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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

ComedySportz Theatre

Open run: Thu 8 PM, Fri 8 and 10 PM, Sat 6, 8, and 10 PM
ComedySportz Theatre 929 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago Lakeview

Buy from Ticketmaster$19


Part of a national chain of comedy clubs, this company is known for quick improv games (think Whose Line Is It Anyway?), but it also stages long-form improv. LCD screens and sophisticated lighting and sound systems amplify the sports-style improv of the company's eponymous production, ComedySportz. There's a snobbery in the Chicago improv community that looks up at the "art" of the long form, with its emphasis on story and characters, and down on the "entertainment" of the short, with its emphasis on games and punch lines. ComedySportz falls emphatically in the entertainment camp; its bottom line is laughter, and it gets plenty of it. The show is structured as a competition between two teams performing multiple games that require audience participation. A referee ensures that the players--a rotating roster from a company of about 50--work clean or they finish the game with a brown bag over their heads. The formula is practically foolproof: players may flash their quick wits in winning responses, but they're even funnier when they fail. In one game a team had to devise a pick-up line, each member contributing a word. Moving rapidly from player to player, the line developed: "Tonight-I'll-tango-with-your-face." Probably wouldn't work at a bar, but at ComedySportz it killed. --Ryan Hubbard 773-549-8080 or 312-559-1212

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

Eric Johnson Band

Fri., Jan. 25, 8 p.m.
Arcada Theatre 105 E. Main St., Saint Charles Suburbs Northwest


630-587-8400

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Fri., Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m. and Sat., Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m.
Chicago Theatre 175 N. State St., Chicago Loop


312-462-6300

Engelbert Humperdink

Sat., Jan. 26, 8 p.m.
Arcada Theatre 105 E. Main St., Saint Charles Suburbs Northwest


630-587-8400

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

Dawes

Tue., Jan. 29, 8 p.m.
Riviera Theatre 4746 N. Racine Ave., Chicago Uptown

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773-275-6800

Kacey Musgraves

Thu., Jan. 31, 8 p.m.
Chicago Theatre 175 N. State St., Chicago Loop

Buy from Ticketmaster


312-462-6300

Interpol

Thu., Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m.
Chicago Theatre 175 N. State St., Chicago Loop

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312-462-6300

Rainbow Kitten Surprise

Feb. 8-9, 8 p.m.
Riviera Theatre 4746 N. Racine Ave., Chicago Uptown

Buy Ticketssold out


773-275-6800

Sarah Brightman

Thu., Feb. 14, 8 p.m.
Chicago Theatre 175 N. State St., Chicago Loop

Buy from Ticketmaster


312-462-6300

Anderson .Paak

Sat., Feb. 16, 8 p.m.
Riviera Theatre 4746 N. Racine Ave., Chicago Uptown

Buy from TicketFly


773-275-6800

Kooks

Thu., Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m.
Riviera Theatre 4746 N. Racine Ave., Chicago Uptown

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773-275-6800

Beirut, Helado Negro

Fri., Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.
Riviera Theatre 4746 N. Racine Ave., Chicago Uptown

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773-275-6800

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Flor

Sat., March 2, 8 p.m.
Riviera Theatre 4746 N. Racine Ave., Chicago Uptown

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773-275-6800

James Blake

Sun., March 3, 7:30 p.m.
Riviera Theatre 4746 N. Racine Ave., Chicago Uptown

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773-275-6800

Joe Bonamassa

Fri., March 8, 8 p.m.
Chicago Theatre 175 N. State St., Chicago Loop

Buy from Ticketmaster


312-462-6300

Mariah Carey

Mon., March 11, 8 p.m.
Chicago Theatre 175 N. State St., Chicago Loop

Buy from Ticketmaster


312-462-6300

Vince Staples, JPEGmafia

Tue., March 12, 8:30 p.m.
Riviera Theatre 4746 N. Racine Ave., Chicago Uptown

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Fri 12/14, 10 AM 773-275-6800

Gary Clark Jr.

March 15-16, 8 p.m.
Chicago Theatre 175 N. State St., Chicago Loop

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312-462-6300

Graham Nash

Sun., March 17, 7 p.m.
Athenaeum Theatre 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago Lakeview

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773-935-6860

James Bay

Tue., March 19, 8 p.m.
Riviera Theatre 4746 N. Racine Ave., Chicago Uptown

Buy from TicketFly


773-275-6800

James Bay, David Ryan Harris

Tue., March 19, 8 p.m.
Riviera Theatre 4746 N. Racine Ave., Chicago Uptown

Buy Tickets$37.50


773-275-6800

Quinn XCII

Wed., March 20, 6 p.m.
Riviera Theatre 4746 N. Racine Ave., Chicago Uptown

Buy from TicketFly


773-275-6800

Experience Hendrix

Fri., March 22, 7:30 p.m.
Chicago Theatre 175 N. State St., Chicago Loop

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312-462-6300

Massive Attack

Sat., March 23, 8 p.m.
Chicago Theatre 175 N. State St., Chicago Loop

Buy Ticketssold out


312-462-6300

Jose Gonzalez & the String Theory

Thu., March 28, 8 p.m.
Chicago Theatre 175 N. State St., Chicago Loop

Buy from Ticketmaster


312-462-6300

Dream Theater

Fri., March 29, 8 p.m.
Chicago Theatre 175 N. State St., Chicago Loop

Buy from Ticketmaster


312-462-6300

Jenny Lewis

Sat., March 30, 7:30 p.m.
Riviera Theatre 4746 N. Racine Ave., Chicago Uptown

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773-275-6800