Interactive exhibit featuring IEA's collection vintage encyclopedias. Reception Mon 10/25, 6-8 PM.
Group show featuring multidisciplinary work by local artists. Reception Thu 10/17, 5-9 PM.http://ipaintmymind.org
Work from the AFRICOBRA member that dates back to 1955. Reception Fri 11/15, 6-9 PM.
New sculptures by Josiah McElheny.
In the New Colony's devilish new comedy, recently split Hollywood couple Kate and Sam are in the eye of a media storm. The paparazzi are the least of their worries, though, after they wake up bound with duct tape in the grubby apartment of a devoted superfan. Can his ad hoc relationship therapy bring them back together? Joel Kim Booster's roller-coaster script gets a tight, entertaining staging under director Sarah Gitenstein. Her cast's character work is excellent across the board, but Rob Grabowski stands out as the sympathetically creepy kidnapper. For anyone with a garden apartment lurking in their past, John Wilson's cluttered set may cause flashbacks. —Keith Griffith $10-$20http://thenewcolony.org
I just found some good advice in the New York Times. It's contained in a little essay by Joyce Wadler, who's surprisingly droll considering that her literary output includes two memoirs of bouts with cancer. Wadler writes a column, addressed to boom generation readers, called I Was Misinformed, and her November 9 installment has to do with getting to a certain age and realizing you have things hidden in the back of your sock drawer that you don't want your survivors finding after you're gone. "The truly considerate person will dispose of potentially humiliating or harmful items the moment he gets really sick," she suggests, "like a married man I knew who gave his love letters from the other woman to a male friend before he went into the hospital. Then he got better and got the love letters back. Then he died, which was a big mistake on his part, though I hear it made for an interesting moment at the memorial when the widow spotted the other woman. Think of this as a cautionary tale. Horrible things can happen when you leave romantic mementos around the house." Continue reading >> $30-$60
The Mammals' All Girl Project gives women a crack at performing classics in which all or most of the characters are men. First came 2012's All Girl Moby Dick; now here's an entirely dude-free adaptation of Mary Shelley's horror novel about Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his fearsome creation. The casting pays off in performances that convey both ferocity and tenderness, particularly Amy E. Harmon's simultaneously scary and sympathetic monster. Adapter-director Bob Fisher supplies plenty of dark humor and lurid chills, often having to do with desecrating corpses in one form or another. But what makes the show truly unsettling is the way Fisher skillfully exploits the tension between the characters' fear of death and their morbid-verging-on-necrophiliac fascination with it. —Zac Thompson $25http://allgirlfrank.brownpapertickets.com/
In this Arabian Nights descendent, no sooner does the mother of plucky Sarazad tuck her into bed than a grumpy monster-king appears from under it. Determined not to become his dinner, Sarazad, living up to her name, keeps him entertained with stories that offer a lesson or two in what it means to be a good monster-king. Three of the four actors here take on multiple characters, bringing a DIY charm to a production that features puppets, robots, a depressed fish, and a life-size pet monkey. Moving from real-life trauma (Sarazad's teased by a cast of resident mean girls) to fantastical confrontation, E. J. C. Calvert's script is smart and inventive; the production stays focused and fun, more than enough to keep a crowd of kiddos—and their grown-ups—in thrall. —Suzanne Scanlon $15
Calamity West has two things that, in a just and sensible world, would lead inevitably to success: a pen name to give Lemony Snicket a run for his money and a knack for drama that makes her one of the best playwrights in Chicago. Or maybe the country. Or the universe. But you'll catch only glimpses of West's mad talent in Jackalope Theatre Company's unconvincing debut of her new play, The Peacock. And I'll concede that my admission of West into the pantheon is based on only one play, Common Hatred, which the Ruckus premiered last year. But hey, all it took was one play—Angels in America—to get everybody to agree on Tony Kushner's genius. And he couldn't even come up with a good pen name. Continue reading >> $5-$15http://jackalopetheatre.org
Clint Sheffer presents two new one-act dark comedies. $10
This fun little show, written by and starring Anthony Tournis and Colin Milroy, parodies the explosion-happy buddy-cop films of the 80s (48 Hours, Lethal Weapon) with a near religious evocation of their tropes: the mismatched pals (one "dirty," the other by-the-book), the overworked boss, the cartoonish violence, the sexist portrayal of women. Though it's sometimes hard to tell if they've come to satirize the genre's excesses or to revel in them, the show has a charming and rough-hewn exuberance about it. Many members of the large cast still seemed under-rehearsed on opening weekend, but a few really shone, most notably Dennis Schnell as uber-bad guy Johannes Finkelstein and Sara Gorsky as Nazi she-wolf Ursula von Hodenesser. —Jack Helbig $20-$25
Oracle Theatre's Radio Goggles series takes an unusual approach to staging old-timey radio dramas: actors lip-synch their lines to the original audio. For this third installment, Ben Fuchsen, Kristin Davis, and K. Hannah Friedman direct 1940s episodes of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe and The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, as well as a bizarre Christmas presentation in which Emperor Nero (voiced by Orson Welles) is dispatched from hell to assassinate Santa Claus—and in rhyming couplets, no less. The directors' frequent use of shadow puppetry is often effective, especially in the noirish Marlowe piece. But the lip-synching conceit yields eerie, robotic performances that reminded me of the creepy animatronic stars of Disney World's Hall of Presidents attraction. —Zac Thompsonhttp://publicaccesstheatre.org
Suppose some comics got together and decided they wanted to punish all the adults who came to their show for having been naughty. What kind of skits would they produce? In this Whiskey Wry production, the pacing is commendable and the acting is capable, but the comic constant is coal. Santa's horny enforcer assaults naughty children while wearing a luchador mask; a dildo ends up in someone's tight-ass boss's Secret Santa gift bag; a trailer-trash magus comes bearing diaper coupons. Yet it's not all ash. A rendition of A Christmas Carol with Charlie Brown standing in for Scrooge has Twilight Zone-esque flair, and a musical interlude wherein a cat lady's three feline companions sing skillfully and sweetly of her loneliness could have gone on indefinitely and still charmed me through and through. —Jena Cutie $15
Work from a variety of artists explore how advancements in technology have influenced their lives and experiences. Juried by Jan Tichy. Reception Fri 11/22, 6-9 PM.
Benevolent Theatre Company presents the story of two homeless people struggling to find the meaning of life as they try to survive on the streets. $20, $15 for students and seniorshttp://benevolenttheatre.com