Need some ideas for what to do this weekend? Chicago Tonight knows what’s going on!
David Mamet’s latest Broadway play opens its month-long run in Chicago this Saturday at the Goodman Theatre. Race follows three lawyers—two black and one white—as they defend a wealthy white man charged with the rape of a black woman and confront their own racial prejudices. Director Chuck Smith has experience with plays detailing 20th century race relations (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Amen Corner and The Good Negro) and said he was attracted to Race because “David Mamet is incredibly blunt as a writer; he doesn’t hide anything beneath the covers in this play.” Tickets are $23-$60.
170 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60601
Crispin Glover, best known for his roles as eccentrics in Back to the Future and Willard, will screen his disturbing and bizarre films at the Music Box on Friday and Saturday, starring actors with Down’s Syndrome and cerebral palsy. What Is It? features “the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are snails, salt, a pipe and how to get home as tormented by an hubristic racist inner psyche,” with the psyche played by director Glover. The other film, It is Fine. Everything is Fine!, is described as a “semi-autobiographical, psycho-sexual, tale about a man with severe cerebral palsy and a fetish for girls with long hair.” If there was ever a time to see the pair, this is it, as Glover narrates an elaborate slideshow before each movie and hosts a Q&A afterwards. Tickets are $17 per film.
Music Box Theatre
3733 N. Southport Ave.
Chicago, IL 60613
Ralph Ellison’ Invisible Man is making its world theater debut at the Court Theatre this week as the show starts previews. Ellison forbid any adaptations of his work while he, or even his wife, was still alive, but Oscar-nominated documentarian Oren Jacoby succeeded in convincing Ellison’s estate to green-light the project. The play follows a young African-American man from the South as he moves to Harlem, intersects with the civil rights movement and comes to terms with being ignored by much of white society. Tickets are $35-$45 this week, and $45-$65 through February.
5535 S. Ellis Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
The Chicago Reader’s winter music and comedy festival “Tomorrow Never Knows” wraps up this weekend with performances by The Walkmen, Wyatt Cenac, and Theophilus London. Also in the lineup is “The Freakers Ball: A Tribute to Shel Silverstein,” at the Hideout on Sunday. Best known for his children’s poetry collections, such as Where the Sidewalk Ends, Silverstein also wrote Johnny Cash’s Boy Named Sue and a number of Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show songs, including Don’t Give a Dose To the One You Love the Most. The ball will feature readings and musical performances of Silverstein’s decidedly adult poetry by Alison Cuddy, Mia Park, Ken Nordine, Mark Bazer, Cynthia Plaster Caster and some unannounced guests. Tickets for the Ball are $20; check the Reader’s website for other events.
1354 W. Wabansia Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642
Catch the Old Town School of Folk Music’s 55th Anniversary on Chicago Tonight and want to see more? In addition to its usual classes, the Old Town School regularly hosts concerts with music from around the world. Texas rocker Alejandro Escovedo, who has performed in everything from punk bands to string quartets, plays Friday with openers JT Nero and Allison Russell. The legendary a cappella group The Persuasions follows Saturday, though band leader Jerry Lawson has since moved on. Tickets are $28 Friday and $25 Saturday, with discounts for children and seniors.
Old Town School of Folk Music
4544 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625