"Into the sixties a word was born . . . BLACK." The poet Haki R. Madhubuti composed this line for a poem he wrote decades ago, but when he read it aloud at the South Side Community Art Center recently, the words still reverberated. Madhubuti was the keynote speaker at the opening of "AfriCOBRA: Prologue—The 1960s and the Black Arts Movement," the first of three exhibitions on AfriCOBRA's history, aesthetic philosophy, and cultural impact that together make up "AfriCOBRA in Chicago," a series jointly organized by the SSCAC, the Logan Center for the Arts, and the DuSable Museum of African American History. The word "black" did indeed take on new political and aesthetic meanings in the 1960s, when the raised fist became a symbol of pride and African-American writers, performers, and artists began launching their own journals, publishing companies, and exhibition spaces. Madhubuti himself founded Third World Press, one of the first black-owned publishing houses in the U.S. and now the country's largest, in 1967. Continue reading >>
We lived through a really gruesome (or at least really long) winter that wouldn't leave us alone no matter how many times or how nicely we asked it. It's over now. The beaches opened a few days ago. It's Memorial Day and you don't have to work. You get what we're getting at here, right?
Few things go together as well as drinking and writing. That, at least, is the guiding principle of Drinking & Writing Theater. In celebration of Craft Beer Week, they've decided to expand to other arts. In the Beerfly Alleyfight, home-brewed beers will be matched with homemade food, and then each pair will be interpreted by a homegrown artist. $40
At the top of this highly entertaining show from Porchlight Music Theatre, cast members ad-lib five songs based on titles suggested by the audience. Then we vote for our favorite, and the winner serves as the foundation for a wholly improvised, hour-long musical comedy. On the night I saw the show, the winning number, "When Todd Met Michael," inspired Nativity My Way, an LGBT retelling of Christ's birth involving a carpenter and the burly gym owner he miraculously impregnates. It was hilarious, blasphemous, and heartwarming in equal measure. The charming, whip-smart cast are accompanied on piano by the show's creator and musical director, Matthew Loren Cohen, who churns out one catchy tune after another. —Zac Thompson $10-$15
It might make you feel pretty bad to think about all the teenagers running around having a sexy prom season, meanwhile you're old. Buck up! The (Best) Prom You Never Had is way cooler than any of the dumb dances for the kids. Proof: Girl Group, a 20-piece orchestra made up of local ladies in mod dresses, is performing, along with the Pretty Flowers; Chances Dances DJs spin. $12
Starting today, Eno Wine Room in the Fairmont hotel will offer blind tastings every Sunday evening; people who can correctly identify five attributes (like age, region, country, and grape) of three wines get their flight for free. There are two levels of difficulty, one aimed at the average wine drinker and the other created for aficionados. —Julia Thiel $25-$30 per wine flight
Local comics preform. $10
When you go to a movie theater, there's a decent chance someone will sneeze and you'll contract a horrifying airborne monkey disease (or at least that's what I learned from Outbreak). Not a thing you have to worry about at the drive-in. Plus you can make out, it's BYOB, and it's under ten bucks for a double feature. $5-$9, $14/carload on Tuesday