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The Mix: Things to do in Chicago Jan. 13-19

“Bachelor: The Unauthorized Musical Parody,” Neal Francis in concert and “Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah” are among the entertainment offerings in the week ahead.

The top 35 bull riders in the world will compete in “PBR: Unleash the Beast” at the Allstate Arena this weekend.
The top 35 bull riders in the world will compete in “PBR: Unleash the Beast” at the Allstate Arena this weekend.
Andy Watson

Theater

  • Find out who gets the final rose and who goes home heartbroken in “Bachelor: The Unauthorized Parody Musical,” which takes aim at the popular television reality series “The Bachelor.” The 75-minute musical from Right Angle Entertainment is packed with romance, competition, contestants and songs including “Sob Story,” “Two-on-One Tango” and “The Date Card is a Riddle.” From the comedic minds of Richelle Meiss (book, lyrics) and Sam Johnides and Tony Gonzalez (music). Tim Drucker directs. From Jan. 13-Feb. 13 at Apollo Theater Chicago, 2550 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $29-$59. Visit bachelorthemusical.com.
“The Real Inspector Hound” features Shelley DeHosse (from left), Claire Rutkowski, Croix Dakota Perkins and Sarah Seidler.
“The Real Inspector Hound” features Shelley DeHosse (from left), Claire Rutkowski, Croix Dakota Perkins and Sarah Seidler.
Robert Eric West
  • The 40th anniversary season of Saint Sebastian Players continues with Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Inspector Hound,” a mystery that’s also a farce, which follows two theatre critics who become involved in a country house murder whodunit. Rob Gretta directs. From Jan. 14-Feb. 6 at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey. Tickets: $25. Visit saintsebastianplayers.org.
  • BrightSide Theatre’s 10th anniversary season continues with “Promises, Promises in Concert.” Burt Bacharach and Neil Simon’s romantic comedy is set in 1960s New York City where two co-workers find themselves trapped in different romantic predicaments. Songs include “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “A House Is Not a Home” and the title song. From Jan. 14-22 at North Central College, Madden Theatre, 171 E. Chicago, Naperville. Tickets: $33. Visit brightsidetheatre.com.

Music

  • Maestro Riccardo Muti returns for his January residency with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra beginning with an all-Beethoven program at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 13 and 8 p.m. Jan. 15. Future concerts feature works by Tchaikovsky, Strauss and Reznicek (7:30 p.m. Jan. 20; 3 p.m. Jan. 23) and Vivaldi and Handel (7:30 p.m. Jan. 27; 8 p.m. Jan. 29). Free community concerts are performed at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 at Chodl Auditorium, Morton East High School, 2423 S. Austin, Cicero, and 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at Apostolic Church of God, 6320 S. Dorchester. Tickets for concerts at Symphony Center (220 S. Michigan) begin at $32. Visit cso.org.
Neal Francis. photo by Liina Raud
Neal Francis
Photo by Liina Raud
  • Chicago singer-songwriter Neal Francis, touring behind his new album, “In Plain Sight,” performs a hometown show at 8 p.m. Jan. 14 at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport. In 2019, Francis went through a painful breakup and found himself living in a possibly haunted church where he wrote a series of inspired new songs exploring honesty and resilience. Recorded mostly in that same church, the piano-fueled songs are dreamlike and reflective, anchored in Francis’s funky rock and soul sound. Latin rock band Dos Santos opens the show. Tickets: $28.50. Visit thaliahallchicago.com.
“Too Hot to Handel: the Jazz-Gospel Messiah” at the Auditorium Theatre.  Photo by Casey Campbell
“Too Hot to Handel: the Jazz-Gospel Messiah” at the Auditorium Theatre.
Photo by Casey Campbell
  • For 17 years, “Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah” has thrilled audiences with inspirational performances by world-class musicians. This year’s concert features Alfreda Burke (soprano), Karen-Marie Richardson (alto) and Rodrick Dixon (tenor), pianist Alvin Waddles, a 100-person choir directed by Bill Fraher, former director of concert choirs at Old St. Patrick’s Church; and a chamber orchestra and jazz band led by Michigan Opera Theatre assistant music director Suzanne Mallare Acton. The jazz-gospel makeover of Handel’s great work is arranged by Bob Christianson and Gary Anderson, with the original concept created by Marin Alsop. At 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15 and 3 p.m. Jan. 16 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr. Tickets: $28+. Visit auditoriumtheatre.org.
  • Grammy-nominated sitarist Gaurav Mazumdar is a master of one of the world’s most ancient and sacred traditions: Indian classical music. This meditative concert honors his guru Ravi Shankar’s music with a performance that delves into Shankar’s recordings, from his short early pieces to his later 20-30 minute works. Mazumdar also will share his memories of Shankar. At 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15 South Asia Institute, 1925 S. Michigan. The performance also will be available for on-demand streaming. Tickets: $25. Visit saichicago.org.
Photo by Felix Broede 
Igor Levit.
Photo by Felix Broede
  • Russian-German pianist Igor Levit was one of the first classical artists to begin streaming concerts from his home at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. The concerts reached millions of people. Named “one of the essential artists of his generation” by the New York Times, Levit launches the new season of the Symphony Center Presents Piano series with Liszt’s B Minor Sonata, Beethoven’s Sonata No. 30 and Wagner’s prelude to “Tristan and Isolde.” At 3 p.m. Jan. 16 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets: $20-81. Visit cso.org.
Will Liverman
Will Liverman
Photo by J. Simpson
  • Tributes to Martin Luther King Jr. include these three events. The Chicago Sinfonietta’s “MLK Tribute Concert: Joie de Vivre,” features three works by Florence Price, the Chicago premiere of Jessie Montgomery’s “Soul Force” and Kathryn Bostic’s “The Great Migration: A Symphony in Celebration of August Wilson.” Guest soloist is Will Liverman. At 3 p.m. Jan. 16 at Wentz Concert Hall, North Central College, 171 E. Chicago, Naperville. Tickets: $49, $62. At 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets: $20-$99. Visit chicagosinfonietta.org … The Music Institute of Chicago celebrates MLK with a free event featuring a variety of music at 3 p.m. Jan. 16 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago, Evanston. In-person and streaming tickets are free. Visit nicholsconcerthall.org … The Hyde Park Art Center presents a free streaming event featuring a poetry reading by Afro-Latina poet and activist Lesle Honore, a screening of Resita Cox’s “The Black Archive Project: Chicago Uprisings 2020” and Ashley O’Shay’s “Unapologetic” plus discussions with the artists. From 4-7 p.m. Jan. 17. Visit hydeparkart.org.
Sunny War. photo by Florencia P. Marano
Sunny War
Photo by Florencia P. Marano
  • For over a decade, the dead-of-winter Tomorrow Never Knows Festival has inspired music fans to check out the best of local indie artists as well as national acts, including both musicians and comedians. The 50 acts in this year’s lineup include Alexalone, Burr Oak, Felonious Munk, Living Thing, Oux, Sam Evian, Sunny War and many more. The city-wide event takes place Jan. 19-23 at six music clubs: Lincoln Hall, Schubas, Metro, The Hideout, Sleeping Village and Golden Dagger. For more information and a list of acts, go to tnkfest.com.

Museums & Galleries

Half-Length Portrait of the Actor Onoe Matsusuke I as Retired Emperor Sutoku in Act Three of the play “Kitekaeru Nishiki no Wakayaka” (Returning Home in Splendor), performed at the Nakamura Theater from the First Day of the Eleventh Month, 1780, c. 1780.
Half-Length Portrait of actor Onoe Matsusuke I as retired emperor Sutoku in Act Three of the play “Kitekaeru Nishiki no Wakayaka” (Returning Home in Splendor), performed at the Nakamura Theater, c. 1780.
Katsukawa Shunko
  • The actors who performed the Japanese theater tradition known as Kabuki were captured in the prints of the Katsukawa School of artists who focused on the distinct characters of each actor who were the celebrities of their time. A new exhibit, “The Golden Age of Kabuki Prints” includes examples from this school drawn from the more than 700 prints in the Art Institute’s collection. Founded by Katsukawa Shunsho (1726–1792), the best-known artists of the school, in addition to Shunsho, were Katsukawa Shunko (1743–1812) and Shun’ei (1762–1819). The exhibit includes pieces by all three artists. From Jan. 15-April 16 at Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan. (A second edition of the exhibit featuring more prints runs April 16-June 26.)Admission: $14-$25. Visit artic.edu.
  • Weinberg/Newton Gallery, in partnership with Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (known for its Doomsday Clock), presents “Human/Nature,” an exhibit that addresses the urgent issue of climate change. The exhibit’s goal is to help viewers understand the importance of addressing climate change, to be engaged and involved in order to help turn back the hand of the Doomsday Clock which will be next updated on Jan. 20. Featured artists are Laura Ball, Stas Bartnikas, Donovan Quintero, Obvious, Karen Reimer, Matthew Ritchie and Regan Rosburg. From Jan. 14-March 19 at Weinberg/Newton Gallery, 688 N. Milwaukee. Admission is free. Visit weinbergnewtongallery.com.

Family Fun

  • The top 35 bull riders in the world compete in “PBR: Unleash the Beast,” an event sure to bring plenty of thrills and excitement. Riders include back-to-back World Champion Jose Vitor Leme as well as 30-year-old Eli Vastbinder, who after a decade on the circuit broke through to the sport’s top tour last year and was named 2021 Rookie of the Year. At 7:45 p.m. Jan. 14 and 6:45 p.m. Jan. 15 at Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim, Rosemont. Tickets: $15+. (Two free kid’s tickets are available with one paid adult ticket. Must be purchased at box office only.) Visit ticketmaster.com.