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The Mix: European Union Film Festival and other things to do in Chicago March 5-11

From El Greco at the Art Institute to comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, there’s much to do and see in the week ahead throughout the Chicago area.

“Comic Sans” at the European Union Film Festival.
2i Film

European cinema

The European Union Film Festival, now in its 23rd year, is the place to check out what’s new in the world of cinema from across the pond. The creative diversity of European filmmakers is on display in the 47 films, all Chicago premieres. As is tradition, the opening night slot goes to the nation — Croatia — currently serving as the EU’s president. That film is Nevio Marasovic’s “Comic Sans,” a satirical comedy about a troubled ad-man looking for redemption. From March 6-April 2 at Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. Tickets: $12. For a complete schedule, visit siskelfilmcenter.org.

Walk in history

A visitor experiences “The March” at the DuSable Museum of African American History.
Noreen Nasir/AP

For a unique experience, take part in “The March,” a groundbreaking immersive exhibit that re-creates an iconic moment in American history: the 1963 March on Washington. Become one of the 25,000-plus people who gathered as Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. The experience, which draws on the personal stories of organizers and demonstrators who were there, begins with audio lesson about the beginning of the civil rights movement and then moves into a virtual reality experience of the day and the iconic speech. “The March” can accommodate four visitors at once; time slots must be booked in advance. Through November at the DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Place. Admission: $9-$14.50. Visit dusablemuseum.org.

Dad wrote a what?

Alice Levine (from left), Jamie Morton and James Cooper of “My Dad Wrote a Porno.”
Matt Crockett

Since its launch in 2015, the British comedy podcast “My Dad Wrote a Porno” has gone from cult hit to global sensation. It’s the brainchild of Jamie Morton, who discovered that his retired father had written an amateur erotic novel series, “Belinda Blinked,” under the pen name Rocky Flintstone. Morton set out to read the works aloud and dissect them with the help of his cohorts Alice Levine and James Cooper. It’s uncomfortable fun. At 8 p.m. March 7, the trio brings a live version of the podcast to the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Tickets: $35+. Visit ticketmaster.com.

Havana man

Roberto Fonseca
Alejandro Azcuy

Pianist-singer Roberto Fonseca is on a journey to bring the music of Cuba to the world. With a jazz sensibility and deep roots in Afro-Cuban traditions, his sound builds bridges between ancient and modern and takes Cuban music forward. Touring behind his new album “Yesun,” he says, “This is the album I’ve always wanted to make. It presents a Cuba without borders.” Fonseca has been called “the most exciting pianist in Cuba.” At 7 p.m. March 8, Old Town School of Folk Music, 909 W. Armitage. Tickets, $25. Visit oldtownschool.org.

Renaissance master

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos). “Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple,” about 1570.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art, The William Hood Dunwoody Fund.

Sculptures and more than 55 paintings, from large-scale canvases to more intimate panel paintings, are featured in “El Greco: Ambition and Defiance,” the first major exhibition in more than 15 years devoted to Doménikos Theotokópoulos (1541-1614), known as El Greco. The exhibit, featuring works gathered from around the world, traces the development of his distinctive style as well as the astounding ambition that drove him to relentlessly pursue success. From March 7-June 21 at Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan. Admission: $16-$25. Visit artic.edu.

Offbeat humor

Bobcat Goldthwait
Gersh Agency

Bobcat Goldthwait’s brand of stand-up is brutally honest, outrageous, and offbeat; for some it’s an acquired taste. After 30 years in the business, he remains as edgy as ever as he riffs on his personal life, politics and humorous stories about his life in show business. At 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. March 6-7, The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee. Tickets: $22. Visit thedentheatre.com.

Bluegrass + Celtic = Celtgrass

We Banjo Three
Brian Dalthorp

The Galway, Ireland and Nashville-based quartet We Banjo Three blends the traditions of Americana, bluegrass and Celtic music with pop songcraft to create a signature sound. Banjo, mandolin, guitar and percussion back catchy choruses and perfect harmonies. The recent album “Haven” is filled with songs that are exuberant and imbued with emotion. At 5 and 8 p.m. March 8, City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. Tickets: $28-$38. Visit citywinery.com/chicago.

Fancy footwork

Zoe Less and Taylor Mallory of Chicago Tap Theatre
Kristie Kahns

Chicago Tap Theatre presents “Sweet Tap Chicago,” a celebration of Chicago musicians, music and tap. Artistic director Mark Yonally, who grew up tap dancing in the jazz clubs of Kansas City, says, “the connection between live music and tap dance has always been the root of my love affair with tap.” The show features a jazz sextet including singers Taylor Mallory and JC Brooks and tap choreography by Yonally, Kirsten Uttich, Sterling Harris and Rich Ashworth. Founded in 2002 by Yonally, the vibrant dance company has been dedicated to preserving this American dance form and taking it to the next level of creativity. At 2 and 5 p.m. March 8, Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse. Tickets: $30-$40. Visit chicagotaptheatre.com.

Mary Houlihan is a Chicago freelance writer.