Dinner & a Show: Saturday 10/9 | Bleader

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Burton Greene
  • Burton Greene

Show: Burton Greene After Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor blew holes in the walls of jazz, a stream of New York-based musicians poured through the breach, each brandishing his or her own definition of freedom. Pianist Burton Greene is part of that second generation. In 1963 he and bassist Alan Silva championed total improvisation in the Free Form Improvisation Ensemble; the following year he participated in the groundbreaking October Revolution concerts and joined Carla Bley, Sun Ra, and Bill Dixon in the Jazz Composers Guild, an early attempt at self-empowerment by avant-garde jazz musicians.

Greene grew up in Chicago and spent seven years of his youth studying classical music at the Fine Arts Building; at age 73 he's returning there for this rare local gig, part of the fifth annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival.

7 PM, Curtiss Hall, Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan, 312-291-0000, $20, $10 students.

Dinner: Pat's Pizza Some things, thankfully, just don't gentrify, and this storefront hole-in-the-wall is one of them, despite the condos surrounding it. Pat's cranks out respectable thin-crust pizza that many declare the best in town.

628 S. Clark St., 312-427-2320


Show: Music Box Massacre Well on the way to becoming a Chicago institution, the Music Box Massacre is an annual 24-hour marathon of classic horror movies, vintage trailers, and personal appearances, with a collectibles market in the theater lobby.

Through noon Sunday: Music Box, 3733 N. Southport, 773-871-6604, musicboxtheatre.com

Dinner: Uncommon Ground Popular Wrigleyville coffeehouse with a dinner menu that changes seasonally. Eclectic entrees such as pistachio-crusted tilapia with Israeli couscous, pumpkin ravioli, and a three-cheese pesto pizza are reasonably priced for being on the side of upscale.

3800 N. Clark St., 773-929-3680, uncommonground.com

Show: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Howard Hawks's grand, brassy 1953 musical about two girls from Little Rock—Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell—gone gold digging in Paris. The male sex is represented by a bespectacled nerd (Tommy Noonan), a dirty old man (Charles Coburn), and a 12-year-old voyeur (the unforgettable George “Foghorn” Winslow), all of whom deserve what they get.

7:45 pm, Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., 312-846-2600, siskelfilmcenter.org

Dinner: Smith & Wollensky A view of the Chicago River, prime beef dry aged in-house—Smith & Wollensky is a quintessential Chicago steak house even if it does hail from New York.

318 N. State St., 312-670-9900

Performing Arts

Show: The Franklin Expedition This sly critique of historical biography—not to mention post-Stanislavsky acting—takes off from the sad, storied life of Sir John Franklin, a British explorer who died along with his entire 128-man crew during an 1845 expedition to find the Northwest Passage.

8 pm, The Building Stage, 412 N. Carpenter St., 312-491-1369, buildingstage.com, $15-$25

Dinner: Coalfire As pizza goes, it's pretty great. The thin, blistered crust is sooty and crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy toward the center of the pan, with a dense, toasty flavor. The sauce, applied sparingly, is fresh and slightly sweet; toppings include buttery prosciutto, hot Calabrese salami with fennel, and a terrific spicy Italian sausage.

1321 W. Grand Ave., 312- 226-2625, coalfirechicago.com

Show: Emily Johnson/Catalyst Emily Johnson's hour-long The Thank-You Bar is an immersive, intimate experience. Each performance is limited to 40 viewers, seated onstage, who may be asked to move their chairs or sit on cushions at times.

7 pm, Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 S. Michigan Ave., 312-369-6600, colum.edu/dance_center, $26-$30

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

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