Shen Yun is the first company to present classical Chinese dance to the world on a large scale. Based in New York, it has taken the globe by storm, performing in over 100 cities.
From May 10-12, Shen Yun
returns to Chicago with four performances at Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W. Randolph)
Through dance and music, Shen Yun brings to life ancient myths, legends, and historical stories. Bi–lingual emcees introduce each act in both Chinese and English.
Find out why artists and theatergoers around the world are calling Shen Yun "breathtaking," "mesmerizing," "a miracle," and "inspiring."
Tickets are $63–$203. Performances run Fri. May 10, 7:30; Sat. May 11, 2pm and 8pm; and Sun. May 12, 2pm. Info hotline 800.515.3468 and 800.775.2000 for tickets or visit BroadwayInChicago.com.
In keeping with Asian culture, be sure to go to Tamarind
(614 S. Wabash, 312.379.0970) for dinner. The menu covers most of Asia, including Chinese, Thai, Japanese, and Vietnamese entrees.
Chicago welcomes moms and their families to celebrate Mother's Day. Whether your mom is young or is a grandmother, there are things for moms of all ages to enjoy.
Set sail on the distinguished Odyssey
(600 E. Grand, 888.957.2320) or the festive Spirit of Chicago
(600 E. Grand, 888.957.2324) while enjoying breathtaking views of the shoreline and eating delectable food. Moms will be treated to a rose and complimentary glass of champagne or a mimosa. Tickets for the Odyssey Mother’s Day Cruise start at $64.90. Boarding times are 9:30am, 1:30pm, 5:30pm. Tickets for the Spirit of Chicago Mother’s Day Cruise start at $59.90. Boarding times are at 10:30am, 2:30pm, and 6pm. Reservations are required for both.
Chicago has a wide assortment of activates for families on Mother’s Day. Gospel music icon Kirk Franklin teams with the House of Blues
(329 N. Dearborn, 312.923.2000) for a new twist on their legendary Gospel Brunch. Performances are at 10am, 12:30pm, and 3pm. Adults, $40; Kids (6–12), $25.
Does Mom have a little bit of Ireland in her blood? She will like the Mother’s Day Breakfast Buffet at Emerald Loop
(216 N. Wabash, 312.263.0200). The buffet features both Irish and American fare and runs from 9am–1pm. $9.95 with $6 bloody marys and mimosas. Brazzaz
(539 N. Dearborn, 312.595.9000) will also be hosting a Mother’s Day Brunch. Take mom to dine one of Chicago’s finest Brazilian steakhouses. $38.50, 11am–3pm.
After eating, take the family on a walk through Lincoln Park Zoo
(2001 N. Clark, 312.742.2000). The zoo has had several new additions in the last five months. The Moholi Bushbaby was just born in January and two Sichuan takins were born in February and March. Free.
Can’t quite afford to give Mom a Picasso on Mother’s Day? Then give her the next best thing, take her to see Picasso and Chicago
, featuring more than 250 of the master’s works, closes at the Art Institute of Chicago. 10:30am–5pm. Adults, $18; children (under 14), FREE. 111 S. Michigan, 312.443.3600.
Take Mom shopping down Michigan Avenue and State Street. She will enjoy browsing department stores like Macy’s
(111 N. State, 312.781.1000) and Bloomingdales
(900 N. Michigan, 312.440.4460).
Cap off her special day by taking her to see Hershey Felder’s The Pianist of Willesden Lane
at the Royal George Theatre (1641 N Halstead, 312.988.9000). The touching play is about a young Jewish pianist, Lisa Jura, who grew up in Vienna and dreamed of playing in Musikverein concert hall. When Lisa is sent to London to avoid the Nazis, her world is turned upside down and she turns to her love of music for comfort and pursues her dream. It is based on a true story and stars Lisa Jura’s daughter, Mona Golabek. Performance at 3pm, $49.
Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over the French in the state of Puebla in 1852. Today, Chicago has many celebrations of its own being such a culturally diverse city. Start your Saturday at the Cinco De May Parade
on Cermak from Wood to Kedzie. The festivities begin at noon. A great place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a traditional Mexican meal is Su Casa Mexican Restaurant
(49 E. Ontario, 312.943.4041). Su Casa offers a number of appetizers, salads, fajitas and traditional Mexican fare. Their lunch menu contains scaled down portions perfect for a mid-day meal any weekday. Su Casa also offers a number of desserts, including their very own flan. Make sure to order a margarita to get into the spirit of the day! Patron’s Hacienda
(316 W. Erie, 312.642.2400) is another good spot to get some traditional Mexican food. Patron’s has a number or appetizers to snack on before entrées arrive and the restaurant is known for its tacos. Guests will want to sip their signature drinks including the La Tamarita Margarita, a spicy twist on the classic drink.
Su Casa Mexican Restaurant is open Sun.–Thurs., 11am–12am; Fri.–Sat., 11am–1am. Patron’s Hacienda is open Sun.–Fri., 5pm–12pm; Sat., 5pm–10pm.
opens tomorrow at the Lyric Opera of Chicago
(20 N. Wacker, 312.332.2244). The musical is based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs
by Lynn Riggs and takes place at the turn of the 20th century. Audience members follow a high-spirited rivalry between farmers and cowboys in this touching and gripping story about falling in love, dreams and nightmares, and the promise and exuberance of a new land on the verge of statehood.
Tickets range from $42–$153. Performances are Fri.–Sat., 7:30pm; Sun., 2pm; Wed., 2pm and 7:30pm. Additional show times include 8pm, Thurs., May 9; 7:30pm, Thurs., May 16; 2pm Sat., May 11 and 2pm, Sat., May 18.
In sticking with the turn of the century theme, stop at Lloyds
(1 S. Wacker, 312.407.6900) for dinner before the show. The Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired restaurant offers an extensive wine list and a number of delicious entrées.
Hold on to your hats and get ready for “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” for this year’s Kentucky Derby. If you can’t make it to Churchill Downs this year, a number of Chicago bars are offering specials and race events will be showcased. American Junkie
(15 W. Illinois, 312.239.0995) is offering hand–crafted Mint Juleps for $8 and a special limited Derby menu including Pork Belly Sliders and a number of flatbreads on which to snack. Guests are invited to come dressed in their derby best for the Kentucky Derby Best Dressed Male and Female. Another Kentucky classic to try is an Old Fashioned at The Glunz Tavern
(1202 N. Wells, 312.642.3000). This signature drink features bourbon whiskey, Angostura Bitters, a sugar cube, maraschino cherry and an orange slice served on the rocks. Legend says it was first named in Louisville, Kentucky, so it’s relevant to Derby festivities.
Chicago locals and even transplants have a lot of city pride and the folks at Municipal Bar + Dining Co.
know it. Step inside this River North bar and eatery and immerse yourself in the industrial atmosphere. The decor is Chicago and CTA-inspired. Paired with over-sized booths and tables, it will make locals and visitors alike feel right at home. Many cocktails are named after Chicago neighborhoods and the menu is separated into sections by city departments, for example, "Department of Environment" lists all of the salads offered.
Vodka drinkers will enjoy the "River North" one of the most popular drinks. It falls on the sweeter side of the spectrum with strawberry puree, sparkling rose, St. Germain and a blend of other flavors. Whiskey drinkers should indulge in the "Bridgeport."
The fried calamari is a good option under the "Department of Fire: Hot Apps." Order it grilled or fried, with three savory dipping sauces. The marinara sauce is garlicky and the aioli sauce has the perfect blend of flavors. Those with more traditional taste buds will enjoy the squid with cocktail sauce.
"The Department of Buildings" boasts a number of great sandwiches. Some favorites include the Steak, which includes 6oz. of filet beef, caramelized onions, bib lettuce and whole grain mustard. Seafood lovers will enjoy the scrumptious Lobster Roll. The brioche bun is stuffed with lobster tail, lemon aioli, herbs and shallots.
If guests are still hungry, they can check out the "Department of Recreation: Desserts." The Chocolate Chip Cookie is gooey and paired with ice cream, caramel and chocolate sauce. Had Municipal been established in 1893 during The Columbian Exposition, this cookie would have won a prize.
Municipal Bar + Dining Co. is offering a number of new menu items for the upcoming warmer months. Try the decadent duck sliders with lettuce, bacon and guacamole. The combination of crispy lettuce and bacon pairs well with the tender duck. The creamy guacamole adds just a enough bite to the mini sandwiches giving them a little something extra. Try those or the Pork Belly Tacos beginning May 1.
Whether guests are visiting from the north side, the south side or flew in from Timbuktu, all are certain to enjoy the delicious fare, superb drinks, attentive service and welcoming atmosphere.
Municipal Bar + Dining Co. is open Mon.–Fri., 11am–2pm; Sat., 10am–3am; Sun., 10am–2am. 216 W. Ohio, 312.951.2125. MunicipalBar.com
Ever wonder what this marvelous city looks like from a birds-eye view? Wonder no more after going to Skydeck Chicago
at Willis Tower (233 S. Wacker, 875.9447). The Ledge is on the 103rd floor and offers guests a unique view of Wacker Driver and the Chicago River. The Ledge is a balcony with a glass floor extending four feet outside of the tower and the ability to see 50 miles away over four states. Guests can challenge themselves with the interactive Chicago trivia game, and marvel at the scale of the city. Guests are also invited to explore Chicago with the interactive touch screen activities and exhibits and experience a nine–minute movie telling the story of Chicago’s rise to the top of the architectural world.
Skydeck is open everyday from 9am–10pm. General admission for Adults, $18; Kids (3-11), $12.
(Image courtesy of travelmint.com)
Pops for Champagne
has been helping Chicago locals and visitors celebrate milestones for more than 30 years. Conveniently located in the River North entertainment district, this landmark offers exquisite food and beverage offerings and genuine professional staff. This upscale champagne bar offers nearly 200 champagnes and sparkling wines. Selections change weekly and sometimes even daily. Their chef offers a seasonal menu of champagne–friendly small plates and sharable items including oysters, caviar, a cheese and charcuterie selection and desserts. The Dan Effland Trio performs live jazz at 9pm every Sunday through Tuesday. Pops is the perfect place to gather for social events or a night on the town when visiting Chicago for business or leisure travel.
Open Sun.–Fri., 3pm–2am; Sat., 1pm–2am. Reservations are available for parties of 8 or more. 601 N. State, 312.266.7677.
(230 W. Kinzie, 312.464.9544) is a place one can feel guilt-free when eating at. This popular River North eatery and bar offers cocktails, beer, wine and delicious fare. The cocktail menu boasts a large selection of gins and wine drinkers especially will revel in the solid selection available. When going for dinner, be sure to bring a friend with the same tastes. The portions are large but all of the food is delicious, so it's nice to try several different dishes. The Classic Caesar salad with perfectly smoked salmon is a great starter and pairs well the with Garlic Aioli French Fries. The Truffle Pecorino Pasta and Pork Belly with persimmon and spiced farro are two other winners.
Gilt Bar is great place for a night out with a group or for a date. The ambience is busy, there is a lot going on, but the music isn't overly loud and the lighting is flattering, but not too dark. As part of the HOGSALT
group, Gilt Bar works with only the finest ingredients and their team of chefs expertly combine them to create decadent combinations that stand out.
Gilt Bar is open Mon.–Thurs., 4:45pm–11:30pm; Fri.–Sat., 4:45–12:30am; Sun., 4:45pm–10:30pm. Kitchen closes 30 minutes early each day.
Hershey Felder’s The Pianist of Willesden Lane
is the story of a young Jewish pianist, Lisa Jura, who grew up in Vienna and dreamed of playing in Musikverein concert hall. When Lisa is sent to London to avoid the Nazis, her world is turned upside down and she turns to her love of music for comfort and pursues her dream.
The play is based on a true story and stars Lisa Jura’s daughter, Mona Golabek. The production is adopted from the book The Children of Willesden Lane
, written by Golabek and Lee Cohen. The Chicago production follows successful runs in Los Angeles and Boston. The Pianist of Willesden Lane
opens Fri., April 19 at The Royal George Theatre (1641 N. Halstead) and runs through Sun., May 12. Performance times are: Wed. and Thurs., 7:30pm; Fri., 8pm; Sat., 2pm and 8pm; Sun., 3pm. Tickets are $44 on Wed. and Thurs., and $49 on Fri., Sat., and Sun. Call 312.988.9000 or visit theroyalgeorgetheatre.com