The Mix — Cool things to do and see in Chicago Jan. 16-22
The Rhinoceros Theater Festival, Tedeschi Trucks Band in concert and the Chicago Sinfonietta’s annual MLK tribute concert are among the highlights in the week ahead.
Looking for some cool things to do and see in the week ahead in Chicago?
Here are some suggestions to consider:
On the fringe
The 31st annual Rhinoceros Theater Festival returns for six weeks of performances featuring new plays, dance, devised works, variety, music, performance and new takes on classic texts. Curated by Curious Theatre Branch and Prop Thtr, the festival is committed to discovery and this edition’s run of 48 shows features many young and emerging companies and individuals as well as returning favorites. Among the shows Jan. 17-22: Social Sciences Productions’ “All My Little Words,” Curious Theatre’s “Four Story Animal Plus Dessert,” Kate Black-Spence and Chris Brickhouse’s “Ghosts of Whitechapel,” Sweet Back Productions’ “Deep Fried Refried” and more. Rhino Fest funs through Feb. 23 at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston. Tickets: $15 or pay-what-you-can. For a complete schedule, visit rhinofest.com.
The MLK Tribute Concert is the Chicago Sinfonietta’s annual tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The concert features vocalist and semi-finalist on “The Voice” Kymberli Joye performing Patty Griffin’s “Up to the Mountain” and the Chicago premiere of Joel Thompson’s “The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed,” as well as the traditional spiritual “Deep River” and John Legend and Common’s Academy Award-winning “Glory” from the movie “Selma.” At 3 p.m. Jan. 19, Wentz Concert Hall, North Central College, 171 E. Chicago, Naperville ($10-$62) and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan ($10-$99). Visit chicagosinfonietta.org.
Ideas in modernism
The new exhibit “Modernisms: Iranian, Turkish and Indian Highlights from NYU’s Abby Weed Grey Collection” is a survey of art from three nations where vibrant forms of modernism were created in the 1960s and 1970s. The 114 colorful and intriguing works range from Iranian and Turkish artists who explore calligraphy and ornamentation through avant-garde abstraction to Indian painters whose expressive canvases draw upon Hindu iconography. From Jan. 21-April 5 at Block Museum, Northwestern University, 40 Arts Circle, Evanston. Admission is free. Visit blockmuseum.northwestern.edu.
Classic ballet from Ukraine
The National Ballet Theatre of Odessa returns with performances of two classic ballets. Set to the music of Sergei Prokofiev and choreographed by Michael Lavrovsky, “Romeo and Juliet” is Shakespeare’s timeless tale of star-crossed lovers. At 7 p.m. Jan. 18, Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee, Waukegan. Tickets: $29.50-$52.50. Visit geneseetheatre.com. At 3 p.m. Jan. 19, Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph. Tickets: $55-$85. Visit harristheaterchicago.org. At 3 p.m. Jan. 26, Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena. Tickets: $35-$65. Visit paramountaurora.com. “Swan Lake,” set to the music of Pyotr Tchaikovsky, is based on a German legend about a young prince who sets out to free a swan maiden from an evil spell. At 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. Tickets: $28-$58. Visit northshorecenter.org.
Intimate classical experience
Fans of classical music or anyone who enjoys a unique musical experience can check out Candlelight, a series of candlelit performances of iconic classical music running through April 21. The performance at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Stan Mansion (2408 N. Kedzie) features violinist David Lisker and pianist Ilya Friedberg performing works by Brahms and Franck and at 6:30 and 9 p.m. Jan. 22, the Euclid Quartet performs six selections from Beethoven’s catalog. Tickets: $25-$50. The series also includes performances at the Newberry Library (60 W. Walton). For a complete schedule, visit https://secretchicago.com/chicago-candlelight/.
An expanding songbook
The Tedeschi Trucks Band, featuring veteran blues-rock artists Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, comes to the Chicago Theatre (175 N. State) for a four-night residency. According to NPR, the couple “has taken their love of classic rock, old soul and blues, and put their own authentic Americana stamp on it.” Now celebrating 10 years together, the 12-member ensemble continues to expand its musical boundaries. At 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17-18, 24-25, Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Tickets: $19.50+. Visit ticketmaster.com.
Celebrating 15 years in Chicago, “Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah” is a version of the composer’s oratorio conceived by composer Marin Alsop that has people on their feet and clapping along. The performance features soprano Alfreda Burke, alto Karen Marie Richardson, tenor Rodrick Dixon, pianist Alvin Waddles and a 100-person choir. At 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 and 3 p.m. Jan. 19, Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells. Tickets: $29+. Visit auditoriumtheatre.org.
Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.