The Mix: Things to do in Chicago Feb. 3-9
Long Grove’s “Cocoa Crawl,” Lyric Opera’s “Verdi’s Voices” concert, and a performance by Trinity Irish Dance Company are among the entertainment offerings in the week ahead.
- Tony Award-nominated actor Felicia P. Fields makes her Porchlight Theatre debut in “Blues in the Night.” Conceived by Sheldon Epps, the musical features the music of Bessie Smith, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Gordon Jenkins, Alberta Hunter and more. Set in a hotel on Chicago’s South Side in the late 1930s, the show interweaves the stories of three women who share the highs and lows of romance through iconic songs. Also in the cast are Donica Lynn, Clare Kennedy, Evan Tyrone Martin and Terrell Armstrong. Directed and choreographed by Kenny Ingram with musical direction by David Fiorello. From Feb. 9-March 13 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn. $25-$74. Visit porchlightmusictheatre.org.
- Nicole Wiesner adapts and directs Slawomir Mrozek’s farce “The Martyrdom of Peter Ohey.” One of Poland’s most celebrated playwrights, Mrozek wrote this absurdist piece as a critique of the political system. A family’s home life is turned upside down when a tiger appears in the bathroom. As more and more characters invade, the family must decide whether or not to join in the chaos. From Feb. 3-March 12 at Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland. Tickets: $25. Visit trapdoortheatre.com.
- Theatre Above the Law presents “Ghosts of Chernobyl,” David Hartley’s drama about a young woman searching for answers in the ruins of the nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl Power Plant while the men who worked that fateful night relive it every day. Michael Dalberg directs. From Feb. 3-27 at Jarvis Square Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis. Tickets: $23. Visit theatreatl.org.
- “Outside Mullingar” is John Patrick Shanley’s charming and very funny romantic-comedy about two introverted misfits who cautiously take a chance on love. Ross Frawley and Laura Leonardo Ownby star; Beth Wolf directs. From Feb. 9-March 13 at Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan, Lake Forest. Tickets: $20-$45. Visit citadeltheatre.org
- Chicago-based Trinity Irish Dance Company is rooted in tradition but always forward-looking as artistic director Mark Howard’s unique vision brings relevance to Irish dance that connects with modern audiences. The company performs a greatest-hits repertoire including “Soles,” “Push,” “Johnny,” “An Sorcas (The Circus),” “American Traffic” and more. At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr. Tickets: $30+. Visit auditoriumtheatre.org.
- With influences like Django Reinhardt, Vitalic, Lionel Hampton and Daft Punk, the music created by the French band Caravan Palace is a mix of old-school jazz and modern club music. The band based in Paris is known for its musical virtuosity and ability to deliver a swingin’ good time. At 8 p.m. Feb. 4 at House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn. Tickets: $35. Visit houseofblues.com/chicago.
- Venezuelan singer Nella (aka Marianella Rojas) left her native land to study at the Berklee College of Music, where she met Grammy-winning producer, songwriter and guitarist Javier Limón and developed an interest in Andalusian flamenco music. In 2019, she won a Latin Grammy for best new artist, and her song “Voy,” written by Limón, was chosen as one of the best songs of that year by the New York Times. She performs at 8 p.m. Feb. 7 at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. Tickets: $25-$38. Visit citywinery.com/chicago.
- A double evening of jazz at Symphony Center features Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science, a genre-bending sextet that mixes hip-hop grooves and free improvisations, plus Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Hero Trio with its creative take on jazz standards and pop tunes. At 8 p.m. Feb. 4 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets: $25-$89. Visit cso.org.
- Soprano Tamara Wilson, tenor Russell Thomas, conductor and Lyric Opera music director Enrique Mazzola and the Lyric Opera Orchestra marshal their forces for “Verdi Voices.” The concert features a survey of Verdi’s repertoire, from the overtures to “La forza del destino” and “La Traviata” to favorite arias from “Nabucco” and “Simon Boccanegra” and duets from “Aida” and “Otello.” At 2 p.m. Feb. 6 at Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker. Tickets: $39+. Visit lyricopera.org.
Museums & Galleries
- Throughout its 25th anniversary year, the Elmhurst Art Museum focuses on the three major hallmarks of its mission: architecture (spring), education (summer) and art (fall). First up is “Houses of Tomorrow: Solar Homes from Keck to Today.” The architecture firm Keck & Keck, founded by brothers George Fred Keck and William Keck, designed modern, affordable homes in the Midwest from 1935-1979 that are early precursors to today’s sustainable building practices. The exhibit explores how the Keck brothers became the first “solar architects” with historic photos, architectural artifacts, design diagrams and a commissioned artist interpretation by Jan Tichy centered on glass and light. From Feb. 5-May 29 at 150 S. Cottage Hill, Elmhurst. Admission: $15. Visit elmhurstartmuseum.org.
- “Naturally: Judith Roston Freilich and Lilach Schrag” is a new exhibit at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art featuring works by two artists who each in their own way examine essence, energy and evolution. Roston Freilich’s works on paper and textiles are inspired by her desire to integrate the arts into everyday life now affected by climate change and the pandemic. Schrag uses a variety of organic found items and acrylic paints, charcoal and graphite to create large-scale paintings with epic figures and creatures transforming into each other and into vegetation. From Feb. 5-April 3 at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, 2320 W. Chicago. Admission: $5. Visit uima-chicago.org.
- The Old Town School of Folk Music presents a virtual family concert, “A Song Celebration with ShaZah,” featuring the duo (Shanta Nurullah and Zahra Baker) performing old favorites and new songs from African American and world cultures. There’s also storytelling and audience participation. Streams at 10 a.m. Feb. 5. Free with registration. Visit oldtownschool.org.
- The Morton Arboretum has a wide array of special events for all ages running through February. Among the offerings are Chocolate Weekend (Feb. 5-6), Dog Admission Day (Feb. 20), Woodland Family Hikes (Feb. 5-19), Winter Wildlife ID and Tracking (Feb. 27) and Forest Therapy Walks (Feb. 12, 18). Prices vary. For a complete list of events, visit mortonarb.org.
- For its first event of 2022, Long Grove is rethinking its annual Cocoa Crawl. Instead of sampling complimentary hot cocoa treats inside shops and restaurants, participants can enjoy the warm beverages dispensed from Cocoa Huts situated around the town. From 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 5 in downtown Long Grove, begin at the visitor’s center at 145 Old McHenry Rd. Free. Visit longgrove.org.
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