Chicago Humanities Festival: Hot Tickets Alexrod, Bayless, Navratilova, more

Chicago Humanities Festival: Hot Tickets Alexrod, Bayless, Navratilova, more
The CHF puts humans under the microscope for this year's festival

The Chicago Humanities Festival is pulling out the big guns including David Axelrod, Rick Bayless, Martina Navratilova, Jonathan Safran Foer and more to explore this year’s theme “ANIMAL: What Makes Us Human.”

Tickets are going fast with the festival kicking off on the “Day of the Dead,” November 1st and running though November 10th at various Chicagoland venues.

More than 60 events are on tap for the 24th Annual Chicago Humanities Festival offering something for all tastes.

Here are some of the events getting the biggest buzz:

Lemony Snicket: All The Wrong Questions,  Presented in partnership with Poetry magazine, Friday, Nov. 1 from 6-7 p.m.,  Francis W. Parker School, G $20 ST $10

Daniel Handler is an American author, screenwriter, and accordionist. Best known under his nom de plume Lemony Snicket for his work on A Series of Unfortunate Events, he will discuss his latest book When Did You See Her Last? After the program, while Mr. Snicket meets with fans and signs copies of his latest book, the audience can enjoy readings and entertainment with author James Kennedy (The Order of Odd Fish), have their faces painted by Making Faces, and grab savory treats from 5411 Empanadas.

Anne Carson, Presented in partnership with the Poetry Foundation, Saturday, Nov. 2, from 11 a.m. to noon, Harold Washington Library Center, SOLD OUT

Donna Tartt in Conversation, Presented in partnership with Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Live! series, Saturday, Nov. 2 from 5:30-6:30 p.m., Thorne Auditorium, G $15 ST $5

Equally sinister and compelling, The Secret History was a bestseller and establishing Tartt as a writer uniquely able to take her readers to the darkest of places. Tartt talks about her new book, The Goldfinch, and the intrigue that lurks in humanity.

Rainpan 43: Elephant Room, Co-presented with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Nov. 2-10, Various Times, Museum of Contemporary Art, G $28 M $22

Three deluded illusionists–Louie Magic, Dennis Diamond, and Daryl Hannah–perform magic that functions and fools just fine, until they begin to fall apart.

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, Co-presented with the Museum of Contemporary Art,  Nov. 3-9, Various Times, Museum of Contemporary Art, G $18 M $15 ST $10

Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour, a conscientious objector who refused mandatory military service, was forbidden to leave his country. In White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, he turned his isolation into a wild, original play that blends comedy and drama, requiring no director or set.

Birds Do It, Bees Do It . . .  Tuesday, Nov. 5 from 7:30 to 9 p.m., Francis W. Parker School, G $20 ST $10

Actor/director Rob Lindley and Jeff Award-winning musical director Doug Peck join forces again to create this all-star cabaret revue exploring the odd mating habits of animals, paired with songs from the Great American Songbook, and also feature new songs commissioned by CHF.

Jonathan Safran Foer on (Not) Eating Animals, Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 8-9 p.m., Thorne Auditorium, G $15 ST $5

Named by the New Yorker in 2010 as one of the “20 Under 40” who “capture the inventiveness and the vitality of contemporary American fiction,” Jonathan Safran Foer is a celebrated author known for his novels Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. He will discuss his 2009 bestseller Eating Animals.

Atul Gawande, Thursday, Nov. 7 from 6-7 p.m., Francis W. Parker School, SOLD OUT
Martina Navratilova: Match Point, Saturday, Nov. 9 from 10-11 a.m., UIC Forum  G $20 ST $10

The most successful female tennis player in history, Martina Navratilova’s career spanned four decades–59 Grand Slam titles and a record nine Wimbledon crowns. On the verge of turning 50, she became the oldest player to ever win the US Open. An activist for gay rights, in 2010 she received the National Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay and lesbian activist/lobbying group.

Sherman Alexie: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (and Banned Writer), Saturday, Nov. 9 from 10-11 a.m.,
Francis W. Parker School, SOLD OUT

Temple Grandin, Saturday, Nov. 9 from noon-1 p.m., UIC Forum,  G $15 ST $5

Temple Grandin is one of the world’s most prominent adults with autism. She revolutionized practices for the humane handling of livestock on cattle ranches and slaughterhouses, a feat chronicled in an HBO movie starring Claire Danes. She also wrote a series of bestselling books–Animals Make Us Human, Animals in Translation, and Thinking in Pictures-and most recently The Autistic Brain.

Tammy Baldwin, Saturday, Nov. 9 from 2-3 p.m.,  UIC Forum, G $15 ST $5

The first openly gay senator in US history, Tammy Baldwin served in the Wisconsin Assembly and the US House of Representatives before her 2012 election to the US Senate on the Democratic ticket.

Kimberly Peirce: From Boys Don’t Cry to Carrie, Saturday, Nov. 9 from 5-6 p.m., Francis W. Parker School, G $15 ST $5

Director of the critically-acclaimed films Boys Don’t Cry and Stop Loss, Kimberly Peirce joins the Festival just after the release of her newest movie Carrie–the much anticipated adaptation of the Stephen King classic starring Julianne Moore and Chloë Grace Moretz.

David Axelrod

David Axelrod

The Political Animal: A Conversation with David Axelrod, Saturday, Nov. 9 from 5-6 p.m., UIC Forum, G $20 ST $10

David Axelrod has worked for such political figures as Harold Washington, Richard M. Daley, Rahm Emanuel, and Barack Obama. The inaugural director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, Axelrod embarks on a conversation with journalist Jim Warren on the nature of American politics past, present, and future.

Rick Bayless: Food Revolutionary, Sunday, Nov. 10 from 11 a.m.-noon,  Francis W. Parker School, G $20 ST $10

Chef, cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV personality Rick Bayless has heavily influenced Mexican cuisine, exemplified by his restaurants Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, and Xoco. The host of the PBS series Mexico: One Plate at a Time, Bayless has pioneered Chicago’s farm-to-table movement.
Tickets and information

Click here to purchase tickets online or call the CHF Box Office at 312-494-9509, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets range from $5-28, with free and reduced-price tickets available for students and teachers (with valid ID).

The Chicago Humanities Festival also offers the Shortlist Ticket Package for young professionals in their 20s and 30s. The fall 2013 ticket package includes three hand-picked programs, White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, Jonathan Safran Foer, and David Axelrod, as well as a pre-event cocktail hour, for the discounted price of $35.

About the Chicago Humanities Festival

The Chicago Humanities Festival began in 1989 by a determined group of Chicago’s cultural leaders eager to extend the riches of the humanities to everyone. Since that first year, some of the world’s most exciting thinkers, artists, and performers have come to Chicago each fall for a festival that celebrates ideas in the context of civic life. Past Festival themes include Laughter, The Body, tech knowledge and America.

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