Expert Picks

What to Do in Chicago This Week: March 25-31

Photo by Sarah Larson/Courtesy of Parlour Car

This week in Chicago, brace yourself for theater rooted in colonial history, enjoy art with a side of ping pong, raise a vodka glass to a Russian classic and enjoy some free comedy in Bridgeport.

The Ridiculousness Darkness 
I have said it before and I will say it again: I see everything by Sideshow because they do great work. Period. Get ready to confront our shared colonial history in this comedic, horrific spin on Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now. Sideshow warns us all that this “play contains disturbing imagery, gun violence, racialized language, loud noises and is not intended for very young theatre-goers.” I am so there. Details: March 24-April 28 at Sideshow Theatre
– Tanuja Jagernauth

Mystic Night at Whiner Beer Tap Room
Whiner already has a pretty special space with plenty of fauna and creative energy flowing. So we can’t wait for their Mystic Night. Expect quality brews to pair with tarot readings from Tarot by Laura Gonzalez. Details: March 27, 7-11 p.m.
– Jim Morris

What My Eyes Behold Is Simultaneous at SITE Galleries
The dynamics of ping pong take centerstage in this solo exhibition by filmmaker Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi, who will present multi-layered film and sound installations that recreate this game. Except…no players feature here—just haunting, enigmatic traces of some distant exchanges. Details: March 28
– Claire Voon

Photo courtesy of Russian Tea Time/Facebook

Parlour Car Pop-up at Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar
Formerly at the now shuttered Bar DeVille, (and later Sportsman’s Club), the Chicago-based stand-up show has been on hiatus for roughly a year. Chicago Magazine named Parlour Car “the best stand-up show in Chicago,” and it’s been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times, Chicago Reader, RedEye and morning news. The lineups feature a diverse offering of the best comedians in Chicago, and the shows are no stranger to drop-in guests (former drop-ins include Marc Maron, Hannibal Buress, Kyle Kinane and TJ Miller). The show is free (with a suggested donation), and seating is first come, first served, so get there early if you want a seat. Details: March 28, 9 p.m.; free
– Matty Ryan

Russian Tea Time Turns 25
A longstanding icon in the Loop, Russian Tea Time turns 25 this year and it’s celebrating with a month-long prix fixe special. For just $25, guests can enjoy a three-course menu with optional dishes per course, like Ukrainian borscht, mushroom-barley soup, meat-filled dumplings, Moldavian meatballs and Russian garden salad. The menu also comes with either house-flavored vodkas or red or white wine. Details: Through March 31
– Matt Kirouac

The Practical Application of Networks to the Body at International Museum of Surgical Science
Come see what the museum’s artist-in-residence, Jon Chambers, has been making after spending months deep in the archives researching the spread of electricity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His new media art contemplates today’s information-flooded world, responding to our habits of swiping, tapping, clipping and other screen-based gestures. Details: March 29
– Claire Voon

Jon Chambers, Diathermy, 2019/Courtesy of the International Museum of Surgical Science

Seussical the Musical 
Head up to Lincolnshire to the Marriott Theatre for a performance with everyone’s favorite Cat in the Hat in Seussical the Musical through March 31. Their shows are always super interactive and there isn’t a bad seat in the house! Stick around after the performance for an interactive Q&A session with the cast. Tickets are $18.23
– Samantha Lande

Uppers & Downers at Thalia Hall
The 6th annual Uppers & Downers returns to Chicago with more samples of coffee, beer and coffee beers, of course. But it also promises to enhance your other senses with things like lactic fermentation sensory, culinary experiments, food tastings and more. Details: March 30, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (session one) and 4-8 p.m. (session two); tickets are $65-100
– Jim Morris

Sweat
Lynn Nottage is a Pulitzer-winning playwright, and Sweat is the kind of timeless play that our city needs right now. When close friends are divided by disparities in access to job security, the impact on a community can be devastating. I can not wait to see Tyla Abercrumbie as Cynthia. She was brilliant as Nya in Pipeline at Victory Gardens, and I am anxious for more! Details: Through April 19 at the Goodman Theatre
– Tanuja Jagernauth