Dinner & a Show: Thursday 8/5 | Bleader

Night Gallery
  • Drew Reynolds
  • Night Gallery

Show: Night Gallery "True to the genre, the slow-motion dance music on half-local duo's imminent debut LP, Constant Struggle (Rainbow Body), flaunts some impressively trashy synth prowess and lots of overblown, overemotional lyrics bemoaning the pain of loving a self-absorbed woman, the pain of having a sense of dignity, the pain of falling asleep . . . the pain of anything, really," writes Liz Armstrong.

9 PM, Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln, 773-525-2501, lincolnhallchicago.com, $20, 18+.

Dinner: Merlo la Salumeria This subdued Bolognese dining room is run by the Sassi family — Giampaolo Sassi manages the house while his wife, Silvia Marani, creates the menu. They abide by slow food principles, supporting artisanal producers and using mostly seasonal products.

2638 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-529-0747, merlochicago.com

Show: A Woman Out of Time: Mary Lou Williams at 100 The second concert in the city's series Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz pays tribute to one of the most fascinating figures in jazz history: pianist, composer, and arranger Mary Lou Williams. She went on to arrange for Duke Ellington, Earl Hines, Benny Goodman, and Tommy Dorsey, host her own radio show, and mentor young boppers like Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk; her 1936 tune "Walkin' and Swingin'" would later provide Monk with a key melodic germ for his "Rhythm-a-Ning." "She retained open ears until her death in 1978; in '77 she even went head to head with avant-garde icon Cecil Taylor in a two-piano performance at Carnegie Hall," writes Peter Margasak.

6:30 PM, Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Randolph and Michigan, 312-742-1168, free.

Dinner: Xoco Rick Bayless's new quick-service restaurant, specializing in Mexican street foods such as tortas, churros, empanadas, and hot chocolate. One of the best new Chicago restaurants of 2009.

449 N. Clark St., 312-334-3688, rickbayless.com/restaurants/xoco.html

Show: Phosphorescent Led by Alabama native Matthew Houck, Phosphorescent are in a southern folk-rock state of mind, circa 1973, on the twangy new Here's to Taking It Easy. "The mix of weepy steel guitars, lazily swinging rhythms, and melancholy organ swells fits the sodden self-indulgence of Houck’s characters perfectly," writes Peter Margasak.

9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, emptybottle.com, $12.

Dinner: A Tavola Tiny Ukrainian Village storefront with an equally tiny but satisfying Italian menu and, arguably, the best gnocchi in town.

2148 W. Chicago Ave., 773-276-7567, atavolachicago.com


Show: Nayak Satyajit Ray's 1966 feature comes at the tail end of his early realist period, which included most of the films (the Apu trilogy, Devi, Charulata) that won him his reputation in the West.

7 pm, Univ. of Chicago Doc Films, 1212 E. 59th St., 773-702-8575, docfilms.uchicago.edu

Dinner: Noodles, Etc. The pan-Asian menu features lots of standards (spring rolls, pot stickers, satay) plus a few innovations like wasabi-flavored shumai (dumplings) and deep-fried vegetable croquettes, the latter made of a mashed mixture of potatoes, onions, peas, and carrots and served with sweet-and-sour sauce.

1333 E. 57th St., 773-684-2801, noodlesetc.com

Performing Arts

Show: Film Fest IX: The Perils of the Neo-Futurarium! Every summer since 2002, the Neo-Futurists have worked to fill the void left by the demise of Mystery Science Theater 3000, digging up truly terrible film scripts and staging them live. At $8-$10 a pop, it's cheaper than a lot of this summer's actual celluloid crap.

8 pm, Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland Ave., 773-275-5255

Dinner: Sun Wah Bar-B-Que "Sun Wah’s ultimate appeal has always been in its excellent value—even a $5.75 small order of Singapore noodles is lunch and dinner—and despite a slight increase in prices across the board, it boasts a consistency and variety that never fail to inspire overordering," writes Mike Sula.

5041 N. Broadway, 773-769-1254, sunwahbbq.com