10 best things to do this week

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Dale Calandra and Cheryl Graeff in The Whale at Victory Gardens Theater

Dale Calandra and Cheryl Graeff in The Whale at Victory Gardens Theater Photograph: Michael Brosilow


1. The Whale Morbidly obese and mourning the death of his boyfriend, Charlie makes a last-ditch effort to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter in Samuel D. Hunter's drama. Read Kris Vire's five-star review. Victory Gardens Biograph Theater. Thu 7:30pm; Fri 7:30pm; Sat 4pm, 7:30pm; Sun 3pm. $35–$50, previews $35–$40.

2. Aleksandar Hemon The award-winning Chicago author reads from his fantastic new essay collection, The Book of My Lives. Women and Children First. Wed 7:30pm. Free.

3. Joffrey Ballet: "Othello" So much more likable then the boy king from Game of Thrones, this Joffrey production is nonetheless as powerful and passionate. "Othello" is a perfect vehicle for showcasing the company's dynamo dancers. The contemporary ballet contains jealousy, betrayal, forbidden love and a propulsive score by Oscar winner Elliot B. Goldenthal. Auditorium Theatre. Wed–Fri 7:30pm; Sat 2pm, 7:30pm; Sun 2pm. Through May 5. $31–$152.

4. Ghostface Killah + Adrian Younge's Venice Dawn Wu-Tang's Iron Man has not lost an ounce of his lyrical skill-set, continually spewing poetically formless, detail-dense, quasi-fantasy tails of the urban game. His moody, chopsocky latest, Twelve Reasons to Die, is a collaboration with producer Adrian Younge, who opens the night with his '60s-inspired soul project, Venice Dawn, a cross of Italian soundtracks and French chanson—you know, the stuff of Quentin Tarantino's dreams. Abbey Pub. Fri 26. $20–$25.

5. Jacques Renault + James Curd + Studio Casual Brooklyn groove rider Jacques Renault helms the moving NYC party and record label Let's Play House. Funky Chicagoan and occasional television soundtracker James Curd released the playful "We Just Won't Stop" on DFA. Smart Bar. Fri 10pm. $12, after midnight $15, advance $10, students or with R.S.V.P. $7.


6. Chicago Anarchist Film Fest You might think it antithetical for a bunch of anarchists to organize anything, let alone a film festival, but this is the 13th go-round of the city's anarcho cinema event. The three evenings of shorts, documentaries and animations have been broken up by theme: sabotage, wild cat strikes again and nine lives. After the final screening on Sunday, the fest migrates to Township in Logan Square for (what else?) a punk-rock karaoke wrap party. Meztli Cultural Organization. Fri, Sat 7pm; Sun 4pm. $5–$10 donation.

7. Johnny Marr What took the legendary guitarist 49 years to release his debut solo album, The Messenger? Well, he's been rather busy, initially with the Smiths, of course, and more recently as a gun-for-hire in the Cribs and Modest Mouse. Alone, he has a surprisingly lovely voice and a penchant for sturdy Britpop. Naturally, his gift for arpeggiated chords and melancholic jangle remain. Any Anglophilic '90s nostalgist should drool. Metro. Thu 25. $30.

8. Chicagoland Sexcon The annual sex convention hits the club with porn stars, sex-toy vendors, strippers and much more naughty stuff, plus DJs and booze—all making the usual night of clubbing look quite innocent. As a night out, it's not for those of Victorian disposition. The Castle. Wed 9pm. Advance $25 at Chicagosexcon.com.

9. Improv Nerd Jimmy Carrane kicks off a third season of his local talk show in which he interviews local legends and gets them out of the chair for a short improv set. This season's guests include John Lutz, Edgar Blackmon, Katy Colloton, Beth Melewski and Andy St. Clair. Stage 773. Sun 4pm. $10, students $8.

10. 826CHI Promic-Con Nonprofit writing workshop 826CHI's prom fund-raiser borrows some comic-con steez, encouraging attendees to nerd out with cosplay. The theme should make for some interesting dance-floor combos. School of the Art Institute. Sat 8pm–midnight. $45, couples $75 , advance $40 per person.


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