Everyone’s favorite Star Wars royalty, Queen Amidala, hosts Saturday Night Live this weekend. That’s the show with Woody Allen defender/not-good-Trump impressionist Alec Baldwin!

Also, tell all your friends to subscribe to the Chicago mailing list. We gave away tickets to Chicago mailing list subscribers.



We write stuff. Here’s some of that stuff from the last week that may be applicable to your preferences



ACTIVE: Head out to Oak Park and kick off Fearless February with a nice 3-6 mile (depending on weather conditions and routing and all that) fun run! Just because it’s the middle of winter doesn’t mean you can’t go for a nice run outside.

CULTURE: The Art Institute hosts an interactive event programmed by Bit Bash, an alternative video game festival, as a part of their ongoing Artists Connect series. You’ll get the one-time-only chance to interact with digital works by indie designers that respond to various artworks on display at the museum. What a cool thing!

FILM: The Logan Theatre’s got a screening of the original Pink Panther, from 1963. Go take in a comedy classic on the big screen!

FOOD + DRINK: Dimo’s Pizza has a gallery opening celebration with food and drinks available, in celebration of their new exhibition. Take in the work of local artist and designer Zach Bartz and smash some big weird pizza into your face!

FREE: The Whistler’s got a free kickoff party for The Comfort Station’s Gather Series, celebrating the release of their new online mixtape. Expect mind-expanding performances from musical guests Katherine Young, Allen Moore, and the Daniel/Lyons/Billington Trio.

MUSIC: Pop punk duo Diet Cig headlines a real solid looking show at the Bottom Lounge. Show up early to catch sets from Great Grandpa and The Spook School.

OUTSIDE: The Morton Arboretum’s got a chill as hell Nature at Night Hike planned tonight. Here’s your chance to take in the deep vibes of the winter forest at night!

STAGE: Modern dance/experimental arts haven Links Hall’s ECLIPSING Festival starts up today, featuring boundary-pushing performances from Chicago-based performers like Joelle Mercedes and Patricia Nguyen.

STAY IN: Netflix’s new sci-fi series Altered Carbon hits the digital shelves today, so why not get a jump on your weekend binge sesh and take in an episode or three? It looks pretty good and has been getting decent reviews!



ACTIVE: The Fire & Ice Festival at the Chicago Women’s Park is a pretty fun looking, family-friendly event, complete with marshmallow roasting, crafts, indoor sock skating, and ice bowling! Love some dang winter activities.

CULTURE: Uncle Art Gallery’s got the opening reception for Images Now! a Chicago Artist Showcase, featuring works from eleven Chicago-based artists. Real good stuff, here.

FILM: The A.V. Club has teamed up with the Music Box to program a series of midnight movie screenings, the latest of which is The Astrologer, a rarely-screened B-movie that is sure to delight cult and genre fans!

FOOD + DRINK: Creative arts/tech incubator 2112 hosts a Chili cookoff fundraiser. Go taste a bunch of chilis for charity! All the funds go to the music program Little Kids Rock.

FREE: The Hungry Brain’s got a real chill looking multimedia performance featuring the Minneapolis drone quartet IE and the experimental/dance union Oren/Bouboushian Duo. Nothing else like this happening in the city tonight, that’s for sure!

MUSIC: Head to Cafe Mustache for a benefit show for AG47, a nonprofit organization that helps facilitate one-on-one mentorship relationships between young artists and adult mentors. Music from Staring Problem, Bev Rage & The Drinks, and Pledge Drive.

OUTSIDE: The Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve in Beecher’s got a free and very cool looking hike planned. It’s an Owl Prowl and they’re gonna try to find and look at a bunch of owls! You love owls!

STAGE: Acclaimed standup comic Colin Quinn brings his “One In Every Crowd” tour to Thalia Hall. He’s one of those dudes who has been around forever and keeps getting better and sharper. You should check this out!

STAY IN: HBO’s new Steven Soderbergh limited run series Mosaic is all up on HBO Go and it’s a pretty cool, twisty-turny caper sort of deal shot with Soderberg’s typical dexterity and singularly weird eye for detail. Grab your ex-roommate’s Uncle’s login info and check it out!


ACTIVE: Thalia Hall’s got the 13th-annual Barn Dance Apocalypse, where you and a few hundred of your closest friends will hit the floorboards and kick up some dust! The Golden Horse Ranch Band soundtracks your line/square/etc dancing frenzy!

CULTURE: The Hairpin Arts Center hosts a live discussion featuring organizer and activist Mariame Kaba and artist Sarah Ross entitled The Aesthetics of Abolition in the 21st Century. They’re discussing the nature of art as a means of movement-building, something that is both super interesting and also extremely timely!

FILM: U.E. Hall in University Village hosts a screening of the documentary Fred Hampton and the Fight for Black Lives about the chair of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panthers, killed by the FBI and the Chicago Police Department in 1969, hosted by scholar and activist Janaé E. Bonsu. No better time than now to learn about this incredibly important progressive figure and Chicago icon.

FOOD + DRINK: Lo Rez Brewing is hosting a Pozole Cookoff in celebration of the relase of their new Guajillo & Chipotle Pepper Scotch Ale. Those are some big, bold flavors, folks!

FREE: The Elbo Room’s 3rd annual tribute to David Bowie goes down tonight! DJ Kayleigh Chaos spins a heavily Bowie-indebted set with music videos and deep cuts throughout the night, capped off by a live acoustic tribute from Divid Showie & The Outsider.

MUSIC: Living legend Mavis Staples plays The Vic Theatre tonight. If you haven’t seen Mavis live, fix that right now and go. Go! She’s incredible.

OUTSIDE: Judgement for the Lake Geneva Winterfest’s ongoing Ice Sculpting Competition begins today, with voting for the People’s Choice Award, as well as the US National Snow Sculpting Awards Presentation going down this afternoon!

STAGE: Well-loved storytelling/comedy show We Still Like You celebrates its 4th birthday (no small feat for a Chicago comedy show, honestly) at Collaboraction tonight. Expect a ton of shame-filled stories and even more partying and free beer than usual!

STAY IN: By this point, we’re all familiar with the Puppy Bowl, yeah? The real heads might even know the Hallmark knockoff The Kitten Bowl. Buuuuut have you heard about the damn Dog Bowl on Animal Planet? It’s like the Puppy Bowl but features senior shelter animals! Incredible. Just look at this roster.


ACTIVE: Ecstatic Dance Chicago is a free-for-all dance spectacular at the Den Theatre, a fully immersive participatory dance event, where you can dance to various jams and connect with your fellow dancers in a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere.

CULTURE: The Renaissance Society’s Intermission series returns with a performance/exhibition hybrid featuring a showcase of sculpted work and a live performance at dusk. This is cool and art is just, in general, cool as hell.

FILM: The University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel hosts a rad looking live screening of the 1921 silent film Hamlet, accompanied by a live organ and harpsichord soundtrack. This is gonna crack yr skull open.

FOOD + DRINK: If you get brunch at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba today wearing pajamas or your favorite football team’s jersey to the brunch, you’ll get a gift card at the end of your meal good for the full amount of your tab! It’s an insane deal and the food is really good and it’s basically free to go. Just go! YOU HAVE TO WEAR PAJAMAS OR A FOOTBALL JERSEY TO GET THE DEAL. THIS IS IMPORTANT!

FREE: Want to go out to watch Thee Bigge Gamme? Gman Tavern should be your go-to, their Chips & Dips & Squares party is a potluck chip/dip/snack party happening all day leading up to and during the dang Super Bowl!

MUSIC: The University of Chicago’s Winter Quarter New Music Ensemble performs a collection of pieces at the lovely Fulton Recital Hall at U Chicago. If you’re more into cutting edge live musical performance than watching a bunch of dudes give each other concussions, here’s your thing to do!

OUTSIDE:  Go snowtrekking at Northerly Island Park. They’ve got snowshoes for you to borrow (snow pending), and a ton of activities in store for you and your friends/family/kids. Nice!

STAGE: It’s the closing night of Links Hall’s ECLIPSING Festival, and as such, they’ve got a closing ritual, featuring performances from the Participatory Music Coalition and American Idol finalist Amma Whatt!

STAY IN: Okay, it’s time to watch the Super Bowl. Much like the Grammys, the Golden Globes, and the State of the Union, even if you aren’t particularly into whatever is happening on TV, your internet feeds are gonna be blowing up with tweets and takes of varying quality and heat level. Throw it on in the background and go about your Sunday evening business as usual, y’know?