From music to theater to family fun, there’s much to see and do in the next week across the Chicago area. So make those big plans now! Here are some suggestions to help you navigate the area’s vibrant entertainment landscape:
MUSIC — Cher
In 2002, Cher embarked on what she claimed was her farewell tour. However fans didn’t have to worry. A consummate performer like Cher just can’t stop. She returned to touring in 2014 with her Dressed to Kill Tour. And now she’s once again back on the road with the Here We Go Again Tour. The 72-year-old singer performs many of her hits along with songs from the “Dancing Queen” album, her tribute to the music of ABBA, inspired by her appearance in “Mamma Mia 2.” To make the show even more interesting, she’s joined by Nile Rodgers and Chic. At 8 p.m. Feb. 8, United Center, 1901 W. Madison. Tickets: $89-$500.
FAMILY FUN — Chinese New Year
Chicago joins cities around the world for a celebration of the Chinese New Year. Events include the 107th annual parade in Chinatown with high school bands, lion dances and floats (1 p.m. Feb. 10, on Wentworth from 24th to Cermak, Free); a concert featuring performances by Hubei Chime Bells National Chinese Orchestra and the China National Peking Opera Company (3 p.m. Feb. 10, Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, $25-$80) and Global Connections: Chinese New Year is a family-friendly mix of music, dance, food and crafts (1 p.m. Feb. 16, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, Free).
THEATER — “Dear Evan Hansen”
The long-awaited tour of the Broadway hit “Dear Evan Hanson” begins performances Feb. 12. The winner of six Tony Awards, including best musical, it’s the story of a teenage boy who is given the chance to be somebody else and finally fit in. The book is by Steven Levenson and the memorable score is by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land,” “The Greatest Showman”). To March 10 at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph. Tickets: $85-$175.
ART — “In the Company of Black”
The new exhibit “In the Company of Black” features images by local photographer Cecil McDonald Jr. In an attempt to counter what he calls “the extreme poles” — photos of black icons or the very poor, he focuses on the “extraordinary ordinary.” Over seven years, his camera captures moments with his daughters, friends and collaborators. Seen together, the images create a compelling portrait of everyday life. To April 14 at Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Admission is free.
FAMILY FUN — The Orchid Show at Chicago Botanic Garden
Need a winter pick-me-up? In the Tropics: The Orchid Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden should do the trick. From Feb. 9-March 24, the garden’s greenhouses and Regenstein Center will be transformed into a lush, tropical oasis filled with thousands of orchids in bloom alongside flowering bromeliads and birds of paradise. Daily 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Thursday to 8 p.m.) at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook, Glencoe. Admission $10, $12, plus parking fee.
MOVIES — Black History Month Film Festival
In honor of Black History Month, Chance the Rapper’s SocialWorks is hosting the 2nd Annual Black History Month Film Festival. Screenings of 15 films, as well as panel discussions with selected film directors and Q+A post-screening interviews with special guests, are featured throughout the event, which runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Feb. 8 through March 3 at the Showplace Icon Theatre (1011 S. Delano Ct.). This year’s films include “Bamboozled,” “Ray,” “Moonlight” and “Selma,” among others. Tickets: $10-$14 (in advance).
MUSIC — Anita Wilson
Music was an integral part of the life of Anita Wilson, a pastor’s daughter, from an early age. After years of background singing with Donald Lawrence & Company, the Bronzeville gospel singer began a solo career, which led to three albums, all Grammy-nominated. Her unique vocal stylings on soulful songs of worship have a timeless quality. Dante Hall opens. At 7 p.m. Feb. 10, City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. Tickets: $22-$32.
MUSIC — Weeknight
Brooklyn-based Weeknight tours behind the new disc “Dead Beat Creep,” which expands on the quartet’s dark romantic sound filled with haunting harmonies, trance-inducing synths and lush guitars. With these new tunes, songwriters Andy Simmons and Holly MacGibbon’s goal was to step outside the constraints of today’s contemporary music to find a genre-defying alternative. Ganser opens. At 9 p.m. Feb. 13, The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. Tickets: $8. Visit hideoutchicago.com.
CLASSICAL MUSIC — Inna Faliks
Pianist Inna Faliks, an alumna of the Music Institute of Chicago, presents the Chicago premiere of her autobiographical concert-monologue “Polonaise-Fantaisie: the Story of a Pianist.” She recounts her journey from the former Soviet Union to the United States and a life in music while playing selections ranging from Back to Mozart and contemporary composers. At 3 p.m. Feb. 10, Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago, Evanston. Tickets: $40, $50. Visit musicinst.org.
Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.