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Chicagoist's Guide To April: 20 Fun Things To Do This Month

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 1, 2016 5:03PM

It's National Robotics Week. Photo via MSI's website.

Music, food, art and more to fill up your April calendar.

April 1


Local choreographer Brock Clawson debuts a new work with Giordano Dance Chicago’sat their spring series at Harris Theater. We first fell in love with his work two years ago when we saw his commissioned piece Crossing Ashland at the Joffrey Ballet. Contemporary works from Roni Koresh, Autumn Eckman and more will also be on the program. Shows Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $15.

April 2-10

ROBOTICS WEEK (Museum Exhibit)

It’s National Robotics Week and the Museum of Science and Industry is getting into the spirit with demos and interactive activities. Meet AquaJelly, an artificial autonomous jellyfish, play with PARO┬«, the furry baby seal therapy robot and even build your own robot. All activities are included in museum entry.

Mark Morris Dance Group. Photo by Susana Millman courtesy of Harris Theater.

April 5


Mark Morris is one of the hailed choreographers of our time, and he’s bringing his internationally renowned Dance Group and Music Ensemble to Harris Theater for a unique music and dance combo performance. Morris will be the conductor at the event, where they’ll be performing Dido and Aeneas, an intense story of love, sex, destruction, and death. The Harris will also unveil their newly renovated lobbies with an after-party including complimentary cocktails and sweets and an opportunity to mingle with the performers. All ticket holders are welcome. Tickets are $40, or $250 with the pre-performance dinner gala.

April 6


We were very excited to hear that rock legend Iggy Pop had collaborated on an album with Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, and now the tour has landed at the Chicago Theater. Joining the duo will be QOSTA members Dean Fertita and Troy Van Leeuwen, bassist Matt Sweeny, and Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders. Tickets start at $39.50.

April 8


We’ve talked about how busy Chance the Rapper is, and one of the things coming up for the hometown rapper is headlining the Power 92 15th Anniversary Concert. The radio station is also bringing in Katie Got Bandz, Lil Bibby, BJ The Chicago Kid and more for the show at Chicago Theatre. Tickets start at $50.

Illusions S.A. Photo via Chicago Latino Film Festival's website.

April 8-21


More than 100 feature and shorts films from all over Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States will be screened at the 32nd annual Chicago Latino Film Festival. The festival also includes discussions with some of the directors and other special events. The Opening Night Gala kicks things off on Friday with a screening of Illusions S.A. (starring "Jane the Virgin’s" Jaime Camil) at AMC River East and a reception afterwards at the neighboring Embassy Suites Hotel. For the full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit the festival’s website.

April 9


Election season may be the perfect time to revisit the words of Lincoln in a new exhibit opening at the Chicago History Museum. 'Lincoln's Undying Words' explores five of the president’s key speeches, including the Gettysburg Address. There will also be some rare artifacts on display including his family’s carriage and deathbed. The exhibit is included in museum admission.

April 9


JC Brooks & Uptown Sound play a free concert as part of Uptown Saturday Nights at the Preston Bradley Center at 8 p.m. Post-punk soul? Gutsy R&B? This local band has it all. RSVP for free entry.

Apr. 13-17

CIMMFEST NO. 8 (Movies + Music)

The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival returns for it’s eighth year with five days of screenings, premieres, performances and more. Bands Deer Tick, Taj Mahal Trio and Peter Murphy are among the live music lineup, and be sure to check out the official film of Record Store Day 2016, The Smart Studios Story (with an afterparty for the film at Metro), plus many more. Festival passes start at $79. Check the CIMM website for more information on single event tickets and schedules.

Image via Record Store Day.

April 16


Exclusive releases, reissues, limited runs, in-store concerts, it’s all part of the annual Record Store Day celebration. Introduced in 2007, the event has grown stronger every year. There’s a little something for everyone with musicians from Bob Mould to Metallica to Justin Bieber participating this year. Get into one of your local stores (there are more than 30 stores in Chicago participating, click here for a full list) and pick up something new, or even better, something old and well-loved from the archives. [Editor's note: We're still not sold on RSD, but to each their own.]

April 16

PINOT DAYS (Wine Festival)

Now this is a festival that Titus Andromedon would LOOOOOOVE! Sample all the Pinots at Navy Pier during Pinot Days. 65 wineries are coming into town for the event for a chance to meet the winemakers. Tickets start at $75.

April 16


Artisan chocolate, food and wine, oh my. There’s more than just tastings at this artisan chocolate festival, there will be plenty of talks and demos to keep you busy. More than 50 exhibits at Plumbers Hall at will be vying for your attention, and your taste buds. Tickets start at $35 in advance.

Cochon Volant Brasserie. Photo via Chef Week's Facebook page.

April 17-22


In Chicago, we don’t just have cooks in our restaurants, we have chefs. During Chef Week, you can make a reservation at some of the hottest restaurants in town--and the country--and get a four-course dinner for $44 or a set three-course lunch menu for $22. Boka, Avec, Blackbird, Nico Osteria and Le Colonial are just a few of the 100 restaurants participating. To see all the restaurants and to make a reservation, visit the Chef Week website.

April 17


Celebrate the 193rd Greek Independence Day at the Hellenic Heritage Parade in Greektown at 2:30 p.m. Parade steps off at Halsted and Randolph streets. Free.

April 22


Join the Land and Sea Dept. (the team behind Longman & Eagle and Chicago Athletic Association) at Garfield Park Conservatory for a special Earth Day celebration complete with a live concert from local indie duo Wild Belle and bites and beverages. Lula Cafe’s Jason Hammel is in charge of the menu and LSD wine director Andrew Algren and beverage director will handle the drink menu. Tickets are $25 ($100 VIP) and must be purchased in advance.

Kerry James Marshall: Mastry. Image courtesy of the MCA.

April 23-September 25

'MASTRY' PAINTINGS (Museum Exhibit)

The latest exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art looks at the position of middle-class African Americans throughout American History through the paintings of Kerry James Marshall. This is the first retrospective exhibition of the celebrated painter. Many of his scenes portray the everyday lives of families after the civil rights movement. Exhibit runs through September.

April 28


Intonation Music is turning 10, and they’re holding an Anniversary Gala in celebration. The non-profit has offered rock band classes to more than 3,000 youths in underserved areas across the city. The evening includes dinner, open bar, and entertainment in a rock and roll theme at Morgan Manufacturing. The fundraiser will also include an auction with items like a once-in-a-lifetime Hot Doug’s & Chicago Cubs Package and a table read with the cast of The Simpsons. Tickets are $250.

April 28-May 1


Style can mean a lot of things. From fashion to the way a city rolls. The Chicago Humanities Festival is expanding into Spring with their first ever Style festival exploring the subject in it’s many forms. Arianna Huffington, George Wendt and Mary-Louise Parker are among the many guests speaking at the festival occurring at venues across the city through May 1. Topics vary from literature to music to clothing in politics and how to speak emoji. Visit Style’s website for more information and a full schedule.

April 30


Baconfest is on. Sample hundreds of bacon dishes from top Chicago chefs at one of the lunch, brunch or dinner sessions on Saturday or Sunday. It really is a bacon festival with everything bacon from the food to cocktails to art. Tickets are $100 and include drink tickets.

April 30

RUM FEST (Seminar + Party)

Celebrate all things rum at the 2nd annual MidWest Rum Fest at Bottom Lounge. Attend seminars for industry members and general “aficionados” or just hit up the Kupula Hula Tiki After Party. Enjoy rum tastings, bites, live music and more across all the events. Seminar tickets start at $35. After Party tickets are $10.