3CR’s Guide to a Better September

September is an unbelievable month. Finally I can sit comfortably in my apartment, and I don’t have to linger for far too long in places with AC like Walgreens, bars and book stores. A new Mariano’s opened in Lakeview and finally yuppies have another option to visit after the gym to buy their semi-pre-made healthful foods that is not the Jewel, Treasure Island, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or Target all within a mile. School is starting, which means I won’t have to wait in as many long mid-day lines at ice cream parlors. There’s an intangible sense of hope lingering in the air. EVERYTHING’S JUST GETTING STARTED! Make the most of this last month of steady nice weather before the calamity of “fall” (it’s just winter hiding itself waiting to smack you in the face) hits. Consider this your September to-do list.


Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival @ Ruth Page Center for the Arts

September 16-17 and 23-24

Over two weekends, this festival spotlights Chicago contemporary dancers joined by dancers from across the country. This year’s festival features performances by 20 dancers and companies. All shows take place at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts at 8pm. Tickets are $25.

Yasmina Reza’s Art in ASL @ Steppenwolf Theatre

September 17-18 at 1700 N. Halsted St.

Steppenwolf will present a new American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation of Yasmina Reza’s play Art, about three friends and a piece of modern art that threatens their friendship. The staged reading will be done simultaneously in spoken English and ASL. Performances are at 8pm Saturday and 4pm Sunday. Tickets for $10 are on sale.

Pivot Arts’ The Memory Tour @ 5252 N. Broadway

Saturday & Sunday at 11am and 2pm, September 10-October 9  

Pivot Arts is staging a world premiere of The Memory Tour, a site-specific performance that will be a “journey through the world of memory” in Chicago’s Edgewater and Uptown neighborhoods. The 90-minute event will begin at 5252 N. Broadway, where audience members will be greeted by a memory docent (played by actors). Tickets are $22. Audience members should bring a smartphone, headphones and download the free app Vamonde.


Recently Restored @ Gene Siskel Film Center

September 2 – October 5, various showtimes

This series of 23 films showcases recent achievements in film restoration. The titles range from Paul Leni’s 1929 silent film The Last Warning (with live piano accompaniment by Dave Drazin); Son of Frankenstein (1939), with Boris Karloff as the monster; and Ken Russell’s sensual Women In Love. Among the more familiar works are Shanghai Express from director Josef von Sternberg, starring Marlene Dietrich and Anna May Wong; Louis Malle’s Elevator to the Gallows, with Jeanne Moreau; and the staggering L’enfer from Claude Chabrol, starring Emmanuelle Béart. Attached to the series is The Thoughts That Once We Had (2015), a personal tour of film history by master film-essayist Thom Andersen.

Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival @ Chicago Filmmakers

September 22-29, various showtimes

Founded in 1981, the second-longest-running film festival of its kind in the world, the mission of Reeling is to counteract the misrepresentation and stereotyping of LGBTQ people in mainstream media with valid, meaningful and diverse portrayals of LGBTQ people and their stories. From award-winning international feature films to social documentaries to experimental shorts, Reeling has always presented a range of genres that demonstrates the rich diversity of work being produced. Not only has Reeling become one of the most important cultural events for Chicagoans, it also attracts LGBTQ+ people from throughout the Midwest who consider the festival to be the highlight of their cinematic year.

Dog Film Festival @ Music Box Theatre

September 11

The world’s first film festival entirely for, by and about dogs and their people. There are two film programs, which consist of completely different groups of narrative, animated and documentary short films from around the world, all illuminating the remarkable bond between people and dogs. The two programs run approximately 1.5 hours each and combine a medley of shorts into one continuous film for a shared experience of joy, amazement and amusement. Both programs are family friendly and appropriate for children of any age, although Program #2 has some films with subtitles. Fifty percent of every ticket sold goes to PAWS Chicago.

The Room, with writer-director-star Tommy Wiseau @ Music Box Theatre

September 23

Tommy Wiseau returns to the Music Box for two screenings of his cult sensation The Room, the making of which was chronicled in the book “The Disaster Artist,” which in turn has been adapted into the James Franco-directed/starring The Masterpiece (to be released in 2017). Wiseau will host an audience Q&A after each screening. “Enter The Room and leave forever changed!”


Kill Your Darlings: Art, what is it good for? @ CSz Theater

September 7

Recommended as a humpday must-do by both the Chicago Reader and RedEye, join Third Coast Review for their live lit show at ComedySportz Theater. Featuring local actors and writers, as well as staff writers, this weekly Wednesday night show mashes storytelling and improv games for an evening of dramatic fun. The show on Sept. 7 will focus on art. Tickets can be purchased from the box office 773-549-8080 for $10.

Working in America @ Harold Washington Library Center

Opens September 14

As election season heats up, a multimedia exhibit focused on issues of work in America will open at Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center. Inspired by the anniversary of Studs Terkel’s 1974 book Working and created by Project&, the exhibit features photographs by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and Project& Fellow Lynsey Addario. With powerful photographs and raw, honest stories, “Working in America” captures the experiences of a veteran-turned-urban-farmer, a retired oil field worker, a high school principal, a Lyft driver, a professional escort and others.

Blow Up: Inflatable Contemporary Art @ Elmhurst Art Museum

September 10-November 27, 150 Cottage Hill Avenue, Elmhurst

“An exploration of air as a sculptural medium” is how the Elmhurst Art Museum describes the midwest premiere of inflatable contemporary art, organized by Bedford Gallery of Walnut Creek, Calif. The work of 11 American artists, including Chicago’s Nick Cave, will be shown. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday 11am-5pm (7pm on Fridays). Admission is $8 and free for students and under 18. Performances and workshops are featured on some dates. See elmhurstartmuseum.org for information.


Legendary Lovers

September 18

The Chicago Philharmonic offers Legendary Lovers, a program of arias by Wagner, Gounod, Glinka, Verdi, Diamond, Bernstein and Ravel. Sunday, September 18, Pick Staiger Hall in Evanston, 3pm. For more information, check out chicagophilharmonic.org.

Hideout Reunion @ The Hideout

Sept 10

This is a family reunion style party with beloved bands returning to the Hideout to play a day-long party starting at 2pm and ending at midnight. Suggested donation of $20.

Yusuf / Cat Stevens @ Oriental Theatre

September 30

This one is a BFD as he NEVER TOURS.


Wicker Park & West Town Lit Fest

September 15 – 18

Head to the Wicker Park area for readings, workshops, a book swap at the Farmer’s Market, a Quimby’s anniversary party, and a Nelson Algren celebration. In its most eventful year yet, Wicker Park and West Town Lit Fest has an impressive line-up to check out.

Kill Your Darlings: Booze, Bars, and Stories @ CSz Theater

Wednesday, September 7, 7 pm

Join host Bill Savage for an evening centered around the history of drinking in Chicago. Copies of his upcoming annotated re-release of George Ade’s “The Old Time Saloon: Not Wet, Not Dry, Just History” will be available to order.

Featured readers include local writer Ben Tanzer, novelist Iggy Valentine, Third Coast Review Literature editor Emma Terhaar, CSz Managing Director Karin McKie, Third Coast Review founder Nancy Bishop, and actor Emily Drevets. Improv games will focus on the themes of literature and liquor. Tickets are $10.

Eye on India: Vijay Seshadri @ The Poetry Foundation

Thursday, September 15, 7 pm

Eye on India provides a platform for cultural, artistic and educational exchange and collaboration between the US and India. The Eye on India Festival is produced annually in Chicago in partnership with Teamwork Arts, India. This festival kick-off reading and conversation features Vijay Seshadri, author of Wild Kingdom (1996); The Long Meadow (2003), which won the James Laughlin Award; and 3 Sections (2013), which won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.

Cave Canem Legacy Conversation: Kristiana Rae Colón, Angela Jackson & Ed Roberson @ The Poetry Foundation

Thursday, September 22, 7 pm

Founded in 1996, Cave Canem is a national organization committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of black poets. Kristiana Rae Colón is a poet, playwright, actor, educator, and codirector of the #LetUsBreathe Collective.  Poet, novelist, and playwright Angela Jackson’s most recent volume, It Seems Like a Mighty Long Time (2015), was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN Open Book Award. Ed Roberson is the recipient of the 2016 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Lila Wallace Writers’ Award, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the 2016 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry.


St Alphonsus’ Oktoberfest

September 23-25

This seems self explanatory. It starts on a Friday evening and runs till Sunday evening, there are brats and beer and pretzels and people wearing funny clothes and hats and pretending to be German. There’s a $5 admission fee.

Shaw’s Oyster Fest @ Hubbard & Rush

Friday, September 30

Oyster Fest Presented by Shaw’s Crab House returns to Chicago on Friday, September 30, 2016 for its 28th year. More than 3,000 guests are expected to descend upon the corner of Hubbard St. and Rush St. from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. for live music from four local blues bands including headliner, Bumpus, and fresh seafood from Chicago’s own Shaw’s Crab House. Tickets start at $20.


Andersonville City Made Fest

September 17 & 18

Andersonville’s celebration of local businesses, brewers, performers, and makers from all across our city at City Made Fest, the only street festival that exclusively features Chicago-made craft beers, original Chicago music, distinctive Chicago food, and an unparalleled Chicago-made artisan marketplace to support and showcase all things local. Come to Clark Street between Argyle and Carmen.

Pig, Swig & Record Dig @ Schubas

Saturday September 24

Come to the Schubas Parking lot from 12-4pm to browse through CDs and LPs from local record stores, drink beer from Anchor Brewing, buy food from local food trucks and vendors, and enjoy the smell of a pig roasting. No cover charge.

Emma Terhaar
Emma Terhaar