Show: Pilobolus "Mining Pilobolus's roots in comedy, Rushes creates a surreal world featuring creeping figures, a mysterious suitcase, and flashing dream images—an ear unlocked with a key, a butterfly caught in a web, a chair with bat wings," writes Laura Molzahn. "Its gentle whimsy is light-years removed from the almost sadistic physical comedy of Walklyndon, also on the bill. Created in 1971 by founders Wolken, Barnett, Lee Harris, and Moses Pendleton, it objectifies the human form in trademark Pilobolusian style, turning a dancer into a teeter-totter. Duet (1992), Gnomen (1997), and Wolken's acrobatic Redline (2009) complete the evening."
$25-$55, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph, 312-334-7777
Dinner: Chicago Curry House "The folks behind Highwood’s Curry Hut didn’t do themselves any favors by hiding Chicago Curry House, a white table-paper Nepalese-Indian spot, on the ground floor of a South Loop building surrounded by residential permit parking. But the menu is virtually identical to the mothership’s—that is, a huge selection of familiar northern Indian dishes and a handful of Nepalese specialties, which emphasize ginger and garlic over the chiles and dairy of the more southerly regions," writes Mike Sula.
899 S. Plymouth Ct., 312-362-9999, curryhouseonline.com
Show: Being Harold Pinter Having seen only a six-minute clip of the performance on Vimeo, Tony Adler writes that he can’t vouch for the artistic quality of Belarus Free Theatre’s Being Harold Pinter. “But that doesn't much matter in this case,” he continues. “I'm recommending it anyway. Belarus is a Soviet-style dictatorship where more than 600 people were arrested last month for peacefully protesting what the New York Times calls ‘apparently fraudulent’ elections. Belarus Free Theatre codirector Natalia Koliada says BFT members slipped out of the country, just ahead of secret police raids, in order to keep a date to mount Being Harold Pinter at New York's Under the Radar Festival. They face charges when they go back. Now, to delay that dangerous homecoming, the ensemble have been invited to Chicago. They'll stage the piece (with English supertitles) at the Goodman Theatre, Northwestern University, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre through February 20. More than a show, this is an act of solidarity for us—and flat-out courage for BFT."
$20, Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, 312-443-3800
Dinner: Mac and Min's "Mac and Min's is a focused if swooning love letter to New Orleans. There are a few unfortunate corny touches, such as Mardi Gras beads and masks on the wall, but the thoughtful complements—chicory coffee in a French press, a complete line of Zapp's potato chips, and the most respectfully rendered andouille-and-chicken gumbo I've slurped outside of the Crescent City—make it a keeper," writes Mike Sula.
1045 W. Madison, 312-563-1008, macandmins.com
Show: ?uestlove "Sorry to crush everyone's dreams, but there's no way any of us is ever going to be a fraction as cool as Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson," writes Miles Raymer. "In fact, even if you disregard everything he did before last year—releasing a clutch of bona fide classic albums with the Roots, playing an untold number of roof-burning live shows with same, backing up Jay-Z for his Unplugged set, producing D'Angelo's Voodoo, appearing on Chappelle's Show, producing a Broadway tribute to Fela Kuti, earning a rep as the best session drummer in hip-hop and R&B, and having one of the most recognizable Afros in pop music, among God knows what other rad shit—you still can't compete."
10 PM, Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 773-549-4140, $20
Dinner: TAC Quick "Andy Aroonrasameruang, formerly of Banana Leaf, and his likable staff probably make it easier than anywhere else to get traditional stuff the way it's eaten in Thailand," writes Mike Sula. "Aside from the regular menu there's a clearly translated Thai menu available by request with almost 40 items you're not likely to encounter elsewhere without a working knowledge of the language — like a salad of shrimp, cashews, and fish maw, sort of a fishy pork rind that soaks up the flavor of the sauce like a crouton. Some were surprisingly rich and luscious for Thai cuisine, like minced chicken sweetened with thick soy sauce, garnished with crispy fried basil leaves, and served over quartered preserved duck eggs."
3930 N. Sheridan, 773-327-5253
Show: The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King "Compensating for the intermittent longueurs and narrative convolutions of the first two entries, the final chapter of Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy ties everything together with a dazzling synthesis of pagan animism, heroic quest mythology, orientalism, Pre-Raphaelite imagery, 1950s sci-fi creature features, and Hollywood war epics," writes Andrea Gronvall.
6 and 9:45 PM, Univ. of Chicago Doc Films, 1212 E. 59th, 773-702-8575
Dinner: Salonica "Reasonably priced home-cooked fare at a cozy corner diner. The black vinyl booths and long counter make it a comfortable place for both getting a quick meal and lounging over a lengthy one. Eggs, omelettes, pancakes, and waffles come with sides of hash browns, ham, or sausage. For lunch and dinner there are deli sandwiches, burgers, fried shrimp, or Greek specialties—gyros, souvlaki, pastichio, and moussaka, all served with a cup of homemade soup," writes Laura Levy Shatkin.
1440 E. 57th, 773-752-3899