Will the groundhog see his shadow? With global warming upon us, does it matter? Why not just avoid that whole mess all together with our recommended list of things to do.
Through Sun 2/2: This weekend is the last chance to catch Dance Nation, which Reader critic Irene Hsiao says “allows us to see the authenticity and vulnerability of adolescence, and, rather beautifully, the continued relevance of these moments of shame, solidarity, and self-assertion in our adult lives.” Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 3 and 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, 312-335-1650, steppenwolf.org, $20-$94.
Fri 1/31: Stand-up and rightfully self-proclaimed “Queen of radical comedy” KJ Whitehead records The Haggard Unicorn, her new half-hour special, filled with thoughtful, personal, and, above all, hilarious material about gender, race, and the world today. The night also features performances from Devin Middleton and Mo Less.
1/31-2/1: The Music Institute of Chicago presents the George Crumb Festival, a celebration of the 90-year-old Grammy- and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer featuring an exhibition with his scores and photos, concerts on Fri 1/31 and Sat 2/1 (both at 7:30 PM), and with a panel discussion on Saturday at 5 PM. Open to the public Fri 1/31, 6 PM and Sat 2/1, 4 PM, Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago, Evanston, musicinst.org/crumb-fest, $30 per concert (includes panel on Saturday), $25 in advance, $40 weekend pass, $10 for just the panel discussion).
Fri 1/31-Sun 2/2: Inspired by the 120-mile long crack that ran along the Antarctic ice shelf (and subsequently broke into an iceberg) Luftwerk works in collaboration with Katherine Young for “Requiem: A White Wanderer,” a free immersive experience including art and sound. The project encompasses the sound of climate change here in Chicago and all over the world. There will be two special concerts (at 5 PM and 7 PM) on Saturday, February 1. Registration is recommended. 11 AM-6 PM, Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph, chicago.gov, free.
Sat 2/1: Switching Codes of Pleasure: Panel Discussion on Sex Work in Academia and Art Institutions looks at how sex workers contribute to art-making, education, and the various means of technology that they use. Panelists will discuss their experiences and how they approach their work. There will be works by Stevie Cisneros Hanley, Shawné Michaelain Holloway, and a performance by Wanbli Gamache. RSVP is recommended. 6 PM, Mana Contemporary Chicago, 2233 S. Throop, manacontemporary.com, free.
Sat 2/1: Just Kitten Around is a comedy benefit for adoptable cats and kittens, featuring the Garden Boys, Sukhjit Singh, Lureena Cornwell, and hosts Elsie How and Alex Collyard. BYOB, must be 18 years old or older to attend. Advanced registration suggested. 7 PM, Windy Kitty Cafe and Lounge, 1746 W. North, windykittychicago.com, $20.
Sat 2/1: Gene Siskel Film Center’s Panorama Latinx short film showcase features Chicago-based filmmakers representing Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua, Peru, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Mexico screening their short films, ranging in style from experimental to documentary to science fiction. The filmmakers will be present, and a reception with food and drink follows the screening. 8 PM, Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, siskelfilmcenter.org, $12.
Sun 2/2: Celebrate the Lunar New Year on Marz with a new Marz brew named after beloved dim sum spot, Triple Crown, a rice lager with jasmine tea. The day also features a special bar menu, dumplings from Mom’s, fortune tellers, and the Dragon Dancers from the Ng Family Chinese Martial Arts Association. Sun 2/2, noon-10 PM, Marz Community Brewing, 3630 S. Iron, marz.beer, free. v