Here's what Time Out's film critics are saying about this week's new movies:
"The tiny list of classic Shakespeare-to-screen adaptations won’t be lengthened with this serviceable version of the playwright’s popular bummer—shouldn’t we expect something edgier for a new generation?"—Joshua Rothkopf on Romeo and Juliet
"Don’t these House Republicans know how hostage stories always end? Just to remind them, here comes a prestige-grade action movie about refusing to negotiate with head-in-the-sand types"—Joshua Rothkopf on Captain Phillips
"Intestines tangle in helicopter rotors, heads pop in spring-loaded decapitations, and there’s even a new fake trailer up top"—Joshua Rothkopf on Machete Kills
"[T]he movie shows no such restraint, steering its preteen protagonists through a series of terrifying heartbreaks while populating its cast with more guest stars—Jordin Sparks! Anthony Mackie! Jeffrey Wright!—than a Love Boat episode"—Sam Adams on The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete
"Ingratiatingly hosted by Robert Klein but marred by cheeseball re-creations, the film makes a case for New York resorts as the ultimate testing ground for Semitic stand-up from the 1930s through the ’60s, as well as an integral shaper of contemporary Jewish-American identity"—Andrew Schenker on When Comedy Went to School
Chicago Bears at Soldier Field Smokin' Jay Cutler and company bear down to take on the competition at Soldier Field. Soldier Field. 7:25pm. $104-$420.
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.
Well-respected artist Ellen Lanyon, born and raised in Chicago and based in New York, died Monday of a heart attack. She was 86 years old. The former SAIC instructor, painter, printmaker and champion of many causes—artistic, feminist and otherwise—specialized in surrealist, collage-based works featuring flora, fauna and assorted curios. An active and engaged member of arts communities in both Chicago and New York, Lanyon never retired from her practice or advocacy work.
We wrote about Lanyon many times over the years. Whether naming her Riverwalk Gateway mural, at Lake Shore Dr and Wacker, one of our favorite public artworks, or reviewing her exhibitions in some of our earliest issues, TOC kept a close eye on her long and luminous career. A few highlights:
"More Strange Games" at Printworks, April 2005 Containing two different series of works on paper, this exhibition highlighted Lanyon's signature "realistic renderings of fish and fowl in fantastical settings." But for this show, the then 80-year-old artist appeared to be reacting to present-day technology. "It’s not clear what Lanyon is mourning with these visual elegies," wrote former TOC art critic Ruth Lopez. "But that doesn’t make these prints any less striking. And isn’t life, at all stages, more interesting with a little mystery?"
TimeLine Theatre Company's striking revival of Lorraine Hansberry's seminal Chicago story A Raisin in the Sun, which has virtually sold out its initial run through November 17, will extend by three weeks, TimeLine reps said today. Tickets for additional performances through December 7 will go on sale tomorrow, October 10, at 2pm, via TimeLine's box office at 773-281-8463, ext 6 or timelinetheatre.com.
During the extension, TimeLine will also have three special performances for students from Noble's Hansberry College Prep, a charter school in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood that was renamed in honor of the playwright at the beginning of the school year last month. These performances are underwritten by the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation.
Unrelated to TimeLine's production but shrewdly timed, a new production of Clybourne Park, Bruce Norris's Pulitzer Prize–winning contemporary companion piece to Hansberry's work, opened this weekend at Redtwist Theatre in Edgewater; read Oliver Sava's four-star review of Clybourne Park and my five-star review of A Raisin in the Sun and consider making a double feature of them.
The Stanley Cup is back in Chicago! Nearly four months after the Blackhawks became champions, the Cup will be making one of its last public displays in the heart of our beloved city.
This may be your last chance to get your picture with Chicago's most prized possesion of the year before it returns home to Toronto. On Saturday, Oct 12 from 10am–1pm, fans and visitors alike will have an opportunity to stand next to Lord Stanley's Cup at the Field Museum. This event is free with a general admission ticket and guests can meet Tommy Hawk while they wait for their photo op. Rocky Wirtz, Blackhawks Chairman and Field Museum Trustee, will introduce the Cup.
Get there early.
Where should you eat brunch this weekend? With so many restaurants offering new brunches that extend way beyond bacon, eggs and bloody marys, it can be hard to pick one. The TOC staff just checked out the new brunches available at avec, Takito Kitchen, DryHop Brewers and RM Champagne Salon. Read our reviews here.
New York Fashion Week is over. Paris Fashion Week recently ended. So now it's time for Chicago's stylish set to take center stage. Fashion Focus is back and kicks off a week's worth of fashion shows and other designer events starting on October 15. Last year, we reported that the annual event's future seemed bleak, so I'm glad the event is not only back but is offering some new and creative programming. Here are our picks for the five must-attend events. You can find the complete list of Fashion Focus events on the official website.
Inspiration: Designer and Muse
The City of Chicago and Michigan Avenue magazine host this kick-off event, which features a local designer creating a look for a Chicagoan muse. Pairings include Maria Pinto with Jeanne Gang and Azeeza Khan with Alpana Singh. The event is private, but you can get a limited number of tickets via the Fashion Focus Chicago twitter feed (@FashionFocus). Location TBA. October 15 at 6pm.
ART & DESIGN
"Amanda Gentry: Expanding" The Chicago-based artist focused on functional clayware before turning to non-functional pieces, such as the minimal modular relief sculptures exhibited here. Her first major solo show, "Expanding" features pillows as a metaphor for the mental and physical weight of the human experience. Hyde Park Art Center. 9am–8pm.
Drowning in the Bathtub: the Films of John Cassavetes Perhaps the pioneer of American independent filmmaking, the late Cassavetes is known for his raw, often improvised form. His films tend to center on the problems that exist within the domestic space; not for nothing did the director's wife, the wonderfully unhinged Gena Rowlands, frequently star in his pictures. Check out some of his lauded films such as Faces (1968) and A Woman Under the Influence (1974). Ida Noyes Hall, University of Chicago. 7pm, 9:30pm. $5.
It's no secret that we love Scofflaw, so when we found out they were releasing their new fall menu today, we immediately canceled plans so we could go check it out this week. Here's what to expect:
Smithers Jones: Broker’s Gin, Lustau East India Sherry, Bitter Truth EXR Liqueur, Angostura
Morton Ave: Old Heaven Hill Bourbon, Rosemary Syrup, Chamomile-Angostura Syrup
Last Light: Letherbee Gin, Lemon, Ginger, Cherry Heering, Angostura, Egg White
Sly Devil: Scofflaw Old Tom Gin, Maurin Quina, Chai Syrup, Lime
The soundtrack to your rebellious years may have been Kiss, Mötley Crüe or Metallica, but today's teenagers are listening to Avenged Sevenfold and getting ill-advised death bat tattoos. Arguably one of the most popular modern rock bands in existence, the California heavy metal outfit is the kind of group that can release new singles in the latest Call of Duty video game. Bringing its Hail to the King tour to Allstate Arena in Rosemont last Thursday, Avenged Sevenfold headlined a bill that included the Deftones and Ghost (the band that inspired the most controversial cheeseburger of the year). We were these to capture all the pyrotechnics, tattooed arms and tight leather jackets.
Big Star may be known for its bourbon program, but now the taco joint is pouring a special new spirit—a house mezcal aged in bourbon barrels. Manager Ben Fasman worked with Fidencio to ship a bourbon barrel down to Mexico, where it was filled with mezcal and aged for 70 days. Now it's on the menu at Big Star. Read our story.
Game of Thrones/Ommegang Release Party Break out your best fur—winter is coming and Jerry's Sandwiches has you covered. To celebrate the latest Game of Thrones/Ommegang collaboration, Jerry's is tapping the new release, Take the Black Stout, as well as the first in the series, The Iron Throne. For those still catching up on the show—spoiler alert—select episodes from the first three seasons will be screened throughout the night. Costumes are encouraged. Jerry's Sandwiches. 1938 W Division St. Oct 8, 8pm.
Dough Masters Dinner Mangia! Spacca Napoli Pizzeria's Chef Jonathan Goldsmith takes over the kitchen at Bar Toma and serves an Italian family-style dinner. The event starts with a welcome reception followed by dinner paired with beer. The event is part of Bar Toma's ongoing Dough Masters series. Bar Toma. 110 E Pearson St. Oct 9 at 6:30pm. $45.
1. John Oliver Fresh off his summer stint as guest host of The Daily Show, charming Brit wit Oliver drops in for a stand-up set at the Chicago Theatre. Chicago Theatre. Oct 11 at 8pm. $39.50–$45.
2. Comedy Bang! Bang! Live Scott Aukerman's culty comedy podcast turned IFC TV show hits the Vic on a live tour, with special guests Paul F. Tompkins and Horatio Sanz. The show is opened by Los Angeles sketch group the Birthday Boys, whose own self-titled IFC series premieres October 18. Vic Theatre. Oct 8 at 8pm. $30.
This month is the last chance to see all of the high-flying action under the little big top at Midnight Circus in the Parks. With multiple performances every weekend through October 27 at parks throughout the city, there's still plenty of time to catch a show.
From aerialists and acrobats to clowns and performing dogs, there's something for everyone Midnight Circus in the Parks, which is what makes it the ultimate day out with the family or a stunning date night without kids.
Since 2007 Midnight Circus has toured Chicago, performing under the big top and raising funds to support local parks. To date, Midnight Circus in the Parks has raised more than $450,000 for local park improvements. For a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, visit circusintheparks.org.
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Printers Row: Jhumpa Lahiri Pulitzer Prize–winning Tribune columnist Mary Schmich sits down with Pulitzer Prize–winning author Lahiri to discuss what it's like to win Pulitzers. JK. They're discussing Lahiri's newest novel, The Lowland, an intense family saga set in both India and America. Palmer House Hilton. 7pm. $20 advance, $47 advance plus book (save $5 through August 24); $25, $52 plus book (tickets purchased after August 24).
My Man Godfrey Dir. Gregory La Cava. 1936. 95mins. He's best known for his work in The Thin Man (W.S. Van Dyke, 1934), but William Powell's performance as the titular Godfrey in this pioneer screwball comedy is just as good. A discussion of the film follows the screening hosted by the Chicago Film Club. Venue at 1550. 6:30pm–9:30pm. $5 general admission, $3 students/seniors (online).
Reality is usually stranger and more compelling than any fiction. That old adage is one reason I've been so enthused about Docs at the Box, the Music Box's first-ever festival dedicated exclusively to documentaries, which continues this week through October 10 with Plimpton!, Our Nixon, Shepard & Dark, The Informant, Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie and more. And if you're in the mood for more nonfiction filmmaking (a nine-hour Holocaust doc, anyone?), scan through Time Out's list of the 50 best documentaries for all-time greats your Netflix queue has never known.
RECOMMENDED: October movie events and film fests calendar
National Pizza Month is here! To celebrate, Tesori is offering a different specialty pizza every day in October. While artisanal pizzas are always on the Italian-inspired menu, executive chef Andrew Deuel dug deep for some new and unique pies to feature this month—think pickled squash and soppressata or beef carpaccio and horseradish.
RECOMMENDED: The complete guide to Chicago pizza
I visited Tesori last Friday to give their pizza special a try. The pie of the day was eggplant and olive tapenade with fontina cheese. The vegetarian pie had a crispy crust and each ingredient was present in every bite, so there were layers of flavor. The pizza was $15 and at 12", two of us were able to split it.
Here's the pizza month calendar, which features a variety of styles and toppings, along with plenty of interesting flavor combinations. A few to look out for include apple pie (sauteed apples, bacon and cheddar) on October 13, a tuna pizza with roasted red peppers on October 15 and a date, caramel and gorgonzola pie on October 26.
Last week, the MacArthur Foundation announced the 2013 recipients of the International Connections Fund grants. Eighteen Chicago arts and culture organizations will receive funds—ranging from $7,000 to $50,000—to make possible creative exchanges with other arts orgs from around the world. Cross-cultural projects include a play on public housing by American Theater Company and theater artists in Glasgow, Scotland; a Facets-produced series of documentary films on communities under pressure in Brazil and the U.S.; a collaborative performance by Chicago and German percussion artists and more diverse intiatives.
MAKE Literary Productions received $25,000 to facilitate multilingual, multidisciplinary events and expand translation projects, an increasing priority for the nonpropfit. The recently released 14th issue of MAKE: A Literary Magazine introduced a Spanish>English/English>Spanish section, "Intercambio," as well as three new editors (a translations editor, a Spanish language editor and a Latin American art portfolio editor).
"The grant is very, very exciting," MLP Director Sarah Dodson said. "It will allow us to produce a 'live magazine' event in Mexico City and in Chicago next year. We'll be working with writers and publishers, including Conaculta, in both cities to publish and promote works in translation, and they will appear in MAKE, on our new website, as well as in Mexico City–based magazines." First appearing in 2005, the biannual MAKE has proven itself to be one of Chicago's most consistently published indie mags, amid the launch and subsequent disappearance of many others.
Kaskade Evanston-born superstar DJ Ryan "Kaskade" Raddon returns home for a rare rave at Navy Pier. Yep, the tourist trap will transform into laser-lit club for a stop on the Atmosphere Tour. The 42-year-old's latest batch of blockbuster EDM alternates between breathy, nearly shoegazerish female vocals over anthemic electro-house and more downtempo blows like "SFO to ORD" that are as airport suited as they read. Navy Pier. Oct 12 at 5:30pm. $50, advance $40, VIP $120.
Ryan Hemsworth & Cyril Hahn Rappers smoke a lot of weed. No secret there. But not all hip-hop comes off as particularly stoner music. Even the supremely baked Wiz Khalifa attempts to get towels twirling with his choruses. Now, Ryan Hemsworth? He builds beats under a thick and everpresent fog of fumes. Guilt Trips, the Canadian's debut full-lenth, out this month, keeps up the psychedelic swirls of synths and trap rhythms, with just the right dose of eerie paranoia. The Mid. Oct 11 at 10pm. $10.
Broadsword The former members of a small-time heavy metal band, now middle-aged, are brought back together by the disappearance of a bandmate. Keira Fromm helms the Chicago premiere of Marco Ramirez's 2010 play. Read Kris Vire's four-star review. The Gift Theatre. Oct 12–14, 7:30pm; Oct 15 at 2:30pm. $20–$30.
Chicago International Film Festival CIFF's 49th annual event features more than 150 features and shorts from around the world. The festival opens October 10 with James Gray's The Immigrant, starring Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix. Highlights of this year's lineup include Abdellatif Kechiche's Palme d'Or–winning Blue is the Warmest Color, Alexander Payne's Nebraska (starring Bruce Dern, who will accept a career achievement award), Errol Morris presenting his new Donald Rumsfeld doc, The Unknown Known, and an appearance by Italian horror maestro Dario Argento for a screening of Dracula 3D. The fest closes out with the latest from the Coen brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis. See the full lineup. Chicago Theatre. Oct 10. • AMC River East 21. Oct 11–24. $14, Cinema/Chicago members, students and seniors $11; special presentations $20, Cinema/Chicago members, students and seniors $16.
[UPDATE October 7, 5:55pm: CIFF's Alejandro Riera says Errol Morris will no longer be appearing at the festival due to a scheduling conflict.]