Best of Wild Chicago, no. 312: Nightlife

Episode 312 of Wild Chicago explores various scenes of Chicago's nightlife. Host Ben Hollis visits a number of culturally diverse nightlife hangouts, in addition to a poetry open mic night and live piano karaoke.

00:11Copy video clip URL Production credits displayed.

00:31Copy video clip URL WTTW Chicago opening graphics.

00:35Copy video clip URL Ben Hollis, host of Wild Chicago, sits at the “Wild Chicago Field Desk” in an abandoned field, shaving his face in preparation for a night out in Chicago’s nightlife.

00:59Copy video clip URL Opening to Wild Chicago, montage of Ben Hollis’s introduction and clips of various scenes around the Chicago area.

02:05Copy video clip URL “Club Eldorado.” Friday night dancing at Club Eldorado (5704 W Chicago Ave).

04:29Copy video clip URL “Moscow Nights.” Hollis visits Moscow at Night (3058 W Peterson Ave), which features he says, “Russian food, Las Vegas-style entertainment.” A large stage and dance floor is in the middle of the club, with dining tables outlying along its perimeter. Traditional Russian melodies are danced to and sung by performers. The evening’s drink special, according to a sign, is a “Black Russian.” Other dancers in varied colorful outfits are shown performing their routines on the stage.

06:48Copy video clip URL “Poetry People.” At Weeds Tavern (1555 N Dayton St.) weekly poetry open mic night. Various poets from the audience come to the stage and read poems aloud. The bar is small and dimly lit and shoes can be seen hanging from the ceiling.

08:22Copy video clip URL “Arabian Club.” Alkhayam restaurant and lounge (2326 W Foster Ave). In a spacious banquet-style room, long rectangular tables draped with white tablecloths spread out where diners enjoy large platters of Mediterranean style food. A stage is set up at the center of the room in front of a floor to ceiling mural depicting Middle Eastern architecture and lush foliage. Musicians play percussion and string instruments while performers come to the stage and wooden dance floor to sing traditional songs and dance.

10:55Copy video clip URL “Night Spot.” At Phyllis’ Musical Inn (1800 W Division St), small upcoming bands play in a relaxed, dive bar setting with minimal stage production.

12:57Copy video clip URL “Really Big Show.” In the style of Ed Sullivan’s “Really Big Shew,” Lounge Ax (2438 N Lincoln) hosts a bricolage of live performances and lounge acts. Hollis sees Billy’s Orchid Show, a performer who dons the personage of a freewheeling country singer, in addition to a man who escapes from a straight jacket and two rodeo performers who do lasso tricks.

17:11Copy video clip URL “Piano Bar Jo.” Joann Piano Bar (751 N Clark St.) where the standards of vocal jazz can be sung by anyone from the audience with a live piano. A crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling, and movie posters like Gone With the Wind cover red painted walls. Several audience members sing popular tunes and the audience joins in revelry.

20:34Copy video clip URL “Out of Africa.” Moulibet, an Ethiopian restaurant with a reggae bar next door (3521 N Clark). Kieth Eric and Waterhouse reggae band perform while diners enjoy authentic Ethiopian food.

23:50Copy video clip URL “Gypsy Club.” Miomir’s Serbian Club (2255 W Lawrence). A yellow-lit stage hosts various performers who sing traditional songs, backed up by a live band. Diners sit around the stage along tables that are covered in red cloth.

27:00Copy video clip URL Wild Chicago closing credits.



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