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The Top Five Things to Do in Chicago This Week

Steppenwolf stages a modern retelling of Marie Antoinette, plus more fun activities in Chicago.

FEMME FATALE Catch Marie Antoinette at Steppenwolf this week.   Photo: Saverio Truglia

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, February 4 through February 10, 2015

1 Marie Antoinette

Theater: Steppenwolf ensemble member Alana Arenas takes on the role of the luxury-loving queen in this modern retelling of the famous original one-percenter.
2/5–5/10. $20–$82. Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted. steppenwolf.org

2 The Kates

Comedy: The popular all-female comedy show sets up shop at the Laugh Factory (shows at the Book Cellar will continue) and the lineup is stacked with reliably funny women including Rebecca O’Neal and Erica Watson.
2/5 at 8. $17–$27. Laugh Factory Chicago, 3175 N. Broadway. laughfactory.com/clubs/chicago

3 David Roussève and REALITY

Dance: Innovative L.A. choreographer David Roussève uses screen projections of text messages to convey the life of an unnamed gay black man navigating his sexuality.
2/5–2/7. $30. The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, 1306 S. Michigan. colum.edu/dance-center/performances

4 Tannhäuser

Opera: Richard Wagner’s penchant for mingling gods and mortals appears in this tale of the title character’s bacchic indulgence in the land of Venus and guilt-ridden pilgrimage to the Pope for absolution. The four-and-a-half hour dinner-break production stars John Botha, Amber Wagner, Michaela Schuster, Gerald Finley, and John Relyea.
2/9–3/6. $20–$329. Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker. lyricopera.org

5 Bobby Lewis Quintet

Jazz: Don’t miss the local trumpeter who’s back to performing after a major surgery.
2/5–2/8. $25–$45. Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Ct. jazzshowcase.com

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Birdie Soti
Birdie Soti Photo: Courtesy of Birdie Soti

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Birdie Soti, executive director of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s 10th anniversary concert takes place on Friday, February 6.

“On Friday, I will be managing Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s production of Godfather of Third Stream: Gunther Schuller at Symphony Center. I’m looking forward to this particular show because it will really stretch the musical abilities of not only our musicians, but also of our audiences to experience a true intersection of jazz and classical genres in the presence of the composer who coined the term ‘Third Stream’ himself.

“Afterwards, Symphony Center should let out just in time for me to head up to Smart Bar to see one of the UK’s most notable techno artists, Regis. With an eight-year-old at home, I don’t get out to clubs much, but when I do I make sure it’s worth the loss of sleep I will feel the next day.

“Saturday will be a relaxing family day that will end with some serious nourishment at a new place we’ve recently discovered: Trike Noodle. It’s Thai comfort food and tasty sushi rolls—something for everyone.

“On Sunday I will take the family out for some cultural nourishment: the Blair Thomas Company’s puppet production of The Selfish Giant at Ruth Page Center. It’s always great to find kid-friendly things that we can equally enjoy.” —As told to Tomi Obaro

Freebie of the Week


2nd Floor Rear

Art: This annual weekend festival on the Northwest Side celebrates the city’s independent and DIY contemporary art scene with temporary exhibits and performances showcasing young talent. A mapped gallery crawl keeps the events accessible and on track.
2/7–2/8. Free. Various times and locations. 2ndfloorrear.org

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