Nelson Algren Birthday Party
8 p.m. Saturday at St. Paul Cultural Center; $10
Celebrate what would have been the 101st birthday of the famed Chicago writer, whose gritty works about the city include The Man with the Golden Arm and Chicago: City on the Make. This year's fete is dedicated to the memory of Howard Zinn, who wrote the Algren-esque People's History of the United States. There will be a cash bar and door prizes at the event.
Friday-Sunday at Blue Theatre; free
Church pageants: they're not just for church-goers anymore. The latest low-budget spectacle from Quest Ensemble will, without judgment, present the Gospel according to Science alongside the Biblical beginning of life. The kid-friendly show closes after Sunday's performance, so this is the last weekend to catch it.
2 p.m. Saturday at Johalla Projects, free
See Chicago machine politics at its finest at this documentary of Alderman Vito Marzullo, who ruled the West Side's 25th Ward from 1953 to 1985. The screening is part of the month-long 50 Aldermen/50 Artists project, which enlisted 50 local artists to create portraits of 50 aldermen.
More: Check out our must-see art shows.
'90s Music Weekend
Fans of music from the 1990s will be in heaven all around Chicago this weekend. First, head to House of Blues on Thursday for a double feature of Pearl Jam tribute band Ten, as well as Alice In Chains and Soundgarden cover bands. Then on Saturday, take your pick from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at the Congress (8 p.m., $25) or Stone Temple Pilots playing the Riv (7:30 p.m., $59). And if your '90s itch still isn't scratched, you can head back to House of Blues to see Dave Matthews Band tributers Trippin' Billies (7:30 p.m., $13-$16). These acts are gonna be all that and a bag of chips. You go, Chicago!
A Night of Sight and Sound
8 p.m. Saturday at Kinetic Playground; $25-$30
Rapper-poet Saul Williams headlines this mini-festival that also features Shirley King, Malik Yusef and others. Williams will hold a meet-and-greet and sign autographs after the show.