Your Chicago Curated Weekend: 2/23 and Beyond

It’d the final weekend of February, so let’s make it a good one! Plenty of amazing concerts, markets, restaurant weeks, and shows of all kinds are happening all weekend long.

While it feels like the pandemic is behind us, you still need to be mindful when you go out this weekend and beyond. The winter season has seen a lot of colds, flu, RSV, and of course bouts of COVID. It’s better to be safe and wear a mask when you go out to big events. And if you’re still a little hesitant to go out, there are many events and things to do from home. So whether you’re staying in or going out, keep safe and stay healthy!

Now, let’s get on with your Chicago Curated Weekend!


The Neo-Futurists’ The Infinite Wrench @ The Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N Ashland, Friday and Saturday 10:30pm, Sunday 7:00pm, 16+
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! Plan ahead as vaccination cards will be checked and booster will be required to be fully vaccinated.
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


International Carnivale @ Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.,  1:00pm- 5:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: Celebrate Carnivale
SO WHAT: Carnivale is celebrated throughout the world in fun and unique ways. International Carnivale, hosted by Logan Lu, will give you a glimpse into the myriad of celebrations including those of Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Italy, and North America. You’ll have the chance to enjoy fun art-making activities, music, food and dance from across the globe. Featured acts include Chicago Samba, Somos Colombia (El Carnaval de Barranquilla), Plena Project presented by Segundo Belvis-Ruiz Cultural Center, Team Jamaica (Caribbean Mas Band), La Tosca, and Four Star Brass Band!
NOW WHAT: It’s Free

Music Frozen Dancing @ Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western Ave, 1:00pm ’til dark
Oh you know, just a little block party in the middle of winter
SO WHAT: Clearly the most logical thing to do in February is to throw a party outside the Empty Bottle. Presented with their pals at Goose Island Beer Co, Music Frozen Dancing 2023 will be welcoming some fantastic artists to their chilly stage including Special Interest, Snooper, Meat Wave, MSPAINT, and James Marlon Magas!
NOW WHAT: It’s free! Bundled up and rock out! While the show is free, they will be accepting donations at the gate – all proceeds benefit the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

ZINE NOT DEAD 19 @ Archer Ballroom,3012 S Archer Ave., 3rd Floor, 7:00pm,
Something unique for your Saturday evening
SO WHAT: If you’re wanting something a little different from your comics and zines, then this evening is for you! Join ZINE NOT DEAD for their 19th edition of excellent series! Hosted by Matt Davis and Brad Rohloff, this evening will feature comics readings from Tommi Parrish, Caroline Cash, Kelly Wang, Gabriel Mason Howell, LEE SCHULDER, AUBREY GALLACHER, Hannah Larson and Alex Nall !
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $15!

Meg Memes Fest X Malcom Fest @ Sleeping Village, 3734 W. Belmont Ave., 8:00pm, 21+
Good jams for your Saturday night
SO WHAT: In the uncertain beginnings of the pandemic, Meg Memes Fest brought an amazing array of artists for a livestreamed festival that was everything we needed. Last year the festival made its way to Sleeping Village with a fantastic local lineup and Meg Memes is doing it again! This time it’s Meg Memes X Malcolm Fest with Sports Boyfriend, Daarling, Joyfriend, and Orisun getting together for a great night of diverse and fun jams!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door!!


Winter Brew 2023 @ Lincoln Avenue between Leland and Wilson, Noon – 6:00pm,all ages but 21+ to enjoy the brews
WHAT: An outdoor brew festival right in the middle of winter
SO WHAT: Put on some layers and head out to this fun beer festival in the heart of Lincoln Square and Ravenswood! Over a dozen breweries will line the street, alongside several local businesses giving you a chance to try something new or indulge in an old favorite!
NOW WHAT: Winter Brew is open to the general public, but Reusable Commemorative Cups must be purchased to consume alcoholic beverages. The pre-event package, which includes a Winter Brew Reusable Cup, a raffle ticket to win a winter parka or some cozy fleeces, two hand warmers is $5! Winter Brew Reusable Cup will be available on site for $7 and beverage/food tickets will be $1


Lincoln Square and Ravenswood Restaurant Week 2023 @ Various Restaurants, Various Times
WHAT: A great way to explore cuisine and fine dining at restaurants throughout Lincoln Square and Ravenswood
SO WHAT: Take a break from eating at home and check out some of the great restaurants ion the Lincoln Square and Ravenswood neighborhoods with their Restaurant week! Enjoy cuisine from all over the world- from Argentinian, French, and Italian to southern comfort food and beyond. Restaurants in will show off their wide array of dining options with special prix fixe menus to enjoy.
NOW WHAT: Head over to their website and check out all the [participating restaurants and their offerings!


Chicago Theatre Week @ Various Locations, various times
WHAT: A glorious return of Chicago Theatre Week,
SO WHAT: Chicago Theatre Week is meant to give theater lovers a chance to discover a new theater company in person. This year they are back in person with over 100 performances throughout the city ready to dazzle you with improv, dramas, musicals and more! Check out the lineup of theaters and shows over at their website!
NOW WHAT: Tickets range from $15 to $30 or even less! head out and discover some incredible shows!

Chicago Black Restaurant Week @ Various Locations, Various Times, All Ages
WHAT: Two weeks of this incredible dining opportunity
SO WHAT: Chicago Black Restaurant Week returns with another exciting lineup of local eateries. CBRW  was designed to create a platform for African-American owned eateries inviting foodies to check out our town’s hidden gems and maybe find some new favorite locales in the process.
NOW WHAT: Check out all the participating restaurants on their website and get ready for some great food!

Weekend Shows @ Lincoln Hall & Schubas, 2424 N Lincoln Ave & 3159 N Southport Ave, various times, 18+
WHAT: A full weekend of amazing shows at Schubas and Lincoln Hall!
SO WHAT: Lincoln Hall and Schubas are some of our favorite venues in the city and they always have something great going on. Check out what’s going this weekend at these great venues!

NOW WHAT: Head out to Schubas & Lincoln Hall and enjoy this great lineup of shows!

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
A great way to support a great local theater
SO WHAT: The Music Box Theatre is really to fill that art house need in you with some excellent movies including with The Blue Caftan, Close, Full Time,2023 Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts 2023 Oscar Nominated Live Action Shorts, 2023 Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, midnight screenings of Charlie’s Angels & Death Laid an Egg, 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 subscription is $4.99, in person screenings vary, so sit back and enjoy!

University of Chicago Folk Festival @ Your favorite spot in your home, All Ages
WHAT:A fantastic folk festival
SO WHAT: University of Chicago Folk Festival might have come and gone but their digital presence is still around, making sure the wonderful music reaches as many people as possible! You can check out the past few years of performances on their Facebook page and their YouTube channel any time you want! This past year’s performers included Balfa Toujours, Donka & Nikolay Kolev, Juan Rivera, Henry Barnes & Conner Vlietstra, Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, Jerron Paxton; Tim Britton, John Williams and Katie Grennan!
NOW WHAT: Head over to their Facebook page and their YouTube channel and enjoy the show! We highly encourage you to donate to help support this fantastic folk festival!

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 always brings some of the best ideas to the surface with entertaining programming that captures your imagination. Be on the lookout for updates to the upcoming season as their website is constantly updated with new talks.  Here is a taste of what’s coming up!
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

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

Julian Ramirez
Julian Ramirez
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