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Show: Gates of Slumber "I might not be able to talk too much about what makes this Indiana doom-metal band so appealing to me without going into embarrassing detail about the pubescent sexual awakening I underwent upon discovering my dad's old Conan the Barbarian paperbacks in our musty basement," writes Monica Kendrick.
10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $20.
Dinner: Thai Village Homey, comfortable, classic, dependable . . . all the stock adjectives apply, and yet somehow Thai Village stands out from the crowd.
2053 W. Division St., 773-384-5352
Show: Magda Mayas The fluent, stylish New York-based saxophonist plays in a quintet with keyboardist Jim Baker, percussionists Steven Hess and Michael Zerang, and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm. A six-piece group with Lonberg-Holm, bassoonist Dana Jessen, trombonist Jeb Bishop, bass clarinetist Jeff Kimmel, bassist Jason Roebke, and percussionist Marc Riordan opens. Mayas plays in different lineups Sunday and Wednesday.
Dinner: Birchwood Kitchen "There’s not a cheap shortcut to be found at this ambitious sandwich shop from former Pastoral cheeseman Daniel Sirko and partner Judd Murphy (also of Pastoral). Like every new venture these days it invokes the mantra of local, seasonal, and sustainable. But here those words have real meaning, with ingredients on the menu of hot and cold sandwiches--plus a make-your-own option with house-roasted meats (turkey, ham, beef)--largely sourced in the midwest and served on Labriola and Red Hen breads," writes Mike Sula.
2211 W. North, 773-276-2100
Show: The Third Man and The Odd Man Out This week the Music Box presents a double feature of two British film noir classics, both produced and directed by the talented Carol Reed. "If you've seen any of Reed's movies, it's probably The Third Man (1949), with Joseph Cotten as an American pulp writer in postwar Berlin and Orson Welles as his old friend who's gone missing, the supremely cynical black marketeer Harry Lime. Don't miss that one, for God's sake, but think about making a night of it and also checking out the earlier, somewhat lesser known movie on this double bill: Odd Man Out," writes J.R. Jones.
2:40 pm, 7:10 pm (The Third Man) 4:50pm, 9:20pm (Odd Man Out), Music Box, 3733 N. Southport Ave., 773-871-6604
Dinner: El Tapatio The Parra family — who've owned and operated this cheerful restaurant for over 30 years — make frequent trips to Mexico for menu ideas and cook up several family specialties.
3400 N. Ashland, 773-327-5475
Show: The Chaser "Easily the best cop thriller since The Departed, this 2008 Korean import is the debut feature of Na Hong-jin, who demonstrates such mastery of suspense mechanics that he earns the right to flirt with irony and even—dare I say it—tragedy," writes J.R. Jones.
4pm, 6:30pm, 9pm, Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton, 773-281-4114
Dinner: Sprout "First courses, like a meaty, tender veal cheek with escargot atop salsify puree, are substantial and for the most part technically impeccable. And some, including a pair of seared scallops with smooth parsnip that echoed the texture of popcorn with some freeze-dried corn and a fragrant bloom of cress, pears, fennel, macadamia nuts, peppermint, and grated licorice root--suggest that Dale Levitski and Sarah Ngyuen are having lots of fun," writes Mike Sula. One of 2010's notable recent restaurant openings.
1417 W. Fullerton Ave., 773-348-0706
Show: Talk Derby to Me The Windy City Rollers open their 2010 season with a double-header between Chicago's four teams.
6pm (first match) 7:30pm (second match), UIC Pavilion, 525 S. Racine Ave., 312-413-5740, $20
Dinner: Wishbone The menu rarely changes, but no one seems to mind. While a few Raters grumble that the food doesn’t justify the hype — or the crowds — most seem to agree that Wishbone’s combination of fast, reliable, moderately creative food, brisk service, full patio, and funky decor doesn’t need much tinkering.
1001 W. Washington St., 312-850-2663
Show: This Train At once a comfortable presence and a compelling raconteur, artist, actor, and performance poet Tony Fitzpatrick can take the most mundane incidents of life—listening to an answering machine, arguing about dog poop with a neighbor—and transform them into poignant tales of urban life.
5pm and 8pm, 16th Street Theater, 6420 16th, 708-795-6704, $20
Dinner: Czech Plaza Czechs are traditionally frugal foodies, and Czech Plaza delivers a lot of value with a roster of substantial old-world platters, many clocking in at under $10 for soup, entree with two sides (sauerkraut, dumplings, or salad), dessert, and coffee. The bread is quite good, full flavored with baked-today freshness.
7016 W. Cermak, 708-795-6555
Show: Busch Fest This festival features four plays by drag auteur Charles Busch, performed in two programs.
7:30pm, Mary's Attic at Hamburger Mary's, 5400 N. Clark St., 773-784-6969, $12
Dinner: Hopleaf "There’s no place like this one to explore the deep Belgian tradition of pairing great beer with food--not to mention good food cooked with great beer, the most celebrated and enjoyable example being the mussels steamed in Wittekerke white ale, with long, crispy frites and a tangy aioli," writes Mike Sula.
5148 N. Clark St., 773-334-9851