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Chicagoist's Guide To March: 35 Events To Get You Out Of The House

By Lisa White in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 6, 2015 5:00PM

Need to get out of the house and enjoy some fun in the city? We've got our favorite picks for events happening during March to bulk up your social calendar. From beer, geek or film festivals, contemporary dance to DJ sets and everything in between, read on for all the details.

Week 1

DANCE: Shantala Shivalingappa at The Dance Center of Columbia College
Classical South Indian dance gets contemporary flair from Shantala Shivalingappa as she debuts her new work Akasha at The Dance Center March 5-7. Tickets are $30. -Michelle Meywes

THEATER: Red at Redtwist Theatre
Redtwist Theatre presents Red, an intimate play that explores the artistic process of expressionist Mark Rothko and the sometimes tumultuous relationship with a talented young apprentice. Winner of six Tony Awards in 2010, the play has been extended until March 29. Tickets are $30-$35.

FILM: European Union Film Festival
The Gene Siskel Film Center will host a bevy of films to enjoy starting March 6 and running through April 2 during the European Union Film Festival. You can check out our favorite picks here. Prices vary but you can purchase them directly from the festival website for select screenings and passes.

DANCE: Chicago Dance Crash’s KTF at Mayne Stage
I (heart) the ‘80s is the theme for Crash’s long-running dance battle on March 6. Watch Crash dancers and guests— breakers, ballerinas and everything in between— dance it out for the Keeper of The Floor title belt. Tickets are $15. -Michelle Meywes

DANCE: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at Auditorium Theatre
New York’s legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to the Auditorium Theatre with six Chicago premieres as well as some classics including Ailey’s own “Revelations.” Ticket prices range from $32-$107. -Michelle Meywes

FOOD & DRINK: Windy City BrewHaHa
What better way to spend your Saturday than enjoying a bevy of local brews? On March 7, choose from two sessions (an afternoon and evening) and enjoy BrewHaHa at Lacuna Artists Lofts. Some of the local breweries include Baderbräu, Berghoff, Finch’s, Pipeworks, Wild Onion and many more. Tickets are $45.

Scene from "Intolerance."

FILM: Intolerance Screening with live accompaniment
Intolerance (1916, 210 minutes) intercuts four story lines separated by centuries to portray humanity’s persistent intolerance throughout the ages. The episodes—a present-day story of redemption, the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of 1572, the Biblical story of Jesus, and the fall of Babylon—are weaved together, each with its own unique color tinting. For his accompaniment, Bangkok Opera founder and director Somtow Sucharitkul will create a unique soundscape for each of the storylines. Check out our full preview of the screening here. -Rob Christopher

DANCE: Joffrey Ballet Winning Works by Choreographers of Color at Museum of Contemporary Art
See the Joffrey Academy dancers perform brand new works from this year’s winners of the Choreographers of Color Awards. The program on March 7 and 8 is now part of the MCA Stage being presented for the first time at the Edils Neeson Theater. Tickets are sold out but you can request a wait list spot at the box office one hour before the performance. -Michelle Meywes

MUSIC: James Iha DJ Set at East Room
We’re not sure why Iha is dj-ing but maybe Billy will challenge him to a duel as well? Things kick off at 9 p.m. and tickets are $8. -Selena Fragassi

MUSIC: Snowstorm Fest at Navy Pier
Electronic music is taking over Navy Pier for one night only (March 7) to further chill out our already chill winter. Moby and RJD2 headline but the bill also includes one of our favorite local acts, The Hood Internet. Tickets start at $45.

The annual shopping cart race for a good cause is back March 7 to help raise money for a great cause (Greater Chicago Food Depository) all while having a great time. Make sure to head out and cheer the teams, which are always creatively decorated, as they race towards the finish line.

DANCE: Thodos Dance “Chicago Inspired” concert at Harris Theater
Thodos Dance Chicago’s Winter Concert on March 7 is “Chicago Inspired” and features works from Chicago native and Broadway legend Bob Fosse as well as some newer pieces. VIP ticket holders will also be treated to a post-performance gala on the Pritzker stage. Ticket prices ranges from $15-$65. -Michelle Meywes

Week 2

MUSIC: Harmonica Hoedown at The Hideout
Our own Melissa Wiley states that the Hideout Harmonica Hoedown should not be missed and for any fan of the mouth organ, it is a must attend event. It’s the 4th annual celebration of the world’s most popular portable instrument (according to the Hideout) and they’ll celebrate with a multitude of harmonica greats. Tickets are $10.

THEATER: Kokandy Productions’ The Full Monty at Theater Wit
Kokandy Productions’ brings the musical based on the popular movie to life. A story of survival during hardship includes a bit of cheeky fun all capped off by the classic anthem “Let It Go,” which was an earworm long before that Frozen tune of the same name made the rounds. The show opens March 10 and runs through April 4. Tickets are $38.

Performance of "Cloudless" by Alejandro Cerrudo./ Photo courtesy of Hubbard Street

DANCE: Hubbard Street Spring Series Program at the Harris Theater
A commission from Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, incoming artistic director of the National Dance Company of Wales, is the highlight of Hubbard Street’s Spring Program. This new piece is a homage to master choreographer George Balanchine. The evening will also feature works from Alejandro Cerrudo, Jiri Kylian and Crystal Pite. Performances run March 12-15 and ticket prices range from $64 and up. -Michelle Meywes

THEATER: Outside Mullingar at Northlight Theatre
Opening March 13 and running through April 19, Outside Mullingar tells the tale of Anthony and Rosemary, two introverted misfits in rural Ireland. Anthony is of course oblivious to his hopeless romantic neighbor Rosemary, who has pined for him over the years. A love story of just how surprising love can actually be. Tickets ranges from $15-49.

MUSIC: Levitation Chicago at Thalia Hall
Empty Bottle Presents and Austin Psych Fest have teamed up to present two nights of impressive lineups for Levitation Chicago. Night one kicks of Friday March 13 with The Pop Group with Destruction Unit, Viet Cong, Mind Over Mirrors and more. The next evening includes sets from Swervedriver, Atlas Sound, Lumerians and more. Both shows are 17+ and tickets range from $25 up to $400 for full opera boxes that sit six.

FOOD & DRINK: Revolution Brewing 5th Anniversary Party at The Riviera
Revolution Brewing will be having their 5th anniversary party at the Riviera on March 13. There will be music by Andrew W.K., the Orwells, the Beer Nuts, and the Superfriends DJs. And, of course there will be Revolution beer. The party is 21+ and tickets are $27.50. - Ben Kramer

ARTS & CULTURE: Chicago Flower and Garden Show at Navy Pier
From March 14-22 the Chicago Flower and Garden Show will take root and showcase some serious green thumbs at Navy Pier. It’s a great way to start looking ahead towards spring and summer by enjoying unique presentations while also learning some tricks of the trade. There will be gardening seminars as well as potting parties for those who want to learn the tricks of container gardening that is popular in urban life. And if you have a sweet tooth enjoy a cake decorating competition on March 21. Tickets range $10-$19 and you can save two dollars if you purchase tickets online before March 14.

Week 3

ART: Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690-1840 at The Art Institute of Chicago
A great way to usher in St. Patrick's Day and to see a huge array of objects and works from the region. The exhibition opens March 15 and runs through June 7. -Carrie McGath

FOOD & DRINK: “Kiss Me, I’m Sauced” Sauced Night Market
Sauced Night Market is channeling their inner Irish this month with a St. Patrick’s Day party on March 17. There won’t be green beer in sight but pints will be enjoyed from Marz Community Brewing and Revolution Brewing as well as some possible green cocktails from Chicago Distilling Company. Besides the tasty libations there will be local goods for sale as well as some culinary treats. The food lineup has yet to be announced but we’ve enjoyed some truly tasty treats at previous events including killer dumplings and a bright citrus tart from Maddy’s Dumpling House and a decadent, massive cookie from Cookies & Carnitas. The event is 21+ and free to enter.

Bacon, Bourbon, & Beer at Smylie Brothers Brewing Company
We’re more than happy to head to Evanston on a weeknight if there is promise of the three most important Bs: bacon, bourbon and beer. For their March beer dinner Smylie Brothers are inviting their neighbors FEW Spirits to the table to sample some bourbon paired with their beer. Executive Chef Grant Carey will whip up some delicious bacon creations for the night. The March 18 dinner is $50 per person (includes tax and gratuity) and can be purchased at the brewpub or by calling 224-999-7320.

MUSIC: The King Khan and BBQ Show at Lincoln Hall
The always entertaining King Khan and BBQ Show is back in Chicago at Lincoln Hall on March 17. Check out our previous interview with Mark Sultan here and grab tickets because the BBQ show is always a great time. The show is 21+ and admission is $15, $18 at the door.

ARTS & CULTURE: Story Week Literary Rock 'n' Roll at Metro
I might be biased because I'm an alum but one of my fave weeks every year is Columbia College Chicago’s Story Week, where they bring in a slew of quality fiction writers for events. Wednesday March 18 is literary rock 'n' roll with a show paired up at Metro. This year is a tribute to Frankie Knuckles. It is free to attend. -Selena Fragassi

MUSIC: Glitter Creeps at Empty Bottle
Glitter Creeps is a Rock/Punk/New Wave queer night hosted and co-curated by Donnie Moore & Madison Moore of ABSOLUTELY NOT every third Wednesday of the month at the Empty Bottle. We chatted with Moore about the series last month here. The show is 21+ and admission is $5. -Carrie McGath

ARTS & CULTURE: Links Hall's THAW: A Night of Hot Ballyhoo at Block 37
Links Hall moves their popular THAW fundraiser from the far north side to the heart of downtown when it takes place on March 19. Historically it’s been an evening that brings together numerous performance disciplines to create a one-night only immersive experience within a broad swathe of the Chicago arts scene. It's easy to get lost in the swirl as countless performances envelop attendees throughout the evening. And if you're the shy sort, then belly up to the bar to sample drinks courtesy Revolution Brewing, Longman & Eagle, Mott Street and Billy Sunday to help melt those inhibitions away. In no time you might find yourself the focus of an impromptu performance piece! Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. All proceeds will benefit the Link’s Hall mission: to foster artistic innovation, growth, and development of artists. -Tankboy

FOOD & DRINK: Good Food Festival at UIC Forum
The Good Food Festival is one of the most important networking and educational events for people involved in sustainable food systems. But even if you are just a food enthusiast, it has tons to offer including workshops on subjects like gardening or cooking and the excellent dinner/drinks party Localicious. The festival is March 19-20 and ticket prices ranges from $10-$250 depending on event and type of pass. -Kristine Sherred & Melissa McEwen

ARTS & CULTURE: Chi-Fi Chicago at Palmer House Hilton
After having a successful debut in 2014, the convention returns to Palmer House Hilton for its first full weekend on March 19-22. The convention is collaborating with groups like the Bristol Renaissance Faire and Chicago Nerdfighters to offer panels and workshops including "Nerf Zombie Apocalypse," "Religion in Dr. Who," "Defending Your Airship" and "Fandom and Mental Illness." Admission ranges from $20-$80 depending on dates and pass types. -Selena Fragassi

The Seldoms Power Goes at Museum of Contemporary Art
President Lyndon B. Johnson is the subject of this multidisciplinary piece about political power and gridlock and how it affects social change. Playwright Stuart Flack joined Seldoms Artistic Director and choreographer Carrie Hanson to create this unique piece. The Seldom Power Goes runs March 20-29 and tickets are $28 for nonmembers and $22 for MCA members. -Michelle Meywes

BEER: The Chicago Beer Festival
This March 21 event at Union Station’s Grand Ballroom has evolved from one with a liberal macro-brewery presence to one that has a major focus on local and regional craft breweries. Most of Chicago’s latest wave of breweries are represented here including Vice District, Buckledown, Ale Syndicate, Finch’s, Begyle, Smylie Brothers, Rude Hippo and Moody Tongue. The festival is broken down into two separate tasting times ($40 each, tickets available here) to fit your schedule best and the Grand Ballroom is one of the most unique and classic settings to drink some beer. It’s almost as if it should be a Grand Beer Hall. -Chuck Sudo

Visceral Dance Chicago at Harris Theater
As Visceral Dance Chicago enters its second season as a full-fledged company, they present the aptly-titled spring engagement, SPRINGTWO. The program will include new works from Visceral Artistic Director Nick Pupillo and Brian Enos, the newly appointed artistic director of The Big Muddy Dance Company in St. Louis. There are two performances, March 21 and 22, and tickets range from $25-$60. -Michelle Meywes

Week 4 through end of March

Giordano Dance Chicago Spring Engagement at Harris Theater
Giordano’s spring engagement features the American premiere of a new work from company member Joshua Blake Carter called “the only way around is through.” Five other works round out the program, including one from Mia Michaels of So You Think You Can Dance fame. There are three performances, March 27, 28 and 29, and tickets range from $15-$75. -Michelle Meywes

River North Dance Chicago at Auditorium Theatre
Continuing the Auditorium Theatre’s 125th Anniversary “Made In Chicago” series, on March 28 River North Dance presents the choreographic debut of local company member Hanna Brictson. Her new piece “Beast” makes its premiere alongside another new work from guest choreographer Adam Barruch. Tickets range from $27-$67. -Michelle Meywes

SPORTS: Shamrock Shuffle at Grant Park
The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K is a Chicago classic that kicks off what hopes to be warmer weather for runners. The massive crowd of runners enjoy a 4.97 mile race that begins and ends in Grant Park on March 29. Registration is $50 and includes a Nike participant running shirt.

MUSIC: The von Trapps at Space
After Gaga had us running for (or towards) the hills depending on your view of her Oscar performance, the *actual* von Trapp grandkids are playing Space in Evanston on March 31 and they are really really good. -Selena Fragassi