Another few days of summer weather for the next week will surely bring Chicagoans out and about! Be safe, have fun, and consider one of these options as you make your plans.
Fri 9/10 (open run): Theater Wit had a huge hit in 2015 with Anne Washburn’s apocalyptic black comedy, Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, in which the “Cape Feare” episode of The Simpsons becomes a talisman of hope for survivors of a nuclear holocaust. Now it’s back and feels even more relevant than ever, says Reader critic Kerry Reid. You can read her review here; it runs Wed-Sat 7 PM and Sun 2:30 PM, and tickets are $36-$54 (proof of vax required).
Fri 9/10: City Lit Theater Company planned to open Thirteen Days, Brian Pastor’s world-premiere adaptation of Robert Kennedy’s account of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis (published posthumously in 1969) in 2020. Instead, they’re reopening their Edgewater home this weekend with the show, also directed by Pastor. In addition to receiving permission to include recently-made-public transcripts of JFK’s strategy sessions in the script, Pastor’s production also uses gender-flipped casting, with a diverse ensemble of women playing all the roles. It runs Fri-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM through 10/24, with tickets $28-$32 (proof of vax required).
Sat 9/11: Festival season keeps chugging along and there’s a few this weekend that bring music, art, and food to our parks and streets. Lakeview East Festival of the Arts kicks off on Saturday at 11 AM with more than 100 artists showing and selling their furniture, paintings, jewelry, sculpture, photography, and more along Broadway from Belmont to Hawthorne. Saturday’s music highlights include appearances by the bands Sunshine Boys (5 PM) and Expo ’76 (6:30 PM), and music and art continues on Sunday (11 AM-7 PM).
The International Festival of Life joins forces with the Jerk, Seafood, and Vegan Festival to take over Washington Park with Caribbean, African, Haitian, and Latinx inspired music and foods. It’s the 28th year for the music-heavy festival, and headliners include the Delfonics, reggae musician Mr. Vegas, and Haitian singer Phyllisia Ross. Both festivals will run concurrently in the park on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 PM, and tickets are available (children under 12 are admitted free with a paying adult).
And the arts organization AMFM brings back their popular FEAST festival for a fourth year, shedding light on hunger while hosting music and some good old-fashioned mutual aid. FEAST was created in part to shine a spotlight on food scarcity and food deserts in Chicago, and organizers promise a food giveaway and an art exhibition on site by Kiara Jade, along with two days of music (highlights include Sam Trump’s band on Saturday and Orisun on Sunday). Both days are free and meant for all ages, hosted from 1 PM-4 PM at Homan Square Park (3559 W. Arthington).
Sun 9/12: Anna Deavere Smith’s one-woman documentary theater tour de force, Twilight: Los Angeles 1992, cast a kaleidoscopic view on the rebellion that broke out after the police who beat Rodney King on video were acquitted. Deavere Smith interviewed over 300 people, from politicians like Maxine Waters, to celebrities like Charlton Heston, to truck driver Reginald Denny, whose own brutal assault was also captured on camera. Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre presents a revival under Tim Rhoze’s direction, starring Jazzma Pryor. It runs through 9/26 at Noyes Cultural Arts Center; tickets are $25 and can be purchased online.
Mon 9/13: Reader contributor Irene Hsiao, the first artist in residence at the Smart Museum, premieres Vessel, a short film inspired by the exhibit “Lust, Love, and Loss in Renaissance Europe,” which ran earlier this year at the museum. Hsiao says the work “combines detail views of Renaissance paintings, sculptures, and ceramics with a live performance filmed at Links Hall—and explores themes of transformation and self-determination, the body as an object and an agent, violence, voyeurism, and the dance and the dancer as sculptor and sculpted object.” Collaborators include electronic musicians Bravais Lattice (Raul Barragàn and Claire Zurkowski). After its premiere, it will be available free online at the Smart site indefinitely. (The Smart Museum is always free of charge for visitors.)
Preorders are already sold out for tonight’s Monday Night Foodball event at Kedzie Inn. It starts at 5 PM, and you can read more about the pop-up series curated by the Reader’s Mike Sula here.
Tue 9/14: Looking for a good reason to get to Uptown and visit the historic Carol’s Pub? Bingo! No, really: drag performer Alexis Bevels hosts an interactive and fun Bingo Night at Carol’s every other Tuesday, and tonight the event starts at 7:30 PM. There’s no cover charge and food is available from the bar, at 4659 N. Clark. More information is at Carol’s website.
Wed 9/15: SummerDance in the Parks continues at Portage Park (4100 N. Long), featuring Salsa in the Park with music by Chicago Latin Groove and dance instruction by Latin Street Dancing. The three-hour event (4:30-7:30 PM) also includes pop-up performances by artists from Joel Hall Dancers, Korean Performing Arts Institute of Chicago, and Re|dance group. It’s free and all ages; see the website for more information.