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updated: 4/29/2014 6:37 AM

Weekend picks: Gates open at Arlington International

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  • Arlington International Racecourse opens its 2014 season on Friday, May 2, which is followed up by Kentucky Derby Day on Saturday, May 3.

      Arlington International Racecourse opens its 2014 season on Friday, May 2, which is followed up by Kentucky Derby Day on Saturday, May 3.

  • Olympic gold medal ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States appear in "Stars on Ice" on Saturday, May 3, at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

      Olympic gold medal ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States appear in "Stars on Ice" on Saturday, May 3, at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.
    Associated Press File Photo

  • Strawberries dipped in chocolate are some of the treats featured at the annual Long Grove Chocolate Fest.

      Strawberries dipped in chocolate are some of the treats featured at the annual Long Grove Chocolate Fest.

  • Acclaimed American band Murder By Death will perform Friday at Durty Nellie's in Palatine.

      Acclaimed American band Murder By Death will perform Friday at Durty Nellie's in Palatine.
    Courtesy of Greg Whitaker

  • Singer Aretha Franklin performs at the Chicago Theatre on Saturday, May 3.

      Singer Aretha Franklin performs at the Chicago Theatre on Saturday, May 3.
    Associated Press File Photo

  • British comedian Adam Burke performs at The Comedy Shrine in Aurora at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3.

      British comedian Adam Burke performs at The Comedy Shrine in Aurora at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3.

  • Moscow Festival Ballet brings its production of the Prokofiev ballet "Cinderella" to North Central College's Pfeiffer Hall in Naperville on Friday, May 2.

      Moscow Festival Ballet brings its production of the Prokofiev ballet "Cinderella" to North Central College's Pfeiffer Hall in Naperville on Friday, May 2.

  • One can fly a kite, make a kite and watch professional kite flyers in action at the Wheaton Park District's Go Fly a Kite! event.

      One can fly a kite, make a kite and watch professional kite flyers in action at the Wheaton Park District's Go Fly a Kite! event.

  • Joffrey Ballet dancers Alberto Velazquez and Mahallia Ward rehearsing the U.S. premiere of choreographer Krzysztof Pastor's modern take on "Romeo & Juliet," which plays from Wednesday, April 30, through Sunday, May 11, at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago.

      Joffrey Ballet dancers Alberto Velazquez and Mahallia Ward rehearsing the U.S. premiere of choreographer Krzysztof Pastor's modern take on "Romeo & Juliet," which plays from Wednesday, April 30, through Sunday, May 11, at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago.
    Courtesy of Christopher Duggan/Joffrey Ballet

  • Test your knowledge of "Star Wars" films, such as "The Empire Strikes Back" film pictured above, at the "Let the Wookie Win: A 'Star Wars' Quiz" nationwide event on Sunday, May 4.

      Test your knowledge of "Star Wars" films, such as "The Empire Strikes Back" film pictured above, at the "Let the Wookie Win: A 'Star Wars' Quiz" nationwide event on Sunday, May 4.
    Photo courtesy of AP/Lucasfilm Ltd.

 
 

Starting gates
Arlington International Racecourse starts its 2014 season with Opening Day on Friday and Kentucky Derby Day on Saturday at 2200 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights. Free admission Friday; $12 admission and $2 kids admission Saturday. (847) 385-7500 or arlingtonpark.com. Gates open 11:15 a.m. Friday, May 2; 10:45 a.m. Saturday, May 3

FRIDAY


Calling all chocolate lovers!
Long Grove hosts its annual Long Grove Chocolate Fest at Robert Parker Coffin and Old McHenry roads, in downtown Long Grove. Visitors can dine on everything from chocolate brownies and doughnuts to giant chocolate-covered strawberries. Other highlights include musical performances, kids' rides, a climbing wall and more. Admission is $5 for adults; kids ages 12 and younger are free. (847) 634-0888 or visitlonggrove.com. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, May 2, through Sunday, May 4

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Jazz on campus
Musicians from the College of Lake County's Monday and Tuesday Night Jazz Ensembles team up for an evening of big band jazz classics and contemporary tunes at the Jazz Ensembles Concert in the James Lumber Center on the CLC campus, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake. $4-$5. (847) 543-2300 or visit clcillinois.edu. 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 2

Star-crossed lovers
The Joffrey Ballet presents the U.S. premiere of choreographer Krzysztof Pastor's modern take on Prokofiev's classic ballet "Romeo & Juliet" starting Wednesday at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. $31-$152. (800) 982-2787 or joffrey.org. 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 2; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 3; 2 p.m. Sunday, May 4

Lost & found
See a scullery maid triumph over her wicked stepmother and stepsisters when Moscow Festival Ballet performs its production of Prokofiev's "Cinderella" on Friday at North Central College's Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville. $20-$35. (630) 637-7469 or finearts.northcentralcollege.edu. 8 p.m. Friday, May 2

Chi Brit
Originally hailing from the U.K., Adam Burke has now made Chicago his home and is forging a career as a comedian and writer. Catch him this weekend at the Comedy Shrine, 4034 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora. $20 plus a two menu-item purchase. (630) 585-0300 or comedyshrine.com. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3

Return of Death
Acclaimed Americana band Murder By Death returns to the suburbs with a show at Durty Nellie's, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine. The band, which hails from Bloomington, Ind., produces a lush folk-rock sound that combines basic pop elements of guitar-bass-drums with cello, piano, accordion and other instruments. Murder By Death's most recent record is 2012's "Bitter Drink Bitter Moon," which was released on the local Bloodshot Records label. $20; durtynellies.com. 9 p.m. Friday, May 2

SATURDAY


Free Comic Book Day
Enjoy a free comic book from a participating shop during the annual Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 3. This year, vendors are offering 60 free titles. Visit freecomicbookday.com and enter your ZIP code to find participating suburban vendors. Saturday, May 3

Go fly a kite!
Watch professionals, including members of the Chicago Fire Kite Team, fly a variety of kites during the Wheaton Park District's Go Fly a Kite! event at Graf Park, 1855 Manchester Road, Wheaton. Guests can make kites of their own on-site, or bring kites from home. The park district will attempt to break its own record of flying 834 kites at one time during the Grand Launch event (registration required). Free. (630) 510-5064 or wheatonparkdistrict.com. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 3. The Grand Launch begins at 11 a.m.

Craft work
More than 45 breweries will be on tap for the Second Annual Ballpark Brew Fest on Saturday at the Boomers Stadium, 1999 S. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg. $40 general admission; $75 VIP. (847) 461-3695 or ballparkbrewfest.com. 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 3

'The Revenge of Red Riding Hood'
Members of the Young Arts Program present "The Revenge of Red Riding Hood" at the Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie. Picking up after "The Trial of Goldilocks," the production looks at how the characters are moving on with their lives. $12. (847) 677-7761 or skokietheatre.org. 5 p.m. Saturday, May 3

Golden opportunity
See champion skaters, including U.S. Olympic gold medal winners Meryl Davis and Charlie White, at "Stars On Ice" this Saturday at the Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont. $25-$85. (800) 745-3000 or allstatearena.com. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 3

He leads, he plays
Conductor and pianist Ignat Solzhenisyn leads the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in the music of Mozart and Bruckner this weekend at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. $25-$60. (847) 888-4000 or elginsymphony.org. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 3; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 4

Local H's new look
Hard-rock duo Local H performs at Tailgaters Sports Bar & Grill, 431 W. Boughton Road, Bolingbrook, this weekend with new drummer Ryan Harding. Harding joins singer, guitarist and Lake County native Scott Lucas in the band, which has delivered smart, punk-flavored rock songs since the 1990s. Harding and Lucas are testing out some new tunes on the road as they prepare for an upcoming album. $20; tailgatersgrill.com. 8 p.m. Saturday, May 3

Get 'Respect'
See why legendary singer Aretha Franklin has earned the title of Queen of Soul on Saturday when she performs at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago. $53.50-$128.50. (312) 462-6300 or thechicagotheatre.com. 8 p.m. Saturday, May 3

SUNDAY


Cinco De Mayo at Gurnee Mills
Gurnee Mills shopping mall hosts its first Cinco De Mayo celebration with food, giveaways, live performances by bands such as Los Panchis, Banda Tierra Nueva and the Hershey y Su Norteno Banda and more. Events take place near entrance G of the mall, at I-94 and Grand Avenue, Gurnee. Free. Visit gurneemills.com. Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 4

Test trivia, you will
The public quiz company Geeks Who Drink will host its Let the Wookie Win: A "Star Wars" Quiz in 28 cities across the country on Sunday, May 4, a date known as Star Wars Day to fans. Up to six people can form teams to be tested on trivia from the first three "Star Wars" films: "A New Hope," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." Admission to Fizz Bar, 3220 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, is $5 for each player. There will be costumes, prizes and more. Visit geekswhodrink.com/starwars. 7 p.m. Sunday, May 4

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