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Show: Aram Shelton Quartet Though he left Chicago five years ago for the sunny climes of Oakland, reedist Aram Shelton is still almost as enmeshed in the local music scene as he was when he lived here. Tonight he leads a quartet rounded out by tenor saxophonist Keefe Jackson, bassist Anton Hatwich, and drummer Marc Riordan, all locals. "The group's superb debut, These Times (Singlespeed Music), contains six Shelton originals that vary in style and approach, though they have in common relatively simple themes and arrangements that employ lots of open space. The emphasis is on improvisation, especially the easy rapport between Shelton and Jackson on the front line," writes Peter Margasak.
10 PM, Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont, 773-935-2118, donation suggested.
Dinner: Turquoise Cafe Prices at this Roscoe Village Turkish restaurant are a little higher than at many ethnic places. But dishes like the sogurme (smoked chunks of eggplant in creamy yogurt with lots of garlic), seafood salad, and the house salad (a piquant medley of red cabbage, arugula, red onion, and romaine lettuce in a lemon herb dressing) are worth a little extra.
2147 W. Roscoe St., 773-549-3523, turquoisedining.com
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.
1:55 pm, 4:40 pm, 7:25 pm, 10:05 pm, Landmark's Century Centre, 2828 N. Clark St., 773-509-4949
Dinner: Erwin Mark Bittman, the New York Times's minimalist, would approve of Erwin, the namesake restaurant of chef Erwin Drechsler. The emphasis is on seasonal food prepared simply, to bring out the freshness of the ingredients.
2925 N. Halsted St., 773-528-7200, erwincafe.com
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.
3:20 pm, 7:30 pm, Music Box, 3733 N. Southport Ave., 773-871-6604, musicboxtheatre.com
Dinner: Lips Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar This ambitious if oddly named sushi place in the old Once Upon a Thai space offers a variety of specialty maki, nigiri, and sashimi, plus entrees ranging from broiled eel to grilled sirloin and rack of lamb.
3705 N. Southport Ave., 773-248-5477
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.
3pm, DCA Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph St., 312.742.8497, $15-$20
Dinner: The Gage Upscale gastropub across the street from Millennium Park.
24 S. Michigan Ave., 312-372-4243, thegagechicago.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: Moxie An oasis on a Wrigleyville strip dominated by burgers and fries, Moxie is soothing and chic.
3517 N. Clark St., 773-935-6694, moxiechicago.net