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The Drowning Girls

Through 6/6: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM

Signal Ensemble Theatre's "fantasia" on England's notorious George Joseph Smith murders—three brides dead in their bathtubs within weeks of marrying the bigamist swindler—dazzles at first. The brides emerge, gasping, drenched, from separate claw-foot tubs, the only items on Buck Blue’s netherworld steam-room set, then play catch with a bar of soap while describing a dozen women’s murder scenes. It's lyrical, disturbing, and tantalizingly indecipherable. But after that, playwrights Beth Graham, Charlie Tomlinson, and Daniela Vlaskalic endlessly reiterate two ideas: women under patriarchy too often find self-worth only in marriage, and abusive men play on their insecurities. True enough, but 80 minutes of topic sentences doesn’t make a play. Director Melanie Keller largely limits her agile cast to two attitudes: desperate optimism or portentous irony. —Justin Hayford $15-$23

Signal Ensemble Theatre (map)
1802 W. Berenice Ave.
Wrigleyville
phone 773-347-1350
The Drowning Girls

Best Night Ever

Open run: First and third Monday of the month, 8 PM

Stand-up showcase of local comedians presented by Alex Stone, Thomas Brady, Rebecca O'Neal, Sonia Denis, and Sam McHale.

Gingerman Tavern (map)
3748 N. Clark St.
Wrigleyville
phone 773-549-2050

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I Saw You

Open run: Wed 8 PM,

Bruised Orange Theater Company's I Saw You is a charming theatrical interpretation of "I Saw You," "Matches," and "X-Matches" listings from the Reader. Performed in bars, each show features a rotating cast of three actors presenting ads published in the past year, the yearnings of their anonymous characters echoing the banter, flirting, and stares of the patrons. The material is naturally funny--"I backed up your toilet something fierce," "Do you like to churn butter?"--but the actors avoid the trap of easy "sexy" voices and imaginatively embellish the text with a wide range of accents and consistently surprising attitudes (shy to monstrous, robotic monotone to smarmy). —Ryan Hubbard $5

http://bruisedorange.org
Town Hall Pub (map)
3340 N. Halsted St.
Wrigleyville
phone 773-472-4405
I Saw You

This Week's Show

Open run: Thu 9 PM

Weekly stand-up showcase featuring new comedians every week.

http://twitter.com/ThisWeeksShow
Bar Celona (map)
3474 N. Clark St.
Wrigleyville
phone 773-244-8000

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CIC Comedy Showcase

Open run: Sat 10:30 PM

Rainbow Deli headlines a rotating lineup of comedy teams. $10

CIC Theater (map)
1422 W. Irving Park Rd.
Wrigleyville
phone 773-865-7731

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