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posted: 1/7/2014 5:30 AM

Best bets: Bull riders tough it out at Allstate

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  • The 2014 Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Built Ford Tough Series will make a stop at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 11-12.

      The 2014 Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Built Ford Tough Series will make a stop at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 11-12.

  • Harry Anderson appears at the Zanies Comedy Club at MB Financial Park in Rosemont.

      Harry Anderson appears at the Zanies Comedy Club at MB Financial Park in Rosemont.

  • Violinist Michael Ludwig appears with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.

      Violinist Michael Ludwig appears with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.

  • Beatles tribute band American English will perform at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

      Beatles tribute band American English will perform at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

  • Soprano Patricia Racette returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to star in the title role of "Madama Butterfly."

      Soprano Patricia Racette returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to star in the title role of "Madama Butterfly."
    Courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera

  • February Sky, featuring Celtic guitarist Phil Cooper with singer Susan Urban, performs at McHenry County College's Luecht Conference Center in Crystal Lake at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12.

      February Sky, featuring Celtic guitarist Phil Cooper with singer Susan Urban, performs at McHenry County College's Luecht Conference Center in Crystal Lake at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12.

  • Creole Stomp performs a Mardi Gras concert at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

      Creole Stomp performs a Mardi Gras concert at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

  • The Imagination Movers head for the Paramount Theatre in Aurora on Sunday, May 18.

      The Imagination Movers head for the Paramount Theatre in Aurora on Sunday, May 18.

 
 

Top pick

Seconds count
See which competitors can hold on the longest when the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series returns this weekend at the Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont. $20-$125; $20 parking. (800) 745-3000 or allstatearena.com. 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12

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This weekend

Harry's humor
Sitcom star Harry Anderson ("Night Court," "Dave's World") shows off his magic and standup comedy skills this weekend at Zanies at MB Financial Park, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont. $25 plus a two menu-item purchase. (847) 813-0484 or zanies.com. 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11

Highland swing
Violinist Michael Ludwig joins with conductor Andrew Grams and theElgin Symphony Orchestra for the concert "Scottish Fantasy" featuring music of Mendelssohn and more this weekend at two locations: the Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg, then at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. $25-$60. (847) 888-4000 or elginsymphony.org. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, in Schaumburg, and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, in Elgin

Faux Four
Celebrate the recent 50th anniversary of The Beatles' first chart-topping hit with the tribute band American English this weekend at Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. $42. (630) 584-6342 or foxvalleyrep.org. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 10-11

Speedy ice
Those who think they have what it takes to become speedskating contenders shouldn't miss the Road to Gold Skating for Speed event Saturday at the Rink Side Family Entertainment Center, 6152 Grand Ave., Gurnee. No admission charge, though registration required for lessons. (847) 856-1064 or rink-side.com. Races from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and lessons from 1:30 to 3:50 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11

Poor butterfly
Puccini's classic 1904 operatic tragedy "Madama Butterfly" returns with soprano Patricia Racette taking over the title role of a jilted Japanese bride for six performances starting Saturday at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago. $64-$299. (312) 332-2244, ext. 5600, or lyricopera.org. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, Tuesday, Jan. 14, Friday, Jan. 17, and Monday, Jan. 20; and 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, and Sunday, Jan. 26

Folk duo
Phil Cooper and Susan Urban make up the folk bandFebruary Sky, which performs a free concert Sunday at McHenry County College's Luecht Conference Center, 8900 U.S. Highway 14, Crystal Lake. No admission charge. (815) 479-7814 or mchenry.edu/artevents. 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12

Plan ahead

Fat Tuesday
Celebrate Mardi Gras New Orleans style when Creole Stomp performs Tuesday, March 4, at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. $28. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 4

Singing movers
The zany Disney Jr. stars of the series "Imagination Movers" perform in person for two shows Sunday, May 18, at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. $29; $20 kids ages 12 and younger. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com. 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 18

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