The Mix: Cool things to do in Chicago April 14-20
The Broadway musical “The Prom,” Lynn Nottage’s “Intimate Apparel” and an Easter Egg-Stravaganza at Lincoln Park Zoo are among the entertainment highlights in the week ahead.
- In the musical-comedy “The Prom,” four fading Broadway stars find a new stage when they head to a small Indiana town where the press is covering the trouble brewing over the high school prom. The issue? One student just wants to bring her girlfriend to the dance. The Drama Desk Award winner is directed by Casey Nicholaw. From April 19-24 at Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph. Tickets: $31+. Visit broadwayinchicago.com.
- In the drama “Intimate Apparel,” playwright Lynn Nottage tells the story of a Esther (Mildred Marie Langford), a Black seamstress working her way out of poverty by creating fine lingerie for her wealthy clientele. Longing for marriage and a future, her correspondence with a Caribbean man leads to a marriage proposal but all does not go as expected. Tasia A. Jones directs. From April 14-May 15 at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. Tickets: $30-$89. Visit northlight.org.
- Lifeline Theatre returns to its interrupted 2020 production, “Middle Passage,” Ilesa Duncan and David Barr III’s adaptation of Dr. Charles Johnson’s epic tale of a newly freed slave, Rutherford Calhoun (Ajax Dontavius), who stows away on a clipper ship to evade debtors and a forced marriage only to discover it’s a slave ship bound for Africa. The novel won the 1990 National Book Award. From April 15-June 5 at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood. Tickets: $45. Visit lifelinetheatre.com.
- MPAACT presents the world premiere of Tina Fakhrid-Deen’s “Pulled Punches,” which investigates identity politics in the age of being woke and well-intentioned and asks: How long should we pull punches before we let them fly? Does that choice promote true connection, violence, insanity or freedom? From April 15-May 29 at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $20-$28. Visit greenhousetheatercenter.thundertix.com.
- In Kristine Thatcher’s award-winning play, “Emma’s Child,” a Rogers Park couple (Kat Evans, James Sparling) plan to adopt a pregnant teenager’s child, but what follows threatens their marriage and reshapes what they think of parenthood. Directed by Terry McCabe. From April 15-May 29 at City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr. Tickets: $34. Visit citylit.org.
- “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” is Steve Martin’s absurdist comedy that places Albert Einstein (Mark Yacullo) and Pablo Picasso (Travis Ascione) in a Parisian cafe in 1904 where they debate about the value of genius and talent while often interrupted by the bar’s colorful patrons. Directed by Scott Phelps. From April 20-May 22 at Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan, Lake Forest. Tickets: $40, $45. Visit citadeltheatre.org.
- Fran Lebowitz, the queen of “tell it like it is,”is an insightful and funny social commentator. Considered by many to be the heir to Dorothy Parker, Lebowitz offers her acerbic views on current events and the media as well as a list of her many pet peeves (tourists, after-shave lotion, adults who roller skate) when she’s interviewed by Greta Johnsen at 7:30 p.m. April 15 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr. Tickets: $29.75-$142.50. Visit auditoriumtheatre.org.
- Mandala South Asian Performing Arts returns to live performances with a choreographers showcase highlighting South-Asian perspectives in contemporary dance. Choreographers Ashwaty Chennat, Mandala’s associate artistic director, and Shalaka Kulkarni, Mandala’s 2022 artist-in-residence, premiere excerpts from new works, drawing upon their experiences with solo dancemaking during the pandemic. The performance also features a musical interlude by tabla artist Krissy Bergmark. At 3 p.m. April 17 at Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark. Tickets: $25. Visit mandalaarts.org.
- Snail Mail is the indie-rock project of guitarist and singer-songwriter Lindsey Jordan. At 17, she became a breakout star with the release of her first album, “Lush,” and was included in Billboard’s “21 Under 21” list. Now at 22, Jordan is touring behind her recent release “Valentine.” Pitchfork says Jordan’s “exquisite second album documents love in all stages, but mostly in disrepair. She takes on a larger and poppier sound while keeping her songwriting dazzlingly sharp and passionate.” Joy Again opens at 7:30 p.m. April 14 at Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine. Tickets: $29. Visit jamusa.com.
- “Redman, Mehldau, McBride, Blade: A MoodSwing Reunion.” “MoodSwing,” the 1994 album by the original Joshua Redman Quartet, was an astonishing collection by four talented musicians who would rapidly establish themselves as creative jazz artists. In 2020, the quartet—saxophonist Redman, pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade—reunited and released the Grammy-nominated album, “RoundAgain,” and now they reunite once again, for a six-concert tour. At 8 p.m. April 20 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets: $36-$199. Visit cso.org.
- Originally created as a long-distance project between friends online, Yumi Zouma is a collaboration drawn from around the world, with members based in New York City, London and New Zealand. Christie Simpson (keyboards), Josh Burgess (guitar, bass guitar), Charlie Ryder (guitar, bass guitar) and Olivia Campion (drums) craft delicate pop tapestries. Mini Trees open at 8:30 p.m. April 20 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $22, $25. Visit lh-st.com.
- A new season of World Music Wednesdays is underway at the Old Town School of Folk Music (4544 N. Lincoln). On April 20, Dende’s unique sound blends Afro-Brazilian traditions like samba de roda and candomble with world rhythms like rumba, afrobeat and mbalax. Other upcoming concerts include Kaleta & Super Yamba Band (April 27), OPLIAM (May 4), Paulo Padilha (May 11) and more. Most concerts start at 8:30 p.m. Admission is free. For a complete list of artists, visit oldtownschool.org.
- “Energy Revolution,” the largest exhibition in the Chicago Architecture Center’s history, investigates how city residents, neighborhood organizations, businesses and city leaders can create a carbon-free city using tools and approaches created by architects and urban planners and now being tested/used around the world. To Oct. 17 at Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker. Admission: $10, $14, children under 5 free. Visit architecture.org.
- Lincoln Park Zoo presents the return of Easter Egg-Stravaganza, a celebration of spring with egg hunts, games, free carousel and train rides and a visit from the Easter bunny and other characters. From 8 a.m.-noon April 16 at Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark. Admission to the event is $35 per person and includes a $5 ZooBucks voucher, which can be redeemed at Park Place Café. Visit lpzoo.org/events.
- The Pullman National Monument (610 E. 111th) is celebrating National Park Week with a variety of free activities beginning April 16. Included among the events are outdoor yoga, create a haiku, a scavenger hunt, Earth Say seed giveaway, jaz performances, storytelling and more. Visit nps.gov/pull/national-park-week.htm.
- Learn about trees, plants and ecology or just hike and enjoy the scenery at the many April activities at the Morton Arboretum events beginning April 20. Among the offerings are informational and family hikes, outdoor yoga and Tai chi, basic plant and tree identification, a bird workshop and much more. There are also a series of online classes. And don’t forget the Arbor Day Plant Sale (9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 1). The Arboretum is located at 4100 Ill. Rt. 53, Lisle. Admission: $8-$16; event prices vary. Visit mortonarb.org.
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