Chicago Agenda: Wednesday, March 12

Agenda for Wednesday, March 12 | Chicago Things to Do | Groupon

On today’s agenda: Victory Gardens’ world-premiere drama explores Chicago gun violence, author Susan O’Connor Davis talks Hyde Park, and Twilight goes gallery. 

“The Gospel of Lovingkindness”

Chicago’s gun-violence epidemic comes to vivid, elegiac life in this poetic drama at Victory Gardens Theater

An exploration of Chicago’s gun violence festers at the heart of The Gospel of Lovingkindness, the latest drama from playwright Marcus Gardley playing now at Victory Gardens Theater (2433 N. Lincoln Ave.). Over the course of 90 minutes, audiences see not just the devastating repercussions of another senseless killing but also the precipitating events that turn an average kid into a teenage killer. There’s even an appearance by Ida B. Wells, who the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones cites as “ageless moral conscience” in a play that’s as much an elegy as it is a call to action. The play’s small ensemble also gets a boost from a Chicago theater legend: Jones notes that the play lured much-lauded Chicago actor Ernest Perry Jr. out of retirement for the chance to tell the story. (7:30 p.m. The show runs through Sunday, March 30. $46; buy tickets here)

“Chicago’s Historic Hyde Park” Book Chat

Neighborhood expert and scholar Susan O’Connor Davis holds a lunchtime chat about Hyde Park’s storied history

From its coming-out party during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition to its recent headlines as the neighborhood of President Barack Obama, Hyde Park has been the home of Chicago’s cultural elite for more than 100 years. The stately home of the University of Chicago gets a full, and sumptuous, biography in Chicago’s Historic Hyde Park by neighborhood historian and frequent Hyde Park Herald contributor Susan O’Connor Davis. During a lunchtime book chat at the Woman’s Athletic Club (626 N. Michigan Ave.), O'Connor Davis will share stories that stretch back to Hyde Park’s founding in the 1850s and discuss her own motivation for chronicling the neighborhood’s past. (Noon. Admission is free.)

“Teen Paranormal Romance”

The tropes of Twilight and The Hunger Games undergo artistic examination during this group show at The Renaissance Society 

The heyday of Twilight may be a thing of the past, but the market for brooding supernatural teen fiction that it created still thrives at bookstores, newsstands, and Tumblr accounts across the country. At Teen Paranormal Romance, the latest group show at Hyde Park contempo gallery The Renaissance Society (5811 S. Ellis Ave.), the genre gets a full artistic and sociocultural examination. Crediting the phenomenon to everything from “the panoply of Obama-era ideological positions from revanchist religious, economic, and sexual politics to Libertarian fever-dream apocalypticism,” artists recast the stories’ major themes in visual art pieces ranging from garments to pseudo-primitive sculpture. Stop by this evening for a guided walk-through with associate curator Hamza Walker. (10 a.m.–5 p.m. Gallery walk-through at 6 p.m. The show runs through Sunday, April 13. Admission is free.) 

Photo by Michael Courier