Disclosure: I’m frequently invited to try out, witness, and drink artistic greatness. More disclosure: Yes, I know how great this is. Although I’m compensated, all thoughts, opinions, and stoked family members are entirely my own.
Cavalia’s Odysseo is billed as “The Greatest Show Ever.”
Here’s why it totally is.
First off, even if you’ve seen a majestic show under a big top, even if you’ve gotten ‘been there, seen that’ about spectacle in general, you really haven’t seen what the artistic geniuses behind this horse-crazy odyssey are able to do. (We each had a favorite part of the show, but hands/hooves down, mine would be the carousel unlike any we’d ever imagined, combining real and pretend horses, aerialists on silks, and a dazzling amount of speed.)
The 65 horses are the real stars of this show- and I don’t use that term lightly, as the 48 riders, acrobats, aerialists, dancers, musicians, and performers are downright exceptional. But these horses are graceful, beyond-athletic, whimsical and- honest to goodness- sometimes it seems like they enjoy the audience every bit as much as the audience adores them.
This really, really pretty production seamlessly combines stage magic with equestrian arts to the point where you’ll ask your seatmate- “Is that a projection? Or is that real water? OhmyGodthat’srealwater.” (And not to spoil anything, but seriously: wait ’til you see what they do with 40k gallons of recycled water during the finale.)
If you’re feeling the urge to spluge- and I highly recommend this event for that occasion- the V.I.P. treatment in the Rendez–Vous tent includes a gourmet buffet dinner with drinks, beverages and popcorn during intermission, a souvenir, and a post-show tour of the stables to meet the hardworking horses (and maybe high-five some of the two-legged stars as well).
I’m not saying it’ll ruin you for other eye-poppingly gorgeous shows…
…But okay, I might be saying that.
Now extended through April 30th, 2017
at Soldier Field, South Lot, 1410 Museum Campus Drive, Chicago
Not to be all maudlin, but there are many, many times a day when I miss my Dad desperately and wish I could tell him about stuff.
SafeHouse Chicago is that kind of “stuff”
Fans of the original spy-themed joint in Milwaukee, created in 1966 (at the height of the Cold War!) already know how inherently cool this place is. The Chicago locale continues the tradition of utilizing surveillance gear, spy paraphernalia, and more tricks and hidden fun than, well, anywhere else you’ll dine downtown. (Just like the original, Chicago’s SafeHouse is marked by a gaslight and innocuous nameplate. Oh, and you’ll need a password to get in– or perform a (painless, I promise) test.)
The night we checked it out we ended up spying via periscope on other sections of the restaurant, cracking a code for a safe full of treasure, and even pushing a button or two to ensure a cone of silence for a booth in the dining room.
The drinks are fantastic– they know their cocktail game. With names like the Sterling Archer, how can you go wrong? (Trick question: you can’t. It’s got Bulleit bourbon as well as pear and lemon juices. It’s delicious…so I’ve heard.) And as it’s a genuine downtown dining option (mere steps from the Mag Mile), they don’t mess around with their menu, either. (Yes, there are fried cheese curds. Yes, they are awesome. P.J. loved The Station Chief’s Salmon with the Korean BBQ glaze. Gluten-free? Highly recommend The Colombian– a tricked out taco salad “as complex as the cartel.” Danger magnet/taco salad aficiando that I am, I know exactly what they mean. )
Fans of Bond memorabilia? Oh, you’ll like this place. (Ladies- look for Daniel Craig in the women’s restroom. Just…look for him.) And if you’re feeling adventurous- and I guarantee you will be by your second Live & Let Rye- try to leave a different way than you came in. Maybe look for the random phone booth? Then again…do you trust this intel?
(Two super-spy thumbs way up.)
Agent Nora Charles
(Oh, look it up, kids.)
60 E. Ontario, Chicago (<—I can’t believe I just blew their cover like that.)