Now here’s a conference we can get behind: The Old Style Chicago Pizza Summit delivers the city’s best slices straight to your mouth, no doubt encouraging discussion around who sauces it best. Nibble on chocolate for dessert at the Artisan Chocolate Show, or catch John Mayer in concert.
AFAR Local is our monthly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
April 6 - 8 | Art
International Quilt Festival Chicago
If homemade or DIY is your thing, then you’ll get plenty of inspiration, as well as actionable advice, at the International Quilt Festival. More than just an ode to the versatile covering, this festival includes displays of antique and modern quilts, quilt-making kits and tools, and all manner of dyes and fabrics, as well as jewelry, books, sewing machines, and yarn. Throughout the three days, try your hand at a few of the numerous workshops, which cover everything from embellishment and embroidery to beginning longarm quilting.
10:00 AM | Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Rd., Rosemont | From $10 | website
April 8 - 30 | Art exhibition
“Cubs Moment of Victory”
The Cubs remedied a 108-year dry spell when they won the World Series last year, and it’s still a big deal for their local fans. To celebrate, the Narrative Gallery in Water Tower Place is hosting a monthlong exhibit of paintings by Opie Otterstad, who has illustrated many significant moments in Cubs history. Come on opening day (or the day after) to meet Otterstad along with his paintings; he’ll be on-site on April 8 from 6 to 9 p.m. and on April 9 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Narrative Gallery in Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago | Free | website
April 9 | Food
Old Style Chicago Pizza Summit
Everyone’s heard of Chicago-style pizza, so it stands to reason that Chicagoans are especially picky when it comes to their pies. Enter the Old Style Chicago Pizza Summit, where lovers of the cheesy, saucey slice will gather by the thousands to sample pizza and pizza-inspired dishes from participating restaurants. The lineup for this year hasn’t been announced yet, but if it’s anything like last year’s—Lou Malnati’s, Gino’s East, Connie’s Pizza, Home Run Inn, and more—you can guarantee you’ll leave satisfied. Your ticket includes five beers and a pizza-shaped commemorative plate.
The Chop Shop & 1st Ward, 2033 W. North Ave., Chicago | From $35 | website
April 11 | Music
The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter (and mega-talented guitarist) John Mayer is in town to play a show this week, and he’s going big with three sets. He’ll play one with a band, another in a trio, and the third will be an acoustic solo set. To get through all three will surely take several hours, and this is your last chance to catch him until he’s back in a few months to play Wrigley Field. This special show includes a bonus: a free copy of Mayer’s new album, The Search for Everything, with every ticket.
7:30 PM | United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago | From $80 | website
April 21 - 23 | Comics
Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo C2E2
If you’re a fan of anything related to the comic world, then this is the place to be at the end of April. The who’s who of comic books, TV, and toys will be in attendance, including members of the teams from Valiant Comics and Marvel and the minds behind Patsy Walker. Discussions and panels will cover such topics as storytelling and how to break into the industry.
10:00 AM | McCormick Place South Building, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago | From $30 | website
April 22 - 23 | Food & drink
The Chicago Artisan Chocolate Show
Skip the Hershey’s bar and head to the Chicago Artisan Chocolate Show for a taste of some of the world’s best cacao. Chocolate makers from around the country (think Mayana Chocolate and Birmingham Chocolate) will be at the Stephen M. Bailey Auditorium with samples to share. Add in wine tastings and a good cause—proceeds go to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation—and you’ve got a sweet trio.
11:00 AM | 1340 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago | From $40 | website
April 23 | Music
Israeli American violinist Itzhak Perlman is known worldwide for his prowess on the strings. The 71-year-old has performed at the White House and for Queen Elizabeth II; in 2015, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Don’t miss hearing the legend perform live with only a piano accompaniment at the Civic Opera House; the huge venue is acoustically optimized so you get the best version of his sure-to-be-stellar performance.
3:00 PM | Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago | From $49 | website
April 28 - May 1 | Musical
“My Fair Lady”
This classic Broadway show swept the Tony Awards and won eight Oscars when it was made into a movie in 1964. Now, it returns as a musical on a massive scale at the Lyric Opera, backed by the Lyric Opera Orchestra. The cast includes Lisa O’Hare as Eliza Doolittle and Richard E. Grant as Henry Higgins.
Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago | From $22 | website
April 29 | Comedy
Since all we can talk about these days is politics, we might as well get a laugh out of it. Enter political commentator and comedian Bill Maher, who will take the stage to address fake news and other charged topics. Further relief: He’ll be anything but politically correct.
8:00 PM | The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago | From $45 | website
May 25 | Book ahead: Comedy
Tickets for Ricky Gervais’s first worldwide stand-up tour in nearly a decade will go fast, so snag them now while you still can. The British comedian has had a hand in cult classics like The Office (U.K.) and holds three Golden Globes. On this tour, titled “Humanity,” Gervais promises an honest, interesting, and funny look into his head—we can only imagine what kinds of personal stories he’ll bring into the limelight.
8:00 PM | The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago | From $50 | website
Danielle Braff lives in Chicago with her husband, two daughters, two cats, and her dog. When she’s not writing, she’s out photographing her city and running around frantically trying to fit as many events as she can into her day. You can check out her other articles at Daniellebraff.com.