The Mix: Cool things to do in Chicago Feb. 10-16

“The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci” at the Goodman Theatre and Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez at the Auditorium Theatre are among the entertainment offerings in the week ahead in Chicago.

Interdisciplinary artist Eiko Otake is presenting “The Duet Project: Distance is Malleable” at the Dance Center of Columbia College.

Interdisciplinary artist Eiko Otake is presenting “The Duet Project: Distance is Malleable” at the Dance Center of Columbia College.

William Johnston Photo


  • Mary Zimmerman’s “The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci,” an intriguing and imaginatively staged work that examines one of history’s most creative minds, was first staged at the Goodman Theatre in 1993 to critical acclaim. Now the piece, one of the most popular works in Goodman history, returns in a new revival. Zimmerman once again directs a cast of eight as “Leonardo” — Adeoye, Christiana Clark, Christopher Donahue, Kasey Foster, Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel, John Gregorio, Anthony Irons and Wai Yim. From Feb. 11-March 20 at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. Tickets: $15-$55. Visit
Talia Langman (left) as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Gabirel Estrada as Marty Ginsburg in “When There Are Nine.” | Photo by Tom McGrath/TCMcG Photography

Talia Langman as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Gabriel Estrada as Marty Ginsburg in “When There Are Nine.”

Tom McGrath/TCMcG Photography

  • PrideArts stages the world premiere of Sally Deering’s “When There Are Nine.” The dream play follows the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg as she recalls the personal relationships and professional challenges on her journey as a feminist and lawyer to the highest court in the land. Talia Langman stars as Ginsberg, with Gabriel Estrada as her husband Marty; Sam Hess directs. From Feb. 10-March 13 at The Broadway, Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway. Tickets: $30. Visit
  • “The SuperAfroWavyDrippyExtraBrilliantDope Show” is the new offering at Second City e.t.c. Performed by an all-Black cast, the show celebrates the comedy contributions of Second City’s BIPOC alumni, including Keegan-Michael Key, Amber Ruffin, Tim Meadows, Sam Richardson and more. Directed by Rob Wilson, the show features ensemble members Trumane Alston, Karl Bradley, Chloe Mikala, Max Thomas, Adisa Williams and Brittany Yawn. To March 9 at The Second City e.t.c. Theater, 230 W. North. Tickets: $29+. Visit
Sophia Vitello (from left), Austyn Williamson, Zhanna Albertini and Graham Helfrick in “This is Only a Test” at Broken Nose Theatre.

Sophia Vitello (from left), Austyn Williamson, Zhanna Albertini and Graham Helfrick in “This Is Only a Test” at Broken Nose Theatre.

Spenser Davis & David Weiss

  • Broken Nose Theatre welcomes back live audiences with Eric Reyes Loo’s “This Is Only a Test.” Directed by Toma Tavares Langston, the drama is set at a high school where the faculty takes “being prepared” to a whole new level. As students are trained how to fight back against intruders, a new breed of violence is born. From Feb. 11-March 12 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee. Admission: pay-what-you-can. Visit
  • “Piaf! The Show” (7:30 p.m. Feb. 11, $50-$70) features Nathalie Lhermitte performing the legendary chanteuse’s songs. “The Second City: The Best of Second City” (5, 8 p.m. Feb. 12) features the best sketches and songs from the comedy troupe’s 60-year history. Both shows are at McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell, Glen Ellyn. Visit … William Pullinsi directs A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters” starring Phil Potempa and Jeannie Rapstad for two dinner theater performances at 1 (lunch at noon) and 7 p.m. (dinner 6 p.m.) Feb. 12 at Center for Visual and Performing arts, 1040 Ridge, Munster, Ind. Tickets $40. Visit


  • After working for more than 40 years as part of the Japanese performance duo Eiko & Koma, movement-based, interdisciplinary artist Eiko Otake has been more recently involved in her own solo work albeit with a new group of collaborators. “The Duet Project: Distance is Malleable” is an interdisciplinary, intergenerational series of duets between Otake and a diverse group of collaborating artists. These duets will investigate how two artists collide, converse and express what they care about. Along with Otake, the Dance Center performances include choreographer and performer Ishmael Houston-Jones, trans performance maker, writer and artist Iris McCloughan and interdisciplinary artist, singer and songwriter DonChristian Jones as duet partners with Otake. At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11-12 at Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 S. Michigan. Tickets: $30. Visit
Ballet Folklórico de México de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez.

Ballet Folklórico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez.

Courtesy of Ballet Folklórico de México

  • Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez presents a program of company classics that journey from the ancient Aztec era to the modern day though dance inspired by rituals, revolutions and festivals. When Hernandez founded the company in 1952, she began a journey that would capture the beauty of Mexican culture through movement. At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12 and 3 p.m. Feb. 13 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr. Tickets: $30+. Visit
  • Dance Chicago presents “Dances from the Heart,” a showcase of romantic works from an array of dance companies performing dance styles including tap, urban fusion, jazz, contemporary, Irish, flamenco, hip-hop and more. Among the performers are Ariel Dance Chicago, Beyond Words Dance Company, Comedy Dance Chicago, Tre Dumas, Gus Legacy Company, Hromovytsia Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Sophie De Leon Sanchez, Trinity Irish Dance and Visceral Studio Company. At 8 p.m. Feb. 12 at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. Tickets: $39. Visit


Marquis Hill.  Photo by Sarah Escarraz

Marquis Hill

Sarah Escarraz Photo

  • Trumpeter Marquis Hill and his ensemble Love Tape perform a Valentine’s Day concert. From his days growing up on Chicago’s South Side to his current status as a renowned musician, composer and bandleader, Hill has worked to break down barriers that divide musical genres. He feels jazz, hip-hop, R&B, Chicago house and neo-soul are all essential elements of the African American creative heritage he’s a part of. “It all comes from the same tree,” he says. “They simply blossomed from different branches.” At 7 p.m. Feb. 14 at The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park. Tickets: $20-$40. Visit
The Way Down Wanderers.

The Way Down Wanderers.

Keith Cotton Photo

  • On their fourth studio album, “More Like Tomorrow,” the Peoria-based Way Down Wanderers expand on a sound that pushes the boundaries of roots-based music as the alt-folk quintet distills elements of folk, rock, bluegrass, classical and pop into a unique mix. Lead vocalists and primary songwriters Collin Krause and his brother-in-law Austin Krauss-Thompson deliver new songs filled with three-part harmonies and lyrics that speak to the current human experience. Railway Gamblers open the show at 9 p.m. Feb. 12 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $16. Visit
  • Chicago a cappella presents a concert of music that “inspires, comforts and uplifts during dark and challenging times.” Songs include Paul Simon’s “Sound of Silence,” George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun,” Thomas Dorsey’s “Precious Lord, “ Jeremy Bell’s “Speak” and more. At 8 p.m. Feb. 11 at St. Josephat Church, 2311 N. Southport; 8 p.m. Feb. 12 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago, Evanston; 8 p.m. Feb. 19 at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake, Oak Park and 4 p.m. Feb. 20 at Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago, Naperville. There’s also a stream of the concert at 7 p.m. March 3 featuring ensemble members introducing video highlights from the program. Tickets: $33, $45. Visit
  • The Chicago Ensemble begins its 45th season of chamber music with two concerts of works by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Longtime colleagues who have been performing together for 20-plus years — violinist Stephen Boe, cellist Andrew Snow and pianist Gerald Rizzer — perform the works. At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut and at 3 p.m. Feb. 20 at International House, 1414 E. 59th. Tickets, $35. Visit



From the exhibit “Life and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt,” Model of a River Boat, Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 11-12, about 2046-1794 BCE

Courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago

  • Experience more than 3,000 years of art from ancient Egypt when the Art Institute of Chicago opens “Life and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt,” a new installation featuring nearly 100 objects from the museum’s permanent collection. In the new space, artifacts ranging from statues of gods and goddesses to a gilded funerary mask offer insights into the beliefs and practices of this North African culture. The experience is enhanced by a timeline that situates the pieces within Egyptian history. Plus, there’s an audio guide and interactive features. The ongoing exhibit opens Feb. 11 at the Art Institute, 111 S. Michigan. Tickets: $14-$25, free weekday admission through February for Illinois residents (reserve in advance). Public gallery tours have also returned. Visit
Bob Thompson, “Blue Madonna, 1961.” Oil on canvas. The Detroit Institute of Arts. Gift of Edward Levine in memory of Bob Thompson.

Bob Thompson, “Blue Madonna, 1961.” Oil on canvas. The Detroit Institute of Arts. Gift of Edward Levine in memory of Bob Thompson.

© Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York. Photo: The Detroit Institute of Arts, USA / Bridgeman Images.

  • “Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine” is the first museum exhibition devoted to the African American artist in more than 20 years. Thompson, who died tragically at 28 in 1966, gained critical acclaim in the late 1950s for his colorful paintings that grappled with the exclusionary Western canon. The exhibit traces Thompson’s brief but prolific career, examining his formal inventiveness and his engagement with universal themes of collectivity, bearing witness, struggle and justice. From Feb. 10-May 15 at Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S. Greenwood. Admission is free. Visit
Ayanah Moor, Cherry Starburst Original Fruit Chewz, 2020, 48”W x 60”H x 1.5”D Acrylic, ink wash, graphite, vintage magazine pages and crayon on wood panel

Ayanah Moor, “Cherry Starburst Original Fruit Chewz, 2020,” acrylic, ink wash, graphite, vintage magazine pages and crayon on wood panel.

Ayanah Moor

  • “Ayanah Moor: I Wish I Could Be You More Often” features new work by an artist who explores Blackness, gender, desire and language. Moor’s paintings will be hung against a backdrop of images, colors and patterns that reflect the overlapping histories and representations that inform her work. From Feb. 10-April 10 at Cleve Carney Museum of Art, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell, Glen Ellyn. Moor will give a tour and talk at 1 p.m. Feb. 17. Admission is free. Visit


Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman are shown in a scene from the 1943 film “Casablanca.”

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman are shown in a scene from the 1943 film “Casablanca.”


  • CSO at the Movies presents “Casablanca in Concert,” featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing Max Steiner’s score from the classic film which includes the memorable song “As Time Goes By.” Roger Ebert said of the film: “This is a movie that has transcended the ordinary categories. It has outlived the Bogart cult, survived the revival circuit, shrugged off those who would deface it with colorization, leaped across time to win audiences who were born decades after it was made. Sooner or later, usually before they are 21, everyone sees ‘Casablanca.’ And then it becomes their favorite movie.” At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 and 3 p.m. Feb. 13 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. There is a talk by conductor Richard Kaufman 75 minutes before each concert. Tickets: $64+. Visit
  • Facets presents Galentine’s Weekend, a film series that celebrates the love between female friends via four genre-spanning films: F. Gary Gray’s “Set It Off” (7 p.m. Feb. 11), David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” (7 p.m. Feb. 12), Noah Baumbach’s “Frances Ha” (2 p.m. Feb. 13) and David Mirkin’s “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” (5 p.m. Feb. 13). And yes, Galentine’s Day is a fake holiday created by Leslie Knope on “Parks and Recreation” and celebrated the day before Valentine’s Day. So do it up right and have waffles before or after the movie. Tickets: $7. Visit

Family Fun

JoJo Siwa attends the premiere party for “Siwas Dance Pop Revolution” at Studio Siwa on Nov. 3, 2021 in Burbank, California.

JoJo Siwa attends the premiere party for “Siwas Dance Pop Revolution” at Studio Siwa on Nov. 3, 2021 in Burbank, California.

Getty Images

  • “JoJo Siwa D.R.E.A.M. The Tour” is the debut tour of the popular Nickelodeon star who is touring behind her debut EPs —“ D.R.E.A.M. The Music” and “Celebrate.” Siwa, now 18, started out as an unstoppable tween on “Dance Moms.” She came out last year, performed on “Dancing with the Stars” as part of the show’s first same-sex duo and became a teen queer idol. At 7 p.m. Feb. 10 at Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim, Rosemont. Tickets: $39+. Visit

  • Celebrate the Chinese New Year (Year of the Tiger, 4720) at the Chinatown Parade at 1 p.m. Feb. 13. The parade includes the traditional dragon and lion dancing teams, floats, marching bands and more. Before or after, visit a Chinatown restaurant for a taste of China. The parade begins at 24th and Wentworth and travels on Wentworth to Cermak. Free. Visit
  • Chicago Black Restaurant Week, the annual event that highlights Black-owned eateries, continues through Feb. 20. Around the city and suburbs choose from the varied menus of three dozen featured restaurants offering a variety of special discounts. For a complete list of restaurants, visit

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