Groundhog Day. the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Black History Month. Two presidents’ birthdays. The Day the Music Died. Thomas Edison’s and Steve Jobs’ birthdays. February is a short but mighty month. To enhance your various celebrations, we suggest these Chicago-area happenings.
February 21-22 at 8pm at the Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave.
This year’s festival will explore America and Chicago in 2017 in the wake of the Presidential election. The marathon evening of one-minute plays by more than 60 of Chicago’s established and emerging playwrights and directors is presented two nights only Tickets are $18. 1MPF presents these festivals in 20 U.S. cities.
Squeeze My Cans at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.
February 16 thru March 12
Cathy Schenkelberg gives a solo performance of her experience going down the rabbit hole of Scientology. Did she really audition to be Tom Cruise’s girlfriend? She went through it all and survived to tell (and sing) the tale.
Merce Cunningham: Common Time at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave.
February 11 through April 30
The exhibit of work by choreographer Merce Cunningham includes performance backdrops, documentary video and video installations, sets, costumes, artworks, photographs, and ephemera that will immerse viewers in Cunningham’s creative activities. Organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
The Invention of Morel by Chicago Opera Theater
February 18, 24 and 26 at the Studebaker Theater, 410 S. Michigan Ave.
This world premiere by Stewart Copeland is a sci-fi opera of love, desire and questionable acquaintances. Three performances only. Performed in English; 90 minutes.
27th Annual Festival of Films from Iran @ Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.
February 4 – 25, various showtimes
This longest-running showcase for Iranian cinema in North America is premiering new work from one of the world’s most celebrated and awarded national cinemas. The festival provides an ever-changing view on contemporary Persian culture through the eyes of Iran’s inventive filmmakers. Women are the focus of five new films presented during the festival, an indication of how an examination of the roles of women in Iranian society and the family continues to be a foremost concern of filmmakers.
On the weekend of February 17-19, the festival will honor and remember the career of Abbas Kiarostami (1940-2016), Iran’s brilliant and much-awarded director and photographer, who changed the face of Iranian cinema through 46 films, including Close-Up, Through the Olives Trees, and Ten, and earned a well-deserved place in the pantheon of contemporary masters of world cinema. On Saturday, February 18, critic Jonathan Rosenbaum and Prof. Mehrnaz Saeedvafa honor this beloved artist’s career following a screening of 76 Minutes and 15 Seconds by the director’s friend and collaborator Seifollah Samadian. Kiarostami’s Cannes Palme d’Or winning Taste of Cherry screens February 17-19 in a 35mm print. See the 2017 schedule.
50th Anniversary of 1967 @ Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport
February 18 thru April 2, Saturdays & Sundays, 11:30am
The Music Box celebrates the groundbreaking year of cinema that saw traditional, lavish studio pictures give rise to the stylish, inventive and boundary-shattering films of what would become known as the “New Hollywood” era. Included in the lineup are such classics as Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway; Stuart Rosenberg’s Cool Hand Luke, starring Paul Newman; Norman Jewison’s In the Heat of the Night, starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger; George Roy Hill’s Thoroughly Modern Millie, starring Julie Andrews and the recently departed Mary Tyler Moore; and Terence Young’s Wait Until Dark, starring Audrey Hepburn. Here’s the schedule for this celebration.
Filthy Pixels at Bottom Lounge, 1375 W Lake
Wednesday February 22 from 7 to 11pm
Bit Bash presents Filthy Pixels, featuring 10 indie games from around the world plus two power-punk bands, the Cell Phones and Pamphleteers. Two of the games—Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars and BaraBari Ball are created by new Chicago developers who recently arrived to be part of the growing Chicago game scene. Filthy Pixels is 18+. Tickets are $25 online, $30 at the door
For the fourth year in a row, Bit Bash will celebrate the Train Jam, a 52-hour train ride from Chicago to San Francisco where developers from around the world make a game on the train. These developers will preview their games during Filthy Pixels.
Unbroken Glass @ Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.
This documentary from Kartemquin Films, directed by filmmaker Dinesh Das Sabu, pieces together his family story. His parents died when he was 6 years old and he was raised by his older siblings. Now, 20 years after his parents’ deaths, Dinesh uncovers a silenced family history of mental illness, confronts the legacy of having a schizophrenic mother who died by suicide and, together with his siblings, reconciles the trauma of loss and the specter of mental illness.
Screenings will also be held at the Indo-American Heritage Museum, Apna Ghar, the Eye on India Festival, the Independent Filmmaker Project Chicago (IFP Chicago), and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Come see some up-and-coming Midwest bands for $8 on Friday, February 3. The show starts at 10:30pm.
Dan Deacon at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave.
Sunday, February 19 at 9pm
This Baltimore-based singer/songwriter and electro-acoustic composer will perform songs from his latest self-produced LP Gliss Riffer, released last February, as well as his large ensemble-based recordings–2009’s Bromst and 2012’s America. Opening performances by Marijuana Deathsquads and Air Credits. $5 cover with RSVP, $15 without RSVP. No advance tickets sold. This show is presented by Red Bull Sound Select, the famed energy drink’s artist development project.
On February 25, catch the young midwestern singer-songwriters Frances Luke Accord. Fresh from their tour with the folk band Darlingside, this duo has an uncanny Simon and Garfunkelness that’s well worth the $12 ticket cost.
The Art of Protest Photography in Japan, 1960-1975 @ Art Institute of Chicago
Through April 30 at 111 S. Michigan
The photographs of “Provoke: Photography in Japan between Protest and Performance, 1960–1975” explore the power of political statement through art in postwar Japan. Admission is free for members and starts at $29 for non-members. Illinois residents get free admission Thursdays from 5 to 8pm and “winter weekdays” through Feb. 16.
Chicago Works @ Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave.
Through July 2.
Chicago sculptor Chris Bradley recreates common objects and places them in new contexts at this solo show at the MCA. Suggested admission is $12 for adults, $7 for children and seniors, and free for Illinois residents on Tuesdays.
Ee Bang In/Person From Outside @ Chicago Artists Coalition, 217 N. Carpenter
February 3-23. Opening reception Friday, Feb. 3, 6-9 pm.
Ee Bang In/Person From Outside is a solo exhibition featuring Annette Hur’s recent work in painting and ceramics. Hur uses the abstracted face as a framework to explore feminine identity from her perspectives growing up in South Korea and living in the United States today.
Helio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium @Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan
February 18 – May 7
Brazilian artist Helio Oiticica pushed the boundaries of what art can be and changed the role of the viewer from a spectator to a participant. This retrospective shows how his practice evolved from two to three dimensions, to works you can walk through or wear, to immersive installations involving sensory experiences.
Chinese New Year @ Fat Rice, 2957 W. Diversey
To honor the Year of the Rooster, Fat Rice will be crafting a multi-course Chinese New Year tasting menu including classic auspicious dishes and ingredients with bold Fat Rice Flavors. This Southern Chinese-inspired five-course tasting menu will be running from Jan 27th-Feb 9th during our dinner service.
Dumpling Making: A Chinese New Year Tradition @ 2140 S. Archer Ave.
February 4 at 3pm
The Chicago Chinese Cultural Institute is hosting a dumpling-making party followed by a dinner that will include chicken and vegetable dumplings, kung pao chicken, fish with soy bean paste, Mongolian beef, braised bean curd with black mushroom, vegetable-fried rice, and water chestnut cake. Tickets are $40 each.
Our Miss Brooks 100 @ The Rubloff Auditorium at the Art Institute
February 2 at 6pm
Presented as part of a centennial initiative honoring the legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African American poet to receive the Pulitzer Prize, this program brings together five African American Pulitzer Prize–winning poets—Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa, Natasha Trethewey, Tracy K. Smith and Gregory Pardlo—for an evening of poetry and conversation. The Art Institute is free to Illinois residents on Thursday evenings, and the event is free of charge.
Who Wants Love? A Pop-Up Print Show @ Workshop, 935 W. Chestnut St.
Find the perfect gift for a lovely human in your life *and* support a literary arts nonprofit at the second-annual Who Wants Love? Pop Up Print Show, sponsored by Tiny Bold Creative, Ghost Press, French Paper Company, and Half Acre Beer Company. All proceeds benefit 826CHI, a creative writing, tutoring, and publishing center that offers tuition-free programs to more than 2,500 CPS youth each year.
Inaugural Masculinity Discussion Group @ Volumes Book Cafe, 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave.
February 9, 7pm
This is the first meetup for the Masculinity Discussion Group, created by Ada Cheng with the goal to deconstruct the ideology of white heterosexual hegemonic masculinity and to create alternative forms of masculinities. All who are interested in engaging in deep reflections, conversations, and personal/social changes are welcome. This is a free event.
Chicago Auto Show @ McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr.
February 11-20 –10am to 10pm daily, but 10am-8pm on Feb. 20
Come see North America’s largest automotive show make its annual Chicago appearance. The show features an array of innovative automotive models and designs from across the industry, including domestic cars, utility vehicles, sports cars, and experimental/concept vehicles. Tickets are $13 for adults, and $7 for children (ages 7-12) and seniors (ages 62+).
February 4 and 5
Catch the Argyle St Parade in Edgewater or head down to Chinatown for the larger affair. The Argyle parade starts at 1pm Saturday February 4. The parade will kick off underneath the Argyle red line station and will head east along Argyle Street, south along Sheridan Road, west along Ainslie Street, and north along Broadway. The Chinatown parade boasts 30,000+ attendees and a longer history. It begins at noon on Sunday February 5 at Wentworth and 24th Avenues.
The Orchid Show @ Chicago Botanic Garden
February 11-March 26 at 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe