The Shows Ya Gotta See - May 2022

Wanna see something rooted, swinging and soulful?
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre presents “Celebrating Black Excellence,” May 7
CRDT partners with St. Moses the Black Parish, Global Girls and the Southside Jazz Coalition to celebrate Black excellence by presenting a concert of works by notable Black choreographers. The performance is FREE, begins at 7pm and will be held at St. Moses the Black Parish (331 E 71st St.) in Woodlawn. On the docket are three works: ROOT, a jubilant and high-energy piece inspired by African aphorisms; SOUL REMEDY, a celebration of Black artists, American Jazz, and the music’s soulful and sorrowful beginnings; MOOD SWING, a work that serves as a response to the pandemic and social justice uprisings of the past two years, featuring performances and accompaniment by Global Girls and the CRDT Jazz Band. Warning! CRDT’s last free show, “Stories From the West Side,” sold out, so get a jump on these tickets while you still can by clicking on the event link below.

How about something hot, humorous and captivating?
“Dancing Chakras: A Bollywood Speakeasy,” May 8
By hot, we don’t just mean that this show is just sensual—although it is that, too—but also that it is literally hot. Fire dancing is but one of the many styles of Indian music and dance that you will experience at this “Bollywood speakeasy.” Based on the 7 Chakras of Yoga, five performers transform themselves into the chakras themselves, embodying the senses of spiritual connection, perception, self-expression, love, power, sexual energy/creativity and survival/sense of security. The performance is set in the true Bollywood style, told through a myriad of dance/art forms—Belly dance, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Modern, Performance art and Yoga—and set to “sweet and spicy” Bollywood music. What better way to celebrate Asian Heritage Month than by taking in a culturally rich show that promises to end with an interactive dance party! “Dancing Chakras” begins at 7pm at the Newport Theater (956 West Newport Ave). Click the event link below for more details.

Have you thought about something funny, magical and with no strings attached (well, kind of)?
Rough House and Links Hall present “Nasty, Brutish, & Short:A Puppet Cabaret,” May 9
Sure, is a dance site, but what is puppetry if not “finger choreography” with a little acting on the side? All jokes aside, this puppet show is nothing to laugh about…or maybe it is! Nasty, Brutish & Short combines the feel of a variety show with the sauciness of a caberet, and features detailed puppets, controlled by expert puppeteers, that interact in elaborate backgrounds. In addition to the live performance starting at 8pm in the theater at Links Hall at Constellation (3111 N. Western Ave.), there will be a videotaped, multi-camera performance that can be viewed at home—and by “no strings attached,” we mean that the streamed performance is FREE! But, c’mon, you want to see the magic in person. At only $18 a ticket, you can’t afford not to! For more details, click on the event link below.

Want to celebrate a national holiday with something fun, unique and syncopated?
Chicago Tap Theatre/M.A.D.D. Rhythms celebrate National Tap Dance Day with a VIP presentation of “Bojangles” and Tap Jam. May 25
The two premier tap dance companies in Chicago, the Southside-based M.A.D.D. Rhythms and the Northside-based Chicago Tap Theatre, come together to form the “Chicago Tap All-Stars” and have put together an evening of dance and film unlike anything we have seen in Chicago before. As everyone (should) know, May 25 is Nat’l Tap Dance Day and the “All-Stars” are fitting to celebrate the occasion with style and class. Join the festivities taking place at the New 400 Theater (6746 N Sheridan Rd) beginning at 6:30pm for a big screen showing of “Bojangles” starring Gregory Hines and Savion Glover and an actual tap jam by real-life tap dancers! There are only 40 tickets available for $50 each (which is like a regular movie ticket plus a popcorn and large pop, let’s be honest) so get ’em before they’re gone. If you own a pair of tap shoes, then you are duty-bound to jam with the rest of the city’s great hoofers, so brush off a time step or two and experience what it is like to celebrate Tap Dance Day with the rest of the Chicago “tap fam.”