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100-Proof Comedy

Open run: Mon 8 PM

Local standups perform. $10

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

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23

Through 5/5: Tue 9:30 PM

A multimedia sketch show inspired by the early 2000s. $5

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

Tools

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

Tools

All's Well That Ends Well

Through 5/24: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM

Building on a simple, solid, amusing insight—that Renaissance princes acted an awful lot like mob bosses—director Drew Martin has updated Shakespeare's problem play to the late 1950s and reimagined the king of France and duke of Florence as dons fighting it out a la The Godfather, Part II. Trouble is, Martin slaps on the anachronisms with all the delicacy of a Mafia wife doing her mascara. Costume designer Theresa Ham dresses street soldiers as leather-jacketed greasers, for instance, which is like crossing Pal Joey with Jailhouse Rock. Dialects are similarly indiscriminate, multiplying the confusion created by Martin's decision to retain the Bard's geographical references. The result is nearly three hours of period mush relieved by a few fun performances—notably Rich Logan's as a French king who seems to think he's Christopher Walken. —Tony Adler $20-$30

http://stagelefttheatre.com
Theater Wit (map)
1229 W. Belmont
Lakeview
phone 773-975-8150
All's Well That Ends Well

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Annoyance Film Night

First Sunday 7 PM

Proving its expertise goes beyond live theater, the Annoyance kicks off a monthly movie night featuring screenings of local independent films. Tonight's lineup includes Harry Bauer's The Video Transmissions of the Frequently Captured Buck Pirate, Robert Carnilius's Forever Diamond and McTucky Fried High, and Gerard Jamroz's experimental short We Are the Binary. $2

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

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.
Lakeview
phone 773-525-2508

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Bad Jews

Through 6/7: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM

Josh Harmon's 2012 comedy, set in the aftermath of a funeral. $20-$36

Theater Wit (map)
1229 W. Belmont
Lakeview
phone 773-975-8150

Tools

The Big Yellow Bus

Open run: Sun 9:15 PM

A core cast performs a different type of long-form improv each week, with guests. The actors meet once just before going on, which gives a frenetic unpredictability to their bits and leads to prankish pushing and pulling, but it also produces occasional fumbling to discover others' sensibilities. —Ryan Hubbard donation requested

Playground Theater (map)
3209 N. Halsted St.
Lakeview
phone 773-871-3793

The Bitchfest Club

Through 5/17: Fri-Sun 8 PM

MidTangent Productions’ drag parody of 80s teen movies is as advertised chock-full of "blondes, bitches and belting," with a clever soundtrack of (mostly) 80s hits. When Britney Bland, an outcast at her new high school, reveals her unexpectedly golden pipes, a classic rivalry ensues with Amber Ann, the reigning top singer in drama class. Erin Daly plays Britney’s transformation from wallflower to queen bee with spunk and sass, creating larger-than-life harmonies with Erika Lecaj, who on the night I attended played Amber with evil-diva perfection. As Molly Ringballs, one of the drag-queen fairy godmothers who help Britney win the resulting popularity contest, Dixie Lynn Cartwright oozes glamour along with deadpan sarcasm. The inclusion of more recent songs is no doubt anachronistic, but it's worth it to hear Aaron Michael Adamkiewicz channel a rapping Nikki Minaj as drama teacher Ms. Vulvatia Hammerstein. —Marissa Oberlander $20

Hydrate (map)
3458 N. Halsted St.
Lakeview
phone 773-296-0541
The Bitchfest Club

The Blind Bet Show

Open run: Wed 9 PM

A weekly stand-up show with a secret headliner. $5

http://theblindbetshow.com
The Pony (map)
1638 W. Belmont Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-828-5055

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Blue Man Group

Open run: Thu 8 PM, Fri 7 PM, Sat 2, 5, and 8 PM, Sun 4 and 7 PM
phone 773-348-4000

At the Briar Street Theatre since 1997, the cobalt zanies have added wizard-worthy tricks to an already potent mix of visual puns, physical stunts, and cultural commentary. The latest edition conjures up a 2.5-D universe, giant "GiPads" that perform outsized multitasking, and Lady Gaga hat spin-offs. The same subversive spirit fuels the show's still-potent signature bits, including splatter-crazed "paint drumming." The secret of their cerulean success? Understanding that laughter and thought can be BFFs. —Lawrence Bommer $49-$59

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Briar Street Theatre (map)
3133 N. Halsted St.
Lakeview
phone 773-348-4000

The Blue Show

Open run: Fri 10 PM

Late-night improv where no suggestion is turned down and the performers don't hold back. $15

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

Tools

the Vic (map)
3145 N. Sheffield Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-472-0449

Tools

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

Tools

Bri-Ko

Open run: Sat 2 PM

How many bumbling buddies does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Or juggle? Or deliver a meal in a water balloon? On Saturday afternoons at Stage 773, the answer is three—specifically the three members of Bri-Ko. The sketch-comedy troupe Rube Goldberg would've created if Rube Goldberg had created sketch-comedy troupes, Bri-Ko puts on a silent clown show for the sort of kid who'd appreciate British humor. The name suggests bricolage—i.e., art improvised from materials found at hand. But the many kooky props at hand here (Nerf darts, ping-pong balls, various foodstuffs) are used to make a great, big mess. Tim Soszko, Brian Peterlin, and Chicago Sketch Fest founder Brian Posen bop happily about like Beaker the Muppet, contriving difficult ways to accomplish routine tasks. High art it's not, but the slapstick is practiced and the dumb smiles on these bozos' faces are contagious. —Asher Klein $10-$20

Stage 773 (map)
1225 W. Belmont Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-327-5252
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