Dinner & a Show: Friday, 1/22 | Bleader

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Show: Joan of Arc Don't Mind Control Variety Show This 14-act bill features Joan of Arc mastermind Tim Kinsella as well as past and present members of the group in their current projects: Disappears, Owen, Josh Abrams, A Tundra, Birthmark, Jeremy Boyle, Litesalive, Pillars & Tongues, the Zoo Wheel, and more. Rumor has it that a reunited Cap'n Jazz will also make an appearance.

10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10.

Dinner: Enoteca Roma This laid-back wine bar is an extension of Letizia’s Natural Bakery, a fixture since 1998, and shares its charming back garden seating. It offers Letizia’s standard menu plus more than a dozen varieties of bruschetta, pizzas, dinner salads, and a number of meat, cheese, bread, and olive combinations in the tradition of rustic Roman cuisine.

2146 W. Division, 773-342-1011

Freedy Johnston
  • Chris Carroll
  • Freedy Johnston
Show: Freedy Johnston The singer-songwriter is back with his first album of new material in nine years. "Though his lyrics have grown more economical, his elegant melodies are as ingratiating as ever," writes Peter Margasak.

7:30 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $12.

Dinner: Fianco is one of those low-key neighborhood Italian joints that often fly under the foodie radar. With its photo-lined exposed-brick walls, butcher-paper-covered tables, and high exposed-beam ceiling, the spacious storefront feels like a throwback.

3440 N. Southport, 773-327-6400

Show: Tommie Sunshine Once-local DJ Tommie Sunshine has come a long way from his humble beginnings at cornfield raves. Since the new year began he's launched a label (Brooklyn Fire), lit up the blogosphere with his remix of the Dead's "Shakedown Street" (worked into a fine clubbed-up boogie), and toured the Pacific Rim (not a euphemism).

10 PM, Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-4140, $15, $10 before midnight or in advance.

Dinner: TAC Quick "Young Andy Aroonrasameruang, formerly of Banana Leaf, and his likable staff probably make it easier than anywhere else to get traditional stuff the way it's eaten in Thailand. Aside from the regular menu there's a clearly translated Thai menu available by request with almost 40 items you're not likely to encounter elsewhere without a working knowledge of the language -- like a salad of shrimp, cashews, and fish maw, sort of a fishy pork rind that soaks up the flavor of the sauce like a crouton," writes Mike Sula.

3930 N. Sheridan Rd., 773-327-5253


Show: 35 Shots of Rum Claire Denis's latest, about a handsome widower, his daughter, and the neighbors who long for them, is "a beautiful picture but very quietly so, and definitely not for the ADHD set," writes Cliff Doerksen.

5pm, 7:20pm, 9:40pm, Music Box, 3733 N. Southport Ave., 773-871-6604

Dinner: Julius Meinl A classy place for those of moderate means, this is the first American outpost for Viennese coffee purveyor Julius Meinl. The coffee is made from beans roasted in Austria; strong but not acidic, it's superb.

3601 N. Southport, 773-868-1857

Performing Arts

Show: Rhinoceros Theater Festival Curious Theatre Branch's long-running RhinoFest features 27 way-out-of-the-mainstream shows in 25 days at a single theater. "The lineup is a fringe fan's dream, with a heady mix of veterans and newbies, individuals and ensembles, performance art and opera," Justin Hayford.

Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave., 773-539-7838, $12 in advance, $15 or pay what you can at the door

Dinner: Urban Belly "The dumplings alone could carry it; offered in five distinctive varieties, they’re tasty across the board," writes Mike Sula.

3053 N. California Ave., 773-583-0500

Show: Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan Cloud Gate artistic director Lin Hwai-min conjures multiple dreamscapes in his glassy, glacial Moon Water, an hour-long 1998 piece receiving its Chicago premiere this weekend. "Selections from Bach's Six Suites for Solo Cello are as lushly sustained as the dancing, and the meditative pace invites both inner reflection and close attention to the dancers' controlled yet apparently effortless motions," writes Laura Molzahn.

8pm, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph, 312-334-7777 , $30-$65

Dinner: Russian Tea Time The menu is huge and inviting, offering a wide array of Russian, Ukrainian, and Georgian dishes, from stuffed cabbage and excellent Russian dumplings to food fit for a czar: pheasant, quail, sturgeon, and caviar.

77 E. Adams St., 312-360-0000

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