Expert Picks

Your Weekly Guide for What to Do, See, Eat, and Drink in Chicago: January 13–19

Photo by Alan Davis/Courtesy of Black Ensemble Theater

Bugs Bunny, Mary Poppins, and Cinderella all star in this week’s must-do Chicago events, along with a comedy festival, a Roaring Twenties–inspired cocktail class, an architecture talk, and a very special tap takeover.

Photo by Anjali Pinto/Courtesy of Summer House Santa Monica

January 14: Roaring Twenties Cocktail Class at Summer House Santa Monica  
Seeing as we’re once again in the ’20s, it’s only appropriate that we hark back to last century’s roaring decade. Summer House Santa Monica is doing just that with a Roaring Twenties–themed cocktail class led by wine director Bobby Joe Rinaldo, who will guide guests through the era’s cocktail lore and demonstrate drinks like the Vieux Carre and Corpse Reviver No. 2. The event includes hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, naturally. Details: 7 p.m.; $60
—Matt Kirouac, Food/Beverage

January 16: The South Side’s Unsung Architectural Treasures at Chicago Architecture Center 
Local photographer, historian, and critic Lee Bey has spent years researching and documenting the rich architecture of Chicago’s South Side. Join him in this talk, which is tied to the release of his new book, which focuses on 60 exceptionally notable buildings in the area.
—Claire Voon, Art

Photo courtesy of New Negroes/Facebook

January 16: The New Negroes With Baron Vaughn & Open Mike Eagle 
The Comedy Central show of the same name is billed as a “socially aware stand-up and music series” and is hosted by Vaughn and  Eagle. It features stand-up comedians, musical performances, sketch videos, and more, so it’s safe to assume this live iteration will take on a similar format. There’s no word yet as to the other comedians set to perform, but rest assured there will be some exciting drop-ins. Details: 7 p.m.; $20
—Matty Ryan, Comedy

January 16: Maplewood Tap Takeover at Kuma’s West Loop  
Maplewood and Kuma’s are joining mouthwatering forces to form a powerful lineup of imaginative burgers and expertly crafted ales and whiskeys. Get in to try some limited-release offerings, like Morbidly Obese Pug Extra Fudge, an imperial stout with milk chocolate and cacao nibs, and Krispie Cakes, a golden ale with Rice Krispies, marshmallows, and vanilla. Details: Noon–10 p.m.
—Jim Morris, Beer

Bettina von Zwehl, Meditations in an Emergency #13 / Photo courtesy of the gallery

January 17: “Meditations in an Emergency” at Catherine Edelman Gallery 
Photographer Bettina von Zwehl pays homage to teenage die-ins, specifically those that students in Parkland, Florida, staged shortly after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Be sure to catch this new series of intimate black and white portraits.
—Claire Voon, Art

January 18: CSO Plays the Best of Bugs Bunny 
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra brings the best of Bugs as he approaches his 80th birthday! Listen to the music while watching vintage and new-school 3-D clips of the famed bunny and his friends. It’s sure to be enjoyable for the whole family. Details: 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; $34
—Samantha Lande, Family Fun

January 18: 22nd Annual Brewpub & Microbrewery Shootout 
Metropolitan Brewing’s glorious taproom will be the venue for Chicago Beer Society’s annual throw-down between numerous regional powerhouse brewpubs. Attendees can sample fare and beers from participating entries and vote for the best; winners will be announced at the end of the event. Details: 1–5 p.m.; $75
—Jim Morris, Beer

Through January 19: The Other Cinderella 
Jackie Taylor wrote and directed this classic that has been running for 43 years. I can’t believe I haven’t seen it, but it’s at the top of my list for January. Most of us know the story of Cinderella. In Taylor’s version, “Cinderella is from the projects; the stepmama works at the post office; there is a king, queen, and prince; there are the brothers from the hood; and the fairy godmama is from Jamaica.” Nuff said! Let’s go! Details: At Black Ensemble Theater
—Tanuja Jagernauth, Theater

Photo courtesy of Tortazo

Through January 19: Mary Poppins at the Drury Lane Theatre 
Head to this renowned theater to be blown away by beloved nanny Mary Poppins. The 2.5-hour production will bring you back to your childhood and create a whole new generation of fans. Details: $70 and up
—Samantha Lande, Family Fun

Restaurant Opening of the Week: Tortazo
Located inside Catalog at Willis Tower, Tortazo is a vibrant, fast-casual Mexican offering from Rick Bayless, one of the city’s most celebrated chefs. Here, fresh and locally sourced dishes include crispy chicken tortas, churros, and chilaquiles, joined by a full bar program.
—Matt Kirouac, Food/Beverage