Doyle and Debbie
D-LIGHTFUL Doyle and Debbie return to the Royal George, fresh off a Tuesday-
night spot on Conan.


Don’t-miss picks for Wed 1.11.12 through Tue 1.17.12:


theatre The Doyle and Debbie Show
Four words for this country music send-up: hi lar ee lous. Hot off their 1/10 appearance on Conan (not wholly work appropriate; headphones recommended), the Double D’s return to their oft-extended run at the Royal George, performing their folksy gems (“God Loves America Best”) that call to mind Spinal Tap—if Spinal Tap were a country duo who could actually sing.
GO: Through 3/18. $20–$49.50. Royal George Theatre, 1641 N Halsted.


rock Alejandro Escovedo
Whether he’s playing elegiac folk, orchestral rock, or driving punk, the ambitious Texas singer-songwriter wears his tender and often wounded heart on his sleeve. (Bonus: Get there early and wander across the street to see the Old Town School of Folk Music’s newly opened East Building, an $17 million, 27,100-square-foot space directly across Lincoln Avenue from its headquarters.)
GO: 1/14 at 7 and 10. $24–$28. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln.


jazz Dee Dee Bridgewater
The veteran singer is a natural on the big stage doing big things—here, belting out tunes associated with the great Billie Holiday, as heard on Bridgewater’s Grammy-winning 2010 release, Eleanora Fagan (1915–1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee. The warm, soulful guitarist Russell Malone opens the program with his trio, a stripped-down ensemble that killed it in late October at the cozy Jazz Showcase.
GO: 1/13 at 8. $26–$86. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan.

ALSO THIS WEEK: Hallelujah! The sprawling, swinging Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah returns for not one but two concerts, 1/14–15 at Auditorium Theatre.


classical Chicago Sinfonietta
And speaking of sprawling: The Sinfonietta’s annual tribute to Dr. King features 100 voices from the Apostolic Church of God sanctuary choir, in addition to a premiere by the local flutist/composer/jill of all jazz trades Nicole Mitchell.
GO: 1/15 at 3: $35–$45. Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E Chicago, Naperville. 1/16 at 7:30: $26–$50. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan.


theatre Blizzard ’67
Yes, it’s cold out. But things could be worse: The storm of the century might turn you into an antisocial monster, as it does the four businessmen in the local playwright Jon Steinhagen’s dark comedy, premiering at Chicago Dramatists. While a performance is scheduled for January 26, the 45th anniversary of Chicago’s largest recorded snowfall, we recommend getting tickets for another night. Why tempt fate?
GO: Previews through 1/12; $20. Run continues through 2/12; $15–$32. Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W Chicago.

ALSO THIS WEEK: And for kids and kids at heart: Damon Kiely directs the premiere of Nancy Drew and the Sign of the Twisted Candles, his own adaptation for The Theatre School at DePaul of one of the teen sleuth’s great adventures, 1/14–2/28 at the Merle Reskin Theatre.


Crime novelist Charlie Newton
Charlie Newton

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: the crime novelist and incessant nomad Charlie Newton, who returns to his native Chicago this week to spread the word on his latest novel, Start Shooting. Catch him at Gurnee’s Warren-Newport Library for a reading and book signing 1/14 at 3.

“Friday at 5 a.m. my buddy Bill Owens is picking me up for a hockey trip to Johnny’s Icehouse, where we’ll trade slap shots with the icehouse’s coach, Ken Rzepecki. Then Bill and I will head to Polk & Western Hot Dogs for the best hot dog in the city. I’m practically there every day when I’m in Chicago.

“Properly fortified, we’ll head out to the Hawthorne Race Course for some OTB: We’ll bet the baby-food money on Friday’s card at Hialeah Park, the prettiest racetrack in the world [near Miami]. Even if you lose the occasional wager, the horses look awful good running through the palm trees and pink flamingos.

“The last stop of the afternoon is The Wiener Circle on Clark for a killer char dog. I prefer going before the staff gears up to trade insults with the drunks. I can’t handle that type of verbal abuse.

“Saturday will start with the usual breakfast dogs at Polk & Western, then lunch later on at Pizzeria Uno. I don’t care how many tourists line the block; if you eat sausage and tomato sauce on your pizza, this is where you go. Then I’m off to the library for the book event. I will regale the audience with tales of a life lived outdoors, thank every single person who was kind enough to attend, then invite them all back to The Boundary on Division, where we’ll hang with the novel’s characters, Bobby Vargas and the rest of CPD Gang Team 1269. Yes, these are real folks that let me use their real names and real stories.” —As told to Heather Youkhana


talks Jodi Kantor on ‘The Obamas’
You read our Q&A from Chicago’s January issue with Jodi Kantor, a Washington correspondent for The New York Times and the author of a new book probing the marriage of the president and first lady. And then you read parts 1 and 2 of our extended interview online. And still you want more inside scoop? Get the dish when WBEZ’s Steve Edwards talks to Kantor about The Obamas.
GO: 1/17 at 6. Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State.


Photography: (THE DOYLE AND DEBBIE SHOW) Doug Blemker; (NEWTON) Lisa Law