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MusicTortoise 2.0 The group was commissioned by the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Jazz Institute of Chicago to kick off the series Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz with an original composition incorporating some of the city's most interesting jazz players. Reedists Ed Wilkerson Jr. and Greg Ward, flutist Nicole Mitchell, pianist and ARP wizard Jim Baker, and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm won't merely be stepping up in turn to improvise solos—they were invited to rehearsals to develop their own parts and help shape the work.
6:30 PM, Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Randolph and Michigan, 312-742-1168.
Dinner: The Gage The extensive drinks list features specialty and vintage cocktails like the Champagne Charlie (champagne and Grand Marnier with a sugar cube soaked in blood orange bitters). The one-page menu has surprising breadth without seeming scattershot: there are half a dozen steaks and burgers alongside more unusual offerings like roast saddle of elk and caramelized lobster with lemon quinoa.
24 S. Michigan Ave., 312-372-4243, thegagechicago.com
Show: Zomes The bio accompanying Zomes' self-titled album on Holy Mountain claims that the band's sole member, Asa Osborne, uses a human tooth as a guitar pick. It's the kind of one-sheet tidbit that you just know is too perfect to be true, but Osborne's former gig as guitar god for Lungfish—a band devoted to transcending all sorts of musical and nonmusical conventions—makes it kinda believable.
Dinner: Goose Island Brewpub Long-established brewpub serving Greg Hall's seasonal microbrews and the brew-friendly food of Andrew Aroza, a certified cicerone, or beer sommelier.
1800 N. Clybourn Ave., 312-915-0071, gooseisland.com/pages/clybourn_brewpub/65.php
Show: Encountering the Other Bharata natyam artist Hema Rajagopalan and modern dance choreographer Shirley Mordine have been wrestling together for three years, and three of the works on this program are their joint creations.
7:30pm, DCA Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph St., 312.742.8497, $15-$20
Dinner: The Purple Pig Snout-to-tail cooking is the name of the game at The Purple Pig, a convivial take on an Italian enoteca from Scott Harris (Mia Francesca), Jimmy Bannos Sr. (Heaven on Seven), and chef Jimmy Bannos Jr., who honed his skills at Mario Batali's New York restaurants.
500 N. Michigan Ave., 312-464-1744, thepurplepigchicago.com
Show: Dental Society Midwinter Meeting Every second counts in Dental Society Midwinter Meeting, a crisp comedy by local playwright Laura Jacqmin receiving its world premiere now at Chicago Dramatists. Jacqmin knows how to pare a situation down to its essence and reveal character with a few well-chosen words. In lesser hands, this tale of unhappy tooth jockeys might've been fodder for cheap gags and self-indulgent shtick. Instead Jacqmin and director Megan Schuchman deliver an inventive, offbeat study of human nature.
Dinner: West Town Tavern Artful regional American place from Drew and Susan Goss (Zinfandel).
1329 W. Chicago Ave., 312-666-6175, westtowntavern.com
Show: Red Noses Matt Hawkins has directed Peter Barnes's 1985 comedy—about a 14th-century French monk who forms a clown troupe during the Black Plague—in the cheerfully manic style of the House Theater of Chicago, of which he's a founding member.
Dinner: TAC Quick Young Andy Aroonrasameruang, formerly of Banana Leaf, and his likable staff probably make it easier than anywhere else to get traditional stuff the way it's eaten in Thailand.