Takashi Murakami exhibit at the MCA, Shred at the Park and more.
May 24: Cinema/Chicago Spring Gala
The organization behind the Chicago International Film Festival celebrates its annual gala, honoring the husband-wife duo of actress Helen Mirren and director Taylor Hackford. Bill Kurtis hosts the glamourous event, which features an onstage conversation with the honorees and a montage of clips, plus dinner and a live auction. 6 p.m., $400, Loews Chicago Hotel, 455 N. Park; Chicagofilmfestival.com
May 26-27: ROOF on theWIT’s JetSet Weekend
This weekend, the rooftop bar kicks off its travel-inspired series with a two-day party inspired by Barcelona. Enjoy Spanish dishes like chorizo paella, cocktails and music 27 stories above the city. Starting at 2 p.m., reservations encouraged, 201 N. State; Roofonthewit.com
May 27: Butterflies & Blooms
The Chicago Botanic Garden opens its butterfly exhibit for the summer today, housing species from all over the world in a 2,800-square-foot enclosure on the grounds. See the beautiful bugs emerge from their cocoons, and interact with more than 500 on any given day. Through Sept. 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $6, $4 kids, 1000 Lake Cook, Glencoe; Chicagobotanic.org/butterflies
May 27: Navy Pier’s Aon Summer Fireworks
One of Chicago’s top destinations, the famous pier starts its twice-weekly fireworks display tonight. New this year, the show will be synced to music by The Rolling Stones, in honor of the group’s “Exhibitionism” show — also on view at Navy Pier — through July 30. 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 10:15 p.m. Saturdays; Navypier.com
Through May 28: Nicky’s Week at RA Sushi
Food and philanthropy come together this week, when proceeds from a special menu at the Gold Coast restaurant will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Honoring RA co-founder Rich Howland’s nephew Nicky — who died from pediatric cancer at age 13 — the menu features items like poke tacos, pork gyoza, Tootsy maki and even cocktails. 1139 N. State; Rasushi.com/nickys-week
May 28: MB Bike the Drive
It’s not too late to sign up for this 16th annual event, when veteran cyclists and family caravans alike get free reign along 15 miles of Lake Shore Drive, closed to cars for the morning. Checkpoints along the course offer opportunities to refuel, and a festival has live music, breakfast and more. 5:30 a.m. (recommended start by 7 a.m.)-10:30 a.m., festival 8 a.m.-noon, Columbus and Jackson starting line, $49-$65, $17 youth; Bikethedrive.org
June 3: 2017 Envision Gala
Chicago-born actress Bonnie Hunt (left) emcees this gala, themed “Within Reach,” raising funds for new research through Northwestern Medicine’s Digestive Health Foundation. Chaired by Dr. Michael and Janet Ruchim, the event includes a live auction, dinner and entertainment by Chicago Catz.
Time: 6-11 p.m.
Place: Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, 120 E. Delaware
Cost: $600. For tickets, visit Digestivehealthfoundation.org/gala.
June 3: Chicago Sinfonietta Ball
Themed “Harlem Renaissance,” this year’s annual black-tie event features music, fashion and drinks straight out of 1930s jazz clubs. There will be an orchestra performance — led by music director Mei-Ann Chen and Freeman Conducting Fellows Alejandro Gómez Guillén and Kellen Gray — plus dinner and dancing.
Time: 6 p.m.
Place: Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, 200 N. Columbus
Cost: $400. For tickets, visit Chicagosinfonietta.org.
June 3-4: 57th Street Art Fair
The Midwest’s oldest juried art fair celebrates 70 years with more than 200 artists setting up shop in Hyde Park. Musicians from Buddy Guy’s Legends perform all weekend, while guests shop jewelry, prints, sculpture and more.
Time: 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Place: 57th St. at Kimbark Ave.
Cost: Free. For more information, visit 57thstreetartfair.org.
June 6: Takashi Murakami exhibit
The popular artist (right) — who has collaborated with celebs like Kanye West and labels like Louis Vuitton — presents a much-anticipated retrospective of his whimsical, anime-inspired work, “The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg” at the MCA, curated by Michael Darling. On display through Sept. 24, the exhibit features a 114-foot piece of art made up of 35 panels and encompassing the gallery.
Place: Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago
Cost: $12 suggested general admission. For more information, visit Mcachicago.org.
June 7: Shred at the Park
Get your sweat on with this alfresco Shred415 class, kicking off today and happening Wednesday mornings through Aug. 30. The 45-minute class incorporates both cardio and strength moves, and attendees get 20 percent off same-day spa services at NoMI Spa.
Time: 7-7:45 a.m.
Place: Park Hyatt Chicago, 800 N. Michigan
Cost: $27. For reservations, call (312) 291-8722.
June 8: Arts Alliance Illinois Luncheon
The fifth annual benefit introduces the inaugural Creative Voice Award, which goes to soprano and Lyric Opera creative consultant Renée Fleming. The luncheon also features presentations by local arts organizations like Kuumba Lynx and Natya Dance Theatre.
Time: 11:15 a.m. reception, noon luncheon
Place: Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe
Cost: $350-$500. For tickets, visit Artsalliance.org/luncheon.
June 9-11: Ribfest
Indulge in the season by taste-testing the city’s best ribs. The lineup isn’t locked in yet, but last year’s prize-winning slabs were from spots like Q BBQ Lakeview, The Smoke Daddy and Austin’s Texas Lightning. Plus, there will be live music, a kids’ zone, rib-eating contest and more.
Time: 5-10 p.m. Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Place: North Center, intersection of Lincoln, Damen and Irving Park
Cost: $10, $20/family suggested donation at the gate. For more info, visit Ribfest-chicago.com.
June 10: ‘Made in Chicago’ Dance Series
Giordano Dance Chicago wraps up the Auditorium Theatre’s current season with a program featuring a mixed repertory of six pieces. Look out for Joshua Blake Carter, who performs for the last time as a main company member, and Maeghan McHale (pictured above with Zachary Heller), who is celebrating her 10th anniversary with the company.
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress
Cost: $29 and up. For tickets, visit Auditoriumtheatre.org.
June 10-11: Old Town Art Fair
One of the city’s most popular fests, this 69th annual event is for art enthusiasts and amateurs alike. Check out the works of 250 artists while eating, drinking and soaking up summer.
Time: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday
Place: Old Town Triangle Historic District, 1763 N. North Park
Cost: $10 donation at the gate. For more info, visit Oldtownartfair.org.
Through June 11: ‘Dance for Beginners’
Laurie Larson, Dillon Kelleher and Dev Kennedy star in the Piven Theatre Workshop production of this MT Cozzola play about long-distance lovers who, through learning to dance, learn to love. The show is part of Piven’s year-long Women’s Voices Project and is directed by Heather Bodie. Piven Theatre Workshop, 927 Noyes, Evanston, $15-$35; Piventheatre.org