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posted: 2/18/2014 5:30 AM

Best bets: Circus Spectacular wows at Sears Centre

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  • See elephants, tigers, motorcycling tricksters and more when the Circus Spectacular comes to the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates.

      See elephants, tigers, motorcycling tricksters and more when the Circus Spectacular comes to the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates.

  • See elephants, tigers, motorcycling tricksters and more when the Circus Spectacular comes to the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates.

      See elephants, tigers, motorcycling tricksters and more when the Circus Spectacular comes to the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates.

  • The International Kennel Club Dog Show returns to McCormick Place in Chicago on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 22-23.

      The International Kennel Club Dog Show returns to McCormick Place in Chicago on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 22-23.

  • The Race and Performance Expo returns to the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles. Among the vehicles at a past event was Schwartz Performance's 1981 Pontiac Trans-Am.

      The Race and Performance Expo returns to the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles. Among the vehicles at a past event was Schwartz Performance's 1981 Pontiac Trans-Am.
    Courtesy of Prestige MotorCar Photography

  • The Naperville Winter Ale Fest debuts from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22.

      The Naperville Winter Ale Fest debuts from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22.
    Daily Herald File Photo

  • Comedian and ventriloquist Taylor Mason appears at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights on Saturday, Feb. 22.

      Comedian and ventriloquist Taylor Mason appears at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights on Saturday, Feb. 22.

  • Soprano Ana Maria Martinez stars in the title role of Dvorak's fairy-tale tragedy "Rusalka," which makes its Lyric Opera of Chicago debut on Saturday, Feb. 22.

      Soprano Ana Maria Martinez stars in the title role of Dvorak's fairy-tale tragedy "Rusalka," which makes its Lyric Opera of Chicago debut on Saturday, Feb. 22.
    Courtesy of Tom Sprecht

  • Singer Beverly Crawford will perform as part of CLC's 30th Annual Salute to Gospel Music.

      Singer Beverly Crawford will perform as part of CLC's 30th Annual Salute to Gospel Music.
    Courtesy of College of Lake County

  • The string quartet Well-Strung will perform at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre on Saturday, April 12.

      The string quartet Well-Strung will perform at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre on Saturday, April 12.

 
 

Top pick

Big-top fun
Carden Entertainment brings its 51st Circus Spectacular with exotic animals, graceful aerialists, skilled acrobats and more to the Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates. $20-$45; $10 parking. (888) 732-7784 or searscentre.com. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21; 11 a.m., 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22; and 2 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23

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This weekend

Bark stars
See many groomed breeds of dogs, agility tests and new canine products at the International Kennel Club of Chicago 2014 International Cluster of Dog Shows this weekend at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. $20; $15 seniors; two-day pass $25 or $20 for seniors. (773) 237-5100 or ikcdogshow.com. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 22-23

All tricked out
Gear heads who love customizing their cars won't want to miss the 7th Annual Race & Performance Expo, which features vehicle displays, vendors and more this weekend at the Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. $15. (630) 584-6342 or raceperformanceexpo.com. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23

Cheers!
More than 120 craft beers by 60 different breweries can be tasted at the Naperville Winter Ale Fest this weekend at Frontier Park, 3380 Cedar Glade Drive, Naperville. $45 (includes tastings, commemorative glass and program); $15 designated drivers. Must be 21 or older. napervillewinteralefest.com. Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22

High praises
Singer and psalmist Beverly Crawford is the special guest star for the College of Lake County 30th Salute to Gospel Concert, which also features the award-winning Voices of Acme choir Saturday at Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. $19; $17 seniors and kids. (847) 543-2191 or (847) 543-2300 or geneseetheatre.com. 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22

Who's talking?
Award-winning comedian and ventriloquist Taylor Mason ("Star Search," "Last Comic Standing") brings his standup routine (and many felt alter egos) to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. $25. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com. 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22

Mermaid relation
Antonin Dvorak's 1901 fairy-tale opera "Rusalka," famed for its "Song to the Moon" aria and its similarities to Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid," finally has its Lyric Opera of Chicago debut Saturday in a new production by Sir David McVicar starring soprano Ana Maria Martinez at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago. Sung in Czech with projected English translations. $65-$319. (312) 332-2244 or lyricopera.org. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, then 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26, March 4, 7 and 10, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 2

Plan ahead

Play time
The Chicagoland Kids Expo and Fun Fair promises loads of games, activities, products and displays for toddlers up to teenagers on Saturday and Sunday, March 8-9, at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center, 1551 N. Thoreau Drive, Schaumburg. $10; $5 kids ages 3 to 12. (847) 303-4100 or chicagokidsexpo.com. 9 to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 8-9

Hunky strings
The male quartet Well-Strung not only performs music from classical composers, but they also do chamber ensemble arrangements of pop songs by the likes of Lady Gaga and Rihanna. Catch this classical crossover act on Saturday, April 12, at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1201 Main St., Batavia. $44; $42 seniors; $34 kids. (630) 942-4000 or bataviafineartscentre.org. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12

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