The Mix: Cool things to do in Chicago, Sept. 22-28

The return of ‘Wicked,’ the Hyde Park Jazz Fest, two performances of the Kyiv Ballet and the Reeling film festival are among the things to see and do in the Chicago area.

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Jennafer Newberry as Glinda and Lissa deGuzman as Elphaba in the National Tour of “Wicked.” photo by Joan Marcus

Jennafer Newberry (left) as Glinda and Lissa deGuzman as Elphaba in the National Tour of “Wicked.”

Joan Marcus


“What to Send Up When It Goes Down”

“What to Send Up When It Goes Down”

John R. Boehm

  • Congo Square Theatre presents Aleshea Harris’ “What to Send Up When It Goes Down,” a play-pageant-ritual-homegoing celebration, which responds to the gratuitous loss of Black lives and interrupts discourses that enable the ubiquity of racialized violence in our society. Co-directed by Ericka Ratcliff and Daniel Bryant. From Sept. 24-Oct. 16 at Lookingglass Theatre, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan. Tickets: $35. Visit
  • Benjamin Benne’s drama “Alma,” the story of a single mother who fears a sacrifice from her past will now make her worst nightmare a reality, is a complex exploration of the immigrant generation and their first-generation children. Jazmin Corona and Bryanna Ciera Colon star; Ana Velazquez directs. Sept. 22-Oct. 22. American Blues Theater at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge. Tickets: $25-$45. Visit
  • Return to the Land of Oz at “Wicked,” Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman’s popular musical that fills in the untold backstory of the witches of Oz and the initial rivalry that turns into the unlikeliest of friendships until one is labeled “good” and the other “bad.” From Sept. 28-Dec. 4 at Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph. Tickets: $59+. Visit
  • “The Ugly One” is German playwright Marius Von Mayenburg’s comedy about a man who was never concerned about his looks until he’s told he’s the ugliest man in the world. If a pretty face is what he needs to succeed, is he willing to go under the knife? Michael Mejia directs. From Sept. 22-Oct. 29 at Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland. Tickets: $25. Visit
  • First Floor Theater opens its 10th season with “Botticelli in the Fire,” Jordan Tannahill’s hot-blooded queering of Renaissance Italy that questions the value of art at the collapse of society. Bo Frazier directs. From Sept. 22-Nov. 5 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee. Tickets: $25-$35. Visit
  • In “Michael Dalberg’s new adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novella, “The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde,” Dr. Henri Jekyll finds the cards heavily stacked against her as she struggles to survive in Victorian England. Morgan Manasa directs. From Sept. 22-Oct. 23. Idle Muse Theatre at The Edge Off-Broadway Theater, 1133 W. Catalpa. Tickets: $10-$20. Visit


Olga Posternak and the Kyiv City Ballet

Olga Posternak and the Kyiv City Ballet

Courtesy of Kyiv City Ballet

  • The day before Ukraine was invaded in February, the Kyiv City Ballet was on the way to Paris to begin a world tour. The company has not returned home since, as it continues its tour with performances in the U.S. The mixed repertory program includes Vladyslav Dobshynskyi’s contemporary piece “Thoughts,” a new work titled “Tribute to Peace” choreographed by Ivan Kozlov and Ekaterina Kozlova, and “Classical Suite,” which showcases the wedding pas de deux from “Paquita,” “La Bayadere” and “Don Quixote.” At 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 and 3 p.m. Sept. 25 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 W. Ida B. Wells. Tickets: $40+. Visit


Omar Sosa Quarteto Americanos.

Omar Sosa Quarteto Americanos.

Courtesy of Otá Records

  • Omar Sosa performs with his new Quarteto Americanos featuring Sheldon Brown on saxophone, Josh Jones on drums and Ernesto Mazar Kindelan on bass. Expect pieces from Sosa’s early career (“My Three Notes,” “Angustia” and “Cha Cha du Nord”), as well as new material written during the pandemic lockdown. From Sept. 22-25 at Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth. Tickets: $30-$50. Visit
  • A new season of classical masterpieces begins as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Riccardo Muti welcome pianist Yefim Bronfman in a performance of Brahms’ First Piano Concerto. Also performed is the U.S. premiere of “Solemn Prelude,” a recently discovered score by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor plus Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2. At 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22, 27 and 1:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets: $45+. Visit
Charles McPherson brings his quartet to the Hyde Park Jazz Festival.

Charles McPherson brings his quartet to the Hyde Park Jazz Festival.

Nick Reuchel

  • Hyde Park Jazz Festival returns in full force with two jam packed days of music. Performers include David Virelles, Jeff Parker, Charles McPherson Quintet, Etienne Charles & Creole Soul, Camille Thurman and the Darrell Green Quartet, Mankwe Ndosi and Body mEmOri, Samara Joy and Pasquale Grasso, Orbert Davis, Dee Alexander with the Chicago Soul Jazz Collective and many more. From Sept. 24-25 at various locations around Hyde Park. Tickets: free, a $5 donation is appreciated. Visit

Museums & Galleries

“Chim: Between Devastation and Resurrection” exhibit will feature this image: “Children playing among the wreckage of D-Day Invasion, Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, 1947.” 

“Chim: Between Devastation and Resurrection” exhibit include this image: “Children playing among the wreckage of D-Day Invasion, Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, 1947.”

International Center of Photography

  • A new exhibit, “Chim: Between Devastation and Resurrection,” shines a light on life in the aftermath of World War II through over 50 photographs by photojournalist David Seymour, also known as Chim. Through these images, Chim captures the postwar reconstruction of Europe, European elections, the effect of the war on children, the birth of the new State of Israel and the Suez Crisis. From Sept. 22-Feb. 4, 2024, at Illinois Holocaust Museum, 9603 Woods, Skokie. Admission: $6-$18. Visit
  •  “Tony Fitzpatrick — The Years: 3 Decades of Etching” is a retrospective of work by the prolific Chicago artist. “I was formed by comics, cartoons, Mad Magazine and early Marvel,” Fitzpatrick says. “Nobody ever told me they were ‘art.’ The etchings, very early on, were my auto-biographical device; veiled in the imagery I’d carried with me since childhood. Art writers ask me if I’ve ever done a self-portrait– these are all self-portraits. They are where I go to hide in my own story.” From Sept. 23-Nov. 5 at Chicago Printmakers Collaborative, 4912 N. Western. Admission is free. Visit
  • The Hyde Park Art Center partners with the experimental dance company The Seldoms for a series of weekly performances and conversations in conjunction with the Toolbox@Twenty exhibit. The performative exhibition includes new collaborative works created by four pairs of dancemakers and visual artists who share their processes, techniques and values with one another. From Sept. 24-Nov. 13 at Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell. Admission is free. Visit


“The Shiny Shrimps Strike Back”

“The Shiny Shrimps Strike Back”

Courtesy of Reeling

  • Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival returns for its 40th anniversary edition. The opening night film is Cedric Le Gallo and Maxime Govare’s comedy “The Shiny Shrimps Strike Back,” which follows a ragtag water polo team stranded in Russia while on the way to the Gay Games in Tokyo. Other titles among the 37 feature films include Travis Fine’s epic “Two Eyes,” Peter McDowell’s documentary “Jimmy in Saigon” and Julianna Notten’s “Erin’s Guide to Kissing Girls.” From Sept. 22-Oct. 6 at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport; Landmark Century, 2828 N. Clark; Chicago Filmmakers, 1326 W. Hollywood. Tickets: $12, $15; online screenings $10. For a complete list of films, visit

Family Fun

“Disney Jr. Live on Tour: Costume Palooza”

“Disney Jr. Live on Tour: Costume Palooza”


  • “Disney Jr. Live on Tour: Costume Palooza” finds Mickey, Minnie and their pals planning a huge costume party, but mysterious weather keeps interrupting the fun. Can the pals, including characters from “Marvel’s Spidey and His Amazing Friends,” save the party? The immersive, interactive event includes singing, dancing, acrobatic and 3D special effects. At 4 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Tickets: $19+. Visit
  • “Chicago Live!” showcases the city’s performing arts scene with performances every half hour on three stages. There’s theater, dance and music from participants including Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Sinfonietta, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Chicago Fringe Opera, Blue Man Group, The Neo-Futurists, Lyric Opera and many more. From noon-9:30 p.m. Sept. 24 and noon-6 p.m. Sept. 25 at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand. Admission is free. Visit

The Long Grove Apple Fest

Grimaldi Public Relations

  • Apple season officially begins with the Long Grove Apple Fest, the annual salute to fall’s favorite fruit. Featured are countless apple treats, from apple wine to apple tempura. Plus there’s live music, family activities and a classic carnival. From Sept. 23-25 in downtown Long Grove, 308 McHenry, Long Grove. Tickets: $5, children under 12 free. Visit
  • The Chicago Toy Soldier Show returns with over 300 tables of toy soldiers and related items. Plus children can take part in a toy soldier treasure hunt. From 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at Hyatt Regency, 1800 E. Golf, Schaumburg. Admission: $10, children under 12 free. Visit

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