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63 total results

Noir City

Through 9/4, various times

Noir City is an annual festival of classic and hard-to-find noir films, some of which are unavailable on DVD. As always, the schedule features a strong slate of American films (Nicholas Ray's Born to Be Bad and John Cromwell's Caged, for example), but for this sixth edition of the fest, the programmers also went with some foreign offerings, like Luchino Visconti's Ossessione. $12, $75 festival pass

Music Box (map)
3733 N. Southport Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-871-6604
Noir City

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Pentacle, Ares Kingdom, Scythe, Sons of Famine

Fri., Aug. 29, 9 p.m.

Dutch death-metal veterans Pentacle (not to be confused with the early-70s French prog band of the same name) went on a recording hiatus in 2005, after guitarist Mike Verhoeven hurt his arm. Last year they eased back into the studio, releasing solid splits with Mortem and Eternal Solstice and an EP of their own, all on the Iron Pegasus label. The EP, Five Candles Burning Red (whose title track also appears on the Mortem split), runs more than half an hour, and its howling, grotty death metal—which has a nice “splitting skulls in the Bronze Age” feel—is so densely packed with ideas that they could support an album twice as long. Pentacle has also dropped a live album, Into the Depths of Mill, which features blistering Celtic Frost and Hellhammer covers, and on the occasion of their first U.S. tour in ages they’ve reissed their first full-length, 1998’s . . . Rides the Moonstorm, on CD. —Monica Kendrick $20

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Beat Kitchen (map)
2100 W. Belmont Ave.
Roscoe Village
phone 773-281-4444
Pentacle, Ares Kingdom, Scythe, Sons of Famine

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Pimprov

Open run: Fri 10:30 PM

If pimpin' ain't easy, pimprovising must be even harder. But the five members of Pimprov project a scary ease as they dress and cavort like "Super Freak"-era Rick James (only with more accessories) and smoothly assimilate audience suggestions into thug-themed short-form games. The group stays heavily engaged with the crowd throughout this high-energy show, bringing people on stage and carrying on multiple side conversations during and between bits. What I enjoyed most were their hilarious, spontaneous dancing (from tap to b-boying) and varied characters. These are no one-trick pimps: at the show I saw they shrewdly played everything from north side trixies to blue-collar Chicagoans. —Ryan Hubbard $15

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

The Armando Diaz Grand Opening Experience

8/29-8/30: Fri 10 PM, Sat 8 PM

A star-studded Armando celebrates the official opening of the new theater. Guests include David Koechner, Kay Cannon, Eric Stonestreet, Tim Meadows, Amber Ruffin, Scott Adsit, and more. $50

iO Theater (map)
1501 N. Kingsbury
Wrigleyville The Armando Diaz Grand Opening Experience

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Kidd Jordan, Matthew Shipp, and Alvin Fielder

Aug. 29-30, 9:30 p.m.

For many years, local fans of free jazz knew exactly where to find the action after each night of the Chicago Jazz Festival: tenor saxophone great Fred Anderson would invite his old Louisiana pal and fellow horn man Edward “Kidd” Jordan up from New Orleans to play late-night sets at the Velvet Lounge. After Anderson died in 2010, that tradition hung in limbo, but last year Jordan found a new festival-weekend home at Constellation—he’s been collaborating there with drummer and AACM cofounder Alvin Fielder, a onetime Chicagoan who’s lived in his native Mississippi since 1969. Jordan and Fielder have a long relationship, and have played together since 1975 under the Improvisational Arts name (their various lineups have included a trio, a quartet, and a quintet). Last year’s bracing Trio and Duo in New Orleans (No Business) collects recordings the two of them made between 2002 and 2012, including a full disc cut in ’02 with German bassist Peter Kowald, and in every collaboration Jordan and Fielder display unflagging vitality and crackling rapport, despite their advanced ages (the former is 79, the latter 78). Tonight and Saturday they’ll play a set with Chicago bassist Joshua Abrams and volcanic New York pianist Matthew Shipp, then open things up for a postfest jam. —Peter Margasak $20, $15 in advance

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Constellation (map)
3111 N. Western Ave.
Roscoe Village Kidd Jordan, Matthew Shipp, and Alvin Fielder

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Beer Shark Mice

Sat 8/30, 9 PM

A reunion improv show featuring iO alums Pete Hulne, Dave Koechner, Pat Finn, and Mike Coleman. $35

iO Theater (map)
1501 N. Kingsbury
Wrigleyville

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Joel Murray and Friends

Sat 8/30, 10:30 PM

Joel Murray leads an Armando featuring guest performers Jack McBrayer, Kevin Dorff, Laura Krafft, and more. $50

iO Theater (map)
1501 N. Kingsbury
Wrigleyville

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Hellish Half-Light

Through 8/30: Thu-Sat 8 PM

Many of Samuel Beckett's short plays aren't really plays at all. They're human behavior mechanisms—kinetic sculptures made of people and words, constructed to generate distilled visions of who we are and what we do. Director Jennifer Markowitz has assembled a solid half-dozen such mechanisms for this Mary-Arrchie Theatre production, ranging from a clever little joke like Catastrophe (a theater director berates his assistant while she manipulates an actor as if he were so many pipe cleaners) to a dark demonstration of political karma like What Where (a paranoid despot arrests her own thugs one by one until there's only one arrest left to be made) and the literally sculptural Play (three heads sit atop a pedestal and narrate their love triangle in counterpoint). The cast is generally strong, but Stephen Walker is exceptional, playing various characters in a naturalistic (yet often wiseass) style that, strangely enough, makes Beckett's abstractions work. —Tony Adler $25

Angel Island (map)
735 W. Sheridan Rd.
Lakeview
phone 773-871-0442
Hellish Half-Light

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Enchanted April

Sat 8/30-Sun 8/31: 1 PM

Theatre-Hikes specializes in combining theatrical productions with a walk in the park, with scenes typically presented at points along a guided hike. The company's current production, a stage adaptation of Elizabeth von Arnim's charming 1922 novel about four unhappy Englishwomen transformed by a holiday in Italy, enhances the best qualities of von Arnim's story—its good-hearted optimism and faith in the curative powers of peace and sunshine. Bradley Baker's cast excels at delivering intense, believable performances under less than ideal conditions: the day I saw the show, in Ravenswood Manor Park, two cabs collided no more than 20 feet from the performance; Allison Reinke, alone and in the midst of a monologue, never missed a beat. —Jack Helbig

North Park Village Nature Center (map)
5801 N. Pulaski Rd.
Albany Park
phone 312-744-5472

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The Boxer

Through 8/31: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM

Matt Lyle's silent play is called The Boxer, but its true hero is Velma, a plucky gal down on her luck, who gets work during the Great Depression by disguising herself (not always credibly) as a man. Thanks to a twist of fate and a well-timed punch, she finds herself training a boxer for a big fight. Then she falls in love with him. For their third collaboration with Pursuit Productions, director Kacie Smith and choreographer Ahmad Simmons have put together a show that feels like a lost Chaplin feature and is just as delightful. The actors—led by Amber Snyder and Eric Duhon as Velma and the Boxer—are at once goofy and graceful, Mike Evans's piano performance of his own score and Matt Wills's sound effects are witty and well-timed, and Craig Kidwell's light design cleverly recreates the look of a black-and-white film. —Aimee Levitt $20

Athenaeum Theatre (map)
2936 N. Southport Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-935-6860

The Qualms

Through 8/31: Tue-Fri 7:30 PM, Sat-Sun 3 and 7:30 PM

I once wrote a profile on Bruce Norris for Chicago magazine. This was about eight years ago—after he'd pissed people off with evil-minded satires like The Pain and the Itch, but before they anointed him with a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony for Clybourne Park. The profile (which, I have to say, is very good) examines Norris's perverse charm. He's quoted at one point saying that Steppenwolf Theatre artistic director Martha Lavey "has referred to me as a 'perseverator': I enjoy things that are hectoring and terrierlike [and] refuse to drop the topic. I've driven people away from dinner tables. If I get something stuck in my ass that I refuse to let go of, it's horrible—and yet it's thrilling for me to hammer someone. . . . To have them cave. Just to scourge them of their folly." Continue reading >> $20-$86

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Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Downstairs Theater (map)
1650 N. Halsted St.
Old Town
phone 312-335-1650
The Qualms

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Drew Michael

9/2-9/7: Tue-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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Schubas (map)
3159 N. Southport Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-525-2508
Single Mothers, War Brides

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Schubas (map)
3159 N. Southport Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-525-2508
Bishop Allen, Jesse Marchant

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