Do What You’re Told

This weekend watch costume theater, sing about food as you eat food, and crush grapes the right way.

By Hannah Gold

Friday | October 19

You know how in October everything is about beer even when it’s not? Yeah, well, Off-Off Campus presents: Beerfest at Tiffany’s. Get holly-go-light-headed in the University Church Theater with the 26th Generation (they write it, they direct it, they act it) at the premier of their fall revue. Preglow by Fred Arnales; afterglow by Connor Settlemire of the Dean’s Men. Note: In spite of all I’ve said, I am not promising alcohol, only comedy. 5655 South University Avenue. 8:30–10:30 p.m., $4. 

Put on your dancing shoes and grab a fistful of hand wipes ’cause Blues ‘n’ Ribs is taking over Ida Noyes once more. Yes, it’s that time in the quarter again. The Council on University Programming is offering up free mocktails (courtesy of Peer Health Educators if you’re not 21+), assorted alcoholic beverages (if you’re 21+ and have two forms of identification), and, of course, more ribs than you can handle. 1212 East 59th Street. Starts at 9 p.m., free. 

The Hideout—the event venue where Phantom Planet filmed their low-budget “California” video and in whose alley Jack White once threw up—hosts its monthly Jukebox show tonight. Halfway between comedy and public humiliation, the event consists of a series of stand-up routines followed by karaoke in the vein of a chosen theme (this time around it’s “reunion”). October’s show will feature acts by Second City’s Tim Baltz, the Neo-Futurists’ Megan Mercier, and Chicago Magazine’s Scott Smith. 1354 West Wabansia Avenue. Doors open at 9 p.m., $8–10.

Saturday | October 20

Remember the first time you thought you kind of liked someone? First Crush at City Winery will not be a similar experience, but it may well be the first time you’ve ever stemmed, sorted and processed grapes before sending them off to the fermentation tanks. With a new crush every hour (How could elementary school possibly compare?) participants will be able to briskly make their way through a short teach, winery tour, and wine tasting, culminating in a lovely buffet-style picnic lunch. 1200 West Randolph Street. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., $30 (call 312-733-9463 to reserve your spot). 21+.

If you’re unfamiliar with Malört (as I have been all my life), it’s a type of Swedish wormwood, and Jepsen is its only distributor in the States. Since Malört doesn’t taste very good it is often followed by a chaser of cheap beer, which is why Paddy Long is hosting a Malort and Cheap Beer Festival today featuring $3 shots of Jepsen Malört, $2 cheap beer and $4.50 not-as-cheap beer. Go, and give drinking to forget a whole other dimension. 1028 West Diversey Parkway. Starts at 8 p.m., free. 21+. 

Sunday | October 21

If you’ve got hunger in your belly and a song in your heart—or you just want to sing “Rock Lobster,” in public, again—then this weekend the Southside Hub of Production (SHoP) has you covered. In conjunction with their call for a “Union of Public Artists” SHoP is organizing a pot-luck dinner and setting up an open mic for their event A Concert of Covers: Songs about Food. All you have to do is bring food (or convincingly hide the fact that you didn’t bring food), sing a song that you did not write, and make sure that said song makes mention of cuisine. 5638 South Woodlawn Avenue. 7–9 p.m., free. 

Don’t miss out on the Afro-Baroque stylings of Stew & the Negro Problem at the Museum of Contemporary Art (performances on Saturday and Sunday evenings). You may know Stew already as the Tony Award-winning creator and star of the Broadway musical Passing Strange—the coming of age story of an American expat, fueled by a jazzy, experimental rock aesthetic. The band will perform a collection of spanking new musical works inspired by the Windy City. Stew developed the song cycle with collaborator Heidi Rodewald during their Chicago artists residency, in which they talked to journalists, historians, and long-time community members in our very own Hyde Park. They will also play tracks off their 2012 album Making It220 East Chicago Avenue. 7:30 p.m., student tickets $10.

Catch the final day of the week-long Fashion Focus Chicago, a celebration of design, runway, and consumerism, whose absolutely soul-sucking theme this year is, “You saw it on the runway, now buy it!” Luckily, this hollow mantra is undermined yet again by the fact that several of its festive city-wide events will be totally gratis. My pick is definitely The Art of Love & Death— an urban love story told through fashion and runway, hosted by Ends/Wealth Corp. and Hennessey at Lumen. Go and report back with details (especially if you do a killer Joan Rivers impersonation). 839 West Fulton Avenue. Show starts at 7 p.m., free.