What to do in Chicago this weekend
Do I hear chimes?
Lyric Opera of Chicago had a sort of intermission. His last grand opera, “Florencia en el Amazonas”, closed in late November and the Joffrey Ballet postponed its “Don Quixote” from February to June, so the stage has seen only a few concerts since “Casse- Hazelnut” by Joffrey around Christmas. The music returns in (melo)dramatic fashion with “Tosca,” featuring aspiring headliner Michelle Bradley singing her debut in the role. The conductor of the show, Eun Sun Kim, is one of the few women to hold the position of musical director of a major opera company (San Francisco). Lyric Opera. March 12-April 10.
In a dense season of piano recitals like the notes of a thunderous Rachmaninoff chord, Symphony Center presents George Li this weekend. Among the best recitalists, Li is the youngest at 26, although he already has many early career awards, acquired in his late teens. Li’s major works for this recital include two pieces by Robert Schumann, a piece that is actually younger than Li by Chinese-French composer Qigang Chen, and all of Frédéric Chopin’s fantastically varied preludes from Op. 28 (one in each of the 24 major and minor keys). Symphony Center. 3 p.m., March 13.
• “Relentless,” a new play written by Tyla Abercrumbie, sold out to a 100-seat space at Theater Wit after critics raved about its rare ability to tell a gripping story, reflect our own times, and escape from clear conclusions. The story of two sisters who return to their mother’s house after her death to sort through her belongings and read her previously unknown diaries illustrates the thorny issues of black identity and success, sanity and worth and self-worth. power of storytelling, but with a slipperiness where nearly every analysis collides with a contrary argument presented in the play. After the first run ended, the show found a second home at Goodman’s Owen Theater for a month-long run with the original cast intact, giving audiences who missed it the first time – or those who might want a second chance to grab it – see this. TimeLine Theater Company at the Goodman Theatre. April 1-May 1.
• Superb chamber choir Bella Voce scheduled an extra season of works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Heinrich Schütz when COVID-related visa issues forced a cancellation in January. Replacement performance is a bit hard to find on their website, but can be found here. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Evanston. 7:30 p.m., March 12.
• MusicNow, the new musical series of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, organizes a “Night of Song”. Harris Theater. 7 p.m., March 14.
• The creators of “Immersive Frida Kahlo” present “Immersive Shevchenko: Soul of Ukraine”, based on the work of Ukrainian intellectual-artist Taras Shevchenko, for a single day to raise funds for aid to Ukraine through the Red Cross and the National Bank of Ukraine. Ticket buyers can see the Shevchenko show and then stay in the space for “Immersive Frida Kahlo” for the price of one ticket. ArtSpace Chicago Lighthouse. March 15.
• Access Contemporary Music’s Sound of Silent Film Festival pairs composers with modern silent films to produce scores to be played live on the film screen. Tickets went on sale this week for this year’s festival, both streaming and in-person. Access contemporary music at the Music Box Theatre. 7:15 p.m., April 16.
• “Good Night, Oscar”, a world premiere about pianist/artist/neurotic Oscar Levant, starring Sean Hayes, better known as Jack from “Will & Grace”. Goodman Theatre. March 12-April 17.
• ‘La Cage Aux Folles’, winner of the Tony Award for best musical (based on the same play that also hatched the Robin Williams film, ‘The Birdcage’), with drag queen Ginger Minj. Music Theater Works at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. March 10-April 3.
• “Once Upon a Mattress”, a musical mashup “The Princess and the Pea”. Theo Ubique Cabaret Theater. March 11-May 1.
• “It’s Like Coming to Church”, a new musical production by Jackie Taylor, founder of the Black Ensemble Theatre. March 12-April 24.
• “Remaking the Exceptional: Tea, Torture and Reparations | Chicago to Guantánamo,” an exhibit linking human rights abuses committed during the War on Terror and police torture in Chicago. DePaul Museum of Art. March 10-August. 7.
• “Groundhog Day”, Paramount Theatre. Until March 13.
• “Queen of the Night”, Victory Gardens Theatre. Until March 13.
• “Helmut Jahn: Life + Architecture.” Chicago Architecture Center. Until March 14.