Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind

QUICK FACTS
Name:
The Neo-Futurists present Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind
Location: 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60640
Hours: Friday and Saturday @ 11:30 p.m., Sunday @ 7:00 p.m.
Price: $
Website: www.neofuturists.org/toomuchlight
Phone Number: (773) 878-4557

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Phil and I apprehensively sat down for our first Lyft ride.

“I hope it’s not some creep,” I muttered under my breath.

Lo and behold, it was no creep at all, but rather an aspiring actor from Boston who’d come to Chicago to pursue his career. Lucky for us, he’d begun driving for Lyft to bring in some extra money.

Lucky for us? Why?

Because, to date, I’ve never received such an awesome, spot-on recommendation when asking for “something to cool do with an out-of-towner.”

“Go see Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. Stop at Hopleaf for a few beers before,” he said.

Curious, we took our driver’s advice.

We quickly discovered that Hopleaf is truly a beer-lover’s paradise. With 50+ beers on tap and hundreds of bottled beers, it’s easy to spend hours lost in the selection. But save room for food! Their menu boasts way more than mediocre bar-bites. I decided on the Duck Reuben, and I’m not saying it was a life-changing experience, but… well, yeah, it was pretty life-changing.

Around 10:45 p.m., we headed to the old funeral home where the Neo-futurists host Too Much Light. We were handed vintage baseball cards to secure our entrance (when they’ve run out of cards, they’ve run out of seats) and then we rolled a die to determine how much we’d pay to see the show (yes, really).

TML’s claim to fame is its unique style of presenting its shows. Each night, the ensemble performs 30 shows… in 60 minutes. It’s up to the audience to interact with the ensemble to determine the outcome of the show(s).

No pressure, the Neo-futurists are just like you and me. Except way more outspoken. And talented.

I chatted with two members, Leah Urzendowski Courser and Lily Mooney, to try to figure out how these folks come up with the madness that overflows through doors and windows of the Neo-futurarium.

The women have plenty of theater experience under their belts, participating in improv and sketch comedy, writing and choreographing plays, and working with names such as The Building Stage, Redmoon, The Ruffians and Steppenwolf.

So, what exactly is TML according to those who create it?

Courser describes the show as “fast, physical, interactive, quick and dirty, mind-changing [and] thought-provoking.”

Viewers will walk away with a new appreciation for the theatrical world, and the social commentary portrayed in the shows will leave them aware and in awe.

For Mooney, “TML is a schizophrenic self-destructive ever-regenerating 30-armed nightmare starfish.”

Find out what it will be to you.

Check out the full interview here.

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, Neo-futurarium

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McGee’s 25th Annual Headsuckers Ball

McGee's 25th Annual Headsuckers Ball

PRESS RELEASE
April 23, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
McGee’s Tavern & Grille
(773) 549-8200

McGee’s Tavern & Grille hosts 25th Annual Headsuckers Ball Crawfish Boil
2,000 pounds of crawfish to be flown in, served with homemade jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and rice

CHICAGO – On May 17th, the Headsuckers Ball will return for its 25th year, and whether you’re from the South and craving the unique flavors from home or you’re a Chicago native looking for authentic Cajun fare, you don’t want to miss out on this.

McGee’s will be flying in “more 2,000 pounds of fresh crawfish straight from the bayou” to satisfy your hunger, and will have their usual 20+ draft beers to satiate your thirst.

The crawfish boil is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday and the Cajun cuisine will be made available buffet-style. That’s right, it’s all you can eat! While supplies last, of course.

“McGee’s never fails to deliver an awesome time on events like these. There’s a lot of buildup and anticipation for all of our parties and pub crawls and that’s because, year after year, we exceed the expectations of our customers,” said a McGee’s employee.

At 2 p.m., 8-piece band, Hurricane Gumbo, will begin playing zydeco style music, which blends Cajun sounds with rhythm and blues to create melodies that truly cater to the occasion.

If you’re already sure this is something you don’t want to miss out on, click here to purchase tickets in advanced for $20. You can also buy them at the door for $25.

McGee’s Tavern & Grille, located at 950 W. Webster Ave., is most notably known as the premier Ohio State Bar in Chicago, but it also has plenty of events throughout the year that will rival some of your wildest college days. Included are the “Screw Cupid” Valentine’s Day Pub Crawl, the “Tap Of the Morning” St. Patrick’s Day party and the “Crawl of the Creeps” Halloween celebration.

Looking for an excuse to go out during the week? McGee’s also has great weekly specials including $2 and $3 drafts, half off appetizers, $1 burgers and $1 bottles.

For more information, visit the McGee’s website.

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Three Cheers for (lots of) Beers!

QUICK FACTS
Name: Goose Island Brewery Tour
Location: 1800 North Clybourn Ave., Chicago, IL 60614
Hours: Tours available Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. and Sundays at 12:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Price Range: $
Website: www.gooseisland.com
Phone Number: (312) 915-0071

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If you’re a hands-on-learner, you’d better get your hands on a Goose Island beer before your tour guide starts the learning experience. It’s, uh, for educational purposes.

Goose Island is one of Chicago’s largest and most well-known breweries – you can find their signature beer, 312, hundreds of miles outside of the 312 area code.

Your tour guide, probably a genuinely awesome dude with a big beard, flannel and robust laugh will tell you all about the brewing process. Y’know: hops, yeast, barley…

Oh, you don’t know?

That’s just another reason for you to head into Goose Island and start learning.

After the tour you’ll have the opportunity to apply your newfound knowledge by tasting six different beers, from light and fruity to dark and chocolaty.

Just don’t have so many that you forget your souvenir pint glass. Or do! That’s fine too.

So grab a beer and drink while you think, like the inquiring mind you are.

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Already checked Goose Island off the brewery bucket list? See if any of these tickle your fancy.

Been there, done that? Fine, check out Recipe2Rack. That’ll satisfy you. Like a nice cold beer.

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Wanna Get Away?

QUICK FACTS:
Name: Starved Rock State Park
Location: 2668 E 875th Rd, Oglesby, IL 61348
Hours: Park Office is open M-F, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Price Range: Free
Website: www.starvedrockstatepark.org
Phone Number: (815) 667-4726

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If you’re looking to escape the city for awhile, check out Starved Rock State Park! Watch the video below to get an idea of what’s waiting for you beyond the city limits.

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The End of Hibernation is Here

The great thing about blogging is that everyone can contribute. For readers looking for unique things to do, places to see and food to eat, it can never hurt to gleam this information from multiple sources. Everyone brings something new to the table.

For that reason, I thought it’d be beneficial to introduce a fellow blogger whose ideas you can use in addition to mine in the piece of writing below entitled “The End of Hibernation is Here.”

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If you say you enjoy Chicago winters you are either a liar or crazy.

Agnes Otap, junior at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has spent her entire life in the beautiful, often freezing, city of Chicago. While she admits that winter isn’t her favorite season, she emphasizes the importance of recognizing that Chicago is one of only a few world-class cities lucky enough to experience all four seasons.

Hoping to help others feel a bit less doomed by this particularly damning winter, Otap created “Year-Round Chi,” a blog focused on ways to fully embrace what each season has to offer. Otap believes this is an integral part of the Chicago experience.

In a world of gray slush and boots destroyed by salt, Otap has mustered up the courage to do what only a sparse few manage during these seemingly endless months: she decided to remain positive.

“I’m trying to take a more optimistic approach, and in the process I’m discovering ways to enjoy every Chicago season to its fullest,” Otap said.

She isn’t the type to hide beneath mountains of blankets, only emerging when the sun begins to shine.

For the time being, Otap is focusing on ways to encourage Chicagoans out of hibernation. She hopes to lure readers out of their homes with recommendations such as sledding at Cumberland Woods or board games at local coffee shops.

In the coming months, however, Otap will empower readers to capitalize on Chicago’s warm weather more creatively.

“I hope it’ll be a place to find some great unconventional things to do in the Chicago area,” Otap said.

Readers should take advantage of her expertise. With 20 years of Chicago residency under her belt and hobbies such as synchronized swimming, playing the ukulele and painting surrealist images, her readers can trust that she will supply unique suggestions.

Otap certainly will not recommend destinations such as Millennium Park or Navy Pier.

Thanks to “Year-Round Chi” everyone can breathe a collective sigh of relief because you know that if you have to take one more selfie in the Bean with your friends from out of town your head might finally just explode.

Agnes Otap at Jefferson Park Transit Center, Photo Credit: Sophia Otap

Photo Credit: Sophia Otap

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A Classic “Whodunnit?”

QUICK FACTS
Name: The Murder Mystery Co.
Location: Salvatore’s @ 525 W Arlington Pl, Chicago, IL 60614 (see website for alternative locations)
Hours: Times vary
Price Range: $$
Website: www.TheMurderMysteryCo.com
Phone Number: (888) 643-2583

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Walking into Salvatore’s, one of the restaurants where The Murder Mystery Co. hosts mind-boggling and hilarious dinners, I was pretty confident in my identity. But sometime between getting my mug shot taken and laughing hysterically at the antics of Ooh-La-La, our French maid, I was given a white lab coat and a name tag.

After that, everyone called me Doctor Sarah Dippity.

If you’re looking for something a bit more thrilling than dinner on Saturday night, spice things up with some murder and infidelity.

Largely improvised, you will be in for a surprise regardless of your expectations.

So, loosen up with a drink or four, give in to your new identity and brush up on your detective skills–you’ll need them for this unique and memorable experience.

Hint: The Murder Mystery Co. regularly has deals on Groupon for constantly changing shows at different locations in the Chicagoland area.

The Murder Mystery Co. at Salvatore's in Lincoln Park

UPDATED

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Give the Soul What it Wants

QUICK FACTS
Name: County BBQ
Location: 1352 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60607
Hours: Tues – Thurs & Sun: 11:30 am – 10 pm | Fri & Sat: 11:30 am – 11 pm
Price Range: $
Website: www.DMKCountyBarbeque.com
Phone Number: (312) 929-2528

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The warm and fuzzy feelings you get from eating amazing food are essential for the well-being of your soul.

So, treat your soul right: Go to County BBQ. Even Shakespeare couldn’t express in words the glory that will behold you in your visit, so make my job easier and just go.

The waitstaff is remarkably knowledgeable, the whiskey selection is impressively extensive and the food … the food is mouth-wateringly, mind-blowingly, it’ll-bring-a-tear-to-your-eye TASTY.

After your visit, you’ll reminisce about the brisket, the burnt ends and the sweet potato fries with a texture comparable only to the clouds upon which the County BBQ angels sit.

Those who went with you will reciprocate your disbelief in the existence of such exquisite perfection, and for days it’s all you’ll talk about.

But there’s more good news: The smoked bacon, fried green tomato and pulled pork sandwich doesn’t have to be a mere memory. The tantalizing menu items are so reasonably priced that this place can easily become a weekly destination.

So don’t be shy: Your server will completely understand when you timidly walk through the door a few days later ready for round two.

County BBQ on West Taylor St, Chicago

UPDATED

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