Thursday, April 24, 2008

Samantha Ronson shakes up local scene


Last week we had cougar drama and an earthquake. Now how can we possibly top that excitement?!


Sexy new boutique Hotel Sax (333 N. Dearborn St., 312-245-0333) celebrates getting props on Conde Nast Traveler's 12th annual Hot List with a complimentary champagne event from 7-9pm. Immediately following, rock star deejay Samantha Ronson cranks out the hits during her monthly residency at hot hotel lounge Crimson. 9pm-2am. No cover.

Today is the 15th anniversary of Dining Out for Life in Chicago, the single largest HIV/AIDS benefit in America with 43 restaurants in the United States and Canada participating. Il Covo Restaurant & Lounge (2152 N. Damen Ave., 773-862-5555) does its part with an appearance by WGN's Dean Richards. Proceeds from dinner and drink sales benefit the organization.

Scotch lovers should RSVP immediately to for tonight's single malt scotch whiskey tasting at J Bar (610 N. Rush St., 312-660-7200). The VIP complimentary tasting occurs 9-10pm, featuring The Glenrothes Scotch Whisky. Immediately following, you'll be able to chill out to deejay Jesse de la Pena, who's accompanied by a percussionist or saxophonist. 10pm-2am. No cover; RSVP necessary.

There's a lot of well-deserved hype surrounding Kid Sister, a local-bred artist who's made a name for herself by touring with Kanye West and also performing at Lollapalooza, Pitchfork Music Festival, Coachella and South by Southwest. She'll do a live, late-night set at Underground (56 W. Illinois St., 312-644-7600) with Flosstradamus, a DJ duo with a solid Chicago following. 10pm-4am. $20.


After Dark, the Art Institute's (111 S. Michigan Ave., 312-575-8000) popular after-work series, returns with a photography exhibition by the West Coast's Ed Ruscha. Also included in the event are live performance stylings by Collaboraction, appetizers, cash bar and DJ Daisy O'Dell (also from LA). Hosted by my pals over at UR Chicago magazine. 6-10pm. $15 for Art Institute members; $20 general admission.

The Bowler Hat Art Party, the official opening night party of Artropolis/Art Chicago, is hosted by Factio Magazine. Guests will get to view multimedia works by local art royalty like JC Steinbrunner, Christine Scott, M5 and Neftali Centeno as they mingle with cocktails and appetizers. Taking place at En-Vent, 344 N. Ogden Ave. RSVP to 8-10:30pm. No cover, but RSVP necessary.

The HotHouse (3111 N. Western Ave., 312-957-6073) continues to burn up every weekend in its new home. They're hosting an African and Latin dance party featuring popular seven-piece Brazilian band Chicago Samba for a special performance. Wherever Chicago Samba plays always sells out, and for this event, during intermission, Edilson Lima will give samba dance lessons. 10pm. $10.

New entertainment show "24/7: Secrets of the City" tapes an episode at Plan-B (1635 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-252-2680), and if you've got TV dreams, you'll want to make it. Complimentary cocktail reception 9-10pm, and the party goes on until 2am. "24/7" airs every week on NBC-5 right after "Saturday Night Live." No cover.


Can't wait for Kentucky Derby Day next week?! hosts Illinois Champions Day, a daytime party featuring local celebrity athletes, including former Bears star Shaun Gayle, Blackhawks head coach Denis Savard, and former Bulls coach/announcer Johnny Red Kerr. Benefiting the Special Olympics, the event includes a buffet, three-hour open bar and six $100,000 stake races for Illinois-bred horses. The party takes place in the Turf Club at Hawthorne Race Course (3501 Laramie Ave., Cicero, 708-780-3770). Starts at 12:30pm. $40.

The Junior Board of Mercy Home for Boys and Girls hosts Have Mercy! Spring Gala, its annual cocktail party that includes an open bar, appetizers, karaoke, dancing and silent auction. The party occurs at The James (55 E. Ontario St.) 8pm-midnight. Purchase tickets at for $85-$125.


A host of local culinary stars will be on hand for Charlie's Angels, an event hosted by Common Ground to support underprivileged children. Bill Kim (Le Lan), Mindy Segal (Hot Chocolate), Graham Elliott Bowles (Graham Elliott), Elizabeth Dahl (Boka) and Giuseppe Tentori (Boka) are all Charlie Trotter's alumni and will showcase their skills for a six-course dinner paired with wines. Kendall College Dining Room, 900 N. Branch St., 312-752-2692. 6pm. $125.