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June 2009 Archives

Here are some recent restaurant/bar openings and closings.

Hot Woks Cool Sushi

Hot Woks Cool Sushi – The Pulaski location of this popular sushi spot has been jumping since it opened last year, so here comes a Loop incarnation. Hey, when something works, you might as well double up. Too much of a good thing? We’ll see.

90 Miles Cuban – Ditto here; just sub “Cuban” for “sushi” and “Logan Square” for “Loop.”

Bucktown Soup Café – As much as we like soup (dig the bread bowls at Soupbox) and as good as some of these sound (chipotle chicken tortilla, pot roast & vegetables, spicy jumping bean & vegetables) we just cannot get on board with soup being an entire meal. It just seems so … not right.

Ever wondered what a Weezer song tastes like? Apparently, so has Blue 13 chef Chris Curren, and he's decided to try to approximate the band's flavor with the first of his summer Rock 'n' Roll dinners tomorrow night (7:15 p.m., reservations required, (312) 787-1400).

Every Wednesday, Curren will prepare a five-course meal inspired by a different band for $50 per person. The full schedule of bands (including Radiohead, Nirvana and Kings of Leon) is after the jump, along with this week's Weezer menu. Our favorite? The "Half Japanese" pork belly duo.

Breathtaking views. Award-winning food and drink. A phone in the bathroom. All these things and more are available to guests at the Affinia Chicago hotel (ok, we're not positive about the phone), which is celebrating its first anniversary with a special offer. Stop by the hotel lobby on Thursday, July 2, and grab a keycard from the fishbowl. If it's marked with a "$1" sign, you win a $1 one-night stay at the hotel.

If you're one of the eight winners, we have two pieces of advice. First, you've got to redeem the gift before September 22, so plan wisely. And two: If you make a call from the bathroom, don't tell the person on the other end exactly where you're calling from. Just trust us on that.

Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just opened: Zebda
Mediterranean take-out eats in Albany Park.

Off the Beaten Path: Buona
Famed Italian beef stand reopens its original spot in Berwyn.

Weekly Treat: Make a Cheap Date at Rumba
Get 2-for-1 dinners and half-priced bottles of wine on Tuesday nights.

Man We're Crazy About: Chicago’s Dog House
Grab a gourmet dog in Lincoln Park.

For more about what's going on this week, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.


As if you needed another reason to visit The Wit Hotel (in addition to its popular rooftop bar, Roof, and its upscale restaurant, State and Lake), now there's a Michael Jackson shrine in its lobby.

The memorial, which will be open 24 hours a day through next Friday, July 3, includes a portrait-size photo of the King of Pop surrounded by 20 votive candles. Jackson's music will be incorporated into the Muzak rotation (one song per hour).

If you're thrilled by Alexandra Billings at this year's Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade (she's the Grand Marshal) on Sunday, you can see even more of her on Tuesday. That's when the Center on Halsted hosts a special screening of "Stealth," the short film starring Billings and others.

Tickets for the event cost $20, with a percentage of proceeds going to the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. The fun starts at 8 p.m., and a reception follows in the theater lobby with food and wine provided by Ann Sather.

Center for Performing Arts announces season schedule

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The Center for the Performing Arts at Governors State University announced its 15th season today, a season that includes an eclectic mix of dance, music, comedy and "Especially for Kids" entertainment.

Here are highlights from the anniversary season:

Aug. 14-15: Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods" presented by Southland Area Theatre Ensemble
Oct. 3: Jim Brickman
Oct 17: Jeff Corwin
Oct. 31: Halloween Spooktacular with Dave Rudolph
Nov. 7: "A Tribute to Motown" featuring Chicago area singers
Nov. 14: Led Zeppelin tribute band Hearbreaker
Nov. 21: "Snow White"
Dec. 5: "Holiday Hop" featuring The Platters, the Marvelettes and Cornell Gunter's Coasters
Dec. 12: Salt Creek Ballet presents "The Nutcracker"
Dec. 19: "Twas the Night Before Christmas"
Jan. 17, 2010: Teatro Lirico D'Europa presents "Die Fledermaus"
Jan. 23, 2010: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Jan. 30, 2010: The Cabaret at the Center Series featuring Harmonious Wail (Jan. 30), Rachael Price (Feb. 27) and The Millers (Mar. 27)
Feb. 13, 2010: John Mueller's Winter Dance Party, tribute to Buddy Holly the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens
March 6: "If You Give a Pig a Pancake and Other Short Stories
March 20, 2010: Los Lobos
May 1: "Patchwork — The Little House Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder"
May 15: The Glenn Miller Orchestra

Subscription series tickets are now on sale. Single show tickets go on sale Aug. 1 at 10 a.m. For all tickets purchases and general information, visit visit or call the theater box office at (708) 235-2222. The Center is located at 1 University Parkway (Governors Highway and University Parkway), off I-57 at Sauk Trail.


What would you deep-fry if you could deep-fry anything?

This isn't some philosophical question -- on Saturday, artists Philip Von Zweck and Kevin Jennings will be down at the Hyde Park Art Center from 5-8 p.m. with two deep-fryers ready for whatever edible items you want them to drop in. This "Fryvalry" (so named because it pits meat against vegetarian items) is free, so the only limit here is your creativity.

After you get your fill of grease, make sure to check out the rest of the Artists Run Chicago show, running through July 5.


Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade
noon Sunday at Halsted and Belmont; free
Floats, bands, politicians and hundreds of thousands of people invade Boystown for a summer event unlike any other. Midwestern friendliness – not to mention colorful costumes, dancing and drunkenness – will be on full display at this rowdy event, the highlight of a weekend of Pride parties (including Pride Fest).


As if tempers don’t get heated enough during the Crosstown Classic (City Series, Red Line War, whatever you want to call Cubs-Sox), has a new game to fan the flames. The goal is to hit Sox manager Ozzie Guillen with as many baseballs as possible in 15 seconds (hint: you get more points if you hit him in the crotch). The top score each week wins a free Wrigley rooftop pass for an upcoming game.

We’d guess former Cub Michael Barrett might want to give this a shot, although he’d probably prefer a game involving Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski. But Guillen himself probably won’t be too interested in the prize – unless he wanted to induce another bout of nausea.

Round 2 of Cubs-Sox is this weekend on the South Side. Looking for a place to watch the game? We’ve got both Sox fans and Cubs fans covered.

We just told you about the Beastie Boys' pre-Lollapalooza party, but it's not the only Lolla-related club show happening around town during the weekend. Here are the others, just announced:

Wednesday, August 5

Last Band Standing Remix Competition Finals (Double Door)

Thursday, August 6
The Decemberists w/ Heartless Bastards (Metro, 8 p.m., 18+)
Thievery Corporation w/ Federico Aubele (House of Blues, 8 p.m., 17+)

Friday, August 7
Arctic Monkeys (Metro, 10 p.m., 18+)
Band of Horses w/ Cass McCombs (House of Blues, 10 p.m., 17+)
TV on the Radio w/ Chairlift (Double Door, 10 p.m., 21+)
Crookers, Major Lazer, Simian Mobile Disco DJ Set, Bloody Beetroots DJ Set, KiD CuDi, and Rye Rye (Congress Theater, 8 p.m, 17+)
Delta Spirit w/ Other Lives (Schubas, 10 p.m., 21+)
Lykke Li w/ Mike Show, Esser (Bottom Lounge, 9 p.m., 21+)

Saturday, August 8
Fleet Foxes w/ Dungen (Metro, 10 p.m., 18+)
STS9 (House of Blues, 10:30 p.m., 17+)
Joe Pug w/ The Low Anthem (Hideout, 10 p.m., 21+)
Dan Auerbach w/ Cage the Elephant (Schubas, 10 p.m., 21+)
Kaskade w/ James Amato and DJ Nigel O'Reilly (Smartbar, 10 p.m., 21+)
The Ravonettes w/ Living Things and Pretty Good Dance Moves (DJ Set) (Empty Bottle, 10 p.m., 21+)
Ezra Furman & The Harpoons and Blind Pilot (House of Blues Back Porch, 10:30 p.m., 21+)

Sunday, August 9
Deerhunter w/ No Age and Dan Deacon (Logan Square Auditorium, 10 p.m., All Ages)
MSTRKRFT w/ LA Riots and Dark Wave Disco (Bottom Lounge, 9 p.m., 18+)

Go to the Lollapalooza site for information on when tickets go on sale.

Can't decide between seeing Beastie Boys and Tool on Saturday night at Lollapalooza? See long as you can get tickets for the Beasties' "secret" show at Congress Theater two days before (Thursday, August 6). Presale here (code word: RAPPERS). General sale (if there are any tix left) begins Friday at 10 a.m.

Well, this much is clear about summer 2009 in Chicago: whether it's rain or sweat, you're gonna get wet. But it doesn't mean you can't have fun while doing it. As the thermometers finally hit 90 degrees, restaurants are taking things outside with patio parties and the like. Five ways to eat in the heat this week:

  • A Mano throws its Italy on the Grill patio party from 6-9 p.m. on Wednesday. For $48 per person, you'll get unlimited beer, wine and summer cocktails, as well as Italian BBQ selections like grilled whole wild striped bass, rotisserie whole lamb, stone fruits and summer vegetables on the grill, plus Italian antipasti, cheeses and A Mano's famous gelato and sorbetto.
  • Nine local chefs get together at Park Grill on Wednesday (6-8:30 p.m.) for the outdoor Chefs on the Grill benefit featuring food, drinks and prizes. Participants include Michael Fiorello (Mercat a la Planxa), Michael Cisternino (Tavern at the Park) and Dirk Flanigan (The Gage). $55.
  • The Summer Soiree on Duchamp's patio (6-8 p.m. Thursday) features a signature mojito bar from 10Cane Rum, appetizers courtesy of chef Michael Taus and live steel drumming.
  • Maxwell's at The Club chef Rick Hall will offer up a range of summer dishes including flank steak, grilled corn and mini apple pies to go along with tastings of 10 wines on Friday (6-9 p.m.). He'll also offer grilling advice, if you're inclined to listen. $35.
  • Moonshine's first annual Luau and Pig Roast on Saturday (noon-8 p.m.) will include a Hawaiian shirt contest, hula dancers, a limbo contest, Bacardi giveaways, guest DJs and, of course, plenty of fresh pulled pork. $5 Bacardi mai tais and pineapple mojitos all day, too.

Of course, you don't need a special event to eat outdoors -- check out Centerstage's comprehensive guide to the city's best alfresco options.

Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just opened: Yolk
Popular breakfast spot expands to River North.

Off the Beaten Path: Wallace’s Catfish Corner
Get some seafood with soul on the West Side.

Weekly Treat: Tuesday Night Wings and Beer at Grand River
Wash down 30-cent jumbo wings with $10 Miller Lite pitchers in Lakeview.

Man We're Crazy About: Three Peas Art Lounge
Get some culture with your boozing in the South Loop.

For more about what's going on this week, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.

So, the schedule for this year's Pitchfork Music Festival (July 17-19 in Union Park) was released on Friday. But just because you now know when bands are playing, it doesn't mean you know what they sound like. And if you're gonna make the tough decisions (like The National vs. The Black Lips, for example), you'll need that key information, and it'll cost you a bundle to download all those bands on iTunes or eMusic.

The solution? Head to Fizz Bar & Grill this Friday, where from 8-10 p.m. Pitchfork, Flavorpill and AMI Entertainment are hosting a listening party with music from festival acts. The free party will also include giveaways of tickets, CDs, vinyl, downloads and other swag. We can't promise as many ironic t-shirts as you'll find at the fest next month, but it'll have to do for now.


By now you've probably seen at least one of these graffiti'd stencils around town, depicting former Governor Rod Blagojevich out for a little jog. Want to see more? Surprise, surprise -- you're gonna have to pay.

The artist behind the design, Ray Noland (who co-curated last month's Obama exhibit, "Officially Unofficial"), plans to put up a temporary gallery featuring many interpretations of the jogging Blago. So far, he's raised $871 online (donate here), about a quarter of his goal of $3,500.

What, you think he's just going to show his art for nothing? This is a !@#?ing valuable thing!

A celebration of the 40oz

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It may not have the name recognition of, say, Black History Month (February) or Hannukah (Eight great days in December) or even Hot Dog Month (July), but The Fifty/50 is celebrating "America's Most Patriotic Beverage" – the 40 – with National 40oz Week from June 29-July 5.


Enjoy a different special on the malt liquor every day, including Monday’s Colt 45 “Works Every Time” launch party, where Billy Dee’s favorites are just $5. Also part of the celebration: Thursday night’s old-school hip-hop night with $5 St. Ides and Friday’s Cubs Mickey’s party, where you can get $5 Mickey’s 40s, $6 Mickey’s Irish Car Bombs and free Mickey’s-infused Jameson shots during the first inning of the Cubs-Brewers game (yes, our stomach just churned thinking about it, too.

The Fifty/50 reminds us that the drink made popular by blaxploitation films and gangsta rappers was actually invented in the Midwest shortly after Prohibition in the 1930s, to give Americans access to a stronger brew for less money. So make sure you tip your 40 as a tribute to all our dead homeys who got caught up in the game during the Great Depression.

Check out all the details for 40 Week here.

Last month, we told you about Lupe Fiasco's upcoming free Dew Tour concert (June 26). Well, things have changed since then.

The event has been moved from Grant Park to the Chicago Theatre, in an effort to avoid overlap with the Taste of Chicago music stage. More importantly, the show now costs $20, instead of being free (tickets are available starting today at the Chicago Theatre box office or via Ticketmaster). There is one bit of good news, though: British MC Lady Sovereign has been added to the bill. She'll perform at 9:30 p.m., while Lupe will go on at 10:15. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.


We're guessing that you're not one of the lucky few who got invited to the exclusive screening of "Public Enemies" tonight at the AMC River East (unless you're reading this, Roger). But that doesn't mean you can't head down to catch a glimpse of the stars attending the red-carpet event, including Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard and director Michael Mann. They're expected to arrive around 6 p.m., so try and leave work early -- the crowds will be out in full force.

David Cross and Bob Odenkirk bring back the magic of "Mr. Show" to the Lakeshore Theater.

Just For Laughs Chicago
Through Sunday
David Cross. Bob Odenkirk. Michael Ian Black. Michael Showalter. George Lopez. Jimmy Fallon. Andy Dick. David Alan Grier. Bill Engvall. Lisa Lampanelli. Patrice O'Neal. All these big names will be gracing Chicago stages this weekend, some more than once, as part of this TBS-sponsored fest. As much as we hate to reference those annoying commercials, this event promises to be "very funny."

Ok, it's still unclear whether Chicago's going to get the Olympics in the summer of 2016. It's even more unclear whether it would be a good thing if we did. But one thing is clear: there will be an Olympic Day on June 23, and it will include a Bono impersonator.

The city plans to celebrate the 115th anniversary of the modern Olympic games with a four-hour party on North Avenue Beach, including multiple competitions and demonstrations (soccer, wheelchair basketball, kayaking, archery and more) and live entertainment from the Freddy Jones Band and U2 cover band Elevation.

There will also be two three-mile "fun runs" (one starting at Irving Park and the Lake Shore Path and heading south, and one at Balbo and the Lake Shore Path and heading north) starting at 6 p.m. and ending at the beach, plus a youth run at 10 a.m. Sign up to run here, or just head out for some fun in the sand on Tuesday.

If you've been holding off on buying Lollapalooza tickets until you knew when your favorite acts were performing, wait no longer -- the schedule is here.

Like what you see (if you can get the page to load)? Single-day tickets are $80, while three-day passes are $205.

Let us know what you think are the biggest scheduling conflicts in the comments.

3 Things We Love About ... Ukrainian Village

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1. Visiting the Ukrainian National Museum of Chicago, which has more than 1,140 artifacts including traditional folk arts, agricultural tools, artwork, musical instruments and trophies. Then there are the decorated Easter egg collection; military exhibit and library with more than 20,000 titles in English and Ukrainian languages.
The museum is at 2249 W. Superior. Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Sunday (closed Monday-Wednesday). Admission: $5 for adults; free for kids 12 and under. Call (312) 421-8020.

2. Biting into homemade Ukrainian and Polish delicatessen cuisine at the many delis found throughout the leafy neighborhood. Pierogi, potato pancakes and breaded pork cutlets are staples as well as deli meats. Kasia’s Polish Deli, 2101 W. Chicago, has it all, plus foods from other countries such as China and Italy. Call (773) 486-6163.

Sam Prekop of The Sea and Cake performs behind the speaker stacks at the Empty Bottle. (Sun-Times file)

3. Checking out the neighborhood’s popular nightclubs. Rock, pop, punk, jazz and indie live music are always on tap at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western. The small, intimate club presents local emerging bands. Call (773) 276-3600.

Tell us your three favorite things about Ukrainian Village!


One hundred years ago, architect Daniel Burnham had a plan for the city of Chicago (you may have heard of it), inspired, in part, by the 1893 World's Fair -- the famed White City. Now you can get a taste of that monumental event, as the Museum of Science and Industry brings back its popular World's Fair virtual tour June 18-20.

Using real-time video simulation technology, the presentation (narrated by Tim Samuelson, Cultural Historian for the City of Chicago) will feature new elements this time around, including the Fair's recreation of Christopher Columbus's three ships, the Convent of La Rabida and enhanced imagery of the Agriculture Building, the Casino and the Music Hall. No word on whether the "Devil" will be popping up anywhere.

The exhibit runs from 1-2:30 p.m. in the West Pavilion Auditorium, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $40 ($25 for members) and including general admission.

June 16, 1904 was quite a day for Leopold Bloom of Dublin -- it took James Joyce over 265,000 words to describe it in his modern classic, Ulysses. While you may not have actually read the book (not many have made it all the way through), you can still celebrate Bloomsday along with the rest of the lit-loving world today.

The traditional celebration involves readings from the novel, plus plenty of song and drink. You can find all that at the Irish American Heritage Center's Rattlin' of the Joists, tonight at 7:30 p.m. ($10). If you'd prefer to skip the books, here are some places the libation-loving Joyce might enjoy:

Chief O'Neill's
Owned by All-Irish musicians Brendan and Siobhan McKinney, this Northwest Side bar and restaurant has a commitment to traditional tunes, with bands playing jigs and reels throughout the night. The food is not to be outdone, though, as the menu includes "Emerald Isle Favorites" like fish 'n' chips, Irish stew, corned beef and more.

Johnny O'Hagans
The handcrafted bar at this Wrigleyville pub was imported directly from the ol' Emerald Isle. It's also got some darn good curry chips and plenty of Guinness.

James Joyce Irish Pub
Well, this one's a no-brainer. While the Berwyn pub doesn't seem to have anything special going on for the big day, we'll bet that at least one of the questions in its regular trivia night (9 p.m.) will be related to the author.

How about celebrating a Joyce book you can actually get through in a month? We're not sure this South Side spot has any real connection to Dubliners, the author's collection of short stories published in 1914, but at least you can get a $2.50 pint of Guinness or Harp.

Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just opened: Rootstock Wine and Beer Bar
Beer and wine bar on a mission in Humboldt Park.

Off the Beaten Path: Martin’s Corner Bar & Grill
Pilsen watering hole offers a chill vibe and 69-cent burgers.

Weekly Treat: Pick Your Poison at Lava Lounge
Tuesdays are $4 well drinks and $3 PBRs at this Wicker Park bar.

Man We're Crazy About: n
Argentinean tapas, strong drinks and eclectic sounds...what more do you need?

For more about what's going on this week, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.

Free the fish!

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If you're like us, you've probably killed a fish or two in your lifetime -- whether by accident or not. This Friday is your chance to do penance.

Friends of the Chicago River hosts Fish Liberation from noon-2 p.m. at the McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum (southwest tower of the Michigan Avenue Bridge). For $5, guests will be able to adopt a baby bluegill, name it and release it into the main stem of the river, thus celebrating the annual return of wildlife to these waters. Reserve your fish ahead of time by calling (312) 939-0490 ext. 23. We can't promise "Lucky" will forgive you, but it's a start.

Oh, and while you're in a watery frame of mind, head west a bit to check out the Fish Hotel.

Are you the type to try and "work off" all the calories you consume with a brisk bike ride? Say hello to your new best friends, Dimitra Tasiouras and Sharon Bautista. The two recently founded Fork and the Road, a series of biking-and-eating tours that brings together two of the great pleasures of Chicago summers.

The girls kick things off with an International BBQ tour this Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Beginning at Pause Cafe in Edgewater, the 14.5-mile ride will run the gamut from traditional American-style 'cue to foods from India, China and Korea. Other upcoming adventures include Local Vegetarian Chicago, Tour of Asia, Tour of Latin America and Unsung Chicago Classics.

Tours cost $50-$60 per person (you must register in advance), and include all food but not bike rental (if you need some wheels, tours start and end near rental locations).

Sharon Jones will end your weekend on a funky note.

Chicago Blues Festival
Friday-Sunday at Grant Park; free
Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? The world's largest free-admission blues festival welcomes two-dozen first-time performers this year. At the top of that list – for younger fans, at least – has to be Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, the group that's led the recent revival of old-school soul. History gets its due, too, as the fest celebrates two milestones: the 30-year anniversary of Earwig Records and the 70th birthday of funk-blues master Eddie C. Campbell. Soul vet Bettye LaVette also headlines. Get the scoop on all Chicago Blues Fest performers.

"Silence is f---ing golden."

Want Ari Gold to swear at you? It could happen. One of several prizes in the silent auction at next week's Piven Theatre Workshop Annual Benefit is a walk-on role on "Entourage," the HBO show starring Jeremy Piven as a high-powered, foul-mouthed super-agent to the stars.

Piven will be at Rockit Bar & Grill on Saturday, June 20 to host the event with friend (and Rockit owner) Billy Dec from 6-10 p.m. Proceeds from the $125 tickets will help provide scholarships to kids wishing to train at the famed Piven workshop in Evanston. See, Ari's not as heartless as he sounds.


Included in 312 Dining Diva's events rundown yesterday was a decidedly non food-related item: a celebration of neo-soul star Maxwell's first album in eight years, "BLACKsummers' night," going down at DuSable Museum on June 18 (ok, we guess some might say that Maxwell is, in fact, yummy.) Maxwell will be giving an intimate interview and signing autographs at the event (7-9:30 p.m.), but not performing.

According to the event Web site (check the sidebar), the evening is sold out. But as of this writing, there are still tickets available to catch him the following night at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana. It's less than an hour's drive away -- just enough time for another run through "Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite."

If you just can't wait for the Taste of Chicago (June 26-July 5) in Grant Park, or you simply want to know what being in the middle of a swarm of hungry Chicagoans at lunch hour feels like, the city is hosting an open-to-the-public preview at Daley Plaza today from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

The event will include six booths, including Manny's (barbecued brisket sandwiches) and Arya Bhavan (samosas). Eats cost $2-$5 (cash only) and The Eli Story will perform.

One night only: Blago on 'Blago Superstar'

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Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (right) poses with Second City actor Joey Bland, who plays Blagojevich in the Second City show "Rod Blagojevich Superstar," as Blagojevich guest hosts on WLS Radio in March. (AP file)

As his wife braves self-absorbed reality TV stars and other creatures in the Costa Rican wilds, Rod Blagojevich this weekend will venture into another jungle: the Second City show mocking him as a corrupt, vainglorious buffoon.

The ex-gov will take part in Saturday's performance of "Rod Blagojevich Superstar" at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the company said Wednesday. Second City vice president Kelly Leonard declared himself "both excited and horrified."

It will be Blagojevich's first time seeing the four-month-old musical, although he interviewed its stars during a March fill-in stint on WLS-AM (890).

The "Superstar" run recently was extended through Aug. 9.

Proceeds from Saturday's ticket sales will benefit Gila's Club Chicago, which offers support for everyone living with cancer — men, women, teens and children.

1. Its proud motto, “Serving the fetish world.”

2. In the John E. Larsen Gallery, you’ll find the painting “Last Supper in a Leather Bar,” which puts Da Vinci to shame.

3. The must-have gift shop item: a leather paddle with the museum’s boot logo, just $25. Solid construction.

6418 N. Greenview. Hours: from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Admission: $5. (773) 761-9200 or

Tell us your favorite three things!

Dunlays on Clark and Three Dog Bakery are hosting a doggie dinner on Monday, June 22. Make a reservation for between 6 and 8 p.m. and the dog bakery will provide an appetizer, entrée and dessert for your pooch. A $10-per-dog donation (to be dedicated to a local animal rescue group) is required.

And if Fido gets full and can’t finish his gourmet meal, we’re sure he can take home the leftovers in a, um, doggie bag.

465645452_76bc2d0b0a.jpgPhoto: Chicago Burger Project

Need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up? You've got about 45 minutes to get to Patty Burger for one of its popular 1/3 pound burgers. They cost just $1.50 each 'til 3 p.m. (regularly $4.55). Make sure to ask for "David's Deal of the Day".


If you hadn't noticed, foie gras is kind of a controversial dish 'round these parts. Which is why the upcoming Foie Gras Fest (June 11-16), presented by Chicago Chefs for Choice, is bound to stir up some emotions (they're already getting livid over liver at Chicagoist). But it's also sure to bring out the supporters, which will make the participating restaurants pretty happy.

So, if you're one of them, here's the deal. Specially created foie gras dishes will be available for $10 at the following restaurants: Cyrano's Bistrot, Cafe Bernard, Cafe Matou, Carlos, David Burke's Primehouse, Hemmingway's Bistro, May Street Market, Union League Club.

Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just opened: Salute Wine Bar
Get a taste of la dolce vita in the Gold Coast.

Off the Beaten Path: Chipp Inn
A local East Village bar to put all other "local" bars to shame.

Weekly Treat: See You on the Other Side
Get $2 PBRs and $3 burgers with fries at this friendly Lincoln Park spot.

Man We're Crazy About: FDM Mexican Cuisine & Lounge
North Center sister spot to Fonda Del Mar is just as good as the original.

For more about what's going on this week, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.

Pre-requisits for a nice, leisurely bike ride on Saturday evening:

Bike? Yup.
Helmet? Sure.
Water bottle? Can't hurt.
Clothes? Optional.

That's right, it's almost time for the sixth annual World Naked Bike Ride (and skate) Chicago, begins this Saturday at an undisclosed location (only those on the email list will get the details a few days before, to prevent voyeurs, and a few viewing points will be announced on the Web site). Riders will come in various stages of undress, bodies painted and ready to "celebrate the end of oil and the beauty of people" from 9 p.m.-midnight.

If you are thinking of racing (and the organizers aren't exactly encouraging), make sure to read the FAQ beforehand. And don't you dare bring a camera.

If you're not with us, you're against us.

That's the message for all DJs in this year's Lollapalooza Last Band Standing Remix contest, who will be made to identify themselves as being from Chicago or, simply, "The World." The competition's open round began yesterday, and you have until June 25 to submit your best remix (10 minutes or less) to the judges and create your profile page to encourage voters. Twenty-five semifinalists in each division go on to the next round, and four DJs (two from each division) wil compete in the final live event at Double Door on August 5.

This means there's a pretty good chance a local will end up in the top two, earning an opening slot on Perry's stage at Lollapalooza. Want to be the one repping Chicago? Sign up. And since you won't be needing that four-night hotel stay that comes along with the prize, feel free to flip it our way.

IMG_1305 (2).JPG
The Walrus and Walter Sobchak enjoy themselves at Lebowski Fest 2008.

Good news, dudes. Lebowski Fest, the spirited celebration of the Coen Brothers' cult classic film, "The Big Lebowski," is returning to Chicago in 2009 as part of its Speed of Sound Tour.

This year's bowling festivities will take place at Diversey River Bowl, September 14 and 15 (don't worry, you won't have to roll on Shabbos). Expect competitive trivia and costume contests, and, of course, plenty of White Russians.

The first night of the fest (September 13) features a special screening of the film at the Portage Theater, plus a party with special guests ("Lebowski" actors have been known to appear). Tickets are on sale now. What, you'd rather sit at home with pee stains on your rug?


Porkophiles, circle October 25 on your calendars. That's when Chicago's first-ever Baconfest goes down at the Stan Mansion in Logan Square.

Details have yet to crisp up (sounds like a lot of samples and cookoffs), but we learned all we needed to know from the organizers' manifesto: "We are committed to creating shared bacon experiences that strengthen the bonds of the human community, across religion, across race, across gender, across class."

Hungry yet?

'Jersey Boys' scores 1,000,000th patron

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If you're headed to the matinee performance of "Jersey Boys" on Wednesday at the Bank of America Theater, 18 W. Monroe, you could very well be the 1,000,000th person to see the critically acclaimed musical.

Immediately following the curtain call for the 2 p.m. show, the lucky ticketholder will be announced and invited on stage to claim a host of prizes including a meet-and-greet with the cast, a return visit to the show (four premium tickets and an overnight stay for four at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago), and free admission to the Modern Wing at the Art Institute.

Tickets for the musical (including Wednesday's matinee), which tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, are available at the theater box office, or online at


Can't decide what to do for lunch tomorrow? This should help: all Chicago locations of Potbelly Sandwich Works will be offering free bags of Zapp's potato chips along with every sandwich purchase on Wednesday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. We're thinking there are gonna be some lines. (Thanks Chicagoist!)

312 Dining Diva is reporting that this year's Green City Market BBQ Festival (July 16, 6-8 p.m. in Lincoln Park) is already more than half sold-out. If you want to sample food from more than 50 Chicago chefs, including Paul Kahan (Avec, The Publican, Blackbird), Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill, Topolobampo) and Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia), you'd better buy tickets now. $60 gets you all you can eat, plus Goose Island beer, cocktails and wine. Kids 5-12 pay only $15. No tickets will be sold at the door.

...we don't cause trouble, we don't bother nobody.

That's right folks, Slick Rick, aka Rick the Ruler, is back in town. The legendary rapper opens up brand-new South Loop club The Shrine with a live performance on Thursday night; DJ Jesse De La Pena supports. The special event (8 p.m.-2 a.m., $20 cover) offers a first look at the latest venture from Joseph Russo (Funky Buddha Lounge, Sinibar, Thyme).

If you go, watch out for cameras. Word has it that local filmmaker Konee Rok has been documenting The Shrine's creation for the past several months, so he's sure to be on scene to capture the action.

Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just opened: Birchwood Kitchen
Sandwich shop adds a touch of class and a lot of taste to Wicker Park.

Off the Beaten Path: Wok Cuisine
Quality Chinese fare in Albany Park.

Weekly Treat: Pass the Buck at Atmosphere
Well drinks and Bud Light drafts are only $1 on Tuesdays at this Andersonville spot.

Man We're Crazy About: Simone’s Bar
Northside and Danny’s owners combine powers in Pilsen.

For more about what's going on this week, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.


Tired of pub crawls yet? We hope not, because this seems to be the season. Next up is the Pub Crawl Classic in Wrigleyville, which hits six bars (Bernie's, Casey Moran's, Cubby Bear, Vines on Clark, Sluggers and John Barleycorn) over the course of 7 1/2 hours on Saturday. The festivities include music (from MER and Red Pop Fury), prizes (iPods, Cubs tix, etc.) and specials like $2 Bud products and $3 well drinks.

Oh yeah, and don't be surprised if you see a lot of red noses, as the concurrent Clown for Chi-Town Pub Crawl hits a lot of the same bars.

'Up' on the big screen, 'Up' at Steppenwolf

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If you were one of the millions who flocked to theaters this weekend to see Pixar's new masterpiece, "Up" — run, don't walk, or tie balloons to your house, whatever — you can continue the fanciful theme of oddball guys fulfilling their dreams by way of helium tank when the Steppenwolf Theatre Co. closes its current season later this month with, er, "Up."

060109up.jpgIt's not a stage version of the current animated movie. This "Up" is an acclaimed play by Bridget Carpenter and directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro. The story sounds familiar, though: "On the best day of his life, Walter Griffin built a flying machine that reached the clouds. Ever since, he’s tried to recapture that authentic moment of feeling completely free. His son Mikey dreams of a different path to freedom: getting rich. And his wife Helen just dreams of a husband who will keep his feet on the ground. Up is a quirky, bittersweet tale about an American family trying to escape the boundaries of the everyday by harnessing the power of the imagination." Carpenter discusses her inspiration in a video here.

"Up" plays June 18 - Aug. 23 in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted. Tickets are $20-$45 for the previews, $20-$70 for the regular run.

3 Things We Love About ... the Shedd Aquarium

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1. The core of the Shedd’s sea otter collection was a group rescued from the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.


2. It’s here you’ll meet Granddad (above), an Australian lungfish considered to be the oldest fish in any aquarium in the world. He is at least 80 years old, and likes to make like a sunken log on the bottom of his habitat.

3. Getting a diver’s view, because there’s just five inches of glass between you and sharks, eels and all that iridescent coral in the Wild Reef exhibit.

The Shedd Aquarium is at 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr. Hours: 9 a.m.–6 p.m. through Labor Day (Sept. 7). More information: (312) 939-2438 or

Tell us your three favorite things about the Shedd Aquarium!

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