Toast Obama at inauguration bashes across Chicagoland
Inauguration tickets are impossible to snag, and D.C. hotels are booked. Console yourself with the thought that those lucky enough to attend President-elect Obama’s swearing in on Tuesday the 20th will be toughing it outside in the cold; then swallow your sour grapes with a free glass of bubbly at FitzGerald’s (6615 W. Roosevelt Rd., Berwyn; fitzgeraldsnightclub.com). Five bucks gains you entry to the club’s inauguration bash, which includes rebroadcasts of the ceremony at 7 and 11 p.m., plus a dance party with music by The Western Wingers (a.k.a. Hideout regular Scott Ligon and friends).
Those who prefer to celebrate in real time can catch the proceedings on the big screen at Landmark Century Centre Cinema (2828 N. Clark St.; 773-509-4949) starting at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday; doors open at 10 a.m. Admission is free, and seats are first-come, first-served. Bonus: Bone up for the big day with a screening of the 2007 documentary Senator Obama Goes to Africa, 8 p.m. Saturday the 17th at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.; chicagofilmmakers.org). Admission is $8, and the directors and editor will be on hand for a post-screening Q & A.
Best Bets for Things to Do This Week
Chicago Sinfonietta, the nation’s most diverse symphony, plays a concert honoring Martin Luther King Jr. every year, but falling on the brink of such a historic event makes this year’s The Dream Lives On! especially poignant. The program includes an excerpt of King’s famous 1965 Selma, Alabama, speech set to music, and gospel favorites from the Apostolic Church of God Sanctuary Choir. Tickets, $26 to $50 at chicagosinfonietta.org, are available for performances at 3 p.m. Sunday the 18th in Dominican University’s Lund Auditorium (7900 W. Division St., River Forest) and 7:30 p.m. Monday the 19th at Symphony Center (220 S. Michigan Ave.).
Calling all Battlestar Galactica-heads: finally, a concert that speaks to both your inner orch dork and sci-fi geek (hey, we’re not pointing fingers—that’s us). Seventeen years after debuting the work, the electronic-music trio Underground Resistance re-interprets the planet Saturn through sound in X-102 Discovers the Rings of Saturn, featuring an updated soundtrack and projected images courtesy of NASA. The concert begins 7 p.m. Friday the 16th at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.; 312-744-6630). Admission is free.
Last week you watched middle schoolers ham it up at Sketch Fest; this week you can relive the horror of your awkward teen years with the latest installment of Mortified, in which fearless adults read aloud from the journals they kept as adolescents. The comic—if cringe-inducing—show begins 7 p.m. Sunday the 18th at Beat Kitchen (2100 W. Belmont Ave.; beatkitchen.com). Tickets are $15.
This week’s subzero temps have even some diehard cyclists leaving their bikes at home, but the bitter chill doesn’t mean you’re left out in the cold when it comes to prepping for warmer climes. Get your gear in shape for spring at the annual Chicago Winter Bike Swap, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday the 17th at Harper College (1200 W. Algonquin Rd.; chicagowinterbikeswap.com), where you can peruse everything from wheels to wrenches for an entry fee of $5. Then, if you just can’t wait to try out your new toys, layer on the wool and peddle to Daley Plaza (Dearborn and Washington streets; activetrans.org) for Winter Bike to Work Day, Tuesday the 20th from 6:30 to 9 a.m. Warm up with free coffee, cocoa, and cheesecake in commemoration of the coldest day in Chicago history, January 20, 1985, when temps dipped to negative 27—although the way things are going, there might be a new low to celebrate.
Photograph: AP PHOTO/ARIEL SCHALIT