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The Top Five Things to Do in Chicago This Week

The best events in theater, comedy, film, and more.

SCARLET LETTER See A Doll’s House this weekend.   Photo: Joe Mazza

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, August 5 through August 11, 2015

1 A Doll’s House

Theater: Director Michael Halberstam’s adaptation of this Ibsen play drew rave reviews when it debuted in April. Attend this hotly-anticipated remounting.
8/5–8/9, 8/12–8/16. $10. Definition Theatre Company at Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan. definitiontheatre.org

2 Unexpected

Film: After an initial Chicago premiere at the Chicago Critics Film Festival in May, Kris Swanberg’s critically-acclaimed drama about a pregnant CPS high school teacher and her expecting student screens in the city for all to see.
8/5–8/6. $5–$10. Facets Cinémathèque, 1517 W. Fullerton. facets.org/cinematheque/films/aug2015/unexpected.php

3 Jim Gaffigan

Comedy: On the heels of his new TV Land sitcom, The Jim Gaffigan Show, the Midwest native comes to Chicago for his “Contagious” tour. Food jokes are highly probable.
8/6 at 8. $55–$99. FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, 1300 S. Linn White. livenation.com

4 Cirque du Soleil

Circus: A consortium of wildly costumed contortionists, aerialists, acrobats, clowns, and singers convene for the Cirque du Soleil’s psychedelic exploration of the boundary between what’s actually happening and what’s a figment of the imagination.
8/6–9/20. $25–$495. United Center, 1901 W. Madison. cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/kurios/default.aspx

5 Bitchin Bajas

New Music: For the third year in a row, the experimental trio and friends perform Terry Riley’s minimalist masterpiece In C, meant for an indefinite number of players playing at an indefinite tempo for an indefinite period of time.
8/9 at 8:30. $5. Constellation, 3111 N. Western. constellation-chicago.com

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Sonia Denis
Sonia Denis Photo: Anthony McBrien, Honk Honk Photography

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: comedian Sonia Denis.

“This Friday I’ll be going to the premiere of VHS, a new stand-up show at @North Bar in Wicker Park. The show is produced by Zach Peterson, who is also one of the producers of the Comedy Exposition. Comics do a regular set then they sit down and watch VHS tapes found at thrift stores, garage sales, etc. It’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 meets America’s Funniest (or creepiest) Home Videos.

“One of my friends is leaving Chicago, so later that night I’ll be attending his farewell party at Howl at the Moon. Howl at the Moon is what would happen if Kesha bought a piano bar. There are dueling pianos, oversized drinks, and drunk bachelorettes. It’s a fun time as long as you don’t have anything to do the next day.

“On Saturday, I’ll be performing at The AV Club Presents Bell Hop, which is a stand-up show created by Ian Abramson and Matt Byrne at the Virgin Hotel downtown. Ian and Matt are the same people who created 7 Minutes in Purgatory, so the show will be fun and weird.

“On Sunday, I’m going to the Bristol Renaissance Faire. I’ve never been, but my friends have assured me I’ll get to throw an axe and watch knights joust.

“Sunday night, I’ll be performing at Revelrie at the Revel Room in Wicker Park. It’s a stand-up showcase that fellow comedian Rebecca O’Neal and I host every Sunday. We always have really great, diverse line-ups and the Revel Room has drink specials all night. Also, it’s free!” —As told to Hannah Nyhart

Freebie of the Week


Bud Billiken

Parades: Marred by a shooting last year, the nation’s oldest black parade (and the second-largest parade in the country) continues nevertheless with marching bands, local celebrities and activities for youth empowerment.
8/8 at 10. Free. Martin Luther King from Oakwood to Washington Park. budbillikenparade.org

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