The Mix — ‘Open House Chicago’ (and more cool things to do in Chicago this weekend)
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1. MUSIC MAN
Pop star Josh Groban headlines the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State in concerts Oct. 16-17. He’s touring behind his most recent relesase, “Stages,” which features covers of Broadway tunes. Show time is 8 p.m. Visit ticketmaster.com.
2. NOT-SO-SCARY FUN TIME!
Brookfield Zoo’s annual “Boo at the Zoo” is back, October 17-18 and 24-25. This one is fun for the whole family and features a “Crazy Maize” corn maze, the “Pirate Skeleton Carousel” ride, professional pumpkin carvers, haunted hay rides, plenty of Halloween photo ops, and of course and lots more. There’s a costume parade at 1 p.m. daily. For hours and ticket prices, visit www.czs.org/boo
3. GET YOUR ZOMBIE FIX
Attention all daredevils: The Fine Arts Building, 408 S. Michigan, is the place to be Oct. 18-Nov. 13 for “Trapped in a Room With a Zombie.” You and 11 others are “trapped in a room” and must solve a series of clues to escape — or else! Per the official website: “PLEASE show up 15 minutes before your performance to sign a waiver and mentally prepare to escape. Once the doors are locked they will not open again until someone escapes or we need to remove bodies.” You must be 14 or older to participate (without an adult guardian in tow).
4. GREAT INDOOR SPACES
Explore some of Chicago’s most fascinating indoor spaces during tThe Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago, Oct. 17-18. The free public festival affords behind-the-scenes access to 200 buildings across Chicago. Or as the event website succinctly states: “200 Buildings. 48 Hours. Go.” Some of the buildings throwing open their doors: The AON Builiding, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Money Museum, Old St. Patrick Church, St. Alphonsus Church, Cinsespace Chicago Film Studios, the Illinois Museum of Surgical Science, and many many more. Visit openhousechicago.org.
5. SYL JOHNSON AT CIFF
Among this weekend’s highlights at the Chicago International Film Festival is the world premiere of “Syl Johnson: Any Way the Wind Blows,” a documentary profiling the Chicago soul singer. A favorite of hip-hop artists seeking samples, he is seen in the movie in performance in his ’60s glory days and today. Johnson and director Rob Hatch-Miller are expected at the 7:45 p.m. Sunday screening at AMC River East 21. For more festival titles, go to chicagofilmfestival.com.
6. WHAT CHRISTOPHER NOLAN FINDS STELLAR
Between making such epics as “The Dark Knight” and “Interstellar,” Christopher Nolan directed a labor of love: a short documentary about acclaimed stop-motion animators Stephen and Timothy Quay. That film, “Quay,” is part of a program opening Friday at the Music Box Theatre that also includes three of the twin brothers’ intricate shorts: “In Absentia,” “The Comb” and “Street of Crocodiles.” Details: musicboxtheatre.com.
7. THAT’S EDISON PARK ENTERTAINMENT
Up since Tuesday, the Epic Comedy Fest continues with shows by Chicago stand-ups through Sunday. The lineup at five venues in the Northwest Side neighborhood includes 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday shows at the Wip Theater, 6670 N. Northwest Hwy., starring “David Letterman” and “Jimmy Kimmel” alum Dwayne Kennedy. Tickets: www.epiccomedyfest.com.
8. LANGUAGE WE ALL UNDERSTAND
Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” tour was such a hit when he came to the United Center last fall, he’s back to do it again less than a year later. The pop music legend promises to perform all 21 songs from the 1976 double album, and probably a few more. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets: www.unitedcenter.com.