Jason Moran and Ken Vandermark
GENIUS BAR Former MacArthur fellows Jason Moran and Ken Vandermark play
the Green Mill this week.


Don’t-miss picks for Wed 02.02.11 through Tue 02.08.11:


concerts Jason Moran, Ken Vandermark, Jeff Parker, Nasheet Waits
Still bitter about the New York–Chicago matchup that won’t be happening this weekend? Take solace and a spot in the Kuma’s-like line sure to wind down Broadway for this jazz equivalent of a title game: the meeting of two MacArthur musical geniuses (and then some). The brilliant NYC pianist Jason Moran and the veteran Chicago saxophonist and visionary Ken Vandermark trade notes alongside the malleable guitarist Jeff Parker and the nimble drummer Nasheet Waits—one of Moran’s bandmates in his ten-year-old center-of-the-jazz-universe trio, The Bandwagon.
GO: 2/4 at 9, 2/5 at 8. $12. Green Mill, 4802 N Broadway. greenmilljazz.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: Very few seats remain for Wynton Marsalis and Co., 2/4 at Symphony Hall. If you’re feeling lucky, call 312-294-3000. And speaking of lucky, keep those fingers crossed for Muti, take 2, 2/3–19.


theatre The Big Meal
The director Dexter Bullard serves up part one of his two-course February feast (part two, Circle Mirror Transformation, begins previews 2/25 at Victory Gardens). On the table: an ode to definitive moments in family dining by Dan LeFranc, winner of the 2010 New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award. Bon app.
GO: Previews 2/3­–6; $10–$30. Run continues through 3/6; $35–$40. American Theater Company, 1909 W Byron. atcweb.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Obie winner John Leguizamo braves Chicago with the “ghetto version”—his words, not ours—of his upcoming Broadway show. Ghetto Klown runs through 2/12 at the Royal George, with Oscar winner Fisher Stevens directing.


concerts Joan of Arc
No matter which camp you fall into when it comes to this Chicago band—and there are only two: the most devout of lovers and the most venomous of haters—you might be intrigued by this concert’s setup. Herein, the new Joan recruit and free-jazz impresario Fred Lonberg-Holm conducts a long list of recognizable local players by flipping on and off lightbulbs meant to signal the individual musicians. The gig takes its own improvisational cue from Oh Brother, the band’s new album composed of four 20-minute songs (and titled, perhaps, in anticipation of camp number 2’s response).
GO: 2/6 at 9. $10. The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia. hideoutchicago.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: And also at the Hideout, Mark Bazer presents the next installment of The Interview Show, with guests including the (generally less controversial) local musicians Archer Prewitt and Come Sunday, the author Bethany McLean, the City Provisions owner Cleetus Friedman, and the teen fashion-blogger Tavi Gevinson (whose outfit is way better than yours).


film Louder Than a Bomb
Before you cry “Nepotism!” hear us out: Yes, director Jon Siskel is the nephew of that Siskel and, yes, his documentary is screening at said uncle’s eponymous Siskel Film Center, on whose board Jon sits. But the movie in question, Louder Than a Bomb, was named Audience Winner at last fall’s Chicago International Film Festival—and was the first doc in the fest’s history to nab that honor. Codirected by Greg Jacobs, the film follows contestants in Chicago’s annual teen poetry slam, several of whom, along with the filmmakers, will stick around for a Q&A following the last screening each day of the film’s weeklong run.
GO: 2/4–10; see website for showtimes. $7–$10. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State. siskelfilmcenter.org. The 2011 Louder Than a Bomb: Chicago Youth Poetry Festival runs 2/19–3/12; see youngchicagoauthors.org for details.


tv The Chicago Code
See it here first: Fox’s new cop drama—actually shot in Chicago!—premieres 2/7 at 8, but a suburban multiplex hosts back-to-back sneak peeks Thursday, with the added chance to schmooze cast member/strapping rookie detective Matt Lauria. You can’t do that on the couch.
GO: 2/3. Red carpet and mingling at 6; screenings at 7 and 8. Free first-come, first-serve tickets at box office; seating is extremely limited. Hollywood Blvd, 1001 W 75th, Woodridge. atriptothemovies.com


Trib columnist Amy Dickinson
Amy Dickinson

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals (a.k.a. people we like): Amy Dickinson, the syndicated Trib columnist, frequent panelist on WBEZ’s Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!, and half-time local who—lucky dog—is snowed out of town. Consider this What She Would Be Doing This Weekend, If It Weren’t for Snowmageddon 2011.

“I split my time between Freeville, New York, and Chicago, and my apartment in Lincoln Park provides all I want during my weekends in the city. From there I walk to the beach—I especially love it in the winter—and catch the bus downtown, where I always try to visit the Art Institute. While at the museum, I like to pay a call on my great uncle John Steuart Curry’s painting Hogs Killing a Snake, which hangs in a gallery with the work of other Depression-era artists. Then I pop down to see the photography and the Thorne miniatures. My day usually ends with a visit to R.J. Grunts for a burger. I sit at the small bar there, listening in on other people’s conversations.”

NOTE Dickinson’s talk on 2/2 at the Wilmette Theatre, Ask Amy! Relationships 101: A Survival Guide for Parents and Teens, has been postponed due to weather. Check chicagotribune.com/tribnation for updates.


galleries The Peculiar and the Particular: A Conversation Inspired by Ray Yoshida
If you haven’t seen the School of the Art Institute’s exhibition on Yoshida—who, as a professor, provoked the sort of heart-felt gushing rarely heard from students and who, as a Chicago Imagist, straddled the local art scene’s transition from expressionism to pop—now’s the time. Go Thursday, when the gallery owners John Corbett (a longtime SAIC faculty member) and Jim Dempsey (an SAIC grad) lead a discussion on Yoshida, with artists including the Hairy Who member and Yoshida contemporary Art Green sitting in.
GO: Talk: 2/3 at noon. Exhibition continues through 2/12. Sullivan Galleries, 33 S State. saic.edu/exhibitions


Photograph: (VANDERMARK) Mireia Bordonada