In the wake of all of the warm fuzzies and holiday cheer, what better way to return to the cynicism of the real world than a night with Neil LaBute? To cap off its season dedicated to the darkly comedic playwright, Profiles Theatre (4147 N. Broadway; profilestheatre.org) hosts an evening with LaBute on Saturday, January 3rd. A preshow reception begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by readings and an audience Q&A. Admission is $50 and includes a ticket to the theatre’s next production, Great Falls, opening January 9th.
Best Bets for New Year’s Eve:
There is no campier New Year’s flick than The Poseidon Adventure. See it at 11 p.m. Wednesday, December 31st at the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.; 773-871-6604). The film’s start time is scheduled so that the audience will ring in the new year simultaneously with the characters onscreen. Tickets are $20 in advance at ticketweb.com, $25 at the door, and include a Champagne toast and party favors. Break out the Sperry Top-Siders: Cruisewear is encouraged.
Looking for an alternative to falling off a barstool? The Neo-Futurists host their annual New Year’s Eve edition of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind at the Neo-Futurarium (5153 N. Ashland Ave.; 773-275-5255). The show’s always a late-nighter, but this installment comes with snacks to keep your energy up, plus a toast and pizza at midnight. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 and must be purchased in advance.
10 Pin Bowling Lounge (330 N. State St.; 312-644-0300) brings sexy back to bowling. This NYE bash starts at 9 p.m. and includes a Champagne toast at midnight; bowling will proceed as usual on most lanes, but the center lanes will be turned over to a dance-party throwdown. Tickets are $125 in advance, $150 at the door, $75 after midnight.
And for easing into 2009:
Finally. After twentysomething years, Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave.; chicagoshakes.com) stages its first-ever production of the Bard’s superstition-shrouded Macbeth. Be there when history happens: The play opens Friday, January 2nd and runs through March 8th. Tickets are $54 to $70.
Can’t quite stomach Tom Cruise in Valkyrie? Skip the metroplex and head to the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State St.) for an international indie with Chicago roots. The First Breath of Tengan Rei, from the local husband-and-wife filmmakers Junko Kajino and Ed Koziarski, follows an Okinawan woman who kidnaps the son of a U.S. Marine convicted of raping her in her youth. More Chicagoans pop up onscreen and off: Sean Nix, last seen in Timeline’s production of Gore Vidal’s Weekend, stars; Mucca Pazza’s Mark Messing handled sound; and Califone guitarist Jim Becker and go-to jazz man Fred Lonberg-Holm play on the soundtrack. The film screens 8 p.m. Saturday, January 3rd and 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, January 7th. Tickets are $9 at ticketmaster.com.
We won’t hold The Ladies Man against him. Longtime SNL cast member Tim Meadows improvises with Second City mainstage performers Brad Morris and Joe Canale in Uncle’s Brother, 10 p.m. Sundays through January 25th at iO (3541 N. Clark St.; chicago.ioimprov.com). Tickets are $10.
Pants not fitting quite like they did in October? Get two weeks of free admission to fitness centers, January 2nd through the 16th, at some 60 locations citywide. Visit chicagoparkdistrict.com or call 312-742-7529 for details.
Out-of-town relatives still hanging around? Treat them to one last holiday hurrah before giving them the boot. The Wonderland Express, a kid-pleasing mini train, runs past pea-sized versions of some 80 local landmarks at the Chicago Botanic Garden (1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe; chicago-botanic.org). Tickets are $8 to $10, and the exhibit continues through Sunday, January 4th.
Marquee will be sleeping off New Year’s next Friday, January 2nd, returning January 9th.