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Events with Recommended

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Apsáalooke Women and Warriors Recommended All Ages

Through 7/18/21: Thu-Mon, 9 AM-5 PM
Field Museum 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago Museum Campus

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The Apsáalooke people of the Northern Plains were beaders, artists, mothers, two-spirited people, and warriors. This exhibition features contemporary beadwork and fashion of the Apsáalooke as well as 100-year-old war shields. The exhibition is presented in both English and Spanish, with select sections also in Apsáalooke. 312-922-9410

Balkrishna Doshi: "Architecture for the People" Recommended Member Picks

Wednesday 9/9 through Saturday 12/12, noon-7pm
Wrightwood 659 659 W. Wrightwood, Chicago Lincoln Park

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Wrightwood 659 is exhibiting the work of Indian architect and visionary, Balkrishna Doshi, in the new multi-media and immersive installation that focuses on 23 of the architect's projects. Each visitor will have 60 minute timed reservations to ensure proper social distancing. Reserve your spot to see the exhibition. 773-437-6601

Home/Land Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime through Vimeo


Albany Park Theater Project offers a streaming version of their critically lauded 2012 production about undocumented immigrants, written and performed by the teen ensemble and directed by APTP producing artistic director David Feiner.

Anthem Recommended Agenda Online

Through 12/19
Weinberg/Newton Gallery 688 N. Milwaukee, Chicago River West

Work by Bethany Collins, Jaclyn Conley, Eve L. Ewing, Mike Gibisser, Naima Green, Ellen Rothenberg, and Sanaz Sohrabi available on the gallery's website with special portions of the exhibition viewable in the gallery's storefront windows. The exhibition was created with the the 2020 presidential election in mind and is presented in partnership with the American Civil Liberties Union. 312-529-5090

. . . And I Am Not Afraid Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime through Prop Thtr website


Prop Thtr presents a free streaming version of this production from fall of 2019, presented then under the title I Am Going to Die Alone and I Am Not Afraid. Devised by the ensemble and directed by Anna Gelman, with music by Alec Phan, the play uses the Holocaust and its legacy as a lens for exploring bravery and tenacity in the face of violence and oppression. Reader critic Dmitry Samarov wrote "In a time when so many societal forces are hell-bent on dividing us along tribal lines, this powerful piece of theater shows how sharing the tribulations of one people must give all people pause."

There Is a Happiness That Morning Is Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available any time through YouTube


Houston's Catastrophic Theatre has had a long relationship with Chicago playwright and Theater Oobleck cofounder Mickle Maher. During the COVID-19 shutdown, they are sharing some past productions of his work through their YouTube channel. They kicked off with The Hunchback Variations, and now add their 2013 production of this play, originally staged by Oobleck in Chicago in 2011. Two William Blake scholars and longtime lovers, Ellen and Bernard, deliver lectures on the poet's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience and struggle with the demand by their dean that they apologize for having public sex on the quad.

Sexy Baby Recommended Free The Short List (Theater) Online

Available anytime on YouTube

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Hell in a Handbag offers up a free YouTube stream of their 2012 musical, a satire of child beauty queen pageants created by artistic director David Cerda and Scott Lamberty that former Reader critic Zac Thompson called "biting" and "hysterical." The show was chosen by the members of the company as one of their favorites and is presented free as a gift to the community during the COVID-19 shutdown, though donations to Hell in a Handbag are of course welcome.

Medusa Undone Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime through company website or YouTube channel


Otherworld Theatre offers a free streaming version of last spring's production of a play by Bella Poynton, directed by Tiffany Keane Schaefer, that retells the story of the legendary gorgon as a critique of rape culture, with Medusa caught in a love triangle between Athena and Poseidon. Reader critic Josh Flanders wrote "The god-human relationship here is a metaphor for celebrity idolatry and the lack of consequence so many with power have maintained, as well as the dangers of living for others versus ourselves."

Feast Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime on Vimeo


As a gift to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, Albany Park Theater Project offers a free streaming Vimeo version of this show, first created in 2010 and revived in 2015 at the Goodman about immigrant communities, food, and the politics surrounding those topics. Feast was created by the APTP youth ensemble and directed by artistic director David Feiner.

Parched Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime through Vimeo


Free Street Theater offers a free streaming version of their 2019 show about the politics of water, pollution, and corporate theft of resources. Reader critic KT Hawbaker wrote of that production "Devised over the course of ten months by Free Street's youth ensemble, students aged 14-19, Parched is driven by vignettes drawn from interviews with researchers, activists, and community members. In that respect, it's a combo of journalism and performance, resulting in passionate storytelling that feels informed and brave."

Of Dice and Men Recommended The Short List (Theater)

Opens Fri 7/31, 7 PM CDT; free through 8/14, then on a paid basis


Otherworld Theatre offers a show designed for digital performance, written by Cameron McNary and directed by James Martineau. The story follows a Dungeons and Dragons master, James Francis, who finds his life turned topsy-turvy when one of his friends enlists in the military and his romantic relationship going nowhere. The show is free via Otherworld's YouTube channel from July 31 to August 14, and then afterward on a paid basis through their Patreon. Recommended for ages 14+.

The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral Recommended The Short List (Theater)

Available in streaming format through Patreon anytime.


The Neo-Futurists take their signature show, featuring 30 plays in 60 minutes, online during the COVID-19 crisis. The Neos offer five membership levels ranging from $3 ("Elbow Bump"), which comes with a link to a website where you can set your own timer for 60 minutes and watch all 30 plays, to $100 ("An Extended, Almost Uncomfortable Hug"), which brings a full array of perks including a customized play on a subject of your choosing. The menu includes older archival plays as well as new ones that are being created in quarantine by the ensemble.

Still/Here Recommended Free Agenda The Short List (Theater) Online

Available online anytime through Vimeo

Free Street offers a free streaming version of this 2019 show (subtitled Manifestos for Joy and Survival), in which survivors of an apocalyptic event in Chicago provide memories of the struggles that defined their lives before the catastrophe, including fighting gentrification and racism. The narrative is drawn from interviews conducted with over 400 Chicago community members.

The Other Art Fair presents AMFM Recommended Free Online


The Other Art Fair's Online Studios is a digital hub for artists meant to exhibit in the 2020 Spring fairs. The fair launched an online exhibition of 10 artists curated by AMFM's founder Ciera McKissick.

ComedySportz Theatre Recommended Member Picks The Short List (Theater)

Open run: Thu 8 PM, Fri 8 and 10 PM, Sat 6, 8, and 10 PM
ComedySportz Theatre 929 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago Lakeview

Buy from Ticketmaster$19

Part of a national chain of comedy clubs, this company is known for quick improv games (think Whose Line Is It Anyway?), but it also stages long-form improv. LCD screens and sophisticated lighting and sound systems amplify the sports-style improv of the company's eponymous production, ComedySportz. There's a snobbery in the Chicago improv community that looks up at the "art" of the long form, with its emphasis on story and characters, and down on the "entertainment" of the short, with its emphasis on games and punch lines. ComedySportz falls emphatically in the entertainment camp; its bottom line is laughter, and it gets plenty of it. The show is structured as a competition between two teams performing multiple games that require audience participation. A referee ensures that the players--a rotating roster from a company of about 50--work clean or they finish the game with a brown bag over their heads. The formula is practically foolproof: players may flash their quick wits in winning responses, but they're even funnier when they fail. In one game a team had to devise a pick-up line, each member contributing a word. Moving rapidly from player to player, the line developed: "Tonight-I'll-tango-with-your-face." Probably wouldn't work at a bar, but at ComedySportz it killed. --Ryan Hubbard 773-549-8080 or 312-559-1212

The Long Dream Recommended Agenda


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A group exhibition of more than 70 local artists whose work offers ways for us to imagine a more equitable and interconnected world. Featuring work by Alberto Aguilar, Madeleine Aguilar, Candida Alvarez, Jeanette Andrews, Selva Aparicio, Lise Haller Baggesen, Sarah Bastress, Jonas N.T. Becker, Dawoud Bey, Nick Cave, Mariano Chavez, Diane Christiansen and Jeanne Dunning with Steve Dawson, Jessica Christy, Mike Cloud, Bethany Collins, the Experimental Sound Studio, Brendan Fernandes, Julia Fish, Joanna Furnans, Max Guy, Andres L. Hernandez, Paul Heyer, Shawné Michaelain Holloway, Jesse Howard, Aaron Hughes, Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford, Manal Kara, Jin Soo Kim, Wesley Kimler, Kirsten Leenaars, Riva Lehrer, Tony Lewis, Tonika Lewis Johnson, Damon Locks, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Derek McPhatter, Miller & Shellabarger, Devin T. Mays, Cae Monāe, Corinne Mucha, Floating Museum with Cecil McDonald Jr., Ryan Nault, Jeroen Nelemans, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, William J. O'Brien, OTV (Open Television), Chris Pappan, Kamau Amu Patton, Nereida Patricia, Ebony G. Patterson, Claire Pentecost, Jefferson Pinder, Cheryl Pope, William Pope.L, Quarantine Times, Eduardo F. Rosario, Jason Salavon, Moises Salazar, Farah Salem, Darling “Shear” Squire, Andy Slater, Edra Soto, Leonard Suryajaya, Selina Trepp, Jina Valentine, Kevin Weil, Rhonda Wheatley, Amanda Williams, Bernard Williams, Sadie Woods, Derrick Woods-Morrow, Santiago X, Guanyu Xu, Debra Yepa-Pappan, Nate Young, and Kiki Jia Qi Zhen 312-280-2660

Chicago Works: Deborah Stratman Recommended Agenda


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Chicagoan Deborah Stratman's solo exhibition is centered on the artist’s celebrated film The Illinois Parables, which chronicles the history of the region through 11 chapters addressing everything from the "resettlement" of the Cherokee people, to the invention of the nuclear reactor at the University of Chicago, to the deadly police raid of Chicago’s Black Panther headquarters. For this exhibition, Stratman created an extension of the film in the form of a recreation of Studs Terkel’s WFMT radio booth and an accompanying audio program of the oral historian's interviews. 312-280-2660

A Tale of Today: Nate Young and Mika Horibuchi Recommended Agenda

Through 1/16: Fri 5-7 PM, Sat 11 AM-5 PM, Sun 11 AM-3 PM
Driehaus Museum 40 E. Erie, Chicago River North

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In "A Tale of Today," Chicago-based artists Nate Young and Mika Horibuchi respond to the 1883 Nickerson Mansion's history and design, with a look at the interiors and architecture of the building, as well as an investigation of historical narratives. 312-482-8933

The Blackout Diaries Recommended Agenda The Short List (Theater)

Open run: Sat 10 PM
Lincoln Lodge 956 W. Newport, Chicago North Center

The gregarious Sean Flannery tells stories about adventures he's had inebriated out of his mind. He's joined each week by other comedians and the occasional layman—each with a drunken tale to tell. 773-251-1539

Soul Healing Satsang with Stacy Patrice Recommended Agenda Online

Sundays, 1 p.m.

Healing artist and soul healer Stacy Patrice offers a weekly online satsang (a convening in the yogic tradition where participants consciously gather to align with goodness). Hosted by the Rebuild Foundation and aired Sundays on their Instagram Live.

Meshell Ndegeocello presents Chapter & Verse: The Gospel of James Baldwin Recommended Agenda Early Warnings (Music) New Early Warnings (Music) Online

Tue., Dec. 15

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A monthly release of music and visual media by Ndegeocello and guest artists, go to each month to access interactive toolkits and watch visual media created by Ndegeocello and guest artists.

Cole's Comedy Open Mike Recommended Member Picks Free 21+ Agenda The Short List (Theater)

Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m.
Cole’s 2338 N. Milwaukee, Chicago Logan Square

UPDATE: as of Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 11:00 PM, this event has been canceled until further notice. A virtual open mike has been scheduled in its place.

Hosted by Carly Kane and Alex Kumin, this scrappy showcase boasts about 50 comics a week. 773-276-5802

Monet and Chicago Recommended Agenda

Through 1/18: 11 AM-6 PM
Art Institute of Chicago 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago Loop

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Note: as of November 18, 2020, the Art Institute is closed to visitors due to the governor's COVID-19 distancing directives for the state of Illinois.

An exhibition of work by the Impressionist, showcasing the Art Institute's holdings alongside works from various Chicago-based collections. Ticket required in addition to the museum's general admission fee; pre-purchasing is encouraged. 312-443-3600

Pride and Prejudice Recommended The Short List (Theater) Online

Through 11/29: available streaming anytime during the weekend of purchase

Buy Tickets$20 suggested donation

Lifeline Theatre presents an encore online run of their modern-dress Zoom version of Jane Austen's classic, adapted by Christina Calvit and directed by Dorothy Milne.

Bisa Butler: Portraits Recommended Agenda

Art Institute of Chicago 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago Loop

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Note: as of November 18, 2020, the Art Institute is closed to visitors due to the governor's COVID-19 distancing directives for the state of Illinois.

Bisa Butler's portrait quilts capture personal and historical narratives of Black life. This is the first solo museum exhibition of the Howard University alum's work. 312-443-3600

Blue Man Group Recommended The Short List (Theater) Canceled

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

Buy from Ticketmaster$49-$104

UPDATE Sunday, March 15: this event has suspended performances for the time being. Refunds available at point of purchase.

The long-running show (22 years and counting in Chicago) featuring performers in blue latex paint, drumming, video, comedy, and other assorted mayhem continues. 800-258-3626

The Spirit of Community Recommended Free Agenda

Sat., Dec. 5, 12-3 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 19, 12-3 p.m.
South Side Community Art Center 3831 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago Bronzeville

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Local artist and west side native Jesse Howard presents a solo exhibition exploring the Black American community's diversity using charcoal, watercolor, and collage. Timed and ticketed reservations required for entry. 773-373-1026

CIVLization presents ESSO, Dos Santos, and Half Gringa Recommended Free All Ages Agenda Early Warnings (Music) New Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Online

Fri., Nov. 27, 8 p.m.

A virtual live music series featuring performances by Chicago musicians to support the Chicago Independent Venue League (CIVL) SAVE Emergency Relief Fund. Performances of ESSO at Subterranean, Dos Santos at the Hideout, and Half Gringa at Tonic Room will be streamed at

Friday Night Fuzz Box Recommended Free Online

Fridays, 9 p.m.

Every Friday night, the Fuzz Box DJs live stream a five-hour set of party music including soul, post-punk, psych, noise-rock, and more.

First Tuesdays: Left vs. Center with guests Peter Cunningham and Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez Recommended Agenda Online

Tue., Dec. 1, 6:30 p.m.

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The Chicago Reader's own Maya Dukmasova and Ben Joravsky co-host this monthly political talk show, presented this month online via the Hideout's Noonchorus page.

Maya and Ben will talk to Democratic strategist Peter Cunningham and Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez about the coalition that elected Biden and the future of the Democratic Party.