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20 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Weekend

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 4, 2016 4:12PM

What celebrities will take the polar plunge this year? Find out at North Avenue Beach this Sunday. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The weekend is chock full of stuff to do in Chicago. Check out some live music, see some dance, take the polar plunge, or grab the nearest shopping cart and head to the Chiditarod. We also hear it's a certain city's birthday this weekend...


SONS OF THE SILENT AGE: Back in 2013, rockers Chris Connelly (The Revolting Cocks, Ministry) and Matt Walker (Filter, Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage, Morrissey) put together a supergroup dedicated to performing songs by the legendary David Bowie. The band will take the stage again at Metro on Friday, March 4 with a little help from their friends. They’ll be joined by former Bowie collaborator and backup singer Ava Cherry as they perform Station to Station in it’s entirety and celebrating the 40th anniversary of Bowie’s Isolar Tour. The show will be special on a number of levels, since Metro owner Joe Shanahan is a huge Bowie fan, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, where Shanahan was treated for cancer a few years ago, so the show will be special on a number of levels.Also playing are Death on the Autobahn as Kraftwerk, DJ Heaven Malone and Angela Eve and Eve’s Parlor Cabaret. Tickets are $20 ($22 day of).

LUNCHTIME EDM: DJ Scott “Smokin’” Silz takes to the decks at this week’s Wired Fridays. He’s a part of the Hot Mix 5 radio team with a career that has taken him across Chicago radio stations V-103 FM, 107.5 WGCI FM and WBMX FM. Join him at noon at the Chicago Cultural Center for a lunchtime dance party.

LUNCHTIME DJS: This midday dance party thing is really catching on. Join The Hood Internet and Perrier for the second installment of Lunch Break at The Underground from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Get out of the office and get a complimentary cocktail and a free bagged lunch to take with you. Free, but you can RSVP here.

ALLIGATOR RECORDS ANNIVERSARY SHOW: Bluesman Toronzo Cannon plays a special shared anniversary show for Alligator Records and the Hideout at 9:30 p.m. The local musician, who has held his own in Chicago’s blues scene for years, released his first album with Alligator Records just last month. Tickets are $12.

CHICAGO’S BIRTHDAY PARTY: Guess who’s turning 179?! Chicago, that’s who! Head to the Chicago History Museum to celebrate the city’s birthday with performances, speakers and of course cake from Eli’s cheesecake. They’ll also reveal the winners of the annual essay contest about Chicago’s first resident, Jean Baptist Pointe DuSable. Admission will be free to Illinois residents for Friday as well.

Encuentros. Photo courtesy of Sildance/AcroDanza.

ACRO DANCE: Check out Sildance/AcroDanza before they take their new project, Encuentros, to Mexico. They’ll premiere the three-part work on Thursday at 8 p.m. with performances continuing through next weekend. The piece explores two couples going through three major stages of loving relationships from infatuation to self-actualization. Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble will also premiere the Indian-American piece Bindis and Bruises. Tickets are $15 ($20 door).

DANCE SERIES ANNIVERSARY: This year, Ruth Page’s annual series, A World of Dance, is celebrating 25 years, but they’ll also be honoring Artistic Director Venetia Stifler as she retires from the NEIU Department of Music & Dance Program. The evening’s program will feature works spanning Stifler’s career, as well as a collaborative piece between Cuba’s Escuela Nacional de Ballet and the Ruth Page School of Dance. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20.

INTERVIEW SHOW: The Interview Show celebrates their Eighth Anniversary at the Hideout with some amazing guests on Friday. Host Mark Bazer welcomes former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Hot Chocolate’s Mindy Segal, Flyboy artist Hebru Brantley and Chicago blues musician Toronzo Cannon. 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.

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Ping pong social club, SPiN. Photo by Barry Brecheisen.

PING PONG CLUB: There’s a ping pong social club opening downtown, but don’t worry, there’s a bar inside, too. SPiN is having a grand opening party open to the public on Friday at 9:30 p.m. with a special surprise performance. Given that actress Susan Sarandon is a co-founder, we’ll bet that whoever it is will be right up our alley.


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2015 CHIditarod. Photo by Snejana Iordanova.

CHIDITAROD: It’s the 11th year for the shopping cart race benefiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Participants dress in crazy costumes and even decorate their carts as they race to erase hunger. Over the last decade, they’ve raised 134,000 pounds of food and more than $145,000 for local nonprofits. The race starts at Hubbard and Wolcott at 12:30 p.m., but festivities get started early with a party and performances from eclectic marching band Environmental Encroachment. Even if you’re not running, you’re invited to watch the spectacle and donate.

REAL WORLD CASTING CALL: Think you’ve got the “larger-than-life personality” it takes to be a reality tv star? Try out for the next season of MTV’s "Real World" at Bar Louie Printers Row from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They’re looking for seven strangers to “stop being polite... and start getting real” as roommates for the cameras. Bring a recent picture of yourself and photo ID. Applicants must be 21 or older by June. Check the Real World website for more information.

WINNING WORKS: Get a peek the next wave of choreographers and dancers at the Joffrey Ballet’s "Winning Works" at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The annual competition puts the spotlight on emerging minority choreographers who get to have their works performed by the prestigious Joffrey Studio Company and Academy Trainees. The winners making up this year’s program are American Ballet Theatre soloist Jeffrey Cirio, River North Dance Chicago alum Christian Denice and The Union Project Dance Company’s Mariana Oliveira. There will also be a new piece on the bill from Academy Artistic Director Alexei Kremnev that combines the artistic spirits of Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky. Showtimes are Saturday at 3and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $24.

Sono's Journey. Photo courtesy of Thodos Dance Chicago.

CHICAGO DANCE: Thodos Dance’s Chicago Revealed winter concert at Harris Theater features new works that reflect local neighborhoods and residents. Experience the influence of local music and our city’s diverse communities on pieces from Kevin Iega Jeff, Robyn Mineko Williams and company founder and artistic director Melissa Thodos. Thodos will also reprise her recent story ballet Sono’s Journey. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $15.

ART AUCTION: The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art holds their 13th Annual Live and Silent Auction on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The evening will feature live music from Accord, plus food, drink, and a variety of art to bid on. Get a sneak peek at the items up for grabs here. Tickets are $50.

Blackfish The Musical. Photo by Loreen Targos.

BLACKFISH THE MUSICAL: The shocking Sea World documentary from 2013 has been turned into a musical. The film exposed the dangers of keeping whales in captivity after an attack at the oceanic amusement park, and Blackfish The Musical creates a narrative around the event. The musical parody at MCL Chicago Comedy Theater follows the staff of the fictional Sea Universe through drama and humor. The show opens Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and runs weekly through April 9. Tickets are $10 and profits will be donated to marine wildlife conservation Orca Network.

JUNIOR LEAGUE GALA: Junior League of Chicago celebrates 25 years of working with The Women’s Treatment Center at their Annual Gala at the Chicago Cultural Center from 7 p.m. to midnight. This year’s fundraising event has a Paris theme and will be hosted by co-anchor of ABC7 News This Morning, Judy Hsu. Tickets start at $175.


POLAR PLUNGE: Vince Vaughn’s done it. Jimmy Fallon’s done it. Even Lady Gaga has jumped into the icy cold waters of Lake Michigan to raise funds for the Special Olympics. The annual Chicago Polar Plunge kicks off at 10 a.m. with the first wave of plungers on North Avenue Beach. You can register to take the plunge yourself, or watch as a spectator for free. There’s also a post-event "Melt Down Party" from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Castaways.

JAZZ FESTIVAL: The 7th Annual Chi-Town Jazz Festival kicks off on Sunday with concerts at different venues all over the city and in Evanston for the next week. See groups like the Frank Catalano Sextet and Tammy McCann and help out a good cause. All musicians and venues donate their time and space to raise funds for hunger relief charities. See website for more information and ticket prices.

Maximilian Riedel. Photo courtesy of City Winery.

WINE GLASS SEMINAR: Riedel makes some funky looking wine glasses and decanters, but they’re just as much for function as they are for style. 11th generation family member, Maximilian Riedel, will lead a seminar at City Winery from 3:30 to 5 p.m. where he’ll show how glassware shape and design can enhance the taste of wines. Tickets are $90.

CRAWFISH BOIL: Head for Frontier on Sunday for a Who Dat Nation community Crawfish Boil. Feel like you escape the frosty north for Louisiana for just a few hours with NOLA drink specials and music from Four Star Brass Band. 5 p.m. Cost is $25 per person all-you-can-eat.