Looking for some cool things do to and see in Chicago in the week ahead? Here are some highlights:
Into the Madonna groove
Leave it to Madonna to always shake things up. Her Madame X tour, a series of multi-night residencies in smaller venues than usual, began with 17 nights at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Gilman Opera House and is now headed here for seven shows at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. The iconic performer celebrates her 14th studio album while also performing hits and fan favorites. Rolling Stone says the tour is “a testament to the genius in her madness” and that Madonna is “as gloriously weird as ever.” An Oct. 15 show has been rescheduled for Oct. 28. Other dates: Oct. 16-17, 21, 23-24, 27. Tickets begin at $98. Visit ticketmaster.com.
Films from everywhere
The 55th Chicago International Film Festival gets under way Oct. 16 with Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn,” an adaptation of Jonathan Letham’s novel. More than 150 films are screened including feature films, documentaries and short films, some made in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Among the other high-profile films are Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out,” Kasi Lemmons’ “Harriet,” Destin Daniel Cretton’s “Just Mercy,” Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life,” Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” and Fernando Meirelles’ “The Two Popes.” Oct. 16-27 at AMC River East, 322 E. Illinois. Visit chicagofilmfestival.com.
Mariachi music has its roots in cities like Guadalajara and Mexico City but now those roots extend to Chicago, the city Mariachi Herencia de Mexico calls home. The three-year-old dynamic ensemble started as a student group in Chicago Public Schools and continues to be composed of talented teenagers. The recent album, “Escencia,” features arrangements by composer Rigoberto Alfaro, considered a legend in the genre. At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13, Dominican University Performing Arts Center, 7900 W. Division, River Forest. Tickets: $18-$29. Visit events.dom.edu.
Animals on the lam
Join your favorite zoo escapees as they embark on a madcap journey in “Madagascar — A Musical Adventure.” The family-friendly show based on the animated film is filled with colorful characters, nonstop adventure and lots of music. Through Dec. 29, Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire. Tickets: $18.23. Visit marriotttheatre.com.
An Americana legacy
Travel back to the roots of Americana with Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen. One of the architects of country rock in the late ’60s, Hillman was a co-founder of The Byrds and a member of The Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas and the Desert Rose Band. Pedersen, a go-to session player, has worked with Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, John Prine and many more. The show includes songs from all Hillman’s bands, some of which haven’t been performed live in more than 40 years. At 7 p.m. Oct. 13, Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $28, $30. Visit oldtownschool.org.
Fooling the masters
Joshua Jay has it figured out. With his unique brand of sleight-of-hand and mind-reading, he was one of the few acts to outsmart Penn & Teller on their show “Fool Us.” Using little more than a deck of cards and objects borrowed from the audience, each of Jay’s shows is completely original. There will be a Q&A after each performance. At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17-18, Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th. Tickets: $10. Visit arts.uchicago.edu.
The latest venture by Chicago actor-writer-producer Jay Davis is a locally made comedy TV pilot, “Step Dads,” about two foster brothers, polar opposites, who are tasked with raising two children using non-traditional parenting methods. Mishaps occur. The world premiere is at 6 p.m. Oct. 13 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee. Tickets: $15-$25. Visit eventbrite.com.
Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.