Mac Attack

Radio Macbeth
Photo by Michael Brosilow

It’s been an emotional week, but election-day jitters are nothing compared to the 400-hundred-year-and-counting eau de anxiety that clings to Macbeth. The backstage whispers—Ghosts! Accidents! Funny business!—are almost as old as the play itself, but Radio Macbeth blows the dust off the well-worn rumors by writing them directly into the play. In this meta production, actors rehearsing a staging of Shakespeare’s classic in an abandoned theatre come to realize they’re not alone.The show runs through December 7th at Court Theatre (5535 S. Ellis Ave.; 773-753-4472). Tickets are $32 to $54.

Best Bets for Things to Do This Week

You’ve got the itch. Voting on Tuesday was a good start, but now you’re hungry for more ways to put democracy into action. Do like Uncle Sam and Dancing with the Stars taught you and let your voice be heard: Vote for your favorite performer in Dance Slam, a roundup of local up-and-coming dance acts, each five-minutes or less in length, in which the audience decides the winner, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday the 12th at the Athenaeum Theatre (2936 N. Southport Ave.). The show is part of the month-long Dance Chicago 2008, which kicks off this weekend with an international lineup that includes the Moscow Ballet and the Trinity Irish Dancers. Tickets for most events run $10 to $25 at; visit for a full schedule.

Chicago Sinfonietta’
s Think Big fits right in with this week’s historic events. Part of the Chicago Humanities Festival, the concert features pieces chosen via Internet poll as works that forever changed the classical music landscape (think Ravel, Copland, and Respighi). The performance begins 7:30 p.m. Monday the 10th at Symphony Center (220 S. Michigan Ave.). For tickets, $26 to $96, and a full festival schedule, visit

A couple of other top-notch music primers should help demystify two tricky genres: First, the Umbrella Music Festival, dedicated to improv jazz, runs through Sunday the 9th at venues around town. Chicago jazz writer Mark Loehrke recommends Bik-Bent-Braam, featuring the Dutch pianist Michiel Braam, who takes his inspiration from Ellington and Monk, then runs wild. The night’s program begins at 9 p.m. Friday the 7th, and Braam and Co. go on around 11 p.m. at Elastic (2830 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2nd floor; 773-772-3616); suggested donation is $15. Find a full festival schedule at

Then, on Wednesday the 12th, head to the Harris Theater (205 E. Randolph Dr.; 312-334-7777) for Fulcrum Point New Music Project’s Sound Tracks in New-Art Music. Don’t care for new music—or don’t know what it is? It’s a good bet you’ve already heard (and maybe even liked) it. The night’s program features excerpts of well-known and much-lauded movie scores, including Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho and Jonny Greenwood’s Popcorn Superhet Receiver from There Will Be Blood. Tickets run $25 to $75.

October was busy. We won’t blame you if you missed the boat on this year’s Chicago International Film Festival. But you’ve got a second chance to see first-rate foreign cinema this weekend when the Polish Film Festival in America rolls into town. The opening night film, A Warm Heart, comes courtesy of director Krzysztof Zanussi, a former lifetime achievement award (a.k.a. Golden Hugo) recipient at the CIFF. The film sounds like a cross between a suspense thriller and Frank Capra: A suicidal young man strikes a deal for his heart with a multimillionaire in need of a transplant until an angelic friend intercedes. The screening takes place 8 p.m. Saturday the 8th at Pickwick Theatre (5 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge). Get tickets, $20, and a full schedule at

Update: Due to weather, the opening of the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park (Randolph Drive and Michigan Avenue), originally scheduled for Wednesday the 12th, has tentatively been pushed back to Wednesday the 19th. Call for a status check: 312-742-1168.