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12 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Weekend

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 3, 2017 4:42PM

Image courtesy of The Music Box.

There's more than football going on this weekend. Find Chinese New Year celebrations, music, movies and more in our favorite picks.


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 Red Jr., Laik, The Dead On and Lost But Happy will also play. Tickets are $10.

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.

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.

HOUSE OF VANS GRAND OPENING: Vans (yes, the shoe) is opening one of their coveted venues (and indoor skate park) right here in Chicago. The House of Vans grand opening is this weekend with a free concert Friday night from Future Islands, Digable Planets and NONAME on Friday, and then an open house with photography and media workshops on Saturday. Events and shows at the House are always free and open to the public, you've just got to RSVP in advance.


LONG YUN TROUPE: Direct from Beijing, Jackie Chan's Long Yun troupe will perform for one night only at Auditorium Theatre at 7:30 p.m. The 11 Warriors program combines elements of traditional kung fu, ballet, and modern dance. Tickets start at $33.

CHICAGO VOICES GALA CONCERT: The culmination of the Chicago Voices series takes place this Saturday with a gala concert at Lyric’s Civic Opera House. Lyric Unlimited partnered with the Chicago History Museum for a series of panel discussions about Chicago’s colorful vocal history. Pioneering gospel, jazz, classical and hip-hop artists will perform including Lupe Fiasco, Shemekia Copeland, Michelle Williams and more. Tickets start at $49.

Image via Ski Lodge's website.

RETRO SKI LODGE: Party like it’s 1985 at the Retro Ski Lodge Block Party. Crawl the bars of Division Street in the Gold Coast neighborhood in your most timely ski gear. Neon, spandex, goggles and leg warmers encouraged. “Lift” tickets are $10.


LADY GAGA BRUNCH: Get more Lady Gaga than you can shake a stick at this Super Bowl Sunday at Kit Kat Lounge. Their Lady Gaga Themed brunch will include Lady Gaga martinis and intermittent performances from Diva Madam X​ as Lady Gaga between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. ​ They’ll show the pop-star’s half time performance live as well. Brunch menu and food specials available to purchase. Free. ​For table reservations, call 773-525-1111.​

TWIN PEAKS MARATHON: If you want to avoid the Super Bowl completely, head to Delilah's to spend some time with Laura Palmer instead. It’s the first day of their annual Twin Peaks Marathon, and they’ll be screening the film prequel to the compelling TV series, Fire Walk With Me. 6 p.m. Free.

Image via Chinatown Chamber of Commerce's Facebook page.

LUNAR NEW YEAR PARADE: Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Chinatown’s official parade at 1 p.m. Welcome the Year of the Rooster with traditional Chinese dragons plus marching bands and more. Free.

Sameena Mustafa, photo by Sarah Larson via Instagram

WOMEN OF COLOR STAND UP WORKSHOP: Women of color with stand-up comedy aspirations should make their way to The Silver Room Sunday for a workshop with a couple of experienced ladies. Kelsie Huff of women’s only stand-up comedy school kates university and Sameena Mustafa of the Simmer Brown comedy collective will lead the stand-up/storytelling workshop at 11 a.m. Tickets are $15.