Ivy League Baseball Club believes the best seats in the house aren’t necessarily behind home plate. In fact, in the case of Wrigley Field, they might not even be in the house. Instead, they’re across the street on one of five levels, where fans sink into extra-wide cushioned stadium seats to watch the action from just beyond the center of right field. Like beauty, or a housebroken goat, the fans might be either inside or outside. If they’re wandering the three indoor lounges, which double as spots to host corporate meetings or group events, they’ll enjoy audio-visual equipment and a full-service bar stocked with 16 draft beers. On the rooftop, as many as 205 baseball fans wander a large deck area with food service, luxury restrooms, and a heated bar. Just below, a second outdoor seating area hosts 40 shaded seats and outdoor plasma televisions that show slow-motion replays of players making diving catches or tripping streakers.
For the past 15 years, 8 Count Productions has wrangled skilled pugilists from around the world for exciting bouts of physical power and agility. Windy City Fight Night 21 marks the Chicago debut of Edner "Cherry Bomb" Cherry, named as ESPN's Friday Night Fights Fighter of the Year in 2006. Boasting a 28-6-2 record over his 10-year career, Cherry continues his quest for the junior-lightweight belt and a social situation in which it might be appropriately worn.
Chicago Elevated, run by effusive improv veteran Margaret Hicks, leads curious charges on eclectic group, private, and custom tours of the city. Jaunts lead natives and tourists alike through the city’s oft-overlooked nooks and crannies as Hicks’s jovial voice narrates every step, shedding light on secret areas and easily overlooked historic sites. Her pedway tour sojourns into Chicago’s tiled subterranean antecity, where retailers, restaurants, and mole people mingle. Tours explore sites of famous disasters, visit the ghostly red-light district that once stretched below what is now Printer’s Row, and gaze at downtown’s ornate architecture from the riverwalk.
Stationed in Wrigleyville after college, Hicks accrued the healthy sense of humor and comedic timing that pepper each tour at Second City, iO, and other theaters. Though she attempted a move to New York City, Hicks soon discovered she couldn’t stay away from Chicago’s majestic skyline or the skyscrapers’ subtly receding hairlines. A stint in the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s docent program, as well as acting as a tour guide for six years, arm her with insider’s knowledge that soon transfers to listeners’ brains.
Back in 1974, Lou Conte Dance Studio was nothing more than a twinkle in Claire Bataille's eye. Nearly 40 years and a slew of international acclaim later, the studio has become a pillar of the Chicago dance community. Today, Bataille—who earned the Ruth Page Award for Outstanding Dancer— and her staff lead more than 70 dance and fitness classes every week for teens, adults, beginners, and professionals. Their regular workshops delve into the nuances and history of dance, enhancing the curriculum with focused lessons and special lectures on the dangers of carelessly discarding banana peels.