Show: Jazmine Sullivan "opening for Mary J. Blige is a perfect tonic for those who miss old Mary—you know, Mary before she said no to more drama, back when all her songs had at least one verse about all the crying she'd been doing. Sullivan has a very Mary-esque combination of intensity and vulnerability, and their big, throaty, gospel-trained voices are not dissimilar," writes Jessica Hopper.
Dinner: Henri "The 'energetically American, French-influenced' Henri is more than an elegant follow-up to its boisterous neighboring sibling, the Gage. It's a smart kick in the dangling prairie oysters of gastropubbery: chandeliers, Laguiole knives, velvet walls (with faux gator skin in the bathroom), salt and pepper shakers, ballotines, bouillabaisse, and escargots de Bourgogne?" writes Mike Sula. "If the food and drink at a place like this were to suck, we'd call it the whole thing antiquated, inauthentic, or even cynical. I'm going to call it neoclassical—and a pretty fun place to eat."
18 S. Michigan Ave., 312-578-0763, henrichicago.com
Show: Early Man On the recent Death Potion (The End), engineered by Jack Endino, this LA-based band mixes dirty Sabbath grooves and unabashed tributes to thrash-tacular 80s metal like early Metallica, Anthrax, and Megadeth (right down to the sneering Dave Mustaine-style vocals and hokey lyrics).
Dinner: Tao Ran Ju Restaurant James An of the great Yunnanese restaurant Spring World is the man behind Tao Ran Ju, a splashy new spot on the lonely eastern edge of Chinatown Mall. Here he's specializing in hot pots, with individual induction burners built into each place setting.
2002 S. Wentworth Ave., 312-808-1111
Show: Winnebago Man In 2006 documentary maker Ben Steinbauer went looking for Jack Rebney, the RV pitchman whose uncontrolled temper and unabashed profanity in a 1988 video blooper reel had made him a YouTube legend. "This engrossing documentary widens to consider the phenomenon of viral videos and the humiliation they can bring to their sometimes unsuspecting victims, then narrows to profile a man more thoughtful and philosophical than the foaming caricature he's left behind on the small screen," writes J.R. Jones.
3:15 pm, 5 pm, Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., 312-846-2600
Dinner: The 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.
500 N. Michigan Ave., 312-464-1744, thepurplepigchicago.com
Show: The Avenging Conscience Composed of bits and pieces of Poe's short stories, this 1914 feature by D.W. Griffith shows his technical mastery on the eve of his most influential production, The Birth of a Nation.
Dinner: Medici on 57th The quintessential off-campus hangout, complete with carved wood booths and graffiti-covered walls. The reasonable prices at this long-standing Hyde Park gem make it a favorite among students and locals alike.
1327 E. 57th St., 773-667-7394, medici57.com
Show: Octavarius: So Nefarious Runner-up for best sketch/improv troupe in the 2010 Reader reader's poll, Octavarius is dedicated to finding "fun everywhere its tentacles can reach," and it's hard not to be charmed by the creative play emerging from their improvisations.
Dinner: Cuna Affordably priced new restaurant and bar; chef Kendal Duque, formerly of Sepia, was the consulting chef. The kitchen's open till midnight.
1113 W. Belmont Ave., 312-224-8588, cunasupperclub.com