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Show: Tim and Eric Awesome Tour, Great Job! Chrimbus Spectacular 2010 There's more creativity, audacity, risk, and fearlessly inventive comedy in the average ten-minute episode of Adult Swim's Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! than in the last ten years of SNL. Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim's Chrimbus Spectacular promises to emulate the show's breakneck pacing, interspersing live material with short films and a preview of an upcoming Chrimbus television special, which will be broadcast at midnight on Sunday, December 5—which, if you didn’t know, is Chrimbus morning.
Dinner: Mark's Chop Suey on Halsted Although its casual dining room is comfortable and pleasant, Mark's has become a delivery and take-out institution in Boys Town, and with good reason. Its variations of traditional Americanized Chinese classics like chop suey are consistently fresh and well executed.
3343 N. Halsted St., 773-281-9090
Show: Breakbone DanceCo. "In Course of Empire, Breakbone artistic director Atalee Judy tackles nothing less than the rise and fall of civilizations, as recorded in towering and crumbling architecture. Judy, Anita Fillmore, and Mindy Meyers give the five sections in this hour-long piece a definite arc: starting out as lowly construction workers, they become architectural visionaries, awed observers of soaring spaces, fearful or combative inhabitants, and, finally, weary, stalwart rebuilders," writes Laura Molzahn.
Dinner: 90 Miles Cuban Cafe Given their efforts to offer pressed sandwiches for all tastes—tofu (gasp!), a vegetable version, and grilled cheese are available—the Gonzalezes aren’t likely to silence purists’ debates over the nuances of the iconic pressed ham, cheese, and roast pork cubano or medianoche (the same ingredients, on sweet bread). But Alberto Gonzalez—whose family ran a pre-Castro catering business before hopping the Mariel boat lift—knows the fundamentals.
3101 N. Clybourn Ave., 773-248-2822, 90milescubancafe.com
Show: Winter Pageant 2010 Few all-ages shows are actually delightful for all ages, but Redmoon's smart, weird, annual solstice romp is. A tasty mishmash of cultural ephemera and striking visual design, this year's incarnation tells the story of a defunct family band whose aging members receive a mysterious package containing mementos from their touring days.
Dinner: West Town Tavern As at Zinfandel, Drew and Susan Goss's previous restaurant, the contemporary American menu emphasizes seasonal ingredients. Entrees range from pan-seared scallops atop mushroom-leek risotto to a meaty roast trout over braised artichokes and fingerling potatoes in a funky, delicious jus full of house-cured bacon to a grilled pork tenderloin with cheddar mac 'n' cheese and herbed pan juices.
1329 W. Chicago Ave., 312-666-6175, westtowntavern.com
Show: Tales of Strangeness (and Love) Book release party for Patrick Somerville's The Universe in Miniature in Miniature; Somerville will be joined Benjamin Nugent (American Nerd: The Story of My People) and Hannah Pittard (The Fates Will Find Their Way).
Dinner: Jane's Jane’s inhabits a cozy converted house in Bucktown. The reasonably priced Cal-American fare is innovative, eclectic, and especially friendly to vegetarians.
1653 W. Cortland St., 773-862-5263, janesrestaurant.com
Dinner: Manny's Coffee Shop & Deli Classic old-Chicago deli/cafeteria: corned beef sandwiches, latkes, brisket, Tums.
1141 S. Jefferson St., 312-939-2855, mannysdeli.com