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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Cheat on Broadway With Chicago

The Second City fancies itself a purer theater town than New York, favoring acting over hype, and tiny gems over $100-a-seat blockbusters. Put that claim to the test by checking out some of this season's most promising shows.

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1. Where to Stay


The James   

Directly above the LaSalle Bank Theater—which hosts Kathleen Turner in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (3/27–4/7)—the new Hampton Majestic (from $149) offers budget rates in the heart of downtown’s theater district. The gold- and marble-heavy Beaux-Arts lobby elevates the property above its Hampton Inn brethren, as do flat-screen TVs and in-room massages and pedicures.

Just blocks from Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile, hip newcomer the James (from $259) offers sexy velvet daybeds and incredible room service from Primehouse, the new lobbyside steak restaurant from the always-dramatic David Burke (owner of New York’s davidburke & donatella). For intermission munchies, skip the in-room minibars: There's a Trader Joe’s across the street.

For higher thread counts, the Peninsula Chicago's suite-style rooms (from $525) have his-and-hers dressing tables and bedside control panels. Take a dip in the penthouse-level solarium pool, and lap up views of the castlelike Water Tower, home to the Lookingglass Theatre (co-founded by former Northwestern student David Schwimmer).


Published on Mar 21, 2007 as a web exclusive.

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