It’s that time of year to dust off your capes, strap on your lightsabers, and get the cobwebs into your web shooters as the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) has arrived.
C2E2 turns five years old this year and is ready to bring out your inner geek with countless panels, booths, contests, screenings, and activities. For those who are fans of all the Spider-Man, X-Men, Avengers, and Iron Man movies get the opportunity to meet and get your photograph taken with the creator of those great heroes, Stan Lee. For those Ghostbusters fans you aren’t going to want to miss the opportunity to meet Ernie Hudson and the Ecto-1 car from the movie. Hudson will also be taking part in a panel with Tony Todd and Michael Massee to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the film “The Crow.” Fans of “Game of Thrones” will be likely stalking the panel featuring Alfie Allen, Kristian Nairn, and Natalia Tena.
Probably one of the best things to do C2E2 is to just watch all the great attendees dress up in costumes and the best place to catch them this year will be at the Crown Champions of Cosplay. Your eyes will be amazed by how amateurs can create costumes just as good or better than the movies. The contest will get a fashionable touch with “Project Runway” alumni Austin Scarlett serving as a judge.
On top of all the screenings and events make sure not to miss the heart of C2E2—the comic book publishers, artists, and toy makers. This year Marvel will reveal their new Young Guns who are the up-and-coming artists that will be working with Marvel.
The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo will be taking place April 25 – 27 at McCormick Place South Building located at 2301 S Lake Shore Dr. For more information on the countless activities and ticket prices visit c2e2.com.
When you think of the world’s great love stories Charles and Emma Darwin most likely will not cross your mind, but the Lookingglass Theatre’s newest play does a great job of convincing the audience that there may have been no better love story.
“In the Garden: A Darwinian Love Story” follows Charles Darwin as he writes “On the Origin of Species” and marries Emma Wedgewood, who not only helps him with his commas but is also a devout Christian.
It’s likely you’ll go into the play with many preconceived notions being that the issue of evolution is a highly contentious one in the United States, but this play does everything to eliminate your talking points and makes it personal by putting you in the middle of the relationship of Charles and Emma. While not an atheist, Darwin was filled with questions and doubt while his wife Emma, a Unitarian, was unwavering in her belief in God and creation. In today’s polarized world these two should not be able to stand being in the same room together, so as much as this play is telling a story it is also teaching us a lesson. It’s not a science lesson or a lesson on religion, but one on how independent individuals with their own backgrounds and ideals should forge a relationship if they truly love each other.
The play would’ve failed if you found yourself siding with Darwin because you believe in his science or Emma because you believe in creation. It is Sara Gmitter’s writing and Andrew White and Rebecca Spence’s acting that can make those who might’ve come in with strong convictions begin to understand the other side. White plays Darwin’s curiosity and fervor for science so well that it makes you want to leave the theatre and write observations in red notebooks as Darwin had done. Spence’s portrayal of Emma might be the standout as few people know about Emma’s life, and her support of her husband while having differing ideals is something to be admired. The acting was so good that the majority of the audience was sniffling and grabbing tissue so audibly that it even became a distraction for me.
The performance is definitely a must see for all audiences no matter your beliefs because it is probably one of the greatest love stories that we can all learn from.
“In the Garden: A Darwinian Love Story” will be at the Lookingglass Theatre located at 821 N Michigan Ave through June 15. Tickets start at $30. For more information visit lookingglasstheatre.org.
Looking to start a new Easter tradition this year? Why not forgo the backyard Easter Egg hunt and head to Navy Pier for a special cruise? It’s sure to be an experience you won’t soon forget. This year’s Easter Sunday Brunch Cruises include:
Celebrate Easter in style aboard Odyssey, Chicago’s most luxurious cruising vessel. Enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne or mimosa, delicious buffet, DJ entertainment, dancing, amazing skyline views, goodie bags and a special appearance from the Easter Bunny for the kids. From $64.90 for adults, exclusive of taxes and fees. For reservations, call 866-273-2469. Cruise runs Sunday, April 20, from 12:15 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Spirit of Chicago
Get out on the water this Easter aboard Spirit of Chicago. Enjoy a delicious buffet, DJ entertainment, dancing, amazing skyline views, goodie bags and a special appearance from the Easter Bunny for the kids! From $54.90 for adults, exclusive of taxes and fees. For reservations, call 866-273-2469. Cruise runs Sunday, April 20, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Gwendolyn Ramsey, concierge at the Trump International Hotel and Tower, is this week’s concierge correspondent and shares her top three things to do in Chicago. Check out the short video clip, below, to see what she recommends.
Easter is a beautiful day to spend time with your family. However, it becomes difficult to spend time if you’re stuck in the kitchen cooking brunch for everyone, so we have a roundup of some of the best places to enjoy food and your family this weekend.
Devon Seafood Grill, 39 E. Chicago Ave.
New to the brunch game, Devon Seafood Grill is starting out strong. Every brunch is going to have eggs, bacon, and sausage but not all of them have lobster mac and cheese, Alaskan king crab legs, mussels, and oysters. Mixing breakfast and seafood is unusual but makes this buffet so right.
Carnivale, 702 W. Fulton Market
Clear up your soul, sinuses, and thrill your taste buds at this Latin-infused brunch. Start off with the fresh taste of the Ecuadorian shrimp ceviche and fail at stopping yourself from ordering the decadent bacon-wrapped dates. Move on to the carnitas chilaquiles with the corn tortillas, farm fresh eggs, tomatillo, Oaxaca cheese, and crema. Those who gave up sweets for Lent might want to indulge in the Ecuadorian dark chocolate-dipped smoked bacon for dessert.
Angelina’s Ristorante, 3561 N Broadway St.
The bottomless mimosas at Angelina’s helps give this cozy Lakeview restaurant a party atmosphere where everyone is happy. The dishes are composed of more typical brunch fare but it’s still delicious especially the fritatta Toscano with its red pepper puree, goat cheese, potatoes and toast.
Bub City, 435 N Clark St
Southern brunches might be the best brunches but be warned that you will likely spend the rest of your Easter holiday on the couch. How do you say no to cinnamon sticky buns in a cast iron pan with a side of extra frosting, eggs sandwiches with buttermilk biscuits, or beef brisket benedict? To round out the Southern feel you’ll also be treated to the live music of country artist Chris Cavanaugh. Oh, and there’s a bloody mary bar.
Let’s forget for a moment that it snowed yesterday. That was obviously a glitch in the matrix. Remember how you skipped and danced across the streets like Gene Kelly on that warm Friday? Well it’s time to experience some real dancers during Chicago Dance Month.
Over ten dance companies and organizations will feature all the great dance workshops, performances, and events that occur in Chicago. The end of Chicago Dance Month will coincide with National Dance Week, which is April 27 – May 2.
The theme of this year’s month is “Open Doors, Open Spaces.” Events marked Open Doors are a series of behind the scenes settings hosted by artists and dance companies where they highlight new works. Those marked Open Spaces are showcases that last for hours and allow attendees to drop in on performances that demonstrate how Chicago dancers are pushing boundaries. The best thing is that all Open Doors and Open Spaces events are free. Below are the remaining Open Doors and Open Spaces events you don’t want to miss:
April 18, Open Space: Aerial Dance Experience
April 24, Open Doors: Yoga and Dance Experience
April 25, Open Doors: Lucky Plush Open Rehearsal
April 26, Open Spaces: Community Rhythms: A Celebration of Dance in the Parks
May 1, Open Doors: Contemporary Bharatanatyam In-Studio
May 2, Open Doors: Open Rehearsal with Maud Le Pladec
Chicago Dance Month will run until May 2. For more information on the performances and the discounts for performances outside of “Open Doors, Open Spaces” visit seechicagodance.com/organization/chicago-dance-month-2014.
Tags: Chicago Dance Month
Mavis Staples, of the American R&B group the Staple Singers, continues on the family legacy next Friday, April 18th at the Chicago Symphony Center.
Staples, 74, will be promoting her latest album, “One True Vine” (2013). Doors open at 8 p.m. and the Chicago native will hit the stage alongside Wilco leader and Illinois native Jeff Tweedy. Tweedy, who produced Staples “You Are Not Alone” and “One True Vine,” has helped her acquire a new audience in the younger generation who might not have been aware of her powerful voice. The duo has toured together for the past three years. Regina Carter’s Southern Comfort Jazz is the opening act.
Staples began her singing career in 1948 as a preteen with the family band the Staple Singers and has been performing around the world ever since. She has won a Grammy award for Best American Album for “You Are Not Alone” (2011) and a Lifetime Achievement Award. She was also a civil rights activist and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, along with her family. Staples’ history alone is admirable and powerful. Her smoky, soulful voice is sure to attract the masses. This leaves one question for the reader next Friday night, “Can you get to that?”
The Symphony Center is located at 220 S. Michigan Ave. For more information visit cso.org.
Anthony Gates is this week’s concierge correspondent and shares his top three things to do in Chicago this week. See his picks below:
See Neverland like never before with ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’, the swashbuckling prequel to the classic Peter Pan. Based on the best-selling novel by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson, the play takes you on a journey to answer the century-old question: How did Peter Pan become the boy who never grew up? The show is performing now through April 13 at the Bank of America Theatre. Most enjoyable for audiences ages 10 and up!
“Peter and the Starcatcher” at the Bank of America Theatre
18 W. Monroe St., Chicago, IL
In celebration of National Robotics Week, the Museum of Science & Industry presents Robot Block Party: a demonstration of several different kinds of robots from across the U.S. and around the world! From April 16 – 17 the party will have special workshops, hands-on activities, and lectures from top robotics scholars. This weekend, after-school students and hobbyists demonstrate their robotic work, and the BotBall Championship, a function competition of robots by students. The Robot Block Party goes on until Sunday and is included in the museum’s admission.
Robot Block Party at the Museum of Science & Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Wine & Bread presents the 4th annual Artisan Producer Festival. The festival is a free event with tastings and opportunities to meet the artisans who produce cheese, bread, wine, beer, confections and other food items. This is a Chicago event that has foodie written all over it. Be there Saturday, April 12 from 11 am to 3 pm. For more information on this, their Easter event and other activities at the Chicago French Market, visit frenchmarketchicago.com.
Chicago French Market
131 N Clinton St, Chicago, IL
There are a lot of theories as to why one of Chicago’s nicknames is the Second City. A good one is that after the Great Fire this city had to rebuild entirely on top of the rubble of the “first” city. While the Great Fire was an unfortunate event in our history, what came out of the rebuilding in terms of architectural style, urban planning, development, and design would influence the entire world and the Art Institute of Chicago has a new exhibit highlighting those contributions.
“Chicagoisms” will highlight five principles that have defined the city through the years: Vision Shapes History, Optimism Trumps Planning, Ambition Overcomes Nature, Technology Makes
Spectacle, and Crisis Provokes Innovation. The Art Institute of Chicago asked nine architects and designers to create models and installations that embody those principles. Along with the nine models will be 120 photographs of the past that symbolizes the five principles. The Art Institute of Chicago hopes that pairing these contemporary models with the historic photographs will inspire the future.
The exhibit was inspired by architectural theorist Alexander Eisenschmidt and art historian Jonathan Mekinda’s recent publication “Chicagoisms: The City as Catalyst for Architectural Speculation.” The nine architects asked to create models for the exhibit are Bureau Spectacular, DOGMA, MVDRV, Organization for Permanent Modernity, PORT, Sam Jacob, UrbanLab, Weathers, and WW.
“Chicagoisms” runs until January 4, 2015 at the Art Institute of Chicago located at 111 S Michigan Ave. For more information visit artic.edu.
Navy Pier’s Family Pavilion is blossoming into a wonderland for seasonal, family fun as Swing into Spring returns April 11-20 with a lineup of amazing free events the pint-sized set is sure to enjoy.
From photos with the Bunny and $1 rides on the Wave Swinger in Pier Park to meet and greets with live animals from Brookfield Zoo, PAWS Chicago and the Anti-Cruelty Society, there’s no shortage of things to do.