Chicago’s past and its seedy underbelly are more in tune than a mobster and his trigger finger—which goes a long way toward explaining our obsession with all things criminal. Get a dose of the dark side when the new exhibition Least Wanted: A Century of American Mugshots opens with a free reception, 5 to 8 p.m. Friday the 18th at Intuit (756 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 312-243-9088). Original mugshots from the 1870s through the 1960s make up the show, which represents only a fraction of New York–based graphic designer Mark Michaelson’s 10,000-strong collection. Get more of the history behind his striking relics when Michaelson hosts a coffee klatch 11 a.m. Saturday the 19th at the gallery. The exhibition runs through April 12th.
- You might have caught the radical Italian theatre company Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio in its previous gig at the MCA, or maybe you’ll recognize one or two of the 40 local volunteers who appear briefly on stage, but absolutely nothing else about the company’s experimental new work will resemble anything you’ve seen before. In Hey Girl!, the troupe tracks an everywoman through the female life cycle, reshaping ideas about anonymity and femininity. Performances take place 7:30 p.m. Friday the 18th and Saturday the 19th at the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago Ave.; 312-397-4010). Tickets are $24.
- If you’ve been getting your information from movies like I Am Legend and Resident Evil, you’ve got it all wrong. The living dead have it rough—or so say the braineaters interviewed in American Zombie, a film spoofing documentaries about marginalized populations. The flick makes its Chicago première 8 p.m. Friday the 18th, with a second showing 6 p.m. Monday the 21st, at the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State St.; 312-846-2600). Tickets are $9.
Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio
photo by Francesco Raffaelli
- Chicago Sinfonietta kicks off its soaring Annual Tribute Concert to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Celebration, the rousing career-making work by contemporary composer Adolphus Hailstork. Also on the program: a première from Chicago’s Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and the 200-voice Apostolic Church of God Sanctuary Choir. Performances take place 3 p.m. Sunday the 20th in Dominican University’s Lund Auditorium (7900 W. Division St., River Forest) and 7:30 p.m. Monday the 21st at Symphony Center (220 S. Michigan Ave.). Tickets run $26 to $96; call 312-236-3681, ext. 2.
- Want to get the kids interested in classical music? Try selling it with a spoonful of pop culture. Classical Idol, presented by the Chicago Chamber Musicians, pits chamber-music ensembles against one another, with audience applause deciding the outcome. Showtimes are 10 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday the 19th and Sunday the 20th at Chicago Shakespeare Theater (800 E. Grand Ave.; 312-595-5600), and budding virtuosos are invited to mingle with the musicians following the performances. Tickets run $15 to $18.
Be among the first to see a new version of Neil LaBute’s This Is How It Goes, onstage through March 2nd at Profiles Theater (4147 N. Broadway; 773-549-1815). LaBute tinkered with the script following its New York début in 2005; version 2.0 has only been staged in London prior to Chicago. The play, which tackles the intersection of bigotry and love via the story of an interracial couple, is part of Profiles’ season dedicated to the playwright and filmmaker. Tickets run $25 to $30.
Improv is hard enough when the goal is one-off laughs. Try weaving together seemingly unrelated subplots to coax out a larger theme. It makes us tired just thinking about it, but Storybox does so swimmingly—using only audience suggestions, a few scraps of cloth, and a bundle of wooden sticks as fodder—and sets the whole thing to live improv music. The one-act show runs 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays through February 3rd, at Piven Theatre (927 Noyes St., Evanston; 847-866-8049). Tickets are $10.
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