Photos by Michael Gaylord James. Reception Wed 12/11, 5-10 PM.
Reedist Paquito D’Rivera first made his name as an improviser, helping forge the template for modern Latin jazz as a member of Cuban band Irakere in the 70s. Since defecting from his homeland in ’81 he’s broadened his repertoire, playing straight-up postbop, tango, and Brazilian regional and historical styles. He demonstrates a distinctive feel for Brazilian music on his latest album, Song for Maura (Sunnyside), a lively session cut with Sao Paulo’s spry Trio Corrente; it showcases the reedist’s fluidity with old-school chorro and the Pernambuco folk music called forro, among other forms. That pliability serves him well—in particular his smooth agility and clean tone on the clarinet are beyond compare. For this rare Chicago visit D’Rivera will be in jazz mode, working with a local rhythm section consisting of bassist Larry Gray, drummer Ernie Adams, and pianist Rick Ferguson, but it’s not just any pickup gig—the Kaia String Quartet, a Chicago group specializing in Latin American composers, will also be involved. This is the closing concert of 2013’s Chicago Latino Music Festival. —Peter Margasak $20-$30
Set in a dysfunctional medical clinic and featuring a gaggle of whacked-out medical personnel and their patients, Chicago playwright Lisa Scott's screwy "steampunk" comedy has a sweet premise: a brilliant but neurotic inventor/nurse struggles to declare her love to the likable but emotionally distant doctor she works with. He struggles to do the same, and watching the two writhe and worry onstage is often laugh-out-loud funny; Amy Dellagiarino and Alex Fthenakis have considerable chemistry. Sadly, Scott clogs up this oddball romance with several unbelievable subplots, which make the show longer without making it any more entertaining. Three Cat Productions' Jason Paul Smith directs. —Jack Helbig $25http://threecatproductions.com
Chicago dell'Arte reinterprets the story of The Phantom of the Opera from the point of view of paranormal investigators as part of their Classics: Re-Imagined series. $20, $15 for studentshttp://chicagodellarte.com
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre's smart, offbeat anthology of seasonal selections is generally festive and sometimes campy, but it also touches on the season's deeper, darker tones. Six actors in medieval garb alternate between traditional fare dating back to the Middle Ages ("Boar's Head Carol," "In Dulci Jubilo") to modern material by Tori Amos, Anne Murray, Burt Bacharach, Irving Berlin, and Joni Mitchell (including a gorgeous Simon & Garfunkel-style rendition of Mitchell's "River"). Poetry by Shakespeare, Dante, and Robert Frost enhance the music, and for those inclined there's complimentary wassail and figgy pudding (full dinner service is also available). —Albert Williams $25
Minneapolis-based artist John Marks presents video projections and sculptures. Reception Sat 12/7, 7 PM, features a one-night performance of his tape-based sound piece.
One Group Mind's showcase team, Tricky Mickey, headlines this improv show. $10
Open night for poetry and music. $3, 18+