Three dancers in beige clothing are seated on the floor, holding onto each other and stretching backwards. Another dancer stands over them as if tugging at them.
Raw Concrete, created by Rigoberto Saura, is one of two new pieces inspired by architecture presented this weekend as part of Field Theory with Hedwig Dances. Credit: Vin Reed

It may be a little damp and dreary outside, but there are loads of ways to warm up with some cultural events this week.

FRI 4/8 

At 5:30 PM tonight, catch a free performance by Xochitl-Quetzal, the dance troupe founded by Henry Cervantes that’s keeping the Concheros dance tradition alive. As the event host—the International Museum of Surgical Science (1524 N. Lake Shore Dr.)—explains: “Learn about indigenous Aztec ceremonies and rituals, and experience the Xochitl-Quetzal community celebrating their roots through dance.” In addition to experiencing music and costumes from the Chichimecas, Aztecas, and Mexicas, you’ll glimpse how indigenous Mexican culture survives in Chicago today. You can register in advance at Eventbrite. (MC)

There’s no shortage of EXPOrelated events tonight. Two standouts for me are the Barely Fair (4146 N. Elston) vernissage from 6-10 PM, and the open house at Mana Contemporary (2233 S. Throop) from 6-9 PM. While there will be lots of art—plus artists, collectors, gallerists, and curators—at the latter, there will also be a talk about “HOLLYWOOD 24,” an exhibition currently on display at Mana, and a silkscreen demo hosted by Hoofprint. This takes place in the fifth-floor cafe at 6:30 PM. Plus, there’s in-progress work by Baby Blue Gallery’s inaugural artist-in-residence Cat Bowyer, who uses the studio as a site of ritualistic play to create altars to joy in spite of patriarchy. High Concept Labs presents choreographer-writer Shalaka Kulkarni and composer-performer Meredith Haines, who will each perform 15-minute excerpts followed by discussions of works in early development. And then there’s . . . well, you get it: there’s a whole lot of art! More information at (MC)

Hedwig Dances unveils Field Theory, two new pieces both inspired by architectural movements. Brutalism underpins Rigoberto Saura’s Raw Concrete, while founder and artistic director Jan Bartoszek continues her exploration of the work of Bauhaus architect László Moholy-Nagy in LightPlay. Reader contributor Nora Paul recently wrote about the company, noting “Bartoszek cultivates an interdisciplinary company, including visual components and original music. The dancers come from diverse cultural and movement backgrounds and are the main collaborators in the creation process of the company’s repertory. With Bartoszek and the choreographers’ guidance, dancers engage with the materials of the piece, such as objects and music, as points of access.” The pieces will be performed tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 PM at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts (1016 N. Dearborn); tickets are $20-$45 at

SAT 4/9 

For nearly 30 years, Wicker Park’s Chopin Theatre (1543 W. Division) has provided a platform for international work as well as local companies. This weekend, they’re presenting a master class and public performance from Theatre No Theatre, a project of Thomas Richards, a one-time apprentice and then successor of the legendary and hugely influential Polish theater director and theorist, Jerzy Grotowski. (Grotowski’s 1968 book, Towards a Poor Theatre, has been a bible for many Chicago storefront ensembles.) Grotowski to Richards: Songs and Actions includes the master class (Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 AM-1 PM), taught by Richards, assisted by Jessica Losilla-Hébrail of France and Hyun Ju Baek of South Korea, and focused on songs from Afro-Caribbean and African traditions, which have been central to the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards. The class is $160 and limited to 20 participants, but on Sunday at 5 PM, there’s a public performance, Songs, followed by a reception. Tickets are $20 ($10 students), and can be reserved at (KR)

The EXPO enthusiasm continues tonight from 9 PM-1 AM with a party hosted by NADA and Schlep at Midland Warehouses (2401 W. 15th). Participating galleries include Apparatus Projects, Donuts, Good Weather, M. LeBlanc, MICKEY, Prairie, Produce Model, Regards, Spaysky Fine Art Gallery LLC, and Western Pole. With beer donated by Lost Forty and Half Acre, and music by DJs Cherub, niiiggggaaaaa, and Ariel Zetina, this is sure to be a night to remember. (MC)

Wayfaring (aka James Falzone and Katie Ernst) have what Reader contributor Bill Meyer describes as a “shared affinity for poetic distillation.” They’ll be performing their “spiritually informed folk jazz” together live for the first time since 2019 tonight at 8:30 PM (Sarah Clausen is also on the bill) at Constellation, 3111 N. Western; tickets are $15 in-person at, and the concert is also being livestreamed on YouTube free, but with a suggested donation to the artists of $5. (SCJ)

If you’ve got a hankering for “turbocharged gothic country with sophisticated, dynamic doom metal wrapped in horror-tinged Americana atmospheres” (as Reader contributor Monica Kendrick describes their sound), then the Huntsmen are here for you. Their new EP, The Dying Pines, features a cover of CSNY’s “Carry On,” along with two new songs. This show, with opener Sweet Cobra, is a prelude to their upcoming European tour. 8:30 PM at Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western). Advance tix ($10) available through Eventbrite, ($12 at the door), 21+. (SCJ)

SUN 4/10

The 80s wave is back: local DJ duo Faction (DJSJ and DJ Bill Saveley) anchor an outdoor, all-ages New Wave Picnic this afternoon. You bring your own cooler and lunch to the south side of Montrose Harbor, and they’ll provide the dance tracks (think a nostalgic mix of Culture Club, Siouxsie & the Banshees, and John Hughes movie montages). They’ll be out there from approximately noon to 6 PM, weather willing. More info available here. (SCJ)

MON 4/11

PrideArts continues its Spring Film Fest with Seguimos Aquí (We’re Still Here): Pride, Pandemic, and Perseverance, streaming online today thru Sun 4/17. Four LGBTQ+-identifying Latinx Chicagoans navigate COVID-19 and interpersonal struggles over the course of 2020 in this short by director Emmanuel Garcia. Streaming is available for $10 here. (SCJ)

Monday Night Foodball this week features a visit from Tigist Reda of Uptown’s Demera Ethiopian Restaurant. You can enjoy deep-fried sambussas and meat or veggie messob platters. Best of all, as the Reader’s Mike Sula points out, proceeds go to support Health Professionals for Tigray; Reda, who was born in Tigray, has been advocating for women displaced by the civil war that’s been raging in that region of Ethiopia since November of 2020. You can pre-order through Tock for takeout or eat-in at the Kedzie Inn (4100 N. Kedzie), and walk-ins will be served until the food runs out. It kicks off at 5 PM. (KR)

TUE 4/12

The greatest baseball team in the world celebrates their season home opener (a meetup with the Seattle Mariners) this afternoon. If you’re itching to play hooky from work, you can join the crew at Reggies (2105 S. State) for a White Sox tailgate: they’ll provide camaraderie and foodstuffs starting at 10 AM today, and you can purchase a ticket package directly from the bar that includes Upper Deck admission and the use of Reggies’s bus services to get back and forth from the bar to Guaranteed Rate. The game starts at 3:10 PM (tickets here if you’re planning on just going straight to Bridgeport) and information about Reggies’s plans is here. (SCJ)

If you or someone you know is over 65 and looking to loosen up, check out the senior classes at Kemetic Yoga (4507 S. Indiana). Every Tuesday from 10-11:15 AM, participants are guided through breathing exercises and gentle poses selected with the older student in mind. Class benefits can include mental clarity, relaxation, pain relief, and improved digestion. Students will also learn about nutrition and healthy living. It’s $10/class or $80 for 10 classes, and you can Zelle, CashApp $Yogaskillspaynow, or pay in cash upon arrival. Regular yoga classes at the senior rate are also available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-8 PM, Saturday from 9-10:30 AM, and Sunday 10-11:30 AM. (MC)

WED 4/13

Longtime Chicago magic favorite Sean Masterson returns to the Chicago Magic Lounge (5050 N. Clark) with his new show, Message in a Bottle, which combines magic and storytelling, as is usually the case with Masterson’s work. The story in question this time concerns theatrical impresario Michael B. Leavitt, who in 1912 published a 700-page memoir in which he outlined the jealousy-fueled battle between his clients, the magic greats Alexander Herrmann and Harry Kellar. Masterson got a signed edition of Leavitt’s memoir at auction, did some research in Harry Houdini’s original archives at the Library of Congress in D.C., and is ready to tell the whole story (via sleight of hand!) of the epic struggle to be America’s greatest magician of the 19th century. The show runs Wednesdays 7 PM through 6/29; tickets are $45-$50 at (KR)

THU 4/14

From 6-8 PM tonight and tomorrow, Aywa Hafla is teaming up with the Rogers Park-based social practice collective PO Box Chicago (6900 N. Glenwood) to collect donations for their Sip and Swap. What’s a Sip and Swap? Enjoy a hot cup of tea as you leave an item, take an item, and meet fellow community members. While any donations are welcome, Aywa and PO Box are particularly interested in housewares, scarves, PPE (including masks), cleaning supplies, blankets, and towels. The Sip and Swap will be held on Saturday, April 16, noon-4 PM, and Sunday, April 17, 10 AM-4 PM. From 10 AM-noon on Saturday, there will also be special hours specifically for refugees and asylees. A member of Aywa will be available to help communicate with Arabic speakers, but PO Box welcomes volunteers to help with translating other languages. Message the collective on Instagram if interested. Please wear a mask when dropping off or browsing items. (MC)

Chicago’s longest running monthly storytelling show, This Much Is True, is back to in-person performances, scheduled for every second Thursday of the month at Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro (3905 N. Lincoln). It’s free to watch and the evening starts at 7:30 PM. This month: six storytellers including writer Jack Zimmerman, educator and arts administrator Emily Hooper Lansana, and actor and comedian Rick Hall. More details are available at the This Much is True website. (SCJ)