The Chinese or Lunar New Year begins on Monday, January 26, 2009. The Chinese New Year in Chicago is all about theater and cultural performances. Here are four opportunities to celebrate the Chinese New Year in the Windy City.
First, start the Chinese New Year off early, really early. The Chicago Civic Opera House is presenting the 2009 Divine Performing Arts: Chinese New Year Spectacular on December 27 and 28, 2008. The program showcases classical Chinese dance and music with exuberant backdrops of heavenly palaces. Leaping swordsmen, elegant fair girls, and pounding drums are just part of the experience, presented by Mid USA Falun Dafa Association and Sound of Hope Radio, NFP. Shows will be at 2pm and 7pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. Tickets cost between $115 and $235, and can be ordered by calling 312-902-1500 or visiting the Civic Opera House Box Office, Monday through Saturday from 12pm – 6pm. The Chicago Civic Opera House is located at 20 North Wacker Drive.
On January 24th, the Saturday before the Chinese New Year is scheduled to begin, the Asian American Coalition of Chicago will host its 26th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. The program typically runs from 5pm – 10:30pm and features speakers, cultural performers, and awards and recognition of local Asian Americans. The Hyatt Regency is located at 9300 Bryn Mawr Avenue in Rosemont. To purchase tickets, contact Linda Wong at 630-965-6380 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Exhibit booths will be on display in the reception area from 5pm – 10pm. To secure a booth for $200, contact Nadia Akhtar at 708-597-7777, x103, or at email@example.com. You may also contact Pamela Leeming at 708-769-6985 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The weekend after the AAC of Chicago’s Lunar New Year Celebration, you can celebrate the Chinese New Year by seeing the Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats. Performing through Centre East at Chicago’s North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. The Golden Dragon Acrobats will perform a debut of Cirque D’Or, of which the New York Post raves of their “juggling everything from umbrellas to soccer balls.” Performances are scheduled for Saturday, January 31 at 2pm and 5pm, and Sunday, February 1 at 2pm. All tickets are $32. The North Shore Center for the Performing Arts is located at 9501 Skokie Blvd. in Skokie. Parking is free.
Finally, celebrate the Chinese New Year in Chicago by catching the world premiere of Kenneth Lin’s Po Boy Tango. Playing January 7 – February 15, you should have no problem making this production part of your Chinese New Year celebrations. Po Boy Tango tells the story of a Chinese immigrant and his friend that helps him learn to cook. Together they blend Taiwanese and African American culture not only in food, but in friendship. For your Chinese New Year celebrations, you’ll want to reserve tickets for the showings on Saturday, January 24 at 2:30pm and 8pm, or on Sunday, January 25 at 2:30pm. Tickets range from $35 – $55. Po Boy Tango is also playing at the North Shore Center for Performing Arts.