It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s . . . Super Tapper!
Move over, Green Lantern. Stick to your spinning, Wonder Woman. DC Comics heroes may have impressive powers, but not a one of them can tap dance (at least, none that we know of). Meet Hourglass, a superheroine who uses her exceptional tapping prowess to fight villains, including Killjoy, Dance Macabre, and the Conductor, in The Hourglass in the Stop-Time Chronicles. Brainchild of Chicago Tap Theatre artistic director Mark Yonally and comic book artist Andrew Pepoy (The Simpsons, Batman), The Hourglass combines a capella tap with music from female-fronted bands including Siouxsie and the Banshees. The show opens Friday the 6th and runs Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through the 29th at Athenaeum Theatre’s Studio 1 (2936 N. Southport Ave.). Tickets are $15 to $25; call 312-902-1500.

And while, technically, it isn’t inspired by superheroes, the dancers of Red Thread do give the illusion of flying. Incredibly athletic performers from Ameba Acrobatic and Aerial Dance blend contemporary dance and aerial movement in a show inspired by an old Chinese proverb. Red Thread runs 7 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through the 14th at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts (1016 N. Dearborn St.). Tickets are $15 to $20; call 773-463-4402.

Best Bets for Things to Do This Week


• As if being a teenager wasn’t hard enough: In his one-man show Unpronounceable, stand-up comedian Kumail Nanjiani chronicles his childhood in Pakistan and the culture shock of moving to Iowa at age 18. Showtime is 8 p.m. Saturday the 7th at Lakeshore Theater (3175 N. Broadway; 866-468-3401). Read more about Nanjiani and his show, directed by The Aristocrats’ Paul Provenza, in the July issue of Chicago and at Tickets are $10.

• Seats are still available for the extended run of the acclaimed play The Puppetmaster of Lodz, the poignant story of a man who, believing WWII is still on, barricades himself in an attic through 1950 and creates a puppet show of his life. The show runs Tuesdays through Sundays through the 22nd at Writers’ Theatre (664 Vernon Ave., Glencoe; 847-242-6000); tickets are $45 to $58.

• It might change your mind about that summer road trip. Arm Soup: The Story of How Five People Went West and Ate Each Other tells the tale of a modern family that takes a cross-country trip, à la the Donner Party-with equally disastrous results. Showtimes are 10 p.m. Saturday the 7th and the 14th at The Annoyance Theatre (4840 N. Broadway; 773-561-4665). Tickets are $15.

• If you so much as turned on a radio circa 1997, you heard the song “The Freshman.” The Verve Pipe revives its one-hit wonder Saturday the 7th at the Sixth Annual Lake View Music Fest (intersection of Ashland and Barry Avenues; 773-868-3010). The band takes the stage at 8:30 p.m.; the street fair runs noon to 10 p.m. Suggested donation: $5.

• Taste of Chicago rocks out this weekend with performances by The Black Crowes, 5:30 p.m. Friday the 6th, and local-band-done-good Cheap Trick, along with Soul Asylum and Cracker, 5 p.m. Saturday the 7th in Grant Park (300 S. Columbus Dr.). Entry is free. We hear there’s some food available as well.

• Taste isn’t the only spot for turkey-leg noshing. Get ye olde snack on at the opening weekend of the Bristol Renaissance Faire (12550 120th Ave., Kenosha, Wis.; 847-395-7773). This road-trip rite of passage features food, jousting, and all manner of costumed wenches, and runs weekends through Labor Day. Admission is $15.95 to $18.95.

• Put a rose between those teeth: It’s time to tango. The Tango Joven 2007 Festival runs Friday the 6th through Sunday the 8th with workshops, parties, and performances at the Chicago Symphony Center (220 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-810-0252). Highlights include electric tango band Tanghetto Friday at 8 p.m. and a tango how-to at the 6 p.m. Saturday installment of SummerDance (Grant Park’s Spirit of Music Garden, 601 S. Michigan Ave.). Prices vary; find a full lineup and register at

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