Your 3CR Guide to a Better May


Seedfolks @ Chicago Children’s Theatre

CCT presents Seedfolks, a play about the people who develop an urban garden in a gritty Cleveland neighborhood. One woman plays all 14 parts. Suitable for ages 7 and up. May 7-22. Chicago Children’s Theatre, Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn.

The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstory: Discord @ Northlight Theatre

 In this Scott Carter play, three great minds debate the meaning of life and the definition of God. They each wrote about these subjects in their very own ways. Directed by Kimberly Senior, runs May 6 thru June 12. Northlight is at 9501 Skokie Blvd. in Skokie.

Lorraine Hansberry Celebration @ the Goodman Theatre

Hansberry’s final play, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window, will be the centerpiece of Goodman’s Lorraine Hansberry Celebration throughout May. Directed by Anne Kaufmann, the play runs April 30-June 5. May 19 will be celebrated as Lorraine Hansberry Day, on what would have been her 83rd birthday. The Lorraine Hansberry Awards will be presented on May 24.


Chicago Critics Film Festival, 4th Annual @ Music Box Theatre

 May 20 – 26, various showtimes

Founded by the Chicago Film Critics Association in 2013, the Chicago Critics Film Festival offers a selection of recent festival favorites and as-yet-undistributed works from a variety of filmmakers, ranging from award-winners to talented newcomers, chosen by members of the organization. It’s the only current example of a major film critics group hosting its own festival. The festival brings together an eclectic array of films ranging from raucous comedies and foreign-made dramas to thought-provoking documentaries and midnight genre films—with a couple of programs of shorts thrown in for good measure. This years CCFF opens with the Sundance favorite Morris In America, starring Chicago’s own Craig Robinson, who is scheduled to be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A.

French Auteurs: Restorations, Rarities, and Reevaluations @ Gene Siskel Film Center

May 6 – June 2, various showtimes

A series of eight films highlighting major directors from postwar French cinema. All films are presented in recent digital restorations.

This series centers on four directors, or auteurs (French for “author”), each represented by two films that demonstrate variations on their stylistic signatures and recurring themes—such as the impact of war in René Clément’s two films, the coexistence of youth and death in Agnès Varda’s, characters suspended between lovers (and other things) in Claude Sautet’s, and questions of honor and betrayal in Jean-Pierre Melville’s. The concept of auteurship was formulated in the 1950s by a group of iconoclastic young French film critics—most famously by François Truffaut in his 1954 article, “A Certain Tendency of French Cinema.” They used it to attack the current establishment in French cinema; to champion often undervalued directors in Hollywood, France, and elsewhere; and to provide a model for their own ambitions when several of these critics became filmmakers at the end of the decade and formed the nucleus of the influential French New Wave movement.


Chornobyl: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Presentation and Panel Discussion @ The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art

May 7th – 7pm

A discussion at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, 2320 W. Chicago Ave., will focus on the effects of Chornobyl 30 years after the disaster with speakers Daniel Hryhorczuk, Nicholas Hryhorczuk, and Orest Hrynewych. This panel discussion and presentation supports the current exhibition at the UIMA, Chornobyl: Impact & Beyond.

Oceanic_.bin @ Double Frame Gallery

May 6th 6-9pm

Double Frame Gallery, located inside of Mana Contemporary, presents Oceanic_.bin, an experimental 3D animation screening. The group show features artists who work with simulation software that creates special effects utilized in advertising, experimental cinema, and contemporary media work.


 Låpsley @ Lincoln Hall

May 1

Up-and-coming artist getting a ton of press these days with a unique sound.

Zhu @ Concord

May 8

Rising electronic artist who has collaborated with Bone Thugz n Harmony, Trombone Shorty, Skrillex, and more.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Whitney @ Lincoln Hall

May 10

Though UMO has garnered a solid following, Whitney, formed by former members of Smith Westerns, are garnering a lot of press for their new album, to be released later this year.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are a psychedelic rock lover’s dream. This Australian septet produces fast paced and monstrous sounds that automatically send you to another world. Their latest releases Paper Mâché Dream Balloon and Nonagon Infinity are as strange as their previous releases and are prime examples of how talented and ludicrous this band is. The show will feature fellow Australians The Murlocks and local band Running. Tickets are only $14

Jeff Tweedy @ The Vic May 13-14

The venerable frontman of Wilco and local legend Jeff Tweedy will be playing two consecutive nights at the Vic for his annual benefit shows for education. Tweedy never disappoints as these evenings are always filled with fun and worthwhile moments, with previous shows being filled with requests from the audience. Tickets are $75 for GA and $150 for VIP tickets.


The Polish Book Institute  is hosting 10 free public events (May 10-14) featuring some of Poland’s best authors, and some are making their American debut. Chicagoans participating include Chicago Literary Hall of Fame president Richard Reeder, New York Times best-selling author Sara Paretsky, journalist/author Alison Flowers, Life After Innocence director/author/Loyola professor Laura Caldwell and attorney/author Ron Balson.

Evanston Lit Festival 

From May 4-14th there will be all kinds of cool lectures, readings, panel discussions, free giveaways, workshops, and performances happening in Evanston. One highlight of the festival is free comic book day on May 7th. Check out the schedule and get up there!

Stuart Dybek is reading in Pop Up Poetry at the Art Institute May 11 at 12 noon.


Green City Market opening on May 7 from, 7am to 1pm

If you want to experience the Oscars of the food world, you can attend the James Beard Awards Gala Event at 6pm on May 2nd

 Uncorked Chicago Wine Festival at 1pm on May 7th

 Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo  from 10am-4pm on May 14th & 15th

Food Truck Social @ Lincoln Park at 6:30pm on May 21st


A Call for Submissions

Sit down. Take a breath. And BUCKLE UP! We are posting Op-Ed content in our Beyond section. Look at the full announcement from our founder and publisher, Nancy. Just know this, we want to hear from you (if you’ve got opinions worth reading about)! Politics, pop culture, Chicago gossip, and even creative works are welcome.



Kim Campbell
Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell (they/them) is a freelance editor, podcaster and creative writer who has spent a career focusing on the arts, particularly literature, theater and circus. Former editor of CircusTalk News, they have written about theater and circus for Third Coast Review since its very beginning. Kim is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and the International Network of Circus Arts Magazines. In 2019, they were on the jury of FIRCO in Madrid (Circus Festival Iberoamericano) and in 2021 they were on the voting committee for the International Circus Awards. See their tweets at @kimzyn or follow them on Instagram.

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