The Mix: Cool things to do in Chicago Feb. 17-26
The Tony Award-winning musical “Come from Away,” the Botanic Garden’s annual spring orchid show and “The Art of the Brick” LEGO art show at MSI are a few of the things to see and do in the week ahead in Chicago.
- Irene Sankoff and David Hein’s Tony Award-winning musical “Come from Away” tells the true story of a small Canadian town (Gander, Newfoundland) that welcomed nearly 7,000 stranded passengers from flights grounded there after the Sept. 11 attack. Directed by Christopher Ashley. From Feb. 22-March 6 at Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph. Tickets: $35+. Visit broadwayinchicago.com.
- Invictus Theatre presents Lynn Nottage’s “Ruined,” a drama first commissioned by the Goodman Theatre in 2008 that would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize. It’s the story of women caught in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo who find a kind of refuge with Mama Nadi (Tekeisha Yelton Hunter), a brothel owner who takes victims of sexual violence under her wing, profiting from them but also safeguarding them. Ebby Offord directs. From Feb. 17-March 20 at Reginald Vaughn Theatre, 1106 W. Thorndale. Tickets: $30. Visit invictustheatreco.com.
- Griffin Theatre returns to live performances with David Greig’s sci-fi thriller “Solaris,” adapted from the Stanislaw Lem novel. An exploration of loneliness, isolation and how we deal with death, the action is set on a space station far from Earth where a group of scientists study the ocean planet Solaris. Arriving on the scene is an additional scientist sent to investigate abnormal activity at the station that is endangering the crew. Directed by Scott Weinstein. From Feb. 19-March 27 at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark. Tickets: $40. Visit griffintheatre.com.
- “The Simon & Garfunkel Story” chronicles the journey of the folk-rock duo via video projection photos and film footage; a live band performs the duo’s classic hits. From Feb. 22-27 atCIBC Theatre,18 W. Monroe. Tickets: $21+. Visit broadwayinchicago.com.
- Chicago Tap Theatre’s “For the Love of Tap” is a journey through the company favorites (“Moonlight” and “Flying Turtles”) as well as new pieces including a commission from Star Dixon. At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. Tickets: $65-$23. Visit athenaeumcenter.org
- A reading of Gage Tarlton’s new play, “exercise your demons: a play on the trauma of a gay male body,” takes place at 3 p.m. Feb. 19 at Hardware Strength and Conditioning, 1834 W. Balmoral. Free; reservation required. Visit victorygardens.org
- The League of Chicago Theatres’ Chicago Theatre Week, the annual celebration of the local theater scene, runs Feb. 17-27. A wide array of performing arts groups offer tickets for $30, $15 or less. For a list of participating theaters, visit chicagotheatreweek.com.
- Composer Philip Glass celebrated his 85th birthday on Jan. 31, a milestone which began a yearlong salute to the artist with musical performances at arts organizations around the country. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, led by Riccardo Muti, joins the celebration with a performance of Glass’ “Symphony No. 11.” (The piece was originally premiered by the Bruckner Orchester Linz in a performance at Carnegie Hall on the composer’s 80th birthday.) Also on the program is Beethoven’s overture to “The Ruins of Athens” plus his “Piano Concerto No. 4” performed by pianist Mitsuko Uchida. At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 and 8 p.m. Feb. 18-19 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets: $35+. Visit cso.org.
- Waxahatchee (aka Katie Crutchfield) and Madi Diaz are on tour together. The singer-songwriters recently released a duet version of Diaz’s song “Resentment,” which features their glorious harmonies. Find the song on Diaz’s new EP “Same History, New Feelings,” which also features appearances by Angel Olsen, Natalie Hemby and Courtney Marie Andrews. At 8:30 p.m. Feb. 20-21 at Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport. Tickets: $35. Visit thaliahallchicago.com. (Diaz also has a solo show at 8 p.m. Feb. 22 at Space, 1245 Chicago, Evanston. Tickets: $18. Visit evanstonspace.com.)
- Zachary Williams, best known as one third of the Nashville-based group The Lone Bellow, is on his first solo tour in support of his new album, “Dirty Camaro.” He abandoned a burgeoning solo career to join the group, and the album is his way of returning to unfinished business to create the solo album he always meant to write. The new songs are filled with lush string arrangements, vaudevillian piano, bits of honky-tonk and a self-effacing humor. At 8 p.m. Feb. 23 at Space, 1245 Chicago, Evanston. Tickets: $25, $28. Visit evanstonspace.com.
- Constellation’s Frequency Festival returns with a diverse program of contemporary and experimental music: Bill Nace and Haley Fohr, Lia Kohl and Macie Steward (Feb. 22); Matchless, Jeff Kimmel and Ryan Packard (Feb. 23); Hanna Hartman (8 p.m. Feb. 24); Susan Alcorn, Jordan Dykstra (Feb. 25); Tomeka Reid, Sam Bardfeld, Curtis Stewart and Stephanie Griffin plus Krista Franklin, Ben LaMar Gay, Sam Scranton and Katherine Young (Feb. 26); and Ensemble Dal Niente (Feb. 27). Most shows are at 8:30 p.m. at Constellation, 3111 N. Western. Tickets: $15. (The Hanna Hartman event is free at Eckhardt Research Center, 5640 S. Ellis.) Visit frequencyfestival-chicago.com.
- Music of the Baroque presents “The Chevalier,” a new concert-theater work, written and directed by Bill Barclay, which tells the story of Joseph Bologne, the 18th-century Black composer, virtuoso violinist and friend of Mozart and Marie Antoinette, known as the Chevalier de Saint-Georges.Music of the Baroque executive director Declan McGovern says the piece “tells the story and presents the music of a composer of color who battled injustice in the 18th century, but whose story speaks just as strongly in today’s changing world.” At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, and 8 p.m. Feb. 20 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets: $25-$100. A free community performance takes place at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at Kehrein Center for the Arts, 5628 W. Washington. Visit baroque.org.
- New Zealand-based Mild Orange tours behind its new album “Looking for Space.” The indie-pop band’s most ambitious project yet, it’s a sonic journey about navigating life, finding room to grow and believing in oneself, all captured in a dreamy pop sound that Under the Radar says “sweeps listeners off their feet.” At 9 p.m. Feb. 19 at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport. Tickets: $17.50. Visit lh-st.com.
- Music Institute of Chicago presents Time for Three, a trio performing a boundary-shattering mix of Americana, pop and classical music. At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago, Evanston. Tickets: $25-$50; $25 livestream. Visit nicholsconcerthall.org.
- Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra presents violinist Rachel Barton Pine performing Joseph Bologne’s“Violin Concerto in A major, Op. 5, No. 2.” Rounding out the program are William Grant Still’s“Mother and Child”along with Antonín Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 9, New World.” At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at Trinity Christian College, Ozinga Chapel, 6601W. College, Palos Heights. Tickets: $10-$57. Visit ipomusic.org
Museums & Galleries
- “The Art of the Brick” is the first major museum exhibition to use Lego bricks as the sole art medium. Contemporary artist Nathan Sawaya has used hundreds of thousands of these tiny bricks to create more than 100 pieces including re-creations of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and Michelangelo’s “David” as well as a 20-foot-long T-Rex dinosaur skeleton. “The goal with this collection of art is to demonstrate the potential of imagination and the power of creativity,” says Sawaya. To Sept. 5 at Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr. Admission: $11, $14 plus museum admission $12.95, $21.95. Visit msichicago.org.
- CSO for Kids presents “Peter and the Wolf,” a family matinee with the Magic Circle Mime Company joining members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Prokofiev’s musical tale about a boy who risks his own safety to protect his friends — a duck and a bird. At 11 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Feb. 20 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets: $15-$75. Visit cso.org.
- Planning for an exciting vacation gets easier when the Chicago Travel & Adventure show returns Feb. 19-20 at the Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Rd., Rosemont. Featured are booths and displays from destinations ranging from the Dominican Republic to the Florida Keys to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Speakers include Pauline Frommer, editorial director of the Frommer Guides; CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg, and travel writer/actor Andrew McCarthy. Tickets: $11-$22; free for kids 16 and under. Visit travelshows.com.
- Wild orchids take centerstage at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s “The Orchid Show: Untamed.” The garden’s indoor galleries are filled with more than 10,000 colorful orchid blooms that take over an old secret garden bursting through walls, twining around pillars and showing how orchids grow where many other plants cannot. To March 27 at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe. Admission: $6-$19; children 2 and under, free. Visit chicagobotanic.org.
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