Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago Ages 8 & up. The tribal costumes,
drumming, and energetic moves of this widely touring group, which focuses on
both traditional and contemporary African and African-American dance, are
always a hit with audiences. The company performs in town several times a year,
at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in December and in spring (Apr or
May). Office: 6800 S. Wentworth Ave. & 773/602-1135. www.muntu.com. Tickets $20-$30.
River North Dance Company Ages 10 & up. Chicago can be a brutal test-
ing ground for start-up dance companies, who have to struggle to find per-
formance space and grab publicity. But the odds didn't buckle the well-oiled
knees of the River North Dance Company. This terrifically talented jazz dance
ensemble performs programs of short, Broadway-style numbers by established
and emerging choreographers. You never know where they'll pop up next, so call
for information on upcoming shows. Office: 1016 N. Dearborn St. & 312/944-2888.
www.rivernorthchicago.com. Tickets $25-$45.
7 Puppet Shows
Puppet Parlor Theatre Ages 4 & up. Don't be fooled by the converted gro-
cery store venue: Puppet Parlor's repertoire includes 50 different productions,
including classics such as Wizard of Oz, Hansel and Gretel, and Pinocchio in an
intimate theater that holds about 60 people. The well-staged, European-style
marionette shows take place every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. Call ahead for
reservations. 1922 W. Montrose. & 773/989-0308. Tickets $10. Subway/El: Brown Line to
Redmoon Theater Ages 10 & up. Redmoon Theater might well be the
most intriguing and visionary theater company in Chicago. Founded in 1990,
the company produces “spectacle theater” comprising masks, objects, and an
international range of puppetry styles in indoor and outdoor venues around
town—including, at least once a year lately, in Steppenwolf Theatre's studio
space. Utterly hypnotic, highly acrobatic and visceral, and using minimal narra-
tion, their adaptations of Melville's Moby Dick, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Vic-
tor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Rachel's Love, an original work
based on Jewish folktales, were revelations that have earned the company an
ardent and burgeoning following. Every September, Redmoon presents a “spec-
tacle,” transforming a public park into a site for performance art, larger-than-life
puppet shows, and dramatic visual effects. Office at 1438 W. Kinzie St. & 312/850-8440.
www.redmoon.org. Tickets $18-$22.
8 Spectator Sports
Alas, Chicago's professional sports glory has faded since the days when Michael
Jordan was the most recognized athlete in the world. Now most of our teams
rarely rise above mediocre, despite a few high points, such as Sammy Sosa mak-
ing home-run history for the Cubs. But Chicago fans are nothing if not loyal,
and for that reason, attending a home game in any sport is an uplifting experi-
ence. And to look on the bright side: When our teams aren't doing so well, it's
a lot easier to get tickets to the games (unless you're talking about the perenni-
ally sold-out Cubs).
Chicago Bears Ages 8 & up. The Bears play at the newly renovated Soldier
Field, although the project was controversial and continues to be booed by
architecture fans. But the original stadium, built to commemorate the soldiers