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The Weeknd performs Red Bull stage Saturday afternoon. August  4 2012. I  Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

The Weeknd performs on the Red Bull stage Saturday afternoon. August 4, 2012. I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: October 22, 2012 6:01AM


One of the biggest critics’ darlings of the year thus far, downtempo R&B mystery man the Weeknd (aka Abel Tesfaye, above) gave a curious performance at Lollapalooza this summer — still, soft and seductive. Now the Toronto artist is ensconcing himself in more intimate venues, which should serve him well. At 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee. Tickets: $35. Call (773) 276-1235; — Thomas Conner


George Lopez spoofs Mexican life in America during his “That’s the America I Live In” tour at 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Tickets are $60.50-$68. Call (800) 745-3000;


In 2010 Riccardo Multi launched his career as conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with a free concert in Millennium Park. The maestro and orchestra return with a free performance of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park at Michigan and Washington. Visit


Grammy Award-winner Nanci Griffith, with the Kennedys, performs at 8 p.m. Sept. 26-27 at City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph. Tickets are $45-$55. Visit


British Indie rock band Bloc Party (lead singer Kele Okereke, lead guitarist Russel Lissack, Gordon Moakes and Matt Tong), reunited in Sept. 2011 after a brief parting of the ways, performs at 8 p.m. Sept. 21 at Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine. Ceremony opens. Tickets are $29 (18+over). Visit


The Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Kirk Muspratt, opens the 2012-13 season with “Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to the Beatles,” featuring cast members from the Broadway hit “Beatlemania,” at 8 p.m. Sept. 21 at Star Plaza, I-65 and U.S. 30, Merrillville, Ind. Tickets are $25-$65. Call (219) 836-0525;


Maggie Speaks is the headline act for The Cara Program’s Ninth Annual Celebration of Hope fundraiser from 7-11 p.m. Sept. 21 at the House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn. Tickets are $125; $135, st the door. Visit


More than 120 contemporary and modern art galleries from around the world showcase works during Expo Chicago at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand. Admission is $20-$65. Hour are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 21-22; noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 23. Visit


Three dozen vendors will offer an array of fresh-picked apple products during Lincoln Square’s 25th Annual Apple Fest 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 22 in the 4700 block of Lincoln. Visit


Three world premieres debut during the Chicago Repertory Ballet’s inaugural performance at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn. Tickets are $20-$25. Call (312) 337-6543;

Chicago restaurants and amateur chefs fire-up the grill for a friendly competition during the Fifth Annual Rib-a-Que Smoke-Out noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 22 outside of Moonshine Brewing Company, 1824 W. Division. Tickets are $25; $35 at the door. Visit


The 11th Annual ALS Walk4Life is at 11 a.m. Sept. 22. at Soldier Field, 1410 S. Lynn White. Check-in is 9 a.m. Visit


Ani DiFranco performs at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield. Pearl and the Beard open. Tickets are $40. Visit;


Vietnamese-language production Paris by Night: 20 Nam San Khau Nguyen Ngoc Ngan, showcases the country’s culture through a collaboration of pop music, dance, traditional folk, one-act plays and comedy at 9 p.m. Sept. 22, the Venue at Horseshoe Casino, 777 Casino, Hammond, Ind. Tickets ate $43-$145. Call (800) 745-3000;


Grammy Award-winning folk singer Loudon Wainwright III anfolk singer/songwriter Dar Williams kick off Dominican University’s, 7900 W. Division, River Forest, 2012-13 performing arts season at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22. Tickets are $25. Call (708) 488-5000;


The Superstars of Burlesque 2012 is here. The superstars feature a cast of Burlesque Hall of Fame strip queens that include Michelle L’amour, Imogen Kelly, Dirty Martini and Kitten Natividad performing at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. Tickets, $25, are available at

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