Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 10/7 and Beyond

While everything seems to be open like the old days, there is still that looming presence of the Delta variant in the background threatening all we’ve done to get back to normal. So much so that we’re back to having to wear masks indoors. Now if you’re like me, that means not much has changed since you’ve been wearing your mask indoors the whole time anyway.  But now we have to be doubly careful to keep COVID numbers down and be diligent of the new recommendations and rules.

So if you do plan to go out this weekend make sure you check out the venue’s policies and quite honestly, take initiative. Wear a mask, social distance, and get your vaccination shots even if the venue/event is lax. Protect yourself and those around you.

Now, let’s get on with your Chicago Curated Weekend!


Reeling The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival @ Music Box Theatre & Landmark Theater,  3733 N Southport Ave & 2828 N Clark St, various times
This LGBTQ+-focused festival returns in both in-person theater screening and online!
SO WHAT: Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival is the second longest-running film festival of its kind, showcasing the best LGBTQ+ films and videos each year. The festival always delivers a great range of films from award-winning international feature films to social documentaries to experimental shorts. There will also be tons of Q&As with directors, producers, writers and actors speaking on the fims they created! Since things are a little better now, there will be both in person screenings and events in addition to the streaming options from last year. Head over to their website for more info!
NOW WHAT: See info on tickets and passes here. Individual tickets for the Landmark Theater screening are $13! Ticket for the Opening Night at Music Box Theatre ar $18 for the film, $40 for the film and pre-party. Single film streaming tickets are $12 and an all-access Streaming pass is $125.  Virtual film screenings premiered starting September 27, with new films rolled out each following day. Films will be available to stream online for seven days. All screening and events require proof of full vaccination or a negative Covid-19 PCR test result


Fulton Street Collective Jazz Series @ ​Fulton Street Collective & Their YouTube channel, 1821 W. Hubbard St, Suite 307, or the coziest spot in your home, 8:00pm
WHAT: Some excellent jazz for your evening
SO WHAT: Fulton Street Collective are back with in-person events, but they are still determined to give Chicago its much needed dose of jazz at home! Most of their shows are also streaming so you can see and hear the beautiful music on their YouTube channel! Below are just some of the upcoming shows from the collective.

NOW WHAT: The shows are free online, but in person there is a $15 suggested donation unless noted! Also you should definitely support Fulton Street Collective by becoming a member!


Lala Lala / Divino NiñoKara Jackson @ Thalia Hall, 7:00pm, 17+
WHAT: A must attend album release party!
SO WHAT: Join Lillie West of Lala Lala and her friends Divino Nino and Kara Jackson for a night of fantastic performances. Lala Lala will be celebrating the release her latest album I Want the Door to Open which has been sounding like an interesting evolution of her sound. Check out our thoughts on her singles “Diver” here and “Utopia Planet” here!
NOW WHAT:  Tickets are $18 for this great night of local jams!


Lincoln Park Wine Fest @  Jonquil Park, 1001 W. Wrightwood Ave., Friday 5:00pm -10:090pm, Saturday 11:00am – 10:00pm, 21+
WHAT: A little bit of wine for your October fun
SO WHAT: Back for its 6th year, the Lincoln Park Wine Fest is turning Jonquil Park into a wine lovers dream come true. Taste some amazing varietals and learn from the expertise of brand ambassadors and sommeliers. There will also be music from The Beatelles on Friday and then on Saturday enjoy the vibes from Simply Sound and Bree & Liz.
NOW WHAT: General admission is $40 in advance, $50 at the door, and includes 12 tastings and a stemmed commemorative wine glass. VIP admission is $65 and includes 15 tastings and 5 specialty tastings and the stemmed commemorative wine glass. Proceeds benefit the Wrightwood Neighbors Conversation Program including care of Jonquil Park.


Thee Best Western @ Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western Ave, Noon – 8:00pm, All ages
WHAT: A full day of western tunes and fun times at the ol’ Empty Bottle!
SO WHAT: Enjoy the sounds of Valebol (made up of Daniel Villarreal-Carrillo and of V.V. Lightbody) , the incredible country twang of Tobacco City, The Hoyle Brother honky tonk vibes, Liam Kaazar and his joyful rock, and Ryley Walker’s inimitable guitar work while enjoying the cool October weather. There will so much to do like peruse the Chicago Handmade market full of amazing vendors, try some tasty treats from Chef’s Special and Taqueria Chingon, take a few choice photo booth pics, get some people wet with the Dunk Tank, tons of fun games, and more!
NOW WHAT: It’s free! So make your way to the Empty Bottle and have a swell time, pardner!

Chicago Beer Festival @ The Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, 7:00pm – 11:00pm, 21+
: Wonderful beer and fantastic exhibits in one trip!
SO WHAT: Spend your evening trying out brews from over 65 breweries at the Field Museum. In addition to all the unique beers, a select number of the museum’s exhibits will be open to attendees!
NOW WHAT: The $50 general admission ticket gets you three hours at the event  (8:00pm – 11:00pm), while $65 gets you early entry (7:00pm)! Tickets come with 40 taster vouchers. Tickets will not be sold at the door, so get them in advance here!


New Talks and Video Archives @ Chicago Humanities Festival YouTube channel, your favorite browser or YouTube app, any time you want some inspiration, All Ages
WHAT: Interesting conversations with interesting people!
SO WHAT: Chicago Humanities Festival is back with some  in-person events! They always bring some of the best ideas to the surface with entertaining programming that captures your imagination. Their website is constantly updated with new talks, so check out the wealth of upcoming and previous events in their archives! Below is just a taste of what is coming in the next few weeks

NOW WHAT: Head over to take a look at their past events here! You should also sign up for their email list to get updates on upcoming talks in 2021.

The Neo Futurists’ The Infinite Wrench @ The Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N Ashland, Saturday 10:30pm, Sunday 7:00pm
WHAT: Quick plays live and online!
SO WHAT: The Neo Futurists are back! Their Infinite Wrench is an  ongoing, ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes for a live audience. Now it’s actually a live audience that will be enjoying the performance in person! With plenty of COVID precautions in place, you’ll be able to enjoy the funny, disgusting, profound, terrifying, irreverent, and downright entertaining show with friends!
NOW WHAT: Join the Neo Futurists’ this weekend for $10! Head over to their website to see all they have planned now that in-person audiences are a thing again! If you’re still a little anxious about going out, The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral will be continuing til February (and possibly beyond) over at their Patreon!


Pilsen Vendor Market @ Pilsen Art House, 1756 W 19th St., Noon – 5:00pm
WHAT: A socially distanced mini handmade market!
SO WHAT: This is a weekly market for artists and makers to come together, make new friends and sell their wonderful wares.
NOW WHAT:Entry is free, just be sure to wear your mask as they are required!


Chicago International Latino Theater Festival @ Various Locations, Various Times
WHAT: DESTINOS, the fourth outing of the  Chicago International Latino Theater Festival
SO WHAT: This ambitious month-long festival will put on display ‘first voice’ plays and panels throughout the month of October. The festival features an impressive roster of international and local Latino works.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are available now! Head over to their website for more info on ticket prices! 

Asian Pop-Up Cinema @ Various Locations, Various Times
The 13th season of the Asian Pop-Up Cinema series
SO WHAT: This great series lets you experience films from all over the world (including China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the U.S. and Canada) focusing on Asian filmmakers. The Asian Pop-Up Cinema series celebrates and promotes understanding of Asian cultures through cinema, giving you a glimpse of the vast wealth of films being made today! This season will highlight women in film, stories with humanitarian themes and action thrillers, including four restored martial arts classics. The series is featuring in-person theater screenings, drive-in experiences, and at-home digital streaming so you can enjoy their amazing films from anywhere!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are available over on their website!

Open House Chicago @ Various locations and Zoom, Various times, all ages
A chance to see some of the beautiful building Chicago has to offer.
SO WHAT: The Chicago Architectural Foundation will be opening doors to the city’s most interesting places, with more than 100 sites in 30 neighborhoods offering a chance to experience behind the scenes access. You’ll be able to explore the culture and diversity of our amazing city through its impressive architecture. All the tours are  free and taking place on Oct. 16 & 17. In the mean time there are polent of virtual events going on throughout the month, so visit the Open House Chicago website for a full list of locations and virtual events! 
NOW WHAT: It’s all free, so plan these 48 hour accordingly.

Back on the Big Screen and Virtual Cinema @ Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave and at your home, any time you want to watch a movie
WHAT: A great way to support a great local theater
SO WHAT: The Music Box Theatre is currently open to the public, so if you feel comfortable you can go out and have a theater experience this weekend with The Rescue, Titane, Midnight Showing of Slither, Silent Cinema at the Music Box with Greed, and more! But if you want to watch some first run movies at home, you can still watch great moves and support them online! They are currently screening films via their The Music Box Direct series! There also tons of select titles available on their new platform!
NOW WHAT: Digital tickets are $12, in person screenings vary, so sit back and enjoy!

Film Center from Your Sofa @ The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute, your couch or preferred movie watching spot in your place, pretty much any time
WHAT: The Film Center at Home
SO WHAT:The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute is open again and they are continuing their excellent series Film Center from Your Sofa. This is a fun way to stay in digital touch with the Film Center and watch some great films from the comfort of home! Head over to their listings and start watching–in person or from your sofa!
NOW WHAT: Digital tickets are $12, so sit back and enjoy! If you feel comfortable head out to the film center and enjoy the ambiance of in person screenings again!

Pitch In for the Parks! @ Various local parks, Various times, all ages
WHAT: A good way to keep your community nice and clean!
SO WHAT: The nonprofit Chicago Parks Foundation (CPF) is currently in the second season of its citywide volunteer effort “Pitch In for the Parks!” to help keep the city’s 600+ public parks clean. The program is open to anyone who wants to host a clean-up group or join an existing event from the interactive map on the CPF website. CPF is providing trash pick-up supplies, volunteer coordination and safety guidelines to supportthe parks’ ongoing maintenance from June through October.
NOW WHAT: Clean-ups continue at parks citywide June-October. Anyone can host a Pitch In clean-up group or join a free volunteer event on their calendar.

Lyric Opera Streaming On Demand @ Your favorite streaming device, the most lavish spot in your home
WHAT: The Lyric Opera at home
SO WHAT: Revisit some of your favorite Lyric moments, or experience for the first time performances you’ve missed.Check out their website for schedule of upcoming shows. Currently streaming is Luisa Miller (2019), The Queen of Spades (2020), and Die Walküre (2017).
NOW WHAT: It’s free!!

Concerts Live-streams and Local Shows Archives @ Your House, Any time you please, All Ages
WHAT: There’s tons of concerts from Chicago’s yesteryear available online for your enjoyment!
SO WHAT: Oh My Rockness and Do312 has done a fantastic job of cataloging some of the upcoming live-streams from the awesome musical acts out there! Check out Oh My Rockness’ listings here, Do312’s roundup of shows here, and tune in to these great shows from the comfort of home! Do312 have also shared some past Chicago shows that are certainly worth a watch. There are also so many great local concerts recorded for posterity and what better time to check them all out than during this self isolation period. Audiotree has a fantastic and huge list of sessions with links to band’s websites and merch to help support them even more. In addition to our previous recommendations like Fran, Tasha, KAINA, Divino Nino, and The Ophelias, we also recommend ROOKIE, Emily Blue, Sen Morimoto, Beach Bunny, Tennis, and Gia Margaret! Then head over to their record concerts from Lincoln Hall, Schubas, and beyond to check out Orville Peck, of Montreal, and so many more! JBTV is also a fantastic resource for sessions from bands that have come through Chicago! Just take a look at this playlist of Blind Melon’s ’95 set at Metro!
NOW WHAT: Stay home, watch some live music, and be sure to check out your favorite artists’ social media, you never know who might be live streaming next!

Video Games @ Your home PC or Console, As long as it takes, Just check the game rating
WHAT: Video-games for all!
Check out our games page for some recommendations of what games to download (and avoid) while we’re stuck at home. If you’re a PC user, head over to the Epic Games store as they will be releasing a few new FREE games for you to download ! There are also tons of free games on Twitch Prime waiting for you to download!
Wash your hands and dive head first into some fun games!

Masque of the Red Coronavirus! @ Black Button Eyes Productions, Any time on your computer or mobile device. For 18+.
WHAT: Written by Black Button Eyes Productions producing artistic director Ed Rutherford, this short satirical piece is available online free as a combined script-and-video experience.
SO WHAT: In addition to reading the play, you will see various Chicago artists act out portions of the script on video, recorded remotely. The event includes puppets, burlesque, original music, fire dancing and more in a brief, darkly comedic confection.
With the Red Coronavirus running rampant across the countryside and a vaccine still months away, what’s a Prince to do? Lock himself in a secure bunker in an undisclosed location along with a cohort of his top donors, of course. To prevent him and his rich supporters from becoming bored, the Prince has also brought a few artists into the bunker to entertain the crowd. But as the hour grows later and the night grows weirder, it’s clear that something else has also invaded the party.
NOW WHAT: Settle down for an evening of magical weirdness. Click here and begin reading and watching the videos.

Julian Ramirez
Julian Ramirez
Plan Your Life with 3CR Highlights

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