Things to do in Chicago May 18-24 — The Mix

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Long Grove Chocolate Fest, and Hitch*Cocktails are among this week’s entertainment highlights.

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Hubbard Street Dancers Jacqueline Burnett, Alysia Johnson, and Abdiel Figueroa Reyes in on a PATH by Hope Boykin. Photo by Michelle Reid.jpg

Hubbard Street Dancers Jacqueline Burnett, Alysia Johnson, and Abdiel Figueroa Reyes in “on a PATH” by Hope Boykin.

Michelle Reid

Theater

Britt Edwards (from left) Kendra Turner, Qiana McNary and De’Jah Perkins in “The Real Housewives of Motown” at Black Ensemble Theater. 

Britt Edwards (from left), Kendra Turner, Qiana McNary and De’Jah Perkins in “The Real Housewives of Motown” at Black Ensemble Theater.

Darin M. Gladfelter

  • “The Real Housewives of Motown” is Michelle Renee Bester’s musical journey that looks at what life was like for the wives of musical superstars of the Motown era such as Josephine Williams (Otis Williams of the Temptations), Mary Agnes Williams (Paul Williams of the Temptations), Claudette Rogers Robinson (Smokey Robinson) and Clineice Stubbs (Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops). Melanie McCullough, De’Jah Perkins, Britt Edwards and Qiana McNary star; Bester directs. From May 20-July 9 at Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark. Tickets: $55. Visit blackensembletheater.org.
  • Matthew C. Yee’s darkly funny new musical, “Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon,” features country and folk songs and tells the story of two first-generation, Asian American renegades in love and on the run. Yee and Aurora Adachi-Winter in the title roles lead the cast; Amanda Dehnert directs. From May 24-June 2 at Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan. Tickets: $35+. Visit lookingglasstheatre.org.
Cassie Slater in “How To Lobster.” Photo by Mandy Modic.jpg

Cassie Slater in “How to Lobster.”

Mandy Modic

  • The summer season of Steppenwolf Theatre’s LookOut Series begins with “Welcome Home” (May 18-19, $40), musician Nico Segal’s intimate portrait of self-discovery, and “How to Lobster” (May 23-24, $20), Cassie Slater’s concert/art installation that riffs on the oral tradition of passing down life lessons. The series continues with more than 20 additional performances including comedians, drag shows, performance art, play readings and more. To Sept. 1 at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater, 1700 N. Halsted. Tickets: $10-$40. Visit steppenwolf.org/lookout.
  • “A Matter of Red Herrings” is A Theater in the Dark’s online presentation of Greg Garrison and Paul Sottnik’s mystery comedy which follows a pair of detectives hunting down a priceless artifact. Corey Bradberry directs. Streams beginning May 21. Tickets: $12.99. Visit atheaterinthedark.com.
Hitch*Cocktails at The Annoyance Theater & Bar.

Hitch*Cocktails at The Annoyance Theater & Bar.

Courtesy Hitch*Cocktails

  • Hitch*Cocktails, a fully improvised 90-minute comedic murder-thriller based on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, celebrates its 10-year anniversary with a takeover of The Annoyance Theater & Bar (851 W. Belmont) on May 19-20. Three 90-minute performances, a Hitchcock underground immersive pop-up on Saturday (complete with vintage thrift store and “iconic movie characters”), a Friday midnight DJ dance party, specialty cocktails and more are on the bill. In true 1950s fashion, actors are required to partake of a cocktail in every scene. Tickets, $10 for the immersion only; $35 package for tickets to the party, show and one free drink ticket. For a full schedule (select dates through June 30) and tickets, visit theannoyance.thundertix.com.
  • Refracted presents workshop performances of “A Play About David Mamet Writing a Play About Harvey Weinstein,” Mathilde Dratwa’s darkly comedic exploration of the intersection of art, ethics and power in American society. Tova Wolff directs. From May 21-31 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont. Tickets: $18. Visit theaterwit.org.
  • “The Empire Strips Back: A Burlesque Parody” takes audiences across the universe in a hilarious and rowdy burlesque fantasy featuring fan-favorite characters of the iconic film series. Begins May 24 in an open-ended run at Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie. Tickets: $39+. Visit theempirestripsback.com.
  • “Underground Railroad Game” is the Ars Nova staging of Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard’s comedy in which two middle-school teachers use games to teach uncomfortable lessons about American racial history. From May 18-20 at Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, Northwestern University’s Abbott Hall, 710 N. DuSable Lake Shore Dr. Tickets: $6-$15. Visit wirtz.northwestern.edu.

Dance

  • In the final performance of its 45th anniversary season, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performs Lou Conte’s “Georgia,” Lar Lubovitch’s “Coltrane’s Favorite Things,” Randy Duncan’s “Infinite,” Thang Dao’s “Nevermore,” Hope Boykin’s “on a PATH” and world premiere works from Rena Butler and Rennie Harris. From May 18-21 at Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph. Tickets: $15-$110. Visit hubbardstreetdance.com.
  • Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre performs “Soul Remedy,” a celebration of jazz and Black excellence, plus “Root” and “Culture Loop” from the company’s repertoire. At 7:30 p.m. May 18 at Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, 4046 W. Armitage, and 7:30 p.m. May 27 at Logan Center for the Arts, 915 W. 60th. Tickets: $35-$50. Visit cerquarivera.org.
  • “A Night at the Movies” is the theme for “Dance Divas,” a benefit for the Dancers’ Fund which unites Hollywood glamour and high camp in the annual show featuring Chicago’s professional concert dancers performing in drag. At 7 p.m. May 20 and 4:30, 7 p.m. May 21 at Baton Show Lounge, 4713 N. Broadway. Tickets: $75-$150. Visit dancedivaschicago.com.
  • Chicago Tap Allstars, a collaboration between M.A.D.D. Rhythms and Chicago Tap Theatre, celebrate National Tap Dance Day with workshops, lectures, panels, a tap jam and more. From May 20-21 at Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. Martin Luther King Dr. Prices vary. For more information, visit chicagotaptheatre.org or maddrhythms.com.
  • Visceral Dance Chicago presents an evening of solos created by Chicago choreographers. At 7:30 p.m. May 21 at Visceral Dance Center, 3121 N. Rockwell. Tickets: $20+. Visit visceraldance.com.
  • Ballet Folklorico de Chicago celebrates its fourth anniversary with a performance combining dance and live music to highlight Mexican folklore and history. At 1 and 5:30 p.m. May 21 at Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence. Tickets: $10-$35. Visit copernicuscenter.org.

Music

Natalie Merchant headlines the Chicago Theatre on May 19.

Natalie Merchant headlines the Chicago Theatre on May 19.

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

  • Now fully recovered from spinal surgery that left her without the ability to sing, Natalie Merchant returns to the road with a new album, “Keep Your Courage,” on which she explores themes of love and passion as essential to the human experience. At 8 p.m. May 19 at Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Tickets: $39+. Visit ticketmaster.com.
  • Mongolian fusion-folk trio Turvergen Band (Tamir Hargana, Naizal Hargana and Brent Roman) blends ancient Mongolian and Tuvan melodies with modern sensibilities and world music rhythms. The Chicago-based trio performs with musician friends Michael Miles, Graham Nelson and Justin LaForte. At 8 p.m. May 24 at Old Town School of Folk Music, 4545 N. Lincoln. Admission is free. Visit oldtownschool.org.

Museums

  • “The Girl in the Diary: Searching for Rywka from the Lodz Ghetto” explores a young girl’s fight for survival and the search for what happened to her during the Holocaust. Rywka Lipszyc’s diary was found in the ashes of a destroyed crematorium at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. It recounts her life in the Lodz ghetto between October 1943 and April 1944 and paints a portrait of a young girl who never gave up hope. From May 18-Sept. 24 at Illinois Holocaust Museum, 9603 Woods, Skokie. Admission: $6-$18. Visit ilholocaustmuseum.org.
Performers and priests at Soldier Field for the Polish Christian Millennium Celebration. The photograph is among the collection featured in “Back Home: Polish Chicago.” 

Performers and priests at Soldier Field for the 1966 Polish Christian Millennium Celebration. The photograph is among the collection featured in “Back Home: Polish Chicago.”

Chicago Sun-Times Collection/Chicago History Museum

  • “Back Home: Polish Chicago” looks at local Polish communities from the mid-1800s to today, via immigrants’ journeys and ways they have established themselves in city neighborhoods. Featured are more than 190 artifacts, documents and photographs. Also explore personal narratives, music, community involvement and art installations from five local Polish artists. The exhibit opens with a family day from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 20 and continues through early June 2024 at Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark. Admission: $17, $19, free for 18 and under. Visit chicagohistory.org.

Movies

“Bad Axe” by David Siev

“Bad Axe,” by David Siev.

Asian American Showcase

  • Asian American Showcase features nine films from established and emerging Asian American filmmakers. The opening night film is David Siev’s “Bad Axe,” the story of an Asian American family living in rural Michigan during the 2020 pandemic and fighting to keep their restaurant and American dream alive. Several directors will be on hand for post-screening Q&As. From May 19-25 Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. Tickets: $13. Visit siskelfilmcenter.org.

Family Fun

The Reyes Brothers perform in Circus Vazquez. photo by Eduardo Hernandez

The Reyes Brothers perform in Circus Vazquez.

Eduardo Hernandez

  • A new production from Circus Vazquez brings together a new cast of international circus performers that includes jugglers The Reyes Brothers, teeterboard artists Legion M, unicyclist Pavel Valla Bertini, trapeze artist Camilla Palma, the acrobats of Bingo Troupe and more accompanied by the Circus Vazquez Band. Find the big top outside of Gurnee Mills, 6170 W. Grand, Gurnee (May 19-29); and Woodfield Mall, 5 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg (June 2-12). Tickets: $25+. Visit circusvazquez.com.
  • Destinos Al Aire is an outdoor family festival presented by the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance, which features Latine theater, music, dance, art and vendors. Performers include Teatro Tariakuri’s Los Chilpayates Youth ensemble, the Center of Peruvian Arts with musician Hugo Gutierrez, Jesus Ramos with Mariachi Perla de Mexico and more. From 2-5 p.m. May 21 at National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th. Admission is free. Visit clata.org.
Celebrate all things chocolate at Long Grove’s Chocolate Fest.

Celebrate all things chocolate at Long Grove’s Chocolate Fest.

Courtesy HDLGBA

  • Chocolate lovers will want to head to Long Grove for its annual Chocolate Fest, a delicious event filled with chocolate-infused food and experiences (including a re-creation/competition of the classic candy-wrapping episode from “I Love Lucy”) plus music, games, artists and activities. From noon-11 p.m. May 19, 10 a.m-11 p.m. May 20 and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 21; in downtown Long Grove, 145 Old McHenry. Tickets: $5, $10 for a three-day pass. Visit longgrove.org.
  • The Anti-Cruelty Society event “Bark” raises funds and awareness for the organization. The dog-centric event includes an optional two-mile walk along the lakefront plus activities including an agility course, demonstrations, costume contests, music, crafts and more. From 8 a.m.-1 p.m. May 20 on Stadium Green at Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Dr. For more information and to register, visit anticruelty.org/bark.

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