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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 Armando Diaz Theatrical Experience & Hootennany

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


An old standby, this weekly show transforms performer monologues (delivered by a different guest each time) into inspiration for a night of masterful long-form improv. The best-of-the-best iO talent typically make up the cast, so the show hops from literal moments from the story to abstract, playful scenes with aplomb.

Yellow Days, Mor Mor

Mon., Nov. 12, 8 p.m.
Lincoln Hall 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago Lincoln Park

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773-525-2501

Jessie Reyez, Savannah Re

Tue., Nov. 13, 7 p.m.
Lincoln Hall 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago Lincoln Park

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773-525-2501

Joe Barr, Joanna Connor

Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m.
Kingston Mines 2548 N. Halsted St., Chicago Lincoln Park


773-477-4646

Micky & the Motorcars

Wed., Nov. 14, 10 p.m.
Joe's Bar 940 W. Weed St., Chicago Lincoln Park

The Improvised Shakespeare Company

Open run: Thu 8 PM, Fri-Sat 8 and 11 PM
iO Theater 1501 N. Kingsbury, Chicago Lincoln Park


Seven strapping men in swashbuckler shirts improvise a two-act Shakespearean play based on a title suggested by the audience. At the show I saw, "The Taming of the Jew" inspired the Bard's usual themes (religion, family, betrayal) and plot devices (murders, disguises, fortunes gained/lost) as well as an uncomfortably funny circumcision. Director-performer Blaine Swen, a veteran of long-form Shakespearean improv who swears they don't conspire during the intermission, has assembled a vigorous ensemble of actors and proven improvisers. Their experience doing Shakespeare flowers in the language: they relish iambic dialogue, execute perfectly timed asides, occasionally utter rhyming couplets (some hilariously forced: "Let us be quick-sa, and get to the bar mitzvah!"), and drop parodic phrases ("scurvenous knave," "midfortnight report") and well-placed anachronisms (the bar mitzvah had a DJ). Even the ending echoed the real plays: story lines resolved tidily—and uproariously. —Ryan Hubbard

Crooked Colours, Grayshot, Topaz

Thu., Nov. 15, 9 p.m.
Lincoln Hall 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago Lincoln Park

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773-525-2501

Rico McFarland Band

Fri., Nov. 16, 9 p.m. and Sat., Nov. 17, 9 p.m.
B.L.U.E.S. 2519 N. Halsted St., Chicago Lincoln Park


773-528-1012

Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Joanna Connor

Fri., Nov. 16, 9 p.m. and Sat., Nov. 17, 9 p.m.
Kingston Mines 2548 N. Halsted St., Chicago Lincoln Park


773-477-4646

George Lamond, Judy Torres

Fri., Nov. 16, 10 p.m.
Joe's Bar 940 W. Weed St., Chicago Lincoln Park

Bear Who?, DJ Trilogy, Newlife, DJ Blakish

Fridays, 10 p.m.
Vain Nightclub & Lounge 2354 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago Lincoln Park


773-435-0130

Madalyn Merkey

Sat., Nov. 17, 8 p.m.
Graham Foundation 4 W. Burton Pl., Chicago Lincoln Park


312-787-4071

Turkuaz, Andy Frasco & the UN

Sat., Nov. 17, 9 p.m.
Park West 322 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago Lincoln Park

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773-929-5959

Local H

Sun., Nov. 18, 8 p.m.
Lincoln Hall 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago Lincoln Park

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773-525-2501

John Splithoff, Josie Dunne

Mon., Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m.
Park West 322 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago Lincoln Park

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773-929-5959

Wrecks, Badflower, Deal Casino

Tue., Nov. 20, 7 p.m.
Lincoln Hall 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago Lincoln Park

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773-525-2501

18+
Freddy Jones Band, Sean Kelly

Wed., Nov. 21, 8 p.m.
Park West 322 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago Lincoln Park


773-929-5959

Paper Kites, Wild Rivers

Wed., Nov. 21, 8 p.m.
Lincoln Hall 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago Lincoln Park

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773-525-2501

Novo Amor

Fri., Nov. 23, 9 p.m.
Lincoln Hall 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago Lincoln Park

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773-525-2501

Mewithoutyou

Fri., Nov. 30, 9 p.m.
Lincoln Hall 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago Lincoln Park

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773-525-2501

Japanese House

Tue., Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m.
Lincoln Hall 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago Lincoln Park

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773-525-2501

Amber Liu

Wed., Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m.
Park West 322 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago Lincoln Park

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773-929-5959

Brendan Bayliss & Jake Cinninger

Fri., Dec. 7, 8 p.m.
Park West 322 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago Lincoln Park

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773-929-5959