Don’t-miss picks for January 25 through January 31, 2018
Dance:This New York–based dance and performance project is known for aggressive, edgy, and, above all, sweaty performances. Here, they debut work inspired by the French sculptor Rodin—chiefly his ability to mold wet clay into lifelike muscles and flesh—alongside the Art Institute’s new exhibition on the artist.
1/25 at 6 p.m. Free with admission. Art Institute of Chicago. artic.edu
2 We’re Gonna Be Okay
Theater:Set during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, this Basil Kreimendahl comedy looks back on a time when nuclear annihilation seemed imminent. As President Kennedy tries to calm a jittery nation, two suburban families build a bomb shelter on their shared property line while coping with internal crises of their own.
1/25–3/4. $20–$38. American Theater Company. atcweb.org
Film:Each winter, B movie buffs congregate at Northwestern University for 24 hours of low-budget horror, shoestring sci-fi, and decidedly dated monster flicks. Staples include a midnight screening of the campy classic Plan 9 from Outer Space, themed raffle prizes, and live presentations by the B-Fest Players.
1/26–27 at 6 p.m. $5–$40. McCormick Auditorium at Northwestern University. b-fest.com
4 Elgin Literary Festival
Books:Readings, author signings, panel discussions, and all-around bookishness hit downtown Elgin at this fest for writers and readers of all ages.
FREE 1/26–1/27. Hemmens Cultural Center. sidestreetstudioarts.org
5 Pedro Fernandez
World:After unexpectedly canceling an appearance in November, the Mexican singer, songwriter, TV personality, and one-time child star returns to Chicago with highlights from a four-decade career and his uniquely sensual brand of mariachi.
1/27 at 8 p.m. $63–$153. Auditorium Theatre. auditoriumtheatre.org
6 Andrea Gibson
Poetry:The poet Gibson’s spoken-word pieces are a master class in self-reflection. Drawing on the traditions of songwriting as much as slam, she cuts to the truths at the heart of complicated subjects, particularly queer identity. It’s raw, emotional stuff—don’t forget the tissues.
1/28 at 7:30 p.m. $21–$23. Thalia Hall. thaliahallchicago.com
7 Mozart Dialogues
Classical:Jane Glover, the music director of Music of the Baroque, has a special affinity for Mozart. To mark the weekend the composer would have turned 262, Glover leads a small and agile orchestra in his Symphony No. 33 and two sinfonia concertantes spotlighting several soloists: one for violin and viola and one for four winds.
1/28–29. $25–$78. January 28: North Shore Center for the Performing Arts; January 29: Harris Theater. baroque.org
Pop:Australia, much like Sweden, is known for churning out synth-pop stars (Empire of the Sun, Cut Copy, global superstar Kylie Minogue). Fans eager to discover the next big export ought check out Wafia. In 2016, the singer released (M)edian, her second EP. A collaboration with fellow Aussie producer Taku, the sensual, focused collection of R&B-laced pop is sure to please even the most fickle of listeners.
1/29 at 8 p.m. $15. Schubas. lh-st.com
9 John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous
Comedy:In an alternate universe, this Chicago-born vet of the SNL writers’ room could have replaced Macaulay Culkin as the star of Home Alone. In our universe, though, his parents refused to let him audition, and he ultimately decided to pursue standup. We’re all the better for it, given Oh, Hello, his sidesplitting collaboration with fellow comedian Nick Kroll, which blossomed into a surprise off-Broadway hit, and The Comeback Kid, his beloved Netflix special from 2015. Catch new material on this hometown tour stop.
1/30–2/3. Sold out; see resellers. Chicago Theatre.
10 George Clinton
Funk:When Clinton took the stage at last summer’s Pitchfork Music Festival, many wondered if he could still bring the funk; recent concert reviews had been mixed at best. But within minutes, he was blasting Union Park with piercing brass, hypnotic bass, and Funkadelic’s full-bodied vocals. In his later years, Clinton has added an even more sizable band to his live show, letting young and new artists contribute to the history he’s been writing since the ’50s. The result is surprisingly charming and, thankfully, still loads of fun.
1/31 at 8 p.m. Sold out; see resellers. Thalia Hall.