Technically, there are six items here, but they're all highly recommended.
Swan Song: Throughout his long and storied career, German actor Udo Kier has taken on many rolesbut probably none as indelible as former hairdresser Pat Pitsenbarger in this Magnolia Pictures movie. A retired gay hairdresser escapes his nursing home and embarks on a journey to style a dead socialite's hair for her funeral. This winning film co-stars Jennifer Coolidge, Michael Urie, Linda Evans and Jonah Blechman, among othersbut make no mistake: Kier owns every moment of this film.
Coffee, Hip-Hop & Mental Health event at Ace Hotel (www.exploretock.com/acehotelchicago/event/293897/hot-take&: On Wed., Sept. 15, Coffee, Hip-Hop & Mental Health (CHHAMH) will kick off the Hot Take discussion series within the Mahoney event space at Ace Hotel Chicago, 311 N. Morgan St. This special iteration, "FOMO, Reset & Pause," highlights the ways in which mental health has been compromised due to a global pandemic and the practices people can implement to better states of being through the acknowledgement of these three ideas. Tickets are $25 per person; admission includes coffee courtesy of Stumptown Coffee Roasters.
Halloween Party: Fall (and Halloween) will be here before you know itand here's a better-than-expected movie to get you ready. This 2019 film (shot in Halifax, Nova Scotia) stars Amy Groening and non-binary singer/actor T. Thomason, and is about two college students who mistakenly release the tortured souls of monstrously disfigured children. Halloween Party has just about everythingjump scares, engaging dialogue and laughsuntil its (admittedly predictable) ending. It's available on streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video.
13th Floor Chicago Haunted House (13thFloorChicago.com) and the Old Joliet Haunted Prison (HauntedPrison.com): Returning for an eighth season in Chicagoland, 13th Floor Chicago will debut a new location with two new haunted attractions in 40,000 square feet of fun at 5050 River Rd. in Schiller Park. The house will run on select dates from Sept. 10 through Nov. 13.
As for the prison, it will open to the public Sept. 18, and will be Chicagoland's first and only haunted house inside a real abandoned prison. (Yes, Chicagoland extends pretty far.) Originally built as a women's prison in 1896, The Old Joliet Haunted Prison is in the annex building at 401 Woodruff Rd. in Joliet, Illinois. The famed, long-abandoned prison has been referenced in numerous television, film, literature, and musical works. It is purportedly haunted and closed its doors in 2002.
"Young, Gifted and Black" exhibit at Gallery 400 (gallery400.uic.edu): Running through Dec. 11, this stunning collection of contemporary artwork is from the collection of gay couple Bernard I. Lumpkin and Carmine D. Boccuzzi. During the run of the exhibition, Gallery 400 will convene multiple events featuring Young, Gifted and Black artists in conversation with scholars and artists.