The Mix: Cool things to do in Chicago April 7-13

Expo Chicago, ‘Rock of Ages’ and a David Lynch retrospective are among the fun things to see and do in the week ahead.

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Patrons in 2019 take in Expo Chicago, which returns to Navy Pier’s Festival Hall.

Corey Dewald



Kieran McCabe (from left), Taylor DiTola, Josh Scholl and Melody A. Betts in “Rock of Ages.”|

Amy Nelson

  • Take a trip back to the rock ’n’ roll ’80s via the Tony-nominated musical “Rock of Ages.” Dreamers turn their fantasies into reality to a soundtrack that includes the music of Journey, Bon Jovi, Styx, Poison and more. Stars Kieran McCabe, Taylor DiTola, Josh Scholl and Melody A. Betts; Amber Mak directs. From April 13-May 29 at Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena. Tickets: $36-$79. Visit
  • A young nun-turned-governess transforms the Von Trapp family home from one of stern obedience into one filled with joy, laughter and music in the classic musical “The Sound of Music.” Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s Tony-, Grammy- and Academy Award-winning score features iconic songs including “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.” Nick Bowling directs. From April 13-June 5 at Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire. Tickets: $50-$60. Visit
  • “New Faces Sing Broadway 1947” is a previously filmed performance featuring music from musicals including “Brigadoon,” “Finian’s Rainbow,” “High Button Shoes,” “Annie Get Your Gun” and more. The performers include Samantha Behen, Anna Brockman, Jonah Cochin, Breanna Ghostone, Nathan Karnik, Austin Nelson Jr., Oliver Schilling, Destiny Strothers, Ciarra Stroud and Austin Winter. Streams April 8-May 5. Tickets: $25-$50. Visit
  • Matt Murphy’s Off-Broadway comedy “Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man” is set at a college English department’s meet-the-authors event, where this month’s writer plans to turn the event upside down with an interactive sex advice seminar. From April 8-July 2 at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $49.95-$79.95. Visit



Spektral Quartet

Daniel Kullman

  • Grammy-nominated Spektral Quartet premieres “Enigma,” a 360-degree experience under the Adler Planetarium’s Grainger Sky Theater. Inspired in part by the 2017 solar eclipse, the performance is a hypnotic collision of music and film that puts audiences at the center of an immersive and otherworldly experience. At 6 p.m. April 7, 6 and 8 p.m. April 8 at Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr. Tickets: $30. Visit
  • On her recent album “A Southern Gothic,” Adia Victoria continues her journey through the conflicts of the American South and the troubling resonance of its past. Americana Highways says it’s “a record full of tension, drama and new-to-you truth.” At 8 p.m. April 8 at Space, 1245 Chicago, Evanston. Tickets: $18. Visit
The Cactus Blossoms.|

The Cactus Blossoms.|

Jacob Blickenstaff

  • Minneapolis-based The Cactus Blossoms (brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum) tour behind the new album “One Day.” Often compared to other musical siblings like the Everlys and Louvins, the duo has crafted a more soulful, ’70s-inspired sound filled with breezy guitars and muscular percussion. Alexa Rose opens at 8 p.m. April 7 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $20. Visit
  • New Philharmonic concludes its season with “West Side Story in Concert” featuring guest artists Brooklyn Snow (soprano), Matthew Greenblatt (tenor), Kate Tombaugh (mezzo-soprano) and Evan Bravos (baritone) plus a chorus of eight singers performing the iconic songs of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. At 7:30 p.m. April 9 and 3 p.m. April 10 at McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell, Glen Ellyn. Tickets: $59. Visit

Renee Elise Goldsberry


  • Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Renee Elise Goldsberry (Angelica Schuyler in “Hamilton”) performs an evening of pop, soul and musical theater classics. At 7 p.m. April 9 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr. Tickets: $60+ for concert; $750 for afterparty benefit for the Auditorium includes premium seating, cocktails and dinner. Visit



David Lynch

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

  • “David Lynch: A Complete Retrospective — The Return” is a week of film programming centered around the director’s films as well as additional short programs, documentaries, music videos and other Lynch-adjacent works. Lynch films screened include “Blue Velvet,” “Dune,” “Duran Duran: Unstaged,” “Eraserhead,” “Inland Empire,” “Lost Highway,” “Mulholland Drive,” “The Elephant Man” and “Wild at Heart.” Other films include “Blue Velvet Revisited,” Jennifer Lynch’s “Boxing Helena,” “David Lynch: The Art Life,” “Desire & Hell at Sunset Motel” and more. Special guests include “Blue Velvet” editor Duwayne Dunham and “Eraserhead” star Charlotte Stewart. From April 7-14 at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. Tickets: $12.50. Visit
  • PrideArts Spring International Film Fest continues with three online documentary features: Emmanuel Garcia’s “Seguimos Aqui (We’re Still Here)—Pride, Pandemic and Perseverance” (April 11-17); Liliana Furio’s “Ilse Fuskova” (April 28-24), a profile of the Argentine activist; and “Once a Fury” (April 25-May 1), a profile of a notorious 1970s lesbian separatist collective. Tickets: $10 per film, $25 festival pass. Visit

Museums & Galleries

  • Expo Chicago, the international exposition of contemporary and modern art, returns after a two-year hiatus. More than 140 art galleries will show work by artists from around the world. In addition, there are panels, interactive discussions, large-scale sculpture, videos and films. From 11 a.m.-7 p.m. April 8-9, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. April 10 at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, 600 E. Grand. Admission: $30-$50. Visit

A women’s suit by Patrick Kelly, circa 1988, at “Treasured Ten.”|

Gift of Mrs. William Farley

  • “Treasured Ten: Selections from the Costume Collection” highlights a selection of garments from the Chicago History Museum’s clothing collection of more than 50,000 pieces. The 10 ensembles date from the 1970s to the 1980s and were selected to tell the stories of five innovative designers: Stephen Burrows, Scotty Piper, Patrick Kelly, Willi Smith and Barbara Bates. In their experiences dressing celebrity clientele as well as everyday people, each designer produced engaging, conscientious and stylish designs while contributing their own perspectives to fashion. From April 9-Jan. 16 at Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark. Admission: $17, $19. Visit

Family Fun

  • Art on theMART kicks off its spring showcase in conjunction with the Shedd Aquarium at 8:30 p.m. April 9 with “Floe”—the first projections that celebrate Year of Chicago Dance. Created by choreographer and Chicago native Carrie Hanson with her dance company, The Seldoms, “Floe” shines a light on climate change, extreme weather, vanishing ice, bodies of water and, ultimately, the human body, according to the Art on theMART website. Visual artists Bob Faust, Liviu Pasare and Andrew Glatt created projections that combine dance, word and image. The music is created by Mikhail Fiksel. “Floe” features dancers Dee Alaba, Sarah Gonsiorowski, Damon Green and Maggie Vannucci. The projections run nightly on the facade of the Merchandise Mart through June 29. You can also watch a live stream via the website at
  • The Chicago Park District presents Bunny in the Parks, a celebration of Easter in parks across the city. Activities includes egg hunts, arts and crafts, face painting, music, games and photo ops with the Easter bunny. Most events are free, while some have a nominal entrance fee. For a list of parks and events, visit

A “greeter” welcomes guests to Lambs Farm.

Courtesy Lambs Farm

  • Lambs Farm reopens April 8 with The Farmyard featuring more than 300 animals, including Joseph, its famous Dromedary camel. Fun activities include feeding the animals, a miniature train, miniature golf, a carousel and more. Admission: $5, children under 2 free. For more information, visit

Ronan Donovan


  • The National Geographic Live Series presents “Social by Nature,” featuring photographer-filmmaker-biologist Ronan Donovan sharing facts behind the incredible similarities humans share with other social mammals in the animal kingdom and what we can learn from them. At 2 p.m. April 10 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B Wells Dr. Tickets: $44, 456. Visit

Obama “family photos” showing Viola Davis and other actors from “The First Lady” are on display at the Ritz-Carlton suite.

Jaclyn Simpson Photography

  • Fans of Michelle Obama are invited to tour a presidential hotel suite paying tribute to the former South Sider. The First Lady Suite at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago uses set pieces and props from the upcoming Showtime series “The First Lady,” starring Viola Davis as Obama, to evoke the style and taste of the White House during her time there. A free open house runs from 4 to 7 p.m. April 9 in the hotel at Water Tower Place, 160 E. Pearson St. Visit

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