Best things to do in Chicago in March

A cultural short-list for March, in order of buzz

Baby woolly mammoth skull
Forty-thousand-year-old woolly mammoth on display at the Field Museum.
 

Ranked from highest profile to biggest surprise

BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL
3/18–7/11
A boy. A will to dance. A score by Elton John. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

MAMMOTHS AND MASTODONS
3/5–9/6
Lordy, lordy, look who’s 40—thousand. Lyuba, a fully preserved Ice Age–era baby mammoth, steals this new show at the Field Museum.

STEPHEN SONDHEIM
3/4
Such a game-changing composer and lyricist he became a lyric himself (see: Rent). Hear the reigning king of American musicals go off-script in a chat at the Harris.

DYEING OF THE CHICAGO RIVER
3/13
The exact recipe is secret (believe us, we wheedled), but we do know the dye used to turn the river St. Pat’s green is veggie-based—and you should be there to see it happen.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND
3/25-26
Love to hate them? Hate to love them? Never heard of them? Read what our critic thinks of this hotly debated band of Ivy League rockers, then judge for yourself when they play the Riv.

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
3/24-28
The New York troupe toasts 20 years with its artistic director; we toast the troupe for trekking to Chicago in chilly March.

CIMM FEST
3/4-7
The Chicago International Movies and Music Festival returns for a second year of movies, music, and movies about music, with live gigs by the likes of Robyn Hitchcock and DJ Spooky.

STORY WEEK FESTIVAL OF WRITERS
3/14-19
Spring break for nerds (like us)! Hear Joyce Carol Oates and Aleksandar Hemon at Columbia College’s free lit fest.

CHESS
3/7–4/25 If any theatre company can make a Cold War love triangle with music by the ABBA guys succeed on a stage the size of a chessboard, it’s the Jeff Award darling Theo Ubique.

THE WARTIME ESCAPE
3/26–6/20 Everyone knows Curious George. But if you don’t know the story of his creators’ five-month journey from Nazi France to the United States, head to the Illinois Holocaust Museum for the unforgettable tale.

 

Photograph: © paleoart.com

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