Things to do in Chicago April 13-19: The Mix

John Mellencamp’s three-night stand, the Expo Chicago art show and Northlight’s new musical “The Porch on Windy Hill” are among the highlights in the week ahead.

SHARE Things to do in Chicago April 13-19: The Mix

John Mellencamp performs March 22 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Chris Pizzello/AP



Morgan Morse, Lisa Helmi Johanson and David M. Lutken in “The Porch on Windy Hill.”

Jonathan Steele

  • Sherry Lutken, Lisa Helmi Johanson, Morgan Morse and David M. Lutkin’s new musical, “The Porch on Windy Hill,” is the story of an Appalachian family’s varied roots and the American music that binds them together. Sherry Lutken directs. From April 13-May 14 at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. Tickets: $30-$89. Visit
  • Citadel Theatre presents “Airness,” Chelsea Marcantel’s comedy set in the world of air guitar competitions, where a group of charismatic nerds are committed to becoming the next champions. Joe Lehman directs. From April 19-May 21 at Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan, Lake Forest. Tickets: $40, $45. Visit
  • Broadway stars Nathan Gunn and Ann Harada join the New Philharmonic for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific.” Other vocalists and a chorus also join in this concert presentation of the classic musical. At 7:30 p.m. April 15 and 3 p.m. April 16 at McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell, Glen Ellyn. Tickets: $67. Visit



The Joffrey Ballet presents John Neumeier’s “The Little Mermaid.

Kiran West

The Joffrey Ballet presents John Neumeier’s haunting interpretation of the Hans Christian Andersen folktale “The Little Mermaid.” Neumeier, director and chief choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet, blends dance, storytelling and spectacle, plus grand sets and costumes to make this the largest production ever mounted at the Joffrey. From April 19-30 at Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker. Tickets: $36+. Visit


“ZigZag” by American Ballet Theatre

Rosalie O’Connor

  • Not seen in Chicago since 2019, American Ballet Theatre returns with a diverse mixed repertory program featuring Christopher Rudd’s “Touche,” Jessica Lang’s “ZigZag,” Alexei Ratmansky’s “Songs of Bukovina” and Clark Tipper’s “Some Assembly Required.” At 7:30 p.m. April 14-15 and 2 p.m. April 16 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells. Tickets: $48+. Visit
  • Hedwig Dances presents the U.S. premiere of Oskar Schlemmer’s dance-performance piece “Meta | Mor | Phos,” a co-production with the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. Also performed is “Syzygy,” a new work by choreographer Mike Tyus. At 7:30 p.m. April 14-15, 21-22 and 3:30 p.m. April 22 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn. Tickets: $20+. Visit
  • The contemporary ballet company Para.Mar Dance Theatre presents new works by choreographers Yin Yue, Helene Simoneau and Stephanie Martinez that delve into different aspects of loss. At 7:30 p.m. April 14 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. April 15 at Epiphany Arts Center, 201 S. Ashland. Tickets: pay-what-you-can. Visit
  • Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre’s “Inside/Out” series showcases new work and invites audiences into the creative process. At 7:30 p.m. April 12 at Links Hall (311 N. Western), the company previews “Becoming,” a section of an evening-length work exploring gender identity. Tickets: $15-$30. Visit


  • Indiana rocker John Mellencamp comes to town for a three-night stand at the Chicago Theatre (175 N. State). After a 29-year absence, fiddler Lisa Germano is back in the band to add to Mellencamp’s classics like “Pink Houses,” “Jack and Diane” and “Rain on the Scarecrow” plus songs from his most recent album “Strictly a One-Eyed Jack.” Word has it instead of an opening band, the pre-show is 30 minutes of clips from classic films thanks to tour sponsor Turner Classic Movies. Tickets: $120+. Visit

Chicago Philharmonic presents singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kishi Bashi in a performance of his “Improvisations on EO9066,” a project that shines a light on the dark time of Japanese American incarceration during World War II. A multimedia piece, it’s performed alongside images of Bashi improvising in historic incarceration sites, photography by Dorothea Lange and film by JJ Gerber. At 7:30 p.m. April 15 at Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph. Tickets: $95. Visit


Rachel Baiman

Natia Cinco

  • Oak Park native Rachel Baiman celebrates the release of her new album “Common Nation of Sorrow” at 8:30 p.m. April 14 at FitzGerald’s (6615 W. Roosevelt, Berwyn). Nashville Scene says it’s “a richly textured folk album with subtle rock underpinnings that faces the problems of our age with clear eyes and stout resolve.” Tickets: $20. Visit



Expo Chicago (pictured in 2022) returns Thursday.

Courtesy of Expo Chicago

  • Expo Chicago, the international exposition of contemporary and modern art, returns for its 10th anniversary edition. The roster is led by 170 galleries representing 36 countries and includes programs, installations, speakers and more. From April 13-16 at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand. Admission: $35+. Visit

“Low Rider,” by the collective Tlacolulokos (Darío Canul and Cosijoesa Cernas, in “Los huecos del agua.”


  • A hit when it debuted in 2019 at Mexico City’s Museo Universitario del Chopo, the exhibit “Los huecos del agua (The gaps in the water): Recent Indigenous Art from Mexico” showcases 27 contemporary artists whose work focuses on recreating the present moment and the legacy left behind by Native cultures before Spanish colonizers arrived. To Aug. 27 at National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th. Admission is free. Visit


  • The 39th Chicago Latino Film Festival (April 13-23) opens with Claudia Sainte-Luce’s “Love & Mathematics,” an offbeat comedy about breaking away from social norms, and closes with Patricia Ortega’s “Mamacruz,” a poignant comedy about sexual awakening among the elderly. In between there are 49 additional features and 35 shorts. Tickets: $15, festival pass $125 (10 films). For a complete list of films and venues, visit

Bob Hoskins in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”

Touchstone Pictures

  • “Crackerjack Compass: The Works of Robert Zemeckis” is one of the first major retrospectives of the filmmaker’s work ranging from his classics to more obscure films. Included are “Back to the Future” (all three films), “Cast Away,” “Forrest Gump,” “Romancing the Stone,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and more. From April 13-19 at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. Tickets: $12, $125 festival pass. For a complete list of films, visit
  • Find out if the dude still abides when Fathom Events and Universal Pictures celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Coen Brothers’ “The Big Lebowski,” the cult classic starring Jeff Bridges and John Goodman, with a series of screenings at area cinemas. Included is commentary by film historian Leonard Maltin. For a list of area screenings taking place on April 16 and 20, go to

Family fun


“The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show” at Chicago Children’s Theatre.

Ari Craven

  • “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show” is a fun stage version of the classic Eric Carle children’s picture book, along with three other Carle favorites: “Brown Bear, Brown Bear,” “10 Little Rubber Ducks” and “The Very Busy Spider.” Before and after the show, gather in the lobby for more fun with games and crafting stations. From April 15-June 4 at Chicago Children’s Theatre, 100 S. Racine. Tickets: $35.35. Visit

“Funtime Unicorn: Ruby Rides Through Four Seasons”

Courtesy of Art on the Mart

  • The spring season of Art on The Mart, the digital art project that transforms The Mart into a very large canvas, kicks off April 14 with a new commission by artist Derrick Adams entitled “Funtime Unicorn: Ruby Rides Through Four Seasons,” which celebrates Black joy, love and play. Also April 27-May 14, artwork by Chicago Public School students will be on view. At 8:30 and 9 p.m. nightly; the best place to view the art is from the Chicago Riverwalk, on Wacker between Wells and Franklin, where accompanying audio can be heard. Visit

The Latest
Jayson Tatum had 31 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, and the Celtics topped the Mavericks 106-88 to break a tie with the Lakers for the most in league history.
Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ films, cried out in pain after he fell during a performance of ‘Player Kings’ at the Noel Coward Theatre.
The Cubs president of baseball operations has been working the phones, but don’t expect a savior to walk in the door anytime soon.
Nearly 490,000 spouses of U.S. citizens will have an opportunity to apply for a ‘parole in place’ program that would shield them from deportations and offer them work permits if they have lived in the country for at least 10 years.