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16 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This Week

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 3, 2017 3:40PM

April is Chicago Dance Month. Image courtesy of Audience Architects.

Another busy week in the city covers the arts, film, food and more.


CHICAGO DANCE MONTH: April is Chicago Dance Month and Audience Architects is kicking off the celebration with free performances at Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom. The opening night event begins at 6 p.m. and will feature a conversation with Hamilton co-dance captains and company members Yossi Chaikin and Gabriella Sorrentino, and performances from several diverse dance companies including Giordano Dance Chicago, Natya Dance Theater and Culture Shock Chicago. Visit for details and other Chicago Dance Month events.

COCKTAIL SUMMIT: The 2nd Annual Chicago Cocktail Summit wraps up on Monday at Logan Theatre. Brought to us by co-founders Billy Helmkamp (The Whistler, Logan Square Arts Festival) and Erik Westra (Westra & Co., Maximum Fun), the event features tastings, demos, workshops and educational panels and seminars. Check out the remaining schedule and info on after hours events on their website. Single session tickets are $15 and full-access tickets are $50 per day.


CINEMA SCIENCE: The film collaboration series between Music Box Theatre and the Field Museum continues with another edition of Cinema Science at 7 p.m. Watch a screening of the film Winged Migration and then stick around for a discussion with John Bates, Associate Curator of Birds and head of the Life Sciences section of Integrated Research at the Field Museum. Tickets are $11.

MONEY BOOTH: Sure, it’s a promo for the DVD release of the holiday comedy Office Christmas Party, but hey, you could win some cash. The custom money booth will be located near Wrigley Square in Millennium Park, and it will be loaded with cash and prize certificates. Stop by anytime between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum.

CHICAGO FLAG PARTY: Betsy Ross had nothing to do with it, but the Chicago Flag has been around for a long time—100 years to be exact. On this very day a century ago the the city council accepted the original flag design. Visitors to the Chicago History Museum’s party from 6 to 7:30 p.m. can view rare artifacts and learn what all those stars mean. Museum admission is free for Illinois Residents, and those sporting a Chicago flag tattoo will get two complimentary VIP tickets for a return visit. RSVP in advance for a free drink ticket.

FUNKY READINGS: Andrew Huff and Eden Robins co-host another episode of the monthly reading series Tuesday Funk at Hopleaf’s upstairs bar at 7:30 p.m. April’s lineup includes Felix Jung, Tracy Harford-Porter, Melissa Wiley, Kellye Howard and Nestor Gomez. Free.


A rare Roman coin with an early depiction of the Colosseum which will be up for auction at the Coin Expo through Gemini Auction. Image courtesy of The Coin Expo.

COIN EXPO: Find more than 1000 coin and currency enthusiasts, collectors and history buffs at the Chicago Coin Expo this Wednesday through Friday at the Chicago Cultural Center. See coins from around the world experts and dealers selling and auctioning as well. The show is free and open to the public with donations going toward History in Your Hands Foundation.

LIVE PODCAST: Thalia Hall and WBEZ host two nights of the live game show and podcast, Tell Me Something I Don’t Know. Hosted by Freakonomics co-author and host of Freakonomics Radio, Stephen J. Dubner, the show features three celebrity panelists looking to be wowed by interesting and at times unbelievable facts, complete with fact-checker on hand. Wednesday’s topic will be “Rivalry,” and Thursday will be “Getting There.” 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.

WINE TASTING: III Forks’ "Sommelier for a Day" delves into Italian wines at with a tasting at 5 p.m. Sample six different wines from around Italy with the guidance of sommelier Anton Licko, and the most popular will be featured for the month. Hors d’oeuvres are included. Tickets are $20. To RSVP, call 312-938-4303.

CAJUN COOKING CLASS: Learn to cook up your own flavorful Cajun feast at Heaven on Seven from 7 to 9 p.m. Chef and owner Jimmy Bannos will lead the class which will center on Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo and Orzolaya (Jimmy’s Italian twist on Jambalaya). All-you-can-drink beer, wine and the famous Heaven on Seven hurricanes are included. Tickets are $75.


Gwendolyn Brooks. Image courtesy of University of Chicago and Nora Brooks Blakely.

GWENDOLYN BROOKS CENTENNIAL: The University of Chicago celebrates the legacy of acclaimed poet Gwendolyn Brooks--Chicago native and the first African American poet to win the Pulitzer Prize--with two days of events at the Logan Center including discussions with scholars and writers and musical performances. For more information, visit the symposium’s website.

TALK SHOW TONIGHT: Catch the real life nighttime talk show The Seth Show Tonight at Constellation at 8 p.m. Seth Vanek (formerly of talk/variety show “Therapy Sessions” at Hungry Brain) will welcome guest Ameya Pawar, 47th Ward Alderman and gubernatorial candidate. Stand-up comedian Rebecca O’Neal, and Singer/Composer Akenya will also appear. Tickets are $10.

Image courtesy of SPiN.

TABLE TENNIS PARTY: April 6 marks World Table Tennis Day AND the 1st birthday of Chicago’s own table tennis club, SPiN. They’re celebrating with a SPiN One anniversary party featuring live music and DJ sets, live art, complimentary ping pong and a surprise celebrity tournament. The party starts at 7 p.m. and the tournament kicks off at 8 p.m. Free. RSVP here for a complimentary beverage.


CINEMA SLAPDOWN: White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is quite possibly the most hated man in America right now. This Friday, Columbia College gives us the opportunity to witness a “Cinema Slapdown” centering on his 2012 film District of Corruption. The film screening begins at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a debate between Dan Rybicky, filmmaker and faculty at Columbia College, and William J. Kelly, senior media strategist and TV critic and producer of Emmy award-winning television. Free.

GLAM-PACKED ROCK: Austin's Sweet Spirit is an eight-piece band that is laser focused on building up big rock anthems and channeling the spirit of a rowdy good time. Singer Sabrina Ellis also fronts A Giant Dog, and while Sweet Spirit carries more a flag for glam than her other band's tilt towards punk, both groups benefit from her magnetic stage presence and penchant for giving every song of every show her absolute all. With Sweet Spirit you're never sure if you should be strutting or slam-dancing, so feel free to do both. The band's new album St. Mojo's release just happens to coincide with their Friday night appearance at The Empty Bottle, so expect an additional burst of manic energy from the group since we're sure they're excited the LP will finally find its way into the wild.

LITE SOUL FUNK: Chicano Batman's sublime take on psychedelic soul makes Freedom Is Free a breezy but satisfying listen. The album is steeped in nostalgia, but where it could have been cheesy, the music instead drives you to float on a raft of sound blending together various genres including funk, tropicalia, and polyrhythmic elements that leave you swirling in its wake. Chicano Batman plays Friday at Lincoln Hall.