Katie McLean Hainsworth as Sherlock Holmes and Mandy Walsh as Dr. Dorothy Watson, in Lifeline Theatre’s Miss Holmes Returns. Credit: Suzanne Plunkett

At the corners of Cullerton and Carpenter sits La Esquina, a community center that opened this spring to provide free art classes and provide safer space for neighborhood youth to explore their creativity. Tonight, La Esquina hosts their first annual expo and fundraiser at Thalia Hall (1807 S. Allport). From 5-9 PM, this event is open to all ages and free (though a $5 donation is suggested). The expo will feature photos, murals, and music by local artists. There will also be a “fashion experience” by Estefania Galvan, and you can snag a complimentary ticket to the after hours party. When 9 PM rolls around, things go strictly 17+ with a multi-level B-boy battle soundtracked by Tony Touch of the Rock Steady Crew, Avantist, and Dave Parley, who was the electronic duo Prayers’s original synth player. If you don’t snag one of those complimentary tickets earlier in the evening, it’s $20 to attend the evening portion–but for that level of community and entertainment? I’m surprised it doesn’t cost more. (MC) 

Tonight kicks off The Creepshow, a three-day Stephen King film festival at the Music Box (3733 N. Southport) hosted by The Losers’ Club, a weekly podcast that discusses King’s work and influence (from his books to his tweets). The festival’s lineup includes screenings of The Shining, Pet Sematary II, Doctor Sleep, Creepshow, 1408, Creepshow 2, Christine, Misery, and Stand By Me, and concludes on Sunday with a live stage show by the Losers where they articulate a self-described “sprawling and deranged vision of the Stephen King cinematic universe.” Each show is individually priced $8-$12 ($6-$9 for members), but a festival pass costs $60 ($50 for members)–handy if you, like me, are torn between any handful of titles. For instance, The Shining (screening tonight at 7 PM) is an entirely different movie when you experience Stanley Kubrick’s lush cinematography on the expanse of the big screen while Wendy Carlos’s dramatic original score washes over you in surround sound. And who knew–there is a Shining sequel (Doctor Sleep) with Ewan McGregor(!) as Danny Torrence(!!) that sounds totally bizarre(!!!). Creepshow delivers maximum camp and will leave you satisfyingly disgusted by its practical effects blown up that big. And who doesn’t want to experience John Carpenter’s Christine soundtrack as the acclaimed director and synth lord originally envisioned it (in the theater)? Check out the Music Box’s website for showtimes and ticket information. (MC)

For most, this is Labor Day weekend, a welcome three-day respite to kick back and end the summer on a high note, but for anyone involved in the world of drag pageantry, tonight is the start of the event-filled Continental Weekend. The Miss Continental pageant has been hosted in Chicago since its inception in 1980 (all hail the legendary Chilli Pepper; the first Miss Continental and a Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame inductee), and has been a marker of excellence for the international drag pageantry community since Jim Flint (founder of the 53-year-old venue Baton Show Lounge) planted the seeds for what ultimately became an international network of pageant systems featuring some of the best in drag performance. The weekend’s main events are four pageants hosted at Park West (322 W. Armitage) and the Riviera Theater (4746 N. Racine). Tonight’s Miss Continental Elite pageant (7 PM at Park West) features contestants that are strictly 40 years old or older, which means that the talent portion of the evening is usually out of this world as the audience gets to enjoy watching performers with decades of experience commanding a stage. The rest of the holiday weekend boasts a different pageant each night (Mr. Continental at the Park West on Saturday night, and the Riviera hosts the Miss Continental Plus pageant Sunday night and wraps it up with the main Miss Continental pageant on Monday evening). Tickets are available for purchase starting two hours before each pageant in person at the venue’s box offices. For more information about the pageants and scheduled after parties at the Baton Show Lounge’s Uptown location (4713 N. Broadway), go to the Baton’s website or call (312) 527-9338. (SCJ)

YouTube video
RuPaul’s Drag Race alumna Trinity K. Bonet performing her winning number for the talent portion of the MIss Continental 2019 pageant competition.

The name is Holmes—MISS Sherlock Holmes! Lifeline Theatre first introduced us to Christopher M. Walsh’s female version of the famous Baker Street detective in 2016 with Miss Holmes, which went on to subsequent productions at theaters around the U.S. Now they’re producing the sequel, which—logically enough—is entitled Miss Holmes Returns. Also returning are company members Katie McLean Hainsworth in the title role and Mandy Walsh as her sidekick, Dr. Dorothy Watson. The two investigate a murder in which a young immigrant woman is implicated, but they have their doubts that things are as clear-cut as Scotland Yard makes them seem. Elise Kauzlaric directs the show, which continues in previews tonight at 7:30 PM and tomorrow at 2:30 and 7:30 PM (tickets $25) before the press opening Sunday at 2:30. Performances run through 10/16 at Lifeline (6912 N. Glenwood); tickets for the regular run are $45 ($35 seniors and active/retired military personnel with ID, $15 students with ID). Call 773-761-4477 or visit lifelinetheatre.com for reservations. (KR)