Larry Yando—a.k.a. Scrooge in the Goodman’s A Christmas Carol—as Everyman? We are so there. And to those who claim he never met a scene he didn’t chew to toothpicks: Bah, humbug! Yando stars in the toe-tapping immigration tale Goldbrick, inspired by the story of the Chicago-by-way-of-Wales musician Jon Langford (The Mekons, Waco Brothers) and featuring a soundtrack of Langford’s seminal country-punk. The multimedia play, presented by Collaboraction and Walkabout Theater Company, runs through March 1st at The Building Stage (412 N. Carpenter St.; collaboraction.org). Tickets are $15 to $25.
Best Bets for Things to Do This Week
In other Welsh rocker news, Los Campesinos!, a U.K. ensemble that sounds like the offspring of an emo boy and a 1960s girl group, brings its cooing harmonies, jangly guitars, and glockenspiel to Logan Square Auditorium (2539 N. Kedzie Ave.; ticketweb.com) 9 p.m. Saturday the 7th. Expect an aural sugar rush that’ll have you bouncing off the walls. Tickets are $15.
Local audiences know Batsheva Dance Company’s artistic director, Ohad Naharin, from Minus 16, the show-stopping finale he choreographed for Hubbard Street. He returns this weekend with a new program, Deca Dance, and a whole new bag of tricks—tango, pantomime, even a robot dance—combining precision and wit. Not surprising for a company founded by Martha Graham. Batsheva performs 7:30 p.m. Saturday the 7th and 2 p.m. Sunday the 8th at Auditorium Theatre (50 E. Congress Pkwy; ticketmaster.com). Tickets are $30 to $89.
The talent bookers behind the University of Chicago Folk Festival remain passionately committed to traditional folk music, valuing the communal over the commercial and providing a public forum for some amazingly obscure yet powerful performers. Confirmed acts for this year’s lineup—the 49th annual—include The Rhythm Rats, who play old-time string band music, ensuring that a spontaneous dance party will combust at some point during the band’s Saturday set. Full schedule, venue information, and tickets: uofcfolk.org.
Four score and 120 years ago, Abraham Lincoln was born. Chicago History Museum (1601 N. Clark St.; chicagohistory.org) kicks off its yearlong toast to No. 16’s bicentennial with Happy Birthday Abe!, featuring cake, Chicago-style hot dogs, and photo opps with a Lincoln lookalike Thursday the 12th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. General admission is a penny—which means you should stick around for the opening of the museum’s Lincoln Treasures, a collection of all things Abe-related, from his piano to his deathbed. The exhibition runs through August 16th.
Poetry, it turns out, isn’t all hearts and flowers. The Poetry Center’s annual Valentine’s Day show, No Love for Love, sprinkles generous dashes of salt and vinegar into the mix, with Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s “Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!,” headlining a night of writers, performers, and filmmakers grousing on the topic of love. The show begins 8 p.m. Monday the 9th at Victory Gardens Biograph Theater (2433 N. Lincoln Ave.; victorygardens.org). Tickets are $20.
If life is like high school—and most days, isn’t it?—Stupid Kids, John C. Russell’s painfully accurate depiction of love, lust, and woe in the Gossip Girl demo, is a spot-on testimony to those not-so-happy days. About Face Theatre’s new artistic director, Bonnie Metzgar, makes her directorial coming-out with Chicago’s premiere LGBT troupe. The show runs through March 15th at Center on Halsted (3656 N. Halsted St.; aboutfacetheatre.com). Tickets are $10 to $30.
Photograph: Kirstie Shanley