Welcome to Eat this tonight, a column in which we eat something, take a picture of it and tell you as soon as possible to go out and eat it, too.
In March, HotChocolate chef/owner Mindy Segal (whom David recently profiled) brought on Dennis Stover (whom Vie's Paul Virant nominated as one of TOC's 20 Chefs to Watch) to helm the savory side of her kitchen. If my meal there this week is any indication, the trucker hat–clad Stover is off to a strong start.
The highlight of the meal: a beautiful plate of giant French white asparagus, its earthy and ever-so-slightly bitter flavor complemented by pickled ramps and a chive-sprinkled, coddled hen egg cooked with the utmost gentleness. There wasn't a miss among the dishes—a homey clam stew with fregola, a fillet of barramundi accompanied by (gritty, but still tasty) creamed ramps and dandelion greens, the unchanged crab-cake sandwich, the cookie plate to destroy all other cookie plates—but the window for French white asparagus is a small one, so jump!
Labor History Walking Tour of Pilsen with Paul Durica This summer, URI-EICHEN Gallery, in partnership with the Illinois Labor History Society, is hosting a summer-long series about work, featuring art shows, neighborhood events and music. Titled "Eight Hours for Work, Eight Hours for Rest, Eight Hours for What We Will," it kicks off in May with a labor history walking tour of Pilsen led by Chicago historian Paul Durica (7–8:30pm). The evening's festivities also include a group printing and postcard campaign demanding action from the Mayor, live music by Bucky Halker, a silent auction to raise funds for organizing the archive of Illinois Labor History Society collection and more. Don't miss this chance to learn about the fascinating labor history of "The City That Works." URI-EICHEN Gallery. 6pm–10pm.
Kill Paris + Haywire OWSLA records' Kill Paris blends booming electro, slap-bass funk and the label's trademark dubstep oomph. Smart Bar. 10pm. $12, before midnight $10, advance $8
GAY & LESBIAN
Frathouse Thursdays Just try to find elbow room at this throwback to the house party days of college when beer pong, 20-ounce brews and hot boys ruled. Scarlet Bar. 9pm.
Comedians trying out for Saturday Night Live in audition showcases at iO is nothing new; Chicago comics regularly jockey for spots to get seen by Lorne Michaels at the Lakeview comedy theater. What's unusual about the next round of SNL auditions at iO is the language they'll be in.
Co-founder Charna Halpern says iO will host the first of a handful of national showcases to cast a Spanish-language edition of Saturday Night Live, geared for Mexican TV. News of the project, to be headed up by Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez and producers Fernando Rovzar and Adriana Bello, has been making the rounds in Spanish-language publications, like this March 28 report in People en Español.
The Chicago showcase is scheduled for June 5, according to a press release from iO. Another showcase will be held at iO West in Los Angeles. Halpern asks performers interested in obtaining a slot to e-mail her (firstname.lastname@example.org) or creative director Mike Balzer (email@example.com) for info.
Surprising no one, American Theater Company said today it will produce the Chicago premiere of Stephen Karam's Pulitzer Prize finalist Sons of the Prophet in early 2014. The company also announced Kelly O'Sullivan and Tyler Ravelson as new members of its ensemble.
ATC has a close relationship with Karam, a rising young playwright. Artistic director PJ Paparelli co-wrote columbinus with Karam before arriving at ATC, and made his Chicago directing debut in 2008 with Karam's Speech & Debate. ATC produced a revised and expanded version of columbinus earlier this year, which it now says will tour to Boston's ArtsEmerson in September with O'Sullivan and Ravelson in the cast. A remount of Speech & Debate is set to open at ATC next week. Sons of the Prophet, about a Lebanese-American family, will run January 31–March 9.
ATC's season will also include the perennial It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play (November 22–December 9), a subscriber-only radio-play version of The Wizard of Oz (November 8–10) and the previously announced "revised and restored" production of the musical Hair (April 25–June 9). Paparelli will direct all four shows in the season.
Teatro Vista also announced its two-show season, its first in residence at Victory Gardens. Eddie Torres will helm the world premiere of White Tie Ball by Martín Zimmerman, who joins the company as a playwright in residence. Ensemble members Marvin Quijada and Gabriel Ruiz will appear in the piece about a pair of brothers (September 6–October 13).
In a departure from Teatro Vista's tendency toward new plays, Ron OJ Parson will direct an all-Latino cast in Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge (April 11–May 18), featuring artistic director Ricardo Gutierrez as Eddie and company members Christina Nieves as Catherine and Sandra Marquez as Beatrice. Both shows will be mounted in Victory Gardens's upstairs Richard Christiansen Theater.
The producers of TBS Just for Laughs Chicago announced today another wave of acts for next month's fifth annual comedy fest. Several members of David Cross's "Super Duper Pals" have been revealed: Paul F. Tompkins, Brian Posehn, Doug Benson and Todd Glass will join the Arrested Development star in his June 13 appearance at the Chicago Theatre. Also added to the Chicago Theatre lineup: a June 12 performance by British bad boy Russell Brand. Also, Nick Swardson has added a second show June 14 at the Vic Theatre.
Several new acts have been announced for the Second City's UP Comedy Club, including three sets by You Made It Weird podcaster and future TBS late-night host Pete Holmes (two on June 11 and another June 13). On June 12, UP hosts Matt Walsh, Horatio Sanz, Brad Morris and Joe Nunez for a live performance of the Bear Down podcast, followed by a late-night Second City Alumni show featuring improv by Scott Adsit, TJ Jagodowski, Dave Pasquesi, Kevin Dorff and Jon Glaser. June 13, 14 and 15, Saturday Night Live's newest cast members Tim Robinson, Cecily Strong and Aidy Bryant perform as Knuckleheads.
Just for Laughs will also play host on June 11 to a free advance screening of The Heat, the buddy-cop comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy set for a June 28 release. Director Paul Feig will appear to introduce the film at the Kerasotes ShowPlace ICON.
Unless Bullock and McCarthy also appear in person, today's announcement brings this year's Just for Laughs Chicago talent to a total of 40 men and four women. Additional lineup announcements are expected next week. Tickets for today's newly revealed slate go on sale Saturday, May 11 at 11am at TicketMaster.com for Brand, etix.com for Swardson and upcomedyclub.com for all UP shows. Tickets for The Heat screening will be available at justforlaughschicago.com.
Hearing that Gary Coleman will be the focus of a major Chicago museum exhibit this summer called to my mind the Diff'rent Strokes star's famous catchphrase of utterly adorable incredulousness: Whatchoo talkin' 'bout?!
"The Life & Times of Gary Coleman" at the Museum of Broadcast Communications will run from June 26 to September 14, "chronicling Coleman’s popularity and his impact on pop culture in the 1980s" and displaying personal ephemera donated by the late actor's parents. William and Sue Coleman also are scheduled to make an appearance during a seminar at the River North museum July 20 to discuss their adopted son, who died in 2010 at the age of 42 after suffering a brain hemorrhage.
Keith Koeneman Koeneman—a Lincoln Park–based jack-of-all-trades—discusses First Son, his biography of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, recently published by University of Chicago Press. TOC critic Jake Austen had this to say of the exhaustively researched book: "By boldly taking on an untouchable subject, it opens the door to future authors who may want to explore extremes—whether that’s criticizing the architect of Chicago’s privatization movement or praising the leader who brought the City That Works into the new millennium (with the park to prove it)." Elmhurst College. 7pm.
Comedians You Should Know This night of comedy, curated by a group of funny dudes, puts local stand-ups on your radar. Timothy O'Toole's. 9pm. $10, advance $5.
1. The Comedy Evening
This Lincoln Park stand-up night, one of our favorite new rooms of last year, has settled into a new home at Wise Fools Pub. The lineup is varied and often full of surprises, and the musical intros by DJ Nate Burrows are a nice touch. Wise Fools Pub. Mon 9pm. Free.
2. Entertaining Julia
The Puterbaugh Sisters host this longstanding (and free!) weekly favorite. Town Hall Pub. Sun 9:30pm. Free.
3. Closing Time and The Imminent Future
Two dark scripted comedies originally developed as part of the Annoyance's Triple Feature graduate to a double bill. Closing Time is a noirish piece set in a pizza parlor, while The Imminent Future takes place in a post-apocalyptic landscape. Annoyance Theatre. Sun 8pm. $12, students $8.
4. Solitaire: A Night of Female Solo Comedy
The performers at this solo showcase have a few things in common: They're all funny women. Performers include Chelsea Devantez, Ashley Black, Christine Tawfik, Jo Feldman, Claire Mulaney, Emily Walker, Sarah Shook, Punam Patel, Blair Beekan and Maria Randazzo. The Public House Theater. Wed 8pm. $10.
The latest from pH Productions welcomes guest artists from Chicago's theater, dance, music and lit communities to present work that in turn inspires an improv set by pH's cast. pH Comedy Theater. Thu 8pm. $10, students $5.
You're going to Google it sometime this week in a panic, so we'll save you the trouble: Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 12. (To quote Mr. Mom, "It's real easy to forget what's important, so don't.") This year, why not skip the usual quick-pick-up-a-bouquet-on-the-way-to-brunch routine and take Mom out on the town? We already told you where to eat; here's where to go afterwards. (Book now. Some of these events are likely to sell out.)
For moms who think globally, shop locally…
This installment of the monthly food and shopping event focuses on mothers. Peruse fashions from Robin Richman, make a floral crown with buds from A Muse, try a bacon flight from Bakin' & Eggs, inhale a raspberry-rose cream puff from Eclair Bakery and much more. River East Art Center. Sunday 10am–4pm. $10, advance $8.
For moms who like a little sleight of hand…
The Magic Parlour
Illusionist Dennis Watkins dips into his trunk of wondrous effects, including a "Card Stab" involving a human-sized balloon. The ticket price for this up-close magic show includes a selection of wine and beer, and cocktail attire is encouraged. Palmer House Hilton. Sunday at 1pm. $75.