Best Bets: Adam Sandler, 'Lombardi,' Denyce Graves, 'Dancing With the Stars Live'

Art in Aurora

To commemorate Black History Month, the city of Aurora presents “Donnell Collins, Perry Slade, Dr. Charles Smith,” an exhibition showcasing works by Aurora photographers Collins and Slade and folk artist Smith at the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Place. The exhibition runs through March 18. Free. Opening reception: 6-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3. Regular hours: Noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Donnell Collins' photograph of 6-year-old Allie Johnson of Bolingbrook holding a copy of Rosa Parks "Quiet Strength" while waiting to get an autograph and a photograph with the Civil Rights icon is among the photographs included in the newest Aurora Public Arts exhibition. Courtesy of Donnell Collins, The Beacon News

Lyric premiere

“The Factotum,” a Lyric Opera of Chicago commission by baritone Will Liverman and DJ/instrumentalist King Rico, premieres at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St., Chicago. Inspired by “The Barber of Seville,” the opera - which includes adult themes and language - combines gospel, funk, hip-hop and barbershop to tell the story of a man who maintains his family's South Side barbershop. Tickets start at $35. 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3 and 10; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5 and 12; and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8


Three Brothers Theater brings Broadway's rendition of the life of the 1960s-era colorful Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi to the Genesee Theatre stage at 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. $15 at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4

A.J. Croce performs a tribute to his late father Jim Croce, pictured, at the Arcada Theatre Friday, Feb. 3. Associated Press file photo

Croce plays Croce

A.J. Croce performs a special tribute to his late father, Jim Croce, the folksy singer behind the hits “Time in a Bottle,” “You Don't Mess Around With Jim,” “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and others, at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. $49-$79 at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3

Chocolate rules during Morton Arboretum's Chocolate Weekend Feb. 4-5. Courtesy of The Morton Arboretum

All chocolate, all weekend

Chocolate lovers are invited to sample an array of chocolate-flavored confections, cakes and beverages during The Morton Arboretum's Chocolate Weekend taking place at 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. Admission to the mini-fest is included in general admission. $16 for adults, $14 for seniors 65 and older, $11 for kids 2-17. Timed-entry admission must be reserved in advance. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4-5

'Magic School Bus' ride

North Central College's Fine and Performing Arts Performance Series presents two family-friendly performances of TheaterWorksUSA's “The Magic School Bus - Lost in the Solar System” at Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville. $10-$15 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4

The Dark Matters Podcast Festival returns to the Side Street Studio Arts' theater this weekend. Courtesy of Side Street Studio Arts, 2022

Dark Matters podcast fest

Elgin's Side Street Studio Arts celebrates local podcasting with its Dark Matters Podcast Festival, featuring two days of live podcast recordings - “Ghostly,” “REMelations,” “The Pair-A-Normal Guys,” “Maybe It's Spiritual,” “Perpetual Sin,” “Late Night Legends” and “The Bad Taste Crime Podcast” - plus vendors selling artwork, clothing and handcrafted items. Saturday night will feature a screening of the horror-comedy “Army of Darkness.” Single-day passes are $10, two-day festival passes are $15 at or at the door at the Side Street theater, 15½ Ziegler Court, Elgin, where the festival takes place. Visit the site for a schedule and details on the presentations. 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5

Pianist Albert Cano Smit joins the Elgin Symphony Orchestra to perform Beethoven's "Emperor" concerto. Courtesy of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra

ESO's 'Emperor'

Pianist Albert Cano Smit, The Julliard School's 2020 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Prize winner, joins the Elgin Symphony Orchestra to perform Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor” on a program that also includes Richard Wagner's “Siegfried Idyll” and Robert Schumann's Symphony No. 3 “Rhenish.” Kyle Ritenauer conducts the performances at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. Tickets start at $20. (847) 888-4000 or 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5

Philharmonic in Skokie

World-renowned mezzo-soprano Susan Platts will be a featured soloist when the Chicago Philharmonic presents Mahler's “Songs of a Wayfarer” at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. The program also will feature Schumann's Symphony No. 3 and composer Libby Larsen's “Deep Summer Music.” Tickets start at $27 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4

Denyce Graves in concert

Acclaimed mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, a veteran of the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Covent Garden, Opera National de Paris, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Teatro Real in Madrid, among others, performs at Wentz Concert Hall, North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. $55, $65. (630) 637-7469 or 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5

Pilobolus performs "Megawatt" Sunday at the McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn. Courtesy of John Kanebug

Pilobolus' 'Big Five Oh!'

The contemporary dance ensemble Pilobolus, founded in 1971, performs at the McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. Titled “The Big Five Oh!” the program consists of some of Pilobolus' signature works, including 2014's “Megawatt.” $55-$65. (630) 942-4000 or 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb 5

Sandler on stage

With songs, stories and jokes, actor and former “SNL” comedian Adam Sandler heads to the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago, as part of his freshly extended “Adam Sandler Live” tour. He'll be joined by a special guest for the show. Tickets start at $125 at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5

'Dancing' in Rosemont

“Dancing With the Stars Live” marks its 31st season with a new live touring show, featuring professional dancers Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten, Sasha Farber, Gleb Savchenko, Emma Slater, Britt Stewart, Alexis Warr and a number of guest stars. The tour takes over the Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. Tickets start at $47.50 at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5

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