Expert Picks

Your Weekly Guide for What to Do, See, Eat, and Drink in Chicago: January 27–February 2

Photo courtesy of Dark Matter Coffee/Facebook

This week in Chicago, take the kids to improv, invite your adult friends to see Lewis Black, attend a brewery cosplay party, and discover a new side of the Black Panther Party at Rhinofest.

Photo courtesy of Revolution Brewing

Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays: All-Ages Improv Show at ComedySportz
Comedy clubs are not just for adults anymore! Here, you can catch an improv show for all ages. This 90-minute performance is full of songs, sketch comedy, and games sure to make your whole crew belly-laugh. Details: $25
—Samantha Lande, Family Fun

January 31: C2E2 Cosplay Party  
The Revolution Taproom on Kedzie Street can get a little crazy with your average weekend crowd, but there will be no comparison when this cosplay event moves in for a C2E2 warm-up party. If a chance to win three-day passes to C2E2, held February 28–March 1 at McCormick Place, doesn’t intrigue you, a spectator’s view of the evening’s cosplay contest will probably be more of your bailiwick. Details: 6–10 p.m.
—Jim Morris, Beer

January 30: “Five Works” at Mana Contemporary 
See what Cathy Hsiao has been making in her studio during the bimonthly project series in this office space, which spotlights five works by emerging Chicago artists. Hsiao, who grew up between the U.S. and Taiwan, often draws on experiences of migration and memory to create evocative sculptural pieces that integrate plant material.
—Claire Voon, Art

Photo courtesy of Lewis Black/Facebook

February 1: Lewis Black’s It Gets Better Everyday Tour at Genesee Theatre 
For those willing to venture to the North Shore (the Waukegan Metra stop is a short jaunt from the theater), Black, the king of the rant, will be performing one show on February 1. His long and illustrious career has included countless TV appearances, Broadway, several books, and hourlong specials. He’s a playwright, a critic, an actor, and, most important, a stand-up comedian. He’ll be in Elgin on March 12 and Glen Ellyn on March 14, as well, making for an array of suburban choices. Details: 8 p.m.; $35 and up
—Matty Ryan, Comedy

February 1: “Both Eagle and Serpent” at Chicago Cultural Center 
Get acquainted with the colorful and graphic works of Luis A. Sahagun, a Chicago-based Latinx artist who works at the intersection of migration, race, gender, and socioeconomic status. While expressing himself through fantastical paintings, drawings, and sculptures that combine materials like beads and drywall, Sahagun makes art charged with ancient and contemporary mythology.
—Claire Voon, Art

Luis A. Sahagun, Untitled (Amparo for Saint Martin de Porras), 2019. Beads, gorilla glue, St. Porras, jute, acrylic, synthetic rope, resin, wood, metal, seashells, and fabric 24×24 (inches). Courtesy of the Chicago Cultural Center.

February 1 and 2: Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation 
Showing at Rhinofest for two days only, Panther Women is an ensemble-devised play by Inda Nicole Burton celebrating the lives of Elaine Brown, Angela Davis, and Assata Shakur, three Black Panther leaders commonly overlooked when Americans remember the Black Panther Party. Tickets are available online, and same-day pay-what-you-can tickets are available at the theater.
—Tanuja Jagernauth, Theater

Through February 1: Parson’s Chicken and Fish Pops Up in the Loop  
Dear downtown denizens, you can now get a taste of one of Logan Square’s hottest hot spots thanks to a monthlong stint at the Chicago Athletic Association, as Parson’s Chicken and Fish brings its patio vibes, fried chicken, Negroni slushies, and hush puppies to the hotel through February 1. Held in the Tank event space, the whole room has been bedecked to resemble Parson’s famous patio, complete with ping-pong tables, twinkling lights, and umbrellas. Details:  Monday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
—Matt Kirouac, Food/Beverage

Photo by David Szymanski/Courtesy of Boleo

Through February 1: Chifa Chinese New Year at Boleo 
In line with its South American roots, Boleo is celebrating a Chifa Chinese New Year with a special menu available through February 1. One of the most unique (and delicious-sounding) Chinese New Year menus in town features Peruvian-inspired dim sum infused with Chinese goodness. Dishes include longevity noodle saltado with short ribs, Chinese broccoli, snow peas, scallions, mushrooms, and saltado sauce; turnip cakes with daikon radish, dried shrimp, mushroom, chochlo, and XO puffed quinoa salad; and Peruvian barbecued pork steam buns.
—Matt Kirouac, Food/Beverage

Restaurant Opening of the Week: Caravanserai
My favorite coffee company in town, Dark Matter Coffee, has expanded yet again, this time to Avondale and this time with a focus on Mexican drinking chocolate. The colorful, mural-clad space is a sunny slice of Mexico City, complete with cacti planters, tamales, and pastries.
—Matt Kirouac, Food/Beverage