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The Mix: Really cool things to do

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NOT SO LATE NIGHT OF COMEDY
Comedian Craig Ferguson, for four years the host of the “Late Late Show” on CBS, will perform his stand-up act at 8 tonight at the Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee in Waukegan. Tickets are $25-$45. Call (847) 263-6300; www.geneseetheatre.com.


More events after the jump ...

THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT 'MARY'
The national tour of the Broadway musical Mary Poppins kicks off in Chicago with previews beginning Wednesday at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W Randolph. Based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the 1964 Oscar-winning film, the musical boasts such memorable tunes such as “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and the impossibly lyrical “Supercalifgragilisticexpialidocious.” Tickets ($27.50-$147.50) are available through Ticketmaster or by phone at (312) 902-1400.

BOTTOMS UP, WITH SAZERAC
March is Chicago Sazerac Month in honor of one of the oldest cocktails, the one most closely associated with New Orleans. So drink up at participating bars and restaurants, including the Violet Hour, 1520 N. Damen; Sepia, 123 N. Jefferson; Nacional 27, 325 W. Huron; the Whistler, 2421 N. Milwaukee, and the Drawing Room, 937 N. Rush. The Sazerac is traditionally made with rye whiskey and a hint of absinthe, bitters, sugar and lemon peel. This event will benefit New Orleans area charities. For more information, call the Violet Hour at (773) 252-1500, or one of the other participating locations.

FILMS FROM IRELAND
The 10th annual Chicago Irish Film Festival kicks off at 7 tonight with an opening reception featuring music by the Ploughman’s Lunch, an edgy, Philadelphia-based Celtic dance band, plus a buffet and open bar, followed at 8:30 by a viewing of distinguished short films. Tickets are $30. The festival, at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., will continue through Wednesday with an intriguing mix of feature films, shorts and documentaries. Producer Catherine Lyons and director John J. Doherty will be on hand for the U.S. premiere of their documentary, “Frederick Douglass and the White Negro,” at 7:30 p.m Saturday. Tickets to screenings are $10, a festival pass is $65. The closing reception is $20. Call (773) 445-3838, ext. 200; www.chicagoirishfilmfestival.net.

FIRST ST. PADDY’S STEP
The Northwest Side Irish Parade, now in its sixth year, steps off from Onahan School, 6334 W. Raven, at noon Sunday in the Norwood Park neighborhood. Entertainment will include the Shannon Rovers, the Emerald Society, the Mullane Irish Dancers, the Gavin School of Irish Dance, the Jesse White Tumblers, the St. Patrick High School Jazz Band and the Shriners Clownmobile. The parade route will travel east on Raven to Neola, west to Northwest Highway and north to Harlem. The official afterparty is at Moretti’s, 6727 N. Olmsted. Call (773) 848-8421; www.northwestsideirish.org.

MONKEY BUSINESS
Sock Monkey Madness honors Rockford’s knitting industry, recognizing in particular the Nelson Knitting Company, whose red-heeled work socks were the main material needed to make the stuffed pals popular during the Great Depression. The festival, running from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford in Rockford, includes create-your-own-sock-monkey workshops, book signings, a Miss Sockford talent contest and more. Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children and students ages 4-17. Call (815) 397-9112, ext. 104; www.midwayvillage.com.

FULL HOUSE FOR ‘IDOL’
David Archuleta, who last year finished second on the seventh season of “American Idol,” is a winner with his fans. His show at 7 p.m. Sunday at House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn, with opening act Lesley Roy, is sold out. Archuleta’s self-titled debut album has sold more than 600,000 copies. Call (312) 923-2000; www.hob.com.

PLENTY TO SEE AND HEAR
The inaugural Chicago International Movies and Music Festival continues through the weekend with diverse events like a screening of Martin Atkins’ “16 Days in China” (2 p.m. Saturday at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington) and an exhibition of legendary rock photographer Richard Bellia’s work (6 tonight at Th!nkArt Salon, 1530 N. Paulina). The fest finishes with the debut of Wilco’s concert film, “Ashes of American Flags,” at the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport, at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Monday. Call (312) 924-1880 or get the complete schedule at www.cimmfest.org.

SPRING COMES EARLY
The Chicago Flower & Garden Show celebrates its 15th year by returning to its “roots” at Navy Pier on Saturday. The exhibit includes thousands of gardening, landscaping and horticulture products, more than 100 hands-on demonstrations and classes, 25-plus lush gardens, a children’s activity garden and more. The show runs through March 15. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $14 for adults ($12 weekdays) and $5 for kids ages 4-12. Call (773) 435-1250; www.chicagoflower.com.


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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on March 5, 2009 4:44 PM.

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