October in the U.S. isn’t just about ghouls and candy: This month also spans the nationally recognized celebrations of both Hispanic Heritage and Filipino American History. We’re always on the lookout for creative and innovative events, and these cultural spotlights bring out so many wonderful examples. As October comes to a close, let’s shine a light on opportunities in Chicago to experience the beautiful connection with creativity and culture.
Chicago is renowned for its storefront theatre scene, populated by small-but-mighty cohorts of artists producing honest, inventive and authentic work. It’s especially in this city that live theatre lives at the intersection of culture and creativity. Here are two productions included in the ongoing 6th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival.
Playing through November 5 is playwright Franky Gonzalez’ “That Must Be the Entrance to Heaven.” As described by Visión Latino Theatre Company, “a tale that transcends the boundaries of sport, this gripping narrative delves into themes of glory, survival, legacy, and the pursuit of citizenship. Follow the journeys of four passionate Latino boxers, each driven by the desire to attain a world title, and consequently, their own personal versions of heaven.”
Performances are at UrbanTheater Company in Humboldt Park, which happens to be a cultural hub for Chicago’s Puerto Rican community. Play tickets and info can be found here.
Also among the festival offerings is a production from Teatro Tariakuri, a performing arts center nestled in Marquette Park. “Loteria: Dichos y Proverbios” is an interactive comedy staging an innovative spin on the Mexican lottery game.
Loteria conjures fond memories for many, including friend of the Ranch, Daniel Ruiz: “In my opinion, a big part of Hispanic heritage deals with our own personal memories that tie in with our culture. One of my cherished memories is playing the game Loteria with my dad when I was young. Not only was it a fun game that we could play together but it also served as a way that we could connect. I would learn about my dad’s life growing up in Mexico while also helping me learn how to speak Spanish by learning the words on each card.”
Teatro Tariakuri’s comedy is presented in Spanish with English subtitles and runs through November 11.
Saturday is the last day for the 2023 Chicago Filipino Restaurant Week. The breadth of restaurants participating would fill a kamayan table to overflowing! Check out Kubo, Bayan Ko, our previously loved-on Jennivee’s Bakery and many more, to savor flavors of Filipino food that have come to be loved well beyond the Filipino community. See all restaurants here.
And on Sunday, Seafood City Chicago makes lunchtime a destination event with their 2023 Adobo Festival. The adobo style of cooking is often considered the unofficial national dish of the Philippines, and Seafood City will serve up the dish alongside stories and entertainment from the CIRCA Pintig arts and culture organization. More info here.
As with any monthly cultural celebration, we’re invited to continue appreciating the Filipino and Hispanic influences all year round. We recommend checking out the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen, the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture in Humboldt Park, and the internationally lauded, history-making restaurant Kasama, serving modern Filipino dishes and bakery items in East Ukrainian Village.
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