Chicago Agenda: Tuesday, December 10
Artsy toy shop and gallery welcomes the fantastical beasties of illustrators Travis Lampe and Jon MacNair
Now settled into their brand new Lincoln Park digs, the team at Rotofugi Gallery (2780 N. Lincoln Ave.) is marking the occasion with two shows filled with things that go bump in the ever-lengthening night. In Chicago artist Travis Lampe’s The Cult of Chauncy, shambolic, Lovecraft-approved horrors collide with a sugary cartoon color palette that wouldn’t be out of place in the latest episode of Adventure Time. His beasts contrast with the black-and-white fantasias found in Portlander Jon MacNair’s At the Hour of Sleep. Featuring horned mystics, arcane symbols, and monster-filled landscapes, the india-ink illustrations tap into the ongoing Dungeons & Dragons campaign that rages in our collective subconscious. (Free; 11 a.m.–7 p.m. daily through Sunday, January 5)
Bruce Dern and Will Forte grapple with (potentially mythical) millions in this film from Sideways director Alexander Payne
Turns out there is life after MacGruber. With Nebraska, comedian Will Forte becomes the latest Saturday Night Live alum to attempt the jump into more dramatic work. He assumes the role of David Grant, a put-upon son tasked with dissuading his bull-headed father (played to irascible perfection by Bruce Dern) from chasing down the million-dollar payout promised by a dubious mail-in sweepstakes. Director Alexander Payne (About Schmidt, Sideways) handles the film’s exploration of family, duty, and debt with his usual bittersweet humor, and critics have taken notice accordingly: Nebraska earned Dern the Best Actor award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and helped Forte snag Best Supporting Actor honors from the National Board of Review. Check it out at one of today’s six showings at Landmark Century Centre Cinema (2828 N. Clark St.) in Lakeview. ($9 for matinees, $11.50 for evenings; rated R; buy tickets here)
Snag a quick round of Settlers of Catan or other tabletop favorite at this Bucktown game emporium’s weekly game night
In the world of holiday gift giving, a board game is the perfect way to say “I would love to spend time with you in a heavily structured, rules-based competition.” At Bucktown’s Cat & Mouse Game Store (2212 W. Armitage Ave.), you can test out these potential presents during the shop’s weekly game night. Challenge your wits with a sample round of games both classic and groundbreaking, from old standbys like Settlers of Catan to newly discovered favorites curated by the shop’s expert staff. Those same game masters will be on hand to answer questions and make recommendations, but you don’t have to limit yourself to the shop’s (admittedly thorough) stock—guests are encouraged to bring games from home, turning the shop into equal parts store and hangout. (Free; 6:30–10 p.m.)
Image courtesy of Rotofugi Gallery.