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Joan Rivers

Tue 7/22, 5:30 PM

Rivers discusses her book Diary of a Mad Diva. A cocktail reception follows.

http://thebookstall.com
Standard Club (map)
320 S. Plymouth Ct.
Loop
phone 312-427-9100

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Tomeka Reid

Tue., July 22, 5:30 p.m.

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Conversations With Strangers

6/20-7/26

Photographs by Virgil DiBiase, shot with Leica cameras. Reception Fri 6/20, 6-8 PM.

The Rangefinder Gallery (map)
300 W. Superior
River North
phone 312-642-2255

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Three Oaks Theater Festival

7/5-8/2: times and dates vary

Now in its second year, the Three Oaks Theater Festival brings works from Chicago's performing arts community to locales in Michigan's Harbor Country, with events from July 5 through the first weekend in August (all times are Eastern). The fest opens with Blair Thomas & Company's A Piano With Three Tales, an hour-long piano recital and puppet show aimed at kids four to 12 (Sat 7/5, 11 AM and 2 PM, $15). The company also hosts a free puppet-making workshop for families the day before the show (Fri 7/4, 2 PM). Continue reading >> $15-$50

http://threeoaksfestival.com

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Isa Genzken: Retrospective

4/12-8/3
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Work by the German artist, including paintings, photographs, and her trademark installations.

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Motown the Musical

Through 8/9: Tue and Thu-Fri 7:30 PM, Wed 2 and 7:30 PM, Sat 2 and 8 PM, Sun 2 PM; also Sun 7/6, 7:30 PM; Fri 8/8, 2 PM; no performance on Fri 7/4

It's legacy time for 84-year-old Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr., and he hasn't taken any chances: he not only coproduced but wrote the book for this jukebox musical tracing his life from 1938 to Motown's 25th anniversary in 1983. Gordy's Gordy is a wholesome hustler who works too hard, gives too much, and practices an if-you-love-it-set-it-free philosophy when the musicians he's nurtured "like a father" move on to bigger labels. Even a multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed against him by the Holland/Dozier/Holland songwriting team earns a bewildered, more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger response. In short, don't expect any intense self-scrutiny here. What you can expect is a whole lot of hits from the absurdly great catalog Gordy developed with ridiculously talented artists like Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye. Ethan Popp's arrangements all tend to end the same way. But the singing and choreography in Charles Randolph-Wright's two-and-a-half-hour touring production are exhilarating. Chicagoan Allison Semmes is something special as Diana Ross. —Tony Adler $37-$102

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Focus 4: Four Solo Exhibitions

4/14-8/15

Collage and mixed-media work by Barbara Aubin; paintings and drawings by Guy Benson and Julia Haw; and multidisciplinary work by Thom Whalen. Reception Fri 4/25, 5-7 PM.

Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery (map)
James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph
Loop
phone 312-814-5322

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Greg Gong, Jon Pestoni

6/28-8/16

Multidisciplinary work by the artists.

Shane Campbell Gallery (map)
673 N. Milwaukee Ave.
River North
phone 312-226-2223

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Outdoor Disco

6/12-8/16

Group show featuring multidisciplinary work. Reception Thu 6/12, 6-8 PM.

Valerie Carberry Gallery (map)
875 N. Michigan Ave., #2510
Gold Coast/Mag Mile/Streeterville
phone 312-397-9990

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Brigadoon

Through 8/17: Wed 7:30 PM, Thu 2 (except 7/31) and 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 2 (except 7/12) and 8 PM, Sun 2 and 7:30 (except 7/27) PM; also Tue 7/22 and 7/29, 7:30 PM

In 1943, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! stirred audiences with its youthful optimism, glorifying a hero who was willing to fight for the woman and the land he loved. "Oh, what a beautiful morning," the singing cowboy crooned—just what Americans needed to hear at the peak of World War II. But after the war—as people began to comprehend the horrors of the Holocaust, the devastation of Europe's great cities, and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—earthy hopefulness gave way to anxious uncertainty about the meaning of life and the precariousness of human existence, prompting a vogue for tales in which magic and miracles provided a sense of hope. In the 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life, a man is saved from suicide by a guardian angel. And the despairing protagonist of Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1945 Carousel actually does commit suicide; a heavenly Starkeeper gives him a chance to return to earth to set things right for the family he left behind. Continue reading >> $25-$105

Buy Tickets
Goodman Theatre (map)
170 N. Dearborn St.
Loop
phone 312-443-3800
Brigadoon

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Seussical

Through 8/17: Tue-Thu 11 AM, Fri-Sun 11 AM and 2 PM

Chicago Shakespeare Theater's revival of the oft-produced 2000 Broadway musical plays up its strengths: likable tunes, witty lyrics, and myriad opportunities for dazzling Seuss-inspired costumes (here realized by designer Theresa Ham). But that can't quite counter the show's weaknesses—shallow characters, language that never rises to the word-drunk brilliance of the originals, and an overcomplicated, cobbled-together plot that loses as many young audience member as it entertains. Still, there's enough that works to keep those of us over five entertained, and as you might expect of a top-flight Equity house, the cast is packed with talent, led by a very charming Alex Goodrich (through August 3) as that quintessential trickster, the Cat in the Hat. —Jack Helbig $28, $18 for children 12 and under

Chicago Shakespeare Theater (map)
800 E. Grand Ave.
Other Central
phone 312-595-5600

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Deborah Butterfield

5/16-8/21

Sculptures by the California artist. Reception Fri 5/16, 5-8 PM.

Zolla/Lieberman Gallery (map)
325 W. Huron St.
River North
phone 312-944-1990

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The Object of an Act of Thought

7/12-8/23

Work by New York multidisciplinary artist Man Bartlett. Reception Sat 7/12, 5-8 PM.

Bert Green Fine Art (map)
8 S. Michigan Ave. Suite 1220
Loop
phone 312-434-7544

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