The Virgin Queen

10 Virgins
photo by Johnny Knight

Do we know how to pick them or what? In our May issue, on stands now, senior editor Cassie Walker tipped readers off to a trio of young, ambitious playwrights, including Laura Jacqmin. Since then, the 25-year-old wunderkind has received the coveted Wasserstein Prize, which recognizes under-the-radar up-and-coming playwrights. See what all the fuss is about when Jacqmin’s folkloric, whimsical 10 Virgins premieres 8 p.m. Friday the 2nd and Saturday the 3rd at Chicago Dramatists (1105 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-633-0630). The show depicts ten sisters—five actresses, five puppets—who uncover a family drama. The plays runs through June 1st; tickets are $22 to $28.

Best Bets for Things to Do This Week:

DJs, theatre troupes, musicians, and other artistic types convene for the second annual dusk-to-dawn festival Looptopia, 5 p.m. Friday the 2nd to 7 a.m. Saturday the 3rd. Pretty much anything seems surreal when you’ve been up all night, but the following events sound especially in keeping with the fest’s fantastic atmosphere: The Rubber Monkey Puppet Company’s shadow puppet and percussion show (5 to 10 p.m. in the windows of Nordstrom Rack, 24 N. State St.); a very, very late version of the popular The Game Show Show (2:50 to 3:40 a.m. at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy.); and a 5 a.m. game of hide and seek in Millennium Park (east of Michigan Avenue, between Randolph and Monroe Streets). Visit for a full schedule.

Think Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding meets outsider art: all the fun without the cheeseball factor. Dog & Pony Theatre Co.’s world-premiere As Told by the Vivian Girls is as much choose-your-own-adventure as play; the audience moves through the performance at will, pausing to peer at 15 characters inspired by the 15,000-page tome left behind by Chicago outsider Henry Darger. The show runs at Theater on the Lake (2401 N. Lake Shore Dr.; 773-360-7933) through May 25th. Tickets are $15 to $20.

Harvey Fierstein’s Tony-winning Torch Song Trilogy was one of the first Broadway plays focusing on gay characters when it debuted in the late 1970s. The People’s Theater of Chicago gives the story of a Jewish drag queen a new life with 7 p.m. performances Monday the 5th and Tuesday the 6th at the Leather Archives & Museum (6418 N. Greenview Ave.; 312-332-0518). Tickets are $30, and a portion of the proceeds benefits Season of Concern’s HIV/AIDS fundraising efforts.

Iraqi-American Heather Raffo spent 11 years interviewing Iraqi women and boiling those conversations down for her one-woman show. 9 Parts of Desire depicts nine female characters, from a portrait artist who painted Saddam Hussein to a trauma doctor. The show runs Saturday the 3rd through Sunday the 18th at the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago Ave.; 312-397-4010). Tickets are $18 to $38.

It’s Bach to basics for Evanston’s annual Bach Week: In years past, the festival has presented works by the Baroque composer as well as his contemporaries, but 2008 is all Bach, all the time. Performances run 7:30 p.m. Friday the 2nd and Sunday the 4th, and 7:30 and 10:15 p.m. Friday the 9th at the Music Institute of Chicago (1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston; 800-595-4849). Single tickets are $10 to $35; fest passes are $75 to $100.

In days of yore, poetry and theatre went together like peanut butter and jelly, but the two divorced sometime between Shakespeare and the advent of television. A Poet’s Theater Showcase aims to reconcile the pair for the 21st century in an experimental series at Links Hall (3435 N. Sheffield Ave.; 773-281-0824). This weekend’s performers include Collapsible Poetics Theater; next weekend it’s The Widow Party with a melodramatic mash-up of poetry, song, and sound effects. Single tickets are $12; visit for the full schedule.