Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 5/11 – 5/14

It's Mother's Day Weekend! Whether you have made your weekend plans way in advance or need some last minute suggestions, we have you covered with a wide variety of events! Music, film, art openings, poetry readings and more! This weekend also marks the start of the 5th annual Chicago Critics Film Festival! There are some amazing films playing during the fest including a screening of the utterly ridiculous yet irresistible Southland Tales which will include a Q&A with writer and director Richard Kelly.  I highly suggest you check out Steve Prokopy's rundown of the festival that he and many other talented Chicago critics have played a roll in programming. So let's get your curated weekend off to a fantastic start! THURSDAY to SATURDAY, MAY 11th to MAY 13th Bit Bash Takeover @ Emporium Arcade Bar Logan Square, 2363 N Milwaukee Ave, 6:00PM WHAT: A Bit Bash pop up/takeover of the space next to Emporium ! SO WHAT: The pop up space next door to Emporium, formerly Branca Bar, is getting a makeover for a few days as Bit Bash comes in and takes over the space for some local Chicago Indie Games, In partnership with the Chicago Foundation for the Interactive Arts, this three day event will include great games like, Manifold Garden, Tumbleseed, Sausage Sports Club, and Battle Chef Brigade. Plus there will be specially punned cocktails for all the games including Manifold Gargin, TumblerSeed, Cocktail: Sausage Sports Club Soda, and Battle Chef Brig-ade. NOW WHAT: Head over to Emporium and have a great time at this free 21+ event. If you RSVP, you can get yourself a free shot! THURSDAY, MAY 11th Samantha Fish and Phillip-Michael Scales @ City Winery, 1200 W Randolph St., Doors open at 6:30 WHAT: Blues and soul music to make you evening better SO WHAT: Samantha Fish is a singer songwriter who blends together elements of soul and blues to make wonderful songs that sound like lost gems fro the 60s and 70s. Joining Fish will be Chicago's open Phillip-Michael Scales with his catchy and thoughtful songwriting abilities. NOW WHAT: Tickets range from $20 to $28 for this great lineup Action Books Live @ Sector 2337 + The Green Latern Press, 2337 N Milwaukee Ave., 6:30PM WHAT: Poetry for your Thursday evening SO WHAT: This evening will feature poets, translators and editors who are a part of Action Books, an imprint dedicated to transnational, interlingual, and avant garde works. Johannes Göransson, Katherine Hedeen, Jesse Lee Kercheval and Daniel Borzutzky will give readings. NOW WHAT: This reading is completely free! Yoko and the Oh No's / Trophy Dad / Violet Mice / Daymaker @ Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont Ave., 8:30PM WHAT: Three bands from Chicago and a Madison, WI band come together for a night of cool tunes. SO WHAT: Dive into the local music scen with this night of magnificent bands! Headlining the night will be the soulful rockers with one of the cooler band names Yoko and the Oh No's. They will be joined by the bedroom pop of Trophy Dad, the glam tinged electro pop of Violet Mice, and the experimental punk poetry of Daymaker. NOW WHAT: Tickets are $10 for this 17+ night of great local music! FRIDAY and SATURDAY, MAY 12th and MAY 13th Chicago Jazz String Summit @ Elastic Arts, 3429 W Diversey Ave #208, & Constellation, 3111 N Western Ave., 8:00PM - 11:00PM WHAT: Beautiful music for your weekend SO WHAT: Chicago Jazz String Summit, founded by critically acclaimed cellist and composer, ​Tomeka Reid,​ is a two-day music festival that showcases jazz, classical & experimental music. The Chicago Jazz String Summit aims to bring recognition to contemporary string music and to foster a creative platform for talented improvising string musicians to convene and to experiment. The Friday evening of the concert series at Elastic Arts will feature Hank Roberts (cello)/Jacob Sacks (piano) Duo at 8:00pm,  Mary Oliver Solo (violin/viola) at 9:00pm, and Mark Feldman (violin)/Tim Daisy (percussion) Duo at 10:00pm. The Saturday evening of the concert series at Constellation will feature Eyvind Kang (Solo) at 8:00pm, Helen Gillet (Solo) at 9:00PM and Hear in Now Trio (Tomeka Reid, Mazz Swift and Silvia Bolognesi) at 10:00pm NOW WHAT: Tickets are $15 for the Elastic Arts show and $15 for the show at Constellation. You can also get $25 tickets for a two day pass which will get you into both shows. FRIDAY, MAY 12th Local Brews, Local Grooves @ House of Blues Chicago, 329 N Dearborn St., 5:30PM WHAT: House of Blues' craft beer and music festival SO WHAT: Local Brews Local Grooves let your try some tasy local brews while enjoying two stages of music featuring some great local talent! The multiple beer sampling areas will host sixteen breweries featuring a wide gamut of beer selections including seasonal releases, ciders and old favorites from breweries like Lagunitas Brewing, Off Color Brewing, Revolution Brewing, 3 Floyds Brewing, Two Brothers Brewing, Metropolitan Brewing, Miskatonic Brewing, Tribes Beer, Solemn Oath Brewery, Penrose Brewing, Whiner Beer, Forbidden Root Brewery, Oksar Blues Brewery, Destihl Brewery, Half Acre Beer and New Belgium Brewing! The music lineup includes The Hemispheres, The North 41, Chicago Funk Mafia, Nasty Snacks, Mike Wheeler Band, DJ Andrew Pascale, and more to be announced. NOW WHAT: Tickets start at $10 and there are a few VIP options available.   Fairytales & Monsters: The Delicious World of Elloo @ Galerie F, 2415 N Milwaukee Ave., 6:00PM - 10:00PM WHAT: Another great underground exhibition at Galerie F! SO WHAT: Dive into this new collection by Elloo that explores her subconscious by way of experiences and lessons we’ve all journeyed through. This series of works is about everyday moments that make life magical and magnificent, reminding us that we all have a purpose.  Elloo creates scenes that are equally adorable and  unsettling, forming a fairytale monster universe of her own design. NOW WHAT: This opening reception is free and the underground gallery runs through June 4th! SATURDAY and SUNDAY, MAY 13th and MAY 14th Renegade Craft Fair @ Halsted St. in Pilsen between W 18th St. and S Canalport Ave., 11:00PM - 6:00PM WHAT: A craft fair focused on independent makers. SO WHAT: Over 150 independent crafters and makers will be at this Renegade Craft Fair celebrating DIY spirit for two amazing days celebrating 15 years of this flagship hometown fair. There will be DJ sets by Lumpen Radio, tasty craft brews by Half Acre Beer, tons of food trucks to keep your energy up and hunger down, and an array of DIY workshops to make your day as creative as it can be! NOW WHAT: The event is free and open to the public. The fair will be on Halsted St. in Pilsen between W 18th St. and S Canalport Ave., giving you a great spot to shop and support DIY crafters. SATURDAY, MAY 13th Lincoln Park Zoo Food Truck Social @ Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N Clark St., 6:30PM WHAT: Food from the best food trucks in town SO WHAT: This food truck social is your chance to experience the finest meals on wheels Chicago has to offer, while also enjoying the zoo after-hours. In addition to dozens of food trucks, this tasty event will also feature fun activities, DJ tunes, and drinks available for purchase. NOW WHAT: Entry is $10, but there are also $40 VIP tickets available. Bob Dylan Birthday Bash & Benefit Concert @ Filament Theatre, 4041 N Milwaukee Ave., 7:00PM

WHAT: The 5th Annual Bob Dylan Birthday Bash & Benefit Concert SO WHAT: The event supports Filament Theatre's Arts Education and Access Programs. Local musicians perform stories and songs, mostly Dylan favorites. The evening also features snacks, a cash bar, birthday cake, and, who knows, maybe this is the year that Dylan will attend. NOW WHAT: Single GA tickets are $20 and a benefit table for four is $150. Click here to buy tickets. Don't think twice!

SUNDAY, MAY 13th Mother's Day with Mamma Mia! @ Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave., 2:00PM WHAT: A chance to see a movie with mom on Mother's Day SO WHAT: Hosted by Dick O’Day, this interactive screening of Mamma Mia! starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried, and Dominic Cooper will kick off with a live pre-show 1970s fashion contest! So come dressed in your best ‘70s garb for your chance to win great prizes! The screening will let you play along to the film with a fun audience participation guide! There will also be special Mother’s Day Mimosas served in the Music Box Lounge! NOW WHAT: Tickets for this special Mother's Day screening are $12.50 for adults and $10 for kids!  
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Julian Ramirez