How is it that the spinster Brontë sisters managed to write such passionate bodice rippers—for Victorian England, at least—despite a life of domestic doldrums on the Yorkshire moors? That’s the fundamental question British playwright Polly Teale aims to answer in Brontë, her imaginative blend of biography and fiction, presented by Remy Bumppo Theatre Company. The show previews 7:30 p.m. Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd, 2:30 p.m. Sunday the 23rd, and opens 7 p.m. Monday the 24th at Victory Gardens Greenhouse Theater (2257 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-871-3000). Previews are $24 to $30; regular run is $35 to $40.
Best Bets for Things to Do This Week Watch
Sound of Silent Film Festival
Photo by Sa Steffi Xiao
- Think of them as the anti-Woody Allens: There are still filmmakers out there devoted to silent movies (i.e., non-talkies). The Sound of Silent Film Festival, organized by the Accessible Contemporary Music group, launched three years ago with the goal of pairing contemporary silent films with emerging composers; this year’s slate includes the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival winner, Native New Yorker. Catch the program 7:30 p.m. Wednesday the 26th at Chopin Theatre (1543 W. Division St.). Tickets are $12 at the door, $10 in advance, and are available at acmusic.org.
- Profiles Theatre (4147 N. Broadway; 773-549-1815) concludes its season dedicated to Neil LaBute with the Midwest première of one of his newest plays, In a Dark Dark House—which sounds like an apt title for a playwright and filmmaker known for plumbing the inky side of human nature. The story of two brothers working through their family’s traumatic past in a psychiatric facility opens 8 p.m. Thursday the 27th. Tickets are $25 to $30.
- Swan Lake: It’s what most laymen think of when they think of ballet, but that doesn’t mean the classic isn’t worth a second look—especially when it’s staged by Russia’s renown Tchaikovsky Ballet and Orchestra, and choreographed by international ballet superstar Natalia Makarova. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday the 21st, and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday the 22nd at Roosevelt University’s Auditorium Theatre (50 E. Congress Pkwy.; 312-902-1500). Tickets run $30 to $85.
- British new wave, by way of Chicago? Multiple members of the seminal UK punk band Mekons, including the enchanting Sally Timms and frontman Jon Langford, call Chicago home. The group plays an early acoustic show at 7 p.m. and a later, more hard-rocking show at 10 p.m. Tuesday the 25th at Schubas (3159 N. Southport Ave.; 773-525-2508). Tickets are $20.
- From Spitzer to protests to election drama, there’s been plenty of watercooler fodder lately to keep us all well-hydrated. Improv headquarters iO (3541 N. Clark St.; 773-880-0199) presents its own spin on the spin with the sketch show Big News, updated weekly to reflect headline events. Catch the latest version 8 p.m. Tuesday the 25th for $5.
- Spring officially sprung Thursday. What, you didn’t notice? Get into the spirit, whatever the weather, with a truly seasonal activity: As part of Chicago Academy of Science’s 150th birthday, guests are invited to “sponsor” a butterfly for a $15 donation and release it into the Butterfly Haven at the Notebaert Nature Museum (2430 N. Cannon Dr.; 773-755-5100). Admission is free Saturday the 22nd, and releases are scheduled for 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., and 1 and 2 p.m.