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21 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Week

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 1, 2016 4:44PM

Paint like Van Gogh on Thursday. Image courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Chicago.

Welcome to the first week of February, Black History Month and the month of love. We've got events celebrating both and a lot more.


BLACK HISTORY + CREATIVITY: February is Black History Month and The Museum of Science and Industry is hosting it’s annual Black Creativity program. Their Innovation Studio and Juried Art Exhibition create a space for young and old alike to be inspired. Programs are included in the cost of Museum entry. Visit MSI's website for times.

CRAFT COCKTAIL CLASS: Learn to make craft cocktails with Beef & Barley and The 86 Co. At Cocktail 101 from 7 to 9 p.m. guests will learn the basics on making three different cocktails. Tickets are $30.


FILM: The Chicago-made indie flick For Grace kicks off 2016’s First Tuesdays for the Midwest Independent Film Festival. The film follows a chef facing a challenge between family and opening a restaurant. 6 p.m. Tickets are $10.

READING SERIES: The eclectic reading series Tuesday Funk is back in the upstairs lounge at Hopleaf for their 90th episode. Jasmine Davila, Alex Shakar, Joshua Landsman and Tom Underberg are all on the docket with Andrew Huff and a special guest co-host. 7:30 p.m. Free.


Uber Puppy Bowl is coming to Chicago!

PUPPIES!: Uber and Animal Planet are sponsoring a mobile Puppy Bowl in select cities, including in Chicago, on Wednesday. Request “PUPPIES” through your Uber app between between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and a squad of puppies will head to meet you for a 15 minute "cuddle huddle." The visit will run you $30 but that money will be matched by Animal Planet and donated to Chicago's Anti-Cruelty Society. Fall in love with one of the pups? They're all up for adoption!

TAP TAKEOVER: Off Color Brewing is taking over the taps at Kuma’s Corner for one night only. Get Bare Bear (Sahti), Dinos'mores (Imperial Stout), Apex Predator (Farmhouse Ale), 15 Feet (Applewood Smoked Wheat) and more from 6 to 10 p.m. at their Belmont location. They’ll also have a Beer Cheese app made with Off Color's dark, honey ale Scurry served with pretzel nuggets from Highland Baking.

WORLD MUSIC WEDNESDAY: Beauty Bar and AMFM Magazine host a new monthly global music night called SoNo, named for the club that formerly occupied the space. DJs Rae Chardonnay, Samurai and drummer and musician Lester Rey will play the inaugural event beginning at 9 p.m.

Photo via Soup & Bread's Facebook event page.

SOUP + BREAD + COMMUNITY: Soup & Bread enters it’s eighth year of community meals at the Hideout. This week benefits the Casa Catalina Basic Human Needs Center in Back of the Yards and features soups from Pat Sheerin (Trenchermen), Tamiz Haiderali (Township), Carol Watson (Milk & Honey), Mike McDermott (Smoque) and more. Tunes provided by Jam Productions’ John Soss. Donations welcome.


Cosmic Body. Photo courtesy of the MCA.

PERFORMANCE: Part performance, part music, Cosmic Body is a new piece from Norwegian choreographer Ingri Fiksdal playing this weekend at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Fiksdal collaborated with electronica/EDM artist Ingvild Langgård (Phaedra) and visual artist Signe Becker for a show that surrounds the room in color and light. Audience members can sit or stand close to the performers in this event based on Brion Gysin and William S. Burroughs's Dreamachine. Tickets are $30.

COMEDY SHOW: February is the month of love, so why not watch a hilarious show about looking for love gone wrong. Returning to UP Comedy Club is #DateMe: An OkCupid Experiment. They’ve based their show on real results, mapping out what happens when you put 38 "Undateable" profiles on the world's most popular online dating site. Tickets start at $26.

POP-UP DINNER: Dinner Lab is so unique they don’t even reveal the location until the day before. This round features Filipino-American Cuisine from chef Bryan Collante. The five course dinner will be accompanied by cocktails from Bombay Sapphire Gin. Seating is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $70.

Giordano Dance Chicago performs "the only way around is through." Photo by Gorman Cook Photography.

DANCE: Giordano Dance Chicago performs at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago for the first time in 37 years for an intimate program called “Closer Than Ever.” The program offers a look at the company’s repertoire with pieces spanning from 1978 (Gus Giordano's "Wings") to last year (“Shirt Off My Back” and “the only way around is through”). Shows at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $30.

PAINTING + VAN GOGH: In advance of the Art Institute’s Van Gogh Bedrooms exhibition, Waldorf Astoria is hosting a painting party with Bottle and Bottega where guests can create their own version of the masterpiece. They’ll provide the art supplies, snacks, wine and even valet parking, just bring your own creativity. 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $50.

THEATER: Windy City Playhouse opens their latest play, The Explorers Club, from Tony Award nominee, Nell Benjamin, Thursday at 7:30 p.m. This funny story follows the old fashioned club as they deal with huge challenges: possible war for the British Empire, a woman wanting to join, lost guinea pigs and a missing bartender. Tickets start at $35.


Strandbeest. Photo via the Chicago Cultural Center.

STRANDBEEST: You may have seen photos of the giant beach creatures designed by Dutch physicist Theo Jansen. These Strandbeest sculptures made of tubing and sails that “walk” down the beach powered by wind. The Chicago Cultural Center will have some the sculptures on display as part of his first major American exhibition tour along with artist drawings, photographs, videos and daily demonstrations. Opening reception with Jansen is Friday from 7 - 9 p.m.

NOON HOUSE MUSIC: Would you rather spend your lunch-hour eating at your desk or dancing with a DJ? Choose the latter with Wired Fridays at the Chicago Cultural Center. Chicago DJ Ron Trent has been around the block, playing house music since the mid-80’s and he’ll be providing the tunes at noon on Friday. Free.

AFTER HOURS REFRESH: The Museum of Contemporary Art’s after-hours series Prime Time is presented in collaboration with Pitchfork this time around. Titled ⌘R, the theme is “refresh” and includes live performances from Holly Herndon, Bitchin Bajas, local musician Jimmy Whispers and DJ sets from How to Dress Well and Joan of Arc’s Tim Kinsella. Tickets are $15 in advance ($20 door).

WORLD NUTELLA DAY: Who knew there was such a thing as World Nutella Day? It just happens to be on Friday and you can celebrate with a special plin dessert at Osteria Langhe. The sweet pinched raviolis created by Chef/Owner Cameron Grant are filled with the chocolate and hazelnut spread and will be available today only. $10 a serving. Reservations are recommended.

FUNNYMAN RETURNS: Venture out to the Horseshoe Hammond Casino to see the return of funnyman Tracy Morgan in his “Picking Up The Pieces” tour. The SNL alum and former 30 Rock star was in a horrible car accident accident in 2014 that left him in a coma for weeks. Luckily he’s back and funnier than ever with added material from his recovery. Tickets start at $44.

CARNIVAL: We’re not in Brazil, but you can still celebrate Carnival at Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar on Friday. They’ll transform the bar into a “festive bacchanal” during The Rio Thing. Resident DJ Gilberto Bryl will play tropical beats including Samba, Bossa Nova, Axe, Tropicalia and more. Free.

ROCK CONCERT: Razorhouse brings their unique blend of rock and/or roll to Township when they play there with The Handcuffs this Friday. Frontman Mark Panick pens songs that mix the beautiful with the darkly disturbing, approximating a sound that ranges from gothic—think Nick Cave or Tom Waits gothic—to bent chamber-pop to country murder ballads. Doors are at 8:30 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m. with a set from Les Vikq.