Best bets: Zoom into the Chicago Auto Show

  • The Chicago Auto Show showcases plenty of new concept cars.

    The Chicago Auto Show showcases plenty of new concept cars. Daily Herald file photo

  • The International Motorcycle Show comes to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

      The International Motorcycle Show comes to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • The Grave Digger jumps into action as part of "Monster Jam." The big truck extravaganza returns to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

    The Grave Digger jumps into action as part of "Monster Jam." The big truck extravaganza returns to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

  • Comedian Steve Rannazzisi appears at Zanies in St. Charles and Vernon Hills.

    Comedian Steve Rannazzisi appears at Zanies in St. Charles and Vernon Hills.

  • Famed funk saxophonist Maceo Parker is set to perform at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.

    Famed funk saxophonist Maceo Parker is set to perform at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.

  • Jessica Wolfrum and Michael Gross appear in the Chicago premiere of the tango suite "Al Sur Del Sur" for River North Chicago Dance at Millennium Park's Harris Theater for Music and Dance.

    Jessica Wolfrum and Michael Gross appear in the Chicago premiere of the tango suite "Al Sur Del Sur" for River North Chicago Dance at Millennium Park's Harris Theater for Music and Dance. courtesy of Sandro

  • President Richard Nixon (James Maddalena), center left, shakes hands with Chinese Premier Chou En-lai (Russell Braun) while Pat Nixon (Janis Kelly) descends the stairs in "Nixon in China." The 1987 opera by composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman will be shown live in high definition to movie theaters around the world on Saturday, Feb. 12.

    President Richard Nixon (James Maddalena), center left, shakes hands with Chinese Premier Chou En-lai (Russell Braun) while Pat Nixon (Janis Kelly) descends the stairs in "Nixon in China." The 1987 opera by composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman will be shown live in high definition to movie theaters around the world on Saturday, Feb. 12. COURTESY OF KEN HOWARD/METROPOLITAN OPERA

  • President Richard Nixon (James Maddalena), center, offers a toast to diplomacy in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of "Nixon in China." The 1987 opera by composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman is shown live in high definition to movie theaters around the world on Saturday, Feb. 12.

    President Richard Nixon (James Maddalena), center, offers a toast to diplomacy in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of "Nixon in China." The 1987 opera by composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman is shown live in high definition to movie theaters around the world on Saturday, Feb. 12. COURTESY OF KEN HOWARD/METROPOLITAN OPERA

  • Soloists with Elgin Opera team up with the New Millennium Orchestra for the concert "Elgin Opera Goes Hollywood" at the Hemmens Cultural Center.

    Soloists with Elgin Opera team up with the New Millennium Orchestra for the concert "Elgin Opera Goes Hollywood" at the Hemmens Cultural Center.

  • The New Shanghai Circus performs at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora.

    The New Shanghai Circus performs at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora.

 
 
Updated 2/14/2011 5:33 PM

Drive on down

The nation's largest and longest continual assemblage of new cars, concept cars and more returns this weekend when the 103rd edition of the Chicago Auto Show parks into McCormick Place, 2301 S. Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago. See the latest design trends and other efforts to make greener cars. Open to the general public from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, through Saturday, Feb. 19, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20. $11 daily admission; $7 seniors and kids ages 7 to 12. Visit drivechicago.com or chicagoautoshow.com or call (312) 791-7000.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Motorcycle mania

Get a glimpse of the latest bikes, gear and more at the International Motorcycle Show this weekend at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont. Hours are 3 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13. $15 one-day pass; $22 two-day pass; $30 three-day pass. (847) 653-2918 or motorcycle shows.com.

Big wheels

Mud will fly and cars will be crushed when the massive trucks of "Monster Jam" return this weekend to the Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 12 and 13. Tickets cost $10-$57. (800) 745-3000 or allstatearena.com.

'Punk'd' comedy

If you love comedian Steve Rannazzisi from TV's "Punk'd" and "The League," then don't miss him do standup at two Zanies locations. First at 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, at Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 584-6342. Then at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at 230 Hawthorn Village Commons, Vernon Hills, (847) 549-6030. $25 plus a two menu-item purchase. Visit zanies.com.

Joy of sax

Funk saxophonist Maceo Parker has performed with great artists like James Brown and Ray Charles. Hear Parker and his band groove it out at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. Tickets cost $29-$59. (630) 587-8400 or oshows.com.

Tango passion

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River North Chicago Dance heats up the Valentine's Day weekend with the premiere of the tango suite "Al Sur Del Sur" among other repertory works at Millennium Park's Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Drive, Chicago. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 11-12, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13. Tickets cost $30-$65. (312) 334-7777 or harristheaterchicago.org.

Nixon sings!

Music meets international diplomacy when the Metropolitan Opera screens the John Adams/Alice Goodman opera "Nixon in China" to movie theaters around the world via a live high-definition simulcast at noon Saturday, Feb. 12. See this operatic take on President Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to help open up Red China. It will be screened in area movie theaters ranging from Gurnee to Naperville. Prices vary from $18-$24. Visit fathomevents.com for participating theaters.

Hollywood opera

Celebrate the 10th anniversary of Elgin Opera at "Elgin Opera Goes Hollywood!" Maestro Francesco Milioto will lead the New Millennium Orchestra, Elgin Choral Union and soloists in operatic music heard in major motion pictures at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. Tickets cost $20-$35. (847) 931-5900 or elginopera.org.

Chinese acrobats

Continue on your Lunar New Year celebrations by catching the amazing acrobatics of the New Shanghai Circus at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13, at the Paramount Theatre, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. $35.50; $25.50 kids. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com.

Dancing 'Widow'

The Joffrey Ballet unveils the Chicago premiere of Ronald Hynd's critically acclaimed 1975 ballet adaptation of the beloved operetta "The Merry Widow" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. Other performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays (also Thursday, Feb. 24), 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Feb. 27. Tickets cost $24-$145. (800) 982-2787.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

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