Dinner and a Show: Thursday 12/17 | Bleader

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Movies

Show: Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience "More than a decade in the making, James Cameron's 3-D fantasy about a colony of human astronauts hoping to plunder an alien rainforest represents a quantum leap in movie magic," writes J.R. Jones. "Watching it, I began to understand how people in 1933 must have felt when they saw King Kong."

Midnight, Navy Pier IMAX Theatre, 700 E. Grand, 312-595-5629; there are also non-IMAX 3D Avatar midnight shows all over the city.

Dinner: Sayat Nova Cavelike Armenian restaurant that draws adventurous diners for interesting low-budget fare.

157 E. Ohio, 312-644-9159

Performing Arts

Show: American Buffalo "Lord knows our current economic crisis festers and stinks, so conditions on the ground are ripe for a revival," writes Kerry Reid, "and the indispensable Amy Morton has directed a thoroughly engaging one for Steppenwolf."

Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Downstairs Theater, 1650 N. Halsted, 312-335-1650, $20-$77.

Dinner: Mizu Yakitori and Sushi Lounge Yakitori are a popular Japanese drinking food: skewered and grilled bits of meat, usually chicken. Old Town's Mizu Yakitori & Sushi Lounge takes the concept further, offering vegetable, beef, and seafood skewers as well. Read more about executive chef Seijiro Matsumoto.

315 W. North, 312-951-8880


Show: Icarus "Given Lookingglass Theatre Company's twin penchants for adapting myths and performing aerial acrobatics, I'm surprised the troupe took this long to get around to Icarus and his fatal flight," writes Zac Thompson. "But I'm glad they waited: a younger, brasher Lookingglass might not have been able to encompass the sad, wise, deeply moving interpretation offered here by writer-director David Catlin."

7:30pm, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Water Tower Waterworks, 821 N. Michigan, 312-337-0665, $18-$62.

Dinner: Le Petit Paris "The menu is old-school bistro fare, and when I say old school, I mean it," writes Kathie Bergquist. "I can't remember the last time I saw duck a l'orange on a menu."

260 E. Chestnut, (312) 787-8260


Show: It's a Wonderful Life: Live at the Biograph Marty Higginbotham's production transcends mere nostalgia-mongering thanks to deeply felt, carefully sculpted performances by a seasoned ensemble.

8pm, Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln, 773-871-3000

Dinner: Crepe & Coffee Palace Can a hidden treasure be in plain sight? On a busy stretch of Clark just north of Fullerton, you'll find this delightful Algerian-style eatery. Authentic Turkish coffee, served tableside, was a perfect complement. Prices are extremely reasonable.

2433 N. Clark, 773-404-1300


Lit

Show: Claire Zulkey reads from her YA novel An Off Year.

7pm, Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln, 773-293-2665

Dinner: Glenn's Diner Upscale diner fare, all-you-can-eat cereal, and loads of fish specials from Glenn Fahlstrom, one of the original partners in Evanston's Davis Street Fishmarket.

1820 W. Montrose, 773-506-1720

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