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Chicago Is Talking About . . .
Chicago Magic Lounge's Anniversary
Michael Jackson Tribute Show
THE first day of the Chinese New Year, one of the most important Chinese holidays, will be observed with kickoff celebrations on February 5 to acknowledge the Year of the Pig. Also known as the Lunar New Year, the holiday coincides with the rise of a new moon between January 21 and February 20. The days-long celebration will include parades, one in Uptown on February 9 and Chinatown celebrations on February 10. Other activities at the Chicago Cultural Center will include a multi-arts performance featuring Lion dance, martial arts and the award-winning Flying Fairies dance troupe. Go to www.chinesefinearts.org for more information.
Black Ensemble Theater's Anti-Racism Drama Series
Chinese New Year Kickoff Celebration
AN electrifying stage show in tribute to the “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson, arrives at the Rosemont Theatre on January 26. The “Michael Jackson Tribute Spectacular: MJ Live,” which has enjoyed longtime success in Las Vegas, features noted impersonator Michael Firestone in a presentation that includes songs such as “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “Bad” and a number of Jackson’s other hits, even dating back to his days as part of the Jackson 5 when he and his brothers were known for a repertoire that includes “I Want You Back,” “I’ll Be There,” “The Love You Save” and “ABC.” Not only will Firestone sing the songs, he will perform Michael’s incredible dance moves.  
THE Black Ensemble Theater and Northeastern Illinois University have partnered to present the Black Ensemble Theater’s Jackie Taylor’s Anti-Racism Drama Series and Residency Program. The series will include the presentation of three, one-act plays that will focus on various aspects of racism. The plays, written by members of Black Ensemble Theater’s Black Playwrights Initiative, will be performed at Northeastern Illinois University in January, February and March. The plays and the performance dates are as follows: National Anthem by Ervin Gardner, January 17-19; In The Shadow of Justice by L. Maceo Ferris, February 7-9; and The Plea by Reginald Williams, March 14-16. Tickets for individual productions are $20 and can be purchased online at http://www.neiu.edu/tickets.
THE Chicago Magic Lounge, which perhaps has become Chicago’s most popular spot for close-up magic, will celebrate Valentine’s Day and the lounge’s one-year anniversary in February with special shows. The Valentine’s Weekend Signature Show will feature Wes Mathison and Danny Orleans & The Incredible Jan Rose on February 14-16. In the past year, more than 100 magicians have performed more than 450 shows at the Chicago Magic Lounge, which will celebrate its anniversary on February 21-23 with a lineup of performers that includes Robert Ramirez, Ondrej Psenicka and Chicago favorite Alba. Tickets for all Chicago Magic Lounge performances are available at the box office, (312) 366-4500 or online at chicagomagiclounge.com.