Savage Garden of Love

When acerbic sex columnist—and Chicago native—Dan Savage (Savage Love) headlines a Valentine’s bill, you know not to expect the usual starry-eyed hearts-and-flowers tribute. In No Love for Love, local writers, musicians, and poets opine on a little thing called love—or the lack thereof. Performers include crime writer Kevin Guilfoile and singer/guitarist Naomi Ashley, who recently released the album Love and Other Crap. The show takes place 8 p.m. Monday the 11th at the Apollo Theater (2540 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-935-6100). Tickets run $20 to $50, and all proceeds benefit the Poetry Center of Chicago.

Best Bets for Things to Do This Week


    Love is a Battlefield
    photo by Beth Cummings
  • Take out a little aggression without actually hurting anyone: At Love is a Battlefield: Pool Noodle Smackdown—a benefit for the all-female, sword-wielding theatre troupe Babes With Blades—participants battle it out with pool noodles. Doors open 6:30 p.m. Tuesday the 12th at Theatre Building Chicago (1225 W. Belmont Ave.; 773-880-0016). Tickets are $20 in advance; $25 at the door.


  • Nora Dunn helped revitalize Saturday Night Live during its mid-eighties Renaissance; now she returns to her hometown to direct Augusta at American Theater Company (1909 W. Byron St.; 773-929-1031). The dark comedy takes a shot at the American dream with a plot that pits coworkers from a housekeeping service against one another. Tickets range from $20 to $35, and the show runs through March 2nd.


  • If every talk show came with a side of booze, even Carson Daly might be tolerable. Syndicated columnist Mark Bazer (RedEye) launches his new monthly gabfest, The Interview Show, at local watering hole The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia; 773-227-4433) 6:30 p.m. Friday the 8th with guests as varied as Lifeway Foods president Julie Smolyansky and Schadenfreude member Justin Kaufmann. Admission is $5.


  • Looking for love—or maybe just a fancy vacation? Local bachelors and bachelorettes have assembled biddable packages (think passes to a Hollywood première and trips to Paris; one note: the singletons aren’t necessarily part of the deal) for the annual Dream Date charity auction benefiting the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation. The bar opens at 6 p.m., and bidding begins at 7:15 p.m. Friday the 8th at Park West (322 W. Armitage Ave.; 312-251-7827). Tickets are $55 in advance, $65 at the door. And if you’re on the market, find out how to nominate yourself for Chicago’s annual singles issue at


  • Chicago magazine contributor Victoria Lautman chats up the Pulitzer-nominated author Russell Banks about his new novel, The Reserve, during the final season of the Writer’s on the Record series, 11:45 a.m. Sunday the 10th at Lookingglass Theatre (821 N. Michigan Ave.). Admission is free, but reservations are recommended: 312-832-6788.


  • This year marks the Garfield Park Conservatory’s 100th birthday, and what sweeter way to kick off a centennial than with fistfuls of chocolate? Delight in the sweet stuff at the ninth annual Chocolate Fest (300 N. Central Park Ave.; 312-746-5100), 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 10th, with samples, pastry demos, and a quick lesson on how goodies go from trees to candy. Admission is $1.