Where to be and what to see this week
‘I Put the Fear of Mexico in ’Em’ at Teatro Vista
Nov. 4-Dec. 9: Cited as one of the city’s “cultural leaders” by the Arts & Business Council of Chicago, Teatro Vista kicks off its 23rd season with this world premiere by newly appointed Co-Artistic Director Ricardo Gutierrez. Spun around the misadventures of an American couple in Tijuana, the humorously insightful show challenges assumptions about identity and safety while reminding us that there are more borders in this life than those between countries. Preview tickets (through Nov. 7) $20; regular run $25. Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago. Call (773) 599-9280 or visit Teatrovista.org.
‘You Were Never in Chicago’ author event
Nov. 7: Between penning Sun-Times columns by day and churning out seven books in his off hours, veteran journalist Neil Steinberg is rarely at a loss for words. His latest book, You Were Never in Chicago, is a rich and incisive musing that recounts the course of his own career while examining the people and places that made — and continue to make — our city the vital place it is. He speaks at the City Club of Chicago’s Public Policy luncheon at Maggiano’s, 111 W. Grand. Tickets $35 for members; $45 for nonmembers. For reservations visit Cityclub-chicago.org.
Vital Nights soiree at Potter’s Lounge
Nov. 8: Vital Bridges Center on Chronic Care provides critical support services to Chicagoans impacted by HIV and AIDS — and its Junior Networking Committee helps fund its mission with chic happy hour parties that both raise awareness and get folks in a philanthropic mood. Drop by Potter’s Lounge in the Palmer House Hilton to sip autumnal drinks, savor hors d’oeuvres, socialize with fellow do-gooders and support this worthy cause from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets $25 in advance; $30 at the door. Palmer House Hilton, 124 S. Wabash. Visit Heartlandalliance.org.
Nov. 9-Dec. 23: For an antidote to holiday saccharine, look no further than “Hellcab,” Will Kern’s dark comedy about the travails of a taxi driver on Christmas Eve. Based in part on his own experience as a cabbie, the show is a wild parade of humanity, from harried shoppers to haughty lawyers. There were no cell phone shouters back then, but the bad behaviors of this motley crew are unmistakable. Tickets $20 through Nov. 14; $35-$40 after. Profiles Theatre, 4139 N. Broadway. Call (773) 549-1815 or visit Profilestheatre.org.
Nov. 9: It’s a long way from the Windy City to Mumbai, but the Art Institute of Chicago aims to narrow the distance with its second annual Diwali Celebration. A traditional “festival of lights” welcoming the Indian new year, this colorful evening begins with a special viewing of the Alsdorf Galleries of Indian, Southeast Asian, Himalayan and Islamic Art, followed by dinner and dancing in the Modern Wing. All proceeds support future programming and outreach associated with Indian art at the museum. Tickets $350. 111 S. Michigan. Call (312) 443-3318 or email Aicevents@artic.edu.
GEANCO Health and Hope for Africa
Nov. 10: The GEANCO Foundation, devoted to aiding Africa’s poor and vulnerable, holds its annual charity gala at the Museum of Science and Industry, hosted by Chicago Bears legend Richard Dent. In addition to raising funds, the event honors John McGoldrick, former executive vice president and general counsel of Bristol-Meyers Squibb Co. who helmed the company’s $150 million “Secure the Future” HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment program in Africa. Tickets $75-$100. 57th Street and S. Lake Shore. For more information call (708) 439-1462 or visit Geanco.org.
Olivia Newton-John at Paramount Theatre
Nov. 10: As Sandy in “Grease,” Newton-John was the picture of youth. So it’s hard to believe the Aussie songbird has been performing for more than 40 years. In that time, she’s sold more than 100 million albums, garnered four Grammys and seen her hit song “Physical” land at No. 6 on Billboard magazine’s Top 100 Songs of All Time. Whether singing a sweet ballad, getting saucy or offering up a dance number, her sound has earned her countless “hopelessly devoted” fans. Tickets start at $50. Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena, Aurora. Call (630) 896-6666 or visit ParamountAurora.com.