"Intestine Man," one of the disturbing creatures on display in Rough House Theater's House of the Exquisite Corpse. Credit: Courtesy Rough House Theater

With Halloween on the horizon and Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, there are plenty of opportunities to ponder horror, acknowledge history, and honor resistance. Here are some of our best cultural bets for the week ahead.

Fri 10/8: What does it mean to create as an act of resistance to oppressive structures? Can art manifest alternate possibilities? These are the questions at the heart of the Brown N’ Loud Co-Op’s latest group exhibition, Arte, Cultura y Resistencia, which celebrates its opening tonight from 6 PM to 10 PM at the Chicago Art Department (1926 S. Halsted). The show features fourteen Chicago artists whose practices center cultural heritage, activism, and community engagement, and the event will include a performance by Jarochicanos

Sure, you can stay home and watch scary movies all month, but if you’re ready for an immersive horror experience (with puppets!), then head over to Wicker Park’s Chopin Theatre for Rough House Theater’s House of the Exquisite Corpse. Conceived by Mike Oleon as a “peep show,” the idea is that each “room” represents a different bodily organ tormented by “otherworldly ills.” Audiences move through the environment, stopping at various keyholes, cracks, and hidden doors to explore the nightmares within. Due to close proximity, all audience members will be required to wear face shields (provided at the door) along with masks, and must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. It runs Thursdays-Sundays through 10/30, with timed ticketed entrances every 15 minutes beginning at 7 PM, concluding at 10:30 PM. Tickets are $21-$26 (recommended for 14+) at roughhousetheater.com.

Cabinet of Curiosity offers something a bit less dark in Fields of Fire, its fourth outdoor public ritual, running through Sunday in Boler Park (3601 W. Arthington). Guests sit at a massive round table adorned with “fire and organics” while enjoying a sonic choreographed story with musical accompaniment. The piece is directed by Brandon Boler and written by Honey Crawford, a University of Chicago professor specializing in Afro Brazilian cultural performance. She wove together her stories with those of Shawn Boler (father of Brandon), who grew up in Lawndale and whose father, Leo Roscoe Boler, was a longtime community activist for whom the park is named. Performances run through Sunday at 7 and 8 PM; free for Lawndale residents, $25 for the general public. (An audio-only streaming version is available for $20.) Tickets at cocechicago.com, with proceeds split among ArtWest, ChiBuck Movement, and Cabinet of Curiosity.

Have you ever thought “Say, you know what would be fun? A mash-up of Henrik Ibsen and The Sopranos!” Well, then you’re in luck, because Davenport’s Piano Bar and Cabaret is presenting Tyler Anthony Smith’s People Do Do Such Things, in which mob wife Hedda Rose Marie Gableroni tells her side of the story, suggesting that the bullet that ended up in her brain wasn’t suicide. It runs Friday and Saturday 8 PM, Sunday 7 PM, and tickets are $15 with a two-drink minimum; davenportspianobar.com.

Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival kicks off tonight at 8 PM and also runs 8 PM tomorrow at Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Eight contemporary dance companies, including Aerial Dance Chicago, Joel Hall Dancers, and MusicDance En-sem’-ble (making their HCCDF debut) present a program of diverse and innovative pieces. Tickets are $25 ($18 military/students/seniors), and a livestream is available for $15 at the website.

Sat 10/9: Writer St. Sukie de la Croix told many stories of the Chicago gay underground throughout his years writing for publications like the Windy City Times and the Chicago Now blog. He’s visiting the Gerber/Hart Library and Archives today with writers from his Rattling Good Yarns Press, a publishing concern that focuses on previously overlooked LGBTQ voices in fiction and nonfiction. Sukie founded the press in 2018 with his husband Ian Henzel. Today’s LGBTQ Literary Salon at Gerber/Hart will feature two panels of writers talking about the influences of their life experiences on their work; participants include Yvonne Zipter, Gerard Cabrera, Rick Karlin, Owen Keehnen, and Sukie himself. The event is free, and the first panel starts at 11 AM. 

At noon, join the Empty Bottle for an outdoor, family-friendly celebration of their neighborhood. Thee Best Western is the first in what the venue hopes will become an annual block party anchored at Western and Cortez in Ukrainian Village. Vendors will sell local wares both inside the venue and outdoors, and food will be for sale outside from Chef’s Special and Taqueria Chingon. In addition to a dunk tank (sidebar: let’s do that Shark Tank show, but a dunk-tank version please) and a photo booth, you’ll be able to hear music from Ryley Walker, Liam Kazar, the Hoyle Brothers, Tobacco City, and Valebol. The event runs until 8 PM and is free to attend. 

Mon 10/11: For Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Ayako Kato and collaborators (including musicians Michael Zerang and Mabel Kwan) have created Inception: ETHOS episode II, a combination of nature walk, land acknowledgment, and dance/music installation at the South Shore Cultural Center. There are two performances scheduled, with the first groups checking in at ten-minute intervals 11-11:30 AM and the second from 4-4:30 PM. It’s free, but reservations are requested at eventbrite.com.

Wed 10/13: Podcaster Jessica Risker brings a live version of her show Music Therapy with Jessica Risker to Cafe Mustache tonight at 8:00 PM featuring the local band Izzy True. Read more about it in this week’s Gossip Wolf

Thu 10/14: Thursday can generally be a good night of the week for music events and this week is no exception. You can catch Chicago bedroom pop artist Victor Internet headlining an all-ages show at Lincoln Hall tonight at 7 PM with Lowerlipdrip and Adan Diaz opening. And the Catalytic Sound Festival kicks off tonight at 8 PM at Elastic Arts, with Kuzu, Bonnie Jones, and a trio of Claire Rousay, Macie Stewart, and Ken Vandermark.