16 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Week

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on May 15, 2017 2:40PM

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Image courtesy of Wild Garden.

A "wild" week in Chicago that starts with free food from Wild Garden Food Truck.


MONDAY MAY 15

FREE LUNCH: Wild Garden Food Truck is on tour, giving out free meals to Chicagoans this week. The Social Kitchen Tour is powered by “likes,” with each Facebook “like” equating to another free meal. The food truck will be in busy lunch areas during the day, and shifting focus to soup kitchens and shelters for the dinner shift. Local notables like Time Out Chicago’s Restaurant and Bars Editor Elizabeth Atkinson and NBC Meteorologist Alicia Roman will be on board. Check the Wild Garden website for the full schedule.

MISERY YOU CAN TAP YOUR FEET TO: The Kickback’s sophomore effort Weddings & Funerals is coming out later this summer, and it’s a stunning follow up to their 2015 debut, Sorry All Over The Place. The new music finds frontman Billy Yost processing his recent divorce, and the result is an album of sometimes harrowing but always excellent work. It also sees the band as a whole pushing their sound in new directions without abandoning the left-of-center hooks and melodic sensibility that made us fall in love with them. Misery rarely sounds this entertaining, and we like it. The band opens for Bush at The Riviera Monday night, so fans will have a chance to catch some of the new tunes live and get a taste of the new LP.

VALERIE JARRETT: Before she was a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett served within Chicago Mayor Harold Washington’s administration. She’ll be speaking about his time in office with Dr. Adam Green at the namesake Harold Washington Library’s Cindy Pritzker Auditorium at 6 p.m. The keynote speaker event is part of CPL’s annual Mayor Harold Washington Commemoration. Free. Seating is first-come, first-served beginning at 4:30 p.m.

PHILLY SOUL MEETS U.K. POP: Even though Hall And Oates formed nearly a decade before Tears For Fears, the groups are often viewed as contemporaries since their breakthrough hits occurred around the same time in the '80s. This joint tour should be pretty amazing; the juxtaposition of Tears For Fears' melancholic pop should contrast nicely with the Philly soul and undeniable attraction of Hall And Oates' deep catalog. Prepare to go head over heels as you attempt to keep your head above water as hit after hit slams into you Monday night at Allstate Arena.


TUESDAY MAY 16

AMERICAN WRITERS MUSEUM OPENS: The first museum of it’s kind, the American Writers Museum opens on Michigan Avenue this Tuesday. They’ll have interactive exhibits and programming honoring American writers from the past and present. Two temporary exhibits will also open on day one; Palm: All Awake in the Darkness, inspired by the life and work of the American poet W.S. Merwin, and The Beat Journey: Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” featuring the display of the original scroll manuscript.

INDIE YACHT ROCK: On This Old Dog, Mac DeMarco mines a late ‘70s easy-grooving guitar vibe that showcases a more introspective side of the hard-to-pin-down musician. Call it slacker-rock, yacht rock, or whatever you like—no matter what you decide to classify it, the new work is a mellow good time. His live sets tend to be more raucous affairs, so we’re curious to see how the new work translates to the stage when he plays The Vic Tuesday night.


WEDNESDAY MAY 17

DINING AWARDS: Taste winning dishes at the Chicago Tribune Dining Awards at Venue One from 6 to 9 p.m. The first annual event features tastes of Blackbird, EL Ideas, Income Tax and many more. Tickets are $70.

CHICAGO SHOEGAZE: Chicago’s Panda Riot stretch their poppy take on shoegaze into new areas of sonic joy over the 18 songs of their new album Infinity Maps, out this June. The quartet has crafted what we think is their strongest effort to date, and the winning combination of the group’s hazy, infectious tunes and singer Rebecca Scott’s dreamy vocals heralds a grand step forward for the group. Get a sneak peek at some of the new material when the band plays The Empty Bottle on Wednesday night.

STEAMPUNK HAPPY HOUR: Renaissance Chicago’s annual “Global Day of Discovery” explores Chicago history, with this year’s event focusing on the 1893 World’s Fair. The “5 to 9” happy hour at Staytion Market & Bar takes on a Steampunk theme with stilt walkers, live music, and craft cocktails. Free.


THURSDAY MAY 18

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Beer Under Glass. Image courtesy of Garfield Park Conservatory.

BEER UNDER GLASS: It’s become tradition at Garfield Park Conservatory, celebrating the start of Craft Beer Week and raising funds for the GPC Alliance. The Conservatory’s eight indoor display houses and outside gardens will be open after-hours for Beer Under Glass while guests sip on samples from more than 100 craft breweries. There will also be bites available from local food trucks. General admission begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $60.

OUT AT CHM: The final program in this year’s “Out at CHM” will take place at the Center on Halsted with an exploration of Boystown. “From New Town to Boystown to Lakeview” examines the neighborhood’s underlying social tensions with panel experts like Andie Meadows, queer femme photographer, historian and activist and producer of the photo documentary series Girls In Boystown and Lucy Stoole, a Chicago-based performer working to build a better and more connected LGBTQ community in Chicago and Worldwide. Tickets are $20.

LAUGHS UNLOCKED: An improv benefit at The Annoyance Theatre this Thursday will feature veteran Chicago improv actors performing to get books to women in prison. The show’s scenes are based on stories told by Colette Payne, a formerly incarcerated community organizer. Tickets are $25 with all proceeds going to Chicago Books to Women in Prison.

KEY INGREDIENT COOK-OFF: Chefs including Dan Salls of Quiote, Sarah Mispagel of Proxi Chicago, Ben Lustbader of Giant, and more will compete in the Chicago Reader's 5th Annual Key Ingredient Cook-off from 7 to 10 p.m. at Ivy Room. The theme for this year’s event is “Mentors” in which chefs will make dishes in the style of that person that influenced them the most. Taste all of the dishes and vote for your favorite. Tickets are $50 ($60 door).


FRIDAY MAY 19

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Red Giselle. Photo courtesy of Auditorium Theatre by Evgeny Matveev.

RED GISELLE: The classic ballet is part of a real-life twist in Red Giselle. The original story ballet is inspired by the story of the famous Russian ballerina Olga Spessivtseva who fled the communist country and reprises her role of Giselle in Paris. Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg brings the story to life at Auditorium Theatre this Friday through Sunday. Tickets start at $33.

MAYFEST: Kick off the summer street fest season with Mayfest this weekend at Ashland & Barry avenues. They’ll have food, drink music and fun with popular cover bands playing the main stage and a beer garden under the big-top tent. Admission is $10.

SHOW 'EM HOW IT'S DONE: The Meat Puppets have never failed to deliver an exciting live set, especially since the original trio started playing together again a few years back. There’s something magical about the group’s desert fried romp through psychedelia, and the sheer force of noise that drives their concerts. For this show Mike Watt opens, backed by The Tom And Jerry Show. Watt is a DIY punk pioneer who can move adeptly from punk jazz to classic rock on the turn of double nickels on the dime. Catch both legendary acts at Lincoln Hall on Friday night.