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Show: The Dialogues Series The performers featured in this nine-installment series curated by Plasticene ensemble founder Dexter Bullard are being kept secret, but they're all touted as locally or nationally known artists experienced in improvisational theater. For each show, Bullard pairs up two of them to converse by phone for 50 minutes while separated by a partition. A guest sonic artist infuses the dialogue with background sounds that riff off the performers' voices and topics of discussion.
Dinner: Socca is airy and spacious, with a menu of French and Italian country fare. It's named after a French chickpea-flour crepe—chef Roger Herring's version is stuffed with grilled shrimp and served beside a garlicky chickpea puree and a refreshing salad of tomato, cucumber, and red onion.
3301 N. Clark St., 773-248-1155, soccachicago.com
Lit & Lectures
Show: Nicole Hollander Cartoonist Hollander (Sylvia) presents The Sylvia Chronicles: 30 Years of Graphic Misbehavior From Reagan to Obama.
6 pm, Harold Washington Library Center, auditorium, 400 S. State St., 312-747-4050, free
Dinner: Tutto Italiano "Don't be fooled by the dark-oak opulence of Tutto Italiano's bar/foyer," says one Rater. "This place is casual Italian dining, with just the right mix of old-world elegance and downtown panache."
501 S. Wells St., 312-939-4824, tuttostogo.com
Show: Tim Gunn promotes Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work.
7 pm, Borders, 830 N. Michigan Ave., 312-573-0564, borders.com
Dinner: Eve Contemporary American restaurant from chef Troy Graves (Tallulah). The food reflects the chef’s predilections for serious meat (short ribs, suckling pig, foie gras) as well as his generosity in portioning.
840 N. Wabash Ave., 312-266-3383, evechicago.com
Show: Le Corbeau Suffocatingly corrosive and misanthropic, this 1943 thriller was shot in occupied France by Henri-Georges Clouzot (The Wages of Fear), and its story of a small town terrorized by anonymous poison-pen letters so effectively captures the national paranoia that after the war Clouzot was unjustly persecuted as anti-French.
Dinner: English River North gastropub from the folks behind Bar Celona; the new chef is Radhika Desai (Between Boutique Cafe & Lounge, Top Chef).
444 N. LaSalle Blvd., 312-222-6200, englishchicago.com
Show: Sleeping and Waking Diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, an academic and artist (Jeff Allin) submits to an experimental procedure that saves his life but leaves him wondering why he bothered: as far as he can tell, the real man died on the operating table and the one who walked away has no idea what to do with his new lease on life. Scripted by Chris Stezin, this 2009 drama is smart and articulate, and director Joe Banno avoids any pat resolution to the protagonist's existential quandary.
Dinner: Webster's Wine Bar Across the street from the Webster Place movie theaters, this cozy wine bar offers an extensive variety of vintages from around the world. The wine-friendly food includes artisanal cheese plates, thin-crust designer pizzas, tapas for sharing, and entrees such as New Zealand rack of lamb.
1480 W. Webster Ave., 773-868-0608, websterwinebar.com
Show: No Age "When people talk about how great SoCal duo No Age is, they rarely talk about the songs themselves. It's usually about the energy that Dean Spunt and Randy Randall fill a room with, the excess of PMA-inspiring thumbs-upness they exude from the stage, or their apparent drive to ensure that every performance is the most fun somebody's ever had at a rock show. It's this ability to make any venue seem like the coolest punk club in the world—even the cavernous, impersonal Aragon—that turned me into a huge fan of the band," writes Miles Raymer. Pavement headlines.
Dinner: 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. See the Best of Chicago 2010 for more.
500 N. Michigan Ave., 312-464-1744, thepurplepigchicago.com