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Messing With a Friend

Open run: Thu 10:30 PM

Susan Messing's weekly show, where she pairs off with a guest "friend" for an hour of purely improvised comedy, is one of the funniest entertainments in town. Messing is deeply talented: her acting is focused and nuanced, and she's got one of the the sharpest shit-detectors around, allowing her to cut or extend scenes like a good director. She works with a different "friend" at nearly every performance, often for the first time ever, and each prods her in unpredictable ways. But Messing stays on her toes, finding newer and quirkier characters—like a chatty old lady who sings musical numbers and pop songs at work or a wife from a 1940s screwball comedy who encourages her husband to tie her up—and the proportion of what works to what doesn't is a testament to her congeniality, experience, and broad intelligence. Messing was my pick for Best Improviser in the Reader's 2008 Best Of Chicago issue. --Ryan Hubbard $5
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Annoyance Theatre (map)
851 W. Belmont
phone 773-697-9693
Messing With a Friend


Chrissy Gardner

Thursdays, 8 PM

at the Piano Bar


Happy Hour

Open run: Thu 6 p.m.

Maria Wojciechowski and Marty DeRosa host this BYOB comedy showcase, complete with audience drinking games throughout the night. $5

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


Green Mill (map)
4802 N. Broadway
phone 773-878-5552


The Joynt (map)
650 N. Dearborn St.
River North
phone 312-573-2233


Deja Vu (map)
2624 N. Lincoln Ave.
Lincoln Park
phone 773-871-0205


Maurice Halsted

Thursdays, 9 p.m.
Lumen (map)
839 W. Fulton Mkt.
West Loop/Fulton Market
phone 312-733-2222


Rosa's Lounge (map)
3420 W. Armitage Ave.
Logan Square
phone 773-342-0452


Bernice's Tavern (map)
3238 S. Halsted St.
phone 312-907-1580


Museum tours

Mondays-Fridays, 2 p.m. and Mondays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.
Field Museum (map)
1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Museum Campus
phone 312-922-9410


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