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Center Stage


Through June 3. Court Theatre, 773/753-4472. Time blurs and love blossoms in Tom Stoppard’s award-winning 1993 comedy as arrogant academic Bernard Nightingale attempts to solve an early-19th-century literary mystery surrounding Lord Byron and the murder of poet Ezra Chater. Jumping between 1809 and the present day, the play, directed by Charles Newell, explores the intersection of science with human concerns and ideals; mathematics, gardening, and chaos theory make cameos.

photo:  center stage
Courtesy the Renaissance Society

Katharina Grosse
Through June 10. Renaissance Society, 773/702-8670. German painter Grosse plays with aluminum, canvas, paper, and site-specific architectural features for her first one-person exhibition in the Midwest. Moving beyond the gallery, her sprayed wall paintings fill corridors and stairwells, guiding viewers through her work and creating an experience of movement and impermanence.

Exported Visions: Early Twentieth Century Japanese Woodblock Prints
Through June 10. Smart Museum, 773/702-0200. At the turn of the 20th century, a small group of young artists revived the dying art of Japanese color woodblock prints. Called shin hanga (new prints), the pieces in this exhibition—many designed for Western markets—depict traditional fukeiga (landscapes) and kachoga (birds and flowers), staying true to time-honored woodblock-print methods.

The Meaning of Dictionaries
Through July 6. Special Collections Research Center. 773/702-8705. Featuring English-language dictionaries from the Special Collections Research Center—including first editions of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language and 19th-century slang dictionaries—as well as archival materials from the University of Chicago Press records on making the Dictionary of American English and Dictionary of Americanisms, this exhibit looks at how dictionaries have standardized language and defined meaning from the Enlightenment to the digital age.

Contempo: Tomorrow’s Music Today I
May 11. 7:30 p.m. Fulton Recital Hall, 773/702-3427. The first of two annual concerts, this performance features new works by young composers, including U of C graduate students Michael LaCroix, Alex Berezowsky, and Koksal Fusun. Transforming composition into reality are the University of Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players (Contempo) artists-in-residence: eighth blackbird and the Pacifica Quartet.

A Three Choir Festival: Vierne’s Messe Solennelle
May 19. 8 p.m. Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 773/702-3427. The Ferris Chorale joins the Rockefeller Chapel and Our Lady of Mount Carmel choirs for Louis Vierne’s Messe Solennelle in C-sharp minor, Op. 16. The performance features organist Thomas Weisflog, SM’69, and conductor Paul French. Tickets are available at the door: $20 for general admission, $10 for students and seniors.

Cross Campus Tour: Islamic Art and Archaeology
May 20. 2 p.m. Oriental Institute, 773/702-9507. This two-hour tour, beginning at the Oriental Institute with a look at the exhibit Daily Life Ornamented: The Medieval Persian City of Rayy, explores how archaeology provides context for Islamic art. Participants then walk to the Smart Museum to view and discuss Islamic art and themes of ornamentation from Cosmophilia: Islamic Art from the David Collection. The tour is free, but advanced registration is encouraged.