Things to do in Chicago from January 27 to February 27. 2: theatre, music, cinema
TimeLine Theater’s 25th season kicks off with the world premiere of “Tirelessly,” written by Enterprise Member Tyla Abercrumbie. The drama, set in 1919 during the black Victorian era, is the story of two sisters who return to Philadelphia to settle their mother’s estate. After the discovery of his diaries, they are confronted with buried truths and a woman they never really knew. Ron OJ Parson conducts. Until February 26 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont. Tickets: $42 to $57. Go to timetheater.com.
You can see Steven Spielberg’s version of “West Side Story” on the big screen, or you can catch it on stage when the Marriott Theater rolls out its production directed by Victor Malana Maog. Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents’ musical about star-crossed lovers caught up in a turf war between rival gangs debuted on Broadway in 1957 and quickly achieved classic status. The stars of the musical are Lauren Maria Medina (Maria), Jake David Smith (Tony), Gary Cooper (Bernardo) and Vanessa Aurora Sierra (Anita). From February 2 to March 27 at the Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire. Tickets: $50 to $60. Go to marriotttheatre.com.
Victory Gardens Theater returns to live performances with Travis Tate’s “Queen of the Night,” about a divorced father and his queer son who try to relive the easier camping trips of yore. The playwright paints a family portrait about taking into account a common past while facing an uncertain future. Artistic director Ken-Matt Martin is leading the production. January 29 through March 13 at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $29 to $32. Visit Victorygardens.org.
Drury Lane season continues with Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber “Avoid.” The Tony Award-winning musical is based on the real-life story of Eva Perón, from life of rags to riches, which culminated in her becoming the First Lady of Argentina, a role in which she uses popularity and politics to serve her people – and herself. And, of course, the score includes the now classic song “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.” The cast includes Michelle Aravena (Eva), Sean MacLaughlin (Perón), Richard Bermundez (Che), Paul Aguirre (Magaldi) and Nina Poulimas (Young Eva). From January 28 to March 20 at the Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, $59 to $74. Visit drurylanetheatre.com.
Tracy Turnblad, a girl with big dreams, makes her way onto TV’s most popular dance show and tries to change the world by “Hairspray.” Following in the footsteps of Harvey Fierstein (Broadway) and John Travolta (film version), this Tony Award-winning musical comedy touring company stars drag queen Nina West in the ever-memorable role of Tracy’s mother, Edna. From February 1 to 13 at the CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe, $33 to $106. Visit broadwayinchicago.com.
“Soul Women” is Daryl D. Brooks’ celebration of great singers such as Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, Janis Joplin and many more. The feel-good revue debuted at the Black Ensemble Theater in 2018. January 28 through March 6 at the Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport, $35-$80. Visit mercurytheaterchicago.com.
Mardra Thomas stars in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” a portrait of singer Billie Holiday. From January 27 to March 12 at the Metropolis Performing Arts Center, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights. Tickets: $40. Visit metropolisarts.com.
Hailed as one of “12 Black Artists Shaping the Future of Country Music” by USA Today, Britney Spencer charts its own unique path in the genre. Growing up in Baltimore, she was exposed to pop, hip-hop and R&B, but fell in love with country when she heard The Chicks. After diving deep into country music, she landed in Nashville, where she honed her songwriting and storytelling skills. She has developed a unique vision and describes herself as an “alternative country artist”. Her recent single “Sober and Skinny,” written with Nelly Joy and Jason Reeves, has garnered plenty of praise, and her cover of Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey” is sublime. 8 p.m. Jan. 28 at Space, 1245 Chicago, Evanston. Tickets: $16. Visit evanstonspace.com.
In November 2020, caught in the uncertainty of the pandemic, the Grammy-winning progressive bluegrass band Punch Brothers recorded “Hall on Church Street”, a reimagining of bluegrass great Tony Rice’s historic solo album, “Church Street Blues”. Rice has been a major influence and inspiration to the band members, and vocalist-mandolinist Chris Thile said, “We wanted to thank him for being one of the biggest influences on us and everyone who interacts with the music. American roots music.” Sadly, Rice passed away on Christmas Day 2020 and never received this gift from the group. Saddened by the loss of their friend, banjoist Noam Pikelny said: “We realized that what Tony left us was his music, his spirit and his legacy. And clear marching orders to “make everything count”. “In addition to Thile and Pikelny, the band members are Paul Kowert (bass), Gabe Witcher (violin) and Chris Eldridge (guitar). At 7:30 p.m. on January 27 at the Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield. Tickets: $40 to $60. Visit jamusa.com.
Pianist Jan Lisiecki performs an all-Chopin program, including Opus 10 Etudes at 3 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets: $21 to $87. Visit cso.org… The Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society performs plays by Brahms, Mahler, Dvorak and Franck at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph. Tickets: $30 to $70. Visit harristheaterchicago.org… The Music Institute of Chicago Presents the CSO Concertmaster Robert Chen and pianist Matthew Hagle with a program of works by Bach, Debussy, Prokofiev and Ysaye at 3 p.m. on January 30 at the Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago, Evanston. Tickets: $25 to $50; live stream $25. Visit nicholsconcerthall.org.
“The Journey Home” a new exhibit at the Illinois Holocaust Museum, is a unique experience as it applies virtual technology to connect today’s visitors to the experiences of Holocaust survivors through two award-winning films, “A Promise Kept” and “Don’t Forget Me,” narrated by survivors Fritzie Fritzshall and George Brent. Visitors control their own 360-degree experience when placed in the 3D environment in an intimate, individual setting. Fritzshall and Brent guide participants through preserved concentration camps (Auschwitz, Mauthausen, and Ebensee), sharing what they endured during the Holocaust. The exhibit opens January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, at 9603 Woods Dr. ., Skokie. Admission $6-$18. Visit ilholocaustmuseum.org.
“IMAX: The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert” is a film of the Beatles concert on the roof of the Apple Corps headquarters in Savile Row on January 30, 1969. It is followed by a question and answer session with Peter Jackson, director of the eight-hour docuseries whose concert is drawn. “This is the Beatles’ last concert, and it’s the absolutely perfect way to see and hear it,” Jackson says. At 2 p.m. Jan. 30 at Regal City North, 2600 N. Western ($23.55-$26.29) and AMC Oakbrook Center, 600 Oakbrook Center ($20). Visit tickets.imax.com/state/illinois.
A new 35mm print of the 1974 Francis Ford Coppola film “The conversation” begins screening Jan. 28 at the Music Box Theater, 3733 N. Southport. Gene Hackman stars as a lone wiretap expert who is hired to record a seemingly innocuous conversation, only to come to the belief that in doing so he is putting people at risk. In his Great Movies column, Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert called the four-star film a “smart, taut thriller” and added Hackman’s role was “one of the key performances of a great career. “. Tickets: $11. Visit musicboxtheatre.com.
Absent for the last two pandemic years, the Chicago Film Society returns for its 27th season with a slate that includes silent films from the 1920s, two Library of Congress restorations, and overlooked films from John Ford, Jim Jarmusch, Jane Campion, King Vidor, George Cukor and more. First up are Harold Lloyd’s classic “The Freshman” (January 29) and Jarmusch’s “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai” (February 1) at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. The series continues through May 4 at multiple locations. Tickets: $10 to $12. For a full list of films, go to chicagofilmsociety.org.
For a special Valentine’s Day touch, check out “Bad Romance,” a series of nine films depicting toxic or tumultuous love. The films are “Gaslight” by George Cukor, “A New Leaf” by Elaine May, “Fatal Attraction” by Adrian Lyne, “Leave Her to Heaven” by John Stahl, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? » by Mike Nichols, « That Obscure by Luis Bunuel ». Object of Desire”, “Wild at Heart” by David Lynch, “In the Realm of the Senses” by Nagisa Oshima and “Happy Together” by Wong Kar-wai. February 1-27 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. Tickets: $12. Visit siskelfilmcenter.org.