The Mix: Music Box of Horrors, New Yorker Festival and more things to do in Chicago Oct. 1-7
There’s much to see and do online and in person in Chicago in the week ahead.
As if the world isn’t scary enough right now, you can enjoy 31 additional nights of horror when the Music Box of Horrors debuts on Oct. 1 at the Chi-Town Movies drive-In, 2343 S. Throop St.. Presented by the Music Box Theatre, the films are a mix of audience favorites and rarely screened titles. The first week’s offerings include a “Blacula”/”Blade II” double feature, “Alien,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” and “The Return of the Living Dead.” Tickets: $30, $40. Visit musicboxtheatre.com.
Stage to film
Chicago Children’s Theatre turns its West Loop parking lot at 100 S. Racine into a drive-in theater for an all-new film version of one of its most popular shows, “Beatrix Potter and Friends.” Based on the work of the beloved British author, the show was re-created this summer under the direction of Will Bishop. The stories told are “The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse,” “The Tailor of Gloucester,” “The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher”and“The Tale of Peter Rabbit.” From Oct. 1-18, $45 per car or per pod if families want to arrive on foot, advance reservations only; chicagochildrenstheatre.org
Movers & shakers
One of the odd outcomes of the COVID-19 crisis is being able to virtually enjoy film festival and theater offerings from around the country and the world without having to actually travel. Now The New Yorker Festival, a cultural fixture for two decades in New York City, joins this group as it makes its eclectic mix of conversations and performances available online. Among those sitting for interviews are Dr. Anthony Fauci, author Margaret Atwood, “Fargo’s” Noah Hawley and Chris Rock, Ira Glass (“This American Life”), Steve Martin and Jerry Seinfeld. The festival streams Oct. 5-11. For more information, visit festival.newyorker.com.
The new Chicago dance company Para.Mar Dance Theatre, founded by choreographer Stephanie Martinez, presents its inaugural performance series. Martinez and nine dancers created “kiss,” a new outdoor work that examines our collective search for a sense of wholeness found in connection. Martinez says she wanted “to create this opportunity for both artists and audiences in a moment when community art has otherwise evaporated from our reality.” At noon and 4 p.m. Oct. 3-4. Prior to each performance at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. there will be a movement class for all ages and abilities. Classes are free; pay-what-you-can for performances. It all takes place in the parking lot at 3319 N. Elston. Visit paramardance.com.
Out of this world
Otherworld Theatre, the company that brings science fiction and fantasy to the stage, has gathered a star-studded lineup for its annual fundraiser, “Sorcery & Spectacle: A Season of Transformation and Rebirth.” Hosting the event is Harvey Guillen (of the comedy series “What We Do in the Shadows”); Kristian Nairn (Hodor in “Game of Thrones”) will DJ the virtual after party. Among the many special guests are Marina Sirtis and Gates McFadden (both from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”), Peter Macon (“The Orville”), “Westworld” writer Charles Yu and scientists Arvind Nagarajan and Andy Sadhwani. Tickets are free to view the event, or upgrade ($100-$350) to sit at a virtual table with a celebrity. For more information, visit otherworldtheatre.org/gala2020.
Live from New York
Singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega celebrates the release of her career-spanning album, “An Evening of New York Song and Stories,” with a livestreamed concert from New York City’s iconic Blue Note Jazz Club. Expect renditions of Vega’s hits “Luka” and “Tom’s Diner” alongside deep cuts from her extensive catalog. And in support of the independent live music industry, Vega has partnered on the show with venues including locally the Old Town School of Folk Music, Evanston’s Space and Skokie’s North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. The concert streams at 8 p.m. Oct. 7. Tickets: $20. Visit oldtownschool.org, evanstonspace.com or northshorecenter.org.
The worldwide celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday may be canceled but that’s not stopping the Orion Ensemble from performing a program that includes two of his most beloved chamber music pieces. Joining the Orion musicians —Kathryne Pirtle (clarinet), Florentina Ramniceanu (violin) and Judy Stone (cello) — is guest pianistKuang-Hao Huang, a member of Fulcrum Point New Music Project and Picosa. The concert, with a limited number of in-person tickets ($25), is at 7 p.m. Oct. 6; the livestream is free. PianoForte Studios, 1335 S. Michigan. Visit orionensemble.org.
Mary Houlihan is a Chicago freelance writer.