The Mix: Deeply Rooted Dance, Kurt Elling concerts and more things to do Oct. 15-21
There’s so much to do in the week ahead in Chicago, both online and in-person.
The first 25
“Deeply 25: Beyond Dance … The Celebration Begins” launches Deeply Rooted Dance Theater’s 25th season with a fundraiser featuring in-person and virtual performances. Among the pieces are Kevin Iega Jeff’s “My Country Tis of Thee,” featuring the music of Mahalia Jackson; Joshua L. Ishmon’s “When Men,” with narration by Charlie Chaplin and music by Paolo Nutini, and Jeff’s “Surrender,” with music by Terence Trent D’Arby and Hans Zimmer. Video highlights of the company’s history are presented between performances. At 7 p.m. Oct. 17, Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. Tickets: $25, $150 (virtual), $250-$1000 (in person). Visit deeplyrooteddancetheater.org.
The Constitution considered
The last live performance many theatergoers in Chicago attended before COVID-19 shut down the city was the then just-opened Broadway in Chicago presentation of Heidi Schreck’s wise and hopeful “What the Constitution Means to Me.” Now those who missed out can catch the Tony Award-nominated play when it comes to Amazon Prime on Oct. 16. The play begins with Schreck’s 15-year-old self in awe of the Constitution and then moves on to an examination of the document’s relation to her and the women in her family, specifically in regards to the 14th amendment and its equal protection clause. Visit amazon.com.
On the road
South African photographer Jo Ractliffe began her career at the height of violent suppression of the anti-apartheid resistance. But instead of following the social documentary path, she instead examined the national character and history of the country by chronicling its landscapes. The exhibit “Jo Ractliffe: DRIVES” features photographs, videos, book art and multimedia installation. From Oct. 17-April 26 at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan. Admission: $14-$25 (advance tickets required). Visit artic.edu.
Musicians & a message
Getting out the vote is the goal of two virtual music events featuring a phenomenal lineup of artists. “All Souls to the Polls” (7 p.m. Oct. 17-18; free, 50to50concert.com) includes a culturally diverse group of performers from all 50 states ranging from California’s Los Lobos to South Carolina’s Ranky Tanky to New York’s Klezmer Brass All Stars. “Voice Your Vote” (5 p.m. Oct. 18; $15; citywinery.com/chicago), curated by singer Valerie June, benefits Fair Fight and Movement Voter Project and features, among others, Brittany Howard, Jon Batiste, Kandace Springs, Rhiannon Giddens with Resistance Revival Chorus and Toshi Reagon.
Corey Bradberry and Mack Gordon’s new adaptation of H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds,” with a nod to Orson Welles’ legendary 1938 radio play, debuts as an online audio drama titled “A War of the Worlds.” The playwrights follow the contours of Wells’ story of a Martian invasion but move the action from 1890s England to present-day Illinois, placing the story in Chicago and other locations around the state. Produced by Theatre in the Dark, a company dedicated to making theater exclusively through sound, the audio drama will be performed live online six nights a week from Oct. 15-Nov. 21. Tickets: pay-what-you-can. Visit theatreinthedark.com.
The Chicago Sinfonietta opens its 33rd season with “Common Ground: Collective Stories.” Among the works performed are Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” and the world premiere of artist-in-residence Kathryn Bostic’s “Portrait of a Peaceful Warrior,” a work commissioned by the Sinfonietta. Stream the performance at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17. Tickets: $45. Visit chicagosinfonietta.org.
Live at Green Mill
Grammy Award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling performs live-streamed concerts from the Green Mill at 3 and 8 p.m. Fridays through Nov. 13 (no show Nov. 6). The concerts commemorate the silver anniversary of Elling’s Blue Note debut, “Close Your Eyes.” On Saturdays, he hosts a series of performances by modern jazz artists: soulful jazz vocalist Lizz Wright (Oct. 17) and innovative drummer Makaya McCraven (Oct. 24). Tickets: $15 per show. Visit greenmilljazz.com.
Collaboraction’s “Peacebook 2020” kicks off Oct. 17 with two free online programs with Chicago artists/activists premiering short new works about peace in Chicago, followed by a month of additional free screenings and online conversations. The opening event features work by Ada Cheng, Darling Squire, Matthew LaChappelle, Luzzo, Vernon B. Gooden, Jasmin Cardenas, Mia Park, Teh’Ray Hale Jr. aka PHENOM, Sami Ismat and Willie Round. Visit collaboraction.org.
First Folio Theatre streams “Madmen & Prisoners: Two Tales By Poe,” featuring “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Pit and the Pendulum.” Both are excerpts from the company’s 2018 production of “The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe” filmed in the haunted mansion on the grounds of Peabody Estate in Oak Brook. The tales stream from Oct. 20-Nov. 1. Tickets: pay-what-you-can. Visit firstfolio.org.
Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.