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Article updated: 5/17/2013 10:15 AM

Weekend picks: Explore Adler's new 'Cosmic Wonder'


Wonders of the cosmos
Cosmic wonder isn't something you left back in the 1970s -- it's a new show opening Friday at the Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, that tells the story of how humans have pieced together an understanding of the cosmos. Presented in one of the world's most technologically advanced dome theaters, "Cosmic Wonder" begins with a naked-eye tour of the night sky using constellations as a road map and explains how ancient observatories, telescopes and modern devices have advanced space exploration. Premium Pass costs $28 for adults; $26 for seniors and students with ID; and $22 for children (ages 3-11). (312) 922-7827 or adlerplanetarium.org. Opening day: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, May 17; runs 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays through April 1, 2014

What characters!
Anime Central 2013, the Midwest's largest convention for fans of Japanese animation and manga, returns for a weekend-long bash featuring autograph sessions, dances, panels, video games and more at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont. (847) 692-2222 or acen.org. 10 a.m. Friday, May 17, through 4 p.m. Sunday, May 19

Craft Beer Week event
Celebrate Solemn Oath Brewery's first anniversary Friday with the tapping of two firkins plus plenty more of the Naperville brewery's beers on tap at The Bavarian Lodge, 1800 Ogden Ave., Lisle. (630) 241-4701 or bavarian-lodge.com. 4 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, May 17

Greek fare galore
Dig in to a wide variety of Greek fare, including saganaki, gyros, pastries and more at the Spring Greek Food Festival at Saint Athanasios Greek Orthodox Church, 1855 5th Ave., Aurora. Don't miss the Greek dance performances. Free admission. (630) 851-6106 or stathanasios.org. 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 17; noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 18; and 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, May 19

Starry skating
More than 275 skaters celebrate the movies in the Glenview Ice Center's 40th anniversary ice show titled "Hollywood, Skate of Fame." See this famed ice show at 1851 Landwehr Road, Glenview. $6. (847) 724-2800 or glenviewparks.org. 7 p.m. Friday, May 17; 4 p.m. Saturday, May 18; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 19

Sculpted ballet
Expect plenty of passion and drama when the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg presents the Chicago premiere of the ballet "Rodin," which focuses on the tempestuous relationship of the French sculptor and his protégé Camille Claudel. See Rodin and his famed sculptures come to life this weekend at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. $30-$90. (800) 982-2787 or auditoriumtheatre.org. 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 17; 8 p.m. Saturday, May 18; and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 19

Last chance for 'Trumbo'
Buffalo Theatre Ensemble's terrific production of "Trumbo -- Red, White & Blacklisted" -- an epistolary dramedy about blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo -- closes Sunday. See it while you can at Building K Theatre, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. Tickets cost $25-$33. (630) 942-4000 or atthemac.org. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 17-18, and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 19

Life with Louie
Comedian Louie Anderson ("Family Feud," "Life With Louie") returns for a special engagement this weekend at the Improv Comedy Showcase, 5 Woodfield Road, Schaumburg. $22-$24 plus a two-item menu purchase. (847) 240-2001 or improv.com. 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, May 17; 7 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday, May 18; and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 19

Jazz with Janice
The sounds of jazz vocalist Janice Borla will fill Madden Theatre at North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. Tickets cost $15-$20. (630) 637-7469 or northcentralcollege.edu/showtix. 8 p.m. Friday, May 17

Queensryche in concert
Rockers Queensryche headline the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles, on Friday. Tickets runs $30-$65. Visit oshows.com. 8 p.m. Friday, May 17

Blues master
Coco Montoya brings his virtuoso blues-guitar playing to the Montrose Room, located inside the InterContinental Chicago O'Hare hotel, 5300 N. River Road, Rosemont. A former member of the John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers band, Montoya is now seven albums deep into a solo career. He's a protégé of legendary bluesman Albert Collins, and his work has earned raves from fans and fellow blues artists across the country. Tickets start at $10. Go to montroseroom.com. 9 p.m. Friday, May 17

Singin' the blues
Listen to the blues, rock and gospel of Eddy Clearwater at Viper Alley, 275 Parkway Drive, Lincolnshire. Tickets run $10-$30. (847) 499-5000 or viper-alley.com. 9 p.m. Friday, May 17

Peggy Kinnane's May specials
Catch Hip Pockit, a nine-piece R&B, soul and funk band Friday at Peggy Kinnane's Irish Restaurant and Pub, 8 N. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights. May drink specials include $5 Crispin drafts, $5 Bacardi Oakheart and Cola, $7 Grapefruit martinis, $5 Kilbeggan Irish whiskey shots, $3 Miller Lite drafts, $7 Monroe martinis, $7 Smirnoff apple martinis, $4 SoCo Lime shots and $5 Firecracker shots. $3 cover. (847) 577-7733 or peggykinnanes.com. 9 p.m. Friday, May 17

Botanical art
A variety of artwork, along with heirloom tomatoes, flowering perennials and other plants will be for sale at the eighth annual Botanical Art Exhibition and Plant Sale, hosted by the American Society of Botanical Artists Reed-Turner Artists' Circle and the Long Grove-Kildeer Garden Club. It takes place at the Reed-Turner Woodland Nature Preserve, 3849 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove. (847) 438-4743. Free admission. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19

Civil War Days
Naper Settlement transforms into a Civil War encampment during the annual Civil War Days event at the settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. Hundreds of re-enactors will participate. Guests can see hundreds of re-enactors participate in an authentic battle, staged with artillery and marching infantry, each day. Advance tickets cost $5-$10; tickets at the gate cost $10-$15. Visit napersettlement.com. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19

Fit fair
Scale a 25-foot rock wall, balance on a paddle board or try your hand at a number of other recreational activities during this weekend's JustPlay! Sports & Rec Festival at the Carol Stream Town Center, at Lies Road and Gary Avenue, Carol Stream. Free admission, though select events require a registration fee. (630) 784-6100 or justplay.org. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 18, and 10 a.m. 4 p.m. Sunday, May 19

Farm fun
The Prairie Crossing Farm at Prairie Crossing, at 32400 N. Harris Road, Grayslake, hosts a Farm Connection Open House where guests can purchase organic plants, meet the farmers, see chickens and baby goats and purchase organic seedlings. Children can take part in a special farm scavenger hunt. Visitors are invited to bring a picnic lunch and eat on the south lawn of the yellow farmhouse. Note: guests should enter Prairie Crossing via Route 45 at Jones Point Road and follow the signs to the farm. Free admission. Visit prairiecrossing.com. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18

'Music Can Tell a Story'
Youngsters can explore musical instruments and help choose the music for the "Music Can Tell a Story" family concert at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County's Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook. The interactive performance group Fifth House Ensemble leads the event that is designed for ages 4 to 12. Kids can get an up-close look at instruments at the "musical instrument petting zoo." Fifth House Ensemble demonstrates how one can tell a story through music, using melodies and rhythm. Adults must accompany all children. $8 per person. (630) 206-9566. Noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18

'Peter Pan'
Take the family to the classic 1953 animated Disney film "Peter Pan" on a giant outdoor screen at Pirates Cove theme park, 901 Leicester Road, Elk Grove Village. Free for adults; $6 for resident children; $8 for nonresident children. (847) 439-2683. Rides and other events begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 18; movie begins at 8 p.m.

Time to swing
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the popular jazz and swing revivalist band, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, an event that will include a performance at North Central College's Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville. The nine-piece band is well-known for its inventive and energetic live performances. Tickets start at $35. Go to finearts.northcentralcollege.edu. 8 p.m. Saturday, May 18

Breweriana show
The Bullfrog Chapter of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America hosts its Spring Beer Can and Breweriana Show at the American Legion Hall, 514 S. Main St., Wauconda. A wide variety of breweriana items will be offered, including beer glasses, labels, signs and more. Admission is $1. For information, call Ken at (847) 202-1877. 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19

Rare Breeds Livestock & Poultry Show
See endangered breeds of livestock and poultry at the 27th Annual Rare Breeds Livestock & Poultry Show at the Garfield Farm Museum, on Garfield Road, off Route 38, Campton Hills. View Red Wattle piglets, Milking Shorthorn and Dutch Belt dairy calves, Dales and Hackney ponies, White Wyandotte chicks and many others. The event also features handcrafted soaps and yarns for sale, along with demonstrations, including sheep shearing and wool-spinning. $3-$6. (630) 584-8485 or garfieldfarm.org. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 19

Train Days
Train fans are invited to the annual Train Days event at Lambs Farm, 14245 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville. Kids of all ages can navigate electric trains, courtesy of the Valley Model Railroad Association. Free admission; some activities require small fees. (847) 362-4636 or lambsfarm.org. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 19

For the kids
Kids music superstar Raffi ("Baby Beluga," "Bananaphone") is back on the road in a tour to benefit the Centre for Child Honoring this Sunday at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. $25-$35. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com. 1 p.m. Sunday, May 19

Elmhurst Museum Day
Take advantage of free admission to Elmhurst's four museums on Elmhurst Museum Day Sunday. A complimentary trolley will run throughout the day between the Elmhurst Art Museum (150 Cottage Hill Ave.), the Elmhurst Historical Museum (120 E. Park Ave.), the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art (220 Cottage Hill Ave.) and the Theatre Historical Society of America (152 N. York, second floor). Visitors can get stamps at the museums to qualify for entry in a prize drawing. Visit elmhurstartmuseum.org, elmhursthistory.org, lizzadromuseum.org or historictheatres.org. 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 19

Broadway cabaret
Broadway touring veteran Jason Forbach ("Les Miserables," "The Phantom of the Opera") performs his show "A New Leading Man" in an intimate cabaret concert at North Central College's Madden Theater, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. $20; $15 students/seniors. (630) 637-7469 or finearts.northcentralcollege.edu. 6 p.m. Sunday, May 19

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