Bar-Hopping Mad

Bartenders: Turn off the lights and hide the alcohol. Schadenfreude is on the loose. The outlandish (and hilarious) local comedy troupe launches its Rent Party, a six-week tour of neighborhood watering holes, 9 p.m. Saturday the 19th at Gallery Cabaret (2020 N. Oakley Ave.; 773-576-6070). Guests include the musical duo Mike and Duane, and local improv vet/Chicago Public Radio host Jimmy Carrane. Tour dates run through May 24th; tickets are $10. For a preview, click “videos” at

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Intrigue With Faye
photo by Johnny Knight
  • HBO’s Six Feet Under redefined dark comedy, and, lucky for us, Chicago has inherited some of the show’s top-tier talent: First there was writer and Northlight Theatre collaborator Craig Wright; now we’ve scored the play Intrique With Faye by Under writer Kate Robin. In a send-up of reality TV—and those of us who can’t get enough of it—Intrigue follows a couple who try to repair their relationship following a bout of infidelity by videotaping their lives. The show runs through June 1st at the Royal George Theatre Gallery Space (1641 N. Halsted St.; 312-988-9000). Tickets are $15 to $25.


  • Consider it the Olympic trials of slam poetry: Mental Graffiti holds its Grand Slam finals 8 p.m. Monday the 21st at Funky Buddha Lounge (728 W. Grand Ave.; 312-666-1695); the night’s winners go on to compete in the 2008 National Poetry Slam in Madison, Wisconsin. Show up to cheer on a lineup including defending champ and Def Poetry vet Alvin Lau. Cover is $5.


  • How many ballet companies have an exclamation point in their name? Exactly. “Punk ballerina” Karole Armitage leads Armitage Gone! Dance in a show of athletic choreography blending everything from yoga to vogueing. Remaining performances are 8 p.m. Friday the 18th and Saturday the 19th at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago (1306 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-344-6600). Tickets run $24 to $28.


  • Proving that interconnected stories can work just as well in text as on screen (take that, Quentin Tarantino), bestselling author Elizabeth Strout talks about her new novel, Olive Kitteridge, with Chicago correspondent Victoria Lautman at this month’s Writers on the Record. The conversation begins 11:45 a.m. Sunday the 20th at Lookingglass Theatre (821 N. Michigan Ave.). Admission is free but reservations are recommended: 312-832-6788.


  • Now here’s an Earth Day celebration that goes beyond the free granola bar: Local label Sophic Records hosts a Rock and Ride concert benefiting the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation on Sunday the 20th. Performers include one-man-band Packy Lundholm, folkie Brian Mazzaferri, and indie rockers The Johns. Doors open at 7 p.m.; the show starts at 8 p.m. at Double Door (1572 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-489-3160). Tickets are $10.