Beginning next week, we at TOC are merging our blogs, Voltron style, into a one-stop superblog, #Chicago.
The staff here is equally interested in music, theater, food, nightlife, film, art and local news, and we know our readers are as well. So, no more pesky blog hopping and multiple clicks to learn about a new doughnut joint opening and the best upcoming weekend club events and a Steppenwolf scoop.
Thank you for reading, and we look forward to serving up more hot, fresh content.
Yes, I'm totally thinking about doughnuts now.
Zabriskie Point Dir. Michelangelo Antonioni. 1970. 110mins. Having diagnosed the sick soul of Europe, Antonioni travels to America. As if discovering a new planet, he gazes on endless highways, crass commercialism, Death Valley lovemaking and comfy consumer lifestyles (the latter memorably exploded in the finale). Dismissed by many on initial release, Zabriskie Point today epitomizes Antonioni's formal mastery. Gene Siskel Film Center. 6pm. $11, students $7, members $6, School of the Art Institute students and faculty $4.
NBC 5 Chicago’s Mary Ann Ahern relays tales of workplace shenanigans, then a Second City improv team reenacts them in Newsprov for the Arts. All proceeds benefit Chicago Lights, a nonprofit org that works with low-income families. Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E Chestnut St (chicagolights.eventbrite.com). 8pm. $20, advance $15.
Local publisher Curbside Splendor launches a new series of readings, discussion and live music at Billy Corgan's Highland Park tea house. James Tadd Adcox, Okla Elliott and Kathleen Rooney read work on the theme of "origins" and Jacob S. Knabb provides live music. Madame ZuZu's. 8pm. Free.
Doughy, pale, lovable oaf Jim Gaffigan has moved on from Hot Pockets to enriched wheat flour for his Wonder Bread Tour. You know the drill: silly voices, the sweatpants lifestyle, junk food. Chicago Theatre. 7, 9:30pm. $39.75–$49.75.
"In here, we are whole." As an extension of the monthly works-in-progress series, "Fraction," four emerging Chicago choreographers—Francesca Bourgault, Ashley Deran, Lauren Warnecke and Jessie Young—present seven distinctive pieces. Links Hall at Constellation. 8pm. Donation $10–$20.
About Face Theatre, the 17-year-old LGBT-focused theater company, has named Andrew Volkoff to succeed the outgoing Bonnie Metzgar as artistic director.
Volkoff, a Milwaukee native, has served as associate artistic director at Barrington Stage Company in Massachusetts and New York's Genesius Theatre Group. He'll be formally introduced at About Face's annual Wonka Ball benefit April 26. In a statement, he indicated intentions to expand the About Face Youth Theatre program, as well as to find the itinerant company a permanent home.
Metzgar, who's stepping down after five seasons, has said she hopes to remain in Chicago. As her final act as artistic director, she'll stage the Chicago premiere of Alexi Kaye Campbell's The Pride, to run June 6–July 13 at Victory Gardens; Patrick Andrews, John Francisco, Benjamin Sprunger and Jessie Fisher will star.
Since a Terrence Malick/Rob Zombie/Tom Cruise collaboration will never, ever happen—although it's fun to envision the hypothetical results—you'll have to make do with the three rubbing shoulders in our just-posted crop of new Film reviews:
In To the Wonder, Malick discovers fast food.
With The Lords of Salem, Zombie becomes a sensitive director of actors. Really.
Cruise destroys the world in Oblivion.
Journalist Juan González serves as a guide to an illustrated version of his book in Harvest of Empire.
A catastrophe in L.A. is only the beginning in It's a Disaster.
No Place on Earth: A caver unearths a Holocaust story in Ukraine.
Friday, Apr 19
One net positive about the imminent Red Line construction south of Roosevelt? No more inebriated White Sox fans clogging up the train. Until May 19, though, you and the rest of the rowdy bunch can hop on the El to watch the South Siders. Today, they take on the Minnesota Twins. U.S. Cellular Field, 333 W 35th St (312-674-1000). 7:10pm; $5–$85.
NBC 5 Chicago’s Mary Ann Ahern relays tales of workplace shenanigans, then a Second City improv team reenacts them in Newsprov for the Arts. All proceeds benefit Chicago Lights, a nonprofit org that works with low-income families. Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E Chestnut St (chicagolights.eventbrite.com). 8pm; $20, advance $15.
With more than 100 movies slated for screening and more than 50 musical acts expected to perform, the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (which begins today) promises a gluttony of visual and aurual stimulation for audio- and cinephiles. New this year is CIMMcon, a conference within the festival, that includes panels on subjects as disparate as grant writing in the arts to a blues oral history narrated by musician Billy Branch. CIMMfest also honors the Rolling Stones with a "CIMMpathy for the Stones" series, featuring 10 documentaries about the legendary rock band. See all of our recommendations. April 18–21. Various venues including Logan Theatre and Music Box. Average price $10.
ART & DESIGN
As part of the Conversations at the Edge series, Chicago artists Eric Fleischauer and Jason Lazarus present and discuss twohundredfiftysixcolors the highly anticipated film they created out of thousands of animated GIFs. Gene Siskel Film Center. 6pm. $11; students $7; GSFC members $6; Art Institute of Chicago staff, and SAIC faculty and staff $4; SAIC students free.
Thomas Dyjas shares his book, The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream, which provides a detailed history of Chicago and the cultural movers and shakers that shaped the city. Harold Washington Library, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium. 6pm. Free.
An MPC maestro hailing from Rhode Island, AraabMUZIK has lent his skills to numerous rapper's singles and albums over the years, before setting out on his own in the open-ended world of instrumental hip-hop. He's quickly graduated from behind the scenes to big festival attraction and his old-school (Dre and Dilla) meets new school (Diplo) stylistic approach has caught on with all except trance remixers. Live, he brings out the best of the MPC's realtime excitement, making for an unusually good live electronic show. The Mid. 10pm. Free with R.S.V.P. at clubtix.com.
This dreary spring is looking a little more lovely thanks to Carrie Nahabedian, the chef-owner of Naha, who's officially opening her second restaurant, Brindille (pronounced braun-DEE and French for branch or new growth), April 22. Since this is the ever-classy Nahabedian we're talking about, this will most definitely not be another of the thumping, late-night, shared-plates emporiums that have colonized River North over the past few years. Brindille (where former Naha sous chef Ali Ratcliffe-Bauer will be the chef de cuisine) is about Paris, it's about a return to refinement, it's about vintage French cocktails, and (of course) it's about foie gras (served as an appetizer with rhubarb, fennel and candied olives). Or perhaps you'd prefer to start with frog legs? Check out the full menu after the jump.
Brindille (534 N Clark St, 312-595-1616) soft-opens this weekend and is now accepting reservations for Monday, April 22 and beyond. Its hours will be open Monday–Saturday 5–10pm and Sundays 4–8pm.
King Crab Merus, Spring Pea and Tapioca Custard, Black Truffles and Sauternes $21
Oysters, Eggs Brouillés, Leeks and Oscietra Caviar $19
Frog Legs, Blanc-manger of Cauliflower and Parsley, Ramps, Hazelnuts and Green Garlic $18
Foie Gras, Rhubarb, Fennel, Candied Olives, Lavender and Beaumes de Venise $27
Steak Tartare with Flavors of Rye, Sorrel, Tarragon, Pickled Mustard Seeds and Quail Egg $21
Broccoli Soup, Hedgehog Mushrooms, Crème Fraîche and Bacon, Brin d’Amour Toast $15
Veal Sweetbreads, Loin and Rack of Rabbit, Fiddlehead Ferns, Golden Beet and Cacao $19
Salad of Soft Lettuces, Tartine of Easter Egg Radish, Crottin and Caramelized Almond $17
Frisée Salad, Forelle Pear, Roquefort and Walnuts $ 16
La Mer and La Ferme
Guinea Fowl, Morels, Fava Beans, Sunchokes, Cockscombs, Savory and Vin Jaune $42
Lobster Brindille, Black Trumpets, Coco Beans and Pebble Potatoes, Fragrant Flowers, Coral Butter and Vanilla $48
Rib of Beef, Potato Tarte Tatin, Tomme de Savoie and Bone Marrow $46
Dover Sole Meunière, Asparagus Viennoise, Grapefruit and Lemon Balm $45
Monkfish Tail, Burgundy Snails, Gem Romaine, Yellow Beans, Flageolets and Coriander $39
Tranche of Duck Breast, Foie Gras and Wheat Berries, Young Carrots and Turnips, Watercress and Candied Orange Peel $44
Lamb Saddle, Artichokes, Knob Onions and Spring Vegetables, French Olive Oil, Herbs and Parmesan $45
Omble Chevalier, Beluga Lentils and Oxtails, Granny Smith Apple, Kohlrabi and Horseradish $41
Paris-Brest of Strawberries and Fromage Blanc scented with Pralines and Rose $ 12
Warm Baked Cherry & Almond Clafoutis, Crème Chantilly $ 14
Roasted Pineapple, Crème Fraîche Ice Cream and Cashew Nuts $12
Fantaisie au Chocolat $13
Selection of French Cheese, Lady Anne Apple, Huckleberry and Meyer Lemon Jam, Seeded Raisin Ficelle $22
FOOD & DRINK
To raise funds for hunger relief, Martha Bayne eschews the high-priced benefit dinner and instead sells soup. Good soup. By chefs, both amateur and pro. Don't miss tonight's gathering; it's the last Soup and Bread of the 2013 season and features soups inspired by items commonly found on a pantry shelf. (The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia Ave, hideoutchicago.com). 5:30pm. Pay what you can.
Showcasing a mix of authors and genres, the Book Cellar's monthly Local Author Night is a nice chance to familiarize yourself with the Chicago lit scene (as you familiarize yourself with vino from the Cellar's café). Tonight's locals, reading from their most recent books, are BJ Best, Susan Hahn, Amy Leach and Kathleen Rooney. (The Book Cellar, 4736–38 N Lincoln Ave, bookcellarinc.com). 7pm. Free.
The latest concert from the Space Movement Project dynamically considers, well, space and movement. "Out of Step in the Same Direction," incorporates familiar quirks and formations that the female dance group has used in the past but brings them to a new venue. Also, founding member Stacy Wolfson performs a farewell solo, Mountains and Concrete. (Hamlin Park Fieldhouse, 3035 N Hoyne Ave, chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks/Hamlin-Park). 7:30pm. Free.
GAY & LESBIAN
Gay Paul Bunyans deserve a DJ night too, and the Burlington's monthly Burly event draws bearded boys aplenty. Other queers and allies are also welcome—it's a welcoming vibe in general. You could probably even bring your blue ox. (3425 W Fullerton Ave, theburlingtonbar.com). 9pm. Free.
Marnie Stern brings her frantic, spellbinding guitar work and infectious energy to the Bottle. The Upper East Side shredder just released her fourth album, the awesomely titled epic Chronicles of Marnia. (Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western Ave, emptybottle.com). 9pm. $12.
In this new ongoing feature, we'll spotlight the most notable record of each week.
Naturally, I picked of a doozy of a week to kick things off. April has been loaded with fantastic albums, and today two of my favorite (so far) of 2013 see release, from the Flaming Lips and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. You can't go wrong with either.
The Terror stands alongside The Soft Bulletin as a definitive statement from one of the great bands of the last quarter century.
Read the review after the break.
Representatives from many of the best bars and restaurants in Chicago gathered together at Terzo Piano last night to find out who would receive the Readers' Choice and Critics' Picks Eat Out Awards. The big winners of the night: Fat Rice, which readers voted Best New Restaurant, and Scofflaw, the recipient of the Best New Bar honor. Congratulations to all the winners: Browse these photos of the event, then read all about the winners!