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Show: John Jasperse Company John Jasperse's Truth, Revised Histories, Wishful Thinking, and Flat Out Lies receives its North American premiere this weekend; the 100-minute, two-act piece often focuses humorously on human foibles: each time a dancer fails in his attempt to execute a simple turn, for example, he offers commentary on what went wrong.
7:30pm, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., 312-280-2660, $10-$25
Dinner: Balsan "Hotel dining has a tendency to pander to an itinerant captive customer base that’s not necessarily focused on imaginative eating," writes Mike Sula. "I hope Balsan attracts the local following it deserves to keep Jason McLeod’s passionate momentum going."
11 E. Walton St., 312-646-1400
Show: Our Lady of the Underpass In April 2005, a salt stain on the wall of the I-94 underpass at Fullerton struck passersby with its resemblance to the Virgin Mary. Playwright Tanya Saracho saw the potential for a theatrical forum on faith, and the result is her sometimes hilarious, sometimes moving Our Lady of the Underpass.
7:30pm, 16th Street Theater, Berwyn Cultural Center, 6420 16th St., 708-795-6704
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.
7016 W. Cermak Rd., 708-795-6555
Show: Fred Hersch Trio Pianist Fred Hersch has "interpreted everything from Tin Pan Alley tunes to the work of free-jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, and he's written elaborate original pieces that compress jazz history into tidy, harmonically rich, contemporary-sounding packages," writes Peter Margasak. "He's a complete musician, and talented enough to make his mastery sound nonchalant."
8 and 9:45 PM, Club Blujazz, 1540 W. North, 773-360-8046, $25
Dinner: Cafe Absinthe Unlike many of the trendy joints in Wicker Park, Cafe Absinthe has secured a niche as a classic neighborhood restaurant through an unpretentious combination of well-executed food and relaxed yet expert service.
1954 W. North Ave., 773-278-4488
Show: The Soft Pack This California band's "sparkling tones and tastefully restrained playing give their slightly garagey music a dapper, clean-cut quality with hints of the Modern Lovers and Hot Snakes, but it's still got enough muscle to back up the occasional thrown elbow," writes Miles Raymer.
10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $12, $10 in advance.
Dinner: Crust Chef Michael Altenberg’s casual flatbread-pizza joint, the city’s first certified organic restaurant, is a sleek modern dining hall with bright orange molded plastic chairs and trippy Formica tables; the spacious tented back patio and sidewalk cafe add seats for another 130.
2056 W. Division St., 773-235-5511
Show: Tomasz Stanko Quintet "Arguably the greatest jazz instrumentalist Poland has ever produced, trumpeter Tomasz Stanko has long cleaved to a brooding, romantic sound," writes Peter Margasak. "His atmospheres tend to be dark, his melodies scarred and scuffed."
9 PM, Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie, 800-838-3006, $20, $15 in advance.
Dinner: Longman & Eagle Jared Wentworth's meat challenge goes on and on: Kobe meatballs, duck rillettes, fat slabs of salty bacon-armored paté—squab one night, rabbit another, woodcock on a third—and a recent special of tete de cochon, not a whole pig's head but a crispy headcheese croquette atop a bed of stinging nettles (which don't sting once braised).
2657 N. Kedzie, 773-276-7110
Show: Ghost Town Directed by Zhao Dayong, this 2008 documentary presents Zhizilou, a small town in Yunan province, as evidence that the Chinese economic miracle has eroded once-thriving rural cultures by drawing villagers to large cities.
6:30pm, Facets Cinematheque, 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. 773-281-4114
Dinner: Rose Angelis A charming Italian restaurant, attractive and often crowded, highly rated for food, value, and friendly service.
1314 W. Wrightwood Ave., 773-296-0081