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Show: Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies Spoiler Alert isn't one of those holy-shit epoch-making Second City shows everybody hopes for. It's modest, amiable, and resolutely conventional at heart. Even, perhaps in unconscious homage to the company's 50th anniversary, a little retro.
Dinner: Perennial Seasonally oriented contemporary American restaurant from the team behind Boka and chefs Giuseppe Tentori and Ryan Poli.
1800 N. Lincoln Ave., 312-981-7070, perennialchicago.com
Show: The AWARD. Show! Veteran and newbie choreographers compete on the same, um, footing—and last year, at the AWARD Show's debut outing, that resulted in some surprises. Adding a $10,000 payday for the winner ups the drama; on Saturday the audience favorites from the first three nights go up against one another for the big bucks.
8pm, Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 S. Michigan Ave., 312-369-6600, colum.edu/dance_center
Dinner: Panozzo's Italian Market is kind of like Bari's and L'Appetito's more cultured cousin. It's a modern Italian deli that happily churns out high-quality sandwiches (including homemade meatball and Italian sausage subs and a delicious combination of prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and basil pesto) as well as offering the usual accoutrements: fancy olive oils, vinegars, cheeses, cured meats. What sets Panozzo's apart is their suppliers—Panozzo's is the only deli I know of in town that carries Fra'Mani artisan salamis and La Quercia prosciutto.
1303 S. Michigan Ave., 312-356-9966, panozzos.com
Show: Hesperia The premise—two porn stars (Natalie DiCristofano and Billy Fenderson) move back home to the midwest and become born-again Christians—could yield a comedy or a sermon. But playwright Randall Colburn avoids both easy laughs and easier moralizing, offering instead an intimate, insightful, achingly sad portrait of two people desperate to regain their innocence.
Dinner: The Bad Apple Craig Fass and Mandy Franklin (Menagerie, Cooper's) opened their beer and burger bar the Bad Apple a scant half block south of the venerable Jury's, and while that institution attracts a decidedly different crowd, its burger is formidable and has been justly recognized as such for years. "Now, with the Bad Apple shipping in a custom-ground beef mix from New York wholesale butcher Pat La Frieda, it's difficult not to imagine a gauntlet has been thrown down between the generations gathering on each side of Lincoln Avenue," writes Mike Sula.
4300 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-360-8406, badapplebar.com
Show: Slightly Scarlet A major film (1956) by Allan Dwan, who, after Raoul Walsh, was the most expressively kinetic director in American film. It's also that rare item, the color noir, photographed by the great John Alton.
Dinner: Kith and Kin Mike Sula's pick for best new Chicago neighborhood restaurant. Chefs David Carrier and Andrew Brochu both worked with or under Grant Achatz at one time or another, but there’s little here that brings to mind fine-dining icons like Trio or the French Laundry. Instead what you have is an attractive, affordable menu served in a room that suggests all the comforts of neighborhood pubbery without resorting to the usual cliches.
1119 W. Webster Ave., 773-472-7070
Show: Artists and Models The best Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movie (1955) is also Frank Tashlin's best feature at Paramount, a satire about the comic book craze with explosive uses of color and VistaVision, better-than-average songs, and much-better-than-average costars.
8pm, Bank of America Cinema, 4901 W. Irving Park Rd., 312-904-9442
Dinner: Sabatino's Classic old-school Italian-American, complete with roving musicians, shrimp de jonghe, and flaming desserts.
4441 W. Irving Park Rd., 773-283-8331, sabatinoschicago.com
Show: Struck By Lightning Columbus's Struck by Lightning do hardcore-laced metal right by keeping it simple. The songs on their 2009 album Serpents (Translation Loss) have a short list of ingredients: monster riffs, cinder-block guitar tones, car-crash hardcore drumming, and a guy screaming like an angry, wounded animal. There are only a couple of tricky breakdowns, and just one of the band's members has anything that might qualify as a "hairstyle."
Dinner: Mirai Sushi The ambitious menu at Miae Lim's stylish sushi and sake bar includes nigiri and maki, daily fish specials, and several unique creations.
2020 W. Division St., 773-862-8500, miraisushi.com