18 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Weekend

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 18, 2016 4:25PM

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See Hubbard Street Dance Chicago perform Gustavo Ramírez Sansano's 'I am Mister B' at Harris Theater this weekend. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

Is it Friday already?! Okay, we've been counting down the hours, too, and we've got a stacked lineup of things to look forward to this weekend.


FRIDAY MARCH 18

HUBBARD STREET DANCE: One of the city’s hottest contemporary dance companies presents their annual spring series at Harris Theater. The program features works from Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo, Gustavo Ramírez Sansano and a large-scale World Premiere from Lucas Crandall. They’re also offering a couple of pre-show talks with Artistic Director Glenn Edgerton and other guests. See website for showtimes through the weekend. Tickets start at $30.

TASTE OF ICELAND: Iceland has become a popular tourist destination for music, food and more, but this weekend they bring the Icelandic culture to us. They’ve got events lined up showing off their cuisine, music, film and literature at Chicago’s own hotspots like Logan Theater and Chicago Athletic Association and the best part is that most of them are free. Visit their website for more information.

WIRED FRIDAY: Skip out of the office at lunch for the free Wired Fridays DJ series at the Chicago Cultural Center. Cut a rug with other EDM fans as Mia Wallace plays for you. David Castellani and Michael Azrikan make up the locally based DJ duo who specialize in techno, house, jazz, funk, hip-hop and classical. Noon.

C2E2: Don’t be alarmed when you see superheroes and villains on the train this weekend. It’s time for the Midwest’s largest pop culture convention, the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo, or better known as C2E2. They’ll be taking over McCormick Place with celebrity appearances, cosplay and costume contests. John Cusack, Greg Capullo and Ryan Hurst from Sons of Anarchy are among the celebrities slated to appear. Convention runs all weekend. Check out our list of 10 ways to geek out while you're there. Tickets start at $30.

GEEK AFTERPARTY: After C2E2, head to Metro for the All Geeks Unofficial Afterparty. It’s cosplay a la burlesque and drag at this event featuring All Geeks cast members plus special guests Jonathan Van Ness, Dax Exclamationpoint and many more. DJ sets from Boy Alberto and DJ XP. 11 p.m. Tickets are $20 ($25 day of).

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These pugs know how to party. Hang with your pup at PAWS Animal Magnetism fundraising event on March 18. Photo via PAWS's website.

PAWS PET PARTY: Bring your furry friend out for a night of dinner, dancing and cocktails at PAWS Tenth Annual Animal Magnetism event. The spring celebration takes place at Morgan Manufacturing and benefits the no-kill animal community that is saving pet lives every day. 7 p.m. General admission is $150 and pet tickets are $25.

WHISKYFEST: The Whiskey Advocate hosts the 17th Annual WhiskyFest at Hyatt Regency Chicago from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Not only will there be opportunities to taste more than 350 distinguished whiskeys, but they’ll also have seminars from Master Distillers and Blenders throughout the night. There will also be a “never-ending” gourmet buffet to help soak up all those samples. Tickets are $275 and come with a commemorative Glencairn crystal nosing glass, gift bag and more.

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Robert Porazinski’s “Intersection” Oil & Acrylic on Birch Panel. Photo courtesy of Gallery19.

WOOD CANVAS: Did you know that before painters used canvas in the 16th century they used wood panels to create their masterpieces? Gallery19’s latest exhibition called “Woodn’t Be The First Time” highlights three artists using wood as their support for beautiful watercolor, graphite, acrylic and oil paintings. Opening night is this Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

SHAKE + STIR BENEFIT: Support the Chicago Youth Center at a James Bond-themed benefit at the South Shore Cultural Center from 6 to 10 p.m. Get your cocktails like 007 at the South Shore Shake & Stir event which will also have bites from Boka and entertainment from Chicago Catz. They’ll also honor community leaders like 7th Ward Alderman Gregory I. Mitchell and Allyson Scrutchens, formerly of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are $75.


SATURDAY MARCH 19

STREET MARKET: It’s the Spring Fling edition of Randolph Street Market on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The vintage and indie market will have all the usual accoutrements: eats, cocktails and tons of vendors, plus an easter egg hunt, pop-up flower market and more. Tickets are $8 in advance ($10 door), but entry is free for those donning easter bonnets.

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Photo courtesy of Webster's Wine Bar.

WINE TASTING: Webster Wine Bar hosts an Ides of March Tasting where guests will sample the “Heavy Hitters of Tuscany" from 3 to 5 p.m. Drink to a long life on the day that Julius Caesar met his demise in ancient Rome. They’ll have more than 20 wines to try, most Sangiovese including Chianti Classico and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Hors d'oeuvres will also be served. Tickets are $50.

CHICAGO ART: Morgan’s on Fulton hosts Echoes of Chicago’s fifth annual art event, Happy Birthday Chicago from 7:30 p.m. to midnight. The benefit features an art gallery with more than 30 local artists, arts and crafts, live music and more. For early entry, step into “The Echo Chamber,” a special opening with complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres and a more intimate opportunity to speak with artists. Entry is $10 suggested donation ($30 for The Echo Chamber).

SIMMER BROWN COMEDY: Reena Calm (TBS Just for Laughs) and Mona Aburmishan (Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall) headline this month’s Simmer Brown Comedy show at Bughouse Theater. The South Asian stand-up comedy collective spotlights Chicago’s best Indian stand-up comics. 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 ($15 door).

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Hand gilded sign by Phil Jarvis. Photo by Patrick Moore. (via Great Lakes Tattoo's website.)

WALK-UP TATS: Great Lakes Tattoo brings the tattoo convention mentality back to basics with their 1st Annual Walk-Up Classic. Between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday twenty artists will be on hand to tattoo clients first come, first served. That means no long wait lists or multiple sessions. They’ll have one-shot tattoos designed specifically for the event as well as tattoos from their extensive regular collection ready to go.

CONCERT: Music legend Mavis Staples hits the stage at Thalia Hall for a special WXRT show with The Flat Five at 8 p.m. She’s been a powerhouse in gospel, soul, folk, pop, R&B, blues, rock, and even hip hop for more than 60 years and was recently the subject of an HBO documentary. Second show on Sunday. Tickets start at $33.


SUNDAY MARCH 20

MAC + CHEESE SMACKDOWN: Why should Mac & Cheese be relegated to a side dish? TimeOut Chicago makes it the main event at their inaugural Mac & Cheese Smackdown at Lincoln Hall. They’ve invited eight local restaurants to compete, but you’ll be the real winner when your belly is full of macaroni, cheese and beer. Three sessions to choose from: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and include tastings and two beverages.

SEVEN SPIRITS SERIES: Seven spirits is way too much for one day, so Violet Hour has spread the teaching and tasting series out over three Sunday sessions. Learn about Gin, Vodka, Potable Bitters this Sunday, and Tequila, Rum, Whiskey and Brandy in the coming weeks. 6 p.m. Price is $75 per class, or $175 for all 3 classes. Email aubrey@theviolethour.com to book.

FLOWER SHOW: Head up to the 9th floor of Macy’s on State Street for the annual Flower Show. Explore flora from regions across the country from the Pacific Northwest Wonderland to the Enchanting Southeast. There’s also a guided audio tour guests can access on your smartphone through their mobile site. Show runs through April 3.