Best Bets: Meet and greet fan favorites at C2E2 this weekend

C2E2 returns

The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, or C2E2, the pop culture convention featuring film, TV and wrestling celebrities, comic artists, anime and video game creators takes place at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago. See Josh Brolin (“Dune 2,” “The Avengers”), Christopher Lloyd (“Back to the Future,” “The Addams Family”), Tom Skerritt (“Top Gun,” “Alien,” “Steel Magnolias”), Chicago’s own Svengoolie, Maya Hawke (“Stranger Things”), Darren Criss (“Glee,” “American Crime Story”), Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen (“Hannibal”), director Kevin Smith (“Clerks”) and others. Friday tickets: $55; Sunday tickets: $65. Saturday tickets sold out. 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, April 26-27, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 28

“Little Orphan Annie” creator Harold Gray, seen here with his wife, Doris Gray, at their Lombard home (the birthplace of the comic strip) is featured as part of the Lombard Historical Society's new exhibition, “Leapin Lizards! A Hundred Years of Little Orphan Annie.” Courtesy of the Lombard Historical Society

Leapin’ Lizards! Annie at 100

The Lombard Historical Society, in cooperation with the DuPage Convention and Visitors Bureau, celebrates the 100th anniversary of the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip. Created by Harold Gray, the character debuted in syndication in The New York Daily News on Aug. 5, 1924. The first comic strip to express a political perspective, it became one of the nation’s most popular strips during the 1930s and the first adapted for the radio. The strip ran 86 years, through 2010, sparking several films during the 1930s, a 1977 Broadway musical, subsequent film and TV adaptations and a 2014 TV film. “Leapin Lizards! A Hundred Years of Little Orphan Annie” runs through December at 23 W. Maple St., Lombard. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. $5 suggested donation. Additional activities include a housewalk from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 22 and a weeklong “Annie”-versary birthday party celebration July 30 through Aug. 3. Friday, April 26, through Dec. 23

Comedian/actor/activist Janeane Garofalo headlines The Den Theatre this weekend. Courtesy of Steven Dewell

Janeane Garofalo live

Comedian/actor/activist Janeane Garofalo (“Ratatouille,” “The West Wing,” “24,” “Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion”) headlines The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. $22.25-$44.75, plus a two-drink minimum. (773) 697-3830 or 7:15 and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 26-27

Jazz at Studio5

Jazz pianist Ben Paterson and guitarist Joel Paterson team up for an evening of jazz at Studio5, 1934 Dempster St., Evanston. This concert will be recorded live for WDCB’s Chicago Jazz Live. $25 general admission; $35 cabaret seating. (847) 328-6683 or 8 p.m. Friday, April 26

Frankie bids farewell

Favorite Chicago daughter and 10-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan and 1980s R&B star El DeBarge join singer/songwriter/producer Frankie Beverley, known for his work with the funk and soul band Maze, for his farewell tour at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago. $79.50-$259.50. 8 p.m. Saturday, April 27

Time for Three — Ranaan Meyer, left, Charles Yang and Nicolas Kendall — perform Saturday at The Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston. Courtesy of Shervin Lainez

Time for Three

The Music Institute of Chicago welcomes Emmy and Grammy Award-winning trio Time for Three when they perform at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston. Violinist/vocalist Charles Yank, violinist/vocalist Nicolas “Nick” Kendall and bassist/vocalist Ranaan Meyer make up the genre-bending ensemble who blend classical and Americana music. $30-$60. (847) 448-8326 or 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27

Dance premieres

The multicultural ensemble South Chicago Dance Theatre performs six commissioned world premieres about emerging from darkness into light as part of its show “New Horizons.” The program includes “Soul Power,” which explores the origins of African dance traditions that inspired American jazz dance. “An Opening” showcases street dance set to house music, and “Of Silence” is set to “Winter” from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” The finale is an athletic piece titled “Infinity Engine.” $33-$85. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27

Coming-of-age opera

Chicago Opera Theater continues its 50th anniversary celebration with the concert version of “The Weight of Light,” the first opera by Chicago composer Gillian Rae Perry, developed over her two years as a COT Vanguard composer. The “Weight of Light” tells the coming-of-age story of a mother (Dawn) and daughter (Emily) who have the ability to speak with objects, which Dawn views as a source of shame and Emily embraces as a gift. Perry and librettist Marcus Amaker discuss the work an hour before the performance at 6:30 p.m. $55. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27

Dinner and a blues show

Blues guitarist and singer/songwriter Coco Montoya celebrates his latest release, “Writing on the Wall,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Blues Chart, as part of Club Arcada’s Legends and Icons Dinner and Show Series at 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. $80 for the dinner and the show; $35 for the show. (630) 962-7000 or 7 p.m. Sunday, April 28

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