Chicago events preview: the first weekend of April 2016

Chicago events preview: the first weekend of April 2016
Shamrock Shuffles kicks off the Chicago running season on Sunday

No fooling, tomorrow’s April 1st, and Show Me Chicago has pulled together a fool-proof itinerary for weekend fun from the many happenings around town.

The DOC10 Film Fest

“In Transit" a documentary aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder that takes you in to the hearts and minds of the passengers—premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.

“In Transit” a documentary aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder that takes you in to the hearts and minds of the passengers—premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.

What’s up doc? Fans of documentary films are going to love this event. Instead of sorting through the tons of documentary films out there, the Doc10 Film Festival makes it, oh so easy, to see some of the best with their carefully selected top 10 documentaries from 2015. This year’s offerings include: “Miss Sharon Jones!” by Barbara Kopple; “Sonita,” the story of a female Afghan refugee and aspiring rapper; and “In Transit,” a group portrait of people riding the Empire Builder train from Chicago to Seattle.

You can catch them all at the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.,) from April 1-3. Buy a 10-film pass for $100 or individual film tickets for $12 each. 773-871-6604.

The Shamrock Shuffle 8K Race and Health and Fitness Expo

The Shamrock Shuffle 8K race on Sunday, April 3 is an early sign of spring in the Windy City. Runners dress for the occasion in a wild variety of artful creations–not required–but part of the fun for both runners and spectators. The 8K race steps off and ends at Grant Park where it is followed by post-race party. In addition, runners and non-runners can check out their vitals at a free Shamrock Shuffle Health and Fitness Expo on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 at McCormick Place.

The first annual “Pizza Summit”

The debate continues…who has the best pizza? Chicago, New York, New Haven? You can sample some of Chicago’s best along with some Old Style at our city’s First Annual Pizza Summit at Chop Shop (2033 W. North Ave.) on Sunday, April 3. Twelve chefs will be cooking and serving slices, along with music and a special appearance by the “King of Partying,” Andrew WK and his pizza shaped guitar.

Tickets are $35 and include all the pizza you can eat along with 5 beers. The summit offers two different sessions: 2 pm. to 5 pm. or 6 pm. to 9 pm. Although the advance tickets are sold out–you may still have a chance–otherwise, it’s wait until next year–or you can just head to your favorite Chicago pizza parlor.

Neighborhoods of the World: Celebrate Mexico

On Sunday, April 3 Chicago celebrates Mexico at their weekly Neighborhoods of the World nine week showcase at Navy Pier. This FREE family friendly event features a trip South of the Border without leaving town. Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich cultural of Mexico through live music, authentic cuisine, dance performances and art. Noon to 4 pm. in Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier.

Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia in the new Jeanne Gang designed Writers Theatre building


Elizabeth Stenholt plays Thomasina Coverly and Greg Matthew Anderson plays her tutor, Septimus Hodge, in the Writers Theatre production of Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia.” (Photo: Michael Brosilow) Photo credit: Michael Brosilow

Serious theatergoers are in for a treat with Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia.

Part detective story, part comedy of manners, Arcadia is an intellectually stimulating and demanding examination of life itself.

Separated by time and technology two similar stories unfold. The just under 3-hour play takes place in the in the magnificently designed drawing room (crafted by set designer Collette Pollard) on the grounds of a grand English Sidley Park estate.

The story takes theatergoers on a mind-bending romp through English landscape design, chaos theory, Romantic poetry, literary history, higher mathematics, physics, lust and more.

And that’s just for starters.

Those who have not previously seen Arcadia–it premiered in London in 1992 and has been produced in Chicago at Remy Bumpoo and the Court Theatres as well as on Broadway–will have to pay close attention.

Everything about the Writers production is first-class including the talented cast that features Kate Fry, Greg Matthew Anderson, Chaon Cross and Scott Parkinson, under the meticulous direction of Michael Halberstam.

Stoppard, acclaimed by many critics as one of the most significant contemporary playwrights in the English language, is not for the faint of heart but if you want to see a beautifully executed production in a magnificent space this may just be your ticket. Through May 1st, Tickets are $60-$80. Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe, 847-242-6000.

Hollywood in Chicago

Saturday Night Live’s Kate Mckinnon

Kate Mckinnon

DreamWorks Pictures is in town filming Office Christmas Party, a tale about an office party gone awry. It stars Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, T.J. Miller of the HBO television series Silicon Valley, and Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon.

Although schedules can change, it looks like you might be able to catch some of the action this weekend (starting Saturday and through next week) around the Loop and the Chicago river.

The film is scheduled to be released on December 9, 2016.

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