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60 Things to Do in Chicago in February

Feb. 1
Pop

Cashmere Cat

Uptown

This Norwegian producer and DJ counts Malia Obama among his fans (many spotted the former first daughter at his 2016 Lollapalooza set). Born Magnus Høiberg, he made his name spinning breakbeat-heavy mixes on the mid-aughts underground circuit. Since then, he’s collaborated with the likes of Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez, and last year he released his debut, 9, to critical plaudits. Despite the mainstream success, his live show remains rowdy as day one.

Details:Riviera Theatre. 8 p.m. $30–$32. ticketfly.com

Feb. 1
Art

Interactive Influence

Loop

A video game festival in the galleries of the Art Institute may sound too good to be true, but this one-night event, part of the larger video game festival Bit Bash, lets visitors play games inspired by famous art movements—surrealism, impressionism, Islamic, modern—alongside masterpieces in their respective wings.

Details:Art Institute of Chicago. 6 p.m. Free for Illinois residents. artic.edu

Feb. 1–3
Classical

Low Brass Concerto

Loop

Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Higdon, among the most frequently played living composers because of her perceptive ear for audience reactions, composed the Low Brass Concerto specifically for longtime fixtures in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s storied brass section. The piece—for two trombones, a bass trombone, and a tuba—gets its world premiere under the baton of the CSO’s music director, Riccardo Muti.

Details:Symphony Center. $34–$221. cso.org

Feb. 1–4
Seasonal

Woodstock Groundhog Days

Woodstock

Just beyond the northwest burbs lies Woodstock, a town so quaint that location scouts for Groundhog Day deemed it a suitable onscreen stand-in for Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Fittingly, Woodstock now hosts the biggest groundhog shindig this side of the Rust Belt, complete with a prognosticative varmint (Woodstock Willie, Midwestern cousin of Punxsutawney Phil) and free screenings of the classic film. Diehard fans can even book a night at the movie’s existentially horrifying bed and breakfast.

Details:Various venues. Free–$65. woodstockgroundhog.org

Feb. 2–4
Theater

Brodsky / Baryshnikov

Loop

The living legend ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov speaks the words of poet Joseph Brodsky in this one-man show. Close friends until Brodsky’s death in 1996, the pair both left the Soviet Union for the United States in the early ’70s. The critically acclaimed play, which premiered in Baryshnikov’s hometown of Riga, Latvia, in 2015, casts a poignant portrait of Brodsky’s mind. Performed in Russian with English supertitles.

Details:Harris Theater. $68–$150. harristheaterchicago.org

Feb. 3
Country/Dance

Barn Dance Apocalypse

Pilsen

Back for its lucky 13th year, this raucous night of square dance, polka, and country waltz all but guarantees a bourbon-tinged good time. Line dance newbies need not fear: The Golden Horse Ranch Band, led by third-generation “caller” Annie Coleman, will teach all the steps you need to know to bring down the barn. Western shirts and cowboy boots encouraged.

Details:Thalia Hall. 8:30 p.m. $18–$20. thaliahallchicago.com

Feb. 3
Electronic

Elysia Crampton

West Town

The Hideout’s Resonance Series continues to book some of the city’s most vital dance-music artists. In 2018, the unfussy venue will welcome Crampton, the progressive and occasionally jarring producer whose work focuses on queerness, Latinx culture, and South America’s indigenous Aymara people. Crampton broke out with her second LP, Elysia Crampton Presents: Demon City, but it was last year’s Spots y Escupitajo, a politically charged and daring collection of songs, that proved she was more than just a club act.

Details:Hideout. 11:59 p.m. $12. ticketfly.com

Mavis Staples
Mavis Staples Photo: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune
Feb. 3
Soul

Mavis Staples

Lake View

This Chicago icon made 2017 a high point, landing a cameo on British cartoon rockers Gorillaz’ long-awaited LP and releasing her own album, If All I Was Was Black. The latter, produced and written with longtime collaborator Jeff Tweedy, punctuates Staples’s decades-long campaign of civil rights activism through music. “These songs are going to change the world,” she told NPR in September. See what all the buzz is about at this intimate live set.

Details:Vic Theatre. 8 p.m. $40–$65. ticketfly.com

Feb. 3–Mar. 10
Theater

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Navy Pier

Pared down to a sprightly 75 minutes, this kid-friendly take on the venerable rom-com skips right to the good part—namely, the four lovers’ rendezvous in the forest. Heavy on elves, fairies, and the buffoonish man-turned-ass Bottom, Midsummer is a gateway to Shakespeare: You may find yourself tackling King Lear next.

Details:Chicago Shakespeare Theater. $22–$34. chicagoshakes.com

Feb. 4–28
Opera

I Puritani

Loop

In what’s already a vocally stellar season for Lyric Opera, the company has booked two first-magnitude stars for Bellini’s bel canto opera I Puritani, a marriage-in-wartime tale set among the colonial-era Puritans. The high and clarion tenor Lawrence Brownlee plays Arturo. Albina Shagimuratova, last season’s crazy-virtuosic Lucia, sings Elvira.

Details:Civic Opera House. $20–$299. lyricopera.org

Feb. 7
Lecture

The Other Book of the Dead

Hyde Park

Eckley B. Coxe Jr., a renowned expert on ancient Egyptian art, visits the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute for an in-depth talk on the texts usually associated with the Book of the Dead, which also appear on such items as jewelry, shrines, and coffins.

Details:Oriental Institute. 7 p.m. Free with museum admission. oi.uchicago.edu

Feb. 7–18
Dance

Joffrey Ballet

Loop

The dance company’s post-Nutcracker contemporary program, Modern Masters, boasts works by two heavy hitters with its premiere of both George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments and Jerome Robbins’s Glass Pieces. The latter is set to music by another modern master, Philip Glass, and its local debut celebrates what would have been Robbins’s 100th birthday. Joffrey veteran Nicholas Blanc also premieres a piece set to a lush score by Mason Bates.

Details:Auditorium Theatre. $34–$159. joffrey.org

Feb. 7–Apr. 1
Theater

Southern Gothic

Albany Park

Theatergoers sit onstage noshing with the cast in this Leslie Liautaud dramedy set at a cocktail party. The immersive piece lets audience members follow a character of their choice through the soiree, during which secrets are divulged and friendships tested.

Details:Windy City Playhouse. $50–$85. windycityplayhouse.com

Feb. 8
Comedy

Bob Saget

Pilsen

His name is synonymous with family-friendly hosting gigs (America’s Funniest Home Videos) and PG-rated TV humor (Full HouseHow I Met Your Mother), but Bob Saget’s offscreen comedy has always skewed decidedly raunchy. Leave the kids at home for this stop on his standup tour, sure to echo the adults-only themes of his 2014 memoir, Dirty Daddy.

Details:Thalia Hall. 8 p.m. $45–$67. thaliahallchicago.com

Feb. 8–10
Dance

Doug Varone and Dancers

South Loop

Varone performs the two solos he created for Chopin nocturnes—one in 1987, the other last August—in a limited engagement toasting his company’s 30th anniversary. The program also features audience favorites from throughout those 30 years. This is the company’s first Chicago appearance since 2001.

Details:Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago. $30. colum.edu/dancecenter

Claire Cunningham and Jess Curtis
Claire Cunningham and Jess Curtis Photo: hagolani.com
Feb. 8–11
Dance

Claire Cunningham and Jess Curtis

Near North Side

In The Way You Look (at Me) Tonight, Cunningham and Curtis investigate perception using dance, text, and singing, set to video and live improvised music. The pair, who differ in age, gender, and physical ability (Cunningham, for instance, performs with forearm crutches), will invite the audience to survey how they see themselves and the world.

Details:Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. $10–$30. mcachicago.org

Feb. 8–Apr. 29
Art

Mounira Al Solh

Loop

Born in Beirut to a Syrian mother, the visual artist began collecting accounts of Syrian refugees and others displaced in the Middle East in 2012, shortly after the start of Syria’s civil war. She’s since incorporated those stories into drawings and embroidery in a real-time response to the humanitarian crisis of our time. Here, she shares the works.

Details:Art Institute of Chicago. Free–$25. artic.edu

Feb. 9
Hip-Hop

Charlie Coffeen Presents: J Dilla’s Donuts

Pilsen

You may not be familiar with J Dilla (nom de guerre of late Detroit beat-maker James Dewitt Yancey), but his fingerprints are all over modern hip-hop: Dilla’s skill with samples inspired
and influenced the likes of Kanye West, Common, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, and even Chance the Rapper, who gave a shout-out to the producer on his breakout, Acid Rap. Here, Charlie Coffeen, of Chicago jazz and hip-hop collective Sidewalk Chalk, conducts a 15-piece orchestra through Dilla’s seminal 2006 album, Donuts. Notable locals, including Eryn Allen Kane, guest star.

Details:Thalia Hall. 8:30 p.m. $15–$20. thaliahallchicago.com

Feb. 9–11
Folk

University of Chicago Folk Festival

Hyde Park

This annual student-organized fest is perhaps the most consistently impressive (not to mention diverse) showcase of folk music in Chicago. Each year, artists from across the acoustic spectrum bring live bluegrass, zydeco, gospel, and world music to the U. of C.’s Mandel Hall. Saturday and Sunday feature a series of free music workshops and jam sessions in nearby Ida Noyes Hall.

Details:University of Chicago. $10–$30. uofcfolk.org

Feb. 9–Mar. 11
Theater

Breach: A Manifesto on Race in America Through the Eyes of a Black Girl Recovering from Self–Hate

Lincoln Park

Victory Gardens mounts a world premiere by the author of Pass Over, one of last season’s most blistering and divisive dramas. In Antoinette Nwandu’s latest, a young woman stuck in a bad job and a bad relationship finds herself dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. If Pass Over is any indication, Nwandu is a playwright on the ascent, making Breach one of this season’s must-see productions.

Details:Victory Gardens Theater. $15–$56. victorygardens.org

Feb. 9–Mar. 11
Theater

The Wolves

Loop

Shortlisted for the 2017 Pulitzer for drama, Sarah DeLappe’s kinetic play unfolds on an AstroTurf soccer field and views the world through the eyes of hypercompetitive, bruisingly physical young women. Vanessa Stalling directs the story of young warriors staking claims both on and off the field.

Details:Goodman Theatre. $10–$50. goodmantheatre.org

Feb. 10
Dance

Dances from the Heart

Lake View

Dance Chicago curator John Schmitz selects a new lineup each year for this love-centric show. Pieces can range from urban to ballet to Irish folk. The constant? Eli’s Cheesecake for dessert.

Details:Athenaeum Theatre. 8 p.m. $17–$30. athenaeumtheatre.org

Feb. 10
Rock

Thurston Moore

North Center

Since the breakup of Sonic Youth, the seminal noise-rock act he cofronted, Moore has dabbled in a variety of styles, including the dreamy shoegazing he plays with the Thurston Moore Group. Here, he performs a stripped-down acoustic set in front of a heady film projection.

Details:Constellation. 8:30 p.m. $20–$25. ticketfly.com

Rostam
Rostam Photo: Tara Ziemba
Feb. 10
Rock

Rostam

Lincoln Park

It’s been years since Vampire Weekend, the sweater-vested, Ivy League scions of mid-aughts indie rock, released new music. In the meantime, Half-Light, the recent solo debut by ex–band member and multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij, who performs under his first name, ought to tide fans over. Batmanglij left Vampire Weekend in 2016 on amiable terms and has since perfected a similar style of baroque, worldly pop. Expect dance-friendly tunes with plenty of orchestral flourishes.

Details:Lincoln Hall. 10 p.m. $17. lh-st.com

Feb. 10–18
Loop

Elizabeth Cree

Loop

Chicago Opera Theater for years has mounted compelling productions on a budget by seeking out young, inexpensive singers and constructing abstract sets. Now flush with a big MacArthur grant, the company can program not only the best contemporary operas but also those on the leading edge, such as this thriller by Pulitzer winner Kevin Puts, based on Peter Ackroyd’s novel The Trial of Elizabeth Cree. The opera’s 2017 premiere in Philadelphia drew raves.

Details:Studebaker Theater. $45–$145. chicagooperatheater.org

Feb. 10–Mar. 25
Gardens

Asia in Bloom: The Orchid Show 2018

Glencoe

This year’s show goes international, paying tribute to several Asian cultures with native varietals. Thursdays are the days to visit: In the morning, during a special “photographers’ hour,” tripods and monopods are allowed in the showroom, and in the evening, the exhibits stay open late, with a cash bar.

Details:Chicago Botanic Garden. $8–$12. chicagobotanic.org

Feb. 10–May 6
Art

Nina Chanel Abney

Loop

Consider Abney the Basquiat of her generation. Born in Chicago, the 30-something painter tells the story of growing up black in America with intensity, style, and humor, always in high-key color. Royal Flush, a survey of her work from the past decade, arrives from Duke University, where it opened in February 2017.

Details:Chicago Cultural Center. Free. cityofchicago.org

Chairs from 'The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design'
The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design Photo: Michael Koryta and Andrew Van Styn
Feb. 10–Aug. 11
Design

The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design

Near North Side

This exhibit brings a rarely seen facet of American furniture design to Chicago. The 37 examples of innovative and elegant chairs, all made between 1810 and 2010, reveal how designers like Frank Lloyd Wright, Isamu Noguchi, and Frank Gehry rethought one of the most basic human positions.

Details:Driehaus Museum. Free–$20. driehausmuseum.org

Feb. 14–Mar. 4
Theater

Love Never Dies

Loop

When we last saw the Phantom of the Opera, he was alone in the catacombs of Paris, having lost the young soprano he stalked. The two meet again in this follow-up to the megamusical. Andrew Lloyd Webber sets the sequel in the United States, on Coney Island, where roller coasters and carnival rides fill in for the famous crashing chandelier.

Details:Broadway in Chicago at Cadillac Palace Theatre. $35–$147. broadwayinchicago.com

Feb. 15
Folk

Valerie June

Lake View

“I don’t think about songs,” June told Rolling Stone last year. “I just get ’em.” The folksinger and songwriter says tunes come to her through something like a spiritual connection. She then renders them in childlike whispers and gravelly, low-register belting. Here, she tours behind The Order of Time, her latest and most sonically complex record yet.

Details:Vic Theatre. 7:30 p.m. $25. ticketfly.com

Feb. 15–25
Dance

Co-Missions Fellowship Showcase

North Center

Over the course of two weekends, Links Hall fellows Ayako Kato and J’Sun Howard will mark the culmination of their residencies. Kato presents a dance/movement piece inspired by Swiss composer Manfred Werder’s Stück 1998. Howard mounts Working on Better Versions of Prayers, a look at different types of intimacy between men of color—one of the choreographer’s best works to date.

Details:Links Hall. $17–$25. linkshall.org

Feb. 15–Mar. 17
Theater

Some Like It Red

Edgewater

Here’s an innovative mash-up: the 1950s rom-com film Some Like It Hot and Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night, colored by ’80s music and a few explosions. So goes Gregory Peters’s fresh spin on the Bard’s tale of shipwreck survivors. In this version, a luxury liner goes down, leaving a trio of castaways washed ashore in a land ruled by totalitarian tyrants. Jack Dugan Carpenter directs.

Details:Plagiarists at Berger Park Coach House. $15–$20. theplagiarists.org

Feb. 16
R&B

Dvsn

Near North Side

This dreamy, Drake-adjacent Canadian duo (Daniel Daley and Nineteen85) made a splash in 2015 when some of their first singles surfaced anonymously on the internet. The two eventually revealed their identities, but it did little to quell the air of mystery surrounding them—likely because the songs themselves are so haunting.

Details:House of Blues. 6:30 p.m. $40–$76. livenation.com

Feb. 16
Country

Kacey Musgraves

Rosemont

In some genres, Musgraves’s lyrics about weed, casual sex, and inclusivity would blend into the crowd. But as one of a new generation of confrontational country music artists, she’s done the unthinkable: crossed over to the mainstream. Even the hip-hop-focused magazine Fader has praised Musgraves’s sharp, experimental songs, which buck the current conservative bro-country trend. Catch the potential future of western music at this bona fide arena show.

Details:Allstate Arena. 7:30 p.m. $25–$203. ticketmaster.com

Feb. 16
New Music

Third Coast Percussion

Hyde Park

This season, the University of Chicago Presents concert series shines a light on György Ligeti, the Hungarian composer most famous for Stanley Kubrick’s use of his music in several films. The 20th-century instrumentalists in the quartet Third Coast Percussion spearhead three Ligeti works here: one with an insistent, minimalist harpsichord solo, one notorious for its 100 metronomes, and one a song cycle for mezzo soprano. A Ligeti-inspired piece by the composer Christopher Cerrone completes the program.

Details:Logan Center, University of Chicago. 7:30 p.m. $10–$38. chicagopresents.uchicago.edu

Feb. 16–Mar. 24
Theater

Six Corners

Lake View

Chicagoans may recall Keith Huff for 2007’s A Steady Rain, which debuted here before turning into a Broadway megahit starring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The former Mad Men writer returns with this Chicago-set story of murder and a CTA employee. Broadway vet Gary Griffin directs a neo-noir where train delays can turn downright deadly.

Details:American Blues Theater at Stage 773. $19–$49. americanbluestheater.com

Through Feb. 17
Art

Hand-Eye Coordination: Sports and Art

West Town

Does being bad at playing sports mean you’re good at making art? The beloved art podcast Bad at Sports says so—at least in jest. In this group show, the relationship between athletics and aesthetics comes to a head as various local artists examine the former. Among the items on display: a soccer ball designed by Michelle Grabner and drawings by Karl Wirsum.

Details:Western Exhibitions. Free. westernexhibitions.com

Through Feb. 17
Design

Hey! Play! Games in Modern Culture

Loop

You won’t find Pac-Man or Pokémon at this contemporary video game exhibit, curated by a couple of DePaul University staffers. Instead, expect cutting-edge works by rising designers in the field, including Anna Anthropy’s DIY Surgery and Jane McGonigal’s SuperBetter, which turns personal growth into a game. All prototypes, of course, can be played.

Details:Chicago Design Museum. $5 donation. chidm.com

Feb. 17
Classical

Lise de la Salle

Evanston

Already more than a decade in the public eye and not yet 30, de la Salle has organized a thoughtful program around Bach—both the composer and the letters of his name. In German parlance, B is what Americans call B-flat and H is B, so B-A-C-H becomes a four-note motif that composers such as Liszt, Francis Poulenc, and J.S. Bach himself encoded in their compositions. De la Salle plays solo keyboard works by all of them, as well as by the contemporary French composer Thomas Enhco, who is as young as she is.

Details:Galvin Recital Hall, Northwestern University. 7:30 p.m. $10–$30. northwestern.edu/music

Feb. 17–Mar. 16
Opera

Così Fan Tutte

Loop

Mozart composed the music for three operas with libretti by Lorenzo Da Ponte, all of which boast memorable characters, engaging plots, and plenty of humor. Così Fan Tutte, the last of the three, farcically follows two women trying to remain faithful to their fiancés when faced with attractive Albanian princes—who are actually the fiancés in disguise. The Lyric mainstay Ana María Martínez sings the lead role of Fiordiligi.

Details:Civic Opera House. $20–$319. lyricopera.org

Feb. 17–Apr. 8
Art

Unthought Environments

Hyde Park

This group exhibit focuses on how the natural world acts as an infrastructure—and how its elements end up in human-made technology. One highlight: an installation of large-scale images rendered on banners by London artists Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen, who turn their lenses to rare Congolese earth mines.

Details:Renaissance Society. Free. renaissancesociety.org

Feb. 18
Latin

Orkesta Mendoza

Pilsen

This Tucson, Arizona, sextet is one of the newcomers blending ranchera, cumbia, and other Latin genres with indie rock. Here, the self-described “indie mambo” act performs as part of a tour called the New Golden Age of Latin Music, which celebrates the progressive, wide-ranging Latin music coming from California and Arizona.

Details:Thalia Hall. 8 p.m. $18–$35. eventbrite.com

Feb. 18
Classical

Mitsuko Uchida

Loop

On her approximately annual visits to Chicago, the pianist has performed a lot of Mozart, one of her bailiwicks. Schubert has been a less prominent focus, although the composer is so central to Uchida’s musical life that she recorded an eight-disk set of his piano works. This time, her program consists of three Schubert sonatas (part of disk 3 and all of disk 4 in that set).

Details:Symphony Center. 3 p.m. $35–$95. cso.org

Feb. 21
Pop

Porches

Pilsen

Aaron Maine, the New York synth-pop artist who performs as Porches, had a hit late last year with “Find Me,” his peppiest, most danceable single yet. Gone from the track are the spindly synths Maine first made his name with. Instead, he embraces off-kilter ’90s New York house beats, in stark contrast to the depressing lyrics. It’s disco, sure—but if anyone knows that dance music isn’t all beauty and euphoria, it’s Maine.

Details:Thalia Hall. 7 p.m. $18. eventbrite.com

Feb. 21–25
Dance

American Ballet Theatre

Loop

You need to see both programs of this run to catch the full range of old and new works. Program A (Thursday and Saturday) features the grandiloquent grand pas from Petipa’s Don Quixote and the exquisite 1975 ballet The Leaves Are Fading, by Antony Tudor. Bookending those pieces are resident choreographer Alexei Ratmansky’s latest and Christopher Wheeldon’s 2011 piece Thirteen Diversions, inspired by a Benjamin Britten piano score. Ratmansky’s work is also featured in Program B (Friday and Sunday), alongside Jessica Lang’s Her Notes and Jerome Robbins’s iconic Other Dances.

Details:Harris Theater. $35–$125. harristheaterchicago.org

Feb. 21–Apr. 15
Theater

Mary Stuart

Navy Pier

Mary Stuart and her first cousin Elizabeth I were both astonishingly powerful women and both vying for autonomy over England. In Peter Oswald’s translation of the 1800 Friedrich Schiller drama, the blood feud takes center stage, exposing the life-and-death stakes of English history.

Details:Chicago Shakespeare Theater. $20–$88. chicagoshakes.com

Feb. 21–Apr. 22
Theater

Plantation!

Near North Side

David Schwimmer directs Kevin Douglas’s Southern-fried comedy about a member of the Texas gentry who gives away her plantation to the descendents of a slave her family once owned. See “David Schwimmer and Kevin Douglas Tackle Race with Comedic Play.”

Details:Lookingglass. $20–$75. lookingglasstheatre.org

Feb. 23
Rock

Celebrating David Bowie

Lake View

This winter marks two years since the legendary rock chameleon’s death. A tribute tour helmed by Bowie’s friends and former bandmates promises catharsis by way of a career-spanning rock ’n’ roll revue, including everything from Bowie’s first hit, “Space Oddity,” to cuts from his final LP, Blackstar.

Details:Vic Theatre. 7:30 p.m. $35–$135. jamusa.com

Feb. 24
Dance

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater

Skokie

Powerhouse choreographer Nicole Clarke-Springer draws on Alice in Wonderland in this new work for Deeply Rooted’s dynamic dancers, exploring feminist issues through the concept of swallowing and being swallowed as it relates to a woman’s size and stature in society. Favorites Church of Nations and Desire, set to the work of Nina Simone, as well as Clarke-Springer’s 2016 piece Femme, accompany the premiere.

Details:7:30 p.m. $25–$45. northshorecenter.org

Feb. 24
Food and Drink

Uppers & Downers

Art

Beer snobs and coffee snobs will find common ground at this beverage fest. Chicago-based brew gurus Good Beer Hunting team up with world champ barista (and former Intelligentsia marketing director) Stephen Morrissey to curate two back-to-back tasting sessions. Expect beer, coffee, coffee-beer, and other unholy crossovers.

Details:Thalia Hall. 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. $65. thaliahallchicago.com

Feb. 24–May 20
Art

Howardena Pindell

Near North Side

This underknown New York artist, now in her 70s, is a force in abstract art, having developed an unusual palette of materials that include hole-punched flecks of paper, glitter, and perfume. A 1979 car crash left Pindell with memory loss, fueling a work called Memory: a series of canvases that evoke the ephemerality of thought. Here, she receives a well-deserved first major survey.

Details:Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Free–$15. mcachicago.org

Feb. 25
Classical

Piotr Beczała

Loop

Just after singing major roles in Berlin and Vienna and just before heading to the Met, the lyric tenor goes it alone for the season’s biggest-name solo vocal recital. Beczała, last season’s Edgardo in Lyric’s Lucia di Lammermoor, plans to sing works by fin-de-siècle Italians Tosti, Respighi, and Wolf-Ferrari, as well as by his Polish countrymen Szymanowski, Karłowicz, and Moniuszko.

Details:Civic Opera House. 3 p.m. $20–$75. lyricopera.org

Feb. 25
Classical

Brahms Piano Trios

Loop

Last year, three boldface names in the classical-music world—cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Emanuel Ax, and violinist Leonidas Kavakos—recorded an album of the three piano trios of Johannes Brahms. Now on tour, the trio perform the trio of trios live in concert.

Details:Symphony Center. 3 p.m. Sold out; see resellers.

Feb. 25
Food and Drink

Darkside VI

Wicker Park

Each February, Chicago’s guild of craft beer consultants invite the likes of Goose Island, Founders, and Brooklyn Brewery to trot out their darkest, densest draughts. It’s a chance for drinkers of all experience levels to overcome their misconceptions about inky beers. Admission includes eight hearty pours and a sack of arcade tokens.

Details:Emporium. Noon. $25–$40. hardcorecraftbeer.com

Feb. 25
Parade

Lunar New Year Parade

Chinatown

Ring in the Year of the Dog with a colorful parade through Chinatown. The marching bands, floats, and lion dances punctuate a week of cultural events and live performances around town—including pop-ups at the Chicago Symphony Center.

Details:Wentworth from 24th to Cermak. 1 p.m. Free. ccc-foundation.org

Feb. 25 and 27
Classical

Esther

Skokie, Loop

Music of the Baroque’s chorus and orchestra join to present Handel’s oratorio, based on the Old Testament story of how Queen Esther saved the Jews in Persia from genocide, a story also told on the holiday of Purim, which begins this year on February 28. The quartet of soloists includes the dramatic bell-toned tenor Nicholas Phan.

Details:Feb. 25: North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skokie. Feb. 27: Harris Theater. $25–$78. baroque.org

An artifact from 'Mirroring China’s Past: Emperors and Their Bronzes'
Mirroring China’s Past: Emperors and Their Bronzes Photo: Art Institute/Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection
Feb. 25–May 13
Art

Mirroring China’s Past: Emperors and Their Bronzes

Loop

Some of the most finely crafted vessels in Chinese history were produced during the Bronze Age, between 2,000 and 4,000 years ago. Here, the Art Institute displays 180 of these artifacts from its archives and from other museums around the world, also providing details about how emperors used the exquisitely designed objects to empower their dynasties.

Details:Art Institute of Chicago. Free–$25. artic.edu

Feb. 28
Rock

Palehound

Lake View

On last year’s A Place I’ll Always Go, Palehound’s Ellen Kempner made a case for herself as one of the most humane voices in modern rock. Her heart-on-sleeve lyrics, which speak to the comedy and poetry of self-discovery, should appeal to fans of lo-fi bedroom rockers like Liz Phair, not to mention anyone who felt misunderstood and isolated as a teenager. So, everybody.

Details:Schubas Tavern. 8 p.m. $15. lh-st.com

Feb. 28
Latin

Romeo Santos

Near West Side

One of the Latin music world’s foremost stars returns to Chicago after a three-year hiatus. Though Santos’s 2017 album, Golden, features an array of collaborations (Swizz Beatz, Daddy Yankee, and Julio Iglesias make appearances), the singer’s charm and his crisp, clean vocals remain the main draw.

Details:United Center. 8 p.m. $60–$845. ticketmaster.com

Jacqueline Williams as Faye in 'Skeleton Crew'
Jacqueline Williams as Faye in Skeleton Crew Photo: Courtesy of Northlight Theatre
Through Mar. 4
Theater

Skeleton Crew

Skokie

Dominique Morisseau continues her series of Detroit-set dramas with this story of an auto plant hit by the 2008 recession. The action unfolds in the break room of the floundering business, as four coworkers contend with the prospect of losing their jobs, homes, and dignity.

Details:Northlight Theatre at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. $35–$70. northlight.org

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