SOFA Chicago Friday-Sunday at Navy Pier; $15-$25
SOFA Chicago at Navy Pier
The International Sculpture Objects & Functional Art (SOFA) Expositions presents a varied display of glass, sculpture, ceramics and functional art, as well as lectures and more at Navy Pier's Festival Hall. Read more about the show 8
Umbrella Music Festival
Through Sunday at various locations; $15 per night
This fifth annual fest takes place across the city at some of the main venues for jazz and improvised music, and features an all-star lineup of local and international musicians. The free opening-night event at the Chicago Cultural Center should be a blast with several European jazz musicians. But don't count out the sets at Elastic (November 5), Hideout (November 6) and Hungry Brain (November 7).
The Seven Snakes
8 p.m. Friday-Saturday at Zoo Studio; $20
Filthy, hot, strange and unstintingly entertaining, "Seven Snakes" will crawl under your skin and make you sweat. Although it's a post-apocalyptic western about a lovelorn teen nurse caught in the dregs of a border war, it's more than a genre romp. Playwright Bob Fisher's conflation of psycho-sexual and xenophobic freakouts weirdly captures the national mood. This is your last chance to catch the madness, as the show closes Saturday.
Check out more recommended theater shows.
10 p.m. Saturday at Smartbar; $15-$20
Mark Farina's early sets throughout the late 1980s and early '90s blazed a trail for house enthusiasts worldwide, and his famous Mushroom Jazz series — now in its seventh installment — is a standard measure of fusion excellence. Farina may have spent the better part of his career in San Francisco, but every fan knows his heart is still firmly rooted in Chicago. His set at Smartbar is priced right for someone of his stature, and if there's any doubt if the cover is worth it, rest assured Farina will bring his "A" game for the hometown crowd.
More: Must-see music
Saturday-Sunday at Irish Heritage Center (4626 N. Knox); $10-$15
Explore Irish culture with two days of Irish Books, Arts and Music (get it?) at the Irish American Heritage Center, in celebration of the Celtic New Year. This family-friendly event includes book sales, theater, and other traditional Irish activities. Highlights include a painting of the live mural by the Bogside Artists, a trio of mural painters from Derry, Northern Ireland. There will also be a screening of Academy Award nominated "Secret of Kells" on Sunday and Mary Pat Kelly's award-winning documentary on the life of John Hume, Nobel Prize winner for peace.
Just missed the cut: The Radiators, Junip, Kingsville, Dance Chicago, Reeling Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.