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Casa Propia

Through 11/25: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 6 PM
Aguijón Theater 2707 N. Laramie Ave., Chicago Belmont Cragin


773-637-5899

Frankenstein

hrough 11/17: Wed-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2:30 PM; also Sat 11/3 and 11/17, 2:30 PM
Theater Wit 1229 W. Belmont, Chicago Lakeview


773-975-8150

The Scientific Method

hrough 12/2: Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 4 and 8 PM; also Sun 11/18 and 12/2, 3 PM, and Tue 11/20, 8 PM; no performance Thu 11/22
Rivendell Theatre 5775 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago Edgewater


773-334-7728

Blue Man Group

Open run: Thu 8 PM; Fri 7 PM; Sat 2, 5, and 8 PM; Sun 4 and 7 PM
Briar Street Theatre 3133 N. Halsted St., Chicago Lakeview

Buy from Ticketmaster$49-$99


After 20 years and god knows how many bald caps and gallons of paint, this Chicago staple stays true to its mission: “Blue Man Group—enemy of monotony, remedy for boredom, promoter of overjoy and elation.” That experimental, interactive theater can remain both current and family friendly in equal measure speaks to the show's healthy mix of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it wit and larger-than-life clowning. Audience participation, voluntary and involuntary, is still a key component, whether it’s sharing Twinkies with the trio, donning a poncho in the splash zone, or being shamed as a latecomer, in showstopping fashion. Cultural references and parodies have certainly changed with the times (and devices), but the keys to Blue Man Group remain its hypnotic music and lively energy—if you’re not out of your seat dancing when the 90 minutes are up, you probably don’t have a pulse. —Marissa Oberlander 773-348-4000

The Infinite Wrench

Open run: Fri-Sat 11:30 PM, Sun 7 PM
Neo-Futurarium 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago Andersonville


Greg Allen gave and Greg Allen took away. On December 31, 2016, the Neo-Futurists founder made good on his promise to kill off the company's signature cult show, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, ending an unprecedented run of 28 years. The current generation of ensemble members weren't happy. Now they've pretty much reconstituted TMLMTBGB in everything but name, running on the same schedule at the same venue with the same exuberance. Though their new baby is superficially different from the original (where before the plays were numbered, for instance, now they're color coded), it retains the identical goal of offering 30 original short plays in 60 minutes. The performance I saw lapsed occasionally into reductive political posturing, having more to do with tribal affirmation than revelation. But it also had its share of wit, insight, emotional frankness, and dancerly physicality. —Tony Adler 773-275-5255

An Oak Tree

Through 12/9: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 6 PM; also Mon 11/26, 7 PM; no performances Thu 11/22 or Fri 11/23
Athenaeum Theatre 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago Lakeview


773-935-6860

Lady in Denmark

Through 11/18: Wed-Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 2 and 8 PM, Sun 2 PM, Tue 7:30 PM
Goodman Theatre 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago Loop

Buy Tickets$15-$45


312-443-3800

Málaga (Or the Inner Ear)

Through 12/16: Thu-Sun 7:30 PM; also Mon 11/26, 7:30 PM; no performance Thu 11/22
Ready Theatre 4546 N. Western Ave., Chicago Lincoln Square

110 in the Shade

hrough 12/16: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM; no performance 11/22
Theater Wit 1229 W. Belmont, Chicago Lakeview


773-975-8150

Frankenstein

Through 12/2: Wed-Thu 10:30 AM and 7:30 PM, Fri 7:30 PM, Sat-Sun 2 and 7:30 PM, also Tue 11/20, 10:30 AM; no performances Wed 11/21, 10:30 AM, or Thu 11/22
Court Theatre 5535 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago Hyde Park

Buy Tickets$50-$74, $37.50-$55.50 students


773-753-4472

Moby Dick! The Musical!

Through 11/30: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM; also Thu 11/29, 8 PM, and Sat 11/30, 3 PM


773-791-2393

Ghosts

Through 12/10: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2 PM, no performance Thu 11/22
Redtwist Theatre 1044 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago Edgewater


773-728-7529

Chicago Dramatists Saturday Series

Open run: Sat 2 PM,
Chicago Dramatists 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago West Town/Noble Square


This near-weekly program features staged readings of works in progress. 312-633-0630

Twisted Knots

Open run: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 4 PM


Longtime married couple Frank and Carla—a stressed-out salesman and an underappreciated nurse—try to get back their conjugal mojo by role-playing a call-girl scenario (Carla plays the call girl) in their hotel room on New Year’s Eve. The Hard Rock Hotel on Michigan Avenue provided furnishings and decor to lend verisimilitude to Greg Pinsoneault and Shaun Renfro’s set design in this production directed by Tara Branham. In fact, it’s Dale Danner’s script that could use some authenticity; the couple’s sex games and the husband’s much-discussed superstitious streak feel contrived and strained. Only when the charade is dropped toward the end do we glimpse genuine disappointment and fatigue. Ryan Kitley’s Frank seems detached from the proceedings, but Mary Cross turns in lively, tangy work as Carla. —Zac Thompson

The Magic Parlour

Through 7/1: Fri 7:30 and 9:30 PM, Sat 4:30, 7:30, and 9:30 PM
Palmer House Hilton 17 E. Monroe St., Chicago Loop


This magic show is exactly what it should be: funny, lively, intimate, and utterly baffling. House Theatre of Chicago member Dennis Watkins blends quick-witted improv and physical comedy with freewheeling patter as he performs classic illusions. Though his sleight of hand is impossibly subtle, it was the mind-reading tricks that seemed to have drawn several inquisitive skeptics back for another look on the night I attended. A curio-shop intimacy encourages audience participation, and Watkins, with his Eagle Scout looks, clearly takes a mischievous pleasure in the unexpected. Just let your cell phone go off during the show and see what kind of fun he has. Drinks (wine, beer, and soda) are included in the cost of admission. —Keith Griffith 312-726-7500

Kiss Kiss Cabaret

Open run: Fri 10 PM
Uptown Underground 4707 N. Broadway St., Chicago Uptown


The tone and pace are just right in this late-night burlesque show. Doubling as affable emcee Max Flattery, director Chris Biddle keeps the evening fresh with a rotating lineup of erotic dancers, campy acts, and nerdy comedians. Striptease routines satisfy a wide range of PG-13 fetishes, sometimes in unconventional ways. Teddy Bare's absinthe fairy number, for instance, incorporates modern dance elements not typically associated with the bump and grind. The result is an eclectic blend of steam, smart humor, and shtick. If Biddle and company can maintain momentum, Kiss Kiss Cabaret has what it takes to become a cheeky Chicago staple. —Dan Jakes 773-867-1946

The Wild Party Variety Hour

Open run: every last Saturday of the month, 11 PM
HQ 1914 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago Wicker Park/Bucktown


Burlesque, vaudeville, shtick, and other types of performance, hosted by Silent Theatre. 312-533-8023

Festival of Flesh

Open run: first Sat of each month, 10: 30 PM and midnight
Underground Lounge 952 W. Newport Ave., Chicago Lakeview


Gothic illusionist and proud floor-length-leather-jacket owner Ron Fitzgerald emcees Arkham Noise Productions' burlesque show, which caters to a wide array of fetishes with an alternating lineup of about 100 performers—around a dozen acts on a given night, curated by producer/DJ Miss Ellie Noise. Audience members can watch the show from their bar stools; this month's range of fantasies included domination, flesh hooks, IKEA (DIY kink?), and bathing in public. Still, nearly every act was a striptease at heart, and followed a familiar trajectory: gloves to girdle to brassiere, and then an exuberant reveal. It felt more silly than sexy, and the only clothes remaining onstage at the end were the basketball jerseys that line the back wall of the bar. —Hannah Gold 773-327-2739

God, Sex & Death Variety Hour

First Wednesday of the month: 7:30 PM
Schubas 3159 N. Southport Ave., Chicago Lakeview


Many a mental health professional advises that if you're really afraid of something, the best thing to do is confront your fear. That's sort of what comedian/musician Danny Black is up to with the God, Sex, and Death Variety Hour. During his opening monologue at the August show, Black, who plays host, admits he's terrified of death but swears that "talking about it makes it better." In reference to the god part, Black says he had a religious experience on a retreat once—god spoke to him, obviously—but he mostly ignored it at the time; so giving the guy (or gal) a nod now seems like the polite thing to do. The inclusion of sex as a topic—at any time, in any universe—seems self-explanatory. Continue reading >> 773-525-2508