If it’s entertainment in Chicago that you seek, we’ve got some highlights to consider for the week ahead:
The couch where it happened
The Central Perk couch is on tour. Make that couches. Replicas of the comfy gathering spot for Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey on “Friends” make two stops in Chicago. On Sept. 21 from noon-8 p.m., Maggie Daley Park becomes Maggie Daley Perk. At this free event, fans can take selfies on the couch with actor James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther, the coffee shop owner with the eternal crush on Rachel, while also having fun at a “Friends”-themed rollerblading party on the skating ribbon, testing their Gellar-level paleontology knowledge at a pop-up from the Field Museum or perhaps adopting a new friend at Smelly Cat Adoptions sponsored by Tree House Humane Society. As for that second couch, it can be found at Willis Tower’s Skydeck (233 S. Wacker) during operating hours Sept. 20-22. Admission to Skydeck: $17, $25.
Great Depression + art
The exhibit “Photography + Folk Art: Looking for America in the 1930s” is an examination of works of art representing two major projects of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal: the Works Progress Administration’s Index of American Design, which catalogued 18,000 examples of folk art, and the Farm Security Administration’s program, which hired photographers including Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee and Arthur Rothstein to document the daily lives of Americans during this time of economic upheaval. From Sept. 21-Jan. 19, Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan. Admission: $16-$25. Visit artic.edu.
A screening of director Jordan Peele’s heart-pounding film “Get Out” will be accompanied by a live performance of the score by the Chicago Sinfonietta, conducted by the score’s composer, Michael Abels. The film, which is part thriller, part social commentary, is the opening of the Sinfonietta’s season of performances meant to spark conversations and encourage audiences to do more than just listen. At 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21, Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells. Tickets: $29-$78. Visit auditoriumtheatre.org.
Make it modern
Through Sept. 22, galleries, artists, collectors and browsers are converging for fall’s biggest art event, Expo Chicago, where 135 galleries from 24 countries showcase contemporary art. Instead of being an insular art fair, Expo radiates throughout the city during its run via temporary public art installations and partner programs with museums and galleries. Always interesting are the panel discussions, artist interviews and book signings offered in partnership with the School of the Art Institute. At Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand. Admission: $25-$50. Visit expochicago.com.
On the new album “Good Luck, Kid,” Joseph moves away from the dreamy folk of its 2016 debut “I’m Alone, No You’re Not” and towards a more gritty, dynamic sound on songs filled with a restless intensity. However, the trio of sisters — Natalie Schepman and Allison and Meegan Closner — has not abandoned the crystalline vocals and harmonies so unique to siblings that connect their music. At 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21, Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield. Tickets: $27.75. Visit jamusa.com.
Modern dance moves
For two-weekends, the Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival showcases a diverse roster of local, regional and national artists and companies. Among the 19 performers are Aerial Dance Chicago, Margi Cole’s Dance COLEctive, Giordano II, Kybele Dance Theater, Nicole Olson/Movement Chaos, Take Root and The Brande Lee Collaborative. From Sept. 21-28, Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn. Tickets: $25. Visit hccdf.com.
More festival fun
- Chicago’s young artists and area arts organizations are showcased at YAS! Fest, Sept. 21, Millennium Park, Randolph and Michigan. Visit millenniumpark.org.
- Fall’s favorite fruit is the star of Long Grove’s Apple Fest, Sept. 20-22, downtown Long Grove, 308 Old McHenry, Long Grove. Visit longgrove.org.
- Check out the debut of the Andersonville Arts Fest, Sept. 21-22, Clark and Winona. Visit amdurproductons.com.
- Purchase gourmet treats at Chicago Food Truck Fall Festival, Sept. 21-22, Saint Paul’s Woods, 6594 Oakton, Morton Grove. Visit chgofoodtruckfest.com.
- Autumn brews and tacos are a perfect match at Sam Adams Lakeview Taco Fest, Sept. 21-22, on Southport between Addison and Roscoe. Visit chicagoevents.com.
- Bargain hunting is the key at Northshore Affordable Art Show, Sept. 21-22, Westfield Old Orchard Shopping Center, 4905 Old Orchard, Skokie. Visit amdurproductions.com.
- Find food, music and family fun at Taste of Clark Street, Sept. 22, on Clark, form Devon to Touhy. Visit rpba.org.
Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.