The Mix: ‘Immersive Van Gogh,’ Valentine’s Day music and comedy, and other things to do in Chicago Feb. 11-17Mary Houlihan – For the Sun-Timeson February 11, 2021 at 2:07 am

Visitors are surrounded by projections at “Immersive Van Gogh.”
Visitors are surrounded by projections at “Immersive Van Gogh.” | Courtesy of “Immersive Van Gogh”

There’s much entertainment, live and virtual, on tap in Chicago in the week ahead.

Vibrant Van Gogh

For those craving a unique art experience, the “Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit” is just the thing to sate that desire. Taking place at Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago, the digital art event utilizes the venue’s 35-foot-walls and multiple levels to present this vibrant immersion, which uses state-of-the-art technology, theatrical storytelling and animation to surround viewers on all sides with the work of the great Dutch painter. The Toronto Sun called the 60-minute, walk-through exhibit “intense and emotional, cathartic and liberating.” “Immersive Van Gogh” runs Feb. 11-Sept. 6 at Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago, 108 W. Germania. Timed tickets are $39.99-$99.99 ($24.99 for children 16 and under). All the usual COVID-19 safety protocols will be adhered to. Visit

The good times

Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience
Jake Springfield
Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! Celebrate Mardi Gras virtually this year with a pair of streamed performances offered by the Evanston music venue Space. First up is Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience (7:30 p.m. Feb. 13, $15-$35) featuring one of Louisiana’s great Creole musicians. Longtime friends Ivan Neville and Jon Cleary (8 p.m. Feb. 16, $18-$65), two of New Orleans’ funkiest keyboard players, singers and bandleaders celebrate Fat Tuesday with their brand of musical gumbo. Visit The Terrance Simien show also is available through FitzGerald’s; visit

Music for Tibet

One of the longest running cultural events in New York, the 34th annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert, returns this year with a special virtual edition, which for the first time offers viewers around the world the opportunity to experience the sense of community and amazing music the evening has provided for so many years at Carnegie Hall. Composer and artistic director Philip Glass once again curated this year’s lineup, which features in a combination of live and recorded segments: Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Flaming Lips, Phoebe Bridgers, Brittany Howard, Valerie June, Angélique Kidjo, Laurie Anderson, Marc Anthony Thompson of Chocolate Genius Inc., Tessa Thompson, Saori Tsukada and many more. Proceeds support the work of Tibet House US, a non-profit educational institution and cultural embassy to ensure the survival of the unique Tibetan civilization. The concert streams at 7 p.m. Feb. 17. Tickets: $25-$250. Visit

Valentine laughs

“Little Piggy Valentines” with the Little Piggy Girls.
Courtesy the Annoyance Theatre
“Little Piggy Valentines” with the Little Piggy Girls.

Laugh Factory Chicago fills the Valentine’s Day weekend with interactive stand-up comedy at 7 p.m. Feb. 11, 13 and 14. Performers include Pat Tomasulo, Zako Ryan and Chelsea Hood (Feb. 11, this show is followed by a virtual trivia competition); Marvin Phipps, Mark Simmons, Erica Clark and Em Brown (Feb. 13) and Meechie Hall, Sarah Perry, Clark Jones and Alex Dragicevich (Feb. 14). Tickets: $10-$25. Visit … Zanies Comedy Club presents “Laugh More Live (Cupid Edition)” at 8 p.m. Feb. 14 featuring T. Murph, Joe Kilgallon, Pat Tomasulo and Carly Kane. Tickets: $10-$25. Visit … The Annoyance offers two sketch comedy shows: “Cupid’s Big Day” with the Garden Boys (8 p.m. Feb. 14) and “Little Piggy Valentines” with the Little Piggy Girls (9 p.m. Feb. 14). Tickets: $10 suggested donation. Visit

Music for kids

Laurie Berkner
Jayme Thornton Photo
Laurie Berkner

Children’s musician Laurie Berkner celebrates Valentine’s Day with two livestreamed concerts at noon and 5 p.m. Feb. 14. There’s a fun-filled virtual lobby with pre-show music and videos plus Valentine games and a craft activity. Tickets: $20. Visit … Chicago musicians Wendy & DB host a free livestreamed kids music festival at 3 p.m. Feb. 17. Guests include Two of a Kind, Turtle Dance Music and Jeanie B. Visit

Heartfelt songs

Tarrey Torae
J. Ivy Photo
Tarrey Torae

Eighth Blackbird Presents features singer Tarrey Torae performing songs from her new release “Catching Feelings” (7 p.m. Feb. 13). Tickets: $20. Visit “Songs of Love and the Lack Thereof” features John Paul White, Cedric Burnside and Erin Rae singing songs of love and heartbreak (8 p.m. Feb. 14). Tickets: $20-$60. Visit … “Valentunes” showcases favorite love songs performed by members of the American Blues Theater ensemble (7 p.m. Feb. 12). Tickets: $50 suggested donation or pay-what-you-can. Visit

Virtual stage

Tyler Anthony Smith stars in Hell in a Handbag Productions’ “Out, Darn Spot!” Photo by Dakota Hughes
Dakota Hughes
Tyler Anthony Smith stars in Hell in a Handbag Productions’ “Out, Darn Spot!”

Hell in a Handbag Productions presents Tyler Anthony Smith’s “Out, Darn Spot!,” a campy comedy which sends up Shakespeare in the story of Lady Marcia Macbeth, the original real housewife. Streams Feb. 12-March 21. Tickets: $17. Visit … Victory Garden Theater presents “New Plays for a New Year,” free virtual readings of new 10-minute plays by McKenzie Chinn, Preston Choi and York Walker at 7 p.m. Feb. 12. Visit … Interrobang Theatre Project brings back its Jeff Award-nominated drama “Here Lies Henry,” in which the title character tries to make sense of his life before it’s too late. Streams to Feb. 25. Tickets: $15. Visit … PrideArts presents “Lesbian Shorts,” readings of five plays performed live. Streams at 7 p.m. Feb. 16. Tickets: $10. Visit

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.

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