February is jam-packed with events, so it can be hard to keep track of everything going on. In this week alone, there’s events for Chicago Theatre Week, Valentine’s Day, the All Star Weekend and Black History Month.
Reset checks in with freelance journalist Jessi Roti for her recommendations on what to see, hear and eat in and around Chicago this weekend.
Things to see
1. The Allure of Matter: Material Art From China - From gun powder to hair, this exhibition showcases 48 two- and three-dimensional works by contemporary artists from China who use a range of unique materials.The exhibition is divided between two venues — Smart Museum of Art and Wrightwood 659 — and runs through May.
2. Drag Prom at Thalia Hall - All ages are welcome to Thalia Hall’s first-ever drag prom on Saturday. There will be performances, live band karaoke, dancing and prom court. Doors open 7 p.m. Tickets are $20.
3. DISCOmbobulation at Co-Prosperity Sphere - Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist Li Ming Hu brings her carnivalesque sensibility to Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport for its first Co-Prosperity Peers exhibition. Her exhibition explores the Disco Demolition of 1979, and runs through Feb. 22 at 3219 S. Morgan Street.
4. Woolly Mammoth - Get lost inside this whimsical collectibles shop specializing in antiques and oddities. The Andersonville shop is at 1513 W. Foster Ave. Store hours are 12-7 p.m. from Wednesday through Sunday (1-7 p.m. on Monday and 3-7 p.m. on Tuesday).
Things to hear
4. California Clipper - A cocktail bar in Humboldt Park is known for its drinks and live music. This weekend, catch two sets performed by: trio Macie Stewart of OHMME, Lane Beckstrom and Jeremy Cunningham on Thursday (9 p.m.), Radio Free Honduras on Friday (10:30 p.m.), and Wild Earp & The Free for Alls on Saturday (10:30 p.m.). Tickets are $5.
5. 10,000 Maniacs at City Winery - Feeling lucky? Add your name to the waitlist for one of the 10,000 Maniacs’ sold-out shows this weekend at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St. Tickets are $48-65.
6. Anthology reading and Valentine’s Day Party at Women & Children First bookstore - Celebrate the best women’s erotica of the year — including works by queer and POC women storytellers — at this bookstore on Thursday, 7 p.m., at 5233 N. Clark St.
Things to eat
7. Luella’s Southern Kitchen - Jessi’s pick for brunch or place to go when you’re craving traditional Southern favorites. The restaurant is in Lincoln Square at 4609 N. Lincoln Ave.8. Aba - A Mediterranean spot for small plates and light drinks in the Fulton Market District. The restaurant is on the third floor at 302 N. Green Street.
9. Sweet Saturday at Garfield Park Conservatory - A family-friendly event with a children’s cooking demonstration, and a snacks and lounge area for parents. This is a drop-in event from 12-3 p.m. on Saturday.
Other events to check out in the Chicago suburbs:
10. Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live - Experience the thrill of watching the famous Hot Wheels monster truck toys come to life at Sears Centre Arena this weekend. Performances on Saturday (12:30, 7:30 p.m.) and Sunday (1:30 p.m). Adult tickets start at $29 and $10 for kids.
11. All Star Weekend Hip Hop Show - Join the show at Brauer House in Lombard on Saturday night for performances by L-Dot, Baby Steve, Goddess Boss and more. Doors open 9 p.m., show starts at 10 p.m. For ages 21 and over. Tickets are $10.
12. Murder Mystery Dinner at Harvest Room - Looking for an alternative to Valentine’s Day this weekend? Sign up for a murder mystery dinner at Harvest Room in Palos Heights. The theme is crime and punishment. Tickets are $70 for dinner and entertainment. Seats are limited, so get your reservations in ASAP.
GUEST: Jessi Roti, freelance music and culture journalist