You searched for:

  • [X]Next 30 Days
  • [X]Performing Arts
Start over

Search for…

Narrow Search

Performing Arts Next 30 Days

255 total results

100-Proof Comedy

Mondays, 8 p.m.

Local standups perform. $10

ComedySportz Theatre (map)
929 W. Belmont Ave.
phone 773-549-8080 or 312-559-1212


Action Comedy

Open run: Thu 8 PM

Comics are not always funny—but in those cases, they can be claimed as high art, like The Walking Dead or Neil Gaiman's Sandman. Comics—the other kind—aren't always funny either. They either curl up like dead spiders and disappear beneath a dresser forever, or they soldier on to another open mike. That quick homonym demonstration aside, here's the deal with a new stand-up comedy show happening at Challengers Comics + Conversation on the last Thursday of every month. Action Comedy is a nod to Action Comics, the series in which Superman first appeared, published by what would become DC Comics. The show's produced by a five-boy team of Kevin Brody, Mitch Kurka, Ian Abramson, Jeff Scheen, and Zach Peterson, and joins an already pretty stellar line-up of live programming at the shop. Continue reading >>

Challengers Comics + Conversation (map)
1845 N. Western Ave.
Logan Square
phone 773-278-0155



Through 8/10: Sat 2 and 5 PM, Sun noon and 3 PM

Michael Monteiro Wise's free-wheeling adaptation of Lewis Carroll's unhinged 1865 children's tale transforms Alice from an idle Victorian preteen to a contemporary American young woman bewildered by urban chaos on her first day in Chicago. It's a strained premise, but Nothing Without a Company's decision to stage the piece as an escapade running through the park is inspired, as characters—both human and puppet—appear in the most unexpected places. But while director Anna Rose li-Epstein honors the irrational and nonlinear aspects of Carroll's writing, she disregards its hallucinogenic clarity, leaving her cast to flail through 75 minutes of largely indiscriminate, impersonal, bellicose lunacy. Taylor Dariarow's fuzzily defined Alice has little personality beyond excessive exuberance, and it's never clear why any of us should follow her. —Justin Hayford
Lincoln Park (map)
Cannon, north of Fullerton
Lincoln Park


Alice in Wonderland

Through 8/10: dates, times, locations, and prices vary; see website

Staging Lewis Carroll's well-known tale is demanding, and this Theatre-Hikes show rises to the outdoor (which is to say, sweaty, noisy, variable) occasion: with just a few props and costume pieces, the actors create the sea of tears, the dodo race, the hookah-smoking caterpillar, the grinning Cheshire cat. Alice (the perfectly cast Madalyn Mattsey) of course attends the Mad Hatter's tea party, and is given a baby by the Duchess (when the baby become a pig, it's tossed out into the audience). My six- and seven-year-old companions were enthralled by Alice's wandering journey through this sometimes scary, always surprising world, while I marveled anew at Carroll's intellectual playfulness—his language, particularly his tale of the Jabberwock (recited impressively by Sam Fain), is thrilling, playing with received ideas of rationality, the self, time, and authority. I saw this traveling production on the lawn in Ravenswood Manor, but this month it's moving to the Morton Arboretum, where you'll move between scenes with the actors. —Suzanne Scanlon $13-$19
Morton Arboretum (map)
4100 Illinois Route 53
Other Suburbs West
phone 630-725-2066


Altered States

Through 7/30: Wed 8 PM

A pair of half-hour shows, each starring one man and one woman, share the bill in this slight offering from the Annoyance. In the improvised Flip Flop, all the male roles are played by a female performer (Ashley Thornton), while a man (usually Andrew J. Daniels, but it was Jacob Welch when I saw the show) plays the women. If the switch is supposed to say something about gender, the performances are too bland and unfocused to say it. Get Your Hands Off Me, Chekhov, written and performed by Anne and Greg Taubeneck, features suburban scenes as if written by Tennessee Williams, Chekhov, Shakespeare, Mamet, and Beckett. Cute and corny, it feels like something your wacky aunt and uncle might whip up for their anniversary party. —Zac Thompson $12

Annoyance Theatre (map)
851 W. Belmont
phone 773-697-9693


Andrew Schulz & Carly Aquilino

7/25-7/27: Fri 8 and 10:15 PM, Sat 7 and 9:15 PM, Sun 7 PM

$22 plus two-item minimum

Chicago Improv (map)
5 Woodfield Rd.
Other Suburbs Northwest
phone 847-240-2001


Anna, in the Darkness

7/5-8/2: Sat 10 PM

Dream Theatre's celebrating Halloween year-round at its new Lincoln Square digs by running Jeremy Menekseoglu's classic one-woman thriller weekly between main-stage shows. Megan Merrill embodies Anna, a tortured southern schoolteacher, as fearlessly and unnervingly as she did when I saw this performed in 2012. And the anxiety of being trapped in the basement with her as angry, fanatical townies seek to punish her for "that thing" she did was very real—all the more so when the lights flickered and a brick sailed through the window. The basement, reimagined in a new theater, is a reminder how much of Dream Theatre's magic is in the eerie spaces it creates. The company is already cluttering up this one, and I suspect it will settle in soon with alternate universes more creative than our nightmares. —Marissa Oberlander $20

Dream Laboratory (map)
5026 N. Lincoln
Lincoln Square
phone 773-552-8616


Apes of Wrath

Ongoing: Tue-Thu 8 PM, Fri-Sat 8 and 11 PM, Sun 7 PM

The six spritely, mercurial, wholly engaging performers behind Second City E.T.C.'s Apes of Wrath work overtime to make their show appear to be about something. But just what remains a mystery. And an unnecessary one at that. Press materials describe the two-hour sketch comedy review in vaguely dystopic terms. "In the world of high stakes, we become a more heightened version of ourselves," the PR asserts, "which can sometimes resemble more simian behavior than human." Despite the syntactical tangle, the point seems clear: this will be a series of skits about our baser selves, in which "the dark and light sides of our human devolution" will be showcased. Except for the most part, they're not. Unitard-clad performance artists improvise poetry about the World Cup and cigarettes for inmates at Louisiana State Prison. The Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies, on a collision course, seduce each other by singing about their impending billion-night stand. The attention-span-challenged BuzzFeed staff try to concoct daily lists with social significance, like "The 15 Vegetables That Don't Make Me Greenhouse Gassy." Continue reading >> $23

Buy Tickets
Second City E.T.C. (map)
Piper's Alley, 1608 N. Wells St.
Old Town
phone 312-337-3992
Apes of Wrath

Apocalypse When?

7/10-7/31: Thu 10 PM

A sketch show from the Fun Fun Boys. $10

Public House Theatre (map)
3914 N. Clark St.
phone 800-650-6449


Arguments and Grievances

Open run: first Sun of each month, 8 PM

As the country faces deep, divisive questions about the nature and direction of our shared society, some issues are in perilous danger of falling through the cracks. Phish vs. Insane Clown Posse. Friend Zone vs. Bone Zone. Star Trek vs. Star Wars. Curated by Zach Peterson, this excellent debate series enlists some of the city's funniest underground comedians to hash out the overlooked questions of our day. The lineup and topics rotate each week, but on opening night the comics came doubly armed with hard facts and potent bits. Politicians take note: Showing up to a debate in ICP greasepaint is one sure way to polarize a crowd. On the Juggalo question, there can be no middle ground. —Keith Griffith

Schubas (map)
3159 N. Southport Ave.
phone 773-525-2508


The Armando Diaz Theatrical Experience & Hootennany

Open run: Mon 8:30 PM

A monologist tells personal stories that inspire the improv. $12

Buy Tickets
iO (map)
3541 N. Clark St.
phone 773-880-0199


Asylum Sundays

Open run: Sun 7 PM
phone 708-932-0652

Poetry and performances with live band accompaniment by Verzatile. Includes networking. $10

Le Fleur de Lis (map)
301 E. 43rd St.
phone 773-268-8770
Asylum Sundays

Avenue Q

Through 7/27: Wed-Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 2 and 8 PM, Sun 2 and 6:30 PM

The brilliance of this foulmouthed 2003 Broadway musical comedy (book by Jeff Whitty, music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx) is not just that it skewers a certain long-running PBS kids' show, but that it does so while telling a compelling story, about a callow recent college grad coming to grips with the real world and all the downwardly mobile misfits he meets in his edgy New York neighborhood. L. Walter Stearns packs his production with adept quadruple threats (they sing, they act, they dance, and they work puppets). Jackson Evans earns lots of laughs as the hapless hero who finds himself all the way out on Avenue Q. But the heart of the show belongs to Adam Fane and Daniel Smeriglio, playing closeted knockoffs of Sesame Street's odd couple, Bert and Ernie. —Jack Helbig $20-$59

Mercury Theater (map)
3745 N. Southport Ave.
phone 773-325-1700


Baby Wants Candy: The Rock Musical

Open run: Fri 10:30 PM

Baby Wants Candy—a tight troupe now famous for its improvised musicals—began in 1997 as one of the dozens of ImprovOlympic teams formed every year. Somehow they've avoided the usual dissolution of such groups. More impressive, they've never experienced the artistic conservatism that paralyzes improvisers eager to "do it right"—and reap the reward, presumably, of a career in NYC or LA. Instead the troupe has become the very model of smart, physical, quick-thinking, and just plain silly long-form improvisers; they still play well together and manage to entertain. Inspired by the improbable suggestion "So this is it" at the show I saw, nine actors (backed by the five-member Yes Band) improvised a complicated, hilarious, tongue-in-cheek tale of three partnerships on the rocks--two marriages and a professional relationship--and the narrator who helps bring the couples back together. —Jack Helbig $15

Apollo Theater (map)
2540 N. Lincoln Ave.
Lincoln Park
phone 773-935-6100


Ball at the Savoy

Through 8/3: Fri-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2 PM

Chicago Folks Operetta presents Paul Abraham’s jazz-influenced work, set in 1930s Germany. $35-$40
Stage 773 (map)
1225 W. Belmont Ave.
phone 773-327-5252


Showing 1-15 of 255 total results in this search.