The Mix – Tracy Morgan (and more cool things to check out this weekend in Chicago)
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Comedian and “SNL” and “30 Rock” alum Tracy Morgan kicks off his new standup tour on Feb. 5 at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind. This marks Morgan’s return to touring following a near-fatal accident on June 7, 2014, when a Wal-Mart truck slammed into the limousine Morgan was riding, killing his close friend and comedian James McNair, and leaving Morgan with broken bones and brain damage. He was in a coma for two weeks. Tickets, $44-$64 are still available for the 8 p.m. show (21+over). Visit ticketmaster.com
Plenty of bull
The Professional Championship Bull Riders Tour: World Tour Finale X, takes place Feb. 5-6 at the Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates. Show time is 7:30 p.m. each night. Action-packed bull riding and world class barrel racing are on the bill. Tickets, $18-$46, are available at the arena website.
The ‘Beests’ have arrived
“Strandbeests” – or “beach creatures” – are “moving,” “breathing” and “walking” sculptures created by Dutch artist Theo Jansen. And on Feb. 4 at 11 a.m., you can watch one of these breathtaking creatures “walk” across the central promenade in Millennium Park near Cloud Gate (“The Bean”). The event heralds a free exhibition opening Friday at the Chicago Cultural Center, which brings this global phenomenon to Chicago for the first time. The exhibit, “Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen,” officially runs Feb. 6-May 1 at the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. According to an official statement, Jansen’s “kinetic creations blur the lines of art, engineering, science and performance. Celebrating the thrill of the Strandbeests’ locomotion as well as the processes that have driven their evolutionary development, the sculptures are accompanied by artist drawings, videos, daily demonstrations of the Strandbeests’ movements, a display of “fossils” as well as photography by Lena Herzog.” For a schedule of daily demonstrations of the “beests,” visit chicagoculturalcenter.org.
Images from Iran
Women are central to the six works in the 26th edition of the Festival of Films from Iran, presented each year at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Kicking things off Saturday and Sunday is Morteza Farshbaf’s “Avalanche,” starring Fatemeh Motamed-Aria as a nurse enlisted to watch over a bedridden woman for 10 nights. Iranian films continue through Feb. 28, with the U.S. premiere of Vahid Jalilvand’s “Wednesday, May 9” planned for next weekend. Details: www.siskelfilmcenter.org/iran2016
Men, women seeking audience
The creators of “#DateMe” put 38 fake profiles on OkCupid and made a show about the responses. It’s been a long-running hit in Los Angeles and returns this weekend to the Up Comedy Club, where it played last year. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays, 8 and 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 7 p.m. Sundays. For tickets and more details, go to upcomedyclub.com.
Isn’t it rich?
Venerable Grammy winner Judy Collins, known for her covers of “Both Sides Now” and “Send in the Clowns,” headlines Thursday and Friday concerts at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. Ari Hest opens. Tickets: www.citywinery.com/chicago.