WORTH ITS SALT? Absolutely. Catch Our Lady of the Underpass, about Chicago’s miraculous salt stain, before it closes.


Don’t-miss events for Wed 03.25.09 through Tue 03.31.09


theatre  Our Lady of the Underpass*
In the wake of the 2005 appearance of a salt stain loosely shaped like the Virgin Mary, local playwright Tanya Saracho spent weeks quizzing pilgrims on why they felt compelled to trek to 90/94’s Fullerton Avenue viaduct to view the specter. If you haven’t seen the play, Chicago Guide theatre writer Catey Sullivan urges you to catch it before it closes this week. “Rather like real life, the play veers from the sacred to the profane,” she says of the characters, who flock to the makeshift urban altar to spill their darkest secrets.
GO: Thru Mar 29. $17.50-$35. Teatro Vista at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N Lincoln Ave. teatrovista.org


concerts  Asleep at the Wheel*
Bandleader Ray Benson’s fascination with Western swing has persisted for nearly four decades—an era that’s seen his group shape and stretch the genre to include boogie and bluegrass in addition to country and jazz. Lately the band has been gigging with Willie Nelson, and although the redheaded stranger isn’t along for the ride here, you can expect a rabblerousing performance from the nine-time Grammy winners.
GO: Mar 28 at 7 and 10. $26-$30. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln Ave. oldtownschool.org


farrago  he Break/s
Using verse, break dancing, and film, the West Coast dancer/activist/National Poetry Slam champ Marc Bamuthi Joseph tells his own coming-of-age story alongside that of hip-hop’s unstoppable global rise, with the aid of an onstage DJ. Sorry: Audience head spins not encouraged.
GO: Mar 26-28 at 7:30. $25. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave. mcachicago.org


theatre  God’s Ear
Last year’s As Told by the Vivian Girls was a bona fide groundbreaker, solidifying the local theatre troupe Dog & Pony’s status as one to watch. Now artistic director Krissy Vanderwarker presents an unconventional drama of one couple’s odyssey of grief. Expect intensity, surreality, and moments of unexpected comedy.
GO: Mar 26–Apr 26. Pay-what-you-can preview Mar 26; two-for-one Mar 27; regular run $15-$20. Viaduct Theatre, 3111 N Western Ave. viaducttheatre.com


farrago  International Vintage Poster Fair
Banish any recollections of student-union poster sales; this is not your one-stop shop for dorm décor. But if you’re not quite ready to make the leap from KISS concert posters to original fine art, these prints, dating from the 1890s through the 1980s, might do the trick.
GO: Preview Mar 27 from 5 to 9; $45. Mar 28 from 10 to 7 and Mar 29 from 11 to 6; free-$15. Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington. posterfair.com


farrago  Mary Gaitskill*
Just call her the original Diablo Cody. Gaitskill, who put in time as a stripper before achieving literary-darling status, writes books for reading under the covers (one of the stories from her 1988 collection Bad Behavior served as the basis for the naughty flick Secretary). Here she reads from her new collection, Don’t Cry.
GO: Mar 26 at 6. Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S State St. chicagopubliclibrary.org


Hear Willie and the Wheel play “On the Road Again” on the road … Buff up on Illinois’s history of Virgin Mary sightings (turns out we’re a hotbed of holy apparitions) … Find out which other authors fans of Mary Gaitskill read, according to this oddly hypnotizing interactive lit map


PHOTOGRAPH: Chicago Tribune Photo by Scott Strazzante