Both the Chicago SketchFest and Ex Fest run all weekend, and there are plenty of other events as well. Here’s some of what we recommend:
Update: As of Friday evening, Ex Fest has been canceled, according to a post on the festival’s Facebook page.
Fri 1/12-Sun 1/14: Evanston-based painter and multimedia artist Hunter Cole works with the microscopic medium of bioluminescent bacteria in “Living Light,” open at Arc Gallery (2156 N. Damen). Fri-Sat noon-6 PM, Sun noon-4 PM, free
Fri 1/12-Sun 1/14: In director Craig Gillespie’s compelling new biopic I, Tonya, infamous figure skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) is portrayed as a kind of victim. From Leah Pickett’s review: “I, Tonya seems to implicate the viewer in Harding’s cultural abasement, rhetorically asking: It should’ve been about the skating, but you didn’t really care about that, did you?” Various times and locations
Fri 1/12: St. Vincent aka Annie Clark plays from her new album Masseducation at the Chicago Theatre (175 N. State). It’s a goodie: The Reader‘s Luca Cimarusti wrote, “The comparative simplicity of the music sets a perfect backdrop for [Clark’s] beautiful voice and off-kilter melodies.” 8 PM, sold out
Fri 1/12: In case you’re unfamiliar, Shark Tank is a reality show in which entrepreneurs and small-business owners pitch their concepts to a panel of potential investors, most notably Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Greg Ott and Jennifer Estlin—owner of the Annoyance Theatre (851 W. Belmont)—have transformed this engaging series into Shark Tank: The Musical in which panelists give the contestants the third degree over their products, services, or businesses—all made up on the spot. Tonight is opening night. 8 PM, $20, $15 students
Sat 1/13: Head to Beat Kitchen (2100 W. Belmont) for accomplished stand-up Brian Posehn, who pokes fun at his chubby appearance and mixed feelings about becoming a father. 7:30 PM, $23
Sat 1/13: The 29th annual Rhinoceros Theater Festival kicks off tonight and runs through 2/25. The event includes plays that meet at least two of three criteria: “new, local, and good.” All shows take place at the Prop Thtr (3502 N. Elston) and the full line-up is at rhinofest.com. Various times, $12 in advance, $15 at the door
Sun 1/14: Emma Draves’s new work Listen . . . explores “physical fracturing caused by a slipping sense of place and changing identity.” This event takes place at High Concept Laboratories (2233 S. Throop). 4 PM, $10
Sun 1/14: At this fund-raiser for Equality Illinois, Annoyance alum Faith Soloway, a current writer on the Amazon series Transparent, screens a live performance of Jesus Has Two Mommies—her humorous opera in which God allays Soloway’s fears about gay marriage and motherhood. Following the video, Soloway and improv queen bee Susan Messing improvise. She performs at her alma mater the Annoyance Theatre (851 W. Belmont). 3:30 PM, $10
For more things to do this weekend—and every day—visit our Agenda page.