Arrrrguably the best weekend kickoff
It’s about as close to the Caribbean as you can get on the Great Lakes. Take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather on the Last Spirited Sail, a two-hour lake tour aboard the schooner Red Witch, Friday the 21st. For the adventuresome: The best pirate costume wins a bottle of Champagne. Not into playing dress up? Sample the French fusion eats and Caribbean drinks, and daydream your way into the weekend. Board at 8 p.m. in Burnham Harbor (1559 S. Lake Shore Dr.; 773-354-1563), slip J-23. Tickets are $60; reservations required:

Best Bets for Things to Do This Week

• Bawdy comedienne Margaret Cho goes burlesque in her new variety show, The Sensuous Woman, a guest-stocked lineup of cabaret performances, comedy, and belly dance Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd at 7 and 10 p.m. The show, which sold out its preview run in L.A., takes place at the Lakeshore Theater (3175 N. Broadway; 773-472-3492); tickets are $45.

• With the performance-meets-acrobatics troupe Diavolo, you never know what you’re going to get. The company starts with a set piece (past examples have included a structure resembling an ark, a large cage, and a trap door­–riddled staircase) and designs its athletic productions around the chosen prop. See what inspired them this time out when the troupe performs 7 p.m. Sunday the 23rd at the College of DuPage’s McAninch Arts Center (425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn; 630-942-4000). Tickets run $42 to $44.

• Loved the indie-electronic group The Beta Band in its heyday? So did critics, but the British musicians never drummed up much commercial fervor. Now, former members have left trip-hop behind and reconvened as The Aliens; the group rocks out Tuesday the 25th at Schubas (3159 N. Southport Ave.; 773-525-2508). Tickets are $14 at the door.

Loudon Wainwright III—he who spawned Rufus and occasionally pops up in Judd Apatow productions—has a day job: that of a thoughtful writer and graceful performer of quirky, relatable folk-rock. Hear him 7 or 10 p.m. Saturday the 22nd at the Old Town School of Folk Music (4544 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-728-6000). Tickets run $21 to $25.

• Be honest: Who hasn’t been tempted to put knuckle to coworker jaw during a particularly trying day at the office? We advise against trying it yourself, but you can live vicariously through the white-collar professionals turned amateur boxers who duke it out in Fight Club, an evening of exhibition matches at the Park West (322 W. Armitage Ave.; 312-733-5222), Saturday the 22nd at 8 p.m. Tickets run $35 to $50.

• If the bouts leaves you buzzing with adrenaline, head straight to the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.; 773-871-6604) for another brand of late-night action. Hot Fuzz, the British police-farce flick from the makers of Shaun of the Dead, screens midnight Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd. Tickets are $9.25.

• Speaking of getting into the ring: Obama advisors brave a preshow Q&A Thursday the 27th in advance of one of The Second City’s best political send-ups in years, Between Barack and a Hard Place (1616 N. Wells St.; 312-337-3992). Discussion begins in the lobby at 5 p.m.; there’s a reception at 6 p.m.; and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 and include the reception and talk; mention “Theatre Thursdays” when making the reservation.

• Catch one of up-and-coming comedian Kumail Nanjiani’s last Chicago shows before he moves to New York: 8:15 and 10:30 p.m. Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd at the Chicago Center for Performing Arts (777 N. Green St.; 312-733-6000). Tickets are $8 to $10 in advance, $14 to $18 at the door.

PLEASE NOTE: Events may be postponed or simply canceled. Please call ahead to make sure they are still scheduled to take place. Send tips or comments to