Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 10/21 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 wearing 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!




Aoife O’Donovan & Taylor Ashton @ Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln Ave, 8:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: A wonderful evening of immensely talented songwriters
SO WHAT: Aoife O’Donovan, co-founder of the bands Crooked Still and I’m With Her, will be stopping by Old Town School for a night of amazing music. O’Donovan’s incredible voice will be previewing her upcoming album Age of Apathy. Joining her will be Taylor Ashton.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $35 for this great show!

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!


Campfire Horror @ Various Parks, 7:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: Some scary movies in the parks
SO WHAT: Chicago Park District is bringing campfire fun and spooky films to bring the community together. Head out and enjoy some tasty marshmallows, get a little scared with movies ranging from R- rated fare to more family friendly flicks, and just enjoy being out! Check out the lineup below!

  • October 22 – Little Shop of Horrors @ Northerly Island
  • October 23 – Scoob! @ Sherman Park
  • October 29 – Beetlejuice @ Northerly Island

NOW WHAT: Remember to dress warmly, mask up when you’re not enjoying some snacks, and have a fun time!


Upside Down Parade @ Washington Park, 5531 S Martin Luther King Dr,  Noon – 3:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: It’s the second year of this topsy turvy event!
SO WHAT: The Upside Down Parade is back and instead of a drive-thru version its inaugural edition presented, you’ll have the chance to walk through the park and enjoy its acts! Serving as the official opening of Chicago’s Halloweek Program, the Upside Down Parade will take place on Russell Drive and feature dance performances, circus acrobats, musical groups, sports mascots and more. And remember to dress up in your Halloween costume and enjoy a complimentary goody bag courtesy of Blommer Chocolate Company, Mars Wrigley and other local candy companies.
NOW WHAT: It’s free! Just RSVP at their event page and head over to their website for details regarding parking and route.

Northwest Brewfest @ Twisted Hippo, 2925 W Montrose Ave, Noon – 4:20pm
WHAT: Explore some tasty brews, this time in person!
SO WHAT: Earlier this year, the first ever Northwest Brewfest brought together beer fans over Zoom to try some tasty brews! This time around this celebration of the amazing brewers on the northwest side of Chicago will be getting together in person! You’ll have a chance to try drinks from the likes of Alarmist Brewing, Bru Coffeeworks, Burning Bush Brewery, Casa Humilde Cerveceria, Eris Brewery and Cider House, Illuminated Brew Works, Lake Effect Brewing Company, Old Irving Brewing Co., Metropolitan Brewing, Ravinia Brewing Company, Revolution Brewing, Second City Meadery, Spiteful Brewing, and Twisted Hippo Tap Room & Eatery!
NOW WHAT: Tickets for one session at Northwest Brewfest are $35. Each attendee receives an official Northwest Brewfest 5 oz sample glass upon entry.

Illumination 2021 – Halloween Party @ Vertiport Chicago Heliport, 1339 S Wood St,
WHAT: Take your Halloween party to extravagant heights
SO WHAT: Illumination returns after skipping 2020 for obvious reasons. Dress up in your best costume and immerse yourself in the gala’s intense presentation of unique performances and artist installations. The evening will include a laser light show, a DJ setting the vibe, musical performances, an open bar, and more!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $150 for general admission, $200 for VIP! All donations raised through Illumination 2021 will directly fund research for Retinal Vasculopathy with Cerebral Leukodystrophy (RVCL); a very rare, genetic condition that affects the central nervous system.


Brujaja @ National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, 3015 W Division, Saturday 5:00pm & 7:00pm, Sunday 3:00pm & 5:00pm,
WHAT: DESTINOS, the fourth outing of the  Chicago International Latino Theater Festival is closing out its outing with the world premiere of Brujaja!
SO WHAT: This ambitious month-long festival that put ‘first voice’ plays and panels on display is closing out its time with a wonderful filmed theatrical experience! Brujaja, written by Melissa DuPrey and directed by Miranda González,  is “about an accidental witch who finds that Brujería holds more responsibility than she realized in the larger fight against the disparity of wellness resources and systemic oppression.”
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $32.50 for this fantastic screening!

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!


The 57th Chicago International Film Festival @ Various Theaters & Streaming straight to your home & at the Chi-Town Movies Drive-In, various times
WHAT: An annual film tradition is back in theaters, but it keeps a lot of last year’s virtual screenings intact!
SO WHAT: The 57th Chicago International Film Festival, much like the rest of the city, is slowly returning to normal. They are combining streaming on-demand and regular fantastic theater screenings and a few drive-in theater experience to enjoy a stunning collection of feature-length films, shorts, and in person celebrations. In these times where we should try as hard as we can to stay safe, CIFF is doing everything they can to help! Check out our first dispatch of films that will be appearing at CIFF! We also have an interview with Mimi Plauché.
NOW WHAT: You can check out their website for more details on this fantastic festival! You can also see their full schedule in their festival guide!

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.

Open House Chicago @ Various locations and on Zoom, Various times, all ages
A chance to see some of the beautiful buildings Chicago has to offer.
SO WHAT: The Chicago Architecture 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 meantime there are plenty 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 hours 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 Possession, Titane, Joyride (with Bobcat Goldthwait and Dana Gould in attendance for Post-Film Q&A), The very sold out Music Box of Horrors marathon (although tickets for the Half Marathon are still available), 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! Remember that a physical/digitial vaccination card or a negative PCR Covid test within 72 hours is required for entrance!

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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