The Mix: 57th Street Art Fair, Asian Pop-Up Cinema and more cool things to do April 15-21
There’s much to check out online and in person in Chicago in the week ahead.
Art festival online
It feels as if we’re awakening from a deep, uneasy sleep as Chicago begins to take tentative steps to return bit by bit to a wary, new normal. Street festivals may or may not be back this summer but hopes are high. The organizers of the 57th Street Art Fair, one of the best fairs of the summer, are hoping to produce a safe in-person event on June 5-6 if the city gives the OK. In the meantime, a virtual edition of the fair is available online, featuring more than 40 artists and their creations including paintings, photography, ceramics, jewelry, woodworking, printmaking, fiber, furniture and more. Find artists and links to their websites at 57thstreetartfair.org/virtual-fair.
Drive-in film fest
Asian Pop-Up Cinema presents its sixth annual spring film festival showcasing 10 movies from across Asia, this year spotlighting work from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. The screenings begin with Chiu Sin-hang’s “One Second Champion” (April 15), a story of a single father with the power to see one second into the future; Cheng Yu-chieh’s “Dear Tenant” (April 16), which explores nontraditional family love; Lik Ho’s “I Still Remember” (April 17), a drama which follows several characters as they discover running a 10K can help them through their ups and downs, and “One Summer Story” (April 18), the story of a young girl’s search for her biological father. Also on the roster is Korean-American director Lee Isaac Chung’s Oscar-nominated film “Minari” (April 29, May 1). The films, running through May 2, screen at Lincoln Yards Drive-In, 1684 N. Throop. Tickets: $15 (several of the films are free — first come, first serve). For more information, visit asianpopupcinema.org/12drivein.
From Carnegie Hall
Since 2004 City Winery founder Michael Dorf has presented an annual Carnegie Hall concert called “Music of…” and has donated 100% of its proceeds to organizations that provide music education programs and opportunities to underserved youth. This year’s livestreamed show features a lineup to please many musical tastes: Patti Smith, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Glen Hansard, Keb’ Mo’, Rosanne Cash, Shawn Colvin, Raul Malo, The Mountain Goats, Marc Cohn, Martin Sexton, Joseph Arthur, Bettye Lavette and many more. The concert streams at 7 p.m. April 15. Tickets: $25. Visit citywinery.com/chicago.
An artist’s vision
Bill Traylor has been called “the greatest artist you’ve never heard of.” Jeffrey Wolf’s new documentary “Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts” wants to change that by exploring the life of the unique American artist. Born into slavery in 1853 in rural Alabama and later residing in Montgomery, he lived a hardscrabble life, and it wasn’t until his late 80s that Traylor began to draw and paint. Between 1939-1942, he made well over 1,000 strikingly modern paintings and drawings inspired by the profound social and political changes he witnessed during his life. This original and powerful vision would bring him acclaim as one of America’s greatest self-taught artists. The film streams beginning April 16 via the Music Box Theatre. Tickets: $12. Visit musicbox.com.
Pianist Wael Farouk joins the New Philharmonic for a performance of Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concertos No. 1, 2 and 3.” Streams at 7:30 p.m. April 17 and on demand to June 15. Tickets: $40. Visit atthemac.org. … Tenor Ian Bostridge and pianist Imogen Cooper perform songs of love and longing by Beethoven and Robert Schumann. Streams at 7 p.m. April 16. Tickets: $15. Visit tickets.uchicago.edu. … The Orion Ensemble returns for a limited in-person and virtual performance of Michele Mangani’s “Sonata for Clarinet and Piano” and Anton Arensky’s “Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 32.” At 3 p.m. April 18 at PianoForte Studios, 1335 S. Michigan. Tickets $25, virtual access is free. Visit orionensemble.org.
Northlight Theatre’s free reading series continues with Jeffrey Hatcher and Eric Simonson’s “Wright/Rand,” a drama about the friendship between architect Frank Lloyd Wright (BJ Jones) and Ayn Rand (Tracy Michelle Arnold). Streams at 6:30 p.m. April 18 and on demand to April 22. Visit northlight.org. … Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents two radio plays: Henry Godinez’s adaptation of “Measure for Measure” and Barbara Gaines’ adaptation of “Twelfth Night.” Both stream April 19-May 16. Visit chicagoshakes.com. … A free stream of Noah Haidle’s “Smokefall” is available through April 25 at the Goodman Theatre. Visit goodmantheatre.org. … Pride Arts presents a reading of Stephen Karam’s dark comedy “Speech and Debate” at 7 p.m. April 20. Tickets: $10. Visit pridearts.org. …Ghostlight Ensemble offers readings of Alice Dunbar Nelson’s “Mine Eyes Have Seen” and Marion Craig Wentworth’s “War Brides.” Streams at 2 p.m. April 18. Tickets: $5. Visit ghostlightensemble.com.
Mary Houlihan is a Chicago freelance writer.