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Avenue Q

Wed-Fri 8 PM, Sat 5 and 8:30 PM, Sun 3 PM; also Sun 7:30 PM beginning 7/22
Mercury Theater Chicago 3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago Lakeview


Peter Pan: A Musical Adventure

Through 8/19: Wed 11 AM, Thu-Sun 11 AM and 2 PM
Chicago Shakespeare Theater 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago Other Central


Victims of Duty

Through 8/5: Wed-Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 3 and 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM; also Tue 7/31 7:30 PM and Sun 7/29 7:30 PM, no performances Wed 7/18, Fri 7/27, Thu 8/2
A Red Orchid Theatre 1531 N. Wells St., Chicago Old Town



Through 7/29: Thu-Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 2 and 7:30 PM, Sun 2:30 PM
Gift Theatre Company 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago Jefferson Park


Guards at the Taj

Through 7/22: Wed-Fri 7:30 PM, Sat-Sun 3 and 7:30 PM, Tue 7:30 PM; no performance 7/4
Steppenwolf Theatre 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago Old Town


The Csardas Princess

Through 7/22: Fri-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2 PM
Stage 773 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago Lakeview


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

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

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.

Karaoke Storytellers

Sun 10 PM
iO Theater, The Mission Theater 1501 N. Kingsbury, Chicago Other North

With the possible exception of Jackhammer's Monday-night 2 AM drag competition, stakes don't get lower on the Chicago stage than they do at this low-key, encouraging open mike at iO. Host DJ Stephen Alec and in-character coordinator Franny Giroux emcee performances by a roster of comedians, amateur singers, and interested civilians who preface a karaoke song with a personal story that inspired their selection. It's a creative twist on the Moth-style conventions that normally outline storytelling shows and serves as a welcome addition to Chicago's rich storytelling scene. At the performance I attended, one singer recounted how her bar rendition of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" introduced her to her late husband; another sang Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" after describing his first on-the-job panic attack. The results are bare, vulnerable, and truly unique. —Dan Jakes

Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno

Open run: Thu 8 PM, Fri-Sat 8 and 11 PM, Sun 7 PM
Second City E.T.C. Piper's Alley, 1608 N. Wells St., Chicago Old Town

Buy Tickets$19-$46

In the weeks and now days leading up to the inauguration, it seems like the jokes about Trump and the current state of our political climate are basically writing themselves. Between rumors of golden showers and the president-elect's meeting with Steve Harvey, it sometimes feels as if we're all living in one long political sketch. So where are comedians supposed to go from here? Continue reading >> 312-337-3992

Late Nite Catechism

Open run: Sat 5 PM, Sun 2 PM
Royal George Theatre Center 1641 N. Halsted St., Chicago Lincoln Park

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A bona fide born-in-Chicago international hit, this simultaneously nostalgic and satirical comedy by Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan concerns a nun instructing her students—that's you—on the dos and don'ts of dogma. —Jack Helbig 312-988-9000

Duck and Cover Classroom

Open run: daily, various times
The Time Gallery 1342 N. Milwaukee Ave., second floor, Chicago Wicker Park/Bucktown

I can't vouch for Escape Artistry's trumpeted dedication to "equality, environment, and education," but I can attest to the aesthetic and cryptological rigor of this tantalizing, exasperating, and ingenious escape-room game. After a cheeky introductory video instructing us newly deputized agents in the nuances of time travel (here walking down a hallway), we're locked in a drearily appointed 1950s schoolroom and given 60 minutes to decipher combinations to multiple locks in hopes of finding some missing uranium. I couldn’t track the backstory—something about two missing agents and the world’s first nuclear chain reaction—but lead designer Melissa Schlesinger’s stocked the room with mind-addling puzzles that delighted and ultimately baffled me (luckily I was trapped with smart people). Stick with it: the payoff is worth it. —Justin Hayford 773-789-9535

The Harold

Open run: Wed-Thu 8 PM, Fri 8 and 10:30 PM, Sat 10:30 PM, Sun 8 PM, Mon 10:30 PM
iO Theater 1501 N. Kingsbury, Chicago Lincoln Park

Improv teams use an audience suggestion to create interweaving story lines that result in a connected long-form narrative.

The Forced Transfer

Opens Tue 6/7
National Cambodian Heritage Museum 2831 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago Ravenswood

As a young Buddhist monk in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, during the 1960s, Kompha Seth studied the Brahmi alphabet and Magadhi—a root language of modern Khmer—which had been preserved and passed down for generations. Today, he's one of only a few Cambodians in the world who understands these dialects and their links to modern Khmer. Continue reading >> 773-506-1280

Trumpeter Victor Garcia Organ Quintet

Sun., July 22, 4, 8 & 10 p.m.
Jazz Showcase 806 S. Plymouth Ct., Chicago South Loop

Buy Tickets$20, $35 VIP


Charles Heath's Early Risers Jazz Jam

Sun., July 22, 5 & 7 p.m.
Andy's Jazz Club 11 E. Hubbard Street, Chicago River North

BJ Thomas

Sun., July 22, 5 p.m.
Arcada Theatre 105 E. Main St., Saint Charles Suburbs Northwest

Buy Tickets$39-$69


Bill O'Connell's Chicago Skyliners

Sun., July 22, 6 p.m.
FitzGerald's 6615 Roosevelt Rd., Berwyn Berwyn


Hung, Barren Heir, and Underhand

Sun., July 22, 8 p.m.
Emporium Arcade Bar 1366 N. Milwaukee, Chicago Wicker Park/Bucktown

Buy TicketsFree