When Aliens Attack

Radiolab’s Abumrad and Krulwich
Photo: WNYC

Nearly 70 years ago to the day, Orson Welles scared the bejeezus out of America by declaring that Martians had invaded a small New Jersey town. In Martian Invasion! Decoding the War of the Worlds, a live edition of the syndicated public radio show Radiolab, hosts Jab Abumrad and Robert Krulwich pair original radio footage with new audio in an attempt to get to the bottom of how, exactly, the mass hysteria happened. The show runs 7:30 p.m. Sunday the 26th and Monday the 27th at Victory Gardens Biograph Theater (2433 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-871-3000). Tickets are $30.

In other monster news, the annual State Street Halloween Happening Parade steps off from State Street and Randolph Drive at noon Saturday the 25th (free; chicagoween.us). For older ghouls and goblins, the bawdy comedienne Sandra Bernhard hosts a night of revelry with her band The Rebellious Jezebels, Monday the 27th with shows at 7 and 9:30 p.m., at Steppenwolf Theatre (1650 N. Halsted St.; 312-335-1650). Tickets are $50 to $60, and costumes are encouraged.

Best Bets for Things to Do This Week

Watch what you trash. Curators Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher of the Found Footage Festival aren’t picky when it comes to sourcing video for their annual tour de film. Dumpsters, garage sales, thrift stores: All are fair game for their final product, a one-hour collage of forgotten film. This year’s edition features clips of a half-clad Angela Lansbury, a how-to video on toilet training cats, and contributions from comics David Cross and Chris Elliott. The curtain rises 8 p.m. Friday the 24th at Lakeshore Theater (3175 N. Broadway. 773-472-3492). Tickets are $12.

Star playwright, MacArthur “genius,” and Wilmette native Sarah Ruhl—whose plays include Dead Man’s Cell Phone and Passion Play, in addition to Eurydice, onstage now at Victory Gardens Biograph Theater—returns to town for a discussion on her works, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday the 29th, also at Victory Gardens (2433 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-871-3000). Fellow panelists include director Jessica Thebus, and Ruhl’s mom, actress Kathleen Ruhl, among others. Tickets are $5.

John Hodgman
is much funnier than his straight-man role as “PC” in the Mac commercials might lead you believe. Hear the comedian read from More Information Than You Require, the second installment of his book series Complete World Knowledge, composed wholly of fictitious trivia tidbits, 7 p.m. Tuesday the 28th at Second City e.t.c. (1608 N. Wells St.; 312-337-3992). Admission is free.

Jenny Holzer is known for incorporating text into her art, and with her new exhibition, Jenny Holzer: Protect Protect, opening at the absolute crescendo of the election cycle, most of the words she chooses are explicitly political. The show, which runs Saturday the 25th through February 1st at the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago Ave.; 312-280-2660), includes silkscreens of redacted Iraq War documents and LED installations of beautiful, if alarming, messages. In conjunction with the show’s launch, projected messages will completely cover the museum’s façade from 8 to 10 p.m. Wednesday the 29th through Friday the 31st. Outdoor public viewing is free; entry to the museum is $10.

A stellar chance to party like an art star this weekend: Get intergalactic at Visionary Ball: Conquest of the Moon, Intuit’s annual fundraiser. Astronaut and robot costumes are encouraged; auction items include a Henry Darger watercolor. The bash starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday the 25th at The Warehouse at Carmichael’s (1052 W. Monroe St.; 312-243-9088). Tickets are $200.