The Mix: ‘Window Plays,’ MLK concert and more cool things to do in Chicago March 25-31

There’s plenty to see and do online and in-person in the week ahead.

SHARE The Mix: ‘Window Plays,’ MLK concert and more cool things to do in Chicago March 25-31

Kevin Michael Wesson in one of the Andersonville “Window Plays.”

Maddison Wise

That drama in the window

For a new definition of “storefront theater,” check out “Window Plays,” presented by the performance art company Stop Motion Plant. The free live theater event features work by nine artists performed behind storefront windows in the Andersonville neighborhood with audiences strolling from play to play. The two- to five-minute plays are performed on a loop for 90 minutes. Mask-wearing and social distancing will be required. “Window Plays” is presented with staggered start times beginning at 7 p.m. March 26-27 and April 2-3. For reservations and more information, visit

Complex celebrations


“In Any Event”

Bruno Roque

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s season continues with the world premiere of “In Any Event,” a new work by choreographer and former HSDC dancer Penny Saunders. Created during a time when gathering for events was curtailed, the 30-minute filmed piece explores the complex interpersonal dynamics inherent in celebrations such as birthdays, wedding, funerals and more. “With intermingling storylines and layered histories, these gatherings can be intense and complex collisions of viewpoint, rather than the easy celebrations that they appear to be,” says Saunders. The film streams at 7:30 p.m. March 25 and 27 and 2 p.m. March 28. Each performance is followed by live, interactive conversations with Saunders and members of the creative team. Visit

Patio tunes


Expo ’76

Melissa Thornley

Last summer (and into the fall), FitzGerald’s kept the music going on its pleasantly cool and socially distanced outdoor patio, now set to reopen on March 31. Talent buyer Donnie Biggins has loaded the spring with a stellar lineup of local artists and even a few touring acts. First up at 7 p.m. March 31 is a club favorite: the pop sounds of Expo ’76. Also in the coming weeks are Mariachi Sirenas and Comparza (April 1), Toronzo Cannon & the Chicago Way (April 3), The Lawrence Peters Outfit (April 4), Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials (April 6) and much more. Admission is free for all shows. For more information, visit

Meditative moment


Shomyo no Kai


The University of Chicago and Japan Society present an evening of Buddhist ritual chanting with “Shomyo no Kai — Voices of a Thousand Years.” The two-dozen monks of Shomyo no Kai were to have performed in the Rockefeller Chapel but due to Covid-19 will now perform in the An’yo-in Temple, one of the oldest temples in Tokyo. The monks perform traditional shomyo, one of the earliest forms of vocal music, along with a new work, “Moonlight Mantra (Tsuki no Kogon)” by Japanese composer Yu Kuwabara. The concert streams at 7 p.m. March 30 followed by an artist Q&A; available on demand to April 30. Tickets: $15. An online workshop with the monks ($5) takes place at 7:30 p.m. April 8. Visit

Marching forward


Composer Joel Thompson

Chicago Sinfonietta

The Chicago Sinfonietta’s annual MLK Tribute Concert features works by African American composers celebrating the advancement being made in the march for diversity, equity and inclusion. Among the works are Joel Thompson’s “breathe/burn: an elegy,” which features as soloist cellist Ifetayo Ali-Landing; Jeff Scott’s “Sinfonietta of Dreams,” a piece inspired by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and William Grant Still’s orchestral arrangement of Florence Price’s joyful “Dances in the Canebrakes.” Streams at 3 p.m. March 28. Tickets: $45. Visit

Live from the Ryman


Brandi Carlile performs at the March 14 Grammys.

AFP PHOTO/Kevin Winter/The Recording Academy via Getty Images

Brandi Carlile hasn’t performed a full band concert since before the pandemic but it’s no doubt she’ll be in fine form when she performs a livestreamed concert from Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium at 7 p.m. March 28. She’ll perform favorites from her own songbook and just might dig into her friend John Prine’s catalog. Recently during the Grammy Awards’ “in memoriam” segment, Carlile saluted Prine with a touching acoustic version of “I Remember Everything,” the title song from his final album. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Rainey Day Fund and Fanny’s School of Music with the remainder supporting Carlile’s band and crew. Tickets: $25 concert only, $48 concert and a copy of Carlile’s memoir “Broken Horses” due out April 6. Visit

Virtual stage


Omer Abbas Salem

Collin Quinn Rice

Steppenwolf Theatre’s new play development initiative, SCOUT, presents a free reading of Omer Abbas Salem’s comedy “Mosque4Mosque,” directed by Arti Ishak. Streams at 2 p.m. March 28. Visit … Metropolis Performing Arts Centre’s “On the Air” features theatrical productions of spine-tingling classic radio plays. Streams March 27-April 4. Tickets: $20. Visit … BoHo Theatre presents a reading of Amy Berryman’s “The New Galileos.” Streams at 7:30 p.m. March 24. Tickets: $5. Visit … The Off Broadway hit “Dixie’s Tupperware Party” raises funds for Season of Concern Chicago with streaming shows through March 28. Tickets: $35. Visit … American Blues Theater presents a reading of Shannon Prichard’s “Sanctuary City” at 7 p.m. March 26. Tickets: pay-what-you-can. Visit

Mary Houlihan is a Chicago freelance writer.

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