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The Top Five Things to Do in Chicago This Week

See Luna Gale, the Chicago Sinfonietta, a sketch comedy festival, and more.

MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE Apostolic Church of God’s choir will perform at the Chicago Sinfonietta’s MLK celebration this weekend.   Photo: Chris Ocken

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, January 15, through Tuesday, January 21

1 Tomorrow Never Knows Festival

Music: Temporary relief for summer music festival fiends, this year’s TNK includes indie-pop act Cayucas and rootsy Brooklyn throwback trio the Lone Bellow.
1/15–1/19. $15–$100. Multiple venues. tnkfest.com

2 Luna Gale

Theatre: A social worker (played by the phenomenal Mary Beth Fisher) makes a harrowing decision when she meets a pair of teenage addicts and their newborn baby in this world premiere by Rebecca Gilman (Boy Gets Girl, The Glory of Living). Robert Falls (King Lear, Measure for Measure) directs.
1/18–2/23. $25–$81. Goodman Theatre, 170 N Dearborn. goodmantheatre.org

3 Chicago Sinfonietta

Classical: The lodestone of the orchestra’s annual MLK tribute concert: Dutch composer Jacob ter Veldhuis’s Mountain Top, a remix of King’s famous speech given the day before the assassination.
1/19 at 3 p.m., 1/20 at 7:30. $10–$54. 1/19: Wentz Concert Hall, North Central College, 171 E Chicago, Naperville. 1/20: Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan. chicagosinfonietta.org

4 Archive State

Art: Displaying personal collections of found photographs and YouTube clips, six artists consider the effect war has on the state.
1/20–4/6. Free. Museum of Contemporary Photograpy, 600 S Michigan. mocp.org

5 Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival

Comedy: It’s a smorgasbord of sketch comedy, as more than 170 groups from around the country, and in some cases across the pond, swarm Stage 773 for two weekends of scripted funny stuff.
1/9 to 1/19. $14–$15. Stage 773, 1225 W Belmont. chicagosketchfest.com

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Vance Smith
Vance Smith Photo: Courtesy of Vance Smith

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Vance Smith, artistic director at the Stage Left Theatre. A Day in the Life of Joe Egg runs until February 16.

“Friday at 8 p.m. is my show. It’s a British play from the ’60s; it’s not revived in Chicago very much but it’s been on Broadway three times. It’s about a couple with a severely disabled child, except you’d have to call it a comedy. After the show, we like to go to Cooper’s. They have a great beer menu and yummy pizza and sandwiches. I’m hooked on their Kentucky bourbon ale right now.

“My wife and I got married in the fall, so on Saturday, we’re working through our Native Food gift cards. My favorite things are the bowls. If I weren’t doing my show, I’d check out some other theatre. There’s actually three spaces in Theatre Wit, and they all have cool shows, the musical Sweet Smell of Success and Our Country’s Good, which is a play that I love.

“Sunday, there’s a place called Johnny Casserole that just opened up. I’ve been wanting to check it out.” —As told to Tomi Obaro

Freebie of the Week

Joseph Gustaitis

Readings: Gustaitis discusses his new book, which makes the case that 1893 was Chicago’s finest year. The clue’s in the title: Chicago’s Greatest Year, 1893: The White City and the Birth of a Modern Metropolis.
1/15 at 7. Free. Bucktown-Wicker Park Branch Library, 1701 N Milwaukee. chipublib.org

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