It’s a new year and we’re still in the thick of it. The Omicron stage in our pandemic journey is roaring loudly and we need to stay safe! Stores, restaurants, and venues are seemingly fully open with mask and vaccination requirements, but some shows are being moved and outright cancelled. So if you still don’t feel entirely safe to go out you can always stay in and support these places from home. But if you do plan to go out this weekend, make sure you check out the venue’s policies and quite honestly, take initiative. Wear a mask, social distance, and get your vaccination shots and your booster even if the venue/event is lax. Protect yourself and those around you.
Now, let’s get on with your Chicago Curated Weekend!
- Drive-In Movies
- ChiTown Movies, 2343 S. Throop St – Next week and beyond will feature screenings of
- Support Local Venues
- Kingston Mines is open with some great lineups this weekend
- Fitzgerald’s Patio is also back in full swing with tons of artists playing throughout the week with artists like Clem Snide on Thursday and EG Vines on Saturday!
- Evanston Space‘s shop is open and you should consider donating to help the venue during these weird times. They are also having lower capacity shows at the venue!
- Head over to the Hideout’s regular shop and get yourself some great merch! Their 2020 Holiday Sale page is also still up with links to great local artists!
- Metro shop is full of fantastic concert posters from yesteryear and cool merch
- Lincoln Hall/Schubas always has great items in their shop waiting for you! Plus Schubas/Tied House is open and events are on their way back!
- Same goes for Thalia Hall’s merch store (those holiday socks? *chef’s kiss*)
- Let’s not forget Empty Bottle’s fantastic merch shop! Plus they just added some new stuff designed by some awesome people that is sure to catch your eye! Shows are going on now as well, so head over to their venue site and go to some concerts if you’re comfortable
- Art Galleries and Special Events
- All Star Press is constantly putting up new prints for you to decorate your space with! They’ve started a whole new year-long series Naturally Beautiful! Check out some of their prints from last year’s Vertical Gallery collab, which you can purchase here!! There is also a virtual gallery featuring all the works! And don’t forget to check out the virtual edition of JC Rivera’s new exhibition “Still Undefeated” !
- Galerie F has a fun stock of prints from concert posters, pop culture prints and more! Plus they have a Black Friday Sale going on!
- Rotufugi will be showing a new exhibit Paintings in the Hue of Forever New Works from Chris RWK! So if you feel comfortable mask up and see the work in person.
- Immersive Van Gogh does exactly what its name says: immerses you into Van Gogh paintings via huge projections that bring the already lively art to life!
- WNDR Museum
- Garfield Park Conservatory is open! Book a reservation to see all the beautiful gardens safely!
- Lincoln Park Conservatory is open! Book a reservation to see all the beautiful gardens safely!
- Chicago Botanic Garden is open! Book a reservation to see all the beautifully lit up gardens safely!
- “The Office Experience Chicago” is open for all you die hard fans of the show!
SATURDAY, JANUARY 21st
Fulton Street Collective Jazz Series @ Fulton Street Collective & Their YouTube channel, 1821 W. Hubbard St, Suite 307, or the coziest spot in your home, 8:00pm
WHAT: Some excellent jazz for your evening
SO WHAT: Fulton Street Collective are back with in-person events, but they are still determined to give Chicago its much needed dose of jazz at home! Most of their shows are also streaming so you can see and hear the beautiful music on their YouTube channel! Below are just some of the upcoming shows from the collective.
- January 22 –“Work in Progress” Solo Art Opening with Emma Lyons – 2:00pm – 5:00pm
- January 30 –“Work in Progress” Solo Art Opening with Emma Lyons – 2:00pm – 5:00pm
NOW WHAT: The shows are free! Also you should definitely support Fulton Street Collective by becoming a member!
Macie Stweart & Reno Cruz @ Golden Dagger, 2447 N Halsted St., 8:00pm, 21+
WHAT: Just a little taste of the amazing Chicago music scene
SO WHAT: If you aren’t aware, we’re huge fans of Macie Stewart. One part of OHMME and an amazing solo act, Stewart has been making our favorite albums in the past few years and her latest Mouth Full of Glass is phenomenal. This is agreat opportunity to see her live as well as Reno Cruz, who’s tender voice will envelope you as he sings of companionship, isolation, and everything else floating around in this new reality we’re in.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $15 for this great show!
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, JANUARY 22th & 23rd
The Neo-Futurists’ The Infinite Wrench @ The Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N Ashland, Saturday 10:30pm, Sunday 7:00pm
WHAT: Quick plays live and online!
SO WHAT: The Neo-Futurists are back! Their Infinite Wrench is an ongoing, ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes for a live audience. Now it’s actually a live audience that will be enjoying the performance in person! With plenty of COVID precautions in place, you’ll be able to enjoy the funny, disgusting, profound, terrifying, irreverent, and downright entertaining show with friends! They won’t bwe open this weekend but plan ahead as vaccination cards will be checked and booster will be required to be fully vaccinated starting on January 30th.
NOW WHAT: Join the Neo-Futurists this weekend for $10! Head over to their website to see all they have planned now that in-person audiences are a thing again! If you’re still a little anxious about going out, The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral will be continuing til February (and possibly beyond) over at their Patreon!
SUNDAY, JANUARY 23rd
Courtney Barnett & Julia Jacklin @ Chicago Theater, 175 N State St, 7:30pm
WHAT: Two amazing musicians taking over the Chicago Theatre
SO WHAT: Courtney Barnett must be experienced live. Her raw intensity is unparalleled and always a treat. She’s been releasing great album after great album and her latest Things Take Time, Take Time is a great addition to her catalogue. Joining her will be fellow Australian Julia Jacklin and her incredible voice.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are somehow still available and only $35! Go to this show!
THE WHOLE SELF-DISTANCING WEEKEND & BEYOND
Tomorrow Never Knows Festival @ Lincoln Hall / Schubas / Hideout / Sleeping Village / Golden Dagger, Various Locations, Various Times
WHAT: Tomorrow Never Knows unites Lincoln Hall, Schubas, Hideout Inn, Sleeping Village, and Golden Dagger for a fantastic festival
SO WHAT: TNK curates the best of rising musicians (with a focus on local acts) across five days and venues, deliver one of the early year fests!
- January 20
- Ashley Ray & Felonious Munk @ Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave., 6:30pm, 21+ $20
- Lomelda, CARM, Alexalone @ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., 7pm, 18+ $18
- Waltzer, Friko @ Golden Dagger, 2447 N Halsted St., 8pm, 21+,
- Ashley Ray & Felonious Munk @ Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave., 8:30pm, 21+, $20
- Sen Morimoto, Blake Saint David @ Sleeping Village, 3734 W Belmont Ave, 9pm, 21+, $18
- January 21
- Junius Paul, Marty Mars (DJ Set) @ Sleeping Village, 3734 W Belmont Ave, 9pm, 21+ FREE
- DARK NIGHTS feat. DJ Power Couple @ Schubas, 3159 N. Southport Ave., 7:30pm ,21+ FREE
- Macie Stewart, Reno Cruz @ Golden Dagger, 2447 N Halsted St., 8pm, 21+, $15 (fuller preview above)
- Brent Weinbach & DJ Douggpound @ Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave., 7pm, 21+, $20
- Brent Weinbach @ DJ Douggpound @ Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave., 9pm, 21+, $20
- January 22
- Ladylike @ Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave., 3pm, 21+, $12
- Dante Elephante, Jacob Sigman, 81355 @ Schubas, 3159 N. Southport Ave., 7pm, 18+, $20
- DJ Zolita, Magin @ Golden Dagger, 2447 N Halsted St., 8pm, 21+, $15
- Geese, Gustaf, Native Sun @ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., 8pm, 18+, $16
- Exum, Fingy @ Sleeping Village, 3734 W Belmont Ave, 9pm, 21+, FREE
- January 23
- Another Michael, JODI, Joey Nebulous @ Sleeping Village, 3734 W Belmont Ave, 9pm, $21+ $18
- Minor Moon, Elizabeth Moen, Niika @ Schubas, 3159 N. Southport Ave., 7pm, 18+, $20
- Samantha Crain, Sunny War @ Golden Dagger, 2447 N Halsted St., 8pm, 21+, $15
NOW WHAT: Click the links above for tickets to all the available shows and enjoy one of the better music weekends of the year!
Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival @ Various Locations, Various Times
WHAT: Discover the world of puppetry over the next two weeks!
SO WHAT: Add a little something different to your weekend plans as the Chicago International Puppet Theater festival makes it’s way to town. Check out a variety of shows, experiences, and workshops throughout town and home letting audiences immerse themselves in a world of puppets. Special events like neighborhood tours and The Plastic Bag Store will be great multiday highlights! Check out this weekend’s lineup below and the rest of the festival’s schedule at their website !
- January 20
- January 21
- January 22
- The Plastic Bag Store:
- Online Symposium – Staging the Non-Human Character; Animal, Alien, or Architecture @ HOME! – 10:00am – FREE!
- Online Symposium – What We Leave Behind: The Plastic Object Geological Layer @ HOME! – 1:00pm – FREE!
- Cabinet of Curiosity @ Museum of Contemporary Art, 205 E. Pearson St.- 2:00pm – $40
- Nick Lehane @ I
- Maria Camia @
- Neo-Futurists @
- Nasty, Brutish & Short @
- January 23
- January 24
- Nick Lehane @ I
- January 25
- January 26
NOW WHAT: You can find full ticket info in the links above or on the festivals website!
Buddy Guy and Special Guests @ Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S Wabash Ave, Various times, 21+
WHAT: Experience one of the great musicians of all time performing live!
SO WHAT: Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy is back for 16 electrifying shows over the next four weekends at Buddy Guy’s Legends. He’ll be performing with 15 amazing musicians including Bobby Rush, Robert Fetzer, Kingfish, Demetria Taylor and more! CHeck out the remaining dates beleow!
- Thurs Jan 20 – BUDDY GUY w/ Linsey Alexander
- Fri Jan 21 – BUDDY GUY w/ Vino Louden
- Sat Jan 22 – BUDDY GUY w/ Mike Wheeler
- Sun Jan 23 – BUDDY GUY w/ Luke Pytel
- Thurs Jan 27 – BUDDY GUY w/ Dave Herrero
- Fri Jan 28 – BUDDY GUY w/ John Primer
- Sat Jan 29 – BUDDY GUY w/ NuBlu Band
- Sun Jan 30 – BUDDY GUY w/ Randy Johnson
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $65 for standing room and $99 for reserved seating ! Remember to mask up and bring a copy of your vaccination card!
New Talks and Video Archives @ Various Locations & Chicago Humanities Festival YouTube channel, your favorite browser or YouTube app, any time you want some inspiration, All Ages
WHAT: Interesting conversations with interesting people!
SO WHAT: Chicago Humanities Festival is back with some in-person events! They always bring some of the best ideas to the surface with entertaining programming that captures your imagination. Be on the lookout for the next season as their website is constantly updated with new talks, so check out the wealth of upcoming and previous events in their archives!
NOW WHAT: Head over to take a look at their past events here! You should also sign up for their email list to get updates on upcoming talks in 2022.
Sanctuary From Forgotten Blocks Photo Exhibition @ Kusanya Café, 825 W 69th St. Exhibit open 4-7pm daily
WHAT: The ongoing photo series, Sanctuary From Forgotten Blocks: A Photo Essay Showing the Beauty and Strength of Englewood, consists of images taken in the West Englewood community.
SO WHAT: The exhibit shows the community in ways we usually don’t see because they don’t conform to the standard violence stories the media tell.
NOW WHAT: The free event is sponsored by the Kusanya Café Art Collective and ThoughtPoetsOpinion. The exhibit will show works by photographer Isiah ThoughtPoet Veney. See more info here. The exhibit is open 4 to 7pm daily through February 1. Photos are available for purchase and proceeds will go to HER Chicago and GoodKidsMadCity.
Tony Fitzpatrick: Jesus of Western Avenue @ Cleve Carney Museum of Art, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, Various times Wednesday – Sunday, All Ages
WHAT: Prints, drawings, and collages from a local legend
SO WHAT: Cleve Carney Museum of Art will be housing Jesus of Western Avenue, a collection of 60 recent works from Tony Fitzpatrick’s great artistic mind! Fitzpatrick’s art is intrinsically tied to Chicago and the Midwest, delivering stories and visuals that could only be birthed by our formidable city. You can read our review of The Secret Birds here!
NOW WHAT: The exhibit is free! You can RSVP and select times over at their website!
Back on the Big Screen and Virtual Cinema @ Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport Ave and at your home, any time you want to watch a movie
WHAT: A great way to support a great local theater
SO WHAT: The Music Box Theatre is currently open to the public, so if you feel comfortable you can go out and have a theater experience this weekend with, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Licorice Pizza, The Velvet Queen, The Scary of Sixty-First, Yojimbo Part of: Black and White CinemaScope Matinees, a Midnight screening of The Room and more! But if you want to watch some first-run movies at home, you can still watch great movies and support them online! They are currently screening films via their The Music Box Direct series! There are also tons of select titles available on their new platform!
NOW WHAT: Digital tickets are $12, in person screenings vary, so sit back and enjoy! Remember that a physical/digital vaccination card or a negative PCR Covid test within 72 hours is required for entrance!
Lyric Opera Streaming On Demand @ Your favorite streaming device, the most lavish spot in your home
WHAT: The Lyric Opera at home
SO WHAT: Revisit some of your favorite Lyric moments, or experience for the first time performances you’ve missed.Check out their website for schedule of upcoming shows. Currently streaming is Luisa Miller (2019), The Queen of Spades (2020), and Die Walküre (2017).
NOW WHAT: It’s free!!
Concerts Livestreams and Local Shows Archives @ Your House, Any time you please, All Ages
WHAT: There’s tons of concerts from Chicago’s yesteryear available online for your enjoyment!
SO WHAT: Oh My Rockness and Do312 has done a fantastic job of cataloging some of the upcoming live-streams from the awesome musical acts out there! Check out Oh My Rockness’ listings here, Do312’s roundup of shows here, and tune in to these great shows from the comfort of home! Do312 have also shared some past Chicago shows that are certainly worth a watch. There are also so many great local concerts recorded for posterity and what better time to check them all out than during this self isolation period. Audiotree has a fantastic and huge list of sessions with links to band’s websites and merch to help support them even more. In addition to our previous recommendations like Fran, Tasha, KAINA, Divino Nino, and The Ophelias, we also recommend ROOKIE, Emily Blue, Sen Morimoto, Beach Bunny, Tennis, and Gia Margaret! Then head over to their record concerts from Lincoln Hall, Schubas, and beyond to check out Orville Peck, of Montreal, and so many more! JBTV is also a fantastic resource for sessions from bands that have come through Chicago! Just take a look at this playlist of Blind Melon’s ’95 set at Metro!
NOW WHAT: Stay home, watch some live music, and be sure to check out your favorite artists’ social media, you never know who might be live streaming next!
Video Games @ Your home PC or Console, As long as it takes, Just check the game rating
WHAT: Video-games for all!
SO WHAT: Check out our games page for some recommendations of what games to download (and avoid) while we’re stuck at home. If you’re a PC user, head over to the Epic Games store as they will be releasing a few new FREE games for you to download ! There are also tons of free games on Twitch Prime waiting for you to download!
NOW WHAT: Wash your hands and dive head first into some fun games!
Masque of the Red Coronavirus! @ Black Button Eyes Productions, Any time on your computer or mobile device. For 18+.
WHAT: Written by Black Button Eyes Productions producing artistic director Ed Rutherford, this short satirical piece is available online free as a combined script-and-video experience.
SO WHAT: In addition to reading the play, you will see various Chicago artists act out portions of the script on video, recorded remotely. The event includes puppets, burlesque, original music, fire dancing and more in a brief, darkly comedic confection.
With the Red Coronavirus running rampant across the countryside and a vaccine still months away, what’s a Prince to do? Lock himself in a secure bunker in an undisclosed location along with a cohort of his top donors, of course. To prevent him and his rich supporters from becoming bored, the Prince has also brought a few artists into the bunker to entertain the crowd. But as the hour grows later and the night grows weirder, it’s clear that something else has also invaded the party.
NOW WHAT: Settle down for an evening of magical weirdness. Click here and begin reading and watching the videos.