Monthly second Saturday show featuring open studios, poetry readings, and live music. Reception Sat 5/10, 5-10 PM.
Francis O'Neill, who served as Chicago's chief of police from 1901 to 1905, was a bit obsessed with the music of his native Ireland. He once disappeared, prompting assassination rumors and a police manhunt, only to turn up at the house of a friend—where he was busy playing duets. But in the latest version of Adam Whiteman's musical tribute, which Stefan Brun returns to direct, this fascinating character gets a lackluster dramatization. Though Tom Cassidy portrays O'Neill with genial confidence, the stilted script bends more toward hagiography than genuine storytelling. The show's stellar music—selected from O'Neill's own published collections of traditional Irish tunes, and played by a talented trio—remains the true star of this quirky jaunt. —Keith Griffith $25
Ian Abramson hosts the show that aims to find out what would happen if stand-up comedians were substitute teachers. Featuring Sean Patton, Adam Burke, Candy Lawrence, Chad Briggs, Megan Koester, and Tim Barnes. Part of the Comedy Exposition. $5, free with festival pass
Jackie Kashian explores her favorite "obsessions with the obsessed." Part of the Comedy Exposition. $5, free with festival pass
In Charles Pike's two-hander an unnamed He and She sit back-to-back, engaged in a series of cryptic dialogues about intimacy, emptiness, and art. The 17 short sections may demonstrate that Pike has taste, but he neglects the basics of plot, character, and setting, letting tone overwhelm the rest. We assume this is a deranged sort of therapy; think a less funny version of Christopher Durang, with some S-M thrown in—when time's up, He pays and She slaps him. There are variations on the theme (each of the sessions is punctuated by Glenn Gould playing Bach), as He and She make out, sing, blink, and fantasize, but the work lacks grounding in either full-out absurdity or recognizable modern couple fatigue, and the otherwise smart references come off as pretentious. —Suzanne Scanlon $15
One-woman show written and performed by Marie Cisco. $10
Burlesque, vaudeville, shtick, and other types of performance, hosted by Silent Theatre. $10http://silenttheatre.com