"Chime In" The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of our favorite places in Chicago, particularly during the frigid winter months (though when it's warmer, the oft-overlooked outdoor grounds are lovely too). Before it's winter for real, don't miss the chance to explore the Conservatory, both inside and out, during this public event featuring performance artists, music, a wind chime installation and more. Participants include artist Theaster Gates, poet and singer Marvin Tate, spoken word artist Awthentik, body paint artist Krystele Matthews and Chicago West Community Music Center's David Houston. Garfield Park Observatory. Oct 25, 6–9pm.
"REVIVAL" REVIVAL, a "fully immersive queer experience," happens at this weekend at the Pritzker Pavilion, and you'll be forgiven, if you've seen the rather cryptic promotional material, for assuming it's an evangelistic event masquerading as a gay dance party: "REVIVAL asks you to plug into a visceral and sexy experience that asks: What are we praying for? What are we willing to sacrifice?" But don't expect an altar call: founding organizer Eric Hoff explains the event as a mashup of dance party, performance art and theatrical spectacle. Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Oct 25 and 26 at 10pm.
Confession: I'm a 38-year-old grown-ass woman, and I can't watch horror films without ritualistically checking my closets for serial killers before I go to bed. For weeks. So I'm pleased to say the Time Out Film crew's selections for the 50 best movie villains of all time don't just mine the obvious slasher flicks. There are some surprising choices in there (Cobra Kai Sensei!), and some not so surprising (Hannibal Lecter). Also not surprising: There are very few women on the list. Do you agree these are the baddest baddies ever? Have it out in the comments.
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What's your favorite thing you're wearing?
My earrings because they were gifted to me by my best friend. I let her borrow a similar pair when we went to the Mrs. Carter Show this summer and in the midst of the dancing, she lost one earring. I remember she felt terrible and a couple weeks later I got these in the mail from her. Now whenever I wear them I remember that friend and also the best night of my life, when I saw Beyonce live.
What's the nicest or strangest thing anyone's ever said about your style?
"That is... interesting. I would never be able to wear that. Only you could pull that off." Or something along those lines.
How would you describe your style?
I'd say right now I'm in a season of my life that I'd describe my style as classic, but adventurous.
What's your favorite thing period?
Travel, if we're talking generally. Tea if we're talking about an everyday necessity. And tall leather boots if we're talking style.
Critical Mass Since the late '90s on the last Friday of each month, a group of cyclists invades the streets for the simple love of bike riding. The route is determined at the meet-up. Bundle up. Daley Plaza. 5:30pm.
Tiefschwarz Germany's brothers Schwarz (Ali and Basti) have been championing a groundbreaking form of electro house and techno since the early '90s. Renowned at home and abroad for a normally gritty dance sound, the pair has mellowed in recent years to incorporate smoother and deeper tech undertones. "Dominate My Sensations," an intoxicating recent 12", rides on a relentless, rubbery, undulating bassline, throwing in the toy-like chimes of a thumb piano (or is that cowbell) and R&B diva Mama crooning about her "juicy spots." Spy Bar. 10pm. $10.
REVIVAL, a "fully immersive queer experience," happens at the Pritzker Pavilion October 26 and 27, and you'll be forgiven, if you've seen the rather cryptic promotional material, for assuming it's an evangelistic event masquerading as a gay dance party: "REVIVAL asks you to plug into a visceral and sexy experience that asks: What are we praying for? What are we willing to sacrifice? The chrysalis is in formation. Prepare to be converted." Okay, so maybe the promo copy evokes this more than this. Still, we sought more info and asked Eric Hoff (Hit the Wall) to enlighten us. Hoff is a founding organizer of the event, along with Jesse Morgan Young (BAATHHAUS) and Jane Beachy (SALONATHON), with support from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
How would you describe REVIVAL in a nutshell? Is it describable in a nutshell?
Sure. Why not? [Laughs] REVIVAL is a mashup of dance party, performance art and theatrical spectacle.
And it's taking place not just on the Pritzker stage but backstage as well?
Audiences will witness nine world-premiere performance art pieces by Chicago artists, all of whose work is sort of genre-defying. It's a fully immersive, fully interactive experience. It evolves from dance party into a choose-your-own-adventure performance art experience and culminates with a theatrical spectacle back on the stage. But we do utilize the entirety of the Pritzker building, so the backstage areas, the practice rooms, the freight elevator, the hallways… It's pretty cool.
Next: Vegan is most definitely over—the current menu at Next is Bocuse d'Or, based on a biannual French cooking competition. There's veal, fish, beef and other carnivorous dishes. The Next menu, which began August 31 and runs through New Year's Eve, celebrates the eponymous French chef Paul Bocuse, and there are echoes of the cooking competition in the meal. We'll be posting our review of the dinner tomorrow, but in the meantime, here's a sneak peek of the courses—all 15 of them.
Here's what Time Out's film critics are saying about this week's new movies:
"Apart from a brief spoken prologue (and a well-earned profanity mid-plight), it has no words, just one actor, plus a beautiful 39-foot Cal yacht that suffers a heart-wrenching puncture from a wayward shipping container."—Joshua Rothkopf on All Is Lost
"The overall effect is not unlike watching a chef de cuisine experimenting in his off-hours; not everything takes, but you still come away with a pleasingly stimulated palate."—Keith Uhlich on Spinning Plates
"Essentially, it’s an insane guilty pleasure, still enjoyable for its delightfully eccentric casting—Britt Ekland’s fine Scottish accent and Hammer star Ingrid Pitt’s dour librarian—and for the funniest, creepiest pub scene in British movies outside of Withnail & I."—Wally Hammond on The Wicker Man
"[Ridley Scott's] latest is a lurid, sexy tale of drug-deal double-crossing and predatory behavior."—Joshua Rothkopf on The Counselor
RECOMMENDED: October events calendar for things to do in Chicago
We love gin. And we love to drink local spirits. So when we didn't know which local gins were the best, we decided to find out by rounding up all the gins we could get our hands on and drinking them all over two epic evenings. We tried 22 gins made across the Midwest, from Ohio to Iowa (and a dozen from the Chicago area), to decide which made the best martinis, dirty martinis, and gin and tonics, as well as which were best for sipping and the very best (and worst) overall. Here's the whole story.
Garfunkel & Oates Beneath the sugary goodness of comedic songwriting duo Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci are sly, hilarious songs that point out the awkward and uncomfortable in life. The pair's IFC pilot was recently picked up to series, bowing in 2014. Abbey Pub. 7:30pm. $25–$35, VIP $100–$150.
Giordano Dance Chicago: Fall Home Season The jazz dance company founded in 1963 by Gus Giordano celebrates its 2013–2014 season, "Escape Ordinary," with electrifying world premieres from Roni Koresh, artistic director of Koresh Dance Company, and resident choreographer Autumn Eckman. Expect some audience favorites, too. Harris Theater. 7:30pm. $15–$60.
The beer deities must be smiling at the timing: This week, Goose Island released a series of beers heretofore known as the Sisters (one of those beers hasn’t been seen since 2011, the year Goose was sold to Anheuser-Busch/InBev). In this same week, one of the country’s major independent craft breweries, Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing, was sold to Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat for the tidy sum of $100 million, prompting a mixed response (to put it mildly) that was perhaps familiar to a Goose Island employee around in the days of its 2011 sale.
Brewer and Head Cellar guy Brian Taylor is just that Goose Island employee. In fact, get this—he’s actually worked for both breweries.
Taylor was a part of Goose when they were sold to Budweiser. “As far as I’m concerned, it was great for everyone except the outsiders,” he told me. “There are plus sides to [the sale] that people will never know.”
Having seen firsthand how A-B stayed hands-off with Goose, he’s unconcerned about this week’s news, saying, “What people don’t realize is that it’s the same brewers, making the same recipes,” noting also that the unpopular Goose/AB deal had some pretty serious benefits. “We brew [Bourbon County Stout] every week. Now, we’re nonstop BCS. Before, we were nonstop 312.”
ART & DESIGN
"The American Dream: The (W)holy Grail" Housed in a former bank, this multimedia art exhibition presented by 6018NORTH riffs on ideas of the American Dream reflecting the diversity of Uptown and Edgewater. Artists include Christine Tarkowski, Jason Reblando, LaMont Hamilton, Kirsten Leenaars, Lise Haller Baggesen Ross, Vincent Tiley, Erol Scot Harris II, Macon Reed and others. 1050 W Wilson Ave. 2pm–7pm.
Messing With A Friend Each week, legendary improviser Susan Messing and a different friend segue from scene to scene, creating characters and situations along the way that are weird, wild and wonderful. Annoyance Theatre. 10:30pm. $5.
The story of the 1893 World's Fair is also the story of the Field Museum. Were it not for the Columbian Exposition 120 years ago, we would not have the world-class natural history institution that's now an inextricable part Chicago's identity, a top tourist draw and a valuable research resource. Local civic leaders, among the 25 million attendees (then 37 percent of the U.S. population) drawn to the fair over its six-month run, decided to acquire items displayed in some of the 65,000 exhibits. To commemorate the fair, which itself was honoring the 400th anniverary of Columbus's arrival, those businessmen and scientists established a museum in the building that now houses the Museum of Science and Industry. It was originally called the Columbian Museum of Chicago, and in 1894, the name was changed to the Field Columbian Museum, a nod to department store magnate Marshall Field's generous early contribution of $1 million.
This is the Field's genesis story, which is literally laid out in "Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World's Fair." Starting Friday and running through September 2014, the exhibit is essentially the Field conducting an anthropological survey of itself. To rediscover its roots, the museum has dug deep into its collection to show items rarely, if ever, on public view.
Ben & Jerry’s has a history of immortalizing TV and movie characters in ice cream form—there’s been Liz Lemon Greek Frozen Yogurt with a Blueberry Lavender Swirl, Neapolitan Dynamite and Schweddy Balls. The latest to join them in the freezer case is Scotchy Scotch Scotch, a Ron Burgundy-inspired ice cream flavor.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues comes out December 20, so Ben & Jerry made a pint for the occasion. Scotchy Scotch Scotch features butterscotch ice cream laced with buttery, crunchy ribbons of butterscotch (three fingers worth). It’s really sweet and tastes like the butterscotch hard candies your grandmother keeps in a jar, but unlike some other Ben & Jerry flavors, it’s simple and delicious. And thankfully, it’s way, way better than the sour mess that’s Liz Lemon Greek Yogurt.
And this ice cream has earned an important distinction—it’s the first taste test in my three months at TOC in which we’ve all actually liked something. If that’s not an endorsement, then I don’t know what is.
The Annoyance Theatre owners Mick Napier and Jennifer Estlin, who signed a lease last spring on a new space for the comedy theater at 851 W Belmont Ave in Lakeview (pictured above), revealed in a statement today that they've been unable to secure a Small Business Administration loan to cover the build-out of the venue—a situation they say has been exacerbated by the recent government shutdown.
With a looming contractual deadline to begin construction, the Annoyance team reached out to family and friends for funding help. At the suggestion of Second City owner Andrew Alexander, Napier says, the Annoyance today launched a Kickstarter campaign to cover construction costs, with Alexander offering a matching loan of up to $50,000. Pledges are being accepted through November 22. One hour in, pledges have already topped $2000.
The Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation named Court Theatre artistic director Charles Newell the recipient of its 2013 Zelda Fichandler Award in an announcement this afternoon. The honor, which comes with a $5000 prize, "recognizes an outstanding director or choreographer who is transforming the regional arts landscape through singular creativity and artistry in theater," according to a statement. Newell will be presented with the award at a November 4 reception at Cincinnati's Playhouse in the Park.
Newell has served as artistic director of Hyde Park's Court Theatre since 1994. The award's namesake, Zelda Fichandler, is the founder of Washington, D.C.'s Arena Stage and was a key figure in the nascent regional theater movement. The selection committee for this year's award, chaired by Victory Gardens Theater artistic director Chay Yew, focused on candidates from the central U.S.; the committee also named four finalists, including Peter Brosius of Minneapolis, Jeff Church of Kansas City, Rebecca Holderness of Milwaukee, and Chicago's Kimberly Senior.
No Tell Motel Deb hosts the weekly sex-capades of Chicago's sleaziest and sexiest performers on the main-floor stage, er, room No. 13 of No Tell Motel. Rockers from local bands are scheduled to drop in for sets alongside burlesque regulars and resident DJ Andrew Vonn. Performances take place at midnight. Debonair Social Club. 10pm.
Nosferatu Dir. F.W. Murnau. 1922. 81mins. There were many gems in the German Expressionism era, but few have surpassed the brilliance of Nosferatu. Max Schreck stars as the titular vampire who lusts for blood from the hopeful new tenants of Nosferatu's mansion. Just in time for Halloween, the Silent Film Society of Chicago presents this still-haunting classic. Carl Schurz High School. 7:30pm. $10 (regular advance online), $9 (senior/student advance online).
The final bell might ring this weekend for Facets Multimedia's Night School, according to a coproducer of the midnight film screening and lecture series, which has been running at the Lincoln Park cinematheque since 2009. After the latest session—the Halloween-friendly Fright School, which finishes this weekend with James Whale's Frankenstein (1931) and the video-game-influenced animated film We are the Strange (2007) on Saturday—the future of the event is uncertain.
"This upcoming weekend we will host our LAST TWO screenings of Night School at Facets Multimedia," Joseph Lewis, cofounder of the Underground Multiplex, an organization of cinephiles that partners with Facets to produce and promote the offbeat program, wrote in an e-mail this morning.
Facets' Chris Damen, head programmer of Night School, emphasizes that there hasn't been an official decision to end Night School. As a Facets property, the event could carry on without the participation of the Underground Multiplex. However, motivated by sparse attendance at recent sessions, Facets brass are reevaluating whether to bring back the off-the-wall supplement to its Film School curriculum in the spring of 2014, Damen says.
Hybrid Forms: Creative Nonfiction Week 2013 The annual fest at Columbia College Chicago celebrates the sometimes nebulous genre known as "creative nonfiction." Continuing through October 24, the schedule includes panels, classes and readings with local publishers, teachers, and masters of the form. Check out the full fest schedule. Columbia College Chicago, Stage Two. Oct 21–24. Free.
Bill Savage and Paul Durica Chicago By Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker's Guide to the Paris of America was an unofficial guide distributed during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition that told visitors where to go and what to do in the White City—kind of like a 19th-century Time Out Chicago, except it went beyond the traditional park, theater and music recs to include details on where to find gambling joints, brothels and other illicit entertainment. (So maybe TOC with a touch of Vice.) Durica and Savage edited this newly annotated version of the guide, which they'll discuss as part of the annual Despres Family Memorial Lecture Series. Chicago Public Library, Blackstone Branch. Oct 23 at 6pm. Free.
Witty Women Writers The seventh installment of this annual writers' showcase features Stacy Ballis, Amy Guth, Jen Lancaster and Claire Zulkey. The "witty" in the title sets the stakes high; alas, the Book Cellar must've realized that Showcase of Writers Who Are Hilariously Clever and Happen to Be Women and Whom You Will Find Hilarious Too, Unless You're Jerry Lewis or a Little Bit Dead Inside doesn't have quite the same ring to it. The Book Cellar. Oct 23 at 7pm. Free.
Tessa Konkol, 23
Broadway and Winnemac Avenue
Your pants look like something that would be for sale at the "Body Worlds" exhibit gift shop. It's true! It's actually a whole pantsuit. Do you want me to just take my shirt off for the photo? I know that's a weird question. [Laughs]
1. Beth Stelling + Drew Michael Chicago favorite Beth Stelling, who made her TV debut on Conan not long after relocating to the West Coast last year, comes home for a week of double bills with Comedians You Should Know's Drew Michael. Zanies. Oct 23, 24 at 8:30pm; Oct 25 at 8:30, 10:30pm; Oct 26 at 7, 9, 11:15pm; Oct 27 at 8:30pm. $25 plus two-drink minimum.
2. Garfunkel & Oates Beneath the sugary goodness of comedic songwriting duo Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci are sly, hilarious songs that point out the awkward and uncomfortable in life. The pair's IFC pilot was recently picked up to series, bowing in 2014. Abbey Pub. Oct 25 at 7:30pm. $25–$35, VIP $100–$150.