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Unbridled

Thursdays, 10:30 p.m.

There are only so many places where you can watch burlesque and unicorn porn under one roof, and the River North "speakeasy" Untitled is one of them. Unbridled, the club's new variety show, is about as bareback as they come. Directed by longtime Chicago burlesque performer Angela Eve, the revamped production now feels like one big love letter to a sexy version of John Waters. Here, the big and bizarre are celebrated alongside wispy pole dancers and creepy upside-down acrobats. Even the ballerina's decked out with a metal strap-on, against which she grates a rotary saw—sparks do more than fly. The hula hooper upstages them all, doing things with a plastic circle that would rival Josephine Baker's banana act. Bring second dates, frenemies. Leave the brosephs behind. —Chloe Riley

Untitled (map)
111 W. Kinzie St.
River North
phone 312-880-1511
Unbridled

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Bally Hoo

Open run: Fri 7 PM

The supper-club floor shows in vintage movies always look like such elegant fun, with Adolphe Menjou sitting ringside in his tux while spunky chorines tap and a smiling tenor croons. I've wondered why something like that couldn't happen now. The people behind Untitled obviously wondered the same thing, and have revived the concept in Bally Hoo. Still, the night I saw this 90-minute, "1930s-style" production, it was more a promising work in progress than a fantasy come true. Richard Strimner had the right voice, style, and application of pomade for his role as emcee; the seven-piece band was clean if not hot; and the four-member chorus line hit their stride doing a cute number about exercise. But the details were often off. Anachronistic belly-dance and musical-saw acts wrecked the mood. The contemporary look of the musicians created dissonance. And while she had some alluring moves, stripper Lady Jack was occasionally betrayed by her costuming. I hope Untitled tightens things up, because this could be delightful. Reader food critic Mike Sula has commented on the dining experience. —Tony Adler $25, food and drink not included, reservations required

Untitled (map)
111 W. Kinzie St.
River North
phone 312-880-1511

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