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BalletX at Columbia College Dance Center

Posted on September 16th, 2014 by


Clear your mind of all stereotypes and cliches of ballet right now because Columbia College’s The Dance Center is about to make you love ballet if you never did before and make traditionalists appreciate modern ballet.

BalletX – The Dance Center’s 2014-15 Season – Columbia College Chicago from The Dance Center on Vimeo.

Philadelphia’s BalletX visits Chicago with three nights of performances that throw tutu’s to the wind and incorporate modern dance and music to the athleticism and grace of ballet with four different productions. Choreographer Joshua Peugh has two productions in “Valentine’s Day,” an amorous duet inspired by Japanese animation, and “Slump,” which mocks some of the rituals of courtship through jazz and mambo. Jodie Gates’s “Delicate Balance” is a force of nature with ten dancers pushing physical limits. “The Last Glass” from Matthew Neenan uses the music of indie-rock band Beirut as the backdrop of this celebration that “The New York Times” called a “Dance Favorite for 2013.”

BalletX will perform Sept. 18 – 20 at 8:00 p.m. at Columbia College Dance Center located at 1306 S. Michigan Ave. For more information visit

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EXPO Chicago Returns to Navy Pier

Posted on September 16th, 2014 by


EXPO ChicagoNow in its third year as a leading international art fair, EXPO CHICAGO/2014 (The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art) returns to Navy Pier Sept. 18-21.

EXPO is a four-day art event featuring more than 140 leading international galleries and offering diverse programming including /Dialogues, IN/SITU and EXPO VIDEO. Under the leadership of President and Director Tony Karman, EXPO CHICAGO draws upon the city’s rich history as a vibrant destination for arts and culture, helping to define the contemporary art community in Chicago while inspiring the city’s collector base.

Vernissage, the opening night preview benefiting the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, takes place on Thursday, Sept.  18 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets start at $100. General Admission to the exposition is Friday, Sept. 19 through Sunday, Sept. 21 (Fri. and Sat., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m. to  6 p.m.).

Tickets to the exposition are $20 for one day, $30 for three days. Northern Trust is the Presenting Sponsor and United Airlines is the Official Airline of EXPO CHICAGO.

For more information about EXPO CHICAGO and EXPO ART WEEK (Monday, Sept. 15 – Sunday, Sept. 21), visit

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Chicago Hip Hop and R&B at AAHH Fest

Posted on September 15th, 2014 by


Chicago’s own Grammy-award winning rapper Common is presenting a new music festival that will bring together some of the city’s best artists along with a surprise guest.

AAHH Fest is meant to bring unity to Chicago for a day to forget about the strife, struggles, and violence that occurs in the city. You can definitely expect peace and love with a lineup that includes Lupe Fiasco, De La Soul, MC Lyte, Jennifer Hudson, and Jay Electronica. The day’s festivities will be hosted by none other than the iconic comedian Dave Chappelle. AAHH Fest also teases a special guest performer who calls Chicago home. We don’t know who it is but our best guess is that we might see the father of North West take over the stage.

The festival is a partnership between the Common Ground Foundation, the rapper’s foundation, Donda’s House, Kanye West’s foundation, and the Chicago Urban League. The organizations have hired 5,000 Chicago youths to help put on the festival teaching them everything from stage construction to audio engineering to photography and more.

AAHH Fest takes place Sunday, Sept. 21 at Union Park located at 1501 W. Randolph St. For tickets and more information visit

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Concierge Pick: Crisp, Shoreline Sightseeing, and Myopic Books

Posted on September 10th, 2014 by


Gwendolyn Ramsey concierge at the Trump International Hotel & Tower is this week’s concierge correspondent and shares her top three picks for things to do around town.

Constantly flooded with hungry people, Crisp sets itself apart from other Korean restaurants because it offers “Asian fusion cuisine with an American twist.” The service is rather-quick and convenient, and you can have someone from your group hold down the fort at one of the long tables in this Lakeview cozy restaurant.
Try the Buddha bowl, consisting of sweet beef and vegetables on a bed of rice and topped with fried egg. This is the most popular dish, and the menu also includes specialty sandwiches, Korean burritos, fried chicken, and sides like organic rice, kimchee, and magic mushrooms.
2940 N. Broadway

Shoreline Sightseeing has been whisking passengers along Lake Michigan since 1939 on their famous architecture tours. Their tours travel down the reverse-engineered Chicago River and highlight the Great Fire of 1871; the work of famed architects Mies van der Rohe; Skidmore, Owing and Merrill; and Jeanne Gang. Nighttime tours allow for glimpses of lit-up buildings and give passengers a chance to see the whole city. Water taxis connect visitors to the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, and the Museum Campus from one destination to the next. Check out their website for complete information and daily schedule on all tours.
Shoreline Sightseeing Cruises

One of the largest used bookstores in Chicago Myopic’s has three levels including a mezzanine section with reading nooks overlooking the main floor and a basement with floor-to-ceiling shelves. It houses more than 80,000 books with a fiction section that would be the envy of some libraries. Open until 1pm, Myopic Books’ landmark features experimental music sessions every Monday and twice-a-month Sunday poetry reading series. Don’t forget to say hello to my furry friend Leonard the cat; he is the watches over the books.
Myopic Books
1564 N. Milwaukee Ave

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Chita Rivera: A Legendary Celebration

Posted on September 10th, 2014 by

When a multiple Tony Award winner turns 80 years old, how does she celebrate? On the stage, of course.

The original Anita from “West Side Story,” Chita Rivera is blowing out the birthday candles with “Chita: A Legendary Celebration,” a unique solo concert event. Rivera will perform highlights from her illustrious career in theater along with touching tributes to John Kander and Fred Ebb, the timeless music of Leonard Bernstein, Charles Strouse, Jerry Herman, and Stephen Sondheim.

Rivera’s success is unimaginable from a dancer to a Broadway star and true triple threat. “West Side Story” wasn’t the only original Broadway show she appeared in as she was also a lead in the original “Chicago” and in “Bye Bye Birdie.” Even in her 60s she was singing and dancing better than anyone in “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” which she won her second Tony Award with her first being for “The Rink.” Expect to hear songs from all those great musicals from the woman who was also the first Latin American to be honored by the Kennedy Center.

“Chita: A Legendary Celebration” will open Saturday, September 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Moraine Valley Community College Fine and Performing Arts Center located at 9000 W. College Pkwy., Palos Hills, IL. For ticket information visit


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Old and New School at Riot Fest

Posted on September 9th, 2014 by


Photo by Jeff Callen

The kids are back in school, the temperatures are cooling slightly, and the days are getting a little shorter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy one more music festival.

Riot Fest celebrates it’s 10th year in Chicago where it started as a small multi-venue music fest focused on underground punk music and later became so big that they had to move to Humboldt Park, but still kept that punk attitude while bringing bigger acts. This year is no different.

This year Riot Fest welcomes big name acts from the past like The Cure, Weezer, Jane’s Addiction, Wu-Tang Clan, and The Flaming Lips and some from today like Rise Against. You can also find those punk and hard rock favorites like Gwar, Andrew W.K., NOFX, and Taking Back Sunday.

Riot Fest 2013 Recap

New this year is the Riot Fest Speaks panel, which will be moderated by punk icon Henry Rollins and feature members of the controversial Russian punk group Pussy Riot. Furthermore, along with the music you can enjoy the carnival that includes mini-golf, haunted house, lucha libre, chainsaw sculpting, and much more.

Riot Fest takes place Sept. 12 – 14 at Humboldt Park located at 1400 N. Sacramento. For tickets and the lineup visit


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Prost! Berghoff Oktoberfest in Chicago

Posted on September 9th, 2014 by


Chicago’s longest running Oktoberfest has arrived, so get ready for three days of schnitzel, strudel, brats, and beers. It’s a little bit of Munich in the Windy City.

Since 1985, The Berghoff has been hosting their Oktoberfest. The three-day outdoor celebration includes food, beer, and live music. Don’t worry about the short celebration as the typically month-long festival will continue inside The Berghoff Restaurant until October 4.

The Berghoff tries to keep it as authentic as possible with dishes like bratwurst, barbecue chicken, smoked sausage, corn on the cob, Bavarian soft pretzels, and apple strudel. However, vegans and those who eat gluten-free will have options too like quinoa and grilled vegetable salad and German pork stew.

For some authentic German sounds you can enjoy The Johnny Wagner Band daily at the festival. However, there will be some American tunes as well provided by Wedding Banned, The Party Faithful, and Spoken Four.

The Berghoff Oktoberfest kicks off Wednesday, Sept. 10 through Friday, Sept. 12 at Federal Plaza located at Adams St. and Dearborn St. Berghoff Restaurant, where month-long celebrations will take place, is located at 17 West Adams. For more information visit


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Spend a Soulful Saturday Afternoon at Navy Pier

Posted on September 9th, 2014 by

This Saturday, spice up your brunch routine with one of Spirit of Chicago’s Gospel Lunch Cruises, departing from Navy Pier.

With the stunning skyline as your backdrop, kick back and savor the soulful sounds of world-renowned Gospel singer Tecora Rogers and the Chicago Spirituals as you nosh from their all-you-can-eat buffet.

This two-hour cruise along the shores of Lake Michigan makes for an inspiring afternoon getaway that’s suitable for all ages.  The Early Gospel Lunch cruise boards at 11:30 a.m. and docks at 2 p.m. and the Afternoon Gospel Lunch Cruise boards at 3 p.m., returning at 5:30 p.m. Pricing starts at $49.90 per person. For tickets, call 866-273-2469 or book online here.

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Concierge Picks: City Winery, Tete Charcuterie, Slippery Slope

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 by

Karen Farmer, concierge at the Four Seasons Chicago, is this week’s concierge correspondent and shares her top three picks for things to do around town.

The band X as they looked in 1981. Photo by Frank Gargani

The California punk band X is playing a four-night stand at City Winery. They will be playing four of their albums completely through, which is definitely worth seeing especially as an acoustic performance.
City Winery
1200 W. Randolph St.

Tete Platter

Before the show grab a bite at Tete Charcuterie for amazing cocktails and cured meats. Their vegetable salad contains over 20 components and is my new favorite.
Tete Charcuterie
1114 W. Randolph St.

skee ball at slippery slope

End the night with a visit to Slippery Slope in the hot Logan Square neighborhood for amazing cocktails and late-night skee ball fun!
Slippery Slope
2357 N. Milwaukee Ave.

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Chicago Bears Season Opener

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 by


Soldier Field (JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Nope, not Christmas. Football is back, and the Chicago Bears might have what it takes to go all the way this year.

Da Bears open their season at home against the Buffalo Bills, which looks like it will be an easy win for Chicago. As we learned last year the Bears have an excellent offense with wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, running back Mat Forte, tight end Martellus Bennet, and of course quarterback Jay Cutler. If all those guys, especially Cutler, stay healthy it will be a good year. Defense was a big issue last year, but the team made a lot of moves to hopefully fix that. The Bills pretty much only have running back C.J. Spiller.

So will the Bears overcome the struggles they had trying to achieve the NFC North title and be more than an .500 team? Go to Soldier Field and see for yourself.

The Chicago Bears vs. the Buffalo Bills kicks off Sunday, Sept. 7 at Soldier Field located at 1410 Museum Campus Dr. at 12 p.m. For tickets and more information visit

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