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Sleep, Corrections House

Thu., Aug. 28, 9 p.m. and Fri., Aug. 29, 9 p.m.

In 1992 this San Jose band helped light a fire under the infant genre of stoner rock with their second LP, Sleep’s Holy Mountain, slowing their blues-based riffs to a muddy crawl and blasting them through a wall of planet-shaking amps— it sounds like Master of Reality creeping through a thick cloud of cannabis smoke. Sleep’s true monument, though, was to be their next album, the heady and hypnotic Dopesmoker, whose single hour-long track traded in the heavy-bottomed boogie of Holy Mountain for massive, meditative waves of sludge—in no time at all it was enshrined as the soundtrack to dorm-room bong sessions across the country. Work on Dopesmoker began in 1995, but record-label nonsense delayed its release until 2003—even a slightly abridged version called Jerusalem didn’t see the light of day until 1999. That was too little, too late, because the band had dissolved a year earlier, broken by the stress of the situation. Bassist and vocalist Al Cisneros and drummer Chris Hakius formed the drony, mystical Om while guitarist Matt Pike assembled barbarian-metal combo High on Fire. When Sleep reunited in 2009, all three members got on board, but Hakius soon left, to be replaced by Neurosis drummer Jason Roeder. They’re still spreading the band’s hazy, bombastic gospel, and this summer they recorded their first song since Dopesmoker, “The Clarity,” for Adult Swim’s singles series. It’s almost ten minutes long, and it sounds exactly like Sleep. —Luca Cimarusti

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Thalia Hall (map)
1227 W. 18th
Pilsen/Little Village
phone 312-526-3851
Sleep, Corrections House

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Chicago Jazz Festival

8/28-8/31

Lollapalooza for dads. Terence Blanchard, Rufus Reid, Gary Burton, Prism, and Cecile McLorin Salvant are just a few of the big names at this year's Labor Day weekend tradition. Opening day takes place at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington).

http://cityofchicago.org
Pritzker Pavilion (map)
Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph
Loop Chicago Jazz Festival

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The Yellow Wallpaper

8/28-9/14: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM

Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote The Yellow Wallpaper in 1891 to expose the destructive medical treatment she received after experiencing what we now recognize as postpartum depression. In 1887, she'd been prescribed the then innovative "rest cure," an elaborate regimen on which she was confined to her bed, forbidden to read, write, or have visitors. The story's protagonist, Kate (Lorelei Sturm), gently resists this infantilizing treatment as she's shut up in an upstairs room with sickly yellow wallpaper. John (Ed Krystosek), her physician husband, mansplains his way around her objections, telling her when she is sick and, later, when she is better. In physical and emotional isolation, Kate projects her fears and longing onto the patterns of the wallpaper itself. The Mill Theatre's inspired production of this iconic story, adapted for the stage by Sturm, avoids any potential melodrama; Jaclyn Biskup's direction heightens its gothic and surreal elements, using voice-over and sound, scenic, and lighting design to help tell the story. —Suzanne Scanlon $20, $15 for students and seniors

Chopin Theatre (map)
1543 W. Division St.
Ukrainian Village/East Village
phone 773-769-3832

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Cold Comfort, Hot Sprockets, Sharrows

Thu., Aug. 28, 8 p.m. and Fri., Aug. 29, 8 p.m.
Elbo Room (map)
2871 N. Lincoln Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-549-5549

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Alejandro Escovedo & Joe Ely

Thu., Aug. 28, 8 p.m. and Fri., Aug. 29, 8 p.m.
Buy Tickets Buy Tickets
City Winery (map)
1200 W. Randolph St.
Near West Side
phone 312-733-9463

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Ira Sullivan and guests from the Chicago Jazz Festival

Thu., Aug. 28, 9 p.m., Fri., Aug. 29, 9 p.m., Sat., Aug. 30, 9 p.m. and Sun., Aug. 31, 9 p.m.
Jazz Showcase (map)
806 S. Plymouth Ct.
South Loop
phone 312-360-0234

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Frank Catalano's Charles Earland Experience

Thu., Aug. 28, 9:30 p.m., Fri., Aug. 29, 9:30 p.m. and Sat., Aug. 30, 9:30 p.m.
Andy's Jazz Club (map)
11 E. Hubbard St.
River North
phone 312-642-6805

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The Arsonists

8/28-9/27: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 4 PM

An adaptation of Max Frisch's radio play about a town plagued by mysterious fires. $28

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Strawdog Theatre Company (map)
3829 N. Broadway St.
Lakeview
phone 773-528-9696

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Chicago Fringe Festival

8/28-9/7: various times

The fifth annual Chicago Fringe Festival brings nine days of the political, the offbeat, and the weird to five Jefferson Park venues. Voted Best Performing Arts Festival in our Best of Chicago readers' poll this year, the event is part of an international movement that started in 1947 with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Over the course of Chicago's fest, 48 companies will gather to offer more than 200 performances of shows selected by lottery. All require the onetime purchase of a $5 festival admission button; see chicagofringe.org for a complete schedule.

Things kick off at 6 PM on Thursday, August 28, at Fischman Liquors & Tavern (4780 N. Milwaukee) with a opening reception featuring one-minute previews of scheduled shows and a dance party. It's free with the purchase of a button.

Highlights among the works by local troupes include The Penelopiad, presented by the Lost Geneva Project and based on Margaret Atwood's novella. In Something Something New Vagina, transgender artist Rebecca Kling "tackles issues of identity without ovary-acting." Oracle Productions' free show This House Believes the American Dream Is at the Expense of the American Negro, adapted and directed by Zachary Baker-Salmon, is based on a 1965 debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley Jr.

From out-of-towners there are My Bones Shall Rise Again, by Ohio's Gail Nyoka, which uses traditional African storytelling techniques to relate a tale set against the background of 19th-century British colonialism. Waiting for Orson, a play by Washington D.C.-based Ian Leahy, presents a man in Penn Station awaiting the extraterrestrial being he believes will change his life. From Baltimore, Nicole Daniels's Kids on Bikes is an interview-based play that critiques the concept of the neighborhood watch in purportedly postracial America.

All proceeds from performances go directly to the participating artists. —Kerry Cardoza

$10 per performance plus a $5 admission button

http://chicagofringe.org

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Ecstasy

8/28-9/28: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM

"Victory of the people" is the rallying cry of Cole Theatre, a new company from Chicago-based actors Boyd Harris and Layne Manzer. So it's a bit ironic that the group's inaugural production is Mike Leigh's Ecstasy, whose downtrodden working-class characters would seem anything but victorious. Manzer, Cole Theatre's artistic director, and Harris, managing director, say they chose the play because it's "big, ambitious." And it is that. Leigh, of course, is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker whose credits include Secrets & Lies (1996), Topsy-Turvy (1999), and Vera Drake (2013). But he's long written and directed for the stage as well; Ecstasy debuted in 1979 at London's Hampstead Theatre. Not atypically for Leigh, nudity and violence take their turns in the show, and its setting—1970s London, in a heavily Irish neighborhood near Kilburn High Road—calls for a range of working-class dialects that American actors really have to nail if the whole thing isn't to reek of phoniness. On top of that, the play takes quite a while to get going. Continue reading >> $15-$25

http://coletheatre.org
A Red Orchid Theatre (map)
1531 N. Wells St.
Old Town
phone 312-943-8722
Ecstasy

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My Name Is Asher Lev

8/28-10/18: Wed-Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 4 and 8 PM, Sun 2 PM

The story of a young Jewish painter living in post-World War II Brooklyn. $37-$50

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

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Reasons to Be Happy

8/28-10/12: Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 5 and 8 PM, Sun 7 PM

Neil LaBute's latest examination of male-female relationships, a companion to his 2009 play Reasons to Be Pretty. $35-$40

Main Stage (map)
4139 N. Broadway
Uptown
phone 773-549-1815

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References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot

8/28-9/7: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM

Something Incredibly Marvelous Happens presents Jose Rivera's surrealist play. $20

http://somethingmarvelous.org
Den Theatre (map)
1329-1333 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Wicker Park/Bucktown
phone 773-609-2336

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DC Benny

8/28-8/29: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 and 10:15 PM

$17 plus two-item minimum

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

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Ms. Pat

8/28-8/31: Thu and Sun 8:30 PM, Fri 8:30 and 10:30 PM, Sat 7, 9, and 11:15 PM

$25 plus two-drink minimum

Zanies (map)
1548 N. Wells St.
Old Town
phone 312-337-4027

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