Cast members of 'Terminus,' playing at the MCA this week
GETTING THEIR IRE UP Abbey Theatre of Ireland’s hyperviolent Terminus hits the
MCA stage this week.


More dramatic—and certainly more entertaining—than the Oscars: Our top five theatre picks for Wed 03.02.11 through Tue 03.08.11:


theatre Terminus
Angels, demons, serial killers, sex, and more staggeringly vivid imagery than an NC-17 surround-sound film fest: So it goes in this hyperviolent Irish import of interlocking monologues that’s about as far as you can get from clover-hugging leprechauns this St. Pat’s. But no guts, no glory. Abbey Theatre’s shocker won raves at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
GO: 3/2–6. $10–$35. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago.


theatre God of Carnage
And then there are the pint-sized weapons of mutual destruction. In Yasmina Reza’s dark comedy, parlor warfare erupts when two sets of wealthy parents meet to discuss their children’s playground contretemps. Rick Snyder directs this Tony-winning distillation of the woes of an entire socioeconomic world set in one room.
GO: Previews 3/5–13; $25–$60. Run continues through 4/10; $25–$78. Goodman Theatre, 170 N Dearborn.


theatre Ethan Frome
It’s a busy season for the playwright and former Chicagoan Laura Eason, whose Sex with Strangers is stirring the pot over at Steppenwolf. But Eason is perhaps better known for her takes on classic—if no less steamy—literature, such as this world-premiere adaptation of Edith Wharton’s smoldering story about an afternoon of sledding gone spectacularly wrong.
GO: Previews through 3/4; $20–$34. Run continues through 4/17; $34–$62. Lookingglass Theatre, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N Michigan.


theatre Meet John Doe
In 2007, a promising new musical surfaced—and then promptly vanished. Here, Porchlight revives the almost-never-staged tuner of a journalist who goes to desperate length to save her job and creates a Depression-era hero in the process. Newspapers in crisis? A nation crushed by economic woes? Maybe, back in 2007, Meet John Doe was ahead of its time.
GO: 3/4–4/17. $38. Porchlight Music Theatre at Stage 773, 1225 W Belmont.


theatre Working
Wicked’s Wizard (Gene Weygandt) and Madame Morrible (Barbara Robertson) go from one Stephen Schwartz/Broadway in Chicago show to another, trading in their emerald attire for blue-collar duds in this reworked musical adaptation of Studs Terkel’s ode to working-class Americans. With vocal powerhouse E. Faye Butler punching in, expect more joy than toil.
GO: Continues through 5/8. $67.50–$77.50. Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E Chestnut.

ALSO THIS WEEK: Speaking of Broadway, As You Like It, directed by the Great White Way bigwig Gary Griffin (The Color Purple), wraps 3/6 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, while The Big Meal, by the 2010 New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award winner Dan LeFranc, has been extended through 3/27 at American Theater Company.


Colin Hurd of Blue Man Group
Colin Hurd, sans makeup

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals (a.k.a. people we like): Colin Hurd, a ten-years-and-counting Blue Man veteran whom you can catch this week when the group debuts its newly retooled production.

“My weekends are usually Mondays and Tuesdays, my days off, but I have a friend coming into town from New York, so I have actually have things to do this weekend. We’re going to the Publican for brunch, and my friend wants to see some music, so I’m going to take her to the late-night set Sunday at the Green Mill. It’s the Kimberly Gordon Organ Trio, at 11 p.m. I also like Andy’s downtown, but my last show starts at 7 on Sunday, so I won’t be done until around 9:30. After the show, we go over notes, and it takes 15 minutes to get all the makeup off.”

GO: Blue Man Group runs Tue–Sun; this week Hurd performs 3/2, 4–6, and 8. See website for showtimes. $49–$69. Briar Street Theatre, 3133 N Halsted.


concerts Ken Vandermark
Two chances to hit the ’mark this week: The local free-jazz luminary and his ten-piece orchestra, The Resonance Ensemble, play a release gig for the group’s new live album, Kafka in Flight, Sunday afternoon in the Loop. Or cough up a few bucks and catch him opening for The Ex, that long-running Dutch rock band known for channeling knotty guitars and ominous grooves into left-wing protests, Tuesday night at Lincoln Hall.
GO: 3/6 at 2: Free. Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington. 3/8 at 8: $15. Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln.

concerts Music Friendly Dancing with Menomena
Some folks while away Monday bemoaning the week ahead; others waste hours watching The Bachelor. But you? You’ll be grooving to the experimental-rock sounds of the Portland band Menomena at this first in a series of free monthly gigs—or at least you’ll have a shot if you RSVP now: Registration is required, but admission is first come, first served.
GO: 3/7 at 7. Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western.