The Pocket Guide to Sex

David Sedaris’s January shows at Steppenwolf sold out long ago, but seats are still available for the theatre’s funny, poignant Traffic Series, focusing on what it means to be an American. Next up: radio personality Sharon McGhee’s The PocketBook Monologues, an African American response to The Vagina Monologues, about sex and intimacy among women of color. (The show’s title refers not to a purse but to a polite euphemism for a certain part of the female anatomy.)  Showtime is 7 p.m. Monday the 14th in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre (1650 N. Halsted St.; 312-335-1650). Tickets are $35.

Best Bets for Things to Do This Week


    Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

    photo by Sascha Vaughn

  • Swan Lake looks a bit different in drag. Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, an all-male troupe fondly known as “the Trocks,” parodies classic ballet with love. See them 7:30 p.m. Thursday the 17th at the Harris Theater (205 E. Randolph Dr.; 312-334-7777). Net proceeds from tickets, $40 to $75, benefit the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

  • Rod Serling may be best known for writing and hosting The Twilight Zone, but his television drama (and later, movie) Requiem for a Heavyweight was widely considered one of his top works. The story, about a boxer who struggles with the end of his career, has a darker edge than most sports dramas. The show opens 3 p.m. Sunday the 13th at Victory Gardens Greenhouse Theater (2257 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-871-3000) and runs through March 8th. Tickets are $27 to $35.

  • Playwright Conor McPherson’s modern ghost story, Shining City, comes to the Goodman Theatre (170 N. Dearborn St.; 312-443-3800) following a successful Broadway run. Make an evening out of it Thursday the 17th with eats from Mrs. Murphy and Sons Irish Bistro and a talk with associate producer Steve Scott as part of the League of Chicago Theatres’ Theater Thursdays. Tickets for the night are $55; tickets for the show’s regular run, which continues through February 17th, are $23 to $75.


  • The men in charge have tried just about everything but laughter to solve the Middle East crisis, so it’s certainly worth a shot. The Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour, founded by Chicago-based Palestinian comedian Ray Hanania and former South Sider­­–turned–Jerusalem resident Charley Warady, launches its first U.S. tour in Chicago this weekend. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Saturday the 12th at the recently reopened—and stunning—Spertus Institute (610 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-322-1773). Tickets run $25 to $35.


  • It’s a match made in art-lover’s heaven: Two local cultural powerhouses convene when the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago team up for a collaborative performance 8 p.m. Friday the 11th at Symphony Center (220 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-294-3000). The program includes choreographer Daniel Ezralow’s SF/LB set to Leonard Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs, and a sneak peek of Doug Varone’s The Constant Shift of Pulse, officially débuting later this season. Tickets run $40 to $100.

  • Michael Lowenthal‘s best-selling novel, Charity Girl, is based on a little-known U.S. government campaign to arrest women suspected of carrying veneral disease during World War I. The author discusses the book with Chicago magazine contributor Victoria Lautman as part of the ongoing Writers on the Record series. This month’s installment begins at 11:45 a.m. Sunday the 11th at Lookingglass Theatre (821 N. Michigan Ave.). Admission is free; call the magazine at 312-832-6788 to reserve a seat.