Chez Panisse’s Alice Waters discusses her dedication to local, seasonal food and her new book, The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes. For a full schedule of her Chicago events, see our blog The Food Chain at chicagoreader.com. a 2:30-5 PM, Northwestern’s Thorne Auditorium, 375 E. Chicago, chicagocooks.com, $10.
Be your own vintner: At the Bin 36 Harvest Festival you can create a personal cabernet sauvignon blend from Beckman Vineyards juices. After stopping at the aroma station, blending station, and design station (to create a label), participants get to taste their creations and have the option of ordering bottles of them. a 1-4 PM, Bin 36, 339 N. Dearborn, 312-755-9463 or bin36.com, $36.
At Osteria Via Stato’s Swine & Wine prix fixe dinner, wine director Adam Seger introduces his baconcello, which he describes as “indescribable, like an infused vodka that’s both smoky and a bit sweet.” It will be served as an aperitif to a pork-packed five-course meal with wine pairings, featuring pork confit crostini, Italian pork
sausage with black lentils, risotto with house-cured bacon, pasta with a wild boar Bolognese, and pork chops from Gunthorp Farms. Apparently, and perhaps thankfully, there’s no pig in the dessert, an almond cake with wine-poached pears and vanilla gelato. a 6:30 PM, Osteria Via Stato, 620 N. State, 312-642-8450, $69. –Julia Thiel
Conceived by local artist and writer Hugh Musick and scored by former Chicagoan Eric Roth, today’s one-off performance by the Clark Street Bridge Percussion Orchestra will transform the bridge into an enormous musical instrument: as part of Chicago Artists Month, roughly 60 percussionists will play its steel structure with drumsticks and rubber-tipped mallets. a 1 PM, Clark & Wacker (at the river), 312-744-6630. F
Music journalist Mitch Myers, nephew of poet Shel Silverstein, reads from his book The Boy Who Cried Freebird: Rock & Roll Fables and Sonic Storytelling as part of the Old Town School series Spin Night. He’s adapted bits of the book’s material for NPR’s All Things Considered, and he’ll play some of those clips too–here’s hoping for “There’s Just Something About That Cowbell,” his response to Christopher Walken’s infamous Saturday Night Live sketch. a 6:30 PM, Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln, 773-728-6000. F
The Chicago Composers Forum presents John Cage’s anarchic multimedia extravaganza Musicircus, which the composer described with the slogan “You won’t hear a thing; you’ll hear everything.” The four-hour spectacle involves more than 500 artists and musicians–tap dancers, singers, circuit benders, jugglers, taiko drummers, even a Furby playing a shofar. Of course some of Cage’s works will be presented as well, among them Credo in Us (for prepared piano) and Water Walk (for instruments including bathtub, blender, and unpowered radios). The lecture Art Is Life: An Introduction to John Cage and His Musicircus starts at 11 AM. a Noon, Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 312-744-6630 or musicircus.chicagocomposers.org. F –Areif Sless-Kitain
Jeff Garlin will appear at the Music Box for screenings of his new comedy, I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With. It’s about a middle-aged loser whose fortunes begin to improve after he meets ice cream parlor waitress Sarah Silverman. a Fri-Sat, 7:20 and 9:40 PM, Music Box, 3733 N. Southport, 773-871-6604, $8.75.
The Irish American Heritage Center will screen Shalom Ireland (2003), Valerie Lapin Ganley’s hour-long documentary about Jews of the Emerald Isle, to be followed by a concert of klezmer and traditional Irish music. a 8 PM, Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, 773-282-7035, $5.
Betsy Bromberg, a special effects supervisor on The Terminator, will appear at the Gene Siskel Film Center for the Chicago premiere of her experimental feature A Darkness Swallowed. a 6 PM, Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, 312-846-2600, $9. –J.R. Jones
It’s the play that won’t go away. The House Theatre of Chicago’s re-remount of the sparrow re-reopened last night after stints at the Viaduct and Steppenwolf, all within the year. And this time they’re airing TV ads. a Through 12/31: Wed-Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 5:30 and 8:30 PM, Sun 3:30 and 6:30 PM, Apollo Theatre, 2540 N. Lincoln, 773-935-6100, $34.50-$49.50.
They’re not offering to wash your car, but Victory Gardens Theater will babysit so you can take in a play. The theater’s educational staff will keep the small fry from 5 to 12 years old busy with games, storytelling, and treats at this kick-off of their FAMILY SATURDAY SERIES while the parents catch the matinee performance of their swashbuckler The Defiant Muse. Reservations are required, and there’s a five-play subscription package available. a 5 PM, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln, 773-871-3000, $45 for the play, $5 fee for each child. –Patrick Daily
T.J. Miller has joined the long list of local comedians who’ve jumped to the small screen. Miller, of the local stand-up collective Blerds, is a cast member of the new ABC sitcom Carpoolers, which premiered October 2. a Tue 7:30 PM.
The second season of Sports Action Team, produced by the local Towers Productions, continues tonight after debuting on NBC last month. Several Chicago-based improvisers are featured on the mockumentary-style show, which follows questionably competent sportcasters as they interact with real-life professional athletes. a Sun 11:45 PM (following Sunday Night Football). –Ryan Hubbard
Alex Jovanovich presents The Loveliness Workshop: A Performative Endeavor, an afternoon of collaboration (open to artists of all kinds) exploring what he calls the “seditious” subjects of beauty, sincerity, sentimentality, and love. a 2-5 PM, Link’s Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield, 773-281-0824. F
Signature Hubbard Street dancer Cheryl Mann, who says it’s been a wonderful challenge to be “silly, passionate, strong, and vulnerable all in one night,” retires at the age of 34, performing for the last time in Rassemblement, Sechs Tanze, and the duet Passomezzo. a 3 PM, Harris Theater, 312-850-9744, $25-$85. –Laura Molzahn