‘Inception’s’ return engagement
While we wait and wait and wait for Christopher Nolan’s latest mindbender “Tenet” to open, why not celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Nolan’s tricked-out film “Inception” in 70mm at the Music Box Theatre? Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a thief who has mastered a new kind of corporate espionage as he enters people’s dreams and steals their ideas. Given a chance to redeem himself, he faces a seemingly impossible task: plant an idea in someone’s mind. At the time in a 4-star review, Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert called the movie “wholly original” adding that writing the movie “must have involved prodigious concentration, like playing blindfold chess while walking a tightrope.” The film opens Aug. 14 for a three-week run at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. Remember the theater’s seating capacity is 50 and all tickets ($15) must be bought online in advance. (The opening date for “Tenet” has been a moving target but if the latest announced date, Sept. 3, does actually happen it will also screen in 70mm at the Music Box.) Visit musicboxtheatre.com.
Rogers Park arts
The Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest returns to Rogers Park with a new mobile edition Aug. 15-16. Traveling throughout the neighborhood around Glenwood and Morse, the event features a mobile stage and large-screen video trucks that allow residents to enjoy art and music at a safe distance along the sidewalks and from their homes. Musicians performing are Flatbed & Scruggs (with former and current members of Henhouse Prowlers) and Amazing Heeby Jeebies (Aug. 14) and Joyce Renee Walker Band and Urban Rhythm Band (Aug. 15). The festival hits the road each day at noon and 4 p.m., and the Chicago Bluesmobile travels the festival route on Aug. 14 from 6-9 p.m. For tour maps and more information, visit glenwoodave.org.
The stream where it happens
Northlight Theatre is one of the nonprofit arts organizations participating in the virtual benefit concert “Christopher Jackson: Live from the West Side.” The Tony Award-nominated singer-actor, best known for his portrayal of George Washington in the original staging of “Hamilton,” will perform songs from his favorite musicals, pop standards and a selection of his original material. He’ll also share stories from his time performing in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s two groundbreaking musicals: “In The Heights” and “Hamilton.” Plus audience members can text questions, some of which will be answered during the live event from New York. Streaming at 7 p.m. Aug. 15. Tickets: $40 (tickets purchased through Northlight benefit the theater). Visit northlight.org.
A pair of Mekons
Jon Langford and Sally Timms’ musical friendship began way back with the early days of the seminal punk rock band The Mekons. But, as any Chicago fan knows, their music in the ensuing decades goes way beyond that singular interest. The duo performs an array of tunes during a virtual performance presented by The Hideout at 8 p.m. Aug. 14. Suggested donation is $15. Visit hideoutchicago.com.
The Live@Five series continues at the Goodman Theatre with a conversation with Tony Award-winning writer-director Mary Zimmerman about her career at the Goodman and beyond. In a talk with artistic director Robert Falls, she’ll discuss her acclaimed productions over 26 years as Goodman Manilow Resident Director, including “The Music Man,” “The Jungle Book,” “Candide,” “The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci” and many more. Stream at 5 p.m. Aug. 14. Visit goodmantheatre.org.
Uncovered on screen
A new documentary, “Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies,” delves into its subject matter beginning with the silent film era on into present-day movies. The film, directed by Danny Wolf and executive produced by North Shore nudity expert Jim “Mr. Skin” McBride, examines pre-code Hollywood, the censorship aimed at cleaning up Hollywood and how explicit content changed film culture through the decades. Talking heads include Peter Bogdanovich, Malcolm McDowell, Pam Grier, Kevin Smith, Sean Young, Amy Heckerling, Traci Lords, Mariel Hemingway and the Sun-Times’ Richard Roeper. Available Aug. 18 on demand.
Radio Woodstock celebrates its 40th anniversary and commemorates the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival with “The Greatest Festival of All Time,” a three-day salute airing Aug. 16-18. The station asked fans for suggestions and from these compiled a long list of live performances from around the country including Jimi Hendrix at Monterey (1967), The Allman Brothers (1970) and Aretha Franklin (1971) at The Fillmore, The Clash at Shea Stadium (1982), U2 at Red Rocks (1983), R.E.M. at the Aragon Ballroom (1984), B.B. King at the Apollo Theater (1990), Crossroads Festival Chicago (2005) and many more. Streams from 5 p.m. Aug. 16 to 7 p.m. Aug. 18 at radiowoodstock.com.
Mary Houlihan is a Chicago freelance writer.