The Q Brothers
SIBLING REVELRY The Q Brothers—that’s GQ (left) and JQ (right)—reprise their
raptacular Funk It Up About Nothin’ at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.


Don’t-miss picks for Wed 01/19/11 through Tue 01/25/11: Four big plays and an exhibition


theatre Funk It Up About Nothin’
We begged. We pleaded. Now Chicago Shakespeare Theater heeds our (booty) call and reprises this bawdy take on the Bard’s Much Ado by local homeboys the Q Brothers. Ye who have a sense of humor, go.
GO: Previews 1/21–23; $30. Run continues through 2/13; $25–$30. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier, 800 E Grand.


theatre The New Electric Ballroom
The awesome quartet of Kate Buddeke (Superior Donuts), Laurie Larson (of the late, great Estrogen Fest), Guy VanSwearingen (A Red Orchid’s founding artistic director), and Kirsten Fitzgerald (VanSwearingen’s successor) play siblings doomed to recall past troubles with Groundhog Day regularity in a hellishly funny family dramedy by Enda Walsh (The Walworth Farce). Between last season’s Abigail’s Party and the just-wrapped The Iliad, A Red Orchid has been on a tear lately: Get tickets now.
GO: Previews 1/20–24; $15. Run continues through 3/6; $25–$30. A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N Wells.


theatre Three Tall Women
There’s only one sound cue in this Edward Albee masterpiece: shattering glass. It’s a sonic moment that perfectly captures the harrowing complexity of three lives wound together as tightly as DNA strands—and a haunting metaphor for Albee’s take on youth, middle age, and the end of the line.
GO: Previews through 1/21; $30–$40. Run continues through 2/13; $40­–$60. Court Theatre, 5535 S Ellis.


theatre The Trinity River Plays
If you read Chicago’s February cover story, Homes of the Stars (on newsstands now), you can glimpse inside the playwright Regina Taylor’s Loop apartment. But if you head to the Goodman for this triptych of one-acts, running in its entirety each night, you can see inside her brain. Goodman regular Karen Aldridge (The Cook, The Good Negro) returns to portray nearly 30 years in the life of the indelible matriarch Iris Spears. From a troubled teen (in Jar Fly) to a youngish woman (Rain) to a stately senior (Ghoststory), Aldridge has the stuff to make Taylor’s epic crackle. Go Jan 19 when Taylor discusses the production before the night’s performance.
GO: Previews through 1/23. Run continues through 2/20. All tickets $25–$78. Taylor discussion: 1/19 at 6; $5–$10 additional. Goodman Theatre, 170 N Dearborn.


museums John Marin’s Watercolors: A Medium for Modernism
In the wake of the Vivian Maier discovery, we’re hooked on the thrill of seeing rarities come to light—and all the better when the works in question come from an art star with ties to a legendary crowd. A foremost Abstract Expressionist and a member of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz’s social circle, Marin enjoyed a 50-year career that took off just as the 19th century was ending. While O’Keeffe donated many of the works on view here to the AIC in 1949 and 1956, this exhibition marks the 120-strong collection’s first public viewing. Don’t miss it.
GO: 1/23–4/17. Ruth Fine from the National Gallery of Art gives a free talk on Marin 1/27 at 6. Free (kids under 14) to $18; free weekdays through 2/4. Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan.


Rock musician Liz Phair
Liz Phair

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable once and former locals (a.k.a. people we like): iconic rocker and—surprise!—lady who lunches Liz Phair. The New Trier grad and now Angeleno plays the Metro 1/22.

“When I come back to Chicago, I’d like to visit the new wing of the Art Institute with my mom and have lunch at the restaurant there. I also love meeting friends for lunch at Indian Hill and shopping at Ikram.”

GO: 1/22 at 8. $25. Metro, 3730 N Clark.





theatre New Stages Series
Three free staged readings remain in the Goodman’s annual showcase of new work. Inclusion in the series comes with an expectation of success—past entries have included Rain, from Regina Taylor’s now-mainstage Trinity River Plays; see above—but that shouldn’t be a problem for Comm Comm, adapted and directed by Dog & Pony Theatre Co.’s Seth Bockley from a story by George Saunders. The pair’s last collaboration, Jon, won the 2009 Jeff Award for Best New Adaptation.
GO: 1/22 at 7. Reservations recommended; see website for full schedule. Goodman Theatre, 170 N Dearborn.


Photograph: (top) Michael Brosilow