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17 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Week

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on May 1, 2017 4:51PM

Image courtesy of Mercadito.

Once you've gotten through all those Justin Timberlake memes, go through this list of our top things going on in the city this week.


MAYO DINNER: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo a few days early with Mercadito’s Cinco de Mayo Experiential Dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. The evening’s menu includes Tamales de Mole Poblano, Chile Relleno de Quesillo, Pozole Rojo and more over five courses, each one paired with Mezcales de Leyenda pours. Tickets are $85. To reserve a spot, call 312-329-9555.

THE QUEEN OF INDIE: Juliana Hatfield’s fan-funded new album Pussycat sees the artist is still brimming with catchy hooks to go along with her at-times emotional but alway incisive lyrical talents. Hatfield’s album tend to fall into either the introspective indie or turn-up-the-amps rock, and Pussycat definitely falls into the latter camp. She’s playing very few shows right now behind this album, but Lincoln Hall was lucky enough to land one of them. Hatfield plays Lincoln Hall tonight and tickets are $20.


TUESDAY FUNK: Check in with the eclectic reading series Tuesday Funk at Hopleaf’s upstairs lounge at 7:30 p.m. Readers for episode 105 include Mikki Kendall, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Anne Elizabeth Moore, Mare Swallow and Alicia Swiz. Free.

SIGNATURE BEER DINNER: Get views and brews at The Signature Room’s beer dinner with Crystal Lake Brewing at 6 p.m. The restaurant atop the John Hancock building hosts the suburban brewery for a four-course meal from Executive Chef Cardel Reid paired with seasonal and signature brews, including the Spring Fever, Wake Maker IPA, Busted Prop, and Boathouse Reserve Imperial Stout. Tickets are $85. Call 312-280-0465 to purchase.

ANIMATION SHOWCASE: The Midwest Independent Film Festival hosts their first ever Animation Showcase at Landmark's Century Centre Cinema beginning at 6 p.m. The evening includes thirteen animated shorts ranging from stop-motion to CG to pen and paper and then the world premiere of Where it Floods, from Chicago filmmaker Joel Benjamin. Tickets start at $10.

MOTH STORY SLAM: Legendary storytelling series The Moth presents The Chicago Moth GrandSLAM XV at The Athenaeum Theatre at 8 p.m. The “battle of wits and words” will determine the storyslam story champion. Tickets are $27.

WHOSE LIVE ANYWAY: Spend an evening with cast members from CW comedy series “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” at City Winery this Tuesday and Wednesday. Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Jeff B. Davis and Second City Alum Joel Murray will all appear in “Whose Live Anyway?” a 90-minute improv show of games, scenes and songs, just like the television show. Tickets start at $35.


WINE TASTING: Play "Sommelier for a Day" at III Forks, selecting the featured wine for the month. The tasting from 5 to 7 p.m. will focus on California wines, with six selections up for the job. The tasting also includes hors d'oeuvres crafted by executive chef Cedric Harden. Tasting fee is $20. To RSVP in advance, call 312-938-4303.

SOCCER + STYLE: Chicago Fire hosts their 5th Annual Soccer & Style Fashion Show at ROOF on theWit from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will be emceed by ABC’s Cheryl Scott along with star midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and other Fire players sporting the latest Banana Republic collection to benefit the Chicago Fire Foundation. Tickets are $50 and include two drink tickets.

WINE DINNER: Enjoy a Mediterranean Wine Dinner at Summer House Santa Monica at 6:30 p.m. The menu from Executive Chef Ben Goodnick includes regional cuisine like pan-roasted mussels and spit-roasted shepherd-style pork. Tickets are $85.

SHOEGAZE ICONS: We saw Slowdive when they reformed to play the 2014 Pitchfork Music Festival and left that set thinking the band had aged well, and while it was a set built on work that was decades old the music still managed to feel fresh. It was a nice one-off that bolstered the band’s reputation as an iconic shoegaze act for a new generation. didn’t expect the band to retreat to their musical laboratory and actually release any new music. So it was a huge surprise when the band announced their first new album in 22 years would be released this week. We’ve hear the self-titled LP and it reveals that Slowdive are just as sharp as they ever were. The guitars are still massive and hazy, the drums still thunder, and the melodies still drive forward. We always felt Slowdive had a more pop bent than their more atmospheric shoe gaze counterparts, making Slowdive an excellent return to form for fans, and a great entry point for newcomers. The band plays The Vic Wednesday night.


Image via Harris Theater's Facebook page.

MIX AT SIX: See pre-professional dancers from Chicago Academy for the Arts at this edition of Mix at Six at Harris Theater. The alternative happy hour presents hour-long arts performances with signature drinks in the lobby and food trucks parked out front. The Academy Repertory Dance Company will be performing a new work from Harris’s Choreographer in Residence Brian Brooks. Tickets are $10.

SMALL PROJECTS + LARGE PARTY: AIA Chicago recognizes Chicago’s smaller firms with awards and a party at the 2017 Small Projects LARGE Party at Architectural Artifacts at 5:30 p.m. Architecture and real estate buffs take note. They’ll have complimentary beer provided by Lagunitas, plus snacks and wine. Tickets are free. Register here.

EMERGING TALENT: Stef Chura is firmly part of the current resurgence of the strain of fuzzier ’90s indie guitar pop that’s going around. And we’ve totally succumbed to that bug. So her debut Messes has been getting lots of play in our house. here’s something particularly magnetic in the way Chura’s vocals slip and slide around the scale and yet still deliver unexpected melodic payoffs. Those emotive vocals, paired with her sense of dynamics, puts her nearer to the forefront of this welcome musical trend. This is her first headlining tour and it arrives at The Empty Bottle Thursday night.


ZINE FEST: Attention all indie press and writers, the eighth annual Chicago Zine Fest is this weekend, championing independent self publishing with an exhibition, panels, readings, workshops, hands-on activities and more. The fest kicks off on Friday evening at Co-Prosperity Sphere and then continues on Saturday at Plumbers Union Hall from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For the full schedule of events, check the fest website. Free.

INTONATION POP GALA: Help Intonation bring the music to the kids during their POP Gala at Morgan Manufacturing. They’re celebrating the “power of pop” in a traditional gala setting, all to support the non-profit’s rock band education for local youth. Tickets are $275 ($50 for after-party only).

THE WORLD’S BEST AMERICAN BAND?: White Reaper’s The World’s Best American Band is one of our favorite albums released so far this year. In our review we said, “White Reaper try their best to create an album that lives up to its title. And damn if they don’t deliver with this heavy guitar nod to stompin' and swaggerin' '70s rawk.” Their Beat Kitchen appearance on Friday night should be nothing less than an explosively good time. If you score a ticket, get there early, because the buzz around this show is heavy.