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Show: Superchunk "Majesty Shredding is the first new Superchunk album in nine years—a gap almost half as long as the Chapel Hill band's career—so it's not surprising that they'd spend part of the record looking back, half wondering where the time went," writes Peter Margasak. "It's not exactly retro for the band to play like they used to, in part because their old sound has been kept alive by so many younger groups, but Majesty Shredding is the spunkiest, most aggressive Superchunk record since the early 90s."
9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203, $21, 18+.
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; This is a comfortable place to get warm in the fall and winter.
3800 N. Clark St., 773-929-3680, uncommonground.com
Show: Don't Look Back D.A. Pennebaker's 1967 record of Bob Dylan's English tour two years earlier is a genuine blast from the past, evoking the 60s like few other documents; Dylan's relentless heaping of scorn on the mainstream press, before the coercive tentacles of "creative management" made such things virtually impossible, is especially telling.
Dinner: Julius Meinl A classy place for those of moderate means, this is the first American outpost for Viennese coffee purveyor Julius Meinl. The coffee is made from beans roasted in Austria; strong but not acidic, it's superb. The menu's tasty cafe fare.
3601 N. Southport Ave., 773-868-1857, www.meinl.com/northamerica/home.html
Show: Lakefront Property November was Clint Sheffer month in Chicago. Sheffer himself could be seen playing multiple roles—all of them vividly creepy—in K., a free adaptation of Kafka's The Trial mounted by the Hypocrites. Meanwhile, his own company, Bruised Orange, opened his brief, strong Lakefront Property giving it the sharp production it deserves despite an unhelpful venue.
Dinner: Lokal "At this slick Wicker Park restaurant and lounge, the menu features potato pierogi, golabki, borscht, kielbasa, and a few items you probably wouldn't recognize if you didn't grow up with a babcia cooking for you. It just happens to be radically different Polish food from the heavy, homey—but let's face it, bland—traditional stuff," writes Mike Sula.
1904 W. North Ave., 773-904-8113, lokalchicago.com
Show: Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune Hubris Productions delivers a splendid rendition of Terrence McNally's superb 1987 comedy about a diner waitress and a short-order cook on their first date.
Dinner: Cafe Bernard Venerable Lincoln Park bistro that still holds up against the new wave.
2100 N. Halsted St., 773- 871-2100, cafebernard.com
Show: The Santaland Diaries "David Sedaris can't hold a candle to Jackie Hoffman, whose Whining in the Windy City: Holiday Edition set the bar for Yuletide nasty last winter," writes Tony Adler. "But he's a formidable curmudgeon all the same, and his 1996 tale of working as one of Santa's helpers at Macy's has become a subversive Christmas classic in this solo stage version written by Joe Mantello. Mitchell Fain is something of a classic, too: having performed the show a number of times, he's made it so much his own that it's not always easy to distinguish his innovations and updates, snits and tantrums from what's in the script.
7:30 pm, Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, 773-975-8150, $18-$25
Dinner: A la Turka Turkish Kitchen The state smoking ban may have put an end to the hookahs, but other traditional touches remain: pillow seating, folk art, ceiling drapes that create a tent effect, Kavaklidere wine and Efes beer, and, yes, belly dancing (Friday through Sunday). The food is traditional too: zucchini pancakes, phyllo pies, and Turkish "ravioli" (manti) are hearty Turkish versions of the standards.
3134 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-935-6101, alaturkachicago.com
Lit & Lectures
Show: Books & Beer Book signings by novelists Laura Caldwell (Red Blooded Murder), David Ellis (The Hidden Man), Gillian Flynn (Dark Places), and Marcus Sakey (The Amateurs).
Dinner: Bolat African Cuisine African restaurant serving a range of soups and stews with traditional starchy sides like fufu; after a recent renovation, there's now a full bar.
3346 N. Clark St., 773-665-1100