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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

Opening Reception: Frida Kahlo, Her Photos Recommended Free All Ages

4/3-8/2


The museum is presenting an exhibition of 200 images that shed light on Kahlo's life. Opening reception is 4/3, 6-8pm. Update: To help slow the spread of COVID-19, the museum will be closed until 3/29. 312-738-1503

Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat Recommended All Ages

6/13-9/27

Buy Tickets


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"Habitat" features drawings, photographs, furniture, and projects that the Brazilian artist, Bo Bardi, has created. 312-280-2660

Home/Land Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime through Vimeo

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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.

Opening Reception of Adláteres and the Unexpected Journey: works by Carmen Chami Recommended Free All Ages

Friday 4/3, 6-8pm


"A

dláteres and the Unexpected Journey," opens with works by Carmen Chami who create artworks that reference Mexican Baroque. Update: To help slow the spread of COVID-19, the museum will be closed until 3/29. 312-738-1503

Apsáalooke Women and Warriors Opening Recommended All Ages

3/14-8/13
Field Museum 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago Museum Campus

Buy Tickets$40


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

A Quarantine Daydream Recommended Free

Wednesday 6/24
Elephant Room Gallery 704 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago South Loop


"A Quarantine Daydream," presents the work of Joe Nelson, (also known as Cujo Dah) which opens Wednesday with works ranging from Afro-futuristic to dreamscapes. Elephant Room Gallery is taking appointments and the full exhibition will be online at 5pm on 6/24. On view until 8/22. 312-361-0281

"Energy Revolution:" Creating Our Carbon-Free Future Recommended All Ages

4/15-11/1
Chicago Architecture Center 111 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago Loop


Located in the Usher Lambe Rotating Gallery in the Architecture Center is "Energy Revolution," the first major exhibition since the centers opening in 2018. The exhibition looks at how urgency and actions can free Chicago from fossil fuels. The opening of the exhibition is 4/15. Update: To help slow the spread of COVID-19, the center is closed until 3/31. 312-922-3432

Cameron Spratley 630 Opening Reception Recommended Free

Saturday 6/13, Noon-11pm
M. LeBlanc 3514 WEST FULLERTON AVENUE, Chicago Logan Square


Cameron Spratley's exhibition 730 will depict ten new works focused on personal narratives that reflect being young and Black in America. The title, "730" is a rap term that references the current times we are living in and the mechanism of racism. M. Blanc will be following guidelines and only allow ten people into the gallery at a time during the opening night. On view until 8/15.

Outsider Art: The Collection of Victor F. Keen Recommended Member Picks Free All Ages Agenda

2/6-9/7


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ore than 40 works of art from the most well-known outsider artists will be exhibited from the collection of Victor F. Keen. These works operate outside of the mainstream art world. Opening reception 2/5, 5-8pm. 312-243-9088

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

Available any time through YouTube

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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.

Feast Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime on Vimeo

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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

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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."

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

Available anytime through Prop Thtr website

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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."

The Happiest Place on Earth Recommended The Short List (Theater)

Available streaming anytime through website

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Sideshow Theatre Company offers a streaming version of writer-performer Philip Dawkins's 2016 Jeff Award-winning autobiographical solo show, directed by Jonathan L. Green, about his family's history with tragedy while living in the shadow of Disneyland. The show is available on a pay-what-you-wish basis through Sideshow's website during the COVID-19 crisis.

Medusa Undone Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime through company website or YouTube channel

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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."

Sexy Baby Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Available anytime on YouTube

Buy TicketsFree

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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.

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

Available in streaming format through Patreon anytime.

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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 The Short List (Theater)

Available online anytime through Vimeo

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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 Harold Recommended Member Picks The Short List (Theater)

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.

Johnny Johnson Recommended Free The Short List (Theater)

Mondays-Sundays

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Chicago Folks Operetta continues its "Operetta Delivered" series of free streaming archived performances with Kurt Weill and Paul Green's 1936 anti-war piece, presented by the company in its Chicago premiere in 2017. Reader critic Albert Williams wrote "Though not a success in its time, Johnny Johnson is a work of landmark historical significance. And despite some flaws, this production packs a real emotional impact with its quirky yet lyrical music, expressionistic visual design, and timeless theme of a common man caught up in the madness of war."

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

Cole's Virtual Open Mic Recommended Free 21+ The Short List (Theater)

Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m.


Cole's Bar's longtime comedy open mike night is continuing on Zoom. Performer sign-up information and Zoom meeting information updated each Wednesday at the Cole's website.

SummerDance in Place Free

7/1-7/29: Wed 5:30-7 PM; also Sat 7/4, 5-6:30 PM

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The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) reimagines the annual SummerDance event as a series of at-home dance parties focusing on various music and dance styles, including house, salsa, Bollywood and Bhangra, swing, cumbia, and line dancing. All events are scheduled on Wednesday evenings in July, except for a special salsa session on Saturday, July 4. Each starts with a 30-minute dance lesson, followed by 60 minutes of music performed by local artists. Wednesday sessions from July 8-29 will also be broadcast and streamed through WTTW.

Plays for the People

7/8-11/8: see website for complete schedule

Buy Tickets$22 approximately (£19.62)

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Black Lives, Black Words International Project produces an online season of seven plays celebrating African American and African experience. The pieces will be performed live over Zoom for a period of five days, with audiences limited to 50 people per performance. The second day of each run will also feature a Q&A chaired by BLBW cofounders Reginald Edmund and Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway. The schedule is as follows:

7/8-7/12: Ride Share by Reginald Edmund, directed by Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway. A young African American Uber driver rides with a dark specter as he discovers the unsavory aspects of humanity. 

7/22-7/26: Proof of Love by Chisa Hutchinson, directed by Kyle Haden. A well-off Black woman learns some things about both herself and her husband when a car accident leaves the latter comatose. 

8/17-8/23: What To Do When You Don't See Yourself in the Story, by Anya Pearson, a piece that reckons with the lack of respect given Black women and celebrating and recognizing their work. 

8/24-8/30: Cell Surface by Dominic Taylor, directed by Jerrell Henderson, described as "a play about making a play in Zoom about two amazing African-American scientists, Dr. E.E. Just and Dr. Roger Young." 

9/16-9/20: The Immortal Goats by Idris Goodwin, directed by Tiffany Nicole Greene. After the removal of statues honoring colonizers, a committee has to determine who should be recognized in their place—within the running time of the play. 

10/12-10/17: Call for the Wailing Women by Katrina D. Richard, directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton. A modern-day Afrocentric retelling of Euripides's The Suppliants, about a group of grieving women in wartime desperate to bury their dead. 

11/2-11/8: The Emancipation of Yankee Oluwale by Wole Oguntokun, based on the story of David Oluwale, a British Nigerian whose body was found in the River Aire in Leeds in 1969, leading to an investigation of how the homeless and mentally ill man had been tormented by the police.

The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Vol. 4—LOCKDOWN!

6/25-8/15: available any time online with purchase

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Quarantine can't keep Hell in a Handbag from continuing their long-running franchise parody of The Golden Girls. In this recorded online edition, written by artistic director David Cerda and directed by Spenser Davis, the "girls" are quarantined together for 30 days after Blanche is exposed to Legionnaires' disease.

Co-MISSION Fellowship Works-in-Progress Showing

Wed 3/4, 7 PM
Links Hall at Constellation 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago Roscoe Village

Buy Tickets$5-$8


Links 2020 Co-MISSION Fellows, Darling Squire and Chloe Johnston, share works-in-progress Update: To help slow the spread of COVID-19, Links Hall is canceling all events until 5/1. 773-281-0824

My Body's Image, Delayed Free

Through 7/24: new videos released every Friday at 7 PM through the Theatre Y website.

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Theatre Y celebrates its 15th anniversary and its ongoing collaboration with Hungarian-Romanian playwright and poet András Visky through this anthology of videos created in quarantine by company members, inspired by Visky's work and integrating mirrors as part of the visual vernacular. Artistic director Melissa Lorraine, Visky, and members of the ensemble will also participate in virtual conversations about the work.

Christina Quarles All Ages

4/4-8/23

Buy Tickets


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hristina Quarles is an LA artist who paints bodies: limbs, torsos, faces all collide with one another and create experimental pieces of gesture. This will be her largest exhibition of work to date. 312-280-2660

War of the Well[e]s Canceled

7/1-7/31: available as ticketed audio download anytime via YouTube

Buy TicketsPay what you can, but $15-$250 suggested donation

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This event has been canceled. Contact the box office for more information.

Porchlight Music Theatre and A Red Orchid Theatre team up with this audio drama, based on the legendary Orson Welles broadcast of H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds on Halloween eve of 1938. The story of a Martian attack that went out over the CBS airwaves set off mass hysteria and helped make Welles a rising star. Porchlight artistic director Michael Weber wrote the script, and A Red Orchid ensemble member Lawrence Grimm directs a cast that includes such Chicago heavy hitters as Lance Baker, Mierka Girten, Will Clinger, Michael Patrick Thornton, Michael Shannon, Sadieh Rifai, and many others.