A day well-lived
After spending years in Hollywood, musician-actor-writer Jer Sklar returned to Chicago to attend film school at DePaul University. His master film thesis, “Tom of Your Life,” debuted on DVD last fall and will now have a six-day run May 7-13 at the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport). Sklar stars in the story of a baby who inexplicably ages four years each hour. Sun-Times film critic Richard Roeper called the film “lovely and brilliant and poignant” adding that he loved “the skillful storytelling and the universally excellent performances.” Others in the film include Baize Buzan, James Sharpe, Paul Tigue and the legendary Mike Nussbaum. The filmmakers and cast will attend the May 8 evening screening beginning with a free pre-show event at 5:45 p.m., which includes music by Sklar’s band The Blackstrap Molasses and a Q&A. Tickets: $11. Visit musicboxtheatre.com.
Zac is back
While it looks like a return to live concerts may be on the horizon, virtual events are still the way to go. The latest to take part is Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band. The event, livestreamed at 8 p.m. May 8, will feature the musicians revisiting some of their greatest hits from the past two decades. There’s also an encore event with the band answering fan-submitted questions. Tickets: $19.99, VIP packages also are available. Visit sessionslive.com/zacbrownband.
A Greek master
Wrightwood 659 presents a new exhibit, “Yannis Tsarouchis: Dancing in Real Life,” the first U.S. retrospective devoted to the work of the artist widely regarded as one of the greatest Greek painters of the 20th century. Featured are some 200 works, including paintings and works on paper that span the arc of the artist’s career. Tsarouchis (1910-1989) is known for his male portraits and nudes but theater also was a source of inspiration. He designed the set and costumes for Maria Callas’ 1958 performance as Medea at the Dallas Civic Opera as well as the set designs for Samuel Beckett’s plays staged in Paris and Thessaloniki, Greece. The exhibit runs May 7-July 31. Tickets: $15 available online only. Visit wrightwood659.org.
Happy Mother’s Day
Jarrott Productions presents the world premiere of “A Portrait of My Mother,” written and performed by Carlo Lorenzo Garcia, in which he tells the story of his mother’s journey into motherhood. Streams at 7 p.m. May 9. Tickets: $5. Visit jarrottproductions.com. … Grammy Award-winning jazz artist Kurt Elling performs “A Toast to Mom” ($75) from May 7-9 live at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. There’s also a livestream of the show at 5 p.m. May 9 ($20). Visit citywinery/chicago.com/. … The storytelling collective 2nd Story’s Mother’s Day show is “We Are All Our Selves: Stories of Taking Charge and Taking Care,” featuring new stories from Ana P. Martin Sagredo, Betsey Manzoni and Kimberlee Soo. Streams at 6 p.m. May 9. Tickets: pay-what-you-can. Visit 2ndstory.com. ... The Neo-Futurists present a Mother’s Day benefit for Chicago Birthworks Collective featuring “The Egg Wrench: 30 Egg Plays in 60 Egg Minutes.” Livestreams at 3 p.m. May 9. Tickets: $18. Visit neofuturists.org.
The Music Institute of Chicago celebrates 90 years with a virtual gala at 6 p.m. May 10. Highlights include the presentation of the Dushkin Award to Maestro Zubin Mehta, the Cultural Visionary Award for Chicago to Linda Theis Gantz and Wilbur “Bill” Gantz and the Colburn Award for Teaching Excellence to Nina Wallenberg and Daniel Wallenberg. The evening also features a recorded performance by Music Institute alumna and past Dushkin awardee violinist Rachel Barton Pine, along with recorded messages from additional past Dushkin awardees, including jazz artist Wynton Marsalis and violinists Joshua Bell, Midori, Pinchas Zukerman and others. Admission is free; donations appreciated. Visit musicinst.org/anniversary-gala.
The Silent Film Society of Chicago screens three classic films from the early days of cinema: Harold Lloyd in “Safety Last!” (May 12), Buster Keaton in “The Navigator” (May 19) and Charlie Chaplin in “Shoulder Arms” (May 26). All start times are 7:30 p.m. at the Pickwick Theater, 5 S. Prospect, Park Ridge. Tickets: $10. Visit silentfilmchicago.com/events/.
Oak Park Festival Theatre stages a virtual production of Matt Barbot’s “The Venetians,” a work that brings together various characters from several of Shakespeare’s plays to address contemporary issues. Directed by Eddie Torres, the play streams May 8-16. Tickets: $25. Visit oakparkfestival.com. … A Red Orchid Theatre’s audio version of Exal Iraheta’s “Last Hermanos,” a drama that finds two Latinx men on the run who confront the conflict over one’s desire for revolution and the other’s need to return to normalcy, is available to May 16. Tickets: $15. Visit aredorchidtheatre.org/lh-info/. … From May 6-June 19, Metropolis Performing Arts Centre (111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights) presents an outdoor staging of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s “Little Shop of Horrors.” Tickets: $35, $40. Visit metropolisarts.com.
Mary Houlihan is a Chicago freelance writer.