The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, February 5, through Tuesday, February 11

1 Russian Transport

Theatre: Break out the celebratory Stoli! Bulgarian-born Steppenwolf ensemble member Yasen Peyankov makes his directorial debut with playwright Erika Sheffer’s dark comedy about a Russian American family upended by human trafficking.
2/6–5/11. $42–$78. Steppenwolf, 1650 N Halsted.

2 Vision, Faith, and Desire II

Dance: Cozy up to some of the edgiest dance-performance troupes in Chicago with an onstage seat (well, in the choir loft) at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. A parade of locals will debut works inspired by the mother of modernism, Martha Graham.
2/6–2/8. $15. Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph.

3 Chicago Chamber Musicians

Classical: Catch the world premiere of local composer Stacy Garrop’s The Trumpets of Jericho, which is inspired by the famous Biblical story.
2/9–2/10. $10–$45. 2/9: Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern U, 50 Arts Circle, Evanston. 2/10: Gottileb Hall, Merit School of Music, 38 S Peoria.

4 Buzzer

Theatre: Yet another razor-sharp new play exploring race and class: Jessica Thebus directs a cast of three (Eric Lynch, Lee Stark, and Shane Kenyon) in this tale about a smartphone-obsessed black lawyer, his white wife, and their pill-popping houseguest.
2/8–3/9. $10–$30. Goodman Theatre, 170 N Dearborn.

5 Greg Fitzsimmons

Comedy: Host of the podcast Fitzdog Radio and an Emmy winner for his work The Ellen Degeneres Show, the friendly Irish American ponders the pros and cons of middle age.
2/7–8 at 8 and 10:30. $22. UP Comedy Club, 230 W North.

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Gary Griffin
Gary Griffin Photo: Courtesy of Gary Griffin

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Gary Griffin, associate artistic director at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Gypsy runs from Thursday, February 6 through March 23.

“Friday will be our second performance of Gypsy at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Because it’s in our courtyard theatre, it’s an intimate Gypsy [but] we do have a fourteen-piece orchestra. You’ll get the best of both worlds; it’s both in your lap and epic at the same time.

“After the performance, I’ll take my two leading ladies for after-show cocktails and discussion at Riva. It’s on the pier; it’s very friendly and the staff is very supportive of the theater.

“Saturday, we’re rehearsing and previewing Gypsy during the day. In the evening, my agent is coming to town. We’re going to have dinner at Vivo, another one of my favorite places. It’s just wonderful Italian food and I’ve been going there for over 20 years. Then after the show, I’m planning to meet up with some of our family at Chicago Shakes and we’ll have a post-show cocktail, at the W Chicago Lakeshore. It’s got a good social vibe, good music there, and it’s close by. They have a terrific bar.

“Sunday night, after our show, I’m hoping to see at Tribes at Steppenwolf. It’s a beautiful play that I’ve read, but I haven’t seen it on the stage. And it’s not a musical, so it’s nice to go see something else.” —As told to Tomi Obaro

Freebie of the Week

Carry Me Ohio

Art: A zebra in the snow, a fire burning in a trash can—these are just a few of the striking images photographer Matt Eich took of southeastern Ohio, where a quarter of the residents live in poverty.
2/6–5/10. Free. Gage Gallery, Roosevelt University, 18 S Michigan.