Expert Picks

What to Do This Week in Chicago: May 13–19

Photo by BJ Pichman/Courtesy of Forbidden Root

This week in Chicago, make the most of Illinois Craft Beer Week, enjoy some improv out of Finland, and savor sandwiches with a cult following at a very special pop-up.

Photo courtesy of Maplewood Brewery & Distillery

May 13: Maplewood x Saint Errant Release Party at Maplewood Brewery & Distillery 
Maplewood and Saint Errant hooked up to brew a no-boil DDH DIPA ready for release on May 13 during Illinois Craft Beer Week. And now I have yet another thing to learn about craft beer: DIPA is a double India pale ale; DDH is double dry-hopped in the fermenter; but what in the hell is this no-boil business? Isn’t boiling an essential part of preparing a wort for fermentation? Well, apparently the new crop of brewers is looking for maximum mouthfeels, and this technique creates a protein-rich beer with a softer mouthfeel. Sounds like a must-try, and the first 100 people will receive a limited specialty glass with a fresh pour of the collab! Plus, Joe’s Barbershop will be in the lounge 5–8 p.m. for the $40 haircut, beer, and shot special.
—Jim Morris

May 14: Saisonathon at Forbidden Root
ABV Chicago podcast hosts this ICBW event toasting the glorious and diverse world of saisons. Saisons are traditionally Belgian-style ales with lively carbonation from bottle conditioning, strong hop presence, and a golden/light amber hue. But they have evolved in the American craft beer renaissance into a wide-ranging style with varying alcohol contents and fruity and/or funky notes, depending on how it’s brewed and the adjunct ingredients. Bottom line: There are enough examples of this style to fill up an evening of appreciation and dissection. Luckily, many of Chicago’s finest will be represented at the event: Temperance, Afterthought Brewing, Whiner Beer Co., Middle Brow, Lo Rez, Cruz Blanca, and Maplewood, to name a few. Now add to this Forbidden Root’s delicious food menu and it’s a match made in heaven.
—Jim Morris

May 16: Out of This World at Low Res Studio 
The Intuit: Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art is hosting a spring fundraising party, with $35 covering food from Antique Taco, beers, and special cocktails. Show up to show your support for this one-of-a-kind Chicago destination (and nonprofit) to see outsider artists; you can even buy some artwork at the one-night-only auction.
—Claire Voon

May 16: Carpet Diem at Gallery 400 
Seize the evening and catch this six-artist lineup of performances…each unfolding on an area rug. The creatives will respond to their spatial constraints and woven, graphic platforms, which is sure to result in some strange but unexpected meditations. The event is presented in conjunction with the gallery’s current exhibition of work by Alberto Aguilar, so be sure to catch that while you’re there.
Claire Voon

Photo courtesy of Ismo/Facebook

May 17–19: Ismo at the Improv Schaumburg
Originally from Finland, Ismo has been delighting U.S. audiences since 2014, when he won the title of “Funniest Person in the World” at the Hollywood Laugh Factory. He has appeared on ​Last Call With Carson Daly​, and last year made his debut on ​Conan.​ His unique view and voice, coupled with hilarious observations, make him a favorite the world over. Literally.
—Matty Ryan

May 17: Deth Rattle at Revolution Brewing 
Put Illinois Craft Beer Week 2019 to bed with some of the finest barrel-aged imperial stouts Chicago has to offer—Revolution Brewing is pouring Deth’s Tar (15 percent ABV Imperial oatmeal stout with rich chocolate flavor and a silky mouthfeel) in your face. Barrel aging builds flavor complexities of vanilla, toasted coconut, and caramel. 2014 Deth’s Tar Limited, 2016 Deth’s Tar, 2017 Cafe Deth, 2017 Deth by Cherries, 2017 VSOD, 2018 DB VSOD, 2018 Deth Ryed, 2016 Deth by Plums, and 2018 La Petite Deth will all be on draft in the Kedzie Taproom. Plus, limited packaged sales of 2013, ’14, ’16, and ’18 Deth’s Tar; 2017 VSOD; 2017 Deth by Cherries; and 2018 DB VSOD. This event may be the end of ICBW, but what a palate-smashing way to go out.
—Jim Morris

Photo by Charles Osgood/Courtesy of The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963

Through May 19: The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 
This Chicago Children’s Theatre production has been getting great reviews, and it has just been extended three additional weeks! The play is about a family from Flint, Michigan, that road-trips down to Birmingham, Alabama, in the midst of the civil rights movement. Recommended for ages 9 and up.
—Samantha Lande

May 19 and 20: The Sandwich Gods Smile Upon Us: Zingerman’s Delicatessen Pops Up at the Ruin Daily 
There’s a huge pop-up to look forward to, courtesy of our friends from Michigan. Ann Arbor’s wildly revered Zingerman’s Delicatessen is taking over the menu at the Ruin Daily for two days, slinging crowd-pleasing sandwiches like its famed Reuben and the No. 36 Lila & Izzie’s Skokie Skidoo, with heaps of Swiss Emmental cheese, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on grilled farm bread. Michigan beers and cocktails made with Zingerman’s ingredients round it all out.
Details: May 19, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and May 20, 7 a.m.–7 p.m.
—Matt Kirouac

Through May 26: Parched at Free Street Theater 
Free Street Theater continues to impress me with its commitment to pay its artists as fairly as it can while making powerful, relevant art in a democratic way: through devising. It is messy and  time-consuming, and the results are magical because they derive from the actual lives of those who create it. Next up is Parched, devised by the youth ensemble. Directed by Katrina and Dion and assistant-directed by Will Pettiway, this show is bound to be smart, funny, and powerful. Do not miss this pay-what-you-can experience.
—Tanuja Jagernauth

Photo courtesy of Zingerman’s Delicatessen