From beauty to bubbly, retailers and restaurants make it easy to give back in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a slew of specials that benefit local breast cancer nonprofits. Here are a few things we’ll be scooping up:
Things aren’t going so well for one Michigan family. Violet is expecting twins, but the timing couldn’t be worse: Her husband seems a bit lost, her daughter has gone mute and her father’s memory isn’t what it used to be. This family — characters in Noah Haidle’s new play “Smokefall” — could well be the neighbors next door in this oft-surreal depiction of the sweet sadness of life. “Smokefall,” the Goodman Theatre’s newest production, is directed by Obie Award-winner Anne Kauffman and the stellar ensemble cast includes veteran actor Mike Nussbaum.
Joe Mantegna, 65, still vividly remembers his West Side upbringing. “When I was a kid, the L train went right through our backyard,” Mantegna says. “I’d go [out there] and wave to the conductor.” Now Mantegna has a much bigger audience: He’s playing FBI special agent David Rossi on the hit CBS show “Criminal Minds,” currently in its ninth season. “We started strong again this year,” says Mantegna, who rose to fame in the ’80s and ’90s starring in films like “Bugsy,” “Alice” and “Searching for Bobby Fischer.” “I don’t see us leaving anytime soon.”
Protein Bar’s Pump-quinoa treat (pictured above): Fall’s finally here, and with it comes an array of pumpkin-y beverages. Our pick? This blended drink from Protein Bar, which satisfies the need for sweets while packing a healthy, protein-filled punch. $4.39, 352 N. Clark; Proteinbar.com
When planning their Sept. 14 nuptials, Byron Flitsch and Nathan Nally decided not to make it all about them — instead, they were determined to celebrate their family and friends. The pair designed personalized save-the-dates (maps marked with their favorite places and relationship moments in Chicago) and passport-themed invitations (complete with photos of each guest), hand-etched champagne flutes and handmade signature-scented candles.
Although Sixteen in Trump International Hotel is undeniably fine dining, boasting both a Michelin rating and Forbes Five-Star status, executive chef Thomas Lents is working to redefine the concept. He believes in serving upscale, high-quality food, but he eschews the idea that elegance equals stuffy; instead, Lents says he aims to “make fine dining approachable, and break down the stereotypes.”
Chicago native and “New Girl” actor Lamorne Morris wants to say something. He knows it won’t make any sense (unless you’re in the cast of “New Girl”), but he wants to say it anyway: “I want to tell Jake Johnson that he’s real,” Morris says, laughing.
Dear Jenny, I was recently “roasted” by people whom I thought of as close, loving family. The topic? My choices and abilities as a mother. Please understand my kids are not in harm’s way, and are neither malnourished nor misbehaved. I always thought there was some sort of “mom code,” which all moms secretly knew about, where you don’t put your two cents in unless asked. I thought that moms weren’t supposed to be hard on other moms, since we are all just doing the best we can (even if someone else doesn’t agree). I guess I was wrong. How do you handle these situations? — Angela, Batavia, Ill.