- “1919” is J. Nicole Brooks’ adaptation of a collection of poems by Eve L. Ewing about the killing of Black teenager Eugene Williams in 1919 near the segregated Chicago lakeshore. The days that followed left an indelible mark on the city, from its sense of boundaries and relationships between neighbors to the underlying systems of inequity and racism that persist today. Co-directed by Gabrielle Randle-Bent and Tasia A. Jones. From Oct. 4-29 at Steppenwolf for Young Adults at Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted. Tickets: $20. Visit steppenwolf.org.
- A new season at Writers Theatre opens with “Tiger Style!,” Mike Lew’s comedy about two squabbling siblings who, after reaching the pinnacle of academic achievement as kids, join forces to overcome the outrageous pressures of adulthood and fix the sorry state of their lives. Aurora Adachi-Winter and Christopher Thomas Pow star; Brian Balcom directs. From Sept. 29-Oct. 30 at Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor, Glencoe. Tickets: $35-$90. Visit writerstheatre.org.
- Brett Neveu’s “The Malignant Ampersands” is an unofficial sequel to Orson Welles’ film “The Magnificent Ambersons” — a century ago they were a wealthy, thriving family, today, they are cursed with disease and misfortune. Yet as they grow older, they cling to the thought that the best is yet to come. Directed by Dado. From Oct. 6-Nov. 27 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells. Tickets: $30-$40. Visit aredorchidtheatre.org.
- In Nancy Garcia Loza’s drama “BULL: A Love Story,” a man, released from prison after a decade, returns to his Lake View neighborhood hoping to resume life with his family only to realize how much has moved on without him. Laura Alcala Baker directs. From Oct. 5-Nov. 20 at Paramount’s Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena. Tickets: $35 for Destinos Festival performances Oct. 5-16, after that $67-$74 (pay what you can Oct. 6, 8). Visit paramountaurora.com.
- Raven Theatre opens its 40th anniversary season with Noel Coward’s iconic “Private Lives,” a comedy about a once-married couple (Emily Tate, Rudy Galvan) who unexpectedly cross paths while on honeymoons with their new partners. Chaos and romance ensue. Ian Frank directs. From Sept. 29-Nov. 13 at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark. Tickets: $40. Visit raventheatre.com.
- Tyler Anthony Smith’s drag comedy “Frankenstreisand” presents Dr. Barbra Frankenstreisand’s first performance in 27 years as she performs twisted versions of her signature songs and attempts to clone her suddenly dead dog. Stephanie Shaw directs. From Sept. 29-Oct. 31 at Hell in a Handbag Productions at Redline VR, 4702 N. Ravenswood. Tickets: $21-$40. Visit handbagproductions.org.
- Griffin Theatre presents “Marys Seacole,” Jackie Sibblies Drury’s drama about a 19th century British-Jamaican nurse who crossed battle and race lines to chart her own course in history. The New York Times called it “a breathless and radiant new play.” Co-directed by Jerrell L. Henderson and Hannah Todd. From Oct. 1-Nov. 6 at Griffin Theatre at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark. Tickets:$40. Visit griffintheatre.com.
A new season at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago begins with a program titled “Refraction” featuring performances of Osnel Delgado’s “The Windless Hold,” the world premiere of Randy Duncan’s “Love Infinite” and Darrell Grand Moultrie’s “Dichotomy of a Journey.” From Sept. 29-Oct. 2 at Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph. Tickets: $15-$110. Visit hubbardstreetdance.com.
- Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater presents “Flamenco Passion,” a program which includes flamenco superstar La Lupi (Susana Lupianez Pinto) performing “Pasos Largos/Long Steps” accompanied by her husband, guitarist/composer Curro de Maria. Also performed are pieces from Ensemble Español ’s repertoire including “El Casorio/The Wedding,” “Alma de Aragon” and “Dualia.” At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells. Tickets: $25+. Visit auditoriumtheatre.org.
- The Chicago Tap Summit, M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ annual celebration of tap, returns with a weekend of classes for all skill levels, panels and performances including the world premiere of Donnetta “LilBit” Jackson’s “A M.A.D.D. Mixtape.” From Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. Tickets prices vary. For more information, visit bit.ly/chicagotapsummit.
- World Music Festival Chicago returns with 10 days of performances in both indoor and outdoor venues. The roster from Chicago and around the world includes Madalitso Band, Bazurto Allstars, La Chica, Paolo Angeli, Gili Yalo, Seffarine, Al Bilali Soudan, Son Rompe Pera, Kaleta & Super Yamba, Cha Wa and many more. Also returning is Ragamala, the all-night presentation of Indian classical music and the Global Peace Picnic. From Sept. 30-Oct. 9 at various venues around the city. Admission is free. For more information, visit worldmusicfestivalchicago.org.
In its 2019 album, “Living Mirage,” indie folk band The Head and the Heart began redefining its sound with frontman Jonathan Russell working with writers outside the band and trying on bigger pop melodies. Now with “Every Shade of Blue,” released earlier this year, the band continues on this path while also reaching back to its Sub Pop days. Shakey Graves opens the show at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1 at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, 1300 S. Linn White Dr. Tickets: $33. Visit livenation.com.
- Music Box of Horrors: Scared Stupid is a full month (Oct. 1-31) of movie madness, special guests and other surprises at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. The horror fest begins with a “Final Destination” all-night marathon and ends with Rob Zombie’s “House of 1000 Corpses.” In between there’s “Cornshucker,” “Masque of the Red Death,” “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” “Gremlins 2: The New Batch,” “Scream Blacula Scream,” “Nosferatu” and more. Admission: $11-$20; festival passes available. For a full schedule, visit musicboxtheatre.com.
“Dark Testament: A Century of Black Writers on Justice” is an immersive exhibit that explores racial injustice in America through the work of Black American writers from the end of the Civil War through the civil rights movement, including Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin and more. To Sept. 17, 2023, at American Writers Museum, 180 N. Michigan. Admission: $14, children under 12 free. Visit americanwritersmuseum.org.
- The annual Day of the Dead exhibit, “Dia de Muertos: Memories & Offerings,” is a one-of-a-kind display of traditional and contemporary art all steeped in Mexican traditions. Along with the artworks, this year there are ofrendas (altars) honoring those killed in the Robb Elementary School shooting in Texas and those killed in the war in Ukraine. To Dec. 11 at National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th. Admission is free. Visit nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org.
- Celebrate autumn at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Fall Fest, an event featuring a Pumpkin Walk, professional pumpkin carvers, a Harvest Maze, a Ferris wheel and other rides, a drag story time, a Lionel Train Adventure and more. From 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays Sept. 30-Oct. 30, and Monday, Oct. 10, at Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark. Free but various attractions require tickets ($4). Visit lpzoo.org.
- Legoland Discovery Center Chicago presents Brick-or-Treat Monster Party, which features the 4D Halloween movie “The Great Monster Chase,” a Miniland monster hunt, Halloween-themed build activities, a pumpkin search and more. To Oct. 31 at Legoland Discovery Center Chicago, 601 N. Martingale, Schaumburg. Tickets: $24.99-$39.99. Visit legolanddiscoverycenter.com.
- Nightmare on Clark Street is a three-story immersive, over-the-top haunted house that promises to put you in a Halloween mood. After that spooky journey, dine-in or enjoy haunted cocktails and snacks on the tented patio. From Oct. 1-31 at Deuce’s Major League Bar, 3501-05 N. Clark. Haunted House admission: $10 (food and drinks not included), ages 16-18 must be accompanied by adult, under 15 not admitted. Visit nightmareonclarkst.com.