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Show: Mohammad Reza Shajarian is "arguably the greatest singer of Persian classical music in the modern era," writes Peter Margasak. "Shajarian doesn't make it to Chicago often, and he's never played here with such a large group."
8:30 PM, Copernicus Theater, 5216 W. Lawrence, 312-437-4726, $50-$65.
Dinner: Smak-Tak This tiny, tidy Polish chalet on Elston is much beloved for its deep bowls of hearty soups, (clear amber-colored chicken noodle, creamy mushroom, thick barley), its plump, butter-drenched pierogi (tangy cheese and potato, finely ground meat, assorted fruit flavors, incredible mushroom and sauerkraut), and ample, thoughtfully accented dinners such as hunter's stew, stuffed cabbage, and breaded cutlets.
5961 N. Elston Ave., 773-763-1123, smaktak.com
Show: Arbouretum, Pontiak "On last year's superb Song of the Pearl, Arbouretum serves up its most convincing and focused folk-rock yet: the songs draw upon the refined melodic shapes of traditional British folk, but the band's muscular delivery gives them an exhilarating punch," writes Peter Margasak.
9 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433 or 866-468-3401, $8.
Dinner: The Southern The former Chaise Lounge is now the Southern, a more casual bar and restaurant featuring the regional cuisine of chef Cary Taylor (Blackbird, Ambria, Avenues).
1840 W. North Ave., 773-342-1840, thesouthernchicago.com
Lit & Lectures
Show: Jane Smiley discusses her latest novel, Private Life, in a conversation with arts journalist Victoria Lautman.
6pm, Harold Washington Library Center, auditorium, 400 S. State St., 312-747-4050, free
Dinner: Cafecito The best damn Cuban sandwiches in town.
26 E. Congress Pkwy., 312- 922-2233, cafecitochicago.com
Show: Crime and Punishment Discussion with authors Joanthan Eig (Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America's Most Wanted Gangster) and Robert K. Elder (Last Words of the Executed).
4pm, McCormick Tribune Center, Northwestern University, 1870 Campus Dr., free
Dinner: Bistro Bordeaux 26-year-old executive chef Frank Mnuk (Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, Eleven Madison Park in New York, NoMi) has mastered the art of French cooking.
618 Church St., Evanston 847-424-1483, lebistrobordeaux.com
Show: Sun, Stand Thou Still In its second production, the promising young Ka-Tet Theatre Company tackles Steven Gridley's absurdist tale with a joiner's eye for craft.
7:30pm, Stage Left Theatre, 3408 N. Sheffield Ave., 773-883-8830, $20
Dinner: Vines on Clark Italian and American food from chefs Tim Edstrom (Everest, Kiki's Bistro, Spiaggia) and Raul Ramos (Spiaggia, Pump Room).
3554 N. Clark St., 773-327-8572, cubbybear.com/vinesonclark
Show: Neverwhere Paul S. Holmquist's nicely paced production of Neil Gaiman's 1996 fantasy novel, about an ordinary guy's adventures in a magical alternative London hidden deep below the real one, proves that you don't need a big expensive set or computer-generated effects to tell a rich, riveting, action-packed story. You just need a creative crew and an adept cast—both of which this production has in spades.
7:30pm, Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., phone 773-761-4477, $15-$30
Dinner: Sahara Kabob A storefront plastered with standard-issue gyro and pizza puff signage gives little hint that an accomplished Assyrian restaurant might lie within. But this Rogers Park spot (formerly called Big Buns and Pita) has been praised by the likes of chef Graham Elliot Bowles.
6649 N. Clark St., 773-262-2000, saharakabob.com
Show: Ikiru Akira Kurosawa's greatest film (1952) tells of a man (Takashi Shimura) who finds that he has terminal cancer and spends his remaining months building a playground in a poor section of the city. It avoids all the maudlin cliches and blind alleys of examining the "meaning of life," giving us instead a rare portrait of a man experiencing a genuine insight into what his wasted years have been leading to.
6pm, Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., 312-846-2600
Dinner: Sable Kitchen & Bar "Overseen by Violet Hour vet Mike Ryan, the cocktail program gives classic cocktails a workout with concoctions like the War of the Roses, a perfect balance of Pimm's, St-Germain, Tanqueray, mint, and house-made grapefruit bitters. The Pisco Sour was possibly the best I've ever tried, just sweet enough and bracingly strong, topped with a stiff cap of egg white. Even the Bridal Shower proved to be a stiff, refreshing cooler of Campari, vodka, rhubarb syrup, and plenty of fizz. The cocktails could be what make Sable a destination," writes Martha Bayne.
505 N. State, 312-755-9704, sablechicago.com