Routines from nationally recognized joke wranglers crack up club-goers within Jokes and Notes's elegant club atmosphere. Emceed by BaldHead Phillips, Friday- and Saturday-night shows host itinerant comics who hawk hilarity for two nights before moving on to new audiences or packs of despondent hyenas. January headliners include recent Bay Area Black Comedy Competition finalist Willie Lynch Jr., who adds a goofy edge to drawn-from-life stories. James Davis's youthful observation and high-energy verve have carried him to appearances on Comedy Central, BET, and Bell Bellamy's Who's Got Jokes?, which has also showcased Las Vegas native J. Reid.
The Arie Crown Theater—named after Lithuanian-native business tycoon, Arie Crown, and Theater, his loyal shar pei—has been a Chicago staple since 1960. Although its home at McCormick Place caught fire in 1967, somehow the theater was spared. It emerged from the smoke to welcome the biggest names in entertainment to its stage, acts including the Rolling Stones, the Temptaitions, the Bolshoi Ballet, and Jerry Seinfeld as well as stagings of Hello Dolly with Carol Channing and The King and I with Yul Brenner.
Hosting their 88th annual Christmas production, The Chicago Bar Association casts aside its collective briefcase in favor of costumes and comedy for a laughter-packed revue. Throughout the show, a talented lineup of performers legally splits sides with well-tuned ditties, choreographed dances, and irreverent parodies that poke fun at local and national legal figures, politicians, sports stars and more. Leaving no stone or gavel unturned, acts will also address many of the year's top headlines, allowing audience members to discard silly-putty replicas of newscasters and relive 2011 in style.
In support of her high-decibel new album, Rihanna kicks off her hotly anticipated LOUD tour with emphatic gusto and a sizzling roster of special guests. Like an art show at a sundae bar, the LOUD tour floods the senses, enchanting audiences with lavishly designed sets, myriad costume changes, move-busting dancers, and Rihanna's songbook of Grammy magnets. Crooner Cee Lo Green augments the songful offerings with his own vocal talents, and Roc Nation rapper and rhythm scientist J. Cole further helps resuscitate ear drums traumatized by the outside world's blaring car horns and shrill howler monkeys.
Amid Chicago's capricious and ever-changing bar scene, Lonie Walker's Underground Wonder Bar has remained a downtown fixture for more than 20 years, and it's no wonder why. Whether it's the live blues, jazz, world, and funk music that echoes through the bar each night, the 4 a.m. closing hour, or the fact that the owner herself regularly takes the stage to sing with her band, the bar seems to embody the Chicago nightlife. An eclectic set of live acts plays to an equally eclectic crowd every night of the week at the spot's two-level, three-stage River North location.
Put your detective skills and Jessica Fletcher tendencies to good use as the show unfolds alongside four courses at the Millenium Knickerbocker Hotel. A troupe of actors pose as average patrons in the audience, so even the most instinctually astute will be left throwing around false accusations and making citizen arrests.