The Mix: Things to do in Chicago Oct. 21-27, 2021

From theater and music to museums and family events, we’ve got just the ticket with our entertainment guide to some of the fun kicking off in the week ahead.

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Ballet Folklorico is participating in this year’s Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade on Oct. 30.

Ballet Folklorico is participating in this year’s Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade on Oct. 30.

Richard IV Photography

Family Fun

— There’s lot of eye-popping fun during Chicago Halloweek, the city’s celebration of all things Halloween. Events include the Upside-Down Parade in Washington Park (noon-3 p.m. Oct. 23) which features dancers, musicians, circus acrobats and more; Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade (6-8 p.m. Oct. 30) features floats, spectacle puppets and performances downtown on State Street; and the Dia de los Muertos Celebration (9 a.m.-3 p.m.) at Maxwell Street Market includes music, a sugar skull workshop, pumpkin decorating and more. All events are outdoors and free. Visit

— What scary things lurk in the dark? Find out at Little Park of Horrors, a haunted drive-through only Halloween experience (Rated PG-13) featuring horror displays with music and lighting effects. From Oct. 21-24, 28-31 in Wing Park, 1010 Wing St., Elgin. Admission: $10 tickets must be bought in advance for timed entry. Visit

CSO for Kids returns as members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra introduce children to classical music at a daytime performance (11 a.m. Oct. 23), the orchestra performs John Williams’ score at a screening of “Home Alone” (7:30 p.m. Nov. 26-27, 3 p.m. Nov. 28) and the orchestra shares holiday music for the annual family concert “Merry, Merry Chicago!” (Dec. 17-23). Ticket prices vary. Visit


Cassie Beck stars in “What the Constitution Means to Me.”

Cassie Beck stars in “What the Constitution Means to Me.”

Joan Marcus

— Heidi Schreck’s engaging play, “What the Constitution Means to Me,” breathes new life into the U.S. Constitution and imagines how it will shape the next generation of American women. The playwright recalls her teenage self as she earns college money by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the country and uses that memory for a deep dive into the document. From Oct. 26-Nov. 21 at Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut. Tickets: $30+. Visit

— Raven Theatre welcomes back audiences with the world premiere of Joshua Allen’s “The Last Pair of Earlies.” The drama is the story of Wayland and Della Rose Early, a couple who 20 years earlier fled Mississippi for Chicago’s South Side but are now facing unrealized dreams and the life-altering question: Are we still enough for each other? Marcus D. Moore and Shadana Patterson star; Wardell Julius Clark directs. From Oct. 27-Dec. 12 at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark. Tickets: $40. Visit

Frank Ferrante stars in “An Evening with Groucho.”

Frank Ferrante stars in “An Evening with Groucho.”

Michael Doucett

— Frank Ferrante stars in “An Evening with Groucho,” his laugh-filled portrait of Groucho Marx which celebrates the style and spirit of the comedian. At 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at Spiegeltent ZaZou, Cambria Hotel, 32 W. Randolph. Tickets: $39.50-$59.50. Visit

— Charles Askenaizer directs and performs the title role in Shakespeare’s classic tragedy “Hamlet.’’ From Oct. 21-Nov. 21 at Invictus Theatre, 1106 W. Thorndale. Tickets: $30. Visit

— The Artistic Home presents Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice,” the playwright’s take on the ancient myth as told from the perspective of Eurydice rather than Orpheus. Kathy Scambiatterra directs. From Oct. 23-Nov. 21 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee. Tickets: $34. Visit

— Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, in association with The Breath Project, presents “8:46 (Breathing Room),” a new play festival of four commissioned plays each 8 minutes and 46 seconds long. The festival is curated by associate artistic director Denise Yvette Serna and the playwrights are Mari DeOleo, Tina Fakhrid Serna, Gloria Imseih Petrell and Risha Tenae. At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 and 4 p.m. Oct. 23 at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge. Tickets: $15-$30 for live performance or stream. Visit


Aoife O’Donovan. Photo by Rich Gilligan

Aoife O’Donovan

Rich Gilligan Photo

Aoife O’Donovan tours behind her new album, “Age of Apathy,” which was produced by Joe Henry and features guests Allison Russell and Madison Cunningham. The new songs find the singer-songwriter confronting the sense-dulling barrage of the digital age. While her previous albums were composed in a rush between tours, this effort was more deliberate and methodical. (On another note, O’Donovan also recently shared her remarkable live performance of the entirety Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska” for Bandcamp Friday.) At 8 p.m. Oct. 21 at Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $35. Visit

Yasmin Williams (credit Kim Atkins)

Yasmin Williams

Kim Atkins Photo

Yasmin Williams first began playing electric guitar in 8th grade via “Guitar Hero 2” making it to expert level and by 10th grade had recorded her first EP of original songs. She quickly moved on to acoustic guitar and perfected her unorthodox, modern style of acoustic fingerstyle playing. Her influences range from Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana to go-go and hip-hop as well as other Black women guitarists — Elizabeth Cotton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Algia Mae Hinton. On her recent album, “Urban Driftwood,” Williams references the music of West African griots through inclusion of the kora, which she learned to play, and the hand drumming of Amadou Kouyate. Eli Winter opens the show a 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at Space, 1245 Chicago, Evanston. Tickets: $18-$28. Visit

Peter Asher (center), one half of the British Invasion duo Peter & Gordon.  Photo by Jay Gilbert 

Peter Asher (center).

Jay Gilbert Photo

— One half of the British Invasion duo Peter & Gordon takes a trip back in time with “Peter Asher: A Musical Memoir of the ‘60s and Beyond.” Through film footage, photos, stories and song, Asher looks back at his early career and on to his days as a producer, music executive and manager handling the careers of James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and many others. At 8 p.m. Oct. 23 at Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $38. Visit

Jake Blount is an award-winning banjo player (winner of the 2020 Steve Martin Banjo Prize), fiddler, singer and ethnomusicologist. His recent album, “Spider Tales,” is drawn from the lost Black and Indigenous histories of Appalachian roots music. The New Yorker says Blount “mines a deep, under-explored vein of roots music, presenting new, often haunted versions of field hollers, murder ballads, and more.” 6’10 and Jake Book open the show at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at Reggies, 2105 S. State. Tickets: $15. Visit


“Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement” is a new exhibit featured at the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

“Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement” is a new exhibit featured at the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

“Rise Up” was developed by the Newseum, an affiliate of the Freedom Forum.

“Rise Up: Stonewell and the LGBTQ Rights Movement” explores the June 1969 police raid of New York City’s Stonewall Inn as the flashpoint that ignited the modern gay rights movement in the United States. The exhibit features historic images and artifacts of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, including posters from Harvey Milk’s campaign for public office in San Francisco, a rainbow flag in its original colors signed by its creator Gilbert Baker and early LGBTQ magazines and publications. To May 8 at Illinois Holocaust Museum, 9603 Woods Dr., Skokie. Admission: $6-$15, children under 5 free. Visit

Sister Gertrude Morgan (American, 1900–1980). “Chart of Revelations 10, 11, 12, 13,” c. 1970. Pen and paint on poster board, 22 x 28 in.

Sister Gertrude Morgan (American, 1900–1980). “Chart of Revelations 10, 11, 12, 13,” c. 1970. Pen and paint on poster board.

Collection of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, gift of Susann Craig

— Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art celebrates its late founder Susann Craig with an exhibit, “Building a Legacy,” which features works from its collection donated by Craig. Among the pieces are works by Minnie Evans, Justin McCarthy, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Albert Zahn and more. Craig was a devotee and avid collector of outsider art who befriended many of the genre’s artists and whose stewardship was key to the museum’s long-term success to becoming a premiere museum of outsider and self-taught art. From Oct. 14-Jan. 9 at Intuit, 756 N. Milwaukee. Admission: $5. Visit


Deeply Rooted Dance Theater

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater

Ken Carl Photo

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater returns with a program titled “Roots & Wings,” featuring artistic director Gary Abbott’s “Bach’d,” Kevin Iega Jeff’s “Aisatnaf” and “Gula Matari,” the company premiere of Ulysses Dove’s “Episodes” and excerpts from “Goshen,” the story of Exodus as told in a collaboration of gospel music, dramatic narrative and dance theater rooted in African American traditions. At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr. Tickets: $25+. Visit

Onjelee Phomthirath (clockwise from upper left), Rosario Guillen and  Erina Ueda in Giordano Dance Chicago’s “Take a Gambol” (2018).

Onjelee Phomthirath (clockwise from upper left), Rosario Guillen and Erina Ueda in Giordano Dance Chicago’s “Take a Gambol” (2018).

Giordano Dance Chicago

— Another dance troupe returning to live performances this week is Giordano Dance Chicago with its 13-member resident ensemble performing classic and contemporary jazz pieces, including the company premiere of Adam Houston’s “All for You” as well as works from the company’s repertory including “Flickers,” “A Little Moonlight,” “Shirt Off My Back,” “Take A Gambol” and “Pyrokinesis.” At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22-23 at the Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph. Tickets: $20-$90. Visit


A scene from Andre Konchalovsky’s film “Shy People.”

A scene from Andre Konchalovsky’s film “Shy People.”


— The Chicago Film Society returns with a handful of rarely screened films. The lineup features Andre Konchalovsky’s “Shy People” (Oct. 25), starring Jill Clayburgh, Barbara Hershey and Martha Plimpton; George Loane Tucker’s “Traffic in Souls” (Nov. 6), a silent film about New York sex traffickers; Farah Khan’s “Om Shanti Om” (Nov. 29), a Bollywood film; and Vincente Minnelli’s “Meet Me in St. Louis” (Dec. 13), one of the great Hollywood musicals. All are screened at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. Tickets: $10-$12. Visit

NOTE: For COVID-19 safety protocols, visit theaters’ individual websites.

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