Roger Ebert once called her his “favorite diva.” Credit: Courtesy Lynne Jordan

This week I’ve been scheming up ways to time travel back to 1990 and revisit some old haunts, à la Christopher Reeve in Somewhere in Time. If you’re unfamiliar, this is the one where Reeve’s character travels back in time to meet a woman that he sees in a 1912 photo while he’s on retreat at the Grand Hotel on Michigan’s Mackinac Island. Reader contributor Dave Kehr called the movie “amateurish” but you be the judge; it’s rentable on several of the streaming services.

My imagined experiments in theoretical physics isn’t inspired by old photos of Jane Seymour but is partly influenced by stumbling upon a 1990 Melvins concert on ye olde YouTube. And my sole interest in going back in time would be to attend a bunch of shows like this that I missed the first time around. I’m sure my rosy memories of the slightly dirtier and cheaper Chicago of the early 90s would be tarnished slightly if I actually got to see some of it in person again. Or maybe not. I’d take a random car part junk yard in place of poorly-built new construction most of the time (I see you, embers of Maxwell Street, keeping the flame alive).

Here are some events (both online and in-person) to attend for the next few days as well as some recently reopened places to call your own, soon.


  • Anytime through Sun 4/18: Strawdog Theatre presents How Do We Navigate Space?, reviewed recently by Reader editor Kerry Reid. Viewable with a donation, details are at Strawdog’s website.
  • Fri 4/2 and Sat 4/3, 7 PM: Freedom From and Freedom To comes back for its fourth iteration for a two-night online presentation of 10 dancers and 12 musicians improvising in small groups. Viewable at Elastic Arts’s Twitch channel.
  • Fri 4/2 through Sun 7/4: Art on the Mart continues to project 25-story tall video installations on the side of the Merchandise Mart, create public light shows viewable from the Chicago Riverwalk (best sight lines are between Wells and Franklin). The latest program, a collaboration with the Adler Planetarium, is a 30-minute show including images of space culled from telescope photography, backed with a Sun Ra soundtrack. Showtimes until Fri 4/30 are 8:30 and 9 PM; check out the Art on the Mart website for more details.
  • Sat 4/3, 11:30 AM: The Southwest Collective, a southwest side coalition of neighborhood groups, hosts a monthly, family-friendly community bike ride. This weekend’s route starts and ends at the Archer Park fieldhouse. Check out the group’s Facebook page for details and directions.
  • Sat 4/3, 3:30 PM and 8 PM: Afro Fusion brings DJs Dee Money, 3k, and Matrix to the Promontory in Hyde Park for an afternoon and evening of hip-hop, R&B, reggae, and more.
  • Sundays, 8 PM, through 4/25: The Green Mill is back open with limited capacity and you can catch Soul Message, the trio with Chris Foreman on a Hammond B-3 organ, each Sunday at 8 PM. Cover is $10 and they only take cash.
  • Monday through Friday, 9 AM-5 PM, through Wed 4/21, or anytime online: Art educator and interdisciplinary artist Cristal Sabbagh, who is also a dancer and organizer of Freedom From and Freedom To, offers a solo show of her ceramics and performance work at Columbia College Chicago’s Glass Curtain Gallery. Limited capacity in person at the gallery and you can also view a gallery webcam at Columbia’s website.
  • Mondays, 7 PM: Chicago singer Lynne Jordan (Roger Ebert once called her his “favorite diva”) hosts a weekly live show, sometimes backed by her longtime band the Shivers or other guests. You can find her on Facebook or YouTube.
  • Tue 4/6, 7 PM: The Poetry Foundation’s Open Door Reading Series features writers Mairead Case, Kenyatta Rogers, Erika Hodges, and Israel Solis Jr., in a livestream event hosted on Zoom.

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