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So You Think You Can Dance Live Tour
7:30 p.m. at Allstate Arena; $50-$67
Past champ Russell Ferguson returns to headline the cast from the fifth season as they make a stop in Chicago during a grueling 40-city tour.

LCD Soundsystem
Riviera Theater; $41
This is happening. Producer extraordinaire James Murphy brings his dance beats and quirky rhythms to the Riv for what promises to be an upbeat, if not incredibly bizarre, show. Hot Chip opens.

Free Theater
Various locations
This is the last week of a national campaign to introduce people to the theater. Tonight, you can see a variety of shows, including a few different offerings from Comedysportz Theatre. Check out your options here.

Sufjan Stevens
8 p.m. Friday at Chicago Theatre; $45
Finally admitting that his 50-state, 50-album project was bogus – hey, at least he went out on Illinois – the Soofster is back, ditching his epic folk wisps for the assaulting digital landscapes of recent release The Age of Adz. The ear to the ground is saying it's all an allegory about the state of the media engine these days. But as always, many a biblical and Christian theme weaves about -- and things should be angelic as ever in the confines of the Chicago Theatre.

St. Pauli Girl Costume Contest
7-8 p.m. Friday at Tilted Kilt; free
Oktoberfest may be over in Germany, but St. Pauli Girl beer is keeping the party going in Chicago. Official spokesmodel Katarina Van Derham hosts a St. Pauli Girl costume contest at the Tilted Kilt. Ladies are encouraged to dress in their best barmaid costume and the top lookalike wins $250. The Sun-Times' own Elliott Harris is graciously helping judge. Specials include $4 St. Pauli Girl Lager.

8 p.m. Saturday at Logan Square Auditorium; $20
Of the seemingly endless brigade of Wu-Tang members and affiliates, Raekwon is one of the select few who tours on a regular basis. In the past couple years the master chef has made appearances at Paid Dues, Rock The Bells and Pitchfork, with a few smaller gigs on the side. His busy schedule has all been in celebration of his long awaited sequel, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. 2 (2009), which took nearly 15 years to complete. Opening for Rae will be a bevy of artists, including Chicago's own Mikkey Halstead.

Long Grove Oktoberfest
All day Saturday-Sunday at Old McHenry Rd. and Robert Parker Coffin Road
Come for the old-fashioned fun of a family carriage ride, German dancing, pumpkin decorating and children's activities. Stay for beer and brats and traditional German entertainment. The party starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday with a parade. That's followed by family friendly events all day, culminating in a haunted walk and bonfire starting at 6:30 p.m.

Friday-Sunday at Greenhouse Theater Center; $12-$25
From Greek myths to urban legends, this show -- opening this weekend -- explores every messed-up thing that captured the human imagination without ever walking the earth. Teatro Luna, an all-Latina group that specializes in wickedly funny, soulful writer/performer shows should present a fast-paced and engaging night: something supernatural, without all the Halloween cliches.



I’m old enough to remember when the Lucite columns of floating Barbie shoes at FAO Schwartz were shockingly innovative. Now, with the old warhorse bankrupt and shuttered, we’re on to Toy Store 2.0; the first redesigned Disney Store in the Midwest, opening today in the Loop at the Block 37 Shops on North State Street. Seemingly a theme park-meets-iPhone application, if The Disney Store were a teenager, it would play soccer, do gymnastics, sing in choir and take gourmet-cooking classes – and that’s only on Tuesdays.

“Baby,” its mother would say, “You can’t be everything to everyone. You just gotta be yourself.”

“But mommy,” blond, dimpled Disney Store would confide, “I don’t know who that is anymore!” And… Scene.


Ricky Gervais
7:30 p.m. at Park West; $39-$50
The British funny man behind “The Office” brings his stand-up show to Chicago for the first time. Catch him tonight through Friday at Park West.

Serena Maneesh, Wovenhead
8 p.m. at Lincoln Hall; $12-$14
Norwegian outfit Serena Maneesh take the wall-of-noise sound predecessors like Sonic Youth and The Jesus and Mary Chain bled ears with and slather it something frantic, cutting angular guitar jabs over crunchy, distorted samples in their shadows. Then they turn on a pop dime with main songwriter Emil Nikolaisan handing over vocal duties to his sister, Elvira, coming off ambient and dreamy in her wails, that reveal their chill-wave influences. Openers Wovenhand rally some judgment day folk rock, footstomp and all, led by former 16 Horsepower lead singer David Eugene Edwards.

Free Lunch
11:30 a.m. at Roti Mediterranean Grill
Celebrate Roti’s one-year anniversary with free sandwiches and salads until 1 p.m. Feeling guilty about a free lunch? Make a donation to Common Threads while you’re there.


Land of Talk, Suuns
9 p.m. at Lincoln Hall; $12-$14
Broken Social Scene alum Elizabeth Powell’s baby, Land of Talk, broke in '06 with the aggressive pseudo-feminist EP Applause Cheer Boo Hiss, with Powell leading a trio of Dinosaur Jr. grungy guitars through cut-the-skin tales rooted in shaking her tom-boy youth. Montreal prog-rockers, Suuns, lead.

Rock of Ages
8 p.m. at Bank of America Theater; tickets start at $27
Broadway in Chicago serves up a giant flaming ball of cheese. This touring show combines the guilty pleasure of '80s rock with the guiltier pleasure of jukebox musicals and the nauseatingly guilty pleasure of American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis.

Pup Crawl
6 p.m. at Matchbox; free
We’ll spare you a joke about sniffing butts and just tell you to bring your best friend to this weekly pub crawl in West Town, featuring drink specials and a park stop for the pooches. Participating bars: The Matchbox (6 p.m.), J. Patrick’s (7 p.m.) and Mahoney’s Pub (9 p.m.). Don’t have a dog? You can look into adoption with the folks from ArfHouse.

Margot & The Nuclear So and So's
8 p.m. Sunday at Lincoln Hall; $12-$15
Another representative of the orchestral pop genre that has become the flavor of the month, Margot stands out from the crowd by virtue of its quirky, energetic live shows. Though the band's members hail from various corners of Indiana, they've found a second home in Chicago, recording the sessions for their "Animal" and "Not Animal" albums here. The Lonely Forest and Cameron McGill & What Army open.

Lebowski Fest Chicago
Friday-Saturday at various locations
Creedence, bowling, White Russians, purple jumpsuits and lots more will be present at the third annual Chicago fest celebrating the 1998 cult classic film, "The Big Lebowski." The first night of the event takes place at Portage Theater, featuring a special screening of the film with some special guests making appearances. On Friday and Saturday, there will be bowling, trivia, costumes and more at Diversey River Bowl.

Viva! Chicago Latin Music Festival and Art Fair
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday at Millennium Park; free
A true fiesta with music, food and art from the Latino community. The art fair will give you an opportunity to bring some love for all things Latin into your home. Local merchants will be selling artwork in addition to jewelry and clothing.

Harvest Jam
Friday-Sunday at Queen of Angels Church (2330 W. Sunnyside); $5-$10 (tickets)
Celebrate autumn at this Lincoln Square fest featuring live entertainment, carnival games (Skee-ball, anyone?), food vendors, dancing and more. The usual suspects on the festival scene (Too White Crew, Wedding Banned) try to make you forget summer is just about over.

Love! Valour! Compassion!
6 p.m. Sunday at Mary's Attic; $5-$10
Get gay-friendly with Harry Osterman, our beach-cleaning, parade-waving 14th District rep. Osterman will host the fourth installment in the "Great Plays of Terrence McNally" reading series: "Love! Valour! Compassion!" This bittersweet look back at summer follows the adventures of eight men over three holidays in one lake house.

Windy City Wine Festival
Friday-Saturday at Buckingham Fountain; $10-$35
Expect plenty of wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and live entertainment in Millennium Park. Bone up on wines from around the world (Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile and Argentina will all be represented in addition to various regions of the U.S.) and you can impress your friends at the next dinner party. Also: the Wine Discount Center will be offering 10 percent off any wine ordered at the festival.

Renegade Craft Fair
Saturday-Sunday on Division between Damen and Paulina; free
Now in its eighth year, the fair features cool crafts like jewelry, knitting, t-shirts and 'zines in a D.I.Y. environment with over 300 artists, plus music from independent artists. This juried craft fair has a true renegade spirit, and was one of the first of its kind.

Mexican Independence Day Parade
11 a.m. Saturday on 18th Street from Newberry to Wolcott; free
While you may think of Cinco de Mayo as the Mexican Independence Day, it's actually widely celebrated on September 16. Mariachi bands, exotically decorated floats, Mexican flags, handmade crafts and games make this parade a family fiesta.

Daredevils' Hamlet
Friday-Saturday at Neo-Futurarium; $10-$15
A rollicking meditation on manhood, boyhood and all points in between, the Neo-futurists' latest reinterprets Shakespeare through a combination of soul-searching and dumb stunts. The daredevils, five vastly charming male actors playing (more or less) themselves, confront what scares them most, whether it's a famous monologue, an accurate self assessment, or a flaming hoop. The results provoke thought and laughter, both in generous measure.

7 p.m. Sunday at Lincoln Hall; $12-$14
He was chewed and spit out by the blogosphere for his trash guitar distortions and indiscernible lyrics, culminating in some odd drug cocktail-exiting career hiatus at a Spanish music festival. But San Diego's Nathan Williams is riding a new comeback wave with sophomore release King of the Beach. "Laugh, I beg you laugh, right behind my back," he shreds in glistening pop clarity, heel-kick crunching, "I won't ever die. I'll go surfing in my mind." Hipsters do forgive, it's true. SD tour-mates Christmas Island strip it down lo-fi, but still glimmer from the beach as openers.

North Coast Music Festival
Friday-Sunday at Union Park; $40 daily tickets
This inaugural festival promises to be "summer's last stand." With a lineup that includes such eclectic acts as The Chemical Brothers, Nas & Damian Marley, Umphrey's McGee, Moby, De La Soul and Chicago's own Lupe Fiasco, there should be something for everyone.

Naperville's Last Fling
Friday-Monday at Naperville Jaycees (Naperville Central High School); free
Naperville gives one last hurrah to summer by celebrating with a beer garden, dozens of food vendors, wine tasting and a rib cook off. Other events include a Big Wheel Race for kids (9-11 a.m. Saturday), a lip-sync contest, and a pie eating contest (11 a.m.-noon Sunday). The Parade will take place on Monday at 10 a.m. in downtown Naperville, preceded by a mile-long run. Musical acts include Buddy Guy (Friday), Collective Soul (Saturday) and Clint Black (Sunday), all $15 for tickets.

African Festival of the Arts
Friday-Monday at 5100 S. Cottage Grove; $5-$10
This year's theme is "Creating and Keeping the Culture," and features a live performance by legendary R&B singer Chaka Khan (Monday). You can also see performances by West African born Angelique Kidjo, a Grammy-award winning recording artist, and Tito Jackson from the famed Jackson 5 (Saturday).

Chicago Jazz Festival
Saturday-Sunday in Grant Park; free
Jazz Fest is certainly one of Grant Park's best festivals, a weekend teeming with the best in local and national acts on three stages. Performers include Nicole Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Brad Mehldau, Kurt Elling, The Either/Orchestra, Brian Blade and more. The Young Jazz Lions Stage is also back this year, featuring high school and college ensembles.

Vampire Weekend
6 p.m. Sunday at Aragon Ballroom; $38
When these New York City preppies played Pitchfork two years ago, they seemed a little overwhelmed by the initial acclaim and ensuing critical backlash for their sprightly self-titled debut. What resulted were faithful-to-the-record renditions of those songs, highlighted by Ezra Koenig's earnest singing and Chris Tomson's always spot-on drumming. Now playing the tunes from this year's more far-ranging "Contra," the boys should be a little more at ease on stage.


Gold Coast Art Fair
Friday-Sunday in Grant Park; free
The 53rd annual art fair attracts 450 artists and nearly 350,000 visitors. This year it moves to a new location in Grant Park, just across from the Art Institute.

Love's Labour's Lost
Through Sunday at Oak Park Festival Theatre; $10-$20
Oak Park Festival Theatre had a critical hit with its season opener, a sorrowful, starlit take on "Of Mice and Men." Its second show of the season is more typical outdoor summer fare, a Shakespearean comedy that's billed, alarmingly, as a bardic version of "Sex in the City." That warning aside, this should be a deft, enjoyable picnic of a show.

North Side Summerfest
Friday-Sunday at Lincoln and Irving Park; $5
This new fest (only in its fourth year) is all about the party, and you'll need to let off some steam after a grueling festival season. The music lineup includes all the festival staples, like Sixteen Candles (Friday), Too White Crew and Wedding Banned (Saturday) and Hairbangers Ball (Sunday).

Superstars of Burlesque
10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday at Music Box; $20
America's top teasers descend on the Music Box for a weekend of glitz, debuachery and highly creative pasties. This two-night-only event, organized by Michelle L'amour (the Chicagoland area's duchess of skin) is guaranteed to be a fancy affair. Why? Every single performer holds a world title from the Burlesque Hall of Fame.

Demitria Taylor, Rob Blaine
9 p.m. Sunday at B.L.U.E.S.
One of the Eddie Taylor prodigal spawn, daughter Demetria doesn't get the limelight her brothers enjoy. But that'll be a passing phase when people start to pick up on her Memphis Minnie meets Koko Taylor sass, which she's been slinging in spades from B.L.U.E.S. to the Chicago Blues Festival without the fam. Opening guitarist Rob Blaine, 29, has seen stints with both the late, great Little Milton and The Chicago R&B Kings, heartily recruited for his ability to keep in time while traversing through blues, soul and funk, albeit armed with his most lethal weapon: a bearish growl channeled in '70s roadhouse lore.

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My Morning Jacket
7 p.m. at Charter One Pavilion; $46
Expect to see a return to the reverb-to-the-heavens Southern Kentucky soul for this quintet, which will kick it old school from Z (2005) and the more progressive Evil Urges (2008), and maybe a few new ones from an expected album in the next year or so.

Jason Adasiewicz
5:30 p.m. at Museum of Contemporary Art; free
See the jazz composer/percussionist at the Tuesdays on the Terrace series.

Rosh Hashana Boot Camp
6:30 p.m. at Spertus Institute; $18
Learn tricks of the Jewish cooking trade with Spertus kosher catering executive chef Laura Frankel.

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Vox Arcana
10 p.m. at Hideout; $7
This local improvisational music trio headed by Tim Daisy is part of the Hideout’s Immediate Sound Series. They can loosely be described as a clarinet/cello jam band … but in a good way.

Grant Park Music Festival
6:30 at Millennium Park; free
Kora player Toumani Diabate joins the Grant Park Orchestra.

VIPretty Party
6 p.m. at Elle Homme Medical Spa; $25
Pamper yourself with mini-massages, waxings, facials and a gift bag that should be well worth the price of admission.

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‘Top Gun’
Dusk at Chicago History Museum (outside); free
Is it bad that we always rooted for Val Kilmer’s character to wipe that stupid grin off Maverick’s face? Yeah, probably. Anyway, bring back that lovin’ feeling for Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise as part of the Movies in the Parks series. Also showing tonight: "The Blind Side" (Fulton River Park, 601 W. Kinzie St.) and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" (Smith Park, 2526 W. Grand Ave.)

Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Alter Boys
9:30 p.m. at Buddy Guy’s Legends; $10
Voted Milwaukee's best blues band by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry earlier in his career, the Reverend aligned himself with harpist Madison Slim and a crew of Chain Smoking back-up singers to jam his own breed of chug-a-lug funk and blues. Expect a raucous romp at one of Chicago's best blues venues.

One Man Chicago ‘Meet the Men’ Happy Hour
6 p.m. at Rockit Wrigleyville; free
Meet the 20 contestants for the One Man Chicago pageant, which awards $5,000 to the winner’s charity of choice. Check out the contestants here, and then go mingle with them tonight with free apps and $5 “One Man Martinis.”


Raphael Saadiq
10 p.m. Friday at Kingsbury Hall/The Vibe; $30
We're gonna go ahead and assume that you know Lollapalooza is in town this weekend, but the best part of the annual mega-festival is all of the after-parties and shows associated with Lolla artists. Since Saadiq (of '90s R&B sensation Tony! Toni! Tone! fame before going solo) has the fan-unfriendly 2 p.m. Friday slot at Lollla, this might be the best chance to see him.
More: Can't decide which acts to see at Lolla? Let us help.

Retro on Roscoe
Saturday-Sunday in Roscoe Village; $6
Billed as Chicago's most popular neighborhood festival at over 50,000 people, Retro on Roscoe includes three stages of continuous entertainment (including Too White Crew on Saturday, Wedding Banned on Sunday and Hairbangers Ball both nights), an antique car show, kids' activities and interactive cooking demonstrations from award-winning chefs. And don't miss the Windy City Chili Cook-Off.

Northalsted Market Days
Saturday-Sunday on Halsted;$5
Welcome to the largest two-day street fair in the Midwest, with 17 entrance gates and three music stages featuring more than 30 local and national acts. Know this: it's a very, um, lively crowd.

Rod Blagojevich Superstar
Friday-Sunday at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre; $28.50-$33.50
We've got this play, and it's so bleeping golden, you just knew it had to come back. Second City takes it to the 'burbs (Arlington Heights, to be specific) for another run, just as we await our favorite ex-governor's fate in his bribery trial. We're gonna assume Blago won't make any more appearances anytime soon, but it's still a pretty funny show.

Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound
8 p.m. Saturday at SPACE; $12-$22
Want to avoid the Lolla scene, but still get your music fix for the weekend? Head to Evanston for this show, which mixes zydeco, blues and some African-sourced rhythms to the point of ska.

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Ted Nugent, Val Halla
9 p.m. at House of Blues; $36
Get a case of Cat Scratch Fever with this classic rocker, who grew up in Palatine. Even though ultra-conservative Uncle Ted might protest, it’s probably a good idea to leave your guns at home for this show.

Dental Society Midwinter Meeting
8 p.m. at Chicago Dramatists; $20-$25
Spend a surreal night on stage at this hilarious gathering of dentists, which closes this weekend. Laughing gas is optional.

“The Black Panthers: Making Sense of History”
10 a.m.-5 p.m. at DuSable Museum of African American History, $1-$3
Check out more than 50 historical photos from Stephen Shames, who was the official photographer of the Black Panthers.


Single City is a twice-weekly blog about the Chicago dating scene written by Sun-Times Media Wire reporter Sally Ho. Got a question? Email her!

There is something about a breathtaking view of a city skyline that screams romance.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris and The Empire State Building in New York City have always been linked to such glory and spectacle, but let's not forget the iconic choices here in Chicago.

RICH MAN: A day at the Willis (Sears) Tower is a sure-to-be-fantastic and refreshing "Tourist in your Own City" date that 1.3 million other people visit each year.

The Skydeck and view is obviously very cool, but don't forget the exhibits about our great city, high-tech telescopes, and summer concert series on the plaza – head over this Friday from noon-1:30 p.m. for music and dance by The Boilermaker Jazz Band.

Thirty bucks gets you in the express line to the tallest(?) building in the Western Hemisphere. It also provides you the opportunity to brag about the time you saw Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin from one spot. Cool.

POOR MAN: Enjoy a possibly even better view at the other tall dark building that is part of our pretty skyline known as the John Hancock building.

For the cost of a drink as little as $7.50 (non alcoholic) or a $12 cocktail, you can head up to The Signature Lounge on the 96th floor without an admission fee. You¹ll get great views of the beachfront, Lake Michigan, and the city and, most importantly, a tasty beverage.

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Movies in the Park
The summer-long Park District series features child’s-play fantasy "Where the Wild Things Are" at Cricket Hill (Montrose and Simonds). "The Longshots," about the first girl to play Pop Warner football, plays at Union Park (Ashland and Lake). For a little international flavor, see Cuban import “El Premio Flaco” at Mozart Park (2036 N. Avers Ave). All shows are free.

Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens, Bomba Estereo
6:30 p.m. at Millennium Park; free
Sultry soul singer Naomi Shelton will melt the stage with her raspy, powerful lyrics as part of the New Music Mondays series.

8 p.m. Hamburger Mary’s; $5 per card
This ain’t your grandmother’s bingo game. Drag queen Velicity Metropolis makes calling out bingo numbers as raunchy as possible at this adults-only game.

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Chicago Sidewalk Sale
9 a.m.-3 p.m. today and tomorrow at Daley Plaza; free
Shop from dozens of local stores for clothing, jewelry and accessories as the downtown event marks its fourth year.

Classic TV Re-Runs!
7:30 p.m. at Mary’s Attic; $10
Watch live interpretations of classic TV shows at this monthly series in Uptown. This month features animation domination, including “The Simpsons,” “South Park,” “Family Guy” and “Beavis and Butthead.”

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
9 p.m. at Lincoln Hall; $12-$14
LA-based lo-fi mad scientist Ariel "Pink" Rosenberg will play just about anything (armpit, mouthed drum bits, etc.) to get the right sound – which should make a rather interesting live show. Fellow Tinsel Towner Puro Instinct and Memphis’ Magic Kids open.


Single City is a twice-weekly blog about the Chicago dating scene written by Sun-Times Media Wire reporter Sally Ho. Got a question? Email her!

Smoking, religion, parenting are all accepted, and obvious, deal breakers.

But if you are dating in the city, sometimes it's the quieter ones that hurt your budding romances first. In the spirit of finding the mildly bumpy but everlasting road to true love, keep these deal-breakers in mind for your next first date if you are hoping it will be the last.

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Saved By the Bell Trivia Night
7:30 p.m. at Ginger’s Ale House; $5
Test your knowledge about Zach, Slater, Kelly, Screech and the Bayside gang at this Lakeview pub.

Dating For Nerds Trivia Night
7 p.m. at Holiday Club; $20-$25
Keeping with the trivia theme, show all the other singles how big your brains are at this mixer, which includes one free drink.

Kent Burnside
9:30 p.m. at Buddy Guy’s Legends; $10
The grandson of blues virtuoso R.L. Burnside, Kent brandishes the same, inherent master-tweak soul, of which he dubs "cotton field disco." Equipped with a five-piece band, and strung-out on lap-steel pulls, Kent digs his Americana, as well.

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Halsted Tastes Better
6 p.m.-midnight on Halsted between Belmont and Addison; $25-$30
Foodies around the city unite at this Boystown feast featuring local restaurants like HB, Chicago Diner and Ann Sather.

Caribou, Budos Band
6:30 p.m at Millennium Park; free
Experimental Canadian rockers, Caribou, perform a free show as part of the New Music Mondays series. Their synthesized and airy dance grooves will be a perfect foil to the grit and thunder brought by Afro-rock aficionados Budos Band.

Miss Wicker Park Pageant
8 p.m. at Double Door; $10
Help crown the queen of Wicker Park as a panel that includes rapper Rhymefest will choose among 10 finalists. The winner will rule the land of Wicker Park all year long (and also gets a $1,000 cash prize).

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Loop category.

Logan Square is the previous category.

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