The Mix: ‘Anastasia,’ Macy’s Flower Show, C2E2 and more things to do March 22-28
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From music to family fun, there’s much to see and do throughout the Chicago area. Here’s a look at what’s coming up in the week ahead:
Is she or isn’t she the long-lost daughter of Nicholas II, the last Russian czar? That’s the premise behind “Anastasia,” a musical inspired by the longtime rumor that she escaped the family’s execution by the Bolsheviks in 1918 Russia. Created by the Tony Award-winning team behind “Ragtime — Terrence McNally (book), Stephen Flaherty (music) and Lynn Aherns (lyrics) — it follows the path of a young amnesiac who sets out to unwind the mystery of her past. March 26-April 7 at the Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph. Tickets: $27-$98.
MOVIES: 35th Annual Chicago Latino Film Festival
The 35th annual Chicago Latino Film Festival opens March 28 with Spanish filmmaker Iciar Bollain’s film “Yuli,” an adaptation in dance, words and images of acclaimed Cuban ballet dancer Carlos Acosta’s autobiography. The closing night film on April 11 is Rodrigo Triana’s “El Reality,” a satirical look at talent shows like “American Idol.” In between these, more than 100 films from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States are featured at the festival, which takes place at AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois. Tickets: $10, $13; festival passes $80, $110; opening and closing night $60.
MUSIC: ‘Experience Hendrix’
Called the “guitar event of the year,” Experience Hendrix is a multi-artist celebration that pays homage to Jimi Hendrix. Performers include Billy Cox (Band of Gypsys, Jimi Hendrix Experience), Joe Satriani, Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Jonny Lang, Dweezil Zappa, Eric Johnson, Doug Pinnick (King’s X), Chris Layton (Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble), Mato Nanji (Indigenous), Kenny Aronoff, Slide Brothers, Henri Brown and Kevin McCormick with special guests Taj Mahal, David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas from Los Lobos and more. At 7:30 p.m. March 22, Chicago Theater, 175 N. State. Tickets: $44-$109.
FAMILY FUN: Macy’s Flower Show
Spring is officially here — as a visit to Macy’s on State will attest. From March 24-April 7, you can enjoy a world of spring blooms courtesy of the annual Macy’s Flower Show at its Loop location (111 N. State). This year’s theme, “Journey to Paradisios,” will transform the store’s first floor into a cosmic world of landscaped gardens and floralscapes celebrating “space, adventure and discovery.” Also part of the fun: dance classes, cooking demonstrations, theatrical performances, floral workshops, workout classes and a kids “space camp.” The flower show is free and open during regular store hours.
VISUAL ARTS: ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’
The diversity of our planet’s wildlife is on display in “Wildlife Photographer of the Year,” an exhibit that features the very best in nature photography. On display is the work of the 100 most recent winners of the competition, picked from 45,000 submissions from 95 countries, who capture a spectacular array of wildlife in their natural habitats. The exhibit, which traveled from London’s Natural History Museum, runs from March 22 to Jan. 12 at the Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore. The show is available with the museum’s All Access or Discovery Pass: $28-$38.
POP CULTURE: C2E2
C2E2, the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, returns March 22-24 for three days filled with celebrities, exhibitors, comic artists, authors and plenty of cosplay. It’s the biggest pop culture geek fest in the Midwest. Celebrities on hand include Paul Rudd, Alicia Silverstone, Donald Faison, David Tennant and Matt Smith. At McCormick Place, 2301 S. King Dr. Tickets: $30-$55 (single day), $75, $85 (3-day pass).
MUSIC: Robert Ellis
On his new album, Robert Ellis lays down his guitar and sits at the grand piano, thus the title, “Texas Piano Man.” He likens the experience to being behind the wheel of “a rock solid muscle car.” The new songs are based in the traditions of piano men such as Jackson Browne, Leon Russell and Elton John. Over five albums, Texas native Ellis has expanded his music beyond its honky-tonk roots; this album is the next step in that direction. Ian O’Neil of Deer Tick opens the show at 8 p.m. March 28 at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4545 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $22.
MUSIC: Eighth Blackbird
The Chicago-based chamber ensemble Eighth Blackbird performs an evening of eclectic works including Nina Shekhar’s “Ice ‘n’ Spice,” Viet Cuong’s “Electric Aroma” and Fjola Evans “Eroding.” Their innovative sound and performances have been described as bringing “the energy of a rock band to a string quartet.” At 7 p.m. March 25, City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. Tickets: $22-$32.
Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer. Contributing: Miriam Di Nunzio