Jonesing for the Indies?

It’s summer’s other type of indie film—you know, without an aging moviestar-as-archeologist limping through feats of derring-do. The second annual Gen Art Film Festival, offering five nights of independent flicks and afterparties, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Monday the 23rd with Bart Got a Room, a coming-of-age story about two high schoolers’ prom plans starring William H. Macy and Cheryl Hines. The screening takes place at the Music Box (3733 N. Southport Ave.; 312-229-1701); an afterparty follows at the Ravenswood Billboard Factory (4043 N. Ravenswood Ave.). Other highlights include the dark romantic comedy The Last Word, starring Winona Ryder, and The Living Wake, about an artist who spends his final hours exploring Chicago via bike-powered rickshaw. Both screen at AMC Piper’s Alley (1608 N. Wells St.; 312-229-1701). The full schedule and tickets—$15 to $25 per night, $75 for a fest pass—are available at

Best Bets for Things to Do This Week:

Chicago single Steven Rosengard
Photo by Erika Dufour; styling by Amy Lauhoff O’Brien

Perhaps you haven’t seen them yet. If so, stop working and start surfing the Web: Our 2008 cast of Chicago’s most eligible singles is online and on newsstands now. Check them out, them meet them in person at our annual mixer, Summer Lovin’, cosponsored by the Auxiliary Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital and benefiting the hospital’s prostate cancer gene therapy program. The party runs 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday the 20th at the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago Ave.). Tickets—$85 to $105 at the door—include food, drinks, music by DJ White Shadow, and plenty of eye candy.

It’s a setup that could go horribly awry in the wrong hands, but we’re expecting good things from Funk It Up About Nothin’. The rap adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing comes courtesy of local playwrights and nightlife scenesters the Q Brothers, whose 2001 Bomb-itty of Errors scored lots of love from the press. Previews start 7 p.m. Wednesday the 25th at Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave.; 312-595-5600), which is fresh off its regional-theatre Tony nod. Tickets are $25 to $30, and the production runs through August 3rd. Oh, and this show is definitely not for kids.

Chicago has yielded female playwrights from Rebecca Gilman to Sarah Ruhl, but Halcyon Theatre says there’s still a gender gap when it comes to recognizing talent. The company hopes to give the scales a nudge with the Alcyone Festival, a rotating repertoire of historic plays written by women over the last thousand years. Highlights include Chicago DanzTheatre’s interpretation of the Victorian classic The Yellow Wallpaper, 8 p.m. Sunday the 22nd at the Peter Jones Gallery (1806 W. Cuyler Ave., second floor; 312-458-9170). Tickets are $15; fest passes are $25. Visit for a full schedule.

And now for something completely different: The fledgling local production company Humble Pie Films is shooting Fancypants, a romantic comedy about a wrestler afraid of real-life conflict, and needs to fill the Congress Theatre (2135 N. Milwaukee Ave.) at 2 p.m. Saturday the 21st for a scene. The wrestling group Arenas de Chicago Lucha Libre will perform, and pros Rowdy Roddy Piper and “The Hardcore Legend” Terry Funk will be on hand to sign autographs. It’s $25 to participate; register at

Free cake alert: The Museum of Science and Industry (5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.; 773-684-1414) turns 75 this week and celebrates with a host of family-friendly events, including an outdoor laser and fireworks show Friday the 20th (the museum stays open until 8:30 p.m., with the show after), an alfresco screening of the film A Night at the Museum at 9:30 p.m. Sunday the 22nd, free general admission through Sunday (and for kids through Labor Day), and, yes, free cake. Visit for a full schedule.