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16 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Week

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 9, 2017 4:22PM

Image courtesy of Lush.

The days may be getting shorter but the list of things to do in Chicago just grows and grows with each passing week. Here are a few of our favorites this week.


MOVIE ON THE ROOF: ROOF on theWit’s Monday night movie series continues into fall with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 starting at dusk. The feature event includes complimentary popcorn.

GLAM-PACKED ROCK: We’re beginning to seriously wonder if Sabrina Ellis has cloned herself. She fronts both riotous rockers A Giant Dog, and the more glammy, classic rock inclined Sweet Spirit, and it’s beginning to feel like both bands are constantly on tour. Both groups benefit from her magnetic stage presence and penchant for giving every song of every show her absolute all. With Sweet Spirit, playing The Empty Bottle on Monday night, you're never sure if you should be strutting or slam-dancing, so feel free to do both. It’s a free show, with a packed bill, so get there early to make sure you get in.


AL CAPONE’S BEER WARS: Find out all about Al Capone’s wheelings and dealings during prohibition at the Chicago History Museum’s book signing event. John J. Binder, author of Al Capone’s Beer Wars: A Complete History of Organized Crime in Chicago during Prohibition will join CHM Vice President of Education and Interpretation John Russick for a conversation about the time period and events. Tickets are $25 and include a complimentary drink.

EAT YOUR WORDS: Get stories, small plates and cocktails, all benefiting nonprofit 826CHI at Zhou B. Art Center at 7 p.m. Eat Your Words will feature guest speakers Dave Eggers, Peter Sagal, Rick Bayless, and Ji Suk Yi as well as musical acts and student reading. Proceeds will benefit the Wicker Park-based writing center that offers tuition-free creative writing and publishing opportunities to 3,000+ CPS youth each year. Tickets are $225.


LET’S PLAY TWO: Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder is somewhat of a common sight at Wrigley Field, whether as a fan or center stage. Catch a free screening of the film documenting the band’s 2016 sold out shows at the ballpark, Let’s Play Two at The Park at 7 p.m. Beverages and food truck eats will be available for purchase.

PERFUME POP-UP: Lush’s 900 South Wabash Ave. shop has an interactive pop-up perfume gallery opening this Wednesday through the 15th. The Gorilla Gallery installation has 14 immersive scented exhibits including scratch and sniff floral scented wallpaper, a Self Esteem Machine silent disco, and more surprises. Limited edition perfumes will also be available for purchase. Free.


CIFF: The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival takes us on adventures all over the world with more than 150 films from Argentina, Brazil, China, Lebanon, Slovakia, and the United States (including two films from Chicago-based filmmakers). Marshall will kick things off on opening night with filmmakers and actor Josh Gad scheduled to be in attendance. The festival continues through Oct. 26 at AMC River East. Visit the festival website for a complete schedule and ticket information.

LATINO MUSIC FESTIVAL: The 12th Chicago Latino Music Festival kicks off with a free performance on Thursday from Peruvian born and Chicago-based guitarist Luis Rafael Vivanco at Instituto Cervantes at 7 p.m. The month-long festival features many free concerts from colonial classical music to new contemporary works including Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Axiom Brass, Chicago Composers Orchestra and more.

BLUE MAN GROUP IN CHICAGO TURNS 20: It seems impossible, but The Blue Man Group has made the Briar Street Theater their Chicago home since they brought their multi-sensory overload to town two decades ago. This should be a pretty special show, and tickets are still available. But you can still get in the spirit of the celebration if you can't make the show. Blue Man Group Chicago is also teaming up with Sprinkles Cupcakes to sell special "Blue Man" themed cupcakes to mark their birthday from Oct. 11 to 31 at their 50 E. Walton location. Buy a cupcake and you also get a 25 percent-off voucher for a Blue Man Group show.

RISING RAWKERS: Sonny Falls are bubbling just under the current of the the underground Chicago music scene's should-be breakout stars. They pair wistful melodies with a powerful mixture of Neil Young and Dinosaur Jr chord attacks, driven by drums that seem more interested in mirroring the guitars than the more tasteful bass lines. Last year's There's No Magic Left in This World EP (you can download it for free!) is one of those releases that we stumbled across and has gotten far more play since we did than most other albums that crossed our desk in the last year. Catch them at Quenchers on Thursday night.

COAST TO COAST DINNER: Shaw's Crab House hosts a four-course Coast-to-Coast dinner as part of Oyster Fest 2017. The interactive dinner features the best oysters from both coasts paired with wines from Hama Hama of Washington and Island Creek of Massachusetts. Tickets are $89.


Billy Branch. Photo courtesy of UChicago's Logan Center.

LOGAN CENTER BLUESFEST: The 1st Annual Logan Center Bluesfest will honor South Side roots of the blues this weekend. The UChicago festival includes concerts, workshops, film, food, and conversations with local and national musicians and artists. Performances include Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio and a “Bringing the Blues Back to the South Side” showcase hosted by Billy Branch. Visit the website for the full schedule of events.

RIVERWALK OKTOBERFEST: The Chicago Riverwalk celebrates Oktoberfest in its own special way, culminating with a pyrotechnic waterfall display at 7:30 p.m. The day also includes Chicago Fishes, Friday Night Flights aboard a Wendella boat and specials at businesses all along the riverwalk.

Image via Cafe Brauer's event page.

FALL HARVEST DINNER: Revel in Friday’s harvest moon with a Fall Harvest Dinner at the Patio at Cafe Brauer from 6 to 9 p.m. Enjoy locally sourced seasonal ingredients from Roasted Assorted Fall Squash to Charred Peach Trifle. Tickets are $65 ($30 for children).

OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC OPEN HOUSE: The Old Town School of Folk Music’s 60th Anniversary Fall Open House is this Friday evening from 7 to 10:30 p.m. The celebration includes a series of jam sessions, workshops, go-go dance lessons and stories from the school’s six-decade history thanks to storycorps. Free.

MUSIC BY MELKBELLY: Chicago's Melkbelly are celebrating the release of their new album Nothing Valley at The Hideout on Friday night. The quartet channels discordant guitars, tumbling drums, and vocals that often seem to be racing after the hooks just out of their reach dominate the group's debut LP. On paper that can seem like it might be a rumbling mess, but the effect is more akin to being pulled under by a musical riptide and left amidst the chaos to fend for yourself. And we truly mean that as a compliment. It's been a while since we've heard something this obviously so meticulously constructed sound like it was gloriously going to fall apart at any moment.