The Mix: Cool things to do in Chicago Feb. 24-March 2
“Frida: Immersive Dream,” “Hadestown,” Monster Jam, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater are just a few of the entertainment options to check out in the week ahead.
- The touring company of the Broadway musical “Hadestown,” the winner of eight Tony Awards, comes to town for the first time. The acclaimed, musically daring show written (music, lyrics, and book) by singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell and developed with director Rachel Chavkin originated as a song cycle Mitchell wrote using the Orpheus-Eurydice myth as inspiration. The musical follows two intertwining love stories — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone. From March 2-13 at CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe. Tickets: $52.50-$132.50. Visit broadwayinchicago.com.
- Canceled at the start of the pandemic, Henrik Ibsen’s “The Lady from the Sea” returns to Court Theatre. The new translation by playwright Richard Nelson stars Chaon Cross as a married lighthouse keeper’s daughter faced with a dilemma when a sailor returns to keep a promise they made to each other. She must choose between her marriage and the lure of the sea. Shana Cooper directs. From Feb. 25-March 27 at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis. Tickets: $37.50-$84. Visit courttheatre.org.
- Remy Bumppo Theatre presents “Passage,” Christopher Chen’s drama inspired by E.M. Forster’s “A Passage to India.” Q is building a new life in Country X, having immigrated from Country Y but the history between the two countries is fraught, and political tensions are running high. As Q tries to navigate the situation, the past and present collide. Kaiser Ahmed directs. From March 2-April 10 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont. Tickets: $35-$55. Visit remybumppo.org.
- Collaboraction and the DuSable Museum of African American History present a theatrical staged reading of “Trial in the Delta: The Murder of Emmett Till,” G. Riley Mills and Willie “Prince Roc” Round’s adaptation of the transcript of the State of Mississippi vs. Milam and Bryant, the trial of the men who were found not guilty of murdering Emmett Till. “This production is the first known public theatrical exploration of the transcript,” says artistic director Anthony Moseley. “When audiences experience how everything actually went down in that Mississippi courtroom, the impact is even more disturbing.” At 7 p.m. Feb. 26 and 3 p.m. Feb. 27 at DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 W. 56th Place. Tickets: $15-$45. Visit collaboraction.org.
- Hell in a Handbag Productions presents a revival of its popular comedy “The Drag Seed,” an unauthorized parody of the 1956 psychological thriller film “The Bad Seed.” A very perfect little boy who likes to dress like a perfect little girl is deadly serious about winning the drag pageant at his progressive school. Directed by Cheryl Snodgrass. From Feb. 24-March 20 at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. Tickets: $27-$50. Visit handbagproductons.org.
- BrightSide Theatre stages Marc Camoletti’s farce “Don’t Dress for Dinner,” a frenetic mistaken-identity farce with plenty of plot twists. From Feb. 25-March 13 at Meiley-Swallow Hall, North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth, Naperville. Tickets: $33. Visit brightsidetheatre.com.
- The always stunning Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns for its annual winter visit. Artistic director Robert Battle presents a diverse program including his piece “For Four,” Rennie Harris’ “Lazarus” and “Ailey & Ellington,” showcasing new productions of works paying tribute to Duke Ellington. As is always the case, each program ends with Ailey’s 1960 masterpiece “Revelations,” featuring powerful storytelling and soul-stirring spirituals. From March 2-6 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr. Tickets: $40+. Visit auditoriumtheater.org.
- Hubbard Street Dance Chicago presents a mixed-repertory featuring Ohad Naharin’s “B/olero,” Lar Lubovitch’s “Little Rhapsodies,” two world premieres by Darrell Grand Moultrie and Amy Hall Garner, a new work by Darrell Grand Moultrie, plus Nacho Duato’s “Jardí Tancat” and Jermaine Maurice Spivey’s “The Seen.” From March 2-13 at Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago. Tickets: $15-$110. Visit hubbardstreetdance.com.
- Choreographer Akram Khan returned to the English National Ballet for “Creature,” his third collaboration with the company. In the new piece, Khan presents an unearthly tale of exploitation inspired by Georg Buchner’s expressionist classic “Woyzeck” mixed with elements of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein. From Feb. 24-26 at Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph. Tickets: $35-$140. Visit harristheaterchicago.org.
- Winifred Haun & Dancers present “The Light Returns: Dance & Music at Unity Temple.” The performance includes a walking tour of three spaces of Unity Temple in which small groups of dancers perform new dances created by Haun especially for the spaces. Also performed will be “Light in Winter” and a new work by Elysia Banks. At 5:30 and 8 p.m. Feb. 26 at Unity Temple, 875 Lake, Oak Park. Tickets: $20-$39. Visit utrf.org/event/winifred-haun.
- The electro-pop duo Magdalena Bay (Mica Tenenbaum and Matthew Lewin) are touring behind their debut album, “Mercurial World.” The pair met the pandemic moment by upping their online presence and streaming sets on Twitch, organically building a following while much of the world was stuck inside. Cecile Believe opens at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $22, $25. Visit lh-st.com.
- Conductor Riccardo Muti leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which concludes with the famous “Ode to Joy.” Soloists are soprano Janai Brugger, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano, tenor Daniel Johansson and bass Tareq Nazmi. At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24, 1:30 p.m. Feb. 25, 8 p.m. Feb. 26 and 3 p.m. Feb. 27 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets: $59+. Visit cso.org.
- Kahil EL’Zabar’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble premieres its tribute to the great jazz musician Don Cherry, “Spirit Gatherer/Don Cherry Tribute,” at a performance with special guests Cherry’s eldest son, pianist David Ornette Cherry, and vocalist Dwight Trible. The ensemble features El’Zabar (percussion), Corey Wilkes (trumpet) and Alex Harding (saxophone). At 7 p.m. Feb. 25 at The Promontory, 5311 South Lake Park. Tickets: $15-$35. Visit promontorychicago.com.
- Over the past three decades, the members of the Irish band Dervish have gently reinvented the traditional folk music of their homeland. The 2019 album “The Great Irish Songbook” featured assistance from Vince Gill, Rhiannon Giddens, Steve Earle and others. At 5 p.m. Feb. 27 at Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox. Tickets: $30, $35. Visit irish-american.org.
- Formed in Leeds, England, in 1976, Gang of Four would go on to become one of the most influential bands of the post-punk era. The current tour features founding members Jon King (lead vocals) and Hugo Burnham (drums) alongside bassist Sara Lee and new guitarist David Pajo (Slint, Yeah Yeah Yeahs). At 8 p.m. March 2 at Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake. Tickets: $25. Visit bottomlounge.com.
- When Lilly Hiatt released “Walking Proof” in March 2020, it was one of the first records to feel the full effect of the pandemic. While the album was well-received by critics, her tour was canceled, and Hiatt (the daughter of John Hiatt) was forced into a sudden stillness as opposed to the adrenalized life she was accustomed to. It forced her to take a long look at life, which led her back to doing what she does best: writing songs. The result is the new set of songs found on “Lately,” which Slant Magazine calls her “most daring, experimental album to date.” At 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport. Tickets: $15. Visit lh-st.com.
- Music of the Baroque welcomes guest Anthony McGill, New York Philharmonic principal clarinet, for an all-Mozart program. Pieces performed are the composer’s Concerto for Clarinet in A Major, Symphony No. 40 in G Minor and the overture to “Lucio Silla.” At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph. Tickets: $25-$95. Visit baroque.org.
- Chicago Children’s Choir presents a free virtual Black History Month concert celebrating the vast culture of the African diaspora. The performance features music from Nigeria, Peru, Jamaica and the United States. Streams at 6 p.m. Feb. 26. Visit ccchoir.org.
Museums & Galleries
- The Field Museum’s newest exhibit, “Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep,” takes visitors on an underwater journey to see some of the creatures that ruled the sea when dinosaurs ruled the land. Featured are more than 100 fossils and models ranging from giant marine reptiles that looked like real-life versions of the Loch Ness Monster to small, strange starfish cousins called sea lilies. From Feb. 25 to Sept. 5 at Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. Admission: $18-$40. Visit fieldmuseum.org.
- Known for its “Immersive Van Gogh” experience, Lighthouse Immersive returns to town with “Frida: Immersive Dream,” which looks at the vibrant life and work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The colorful exhibition features some of the artist’s best-known works including her compelling self-portraits all “brought to life” by digital artist Massimiliano Siccardi and accompanied by the music of composer Luca Longobardi. From Feb. 24-May 28 at Lighthouse ArtSpace at Germania Club, 108 W. Germania. Tickets: $39.99+. Visit immersive-frida.com.
- With brilliant color and provocative forms, the artists in “An Instrument in the Shape of a Woman” features new work filled with brilliant colors and provocative forms by Leslie Baum, Diana Christiansen and Selina Trepp with Annie Morse. From Feb. 26-Sept. 4 at Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Admission is free. Visit chicagoculturalcenter.org.
- The annual theatrical run of Oscar Nominated Short Films in live action, animation and documentary categories returns to the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport) and the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State) as well as other area movie theaters. The documentary shorts begin Feb. 25 and include Ben Proudfoot’s “The Queen of Basketball,” a film about Lusia Harris who is considered one of the greatest women’s basketball players you’ve never heard of. Among the animated shorts is Daniel Ojari and Michael Please’s “Robin Robin,” the tale of a small bird with a very big heart. Martin Strange-Hansen’s “On My Mind,” about a man who wants to sing a song for his wife, is among the live action films. The animated and live action films begin March 4. For more information visit, musicboxtheatre.com or siskelfilmcenter.org. For a complete list of theaters screening the short films, visit tickets.oscar-shorts/tickets.
- Apple is re-releasing the Oscar-nominated film “Coda” with a limited series of free screenings. Sian Heder’s wonderful coming-of-age drama is the story of Ruby (Emilia Jones), the hearing daughter of deaf parents who is trying to find her path in life. It features great performances all around including Oscar nominee Troy Kotsur as Ruby’s father. From Feb. 25-27 at Deer Park 16, 21600 W. Field Pkwy, Deer Park. For free reservations, visit coda.film/tickets.
- Full-throttle fun is guaranteed at Monster Jam as the legendary Grave Digger and more compete in intense competitions of speed and skill. Plus at the Pit Party, you can see the massive trucks up-close, watch live pre-race interviews and participate in Q&As with the drivers, get pre-signed autograph cards, take pictures and enjoy other family-friendly fun. From Feb. 25-27 at Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim, Rosemont. Tickets: $20+. Visit ticketmaster.com.
- Family-friendly Filament Theatre returns to live performances with “Gather,” an interactive play created through workshops with more than 150 young people who explored their experiences during the pandemic. After a snowstorm has everyone isolated inside, two brave adventurers attempt to bring their town back together. From Feb. 26-March 27 at Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee. Tickets: the show is designed for families; $45 per family of five. Visit filamenttheatre.org.
- Want a personalized poem? Check out Poems While You Wait, a collective of poets and their manual typewriters whose mission is to provide an unexpected encounter with poetry. Poets Eric Plattner and Alex Berge will be on hand to wrangle the words. From 1-3 p.m. Feb. 26 at Intuit, 756 N. Milwaukee. Admission: $5 plus $5 to the poets for a poem. Visit art.org.
- The “National Geographic Live” series presents “Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous,” the incredible story of the largest predatory dinosaur, one even larger than T. rex. Explorer and paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim explains how this prehistoric giant was “almost lost to science.” At 2 p.m. Feb. 27 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr. Tickets: $5-$42. Visit auditoriumtheatre.org.
- BrightSide Theatre’s Youth Project presents Disney’s “The Descendants: The Musical” based on the popular films set in the kingdom of Auradon, where the troublemaking offspring of Disney villains are given a chance at redemption. From Feb. 26-March 6 at Meiley-Swallow Hall, North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth, Naperville. Tickets: $13, $18. Visit brightsidetheatre.com.
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