climate change, now 2.5 minutes till. If all that seems likely to keep you up at night, the museum this weekend also debuts a new laser-projection system in its dome theater, formerly an Omnimax. May 26-early 2018. $11-$18 museum admission. Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive.


Returning like a zombie homing pigeon, the 11th sequel (12th annual) “It Came from the Neo-Futurarium” reaches its moldering hand out of the grave this week, announcing four schlocky staged readings of limburger-redolent movies on successive summer Saturdays. Not limited strictly to films originally intended as camp, previously live-interpreted films include “Cocktail,” “Red Dawn” and “My Little Pony: The Movie.” More than women’s-prison camp classic “Caged!”, more than Italian-horror gore-galore “Suspiria,” more than made-for-TV VD cautionary tale “Someone I Touched” (above; jump to 3:10 for Miss Cloris Leachman’s star turn), this season’s show most likely to sell out is “Face/Off,” the mysteriously punctuated, medically implausible face-exchanging John Woo movie that starred Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, showing its faces July 1. June 24-July 15. 7:30 p.m. $12-$15 per show; $50 fest pass. The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland Ave.

Yes, the Chicago Blues Festival, just the weekend before, is free. But it’s hard to lament fate’s arbitrariness or get depressed about the fickleness of romantic partners when a ticket to see powerhouse Shemekia Copeland and blue-chip Mavis Staples costs $10, as it does for the next week, before the price of each day of Blues on the Fox doubles. Copeland and Staples belt blue on June 16, and the ticket for June 17 buys four performances, headlined by the Grammy winner Jonny Lang. June 16-17. Free-$20 per day. RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway St., Aurora.

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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