- Getting the Blues: Here, in the world capital of the blues, you've got your pick of places to feel them, from the touristy but lively atmosphere of Kingston Mines in Lincoln Park, where musicians perform continuously on two stages, to the roadhouse feel of Buddy Guy's Legends, where musicians in town while on tour have been known to play impromptu sets.
- Taking in a Show: The stage lights rarely go dark on one of the country's busiest theater scenes. Chicago is home to a downtown Broadway-style district anchored by beautifully restored historic theaters, the nationally known Goodman Theatre, and, on nearby Navy Pier, the city's resident Shakespeare troupe. Beyond downtown, you'll find a number of innovative independent companies where future stars get their big breaks and the pure love of theater makes up for the low budgets.
- Experiencing Cool Jazz at the Green Mill: This atmospheric Uptown jazz club is the place to go to soak up smooth sounds from some of the hottest up-and-coming performers on the jazz scene, while the club itself is a living museum of 1930s Chicago. The Sunday night "Poetry Slam" is a big crowd-pleaser.
- Watching Improv Come Alive: Chicago is a comedy breeding ground, having launched the careers of John Belushi, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, and Tina Fey through improv and sketch-comedy hotspots such as Second City and iO. The shows may soar or crash, but you just might catch one of comedy's newest stars.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.