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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

Virgin Daiquiri

Open run: Wed 8 PM
iO Theater 1501 N. Kingsbury, Chicago Lincoln Park

This ensemble, made up of seasoned Chicago talent, performs fast-paced improv.

Therapy Sessions

Open run: Wed 9 PM
Hungry Brain 2319 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago Roscoe Village

The fundamentals of Therapy Sessions, a show at the newly reopened Hungry Brain, are simple: a live musical act, a stand-up or spoken-word block, and a DJ set, all focused on a monthly theme. Previous performers include the Lawrence Arms' Brendan Kelly, music critic and journalist (and Reader contributor) Sasha Geffen, and musician Antony Ablan. 773-709-1401


First and third Tue of month, 7:30 PM
Tweet Let's Eat 5020 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago Uptown

With Scott Free, featuring gay and lesbian spoken-word artists. 773-728-5576

Cole's Comedy Open Mike

Wednesdays, 9 p.m.
Cole's 2338 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago Logan Square

Hosted by Sonia Denis and Rebecca O'Neal, this scrappy showcase boasts about 50 comics a week. 773-276-5802

Congrats on Your Success

First Thursday of every month, 7 p.m.
Uncharted Books 2630 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago Logan Square

Rebecca O'Neal hosts this BYOB comedy show that features local stand-ups and is, curiously enough, operated out of a used bookstore.

Chrissy Gardner

Thursdays, 8 PM

at the Piano Bar

Jeannie Tanner Trio

Thursdays, 7 p.m.
Marie's Pizza & Liquors 4127-29 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago Other North


Don Melas

Thursdays, 10 p.m.
Bernice's Tavern 3238 S. Halsted St., Chicago Bridgeport


Wet Cash

Open run: Fri 8 PM
Dark Tower Comics 4835 N. Western, Chicago Lincoln Square

Stand-up with a very big twist. Each week, performers at this showcase can do anything they want. One time, they ran a show where everybody on the bill and in the audience was named Derek. Plus, all donations benefit the fishbowl they toss their money in—hence the title. Expect, well, everything. 773-654-1490

Green Mill Quartet

Fridays, 1:30 a.m.
Green Mill 4802 N. Broadway St., Chicago Uptown


Kick Punch Stand-Up

Open run: Fri 8 PM
G-Mart Comics 2641 N. Kedzie, Chicago Logan Square

BYOB for this stand-up showcase in a comic book store. Hosted by Rebecca V. O'Neal, Mike Sheehan, and Alex Stone. 773-384-0400

Hoyle Brothers

Fridays, 5:30 p.m.
Empty Bottle 1035 N. Western Ave., Chicago Ukrainian Village/East Village


People Say. . .

Every third Friday, 6:30 p.m.
Concept Store #001 7955 S. Ashland, Chicago Other South

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

DJ Major Taylor

Saturdays, 10 PM
Five Star Bar 1424 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago West Town/Noble Square


Saturday Gallery Tour

Saturdays, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Starbucks 750 N. Franklin St., Chicago River North

This week a representative from Marx-Saunders Gallery will lead the tour to Stephen Daiter Gallery, Printworks Gallery, Jean Albano Gallery, and Marx-Saunders. Meet at the Starbucks at Chicago and Franklin. 312-649-0065

The Paper Machete

Open run: Sat 3 PM
Green Mill 4802 N. Broadway St., Chicago Uptown

The "salon in a saloon." Comedians, writers, and storytellers discuss the week in pop culture and politics. 773-878-5552

Maxwell Street Market

7 AM - 3 PM
Maxwell Street Market 800 S. Des Plaines St, Chicago South Loop

Do you enjoy chomping on a fresh churro while sifting through weathered tools, ball caps, and odds and ends? Of course you do.

Second Sundays

Second Sunday of every month, 1-4 p.m.
Hyde Park Art Center 5020 S. Cornell Ave., Chicago Hyde Park

Art activities and performances. 773-324-5520

DJs Tevo & Johnny

Second Sunday of every month, 9 p.m.

The Free for All

Open run: Sun 7:30 PM
Playground Theater 3209 N. Halsted St., Chicago Lakeview

An improv show of multiple groups, anchored by the four-man team Koleno. 773-871-3793

Nicholas Barron

Sundays, 10 PM
The Motel Bar 600 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago River West


Extraordinary Popular Delusions

Mondays, 8:30 p.m.
Beat Kitchen 2100 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago Roscoe Village

In one evening they might touch on rip-snorting fire music, spacy electronics, or delicate, arrhythmic timbral explorations—half the fun is seeing them disappear down a stylistic rabbit hole, then come out the other end sounding like something from a different genre, decade, or planet. —Bill Meyer, 2012 773-281-4444

Best Night Ever

Open run: First and third Monday of the month, 8 PM
GMan Tavern 3740 N. Clark St., Chicago Wrigleyville

Stand-up showcase of local comedians presented by Alex Stone, Thomas Brady, Rebecca O'Neal, Sonia Denis, and Sam McHale. 773-549-2050

"RuPaul's Drag Race" Rewind Party

Tue 5:30 PM-2 AM
Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club 3700 N. Halsted St., Chicago Wrigleyville

Fans of the reality show can watch it projected on seven screens. Kit Kat house diva Jade, a past contestant, will make “special appearances.” 773-525-1111

Jose Valdes Latin Jazz Trio

Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m.
Green Dolphin Street 2200 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago DePaul


Elizabeth's Crazy Little Thing

Second Wed of each month, 9 PM

Comics, poets, and experimental performance artists alike are all given slots by host Elizabeth Harper at this open-ended, welcoming, and warm open mike. 773-486-9862