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Tara Donovan : Smart Museum

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 22
Smart Museum of Art University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood Ave., Chicago Hyde Park


This is the first time Tara Donovan is exhibiting her sculptural and 2D prints together at the same time. Donovan, who makes art from everyday objects like thumb tacks, toothpicks, straws, will be presenting her pieces in the solo show, Fieldwork. The opening reception is June 13th 7-8:30pm at the Smart Museum. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10-5pm, closed on Mondays. 773-702-0200

HOX Gallery presents Diane Alexander White Photography

Through Sept. 8


Diane Alexander White presents her 1976 photos of the Pride Parade at the hotel, The Hoxton. PHOTO: Diane Alexander White 312-761-1700

Love All Potatoes

Through Sept. 7, 6-9 p.m.
The Franklin 3522 W. Franklin Blvd., Chicago Humboldt Park


The alternative gallery space, The Franklin, will be hosting a group exhibition, LOVE ALL POTATOES with artists Jim Duignan, Claire Pentecost, and Melissa Potter. The artists will plant heirloom potatoes in various location (compost bins and a homemade garden cart) and develop this work into other projects. 312-823-3632

Blue Man Group

Open run: Thu 8 PM; Fri 7 PM; Sat 2, 5, and 8 PM; Sun 4 and 7 PM
Briar Street Theatre 3133 N. Halsted St., Chicago Lakeview

Buy from Ticketmaster$49-$99


After 20 years and god knows how many bald caps and gallons of paint, this Chicago staple stays true to its mission: “Blue Man Group—enemy of monotony, remedy for boredom, promoter of overjoy and elation.” That experimental, interactive theater can remain both current and family friendly in equal measure speaks to the show's healthy mix of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it wit and larger-than-life clowning. Audience participation, voluntary and involuntary, is still a key component, whether it’s sharing Twinkies with the trio, donning a poncho in the splash zone, or being shamed as a latecomer, in showstopping fashion. Cultural references and parodies have certainly changed with the times (and devices), but the keys to Blue Man Group remain its hypnotic music and lively energy—if you’re not out of your seat dancing when the 90 minutes are up, you probably don’t have a pulse. —Marissa Oberlander 773-348-4000

The Infinite Wrench

Open run: Fri-Sat 11:30 PM, Sun 7 PM
Neo-Futurarium 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago Andersonville


Greg Allen gave and Greg Allen took away. On December 31, 2016, the Neo-Futurists founder made good on his promise to kill off the company's signature cult show, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, ending an unprecedented run of 28 years. The current generation of ensemble members weren't happy. Now they've pretty much reconstituted TMLMTBGB in everything but name, running on the same schedule at the same venue with the same exuberance. Though their new baby is superficially different from the original (where before the plays were numbered, for instance, now they're color coded), it retains the identical goal of offering 30 original short plays in 60 minutes. The performance I saw lapsed occasionally into reductive political posturing, having more to do with tribal affirmation than revelation. But it also had its share of wit, insight, emotional frankness, and dancerly physicality. —Tony Adler 773-275-5255

The Harold

Open run: Wed-Thu 8 PM, Fri 8 and 10:30 PM, Sat 10:30 PM, Sun 8 PM, Mon 10:30 PM
iO Theater 1501 N. Kingsbury, Chicago Lincoln Park


Improv teams use an audience suggestion to create interweaving story lines that result in a connected long-form narrative.

The Forced Transfer

Opens Tue 6/7
National Cambodian Heritage Museum 2831 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago Ravenswood


As a young Buddhist monk in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, during the 1960s, Kompha Seth studied the Brahmi alphabet and Magadhi—a root language of modern Khmer—which had been preserved and passed down for generations. Today, he's one of only a few Cambodians in the world who understands these dialects and their links to modern Khmer. Continue reading >> 773-506-1280

Heritage Jazz Orchestra

Sun., July 28, 5:30 & 7:30 p.m. and Sun., Aug. 18, 5:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Winter’s Jazz Club 465 N. McClurg Ct. (promenade), Chicago River North

Buy Tickets


312-344-1270

Jeremiah Meece

Second Sunday of every month, 9 p.m.
Punch House 1227 W. 18th St., Chicago Pilsen/Little Village


312-526-3851

DJs Tevo & Johnny

Second Sunday of every month, 9 p.m.

Amplified: Chicago Blues

Through Aug. 10
Chicago History Museum 1601 N. Clark, Chicago Lincoln Park

Buy Tickets


312-642-4600

Where is the Reward

Through Aug. 4, 6-10 p.m.
LVL3 Gallery 1542 N. Milwaukee Ave., third floor, Chicago Wicker Park/Bucktown


LVL3 presents the two-person show, Where is the Reward which will be exhibiting the work of Chicago artist Jessie Darnell and Columbus artist Morgan Rose Free. Seeking anthropomorphic sculptures and work about fetishes? Check out LVL3's opening from 6-10PM.

Twisted Knots

Open run: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 4 PM


Longtime married couple Frank and Carla—a stressed-out salesman and an underappreciated nurse—try to get back their conjugal mojo by role-playing a call-girl scenario (Carla plays the call girl) in their hotel room on New Year’s Eve. The Hard Rock Hotel on Michigan Avenue provided furnishings and decor to lend verisimilitude to Greg Pinsoneault and Shaun Renfro’s set design in this production directed by Tara Branham. In fact, it’s Dale Danner’s script that could use some authenticity; the couple’s sex games and the husband’s much-discussed superstitious streak feel contrived and strained. Only when the charade is dropped toward the end do we glimpse genuine disappointment and fatigue. Ryan Kitley’s Frank seems detached from the proceedings, but Mary Cross turns in lively, tangy work as Carla. —Zac Thompson

Dream Freaks Fall From Space

Open run: Wed-Thu 8 PM, Fri-Sat 8 and 11 PM, Sun 4 PM, Tue 8 PM
Second City 1616 N. Wells St., Chicago Old Town

Buy Tickets$29-$46


Second City is in denial. Donald Trump is our president, and along with that comes a host of issues regarding race, gender equality, LGBTQ rights, and police brutality, among other things. The cast of the brand-new yet already outdated main-stage revue Dream Freaks Fall From Space tackle these loaded topics by mentioning them, then moving right along. And speaking of denial, scenes break one of the most fundamental rules of improvisation—embody the spirit of "yes, and . . . " to complement your partner onstage. Here instead actors deny ideas with "What are you talking about?" Second City is the tentpole of Chicago comedy for the rest of the country, but Dream Freaks feels like it was concocted in an intermediate-level improv class where mere nods get laughs and politics get skewered with Pixy Stix. Continue reading >> 312-337-3992

ChicoMaloTrio

Sundays, 4 p.m.
Edgewater Lounge 5600 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago Edgewater


773-878-3343

jazz improv session

Sundays, 5 p.m.
Cafe Mestizo 1646 W. 18th St., Chicago Pilsen/Little Village


312-421-5920

Nicholas Barron

Sundays, 10 PM
The Motel Bar 600 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago River West


312-822-2900

21+
Joel Paterson Trio featuring Chris Foreman

Sundays, 11 p.m.
Green Mill 4802 N. Broadway St., Chicago Uptown


773-878-5552

Kimberly Gordon Organ Trio

Sundays, 11 p.m.
Green Mill 4802 N. Broadway St., Chicago Uptown


773-878-5552

Manic Mondays

Open run: Mon 9 PM
Frances Cocktail Lounge 307 E. 75th, Chicago Other South


Lauded stand-ups Taneshia "Just Nesh" Rice and Marilee Williams host this weekly showcase—one of the few on the south side.

The Armando Diaz Theatrical Experience & Hootennany

Open run: Mon 8 PM
iO Theater 1501 N. Kingsbury, Chicago Lincoln Park


An old standby, this weekly show transforms performer monologues (delivered by a different guest each time) into inspiration for a night of masterful long-form improv. The best-of-the-best iO talent typically make up the cast, so the show hops from literal moments from the story to abstract, playful scenes with aplomb.

RSMI Program for Piano & Strings

Mon., July 15, 6 p.m.
Bennett-Gordon Hall, Ravinia Festival Green Bay & Lake Cook, Highland Park Other Suburbs North

Buy Tickets


Playing music of Mendelssohn 847-266-5100

Ajani Jones

Mon., July 15, 6 p.m.
Chop Shop 2033 W. North, Chicago Wicker Park/Bucktown

Buy Tickets


Listening party for Jones' album Dragonfly followed by a conversation between Jones and Fox 32's Mauricio Reyes 773-537-4440

Katinka Kleijn & Bill MacKay

Mon., July 15, 7 p.m.
Experimental Sound Studio 5925 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago Ravenswood

Buy Tickets


773-769-1069