"CA$H ONLY" Credit: Jacob King

We did it! We made it out of the dregs of winter and even got a sun beam or two this week, so there’s no excuse for laying low. Get out of the house and make something of yourself with our recommended list of things to do.

Through 2/8: The US-China Forum 2020: The Matter of Art is in collaboration with the Smart Museum of Art and will touch on how China and the U.S. intersect in the arts. This forum will guide the exhibition “The Allure of Matter,” which is on view at the Smart Museum and Wrightwood 659. Registration is recommended. Fri 9:30 AM-4:30 PM and Sat 10 AM-4:30 PM, Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th, arts.uchicago.edu, free.

Through 3/15: Tracy Letts’s clammy psychological drama, Bug, gets a revival with Steppenwolf. Set in a seedy motel, the story follows the folie a deux between Peter, a veteran of the first Gulf War, and Agnes, a cocktail waitress who is hiding from her violent ex-con former husband. Peter’s paranoia about everything from UFOs to the small insects he believes live underneath his skin begins to affect Agnes as the two misfits try to create a world where they will be safe. David Cromer directs, with Carrie Coon and Namir Smallwood starring as Agnes and Peter. Tue 7:30 PM, Wed 2 and 7:30 PM, Thu-Fri 7:30 PM, Sat-Sun 3 and 7:30 PM; see website for complete schedule, Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, 312-335-1650, steppenwolf.org, $20-$122.

Fri 2/7: In Jacob King’s his first solo exhibition, “CA$H ONLY,” Jacob King exhibits his 35mm photography of the personalities and faces of the people who visit Rite Liquors, half bar/half liquor store. Opening reception Fri 2/7, 6-9 PM, exhibit run 2/7-2/29, daily 11 AM-5 PM, AdventureLand Gallery, 1513 N. Western, adventurelandgallery.info, free.

Fri 2/7: Movie Club at the Logan Theatre presents the 1st Annual Naw-Scars or the “1st Annual Anti-Oscars Academy Awards Anti-Event For Anti-People Burn it All to the Ground Awards Thing,” a performative response to this year’s Oscar nominations. Performers include Ines Bellina, Cate Brecht”, Jasmine Davila, Lindsay Eanet, Hannah Enstrom, and Keidra Chaney. Coordinated by Mason Johnson. 7:20 PM, Logan Theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee, facebook.com/movieclubchicago, free.

Earrings by Cindre
Earrings by CindreCredit: Sam Presser

Sat 2/8:
The Forget Me Not Shop pop-up market is a pop-up market featuring artists, makers, vintage vendors, vegan food by The Spread, complimentary drinks for those 21 and up, and more, organized by No Requests. Cash donations benefit Chicago Period Project. Vendors include No Requests, Feeltrip Records, Ace High Vintage, Cindre and Dispencer Handpoke. 2-8 PM, Smashed Plastic Record Pressing, 2833 N. Tripp, facebook.com/norequestschi, free.

Sat 2/8: The 17th annual Love Out Loud Ball, a drag and costume ball competition, features hosts and commentators Icon Neiman Marcus Escada and the Adonis 007, plus DJ Matty Aga. Workshop from 2-4 PM, VIP reception and special performances from 6-8 PM, and main ball and competition from 8 PM on. 2-10 PM, Cordell Reed Student Union Rotunda, Chicago State University, 9501 S. King, free entrance; refreshments, vending, and extra programming available for purchase.

Sun 2/9: It’s time for the final Chili-Synthesizer Cookoff, the bizarre annual competition that requires contestants to cook a pot of chili and then play an original synth-based set that serves as a “sonic interpretation” of their recipe. Competitors include Whitney Johnson (aka Matchess), Cooper Crain (Bitchin Bajas), Alex Inglizian (Experimental Sound Studio), and Tom Owens (Potions). 8:30 PM, the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, emptybottle.com, $5.

Sun 2/9: During Funny Little Liars comics tell two truths and a lie on stage and it’s up to the audience to decide what’s what. If they’re wrong, the stand-up will make up an embarrassing lie about that audience member. This month’s guests include Taneshia Rice, Marz Timms, and Amber Autry. 9 PM, Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, laughfactory.com, free.   v