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Article updated: 1/8/2014 9:21 AM

Weekend picks: Harry Anderson supplies magic, laughs

Harry Anderson (star of "Night Court") brings his magic and stand-up routine to Zanies this weekend.

Harry Anderson (star of "Night Court") brings his magic and stand-up routine to Zanies this weekend.

 
Country star Keith Urban brings his Light the Fuse Tour to the United Center Friday.

Country star Keith Urban brings his Light the Fuse Tour to the United Center Friday.

 
Comedian Louie Anderson is set to perform at the Improv Comedy Showcase in Schaumburg.

Comedian Louie Anderson is set to perform at the Improv Comedy Showcase in Schaumburg.

 
Geoff Akins brings his “Bubble Wonders” show to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

Geoff Akins brings his "Bubble Wonders" show to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

 

Daily Herald file photo

February Sky, consisting Celtic guitarist Phil Cooper with songwriter and singer Susan Urban, are a folk duo set to perform at McHenry County College’s Luecht Conference Center in Crystal Lake at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12.

February Sky, consisting Celtic guitarist Phil Cooper with songwriter and singer Susan Urban, are a folk duo set to perform at McHenry County College's Luecht Conference Center in Crystal Lake at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12.

 
Head outside to tour the landscape at the WinterFest celerbation at the Volo Bog State Natural Area in Ingleside.

Head outside to tour the landscape at the WinterFest celerbation at the Volo Bog State Natural Area in Ingleside.

 

Daily Herald file photo by Gilbert R. Boucher II/g

Samantha Brown of television’s Travel Channel will be on hand at The Travel and Adventure Show at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

Samantha Brown of television's Travel Channel will be on hand at The Travel and Adventure Show at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

 

Courtesy of Tamara Bell

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."

 
Beatles tribute band American English is set to perform at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

Beatles tribute band American English is set to perform at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

 
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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

FRIDAY


Country idol: Australia and country music don't seem like an easy match, but Aussie superstar Keith Urban has managed to make it work. Urban, who supplements his recording and touring work by being a judge on the Fox television show "American Idol," brings his Light the Fuse Tour to the United Center, 1901 W. Madison, Chicago, this weekend. Tickets start at $35; ticketmaster.com. 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10

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Highland swing: Violinist Michael Ludwig joins with conductor Andrew Grams and the Elgin 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

Local star: Suburban resident and alt-country hero Robbie Fulks will perform this weekend at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. Fulks is one of the best singer-songwriters around, and his most recent album, "Gone Away Backward," has garnered some of the strongest reviews of his career. (Rolling Stone magazine recently named it one of the 10 best country records of 2013.) Fulks embraces the conventions of traditional country music, but with a contemporary attitude and wit. He's also an engaging (and often very funny) presence on stage, so this is a show suburbanites should definitely consider. $24; metropolisarts.com. 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10

A mystery tale: Steel Beam Theatre, 111 W. Main St., St. Charles, heats up winter with Ken Ludwig's whodunit "Postmortem." Set in 1922, the thriller centers around famed actor William Gillette, known for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, who invites the cast of his latest Broadway revival to his manor home in an attempt to uncover who is trying to murder him. $23-$28; (630) 587-8521 or steelbeamtheatre.com. 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10

Louie, Louie: Emmy Award-winning comedian Louie Anderson ("Life with Louis," "The Louis Show") returns to talk about his Midwestern upbringing and more starting Thursday at the The Improv Comedy Showcase, 5 Woodfield Road, Schaumburg. $22-$24, plus a two-item menu purchase. (847) 240-2001 or improv.com. 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10; 7 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11; 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12

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

'Men Are Dogs': The Elgin Theatre Company presents the comical "Men Are Dogs" at the Kimball Street Theater at the Elgin Academy, Kimball Street and Dundee Avenue, Elgin. The program looks at a successful female psychologist and the lives of the neurotic patients around her. $12-$15. (847) 741-0532, or visit elgin-theatre.org/tickets.htm. 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, and Saturday, Jan. 11; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12

SATURDAY


'The Poetry of Bafflement': The Northwest Cultural Council of Palatine hosts its Second Saturday Poetry Workshop at the Palatine Public Library, 700 N. North Court, Palatine. The workshop, The Poetry of Bafflement, will be led by local poet Maureen Tolman Flannery, author of "Tunnel into Morning." Participants are encouraged to bring 15 copies of their own works of poetry to share with the group. Cost is $15. To register, call (847) 991-7966, or send an email to nwcc@northwestculturalcouncil.org. 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 11

Travel and Adventure Show: Learn about the latest trends and "hot spots" in the world of travel at the Travel and Adventure Show at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont. More than 250 travel exhibitors will be on hand along with TV host Samantha Brown of the Travel Channel and Pauline Frommer, creator of Pauline Frommer's Travel Guides. Guests can also meet sled dogs, ride mechanical bulls, watch dance performances from around the world and more. Tickets are $10 online; $15 at door. Kids ages 16 and younger are free. Call (203) 878-2577 or visit adventureexpo.com. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12

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

'Bubble Wonders': Geoff Akins brings his bubble wizardry "Bubble Wonders" show to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. Along with his bubbly magic, Akins shares stories of life lessons, encouraging audience members to be persistent and confident. $14 adults; $12 for children ages 12 and younger. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com. 1 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

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

Power pop: The Bradburys, a Chicago band that champions the power-pop sound of such local favorites as Material Issue and Cheap Trick, will play its first show of 2014 this weekend at Austin's Fuel Room, 481 Peterson, Libertyville. $7; austinsaloon.com. 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11

SUNDAY


Celebrate winter at WinterFest: Celebrate this wintry season at the annual WinterFest event at the Volo Bog State Natural Area, 28478 W. Brandenburg Road, Ingleside. Guests can head outdoors to tour the bog, hike, cross-country ski, try snow shoeing and more. Indoor events include musical performances by Chris Strong and Will Kruger, story reading, a photo contest, refreshments and more. Admission is free; donations are welcome. For information, call (815) 344-1294, or email dnr.volobog@illinois.gov. Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12

Encore!: The Encore! traveling ensemble group from Buffalo Grove's BG Singers presents its "Coast to Coast" concert at the Prospect Heights Public Library, 12 N. Elm St., Prospect Heights. The program will include an eclectic mix of musical styles from all across the country, including Broadway tunes, Motown hits, pop, disco, folk and more. Register by calling (847) 259-3500, or visit phpl.info. 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12

Folk duo: Phil Cooper and Susan Urban make up the folk band February 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

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