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Show: Spike & Mike Present New Generation Animation "These 19 short animations place a lower premium on grotesquery than the usual "Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Animation" package—most of them would be rated PG—but the artistic quality is as high as I remember from the Spike & Mike imprimatur in its heyday," writes Cliff Doerksen.
Dinner: Cafe Orchid "When Kurt Serpin says he’s cooking Ottoman cuisine, he doesn’t mean the extravagant feasts of the sultans, but he is talking about the traditional Turkish cuisine that evolved from the sultans’ expansive palace kitchens," writes Mike Sula.
1746 W. Addison St., 773-327-3808, cafeorchid.com
Show: Fresh: The Movie This 2009 documentary about the toxic effects of industrialized farming makes many of the same points as Our Daily Bread (2005) and Food, Inc. (2008), but director Ana Sofia Joanes takes a more upbeat and constructive approach to the subject.
Dinner: Ginza Restaurant Let us rejoice that places like Ginza Restaurant—housed in the divey Tokyo Hotel—live on amidst River North gentrification. Ginza, in addition to predating the sushi frenzy that began in the 80s, is perhaps best known for traditional home-style Japanese dishes such as piping hot noodle soups and tonkatsu, breaded, deep-fried pork chop.
19 E. Ohio St., 312-222-0600
Show: Farewell Christian Carion (Joyeux Noel) fashions an engrossing espionage drama from a forgotten but crucial episode of the Cold War: the 1983 spy case in which a Soviet intelligence officer leaked to the French government classified information on KGB activities in the West, ultimately emboldening President Reagan to propose his "Star Wars" missile defense shield.
4:40 pm, 7:25 pm, 10:05 pm, Landmark's Century Centre, 2828 N. Clark St., 773-509-4949
Dinner: Crisp Doug Funke says he and partner Jae Lee sampled the goods at more than 200 chain and mom-and-pop fried chicken joints from coast to coast in preparation for opening Crisp, their spot in Lakeview, which draws its main influence from Korean tong dak—whole fried chickens hacked into pieces.
2940 N. Broadway, 877-693-8653, crisponline.com
Show: Fillet of Solo Festival Started by Live Bait Theater artistic director Sharon Evans in 1995, this festival of solo performances went on hiatus in 2009, when Evans decided to concentrate on her own writing. Now Evans has teamed up with Lifeline Theatre's Dorothy Milne to bring it back for a 14th year.
Dinner: Noon Hour Grill American grill classics plus Korean standards like bi bim bop in the shadow of the el tracks.
6930 N. Glenwood Ave., 773-338-9494
Show: Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure This Idle Muse production captures both the elegant modernism of the iconic detective and the Victorian extravagance of his world.
Dinner: Tickie's Belizean Cuisine Cheery turquoise tables and walls brighten this tiny place by the Howard el station, and the menu melds Caribbean and Latin flavors.
7605 N. Paulina St., 773-973-3919, tickies.com
Show: The Printer's Ball The sixth annual Printers' Ball, sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine, offers loads of magazines, books, broadsides, and other literary publications free for the taking from dozens of exhibitors. Befitting this year's theme, "Print Loves Digital," the event for the first time also will host electronic publications, along with the usual "beer, food, and revelry." It's followed by an after-party at Reggie's Music Joint.
Dinner: Howie's This South Loop storefront offers all-day breakfast (including grits) and a large selection of sandwiches, from burgers, brats, and Italian beef to a Philly cheese steak, barbecued pork chop, and Maryland crab-cake.
1310 S. Wabash Ave., 312-461-0944
Show: Tift Merritt "Seattle producer Tucker Martine brings a scaled-down grandeur to Tift Merritt's See You on the Moon (Fantasy), opting for intimacy over spectacle in showcasing her delicate post-Emmylou vocals. The country-soul groove of the opener, "Mixtape," gets its juice from hand claps and a meticulously pitched string arrangement all played by Eyvind Kang, but the focus is on the singer's beautiful delivery, which is streaked with a fitting vulnerability on songs that grapple with the difficulties of communication," writes Peter Margasak.
Dinner: Simply It Moderately priced Vietnamese from one of the partners behind the late Pasteur.
2269 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-248-0884, simplyitrestaurant.com