Jim Laski, the former Chicago alderman and city clerk who served time in federal prison for taking bribes, is resuming his on-again, off-again career in radio. But unlike his ill-fated stint on WGN-AM (720) in 2010, this time he’s paying to put his show on the air.
Starting April 27, he’ll host The Laski Files from 4 to 6pm Saturdays on Newsweb Radio progressive talk WCPT-AM (820). It also will be simulcast on the company’s three FM stations — WCPY-FM (92.5), WCPT-FM (92.7) and WCPQ-FM (99.9).
There's an enormous number of concerts worth seeing this weekend.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Yuja Wang
1:30pm, Symphony Center (Orchestra Hall), $24–$208
Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo directs the CSO in its debut performance of Australian composer Brett Dean's epic Amphitheatre, a dramatic scene for large orchestra. Young Chinese pianist Yuja Wang takes the stage for Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto before the evening wraps up with Carl Nielsen's unconventional Fifth Symphony.
Nick Cave played the sold-out Chicago Theatre on Monday behind the somber new Push the Sky Away, the first Bad Seeds disc since 2008, and the first minus linchpin Mick Harvey. Check out our photos.
Today the Auditorium announced its 2013–14 season, noticeably big on dance with spots of music in between. We’re inclined to focus on dance, so we’ll save any suspense: Music includes Israeli singer-songwriter Idan Raichel of Idan Raichel Project on November 9, the annual “Too Hot To Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah," January 18 and 19 (one-hour student matinee on the 17th), and Chick Corea and Béla Fleck on April 5.
Now, on to dance.
Here's a great list of free things to do this week in Chicago.
3–7pm, Peanut Gallery
Two dozen M.F.A. students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign present their new work in painting, sculpture, photography, metal and new media.
D.S. Tequila Company's Team Trivia
8pm, D.S. Tequila Company
Walk away with $100 or get your dinner comped just for knowing useless shit.
Here's a sneak peek at what's coming up in this week's Time Out Chicago, on newsstands tomorrow:
Neon is back! So are floral prints and color blocking! Black and white is the color combo of the season! See how these trends have been updated for spring 2013 in our lovely Spring Fashion issue, which features clothes and accessories you can actually afford. Imagine!
Plus, meet the talented ladies of INDO, the design company that put together our Spring Fashion set.
Court Theatre, the longstanding professional institution on the University of Chicago's campus, has announced the lineup for its 59th season, beginning with the Chicago premiere of The Mountaintop, Katori Hall's popular two-hander that imagines the last night of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. Ron OJ Parson will direct (September 5–October 6).
In the season's second slot, Timothy Edward Kane will reprise his 2011 performance in An Iliad, which earned a spot on my top-ten list for that year. The remount will run just four weeks (November 13–December 8). In the new year, Parson will helm Seven Guitars—the only remaining work in August Wilson's ten-play "Century Cycle" he hasn't yet directed (January 9–February 9).
Court follows with the Chicago premiere of Water by the Spoonful, the winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, directed by Henry Godinez (March 6–April 6). It's the second piece in a trilogy that will run here out of order—the final play, The Happiest Song Plays Last, has its world premiere at the Goodman Theatre this month. (The first play in Hudes's triptych, Elliot, a Soldier's Fugue, was co-produced by Rivendell Theatre Ensemble and Teatro Vista in 2006). The season closes with a new production of David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly, helmed by Court artistic director Charles Newell (May 8–June 8).
The slating of new works like The Mountaintop and Water by the Spoonful is somewhat unusual for Court Theatre, which has a mission of producing classic texts and isn't often among the contenders for Chicago premieres. "Each show that we choose, the first criteria is always about the quality of the text, the quality of the language, the quality of the writing itself," Newell said in an interview today. "Both of those plays, when I read them I was just blown away. And part of when we think about 'classics' is, what do we think is going to survive the test of time? What will we be wanting to produce in 20 and 40 and 100 years? I think there are timeless, classic themes in both of those plays, in the same way that M. Butterfly has proven itself a modern classic."
Of An Iliad, Newell says, "This is a show that needs more life, that we couldn't figure out a way to make happen when it was playing. Luckily, Tim Kane said, 'Yeah, I want to come back and do it again.'" Revisiting the piece isn't just about meeting audience demand; it will also allow for more fully realized tie-ins to complementary U. of C. programming, Newell says.
M. Butterfly will also play a part in the larger university world, coinciding with "a major exhibit the University of Chicago's going to be doing around visual representation of performance in Chinese opera," Newell says. "This production will be a sort of centerpiece for that art exhibit that is going to be at the Smart Museum. It's a unique opportunity we have here at Court, to integrate into the intellectual firepower here at the university—to make art while scholarship is being made."
The Rolling Stones will be performing in Chicago on May 28. As part of their "50 and Counting" tour, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood will be celebrating their "first 50 years" of music. The Stones will be performing at the United Center, and tickets go on sale April 8. Presale tickets will be available for CitiBank Private Pass cardmembers beginning April 5.
With a successful 2012–13 campaign nearly in the rearview (Delfos Danza Contemporanea plays Thursday 4 through Saturday 6), the Dance Center looks ahead to 2013–14 in anticipation of its 40th anniversary. The higher-ups have wasted no time in assembling next season’s lineup of local, national and international sensations.