Mikayla Renfrow stars as the title character in “Cinderella.” | Photo by Thomas J. King
There’s plenty to see and do online and in-person in the week ahead.
Academy Award nominated actor David Strathairn stars in “Remember This — The Lesson of Jan Karski,” Clark Young and Derek Goldman’s solo play about the World War II hero who risked his life to carry the first eyewitness reports of the Holocaust to the White House where his warnings were met with inaction and disbelief. The play first began at Georgetown University where Karski (1914-2000) taught for decades after the war. Goldman, who also teaches there, was tasked with creating a production about his life and legacy for a celebration of Karski’s centennial birthday. He brought his friend Strathairn on board and now the goal is to perform it for audiences around the country and world to bring attention to Karski’s amazing deeds. From Nov. 4-14 at The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand. Tickets: $43-$75. Visit chicagoshakes.com.
Teresa Castracane Photography
David Strathairn as real-life World War II hero Jan Karski in “Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski.”Alexis J. Roston and Hollis Resnik star in “Sister Act,” the musical comedy based on the 1992 film about a disco diva (Roston) who witnesses a murder and is put in protective custody in a convent. Disguised as a nun, she runs up against the ridged lifestyle and an uptight Mother Superior (Resnik). But she finds salvation in the church choir. Directed by Reneisha Jenkins. From Nov. 5-Jan. 9 at Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport. Tickets: $35-$85. Visit mercurytheaterchicago.com.
Alexis J. Roston stars in “Sister Act.”
Pumpkins transform into carriages and tattered rags magically become a beautiful gown in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” the famed music theater duo’s take on the classic fairy tale. Mikayla Renfrow, making her Chicago debut, stars as Cinderella. Direction and choreography are by Brenda Didier. For ages 5 and up. From Nov. 10-Jan. 9 at Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena. Tickets: $36-$74. Visit paramountaurora.com.
Kokandy Productions present the Chicago premiere of “Hundred Days,” The Bengsons and Sarah Gancher’s new musical which explores the question: “How do we make the most of the time that we have?” Filled with The Bengsons’ anthemic folk-punk music, the show has been hailed as “”a luminous musical memoir that celebrates and laments the elusive radiance of a shared life.” Directed by Lucky Stiff. From Nov. 7-Jan. 9, at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. Tickets: $38. Visit kokandyproductions.com.
“Hundred Days” at Chopin Theatre.
It’s that time of year when the Hallmark Channel begins airing its popular lineup of saccharin holiday movies and The Second City is taking note with “Deck the Hallmark: A Greeting Card Channel Original,” a sendup of the films that “wear out cliches and keep former child actors employed.” From Nov. 4-Jan. 2 at The Up Comedy Club, 230 W. North. Tickets: $49+. Visit secondcity.com.
Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble and Re-dance Group return with a double bill of live performances. Chicago Danztheatre performs “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a piece inspired by Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story about a woman facing physical and mental issues, choregraphed and directed by artistic director Ellyzabeth Adler and the cast. Re-dance Group presents Michael Estanich’s “The Attic Room,” an intimate story of escape and desire. From Nov. 5-20 at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1650 W. Foster. Tickets: $13, $20. Visit danztheatre.org.
Silent Theatre’s “Unearthed Crown” is a visually enhanced radio drama written and directed by ensemble member Phillip Lewis. The six-part sci-fi mystery follows the story of two high school students as they uncover a series of uncomfortable truths about their South Side Chicago neighborhood. Performed live and streamed for a virtual audience at 8 p.m. Sundays Nov. 7-Dec. 12. Free, but donations appreciated. Visit silenttheatre.com.
Mindy Tucker Photo
The Den Theatre’s production of “Jacqueline Novak: Get on Your Knees.”
The Den Theatre presents the Chicago debut of the Off-Broadway hit, “Jacqueline Novak: Get on Your Knees.” Novak’s one-woman show is an unexpectedly philosophical and high-brow show about oral sex — part feminist outcry, part coming-of-age tale of triumph. Ira Glass (“This American Life”) says the show is a “nearly Talmudic dissection of a subject. Really funny and just really like nothing else.” From Nov. 4-7 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee. Tickets: $26-$50. Visit thedentheatre.com.
Lifeline Theatre’s season begins with “Carmilla,” Aly Renee Amidei’s episodic audio drama adaptation of J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s gothic novella that inspired Bran Stoker’s “Dracula.” Streams through Nov. 30. Tickets: $20 or pay-what-you-can. Visit lifelinetheatre.com.
Pokey LaFarge tours behind his new album, “In the Blossom of Their Shade,” a 10-song set of new songs written by LaFarge, like many other songwriters, during quarantine. “This album is a result of my 2020 experience. Before the pandemic, I was in a dark place, but the pandemic created the much-needed space for me to reflect,” LaFarge says. “Turns out being completely sedentary for once was a good thing. I found peace in the stillness. I was able to recalibrate what it is I do and why I’m doing it. Who I’m to do it with and most importantly, who I’m doing it for.” At 8 p.m. Nov. 4 at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport. Tickets: $20, $30. Visit thaliahallchicago.com.
Eliot Lee Hazel Photo
WisdomSound, an online benefit concert for the Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery and Nagi Nunnery in Nepal, features performances by Laurie Anderson, Jon Batiste, Norah Jones, Angelique Kidjo, Steve Miller Band, Gregory Porter and Maggie Rogers, plus special guest Richard Gere. At 7 p.m. Nov. 8 (available online to Nov. 22). Free, donations appreciated. Visit boxoffice.mandolin.com/wisdomsound.
The Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the CSO’s premier training ensemble of emerging professional musicians, returns with a program of music by American composers: Carlos Simon’s 2020 orchestral work “Fate Now Conquers,” Adolphus Hailstork’s “An American Port of Call,” William Schuman’s “New England Triptych” and William Grant Still’s “Symphony No. 1 (Afro-American).” The orchestra is led by guest conductor Thomas Wilkins. At 8 p.m. Nov. 8 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Admission is free. Visit cso.org.
Gene Reed Photo
Karen MasonBroadway actress and award-winning cabaret performer Karen Mason returns with “Vaccinatin’ Rhythm,” a new show that features her favorite songs and arrangements including “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Lulu’s Back in Town” and “Broadway Baby” plus new music. From Nov. 4-7, Mason also celebrates the 23rd anniversary of her first appearance at Davenports Piano Bar & Cabaret, 1383 N. Milwaukee. Tickets: $40 plus two-drink minimum. Visit davenportspianobar.com.
D. Darr Photo
The Charles Lloyd Quartet opens the 10th season of Jazz at the Logan. With his warm, expansive sound and melodicism in both composition and improvisation, saxophonist Lloyd has defined the sound of a generation. He performs with Gerald Clayton, Rueben Rogers and Eric Harland. At 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th. Tickets: $10-$40. Visit tickets.uchicago.edu.
The Orion Ensemble continues its 29th season with three November performances featuring works by Paul Hindemith, Florence Price and Franz Schubert. At 3 p.m. Nov. 7 at New England Congregational Church, 406 W. Galena, Aurora; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at PianoForte Studios, 1335 S. Michigan; and 7 p.m. Nov. 14 at Lake Street Church, 607 Lake, Evanston. Tickets: $15-$30. Visit orionensemble.org.
Courtesy Polish Museum of America
“Tytus Brzozowski displays his watercolor of Chicago from the exhibit “Tytus Brzozowski: 12 Cities.”The Polish Museum of America presents “Tytus Brzozowski: 12 Cities,” a new exhibit featuring a series of watercolors commissioned by the POLONIKA Institute. Brzozowski is a painter, architect and creator of fantastic and fairy-tale-like murals decorating the streets of Warsaw. The paintings on display are his artistic vision of the cities in which objects, documents or places originating from Poland or connected to Poland can be found, including Chicago, Padua (Italy), Lviv (Ukraine), Tbilisi (Georgia) and Rapperswil (Switzerland). Brzozowski will discuss his work at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 (Polish language event). The exhibit runs through Dec. 11 at Polish Museum of American, 984 N. Milwaukee. Admission: $10. Visit polishmuseumofamerica.org.
Courtesy Black Harvest Film Festival
The documentary “Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over” opens the Black Harvest Film Festival.The 27thBlack Harvest Film Festival, the annual celebration of Black cinema, returns for live screenings with 28 feature films and 36 short films, free panel discussions and tributes to Gordon Parks (a retrospective of his films) and Melvin Van Peebles (screenings of “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song”). The opening night film is the documentary, “Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over,” with director Dave Wooley in attendance. The roster also includes Reinaldo Marcus Green’s “King Richard,” starring Will Smith as the father of Venus and Serena Williams, and “It’s Different in Chicago,” David Weathersby’s chronicle of house and hip-hop music. The festival concludes with a 30th anniversary presentation of Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever.” Some feature films and all the shorts will be streamed. From Nov. 5-Dec. 2 at Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. Tickets: $12, $60 festival pass, $50 opening night. Visit siskelfilmcenter.org.
“Make a Distinction” opens the Chicago Underground Film Festival.The Chicago Underground Film Festival, the annual event that showcases documentary, experimental, avant-garde and cult cinema, returns with a three-day roster of features and shorts. Opening night showcases Chicago-based filmmakers Andrew Mausert-Mooney and Kera Mackenzie’s “Make a Distinction,” which features stylized scenes of field botanists, retail clerks, soldiers and a production company shooting a cop show in Chicago, and challenges the viewer to “name the enemy or become it.” From Nov. 5-7 at the Logan Theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee. Tickets: $10, $50 festival pass. Visit cuff28.org.
Any child fascinated by dinosaurs will find much to love at Jurassic Quest, the epic prehistoric (and very realistic) experience with more than 100 life-like dinosaurs, themed rides, dinosaur shows, interactive science, art activities and a play area. From Nov. 5-7 at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Rd., Rosemont. Tickets: $18-$22, children under 2 free, rides and activities extra. Visit jurrassicquest.com/events/rosemont-il.
Courtesy Jurassic Quest
Jurassic Quest comes to life Nov. 5-7 in Rosemont.The annual Cornelia Arts Building Open House pulls back the curtain on the working spaces of artists. More than 50 artists and artisans have studios here including painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramic artists, printmakers, jewelry designers and more. It’s an event for the entire family where you can meet the artists, explore their art and purchase artwork. From 6-10 p.m. Nov. 5 at 1800 W. Cornelia. Admission is free. Visit corneliaartsbuilding.com.