Recognizing that the desire to dance knows neither the bounds of age nor ability, the instructors at NorthSide tailor their class selection to both adults and children of all levels of experience. They teach various dance styles that run the gamut from classical ballet to jazz and modern dance to hip-hop. Zumba classes supply their sultry rhythms to burn calories, and social partner-dancing classes instruct their attendees in nightclub-worthy moves. The studio space welcomes dancers with vast empty hardwood floors and walls full of mirrored panels, which help dancers hone techniques and foster a healthy sense of competition with the bizarro versions of everyone that live behind the glass.
Morseland's dinner menu, available until 10:30 p.m. nightly, serves up classic comfort food with hints of Cajun flavor. Appetizers include buffalo wings ($8 for 10 wings, $14 for 20 wings) and crab cakes ($8), with fresh hummus ($8) and mini veggie burgers ($7) satisfying herbivores. Scale the shaved heights of Morseland's beef and cheddar sandwich ($11), or imprison seafood in the stockade of your stomach with a catfish po' boy ($8). Additional entrees include a Jamaican jerk pork chop ($17) and a 14-ounce hanger steak ($18), with the French Quarter farrago of jambalaya ($17) uniting the estranged carnivore-friendly cousins of shrimp, chicken, and sausage. Daily dinner specials are also available, as is brunch on weekends.
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.
At Habibi Restaurant & Cuisine, the aromas of Middle Eastern spiced meat and kebabs mingle with the fragrant smoke of more than 75 tobacco flavors drifting from the hookah bar. Flavorful veggie stews, fresh salads, and hearty couscous adorn plates with the colorful cuisine of the Levant, and free WiFi and weekend entertainment including live music and belly dancing keeps eyes occupied. Delicate chandeliers illuminate Habibi’s plush couches, soft cushion seats, and rows of tables dressed in red linens. Ancient Egyptian sentinels stand guard over half-finished dinners, peering down from artwork hanging from the dimly lit walls.
Seasoned stage and screen actor Antoine McKay founded McKay Arts to give fresh faces the courage to step into the limelight and provide established artists with a place to cultivate and hone their craft. Antoine, an alumnus of The Second City's theaters in Detroit and Chicago, trains and manages actors and artists and also provides them with creative outlets in the form of regular performances at the Athenaeum Theatre, Pressure Comedy Café, and other local venues. He instructs students of all ages and skill levels in classes of approximately 12 students or in private coaching sessions, which give patrons ample attention and endless attempts to guess who is knocking at hypothetical doors.
Dedicated to transmogrifying bound works of literature into immersive plays since 1979, City Lit Theater Company translates the Shirley Jackson page-turner We Have Always Lived in the Castle into a suspenseful theatrical experience. The author of The Haunting of Hill House and “The Lottery,” Jackson’s tightrope prose has long influenced writers such as Stephen King while giving the nation’s boogeymen nightmares about cramped closets. The players of City Lit bring her final novel to life in their portrayal of the Blackwood sisters, who, along with their invalid uncle, have been ostracized for alleged parenticide. When a pesky cousin visits and shatters their seclusion, murder, witchcraft, and tense games of family Monopoly abound. We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a taut treat for theater and thriller fans, entertaining in layers and exposing the peaks and valleys of provincial isolationism.