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14 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Week

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 30, 2017 5:40PM

2017_1_1_Chinese-New-Year.jpg Photo via the Chinese Fine Arts Society

There are a variety of events to keep us busy in the city this weekend, from Chinese New Year performances to the magic of Hogwarts.


CHINESE NEW YEAR KICKOFF: The city-wide Chinese New Year celebration kicks off at the Chicago Cultural Center at noon. Welcome the Year of the Rooster with Chinese dance performances, music, martial arts, and a showcase by Jackie Chan's Long Yun Kung Fu Troupe from Beijing. Free.

CHICAGO LEGEND AND GRAMMY NOMINEE: Robbie Fulks is nominated for a few Grammy awards this year, but that hasn't caused the longtime Bloodshot Records artists and friend of the Hideout to abandon gigs like this low-key, Monday night early show. Fulks is one of those songwriters who seem to be able to do a little bit of everything and still do it really well, all while infusing his songs with plenty of sharp humor mixed with honest and searching emotional elements. Oh yeah, and if none of that impresses you, Fulks once released an album of Michael Jackson covers that managed to actually bring something new to the songs, so that should sell you on this if nothing else does. Fulks plays at 7 p.m. and there is a suggested $10 donation at the door.


CHICAGO VOICES TALK: The final panel discussion of Chicago Voices TALK! Will be about Hip-Hop and how the city inspires the sound. Lyric Unlimited and the Chicago History Museum co-present the series which explores the city’s influence on different genres of music. Panelists include Add-2 (who will also perform), performer and hip-hop activist Amina Norman-Hawkins, and Fake Shore Drive founder Andrew Barber. 7 p.m. Tickets are $10.

TAVERN TALK: The 606 hosts their next Tavern Talk at Revolution Brewpub at 6 p.m. Learn about the art and science of the trail’s gardens from Landscape Architect David Bier, Artist Francis Whitehead and Educator Jean Linsner. Free. RSVP here.


FRENCH WINE TASTING: Become "Sommelier for a Day" at III Forks Prime Steakhouse from 5 to 7 p.m. Wine specialist Jessica Marshall-Bruckner leads the tasting of six French wines and guests will vote their favorite wine to be featured for the month. Hors d’oeuvres will also be served. Tickets are $20. Call 312-938-4303 to reserve a spot.

CAJUN COOKING CLASS: Cook a five-course cajun meal with Heaven on Seven’s chef/owner Jimmy Bannos from 7 to 9 p.m. All-you-can-drink beer, wine and hurricanes accompany the evening where guests prepare and enjoy traditional cajun dishes like Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo, Orzolaya (Jimmy’s Italian twist on Jambalaya) and more. Tickets are $75.

Image via Dita Von Teese's Facebook page.

VON TEESE BURLESQUE: The infamous Dita Von Teese brings her burlesque revue "The Art of the Teese" to House of Blues at 7:30 p.m. The tour kicks off with three sexy nights in Chicago. Tickets start at $53.25.

READING UNDER THE INFLUENCE: Would you like a drink with your next reading series? Reading Under the Influence brings the theme of "Bad Sex" to their latest episode at Sheffield’s from 7 to 9 p.m. The featured readers with original works will be Jacob Singer, Leah Boykin, and Molly Rafferty with Columbia College Chicago veteran Greg Baldino. Entry is $3.

SOUP + BREAD: Head to the Hideout for some homemade soup from from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Soup & Bread is a community meal and hunger-relief fundraiser offering pay-what-you-can meals at the weekly event with those donations going toward a wide range of neighborhood food pantries and hunger relief agencies.


KEEP ON TRUCKING: Drive-By Truckers are now one of those institutions that seem like they will never disappear, and for that we are glad. Ever since we heard 2001's double-album Southern Rock Opera, a deep dive into the politics and culture of the South that pulled no punches and mixed the cerebral with the grit, we've been fans. Over the years the band's output has remained consistently strong, even as the started to weave elements of R&B and soul into their muscular read on souther rock and country, and last year's American Band made its way onto many critic's best-of lists. The band plays The Vic on Thursday and tickets are $30.


Image via Adler Planetarium's Facebook page.

AFTER DARK FAMILY EDITION: Get the whole family out of the house for Adler After Dark Family Edition from 6 to 10 p.m. All of the planetarium’s usual After Dark experiences will be available including access to exhibits, sky shows and live entertainment. There’s even a kiddie-cocktail bar special to the event. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for kids.

GRAND CHEFS GALA: The 20th Annual Grand Chefs Gala at Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom once again benefits The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation from 6 p.m. to midnight. The Food Network’s Jeff Mauro emcees the black tie gala that has more than 50 local chefs and mixologists with signature dishes, delicious desserts, and one-of-a-kind cocktails. Tickets are $100.

Image courtesy of The Music Box.

HARRY POTTER PARTIES + SCREENINGS: It’s an evening of Hogwarts Witchcraft and Wizardry at The Music Box. Activities including The Sorting Ceremony and Marauder’s Map Trivia Tournament will precede midnight screenings of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Tickets are $9.

SPACE ROCK ALBUM RELEASE: The members of American Cosmonaut have been playing together in various bands since 1993, so it's always a nice surprise to receive news that there's new music from the group. The band specializes in big sounds that blend heavier rock melodies with the walls of sound more usually associated with shoegaze. So that means you frequently find yourself humming along with the tunes even as your chest is caving inward from the volume. The band just released their latest EP, Move And Control, and it's a worthy entry into their canon. Recorded live on the floor of Double Door after hours, the EP's five songs manage to both sound natural and punchy. The only downside is that the band has become such good self-editors over the years the songs speed by without an ounce of flab s the EP is over far too soon for our tastes. The band plays an album release show at Double Door on Friday and tickets are $10.