Some cool things to do this weekend and beyond in and around Chicago:
Stefano Secco and Patricia Racette step into the roles of Lt. Pinkerton and Cio-Cio-San on Saturday night in Lyric Opera’s production of “Madama Butterfly.” | PHOTO COPYRIGHT DAN REST
NEW ‘BUTTERFLY’ TAKES FLIGHT
The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of “Madama Butterfly” begins its January run (through Jan. 26) with Patricia Racette and Stefano Secco stepping into the lead roles of Cio-Cio-San and Lt. Pinkerton, respectively. Tickets for Puccini’s tale of love and heartbreak are available at lyricopera.org. And lest you think Racette and Secco only dazzle with their operatic brilliance, check out their other musical passions here.
Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater | HANDOUT PHOTO
THE ORIGINAL ‘CHIEF’
Chicago blues legend Eddie “The Chief” Clearwater celebrates his 79th birthday with a show/live album recording with guests Ronnie Baker Brooks, Johnny Iguana and openers Will Jacobs Band at 8 p.m. Jan. 10 at SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston; $15-$27. Visit evanstonspace.com.
The Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, hosts Handmade Market Chicago from noon to 4 p.m. Jan. 11. More than 30 vendors will feature handmade jewelry, textiles, arts & crafts, clothing, glassware. Admission is free (21+over and parents with kids). Visit handmadechicago.com.
J. B. Mauney is the first American since 2009 to be named the world champion in professional bull riding. | Photo by Andy Watson/BullStockMedia.com
A WHOLE LOTTA BULL
World champion J.B. Mauney defends his title this weekend at the Professional Bull Riders Chicago Invitational, 8 p.m. Jan. 11 and 2 p.m. Jan. 12 at the Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Rd., Rosemont. Tickets, $20-$125; (847) 635-6601 or ticketmaster.com.
A WHOLE LOTTA COUNTRY
Jon Pardi’s debut album “Write You a Song” hits stores on Jan. 14. You can catch him in concert at 8 p.m. Jan. 16 at Joe’s Bar, 940 W. Weed. Drew Baldridge opens. Tickets: $10 (show only) and $15 (show & CD). Info etc.:(312) 337-3486; joesbar.com.