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Chicago Agenda: Thursday, January 30

BY: Tyler Clark | Jan 29, 2014
Chicago Agenda: Thursday, January 30On today’s agenda: Northlight Theatre brings Tom Jones to life, The Whistler spotlights fan-made cocktails, and Bass Drum of Death shakes down the Empty Bottle. Chicago-Agenda-Thursday-January-29_600c390 “Tom Jones” Northlight Theatre brings Henry Fielding’s picaresque tale of love and social mobility to rowdy life Everyone loves Tom Jones, which is probably his biggest problem. The title character of Henry Fielding’s groundbreaking 1749 novel spends much of his time navigating the attentions of the opposite sex, all the while attempting to remain virtuous enough to court the noble Sophie. Of course, his innate sex appeal is only part of his problem: born an illegitimate foundling, Tom will have to overcome societal bias and familial scheming if he’s ever going to live up to his full romantic potential. It’s a rollicking tale made even more rousing by the lively players of the Northlight Theatre. Tonight, they’ll bring Tom’s bawdy, picaresque journey to life on stage at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts (9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie). You may never look at apples the same way again. (7:30 p.m.; $25+; buy tickets here) The Whistler Friends and Family Cocktail Challenge The Whistler shows of the talents of their friends and regulars during this showcase of fan-submitted cocktails Earlier this month, amateur mixologists from around the city toiled feverishly at their shakers, perfecting the drinks that would catapult them past their opponents and on to cocktail immortality. OK, so maybe the Friends and Family Cocktail Challenge at The Whistler (2421 N. Milwaukee Ave.) wasn’t exactly the Kickboxer-level brawl that we imagine, but the stakes were pretty high. After all, the winning drinks stood to earn a coveted one-night-only spot on The Whistler’s carefully curated menu. Tonight, the bar’s expert bartenders will unveil the winners, giving guests a chance to sample the homegrown talents of their fellow aficionados. Even better, this party has a heart of gold: 25% of the proceeds go to Logan Square charities chosen by the winners. (6 p.m.) Bass Drum of Death, Blasted Diplomats, The Lemons Mississippi garage-rock torchbearers invade the Empty Bottle with two of Chicago’s most buzzed-about bands Bass Drum of Death formed in the genteel college town of Oxford, Mississippi, but the sounds that shred out of the amplifiers was born in the garage-rock hovels of Detroit and San Francisco. Tonight, the stripped-down two-piece rides the latest groundswell of fuzzed-out revivalism onto the stage of the Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Ave.) for the latest stop on their winter tour. However, Chicago music fans might be even more interested in the bill’s two local openers. Still basking in the October release of their debut full-length on BLVD Records, veteran rockers Blasted Diplomats blend muscular riffage with left-of-the-dial melodicism and lyrics perfected during a lifetime of crate-digging. The Lemons are also celebrating a release: Gnar Tapes recently stepped in for the next pressing of 2013’s excellent Hello! We’re The Lemons, whose 13 speedy tracks sound like a Partridge Family tape that’s been left in the sun too long. We mean that as a compliment. (9 p.m.; $10; buy tickets here) Photo by Michael Brosilow