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9 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Week

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 2, 2017 5:05PM

Image via American Rhythm Center's Facebook page.

Welcome to the first week of 2017. Get started on the right foot with free dance classes and more.


FREE DANCE CLASSES: The American Rhythm Center offers free dance classes during their New Year's DANCE Free-4-All at the Fine Arts Building. Learn tap, modern, ballet, Zumba, flamenco, musical theatre, hip hop, break dancing and more with 50 free classes over the week-long event at the home of the Chicago Human Rhythm Project. Visit the ARC website for the full schedule and to sign up.

SALONATHON: RESIST! The weekly experimental variety show Salonathon returns for its first show of 2017 at Beauty Bar tonight. In the spirit of defying the political and cultural forces that helped make 2016 a living dumpster fire, tonight's theme is "resist." The exciting lineup of artists and musicians is co-curated by Salonathon founder Jane Beachy and actor McKenzie Chinn. The full details are available here. Runs 8:30 p.m. to midnight.


FUNKY READING SERIES: Tuesday Funk is back with episode #101. The monthly series upstairs at Hopleaf includes readings from Kelly Swails, Dmitry Samarov, Cameron McGill, Amy Sumpter and James "GPA" Gordon. 7:30 p.m. Free.


WINE TASTING: Be "Sommelier for a Day" at a III Forks Winter Wine Tasting from 5 to 7 p.m. Wine specialist Jessica Marshall-Bruckner will lead participants through a sampling of six selections from California paired with hors d'oeuvres by Executive Chef Cedric Harden. Vote at the end to pick January’s wine of the month. Tickets are $20. Call 312-938-4303 to RSVP.


CHICAGO SKETCH COMEDY FESTIVAL: Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival returns for it’s 16th year at Stage 773 for ten days of funny. 160 groups will perform 180 shows including Community alum and local native Danny Pudi debuting a new solo show aptly titled “Danny Pudi: In Progress”. Other headliners include award-winning LA sketch comedy troupe The Cool Table and New York's Pop Roulette featuring SNL writer Sudi Green. Visit the festival’s website for the full schedule and to purchase tickets.

OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC NEW YEAR KICKOFF: Try your hand at something new or see what kind of performances the Old Town School of Folk Music’s has to offer at their First New Year Kickoff this weekend. There’s something for students of all ages with jams, workshops and drop-in classes including their popular Wiggleworms group. Visit Old Town School’s website for the full schedule and prices.

BOWIE BALL: Celebrate our fallen musical hero’s birthday with Bowie Ball at Berlin. The brainchild of DJ and Bowie superfan Heaven Malone, the annual bash includes Bowieoke, Bowie makeovers and performances from Lucky Stiff, Discord Addams, Queerella and Kat Sass. Lucy Stoole will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies over the whole shebang. 10 p.m.


Sean McKeough. Photo courtesy Riot Fest

NAKED RAYGUN BENEFIT CONCERT: The Riot Fest team lost one of their own suddenly last year. Sean McKeough was an original partner in the fest and founder of Cobra Lounge/All Rise Brewing Co. He established the All Rise Foundation in 2014 and his friends and family have dedicated themselves to carrying on the name. That includes buddies in Naked Raygun and Deal’s Gone Bad, who will be headlining a memorial benefit concert this Friday at Concord Music Hall. 100% of the proceeds from tickets and silent auction items at the event will go to the All Rise Foundation in Sean’s memory. Tickets are $20 and the show starts at 7 p.m.

IAN’S PARTY: Ian’s Party celebrates their tenth anniversary this year with three days of bands at several different Wicker Park venues this weekend. Absolutely Not, A Giant Dog, and many other local groups are showcased at the “party.” Visit their website for the full lineup, schedule and ticketing information.