by Whet Moser
Show: First Pride A festival kicking off Gay Pride Month, with live comedy from the Puterbaugh Sisters, performances by drag queen troupe House of Santana and drag kings the Chi City Kings, video projections, and an open bar. Proceeds benefit Howard Brown Health Center.
Dinner: Birchwood Kitchen Gourmet sandwich shop offering mouthwatering premium ingredients like La Quercia prosciutto.
2211 W. North Ave., 773-276-2100, birchwoodkitchen.com
Show: The Bicycle Thief This masterpiece is generally and correctly acknowledged as one of the key works of Italian neorealism, but French critic Andre Bazin also recognized it as one of the great communist films.
Dinner: La Madia Restaurant in the old Jazz Showcase offering a range of pizzas and a large wine list with 250 by the bottle and multiple options by the glass. As for the pies, they're delicious.
59 W. Grand Ave., 312-329-0400, dinelamadia.com
Show: J'entends Plus la Guitare Philippe Garrel (Regular Lovers) dedicated this harrowing autobiographical drama (1991) to the memory of his former companion, Nico of the Velvet Underground. Garrel avoids bathos and maintains a rigorous formalism through poetic elision, his jump cuts and brief, enigmatic shots often conveying more than Marc Cholodenko's cerebral dialogue.
Dinner: Mellow Yellow Opened in 1976 by a former insurance salesman with permission to use the name from Donovan himself, this place still serves 70s faves like dinner crepes, quiche, and potato skins in a room with brick walls, wood-beamed ceilings, and plenty of green plants and lava lamps.
1508 E. 53rd St., 773-667-2000, mellowyellowrestaurant.com
Show: Margolis & Reisman Nicky Margolis and Boaz Reisman avoid novelty ditties in this musical sketch revue, favoring character- and scene-based songs instead.
Dinner: Chen's This ambitious Chinese restaurant is half bar, half dining room, with a large aquarium, sleek wood floors, and tables cleanly dressed with white linens and frosted orange and blue glass candleholders. The broad menu covers many regions: Szechuan kung pao with your choice of meat, Mandarin moo shu, Mongolian twice-cooked lamb, and Peking duck (the last two must be ordered a day in advance).
3506 N. Clark St., 773-549-1280, chenchicago.com