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Show: Jayhawks Original Jayhawks members Mark Olsen and Gary Louris, who parted ways 15 years ago, appear to have realized that they do their best work together. At these shows a reunited version of the group will play two classic Jayhawks albums in their entirety: 1992’s Hollywood Town Hall on Thursday and 1995’s Tomorrow the Green Grass on Friday. “The band pushed past the Flying Burrito Brothers/Byrds template of their midcareer records on Hollywood, going for something more rocking," writes Peter Margasak. "Though their decision to admit the perfectionism of a producer like George Drakoulias into the process was odd for an alt-rock band of that era—they even went so far as to replace original drummer Ken Callahan with a session musician for the recording—the results are magnificent.”
8 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 773-472-0449, $30, 18+
Dinner: Sheffield's "For reasons I will never understand, there aren’t many places where you can get a decent pulled pork sandwich in Chicago, but the one here is pretty respectable, served with properly tangy coleslaw and a tasty and properly vinegary mustard-based sauce. Sides including red-skin potato salad, corn bread, and collards with bacon showed the care being taken in the kitchen," writes Kate Schmidt.
3258 N. Sheffield, 773-281-4989, sheffieldschicago.com
Show: Mars Williams and Mike Reed Chicago reedist Mars Williams, whose diverse CV includes stints with Liquid Soul, the Psychedelic Furs, and Peter Brötzmann, pairs up with versatile drummer Mike Reed. They've played as a duo only once before, but Reed’s recent history of collaboration bodes well for this show: “His 2006 album, In the Context Of, confirms that duets are a great way to hear the imaginative use of wide-open space that he tends to keep under wraps in his regular groups, as well as the responsiveness he brings to every setting,” writes Bill Meyer.
10 PM, Elastic, 2830 N. Milwaukee, second floor, 773-772-3616, $10 suggested donation
Dinner: Cocina Boricua "From the first bite I had there, my primary sensation was wow. We started with guachitas, smashed fried plantain disks topped with guacamole and a slice of salchichon, a piquant red sausage—an inspired combination. The canoa, a large sweet plantain filled with cheese and beef, was also killer. Mofongo is plantain smooshed together with lots of garlic and chunks of pigskin and served with a side of golden consomme that’s meant to be dashed in. At Cocina Boricua I had the best version I’ve ever had—and I’ve tried it all over Puerto Rico," writes Mike Sula.
2420 W. Fullerton, 773-235-7377
Show: A Doll's House "Director Chris Maher deftly updates Henrik Ibsen's classic 1879 drama about a woman trapped in a soul-killing traditional marriage, setting it in the suburban America of 1962. Even the LPs owned by the husband and wife at the center of the story feel right. Kate Cares is superb as Nora, who feels she must play the helpless kitten even though she's stronger and more competent than her inflexible blowhard of a husband. And she's well matched by Stephen Dunn as said difficult spouse," writes Jack Helbig.
8:30 PM, Greenhouse Theater, 2257 N. Lincoln, $20
Dinner: Franks 'n' Dawgs "Chef Joe Doren (Blackbird, Sixteen) has dreamed up some extraordinarily creative and powerful flavor combinations. The top-loader buns—locally baked pan de mie, buttered, griddled, and split along the upper length—permit a peek at tantalizing presentations like a lamb keema dog with English peas, cucumber salad, house-pickled pearl onions, and socca. Other combinations include the Tur-Doggen (turkey-and-date sausage with crispy duck confit, herby aioli, onion relish, and pickled carrots) and the N'awlins Dawg (andouille sausage with mustard ketchup, fried okra, shrimp, and chives)," writes David Hammond.
1863 N. Clybourn, 312-281-5187, franksndawgs.com
Show: The Social Network The founding of Facebook becomes a tale for our times in this masterful social drama by David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin.
8:15 PM, Brew & View at the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 773-472-0449
Dinner: Wilde Bar & Restaurant "Named for dear old Oscar, this former hardware store has been transformed into a posh Irish pub complete with stained-glass ceiling domes, a library nook, two full bars, and two fireplaces. Well, why not? The standout dish here is the baked macaroni and cheese—and I consider myself something of a connoisseur. Served bubbling hot in its own little crock, this lily is gilded: beneath a layer of toasted bread crumbs the creamy heart of the dish, corkscrew pasta mixed with diced tomato and caramelized onion in a just-right sauce, is damn near perfect," writes Rob Christopher.
3130 N. Broadway, 773-244-0404, wildechicago.com