Weekend picks: Bull Riders World Tour rides into Sears Centre
Rodeo and bull-riding greats like Neal McCoy are featured in the professional championship Bull Riders World Tour Finale VII this weekend at the Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates. Tickets cost $18-$85; $10 parking. (888) 732-7784 or searscentre.com. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2
Déjà vu all over again
Visit the historic town square of Woodstock for Groundhog Days, an annual event that includes a Shake Off the Winter Blues Dinner Dance, the Awakening of the Groundhog ceremony at the historic 1889 Woodstock Opera House, and "Groundhog Day" movie trivia. The annual prognostication takes place the morning of Saturday, Feb. 2, when Woodstock Willie looks for his shadow. There also will be family activities including storytelling, a chili cook-off, walking tours of the filming sites and free showings of the movie. woodstockgroundhog.org. Event times vary Friday through Sunday, Feb. 1-3
If you're a racing fan and you don't know about the former NASCAR and Daytona 500 champion "Fearless Freddie" Lorenzen, then don't miss the exhibit "On the Road to Glory: Fred Lorenzen." It details many of the racing accomplishments of this Elmhurst native and starts this weekend at the Elmhurst Historical Museum, 120 E. Park Ave., Elmhurst. Free admission. The exhibit runs through Sunday, May 19. (630) 833-1457 or elmhurst.org. 1 to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Feb. 1-3
Groundhogs and shriners
Get down with the Medinah Shriners during a weekend of Groundhog Day fun starting with a dinner and dance Friday at the Medinah Shrine Center, 550 Shriners Drive, Addison. The evening includes a men's fashion show and cash bar that begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by a dinner at 7 p.m. Dance to music by Chuck and Friends. $45 per couple. (630) 889-1400. 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1
The distinguished Hamburg Ballet from Germany makes its Chicago debut this weekend with the new ballet "Nijinski" (based on the famed muse of impresario Sergei Diaghilev) at Millennium Park's Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Drive, Chicago. $30-$75. (312) 334-7777 or harristheaterchicago.org. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2
She can fly!
Cathy Rigby soars for the last time in "Peter Pan," the classic tale of the magical boy from Neverland who won't grow up, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. Rigby has said this is the last time she will tour "Peter Pan." $25-$85. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2; and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3
Classical & modern
The globally celebrated Parsons Dance brings its blend of classical and contemporary modern dance to North Central College's Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville. $10-$25. (630) 637-7469. 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1
Williams Street welcomes 'Company'
Former Chicago and Las Vegas "Jersey Boys" cast member John Michael Coppola stars as Bobby, the thirty-something singleton whose friends want to pair him off in the Williams Street Repertory revival of the Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical "Company." Executive director Richard Kuranda makes his directorial debut of the musical at the Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. $30. (815) 356-9212 or rauecenter.org. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2
Big Noise Theatre Company presents Garson Kanin's "Born Yesterday" about a wealthy and corrupt junk dealer who brings his uneducated girlfriend to Washington, D.C., and attempts to make her more presentable to Washington society. See it at Prairie Lakes Theatre, 515 E. Thacker St., Des Plaines. $25 adults; $23 for seniors and students. (847) 604-0275 or bignoise.org. 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3
Movie actor and Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member John Malkovich returns to Chicago in a chilling opera and theater hybrid drama called "The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer." The piece focusing on literary murderer Jack Unterweger plays this weekend at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. $35-$125. For mature audiences only. (312) 294-3000 or cso.org. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2
From being a finalist on NBC's "Last Comic Standing" to numerous appearances on "The Howard Stern Show," comedian April Macie brings her own brand of often explicit humor to Zanies Comedy Club, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont. $20 plus a two menu-item purchase. (847) 813-0484 or zanies.com. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2
American Theater Company, 1909 W. Byron St., Chicago, presents the world premiere of the revised "columbinus," a riveting examination of teenagers through the prism of the deadly 1999 Columbine High School shootings. Conceived and directed by artistic director PJ Paparelli, this piece of docu-theater was written by Paparelli and Stephen Karam, who drew upon survivor accounts, journal entries and emails for their original play which they've updated from information Paparelli collected recently when he returned to Littleton, Colo., for follow-up interviews with survivors and victims' family members. The show opens Feb. 6. $33-$43. (773) 409-4125 or atcweb.org. Previews begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3
"Sunset Boulevard," Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1994 stage adaptation of the classic 1950 Billy Wilder film, runs at the Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook Terrace, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. The story looks at a faded and delusional silent movie star who attempts to make a comeback with an on-the-run second-rate screenwriter. Tickets cost $35-$45. (630) 530-0111 or drurylaneoakbrook.com. 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, and 5 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2
Yo La Tengo, the acclaimed rock trio that includes husband-and-wife team Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley along with James McNew, has been together in its current form since the early 1990s, but the band shows few signs of aging. Yo La Tengo's new album, "Fade," out just a few weeks ago, is yet another stellar collection of eclectic songs that push the boundaries of rock music, bringing in elements of electronic music, pop and soul. Though still largely unknown by mainstream listeners, Yo La Tengo has created some of the most creative rock of the past 20 years. The band arrives at the Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago. Highly recommended. $21.50. Go to jamusa.com. 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1
Howard and the White Boys
The blues/rock band Howard and the White Boys takes to the stage with the Gregory Hyde Band at Viper Alley, 275 Parkway Drive, Lincolnshire. General admission is $10. (847) 499-5000 or viper-alley.com. 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1
Scan the trees and skies for Juncos, American tree sparrows, northern shrikes, long-eared owls and other birds during the Bird Walk at Volo Bog State Natural Area, 28478 W. Brandenburg Road, Ingleside. Bring binoculars and field guides, or borrow them from Volo Bog's walk leaders. Walks can vary in time from one to three hours. Adults and attentive children, ages 6 and older, are welcome. Meet in parking lot. Registration is requested at (815) 344-1294 or through email at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2
Wonders of Winter
Take part in horse-drawn hayrides, a high-tech treasure hunt, and see live birds of prey and meet members of a local dog-sledding team during the DuPage County Forest Preserve District's Wonders of Winter event at Mayslake Forest Preserve, 1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook. If ice and snow conditions are right, learn how to ice fish or strap on a pair of snowshoes and hit the trails. Free. (630) 933-7248. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2
Chocolate lovers' delight
The Morton Arboretum invites those with a passion for chocolate to the Chocolate Expo and Market this weekend in the Visitor Center, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. Free presentations on Saturday and Sunday: "The History, Mystery and Magic of Chocolate" at 10 a.m.; "Chocolate Bean to Bar" at 11 a.m.; "Do You Know Your Candy Bar?," a blind taste test at noon; and "Master the Chocolate Martini" at 3 p.m. Admission is $12 adults, $11 seniors and $9 kids 2-17. (630) 968-0074 or mortonarb.org. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 2-3
'My Favorite Brunette'
See the classic 1947 film "My Favorite Brunette," starring Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour, at Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center, 150 E. Wood St., Palatine. Tickets are $6 per person. (847) 202-5222 or cuttinghall.org. 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2
Celebrate Japanese culture at the Japanese Festival at the Oak Park and River Forest High School, 201 N. Scoville Ave., Oak Park. Activities include performances by professional Tsukasa drummers and dancers and hands-on activities, including making chopsticks, Japanese toys and crafts. Learn to write your name in Japanese and sample Japanese fare. Free admission. (708) 434-3386 or oprfhs.org. Festival runs noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, followed by a free Tsukasa drumming concert from 5 to 6 p.m.
Dennis Rodman, the author
Former Chicago Bulls star and NBA Hall of Fame member Dennis Rodman reads from and signs copies of his new children's book, "Dennis the Wild Bull," at Anderson's Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson ave., Naperville. (630) 355-2665 or andersonsbookshop.com. 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2
North Central College and the Xilin Art Center in Naperville present the annual Chinese Spring Festival Celebration at the college's Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville. Features Chinese modern and traditional ethnic dance and music, Kung Fu and singing. For tickets, call (630) 355-4322 or (630) 355-7294. 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2
Let it snow!
Why should the kids have all the fun? Gibby's Wine Den, 1772 S. Randall Road, Geneva, hosts a decidedly grownup Adult Snow Day Saturday with wines paired with Graham's Fine Chocolates. Reservations are required, and spots may be limited, so call now. Tickets cost $30 per person; must be 21 to attend. (630) 208-6424 or gibbys-wine.com. 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2
Beau Vigne dinner
Sit in on the Beau Vigne four-course wine dinner Saturday at Carlucci Restaurant, 1801 Butterfield Road, Downers Grove. The evening begins with porcini mushroom soup paired with Amendment XXI Merlot. Dinner includes Chardonnay-poached pear and arugula salad, hand-rolled garganelli pasta, braised beef short ribs served with Beau Vigne Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. $95 per person (includes tax and gratuity). (630) 512-0990 or carluccirestaurant.com. 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2
Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People
Miguel Gutierrez and his six dancers, the Powerful People, will hit the stage at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago. Gutierrez and the troupe have been working together for several years on the connections between dance, neurology and paranormal circumstances. Tickets cost $28, $22 for MCA members, $10 for students. (312) 397-4010 or mcachicago.org. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, and 3 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3
Son of Led
Jason Bonham's "Led Zeppelin Experience" comes to the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles, this weekend. Jason Bonham, the son of original Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, combines live music, videos and effects into a tribute to his father's legendary band. Tickets start at $59. (630) 962-7000 or oshows.com. 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2
The Bullfrog Chapter of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America hosts its Super Bowl Sunday Beer Can and Breweriana Show at the American Legion Hall, 514 S. Main St., Wauconda. The show features a wide variety of breweriana, including beer cans, beer signs, coasters, labels and more. Admission is $1. For information, call Ken at (847) 202-1877 or visit bcca.com. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3
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