Free things to do in Chicago | Jan 23-29
There's a full week of exciting activities that don't require you to pull out your wallet.
"Dutes Miller: In the Garden"
11am–6pm, Western Exhibitions
Miller's ecstatic installation of new works on paper and sculptures portrays a natural world in which homosexuality is the norm.
The Maltese Falcon
1pm and 7:30pm, Northbrook Public Library
Dir. John Huston. 1941. 100mins. Bogie would perfect his whip-smart gumshoe routine in Howard Hawks's The Big Sleep, but this earlier detective yarn is the better film: a morally complicated caper, with private eye Sam Spade (Bogart) outwitting a trio of lowlifes searching for a priceless antique. The ending is devastating—and, with apologies to Sleep, it actually makes sense.
4pm, Loyola University
Leveen discusses her historical novel, The Secrets of Mary Bowser, about a Union spy who posed as a slave in the Confederate White House.
6pm, Chicago Public Library (Blackstone Branch)
Steinberg discusses his latest book, You Were Never in Chicago, as part of the 2012–13 Despres Family Memorial Lecture Series.
5:15pm, Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art
Northwestern's Jason LaFountain, Terra Foundation postdoctoral fellow in American art; performance studies chair D. Soyini Madison; and American studies director Ivy Wilson join Dan Silverstein, manager of exhibitions and collections at the Block Museum, for a conversation about "Terry Adkins: Recital."
Artists' Talk: Brian Jungen and Duane Linklater
6:30pm, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
The Canadian artists speak about their film project Modest Livelihood, which is on view at Logan Center.
Plume Poetry Reading
6pm, Powell's Bookstore
Robin Behn, Daniel Bosch, Stuart Dybek, Angie Estes, William Olsen and Christina Pugh are featured poets at this event, a celebration of Plume poetry journal's first print anthology.
Post Office Thursdays
This mingler isn't exclusive to local crabby USPS workers—we would sooner try to hook readers up with grouchy clerks from the DMV. Assuming eligible ladies and gents get out of the text-message frame of mind to write potential suitors a cute note and place it in assigned mailboxes, this sounds like a swell idea. It'll be more fun after having a couple of well drinks ($1) or a Love Potion No. 9 cocktail, which is served in a fishbowl ($20).
7:30pm, Women and Children First
Ransby, a professor at UIC, shares from her new book, Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson.
Snow Days Chicago
4-8pm, Navy Pier
Teams of professional snow and ice sculptors will create their masterpieces—made from ten-foot blocks of man-made snow—in Gateway Park, located just west of the entrance to Navy Pier.
6pm, The Whistler
The former Karate frontman brings his signature guitarwork to the Logan Square cocktail lounge.
9pm, 694 Wine & Spirits
Never one to half-ass it, 694 Wine & Spirits (formerly Juicy Wine Co.) pays a weekly homage to the '80s with holier-than-thou DJ LA*Jesus, mixing up everything from forgotten and legitimately fantastic gems to, well, Jem. Yes, guilty pleasures will abound.
Teith + Trevor de Brauw + Yixi Nama
2pm, Empty Bottle
Pelican guitarist Trevor de Brauw presents his latest project, Teith, an art-damaged post-rock quartet that celebrates the release of its debut, Humboldt Park, at this daytime listening party. De Brauw and Teith's Josh Grubman (a.k.a. Yixi Nama) open with solo sets before giving attendees a spin of the new record.
The Paper Machete
3pm, Green Mill
Christopher Piatt hosts this weekly "live magazine," a cavalcade of culture, politics and wit featuring journalists, actors, comedians and musicians offering idiosyncratic reports on the news of the day.
Pink Frost (formerly Apteka) pairs psych-drenched guitar with pounding drums to surprisingly cool and fruitful effect.
7pm, The Book Cellar
The bookish comedy troupe has made this storytelling night a must-see.
"A Painting Show (in two parts)"
Artist Michelle Grabner curates works by Paul Bloodgood and Michael Byron.
Sunday Salon Chicago
8pm, Black Rock Pub & Kitchen
The first Sunday Salon of 2013 spotlights Fifth Wednesday Journal, a locally based literary magazine. Readers include John Kersey, James McManus, Cecilia Pinto and Suzanne Scanlon, and Eileen Favorite hosts.
Live Band Karaoke
9pm, McGee's Tavern
Instead of getting lit to banish stage fright, allow Liquid Courage to help. But the band doesn't offer the lyrics on a screen—might be a good idea to learn the words first.
Collage on Demand: Benefit for Letha and Dan Rodman Melchior
Midnight, The Franklin
Local artist Melissa Oresky makes collages on the spot, accepting suggestions from visitors as she delves into her archive of painted papers and photographic images. Each participant may keep a collage for a donation of at least $20 to the Letha Rodman Melchior Cancer Fund, which helps artist-musician Melchior cover her medical expenses.
Off the Record: Brokeback
Hear Brokeback’s new album, Brokeback and the Black Rock, at a new monthly listening party series presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Elastic Arts Foundation and Saki records. When the Q&A with artists is over, linger around for a Thrill Jockey Records DJ set and a reception packing Goose Island beer and small bites from Provenance.
Kill All Comedy West
8pm, Quenchers Saloon
The Kill All Comedy producers bring their night of anything-goes sketch comedy to Logan, but they throw stand-up into the mix.
Admission: One Shilling
7pm, Chicago Cultural Center
Downton Abbey's Lesley Nicol and pianist Inna Faliks star in the U.S. premiere ofAdmission: One Shilling, which tells the story of Dame Myra Hess and the concert series she mounted at London's National Gallery during World War II. The Cultural Center's Preston Bradley Hall hosts the one-night-only performance, which features the music of Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Schumann and Chopin. Tickets are available by request (four max) by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to International Music Foundation, 30 E Adams St, suite 1206, Chicago, IL 60603.
7pm, Uncharted Books
This reading and teaching series, hosted by Gabriel Wallace, strays nicely from the norm. Tonight's readers/performers include Clothilde, Dan Gleason and Morgan Rozacky.
Relax Attack: Charles Rumback Quartet
10pm, The Whistler
Young drummer Charles Rumback keeps time for a number of groups around town, including the Horse's Ha and Azita. But he's a jazzer at heart, as he'll demonstrate this evening. Rumback's joined here by killer alto saxist Caroline Davis, Tortoise's Jeff Parker and rising local bassist Matt Ulery.