A jacket that once belonged to Muddy Waters hangs from the wall in this electric blues joint and barbecue restaurant. Buddy Guy does one better than his fellow legend, showing up in the flesh to pull up a stool at the bar or pick at his guitar onstage.
Chicago Sinfonietta was already markedly different from its counterparts when it played its first notes in 1987. Its founder and conductor Paul Freeman wanted to create a symphony that actually reflected the community in which it existed. The ensemble he formed brought together musicians from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds, who interpreted both classical pieces and forgotten compositions from composers of color. His concept proved successful—the symphony toured Europe, played the Kennedy Center twice, and produced 14 albums, all while tunefully demonstrating the universality of music.
Today, Chicago Sinfonietta continues to perform unique programs, and supports music education and professional development opportunities for members of underrepresented communities. Freeman retired from his post at the end of the 2011 season, passing the reins new music director Mei-Ann Chen, but his legacy lives on in the music of performers he helped get started, including classical-music legend Yo-Yo Ma.
Founded in 1997 by inventive Chicago artist Sean Graney, The Hypocrites curates unorthodox theatrical endeavors with inimitable panache and an underlying emotional vulnerability. Praised by the Chicago Sun-Times for its propensity to “never do things the expected way,” The Hypocrites have applied its unconventional approach to classic texts such as The Threepenny Opera, Frankenstein, and Kafka's The Trial. Throughout the years, these productions have earned the company a trophy case of Joseph Jefferson citations, as well as an After Dark Award and a letter of recommendation from Shakespeare’s great-great-great-great grandfather.
Irish Books, Arts, and Music gathers a cavalcade of Hibernian authors, artists, and musicians from around the world for a two-day celebration of Irish culture and heritage. Celtic cohorts unleash their knowledge of the emerald isle with a lineup of lectures including "Irish Theater Past, Present, and Future," "Celtic Spirituality," "James Joyce: The Stand-Up Comedy Years," along with engaging literary discussions and poetry readings. "Yeats: The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats," an exhibit from the National Library in Dublin, will also be on display. Musical groups including performances by Dr. Matt Cranitch, Jackie Daly, Maurice Lennon, the Irish Heritage Singers, and The Dooley Brothers, stun attendees with their complicated fingerwork and birdlike voices.
For nearly 40 years, the Civic Opera Barber Shop has offered straightforward men's grooming services inside the Civic Opera building, with all its gold-leafed art-deco finery. A red, white, and blue barber pole outside the salon beckons potential customers while representing the three colors of human hair. Within, plush burgundy thrones elevate heads to the ideal styling height, giving the veteran barber full sway over every strand as he shaves stubble with straight razors and hot lather, cuts hair into no-nonsense styles, and trims back beards to distinguish man from wolfman.
A 15-year veteran of the Chicago theater community, Lauren Wolf returned to the Second City after recording her debut album All My Secrets in LA in 2011. Backed by a talented band—including Josh Groban’s guitarist Ricky Z—the singer and single mother has graced the stage at The House of Blues, Hard Rock Cafe, and Mayne Stage, drawing comparisons to Janis Joplin for her powerful pipes. Lauren soulfully croons lyrics inspired by her personal struggles and unfinished macramé projects set to upbeat rhythms influenced by the music of the '60s, '70s, and '80s.
The Chicago Tribune, Time Out, the Chicago Reader, Newcity, Flavorpill, and Broadway World Chicago have written about the Eat to the Beat series.
During the main event, southpaw David Diaz, former WBC world lightweight champion, will dispute the finer points of pugilistic philosophy in a 10-round debate with “Red Hot” Robert Frankel. Diaz, a Chicago native, won the national Golden Gloves three times, and currently holds a professional record of 35-3-1, winning 17 fights by KO. For the co-main event, light heavyweight Andrzej "The Polish Prince" Fonfara (15-2, 6 KO's) will take on Adam Jaco (10-3, 4 KO's). To pique the audience’s appetite for cobra-fast jabs, dancerly footwork, devastating star punches, and the sweet music of pummeled human meat, undefeated Russian welterweight Anton Novikov (18-0) and California’s Dashon Johnson (11-3-3) will test the adhesive on each others’ hairpieces for eight rounds. Junior welterweights Aslanbek Kozaev (13-0) and Hector Alatorre (16-13-0) will also battle. Doors open at 7 p.m., fighters touch gloves at 8 p.m., and the judges begin a slow waltz at 11 p.m., signaling the end of the evening’s festivities.
• For $35, you get one ticket to the show on Saturday, August 13 at 2 p.m. (up to a $75 value). • For $35, you get one ticket to the show on Saturday, August 13 at 7 p.m. (up to a $75 value). • For $35, you get one ticket to the show on Sunday, August 14 at 1 p.m. (up to a $75 value). • For $35, you get one ticket to the show on Sunday, August 14 at 5 p.m. (up to a $75 value).
• For $32, you get one ticket to the show on Wednesday, August 17 at 7 p.m. (up to a $65 value). • For $32, you get one ticket to the show on Thursday, August 18 at 7 p.m. (up to a $65 value).
• For $32, you get one ticket to the show on Friday, August 19 at 7 p.m. (up to a $65 value). • For $32, you get one ticket to the show on Friday, August 19 at 3 p.m. (up to a $65 value). • For $35, you get one ticket to the show on Saturday, August 20 at 7 p.m. (up to a $75 value). • For $32, you get one ticket to the show on Sunday, August 21 at 5 p.m. (up to a $75 value).
Through spellbinding drama and whimsical musical performances, the Chicago Kids Company showcases familiar and imaginative children's stories to enchant kids and adults alike. Colorful costumes, hilarious characters, and sing-along songs will captivate youthful imaginations as professional actors and up-to-date references pique parents' interest until the final curtain.
Ever since their ousting from power in the early 15th century, the Redheads have sought vengeance, or at least a good time out with friends. Today’s Groupon strengthens the ginger cause with $20 for $40 worth of live piano entertainment and highly sociable libations at The Redhead Piano Bar.
Embedded within Chicago's famed venue for sketch and improv comedy, The Second City Training Center hosts performances from a corps of jokesters culled from faculty, alumni, and current students. The productions encourage innovative works of comedy and experimental theater that adhere to The Second City's teachings, which include the development of new voices and points of view, and no fewer than four references to alumnus George Wendt.
The Murder Mystery Company sends temporary detectives down trails filled with clues, laughs, and imaginary murther most foul. During each crime-riddled event, participants work together to solve a perplexing homicide, combining their interrogative skills, keen eyes, and collections of fake mustaches to crack the case and apprehend the culprit. To further set the scene, The Murder Mystery Company encourages investigators to don costumes according to detailed themes, which range from the gangster-run speakeasies of the nineteen-twenties to the totally boss parties of the nineteen-eighties. The company's troupe of actors tailors the show to a wide range of functions, including team-building exercises, private get-togethers, and children's parties, but definitely excluding any of Professor Plum’s candlestick-filled dinner parties.
More than a decade ago, K9 Fit Club founder Tricia Montgomery admitted it to herself: She and her dog were both overweight. They set out to lose weight together, and after dropping more than 130 pounds, Montgomery created K9 Fit Club to share her success with others. The curriculum is focused on joint dog-and-owner workouts—the core classes include games of fetch, obstacle courses, and cardio exercises, and others cover tai chi and dancing. The success of Montgomery's program has captured the attention of The Biggest Loser producer David Broome, who will bring Montgomery's program to reality TV in 2014.
Since its founding in 2005, the Southport Performing Arts Conservatory, known as SPACE, has molded master artists with European-style instruction and programs. Their troupe of instructors hone students' two-step skills in dance lessons, and prepare pupils for a stint in an orchestra with their music classes, which include lessons on jazz, Suzuki instruction, and using harmony to get plants to dance.
During Loyola University’s #3USHAK3SF3ST, three theater departments from three Illinois universities explore a wide Shakespearean spectrum with renditions of a comedy, a history, and a fantasy. In Measure for Measure, the hosting thespians uncap a comedy about the hypocrisy of a corrupt judge the Duke of Vienna tasks to tidy the city’s lax moral code of conduct. On Saturday night, Western Illinois condenses the history plays of Henry IV into a single show, chronicling the perilous years in English history when British soldiers fended off the thorns that pricked royal fingers. For Sunday’s finale, a Prospero from Bradley’s Peoria campus casts a stormy spell over the city’s north lakeshore in Shakespeare’s last play, The Tempest. The theater groups will produce all three works using the same innovative set structure, lighting design, and spells for summoning stagehands, enabling the triad to smoothly reconstruct itself at the other two campuses after the inaugural Chicago festival.