STD (Stuff to Do)—May 30, 2008

Stuff to do from May 30 to June 5.

By Ben Rossi

Friday / May 30

Beholder, Ken Prestinizi’s latest work for the Trap Door Theatre, chronicles the real-life tortured friendship between painter Paula Modersohn-Becker and poet Rainer Maria Rilke. More refined and reserved than Prestinizi’s last Trap Door production, Amerikafka, this portrait of artistic and romantic frustration plays out amid a fantastical set consisting of birch trees floating against a deep blue scrim. (Trap Door Theatre, 1655 West Cortland Avenue, 8 p.m., $20)

Rich, frothy German cheer flows from the traditionally tapped kegs at May Fest Chicago this evening and through the weekend at Lincoln Square, accompanied by an actual maypole dance, the crowning of the May Queen, live music, and good food. The event’s sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon, so you know it’s classy. (North Lincoln Avenue and West Leland Avenue, 5 to 11 p.m., free)

Saturday / May 31

Let Mahler’s famous Second Symphony in C Minor (“Resurrection”) replenish your tired soul tonight at Mandel Hall. Rounding out the 2007-2008 concert season, the performance brings together the University Symphony and combined choirs, totaling more than 200 musicians, with solos by soprano Kimberly Jones and mezzo-soprano Stacy Eckert. (Mandel Hall, 8 p.m., $5 for students)

The 24th annual Chicago Gospel Music Festival comes to Millennium Park this weekend with headliners including the Clark Sisters, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, and the Rance Allen Group. (201 West Randolph Street, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., free)

All this weekend, West Division Street plays host to the Do-Division Street Fest and Sidewalk Sale, featuring live bands, food offered by Division Street restaurants, a sidewalk sale, a chess tournament, and around 30,000 attendees. The music acts are provided by Empty Bottle Presents, the eponymous club’s outside event branch which books top local bands. (West Division Street between North Damen Avenue and North Leavitt Street, noon to 10 p.m., $5)

Sunday / June 1

Fritz Lang’s iconic Metropolis screens at Doc tonight in a restored version that may give you some idea of what it originally looked like at its 1927 Berlin premiere. A glittering monster of a film that imagines a future of cold, mechanical beauty and indifference to human life, the film continues to astonish audiences today. (Max Palevsky Cinema, 7 p.m., $5)

Greensboro: A Requiem tells a little-known tale of civil rights-era violence: the 1979 murder of five communist marchers in North Carolina by Klansmen and Nazis with the help of the police. It’s a documentary play, so it errs on the side of earnestness over dramatic flair, but the cast captures the powerful emotions inherent in the story. (Steep Theatre, 3902 North Sheridan Avenue, 8 p.m., $18)

Monday / June 2

As part of the KINOTAG German Film Series, an ongoing German-language series sponsored by the Germanic studies department, The Lives of Others screens tonight at Cobb. The film, set in 1984 East Berlin, tells the story of a Stasi official who hopes to further his career by overseeing a government operation to spy on a playwright and his girlfriend. A compelling thriller and moving love story, it received the 2007 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. (Cobb 116, 7 p.m., free)

Tuesday / June 3

Chicago-based filmmaker Keith Ducavicius’s faux biopic, Egon, about Austrian contemporary artist Egon Schliele, has Ducavicius playing his ostensible subject in an assortment of outrageous tableaus—dueling in the snowy woods, coming on to his sister/model, and so on. (164 North State Street, 8 p.m., $5)

Wednesday / June 4

The Museum of Contemporary Art has really outdone itself with Jeff Koons, a major retrospective exhibition presented only in Chicago that surveys some of the artist’s most well known works. One of the leading artist-provocateurs of the last 25 years, Koons has by turns fascinated and infuriated art lovers and critics alike with his mass-produced sculptural riffs on pop culture. Whether you love him or hate him, this exhibition is not to be missed. (220 East Chicago Avenue, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $6)

Thursday / June 5

Another Steven Spielberg cash cow that by now has been milked dry, Jurassic Park, like the Indiana Jones series, started out pretty good and then suffered from an exponential decay in quality. Based on a Michael Crichton novel, the plot revolves around a millionaire who has populated a private island with dinosaurs cloned from prehistoric DNA and the efforts of three scientists to get the ‘saurs under control. (Max Palevsky Cinema, 9:30 p.m., $5)