Friday | May 18
The “Comics Philosophy & Practice Conference,” presented by the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry and the Mellon Residential Fellowship Program for Arts Practice and Scholarship kicks off this evening at the Logan Center with a presentation by Maus author Art Spiegelman entitled “What the %$#! Happened to Comics.” The talk is 45 minutes long and may or may not include verbal expletives. The conference continues on Saturday and Sunday with various panel discussions and lectures by graphic artists, art editors, and publishers (including François Mouly, Ben Katchor, and Alison Bechdel). 915 East 60th Street. Begins at 6 p.m., free.
Do you have something you’re dying to get off your chest? Can you make it sound pretty? ArtShould, with the help of Catcher in the Rhyme and Crazy Cat Lady Café is hosting its premiere slam poetry and open mic night at Hyde Park’s own Third World Café, where you can see original work by children and adults of all ages, and—if you are brave of heart—get a word in yourself. Satisfy your literary and culinary cravings with free food and free Sliced Bread. 1301 East 53rd Street. 7–9 p.m., free.
If you didn’t make it to last night’s free showing of TAPS and UT’s “A Weekend of Workshops,” fret not: You can still catch the performance at a very reasonable price tonight and tomorrow at Logan Center’s Theater East 127. Don’t miss four dramatic scenes and a musical, including Tennessee Williams’s This Property is Condemned and an adaptation of Edgar Lee Master’s Spoon River Anthology, directed and performed by your peers. 915 East 60th Street. 8–10 p.m., $6.
Saturday | May 19
Summer Breeze makes me feel fine. But this year it’s going to make me feel fucking fantastic because the sun is actually supposed to come out. Moon bounce, gladiator joust, mechanical bull, and strawberry smoothies are a go. Cults, Neon Indian, and Luda(cris) alternately take the on-campus stage starting at 6 p.m. WHPK performs from 12–5 p.m. on the green grass of the quads under a blazing blue sky. This is just a friendly reminder and a projected forecast. Carnival starts at noon, $20 for concert, rest is free.
Experience the crustacean pleasures of the Louisiana bayou at McGee Tavern’s 23rd Annual Headsucker’s Ball. The shell crunching begins in time for brunch with 2,000 pounds of fresh crawfish, sides of jambalaya, gumbo, and red beans and rice. Obviously, it’s an all-you-can-eat affair, and there will be a musical accompaniment to your feast: the Hurricane Gumbo band, specialists in zydeco, go on at 2 p.m. 950 West Webster Avenue. Starts at 10 a.m., $25, $20 in advance.
Sunday | May 20
If you’re going to drink beer, you might as well play mini-golf. Knock back Goose Islands as you slovenly putt at the brewery’s nine-course extravaganza, taking place at Fulton’s Barrel Warehouse. Because this event is so awesome it can’t even handle itself, tickets will not be sold straight out but will be raffled off online. If bad luck prevents you from teeing off, take comfort in the fact that you have 10 days of free to moderately priced beer at participating locations across the city ahead of you. 180 West Walnut Street. 11 a.m.–5 p.m., $40/pair of tickets.
Get your first taste of this season’s street food and everything that summer festivals have to offer. Today is your last chance to catch Mayfest, Lincoln Park’s celebration of all things that don’t require walls or roofs to enjoy (cover bands, free-flowing beer, suspiciously good whole-roasted corn cobs). This event is not to be confused with Lincoln Park’s Mayfest Chicago, which starts on May 31. It is completely different. Don’t let NATO keep you from enjoying the out-of-doors joys of downtown Chicago (though most bus routes that come into Hyde Park will be significantly impacted). Lakeview, North Ashland Avenue and Barry Avenue. Friday 5–10 p.m, Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.–10 p.m., $10 suggested donation.