Edward II
Photo by Michael Brosilow

Proud Morty Keep on Burning

Poor Christopher Marlowe. It’s hard to snag the spotlight when Bill Shakespeare is a contemporary, but a new production of Marlowe’s The Troublesome Reign and Lamentable Death of Edward II, King of England, with the Tragical Fall of Proud Mortimer, adapted and directed by The Hypocrites’ much buzzed-about Sean Graney, is the best—if most lengthily titled—argument we’ve heard for renaming Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave.; 312-595-5600). The promenade staging, in which the audience moves around the theatre as the play unfolds, runs through November 9th. Tickets are $20 to $56.

Best Bets for Things to Do This Week

Public art meets social conscience this weekend where Milwaukee and North Avenues meet when Gandhi’s Seven Deadly Sins—wealth without work, politics without principle—serve as inspiration for Point of Views. The free two-night run of puppet shows, vignettes, and projections illuminates the windows of the Flat Iron Arts Building (1579 N. Milwaukee Ave.; smartshow.org) from 10 to 11 p.m. Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th; come early to visit the artists in their studios from 6 to 9 p.m.

The inimitable Tom Wolfe, author of this year’s One Book, One Chicago selection The Right Stuff, talks to Carol Marin about his career at 6 p.m. Thursday the 16th in the Winter Garden of the Harold Washington Library Center (9th floor; 400 S. State St.; 312-747-4050). Registration for the free event is officially full, but unoccupied seats will be released at 5:45 p.m., and any spillover guests can watch a live video feed onsite. Related events include a panel—featuring the former head of NASA’s Space Shuttle program and the commander of a recent International Space Station mission—on how closely Wolfe approximated the life of astronauts. That discussion (also free, also requiring reservations) takes place 11 a.m. Saturday the 11th  at the Museum of Science and Industry (57th Street and Lake Shore Drive; 312-747-8191).

The film fest powers that be must have known we could use a little levity this week. In addition to boasting considerable star power in its 175-film-strong lineup, the 44th annual Chicago International Film Festival kicks off with what sounds like a crowd-pleaser: the con-man adventure flick The Brothers Bloom. Director Rian Johnson (Brick) and actress Rachel Weisz will be in attendance for the 7 p.m. Thursday the 16th screening at Harris Theater (205 E. Randolph Dr). Call 312-902-1500 for tickets, $120 for the screening and afterparty, $35 to $40 for the screening only. The fest runs through October 29th; find a full schedule at chicagofilmfestival.com and check back next week for more top picks.  

Need a grit fix now that The Wire is no more? The urban drama Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train tackles questions of faith from the perspective of two Rikers Island inmates. The play opens 7 p.m. Sunday the 12th at Raven Theatre (6157 N. Clark St.; 773-338-2177) and runs through December 6th. Tickets are $15 to $25.

For modern dance fans and their dubious dates: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago kicks off its season with a program featuring the popular favorite Minus 16, a piece of choreography set to cha cha, techno, and Dean Martin. And one note for dance buffs to disclose to their dates as they see fit: Some audience members will be pulled onstage to dance with the local stars. Shows are 8 p.m. Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th, 3 p.m. Sunday the 12th at Harris Theater (205 E. Randolph Dr.; 312-850-9744). Tickets run $25 to $86.

Since launching his show in Chicago this past July, Andy Kaufman protégé Tony Clifton and the Katrina-Kiss-My-Ass Orchestra have ripped through sold-out venues across the country, dropping jaws and tickling funny bones with a blend of burlesque, New Orleans jam session, and comedy. The production returns for a one-night show at The Lakeshore Theater (3175 N. Broadway St.; 773-472-3492), 8:30 p.m. Sunday the 12th. Tickets are $25 to $30.