a theater lounge, with a wall of windows, armchairs, and small tables
The Music Box lounge, where trivia is hosted. Courtesy Music Box Theatre

I thought I could’ve been a contender. But all too soon, I was knocked out at the fun but challenging event known as Music Box Trivia and Brunch. It’s held every Sunday in the Music Box Theatre’s lounge from 1–3 PM, but get there early because people start claiming seats just after noon. It’s BYOB—and the “B” is brunch. People bring in bagels and sandwiches from Steingold’s next door, but you can get the theater’s popcorn or movie-inspired cocktails at the lounge bar. 

Hosts and film aficionados Carmel Companiott, Alexsandra Gomez, and Kimberly Villanueva explain the rules to the teams (six people max). There are six categories: actor spotlight; director spotlight; visual round (stills from movies, sometimes extreme close-ups that make it challenging); audio round (a brief clip); runner up’s choice; and wildcard, where the hosts pick. These aren’t questions from a trivia book—the hosts interject funny, personal asides into the questions. Themes and clues are shared in advance on the @musicboxtrivia Instagram page. First prize isn’t a one-way ticket to Palookaville but a $25 gift certificate to Steingold’s. Other prizes include tickets, posters, and rights to name a category. 

“We’ve created a nice community of people who are interested in movies and trivia,” says Gomez. “But we invite new people to come out.” 

When I attended, my team of “Duke and Duke” scored only 24 out of a possible 60 points. The nice (and smart) guys at our table offered to team up, but we foolishly declined. Despite the defeat, it was fun, so I’ll be back.

Music Box Theatre
3733 N. Southport 

Best of Chicago 2022 is presented by