Keep it moving this week. Credit: Oleksandr Baiev/Unsplash

Here’s some upcoming events and activities we think you might enjoy.

FRI 2/18 

Late last year, Prop Thtr unveiled a new vision and series of initiatives geared toward continuing their support of new work, while also doing more to engage diverse communities. One of those initiatives, the Playwrights Workshop Showcase (designed to help writers learn the nuts and bolts of self-production), kicks off tonight with a streaming workshop presentation of Hallie Palladino’s digital play Proximity. Directed by Erica Wray, Palladino’s story follows what happens when Nicole, who seeks community after the long quarantine, volunteers at “The Learning Co-op,” where her attraction to single dad Logan and rise through the ranks of the committed do-gooders unleashes betrayal and conflict. It streams from noon today till noon Sun 2/21; tickets are pay what you like and can be reserved online here. -KR

Delight in all the audio-visual possibilities of Sonic Celluloid. This annual event (now in its 19th year) is hosted by Northwestern’s student-run radio station, WNUR 89.3 FM, and showcases experimental combinations of sound, music, video, performance art, dancing, and images. Today’s showcase is held at Constellation (3111 N. Western) and includes visual art from Cinesplosion, music from DJ Kona FM, and more. The show kicks off at 8:30 PM and is open to those 18+. Admission is $15. -MC

Tonight Smart Bar (3730 N. Clark) is celebrating T4T (trans-for-trans) love with a Hi-NRG dance party. Hi-NRG is electronic music that evolved from disco with a sparser, more dance-oriented sound. (Yes, there was dance-y disco—and even dancier disco!) The genre was primarily pioneered by gay musicians and performers who catered to gay audiences, often featuring campy lyrics, double entrendres, and sound combinations that eschewed mainstream standards of desirable dance music in the late 1970s. Rising experimental electronic musician Eris Drew goes b2b with her wife, house aficionado Octo Octa. Then Detroit-based DJ Beige closes out the night with a solo set. Tickets are $25 ($20 in advance), and the fun starts at 10 PM. Must be 21+. -MC

A recent set by DJ Beige.

SAT 2/19

Piroshky Piroshky, a Russian bakery based in Seattle, is celebrating 30 years of traditional handmade food with a cross-country roadtrip. They’re hosting a pop-up in the suburbs next Tuesday, so to get in on the fun, place an $50 minimum order by 7 PM tonight, then pick it up on Tue 2/22 from 4-6 PM at the Edge Ice Arena (735 E. Jefferson, Bensenville). With seasonal offerings such as the strawberry marzipan heart, vegan options such as the beef and onion piroshky (made with Impossible-brand meat), or great big bowls of borscht, Piroshky Piroshky offers enough to get everyone saying “ух ты!” -MC

Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined made its world premiere at the Goodman in 2008, in a production that Reader critic Tony Adler called “harrowing and beautiful.” Nottage’s story of women caught up in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where sexual violence is one of the weapons, returns with Invictus Theatre Company in their new home, the Reginald Vaughn Theatre at 1106 W. Thorndale (formerly known as the Frontier when it was run by Jackalope Theatre). Ebby Offord, who played Ophelia in Invictus’s production of Hamlet last fall, makes her directorial debut with this show, and Tekeisha Yelton Hunter, who was in Invictus’s streaming production of ‘Night, Mother in 2020, stars as Mama Nadi, the proprietress of the bar/brothel where the women find some measure of respite from the war outside (but with another steep price attached). Previews are through 2/20 (tonight at 7 PM and tomorrow at 3 PM) and are $26; tickets for the regular run (2/21-3/20) are $30, $25 for students at invictustheatreco.com. -KR

Hoof it over to the Athenaeum (2936 N. Southport) tonight—For the Love of Tap. Chicago Tap Theatre celebrates the indigenous American art form with a series of pieces new and old in their repertoire, plus an appearance from Poetry Slam godfather Marc Smith, joining artistic director Mark Yonally in a special piece. Among the other works (all helping kick off the Year of Chicago Dance) are Flying Turtles, choreographed by Brenda Bufalino and considered a classic of concert tap (it hasn’t been seen locally since 2013), and Tin Tin Deo by guest choreographer Star Dixon, set to Latin-tinged bebop by Dizzy Gillespie and Gil Fuller. The show starts at 7:30 PM, and tickets are $28.50-$60 at chicagotaptheatre.com; a streaming version will also be available starting Fri ¾, through 3/13. -KR

SUN 2/20

Griffin Theatre has been pretty quiet since the shutdown, but they’re back onstage in previews tonight with the North American premiere of Scottish playwright David Greig’s Solaris. The sci-fi thriller, adapted from the 1961 novel by Stanisław Lem (which also inspired film versions by Andrei Tarkovsky and Steven Spielberg) follows a scientist from a space station who arrives at the titular ocean planet, only to find one crew member dead and two others who are apparently having hallucinations—or are they? Scott Weinstein directs. The show runs at Raven Theatre (6157 N. Clark); tickets are $30 for previews through 2/26 (today’s is at 3 PM) and $40 for the regular run from  2/27-3/27 ($15 for students, active military, and veterans). Information and box office at 773-338-2177 and griffintheatre.com. -KR

In advance of their exhibition “Family Resemblance: The Evolution of Chicago Style Graffiti,” which opens March 4, Epiphany Center for the Arts (201 S. Ashland) is hosting a panel discussion with some of Chicago’s graffiti pioneers. B-Boy B, Drastic, Pengo, Take2, and Warp will discuss what’s influenced Chicago’s style and how that style differs from graffiti style in other cities. Join them tonight at 6 PM to explore milestones in Chicago’s graffiti history. While this event is free, you’ll need to register in advance. Guests will be subject to temperature checks, and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 48 hours are required. -MC

Reader senior writer Leor Galil says that Chicago rapper-producer Sidaka’s “steely flow” is worth seeking out on his new EP release Coming Back Home. You can check out Sidaka tonight when he opens for filmmaker/singer/rapper Blake Saint David at 8 PM at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia). Tickets for this 21+ concert are available at Etix. -SCJ

MON 2/21

Monday Night Foodball is back after their bye week with the strangely named Château Picklebone pop-up taking over the stove at the Kedzie Inn (4100 N. Kedzie) from 5 PM till the food runs out. And if you don’t like the name, you have a bone to pickle with baker and fermenter Oskar Singer and chef Uma Jupiter, who will fuse their talents for French country estate cooking with fermentation to make some buttery, chickeny goodness. Pre-orders are available here (and you can stay at the Kedzie to eat when you pick up your food) but limited walk-in orders will be available. -SCJ

Every third Monday is Mambo Mayhem at the Promontory (5311 S. Lake Park West). If you’re looking for some pointers on Latin dance (perhaps samba, salsa, or bachata?) show up at 7:15 PM tonight for a group lesson courtesy of the University of Chicago’s Ballroom and Latin Dance Association. Seasoned dancers can arrive after 8 PM. DJ El Caobo Internacional will provide the soundtrack for this free event, so get ready to cha-cha until the lights come up. The evening is open to those 18 and up, and pre-registration is requested via Eventbrite.  -MC

Whether you’ve always wanted to be a burlesque dancer or just want to roleplay one in private, check out Sensual & Sexy: The Art of the Striptease. It’s a free dance class organized by Body Confidence for Queens, the dance studio of fitness instructor and burlesque performer Mocha Mocha. This is a beginner-friendly class focusing on movements and mindset, and while sexy attire is encouraged, whatever will make you feel relaxed and comfortable is appropriate. You’ll definitely want to bring a skirt, gloves, and boa (or similar length scarf!) to practice some of the tricks, though! Get to Indie Media Studios (5553 W. Belmont) by 9 PM. Can’t make it tonight? Catch a repeat of the class on Fri 2/25 at 6 PM. -MC

TUE 2/22

Numerologists call repeating numbers “angel numbers” as they seem to gently pop up at the right time when we see them (glancing at the clock just as it hits 4:44 PM for example), but the people over at 2Twenty2 Tavern (aptly found at 222 S. Wabash) call today’s date the mothership. Celebrate 2/22/2022 at the bar with taco specials ($2.22 each of course), $2.22 draft beers, a DJ spinning records (starting at 7 PM), raffles for Chicago Blackhawks home game tickets, and more. 2Twenty2 is also using this occasion to debut a “2Twenty2 Templeton speciality batched cocktail” so be sure to call a cab, a friend, or the CTA if you’re going to get your whiskey on.  -SCJ

Tonight the Illinois Prison Project (IPP) is hosting a discussion at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia) focused on felony disenfranchisement—the laws that deny voting rights to those formerly incarcerated. Laws vary state by state, and Illinois denies voting rights to anyone convicted of a felony. According to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, felony convictions between 1985 and 2009 rose nationally by 8 percent with a 100 percent increase in felonies processed through Illinois courts. Given that at least 51 percent of those who are charged with felonies are people of color, Black, Brown, and Indigenous people are being denied agency to vote on issues and candidates that impact their communities. Felony disenfranchisement is a textbook example of systemic racism, so join IPP’s director of education Renaldo Hudson and IPP ambassador Brian Harrington to learn more about what can be done to restore these rights. This event is limited to those 21 and over, and the talk begins at 6:30 PM. Tickets are $10 and available in advance here. -MC

Celebrate outre and improvised music with this year’s Frequency Festival, a series of concerts hosted by Constellation (3111 N. Western) and programmed by former Reader staffer Peter Margasak. Reader contributor Bill Meyer put together a preview of several of the festival concerts for this year’s edition, including tonight’s 8:30 PM presentation by guitarist Bill Nace in collaboration with Haley Fohr, as well as Lia Kohl playing a duo with Macie Stewart. Tickets for tonight’s show are open to those 18 and up, and are available here. -SCJ

WED 2/23 

If your week has been pure hell, laugh your Hump Day troubles away at the Annoyance (851 W. Belmont) with celebrated improv/sketch team Devil’s Daughter (with special guests FLEX). They perform each Wednesday at 8 PM through Wed 4/13; tickets are $10 at theannoyance.com. -MC

Bill Meyer also recommends the music of Chicago multi-instrumentalist Whitney Johnson, who recently released a new recording on Chicago’s Drag City Records under her solo project name, Matchess. You can check out Matchess along with openers Ryan Packard and Jeff Kimmel as part of the Frequency Festival, playing tonight at 8:30 PM at Constellation (3111 N. Western). The concert is open to those 18+ with proof of COVID-19 vaccination, and tickets can be purchased in advance here. -SCJ

THU 2/24

One way to celebrate Black History Month is a trip to the South Side Community Art Center (3831 S. Michigan), which is open every Tuesday-Saturday from noon-4 PM. Founded in 1940, SSCA is the oldest African American art center in the United States and works to connect Black art history with contemporary audiences at no cost to visitors. Currently on view are “We Are Here,” which links the works of two female trailblazers with two historically overlooked women from the museum’s collection, and “The Underworld,” a solo show by painter George Crump exploring the psychic and social “afterlives” of oppression.
-MC

Create a Winter Sanctuary with the help of Deep House Yoga and friends, in a series of yoga sessions including music to keep the poses flowing. The evening will include vinyasa yoga led by Katy Halon, tunes spun by DJ Alissa.jo, and a cosmic sound healing meditation from Jay Taylor. A portion of the $40 ticket will be donated to Coffee, Hip-Hop, and Mental Health, a local organization that provides mental health resources to the public. Bring water and a yoga mat, and you might be able to grab some giveaways from Grey Goose and Lifeway Kefir. The event happens at 6 PM on the 33rd floor at the W Chicago-Lakeshore (644 N. Lake Shore Dr.) and tickets are available here. -SCJ


Micco got to speak to DJ Jeremy Alvarez this month for our music section’s Chicagoans of Note column; and you get to hear him in action this week if you stop by the Whistler (2421 N. Milwaukee) tonight. Alvarez’s long-running electronic music series Research & Development is on the roster, and starting at 8 PM, you’ll hear sets from Flower Food, Makeen, Alvarez, Obe, and Fuj. The Whistler is open to those 21+ with proof of COVID-19 vaccination, and there is no cover for this event (but bring some cash to enjoy a few cocktails). -SCJ