Winter @ Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue
January 7 thru February 11
This new play by Julie Jensen deals with end of life issues and the right to die. Barbara Robertson will star and co-directors are RTE members Megan Carney and Mark Ulrich. Tickets are $25-38.
Her America @ Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.
January 6 thru February 12
This Brett Neveu play is part of the Greenhouse Solo Celebration. Kate Buddeke stars and Linda Gillum directs. Single tickets $34-48. Festival flex passes: three plays for $99.
A Disappearing Number @ Timeline Theatre Company, 615 W. Wellington
January 11 thru April 9
This award-winning play is about love, math and how the past and future connect. Nick Bowling directs. Tickets are $38-51 for the regular run, $22 for previews.
Stranger Than Fiction: Documentary Premieres @ Gene Siskel Film Center
January 6 – February 2, various showtimes
In the 14th edition of this annual series celebrating the art of the documentary, the Gene Siskel Film Center features ten Chicago premieres of films made from a highly personal point of view, as well as those that delve into issues, personalities, or evolving communities through personal interaction. Director appearances include Seth McClellan with Little Wound’s Warriors; Kevin Mukherji with We Are One; and Susan Morgan Cooper with To the Moon and Back. In addition, Mifune: The Last Samurai, Steven Okazaki’s portrait of the legendary Japanese star Toshiro Mifune, inspired the Siskel Film Center to mount a retrospective of Mifune’s best-known films, also running throughout January.
Classic Matinees—Pre-Code Hollywood @ Music Box Theatre
December 31 – February 5, Saturdays & Sundays, 11:30am
The fascination with pre-Hays Code films (named after creator Will H. Hays and correctly known as the Motion Picture Production Code, first published in March 1930) often comes from how openly suggestive and fun the majority of films that comprised those seven years are. Sex, drugs, miscegenation, portrayals of homosexuality, and a host of other issues that would be banned from public consumption for several decades are indulged in and exploited frequently by then-big Hollywood studios. Pre-Code Films could be exploitative and lurid or sophisticated and adult. Films being shown in the series include: Gold Diggers of 1933, with musical numbers staged and directed by Busby Berkeley; Tod Browning’s controversial Freaks, featuring actual circus freaks; Baby Face, starring Barbara Stanwyck; Little Caesar, starring Edward G. Robinson; and Night Nurse, starring Stanwyck and Joan Blondell.
B-Fest @ McCormick Auditorium at Northwestern University, Evanston
Starts 6pm on January 20; ends at 6pm, January 21
This annual collection of some of the worst genre films ever made has been likened to an audience-participation version of an episode of “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” In a 24-hour marathon, viewers are encouraged to voice their opinions of onscreen events, especially if such comments provide entertainment for the other festival attendees. Additional staples of B-Fest gatherings are the midnight screening of Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space; door prizes from sponsors; the Northwestern B-Fest Players (who occasionally mount the stage to bring their own theatrical spin to the proceedings); and a singalong version of the truly bizarre short The Wizard of Speed and Time.
Being, enough @ Chicago Artists Coalition (217 N. Carpenter St.)
Opening Reception: Friday, January 6, 6-9 pm. Closes Thursday, January 26.
A group exhibition in various mediums, Being, enough encompasses themes of paradoxes and conversion in a dream-like manner. Featured artists: Austen Brown, Alex Calhoun, Jon Chambers, Jeremiah Jones, Bobbi Meier, and Marina Miliou-Thejcharaki.
Natural Allusions @ Art Institute of Chicago
January 16-March 25
An exhibition of Chinese hand scrolls from the 17th and 18th centuries explores meanings in plant and animal imagery.Tickets start at $29 for non-members. Entry is free for members.
UMBRA Exhibition @ Museum of Contemporary Photography
Opening reception: Thursday, January 26, 5-7pm. Open until April 21.
An exhibition featuring the photographic and multimedia works of renowned fashion photographer, Viviane Sassen (Dutch, b. 1972). “UMBRA”, which means “shadow” in Latin, features Sassen’s explorations of shadow and light. Free admission.
TNK is an annual festival started by Lincoln Hall and Schubas that features five days of local and nationally acclaimed musicians playing shows at independent venues throughout the city. This year’s lineup includes Big Thief, Caroline Smith, Phoebe Robinson and Title Fight. Check out the schedule here.
Saba w/ MfNMelo, Dinnerwithjohn @ Lincoln Hall
After two years of waiting, West side-native rapper Saba released the dynamic Bucketlist Project. This came as the much anticipated follow up of 2014’s ComfortZone, though like many rappers that can boast this, his initial step into the spotlight was through his collaborations with Chance The Rapper as early as Acid Rap. Following a few intimate performances at Urban Outfitters and Sofar Sounds, partnered with Virgin Hotels, Saba is ready to take the main stage in his home city at Lincoln Hall on January 6. This sold-out show will also feature fellow pivot gang members, rapper MfNMelo and R&B collaborator Dinnerwithjohn. This show is a must-see for Chicago hip hop fans, and there’s arguably no better venue in the city than Lincoln Hall.
Chicago Psych Fest VIII: Frozen Mind @ the Hideout
January 27 at 9pm
A two day festival of psychedelia kicks off on January 27th. The Friday night performances include Post Animal, Spectralina, Diagonal, TALsounds, and DJ Psychedalex. Saturday’s show starts at 8:30p.m. and features Dos Santos: Anti-Beat Orquesta, Magic Carpet, Metal Tongues, DJ Andrew James Shelp. Tickets cost $12 for each day.
8pm Saturday, January 14
The Phantom Collective will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Earle’s album, Guitar Town, as well his 62nd birthday (on January 17). Local musicians will play Earle tracks and we’ll all drink a birthday toast to Steve. Admission $15 cash at the door or order online. Doors open at 7p.m.
Blurb: Local indie label Impossible Colors released a 14-track compilation of protest songs by Chicago artists about a month after Election Day. The Empty Bottle will host a benefit concert for the Chicago Community Bond Fund, and money spent at the door and for the tapes will go toward the nonprofit. The Chicago Community Bond Fund is a volunteer-driven nonprofit that helps vulnerable people accused of crimes get out of jail while awaiting trial.
Wednesday January 18 at 7pm
Come to the Gallery Cabaret (2020 N Oakley) for a night of storytelling that benefits nonprofits. Ten-minute stories will focus on nonprofits, charities, social organizations and other good groups working in areas the Trump/Pence campaign has targeted. Attendees will have a chance to buy poker chips. Then, throughout the night, they can toss those chips in different jars we’ll have for different groups, and the funds donated through the purchase of chips will be divided for each charity accordingly.
Revise the Psalm Release Party @ The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
January 7 at 7pm
Celebrate the release of Curbside Splendor’s new collection of writing inspired by Gwendolyn Brooks. It’ll be a night of music, readings and libations. Editors Quraysh Ali Lansana and Sandra Jackson-Opoku will join local writers in reading their contributions to the book, which will be available for purchase.
Saturday, January 28
CWA is hosting its first literary bus tour of Chicago’s North Side on Saturday, January 28. Purchase tickets now through Eventbrite (Members $10; Non-Members $20; lunch included). Stops include the Cliff Dwellers Club, the Billy Goat Tavern, Oz Park and Nelson Algren’s apartment.
January 27–February 9 at more than 350 restaurants
The 10th annual culinary celebration features special prix fixe menus starting at $22 for brunch (NEW for 2017!) and lunch, and $33 and/or $44 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity).
The Sanctuary Project @ Theaters nationwide
January 19 at 5:30p.m.
Members of the theater community nationwide will gather outside participating theaters to join in collective action and pledge continued advocacy, creating “light” for the challenging times ahead. The project is inspired by the tradition of leaving a “ghost light” in a darkened theater. Steppenwolf and Victory Gardens will be participating.
Women’s March on Chicago
On January 21 at 10am, paritcipants will meet at the Petrillo Bandshell in Grant Park. Marchers will “CONNECT to make their voices heard and to support each other in PROTECT-ing and furthering women’s/human rights and civil liberties by ACTIVATE-ing in their communities.” To register to attend or share the event via Facebook, click here.