Along with their music-inspired décor featuring murals of guitar player Jimi Hendrix and other rock legends, EvenFlow Music & Spirits brings in live jazz, rock, and blues bands to their full-sized stage. To fuel their patrons, the chefs cook a menu of upscale American fare—which has included dressing up grilled cheese sandwiches with short ribs and brioche bread and seared diver scallops with watermelon salsa.
The beaming vertical letters of "C-H-I-C-A-G-O" ascend six stories high on a sign that seems to be the establishing shot for any movie set in the Windy City. Tourists and natives often stand outside snapping pictures of the marvelous marquee, where the biggest names in music, theater, and comedy are writ large under a miniature replica of Paris' Arc de Triomphe. The Parisian aesthetic continues inside The Chicago Theatre’s grand lobby, which recalls the Royal Chapel at Versailles with its gallery promenades. The staircase ascending to the Grand Balcony resembles that of the Paris Opera House, rounding out a French Baroque architecture that would cause Louis XIV to do a spit-take. Inside the seven-story high 3,600-seat auditorium, terra-cotta tiles, crystal chandeliers, and luxurious drapes give audiences visual overtures before every show. As vital to Chicago as hot dogs and mustard fire hoses, The Chicago Theatre was America's first munificent movie palace upon its 1921 unveiling, where it was declared "The Wonder Theatre of the World." Beyond its silver screenings, the theater became a beacon for live entertainment, as artists such as John Philip Sousa, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman filled its first 40 years with oompah and swing. After a multimillion dollar restoration in 1986, the landmark venue remains the heart of art in the city, attracting the world's most popular entertainers to its stage almost every evening of the year.
The 5th annual Waukesha BluesFest celebrates an expansive swath of music and art in two days swollen with 14 prime blues, soul, and roots acts, along with a wealth of locally made handicrafts. The festival plays host to a rollicking roster of bluesy virtuosos, who bend notes like sonic origami under a large festival tent that protects melodies from exposure to ultraviolet rays. Headlining Friday’s septet of song-sluggers, legendary Bluesbreaker John Mayall takes flight at 9 p.m., showcasing the skills that made him a godfather of British blues and Eric Clapton’s emergency contact. Saturday’s parade of 12-bar bolstering concludes with another collection of musical Redcoats, as steam-powered British mavericks Savoy Brown treat fans to sweet hunks of marinated boogie-woogie.