The Mix: Cool things to do in Chicago March 3-9

“King James” at Steppenwolf Theatre, a film series tribute to Sidney Poitier, and the 25th Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival are just some of the cool things to see and do in the week ahead in Chicago.

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Benjamin Voisin in “Lost Illusions.”

Music Box Films

Theater

  • Basketball propels Rajiv Joseph’s two-person comedy “King James.” The play revolves around an unlikely friendship forged by two fans and told through the lens of LeBron James’ career. Joseph says he began writing the piece to explore “how sports brought people together” but then “became fascinated by something else … which is that certain people (more often than not, young men) who struggle to express their feelings, are able to do so by talking about sports.” Artistic director Glenn Davis and Chris Perfetti (teacher Jacob Hill on ABC’s “Abbott Elementary”) star; Tony Award winner Kenny Leon directs. From March 3-April 10 at Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted. Tickets: $20-$88. Visit steppenwolf.org.
  • Writers Theatre, in association with Milwaukee Repertory Theater, presents the world premiere of Eleanor Burgess’ “Wife of a Salesman,” a play influenced by interviews with her grandmothers and the work of Arthur Miller. Burgess imagines a meeting between a housewife (Kate Fry) from a well-known American play (“Death of a Salesman”) and her husband’s mistress (Amanda Drinkall) that addresses themes of marriage, duty and division. Jo Bonney directs. From March 3-April 3 at Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor, Glencoe. Tickets: $35-$90. Visit writerstheatre.org.
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Linda Gillum (from left), Randy Steinmeyer and Shariba Rivers in “Sweat.”

Amy Nelson

  • Lynn Nottage’s Tony Award-nominated, Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Sweat” is set in a bar in the American Rust Belt where factory workers gather to talk and drink their worries away amidst the constant threat of company shutdowns. Andrea J. Dymond directs the first play in the Paramount Theatre’s new BOLD Series, staged in the newly renovated Copley Theatre across the street from the Paramount mainstage. From March 9-April 24 at 8 E. Galena. Tickets: $67-$74. Visit paramountaurora.com.
  • Idle Muse Theatre presents “Upon This Shore: A Tale of Pericles and the Daughters of Tyre,” a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Pericles.”Directed and adapted by artistic director Evan Jackson, it’s a story of those cast against strange shores, separated from everyone and everything they know but it’s also about the kindnesses that light the way home. From March 3-April 3 at The Edge Off-Broadway Theater, 1133 W. Catalpa. Tickets: $20. Visit idlemuse.org.
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Rick Yaconis in “Creating ARThur.”

Chad Gearig-Howe

  • Last Nerve Live launches its first production, “Creating ARThur,” a comedic farce about two estranged brothers, with no knowledge of the workings of the art world, who try to fulfill their dead brother’s supposed wish to have his art displayed in a major museum. Bank, art and identity fraud ensue as they fall deeper into the rabbit hole. Directed by Josiah Motok. From March 5-April 10 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont. Tickets: $15-$45. Visit theaterwit.org.
  • The third opera created through Chicago Opera Theater’s Vanguard Initiative is Wang Lu and Kelley Rourke’s “The Beekeeper.” A young couple are unprepared for what lies ahead when they leave the city to live on land inherited from his grandparents. At 7:30 p.m. March 4 at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. Tickets: $20+. Visit chicagooperatheatre.org/season/bees.

Music

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Sav Buist (from left), Kim Richey, Maia Sharp, Beth Nielsen Chapman and Katie Larson.

Amber Buist

  • The Time Out Tour, a songwriter in the round concert, is much like a night at Nashville’s legendary Blue Bird Cafe, where singers swap stories and songs. The Accidentals (Sav Buist and Katie Larson) spent much of the last year writing songs with writers who inspired them including Beth Nielsen Chapman, Kim Richey and Maia Sharp. All of these artists perform at 8 p.m. March 3 at Old Town School of Folk Music, 4545 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $30. Visit oldtownschool.org.
  • The 35th annual Tibet House Benefit Concert returns with another stellar lineup curated by artistic director Philip Glass. Performers include Cyndi Lauper, Keanu Reeves, Trey Anastasio, Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson, Nathaniel Rateliff, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Angélique Kidjo, Margo Price, Punch Brothers, The Fiery Furnaces, Tenzin Choegyal, Jesse Paris Smith, Rubin Kodheli, The Scorchio Quartet and more. All proceeds benefit Tibet House US. Streams at 7 p.m. March 3. Tickets: $20+. Visit thus.org.
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Chastity Brown

Brad Ogbonna

  • Chastity Brown is a storyteller in the blues tradition. The Minnesota-via-Tennessee songwriter and musician tells stories populated by marginalized characters to stake her own space as a queer black woman and to speak to other experiences oftentimes ignored. She released her acclaimed album“Silhouette of Sirens”in 2017 and is readying a new album due out this year. At 9:30 p.m. March 4 at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. Tickets: $12. Visit hideoutchicago.com.
  • On her new album, “It Was A Home,” Chicago-born-and-raised artist KAINA pens a love letter to her city, loved ones and herself. It’s a breezy, finely-tuned album that sees poetic lyrics woven into lush, flowing arrangements. The strong pride in her hometown will be on full display March 5 at the Metro, where she’ll headline an album release show supported by local rising artists Semiratruth and Silas Short. 6 p.m., Metro Chicago, 3730 N. Clark St. $16 Advance/$20 Day of. Visit metrochicago.com.

Movies

  • After two years of scaled-down festivals, the 25th Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival returns in full force for two weeks of in-person screenings featuring 19 films from 20 EU countries. The opening-night film, “Lost Illusions,” is Xavier Giannoli’s adaptation of Honore de Balzac’s novel about a young poet who tries his luck in 19th century Paris, where he quickly discovers the cynical and cutthroat world of art and commerce. Javier Bardem stars in the closing-night film, Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s “The Good Boss” (from Spain), about the charismatic owner of a family-run factory who is under pressure as he covets a local business award. From March 4-17 at Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. Tickets: $12. Visit siskelfilmcenter.org.
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Sidney Poitier in “No Way Out.”

Twentieth Century Fox

  • Facets presents a film series honoring Sidney Poitier, featuring “No Way Out” (March 6), “A Raisin in the Sun” (March 13), “Paris Blues” (March 20) and “In the Heat of the Night” (March 27). These are “four films that helped solidify Mr. Poitier as Hollywood’s first bona fide Black leading man,” says Facets program director Charles Coleman. All films are at 1 p.m. at Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton. Tickets: $12. Visit facets.org.
  • The Silent Film Society of Chicago’s upcoming roster of classic films includes F.W. Murnau’s “Nosferatu” (7 p.m. March 5, Patio Theatre, 6008 W. Irving Park, $7), D.W. Griffith’s “Sally of the Sawdust” (7:30 p.m. March 8, Acadia Theatre, 105 E. Main, St. Charles, $10) and Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid” (3 p.m. March 20, Eden United Church of Christ, 5051 W. Gunnison, $15). Visit silentfilmsjaywarren.com/events.

Museums

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“Salt Mountain” in “Jin Lee; Views and Scenes.”

DCASE

  • The exhibit “Jin Lee: Views & Scenes” features a series of images by the Chicago photographer that closely examine landscapes and built environments around the city. The exhibit brings together four bodies of work: “Train Views” — images made during the artist’s weekly two-hour Amtrak commute between Chicago and Bloomington/Normal; “Great Water” —views of Lake Michigan taken from a single location on the South Side of Chicago; “Salt Mountains” — images of piles and mounds of salt and dirt found on storage sites around the city, and “Weeds” — a collection of portraits of wild plants that grow in alleys and empty lots in a neighborhood.From April 2-Aug. 7 at Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Admission is free. Visit chicagoculturalcenter.org.
  • The National Museum of Mexican Art digs into its archives for “Surrounding Kahlo: Works from the Permanent Collection.” The exhibit explores works inspired by Frida Kahlo including the work of her students, known as “Los Fridos,” who learned from and literally surrounded her while she convalesced at home in La Casa Azul, as well as familiar items that Kahlo herself chose to surround herself with such as arte popular, archeological artifacts and traditional Mexican clothing.From March 5-Jan. 15 at the National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th. Admission is free. Visit nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org.

Family Fun

  • CSO for Kids presents “Once Upon a Symphony: Jack and the Beanstalk,” a 45-minute multimedia and interactive concert for 3- to 5-year-olds that weaves together live music, storytelling and images created by Chicago Children’s Theatre. At 10 and 11:45 a.m. March 5, April 23 and May 7 at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets: $20. Visit cso.org.
  • Even if it’s a warmish day, Lake Michigan will still be icy cold for the annual Chicago Polar Plunge on March 6. Celebrity plungers this year are Chris Witaske, co-creator of the Netflix series “Chicago Party Aunt,” and “Top Chef” winner Joe Flamm, owner of the Fulton Market restaurant Rose Mary. If you’re on the fence about taking a dip in the freezing water, remember it’s for a good cause: All proceeds go to the Special Olympics Chicago/Special Children’s Charities program. For more information and to register, visit chicagopolarplunge.org.

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