PLEASE NOTE: Events may be postponed or simply canceled. Please call ahead to make sure they are still scheduled to take place.
Andersonville’s annual neighborhood celebration of hygge — the Danish word expressing a general state of coziness, comfort, and contentment — is halfway through a monthlong take-out fest amid COVID-19 restrictions. Local restaurants and shops are offering special packages or discounts on hygge-at-home products like to-go cocktails, virtual wine tastings, sweet treats, and self-care supplies. And if you’ve developed a jigsaw-puzzle habit during lockdown, you can refresh your supply on February 27 at the Great Andersonville Jigsaw Exchange, taking place in the parking lot behind Women & Children First.
Various locations. Andersonville. Various prices. andersonville.org
Monet and Chicago
The Art Institute reopened again on February 11, after the pandemic forced two separate closures in 2020. The return to business (at 25 percent capacity) comes with an extension of this major Monet exhibition, which highlights the painter’s relationship to a then-budding Midwestern metropolis.
Through June 14. Art Institute of Chicago. Loop. $7. artic.edu
Immersive Van Gogh
This Toronto import turns familiar Van Gogh paintings into vast animated canvases (the walls are 35 feet high in parts of the space) synced to a surround-sound score. It’s a tech-driven art “experience” for everyone who had a poster of The Starry Night on their dorm-room wall.
Through Sept. 6. Lighthouse ArtSpace at Germania Place. Old Town. $40–$100. vangoghchicago.com
Mandela: Struggle for Freedom
The life of the South African political prisoner and president materializes in this interactive exhibit, which includes a true-to-scale replica of the Robben Island prison cell where Mandela was held captive. Virtual tours are also available.
Feb. 20–Sept. 12. Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center. Skokie. Free–$15. ilholocaustmuseum.org
Sole e Amore (Sun and Love)
Think warm thoughts as you bask in the sound of rising Lyric Opera stars from the Ryan Opera Center’s 2020–21 ensemble, performing lesser-known pieces by Italian composers including Verdi, Puccini, and Rossini. Lyric’s music director designate, Enrique Mazzola, serves as host and accompanist for the recital, streaming on Lyric’s Facebook and YouTube channels (and available on demand for a few months after its premiere).
FREE Feb. 21. 6 p.m. lyricopera.org
Chicago Theatre Week
The League of Chicago Theatres’ annual showcase usually takes the form of deeply discounted tickets to live performances on the city’s multitude of stages. That can’t be the case this year, but the show, as they say, must go on, so the 2021 campaign will encompass cross promotion of the digital content offerings many theaters have produced. Would-be audience members can choose a virtual theater experience from the menu at the Chicago Theatre Week website to enjoy at home. If you’re so moved, you can donate the money you would have spent on tickets.
Feb. 25–Mar. 7. Various prices. chicagotheatreweek.com
Bill Gates: How to Avoid a Climate Disaster
The title of this Chicago Humanities Festival–produced YouTube Live talk is also the title of the Microsoft cofounder and megaphilanthropist’s new book (a copy is included in the event price and shipped to ticket holders by Seminary Co-op). Gates will discuss climate-change solutions and the challenges laid out therein with Dax Shepard and Monica Padman, the hosts of the podcast Armchair Expert.
Feb. 25. 7 p.m. $36. chicagohumanities.org
Reflections of an Architecture Critic: A Conversation with Blair Kamin
Longtime Chicago Tribune columnist Kamin took a buyout from the paper in January after 33 years — 28 of them as its architecture critic, wherein he won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1999. He reflects on nearly three decades of covering Chicago’s built environment in this conversation with Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture dean Reed Kroloff, broadcast via Zoom.
Feb. 25. 6 p.m. $15. architecture.org
Black History Month Virtual Concert: Preserving and Persevering
Chicago Children’s Choir’s annual Black History Month concert honors the role of music in the preservation of African traditions and the fight for racial equality and justice. This year’s program, like so much else, has gone digital; tune into CCC’s Facebook page or YouTube channel to hear a program including “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (a.k.a. the Black National Anthem), “Wade in the Water,” and “We Shall Overcome,” among other selections.
FREE Feb. 25. 7 p.m. ccchoir.org
The Joffrey Ballet returns to performance with the virtual premiere of a new short work choreographed by company member Yoshihisa Arai. Originally intended for Joffrey’s annual gala last April, Bolero has been reworked to eliminate physical contact between dancers (the costumes incorporate face coverings). Filmed in the black-box theater at Joffrey Tower, the performance streams on the company’s YouTube channel for one night only.
FREE Feb. 26. Virtual event. 7 p.m. joffrey.org