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The seven best things to do this weekend in Chicago

Written by
Grace Perry

Explore the Chicago Arts District

On the second Friday of each month, dozens of art galleries in Pilsen open their doors for free viewings. Hop from gallery to gallery down on Halsted Street—you just might discover your new favorite artist. (Chicago Arts District, 1945 S Halsted St, Fri 6–10pm. Free)

Bask in the glory of the Drag Queens of Comedy

Sashay over to the Athenaeum Theatre for this hilarious drag show, featuring several queens you’ll recognize from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Come on, don’t pretend you’re too manly for Drag Race. (Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N Southport Ave, Fri 7 and 10pm. $37–$57)

See the buzziest new movies

It may not be Cannes, but the Chicago Critics Film Festival has a solid lineup of new movies to see before their wide release. Check out the full lineup here and plot how you'll conquer the fest. (Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave, Fri 7pm–midnight, Sat 11am–midnight, Sun noon–11pm. $100 weekend pass, $12–$15 per screening)

See a rock and roll cabaret

Mortality might not be the most fun subject, but We’re Gonna Die sure makes it feel that way. Take in a theatrical rock show that celebrates our collective fate—you just might find yourself singing along. (The Den Theatre, 1329–1335 N Milwaukee Ave, Fri, Sat 8pm, Sun 3pm. $18)

Take in an iconic Broadway show

Maybe celebrating death isn’t your thing—if that’s the case, celebrate life at the 20th anniversary tour of Rent. The production captures the ‘90s magic of the original Broadway show. (Oriental Theatre, 24 W Randolph St, Fri 7pm, Sat 2 and 8pm, Sun 2 and 7:30pm. $124 and up)

Shop your way through the weekend

Renegade Craft Fair is taking over Pilsen this weekend, where artisans from all over will sell their incredible handmade goods. Find perfect, one-of-a-kind gifts and tasty eats at this expansive market. (Pilsen, Halsted and 18th streets; Sat, Sun 11am–6pm. Free)

Rock out at the Bottle

Atlanta-based garage rockers The Black Lips are playing two nights at the Empty Bottle this weekend, as part of the venue’s 25th anniversary concert series. The band is touring their latest record, Santan’s Graffiti or God’s Art?, which features guest vocals from Yoko Ono. (Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western Ave; Sat, Sun 9pm. $25)

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