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The 10 best things to do this week in Chicago

Written by
Grace Perry

See some of today’s best comedians

The misleadingly named 26th Annual Comedy Festival is back for its fourth year, bringing the likes of Christopher Guest, Patton Oswalt, Nathan Fielder and more to Chicago. (Various locations, Wed—Sun, see site for full schedule. Prices vary)

Channel your inner gamer

Take a break from the scene in Boystown at Logan Arcade’s monthly queer night, Night Names. Set a new high score on the pinball machines, or take it to the back room where DJ Essential Logic is spinning. (Logan Arcade, 2410 W Fullerton Ave, Thu 9pm. Free)

Celebrate Oktoberfest in June

It’s always Oktoberfest in Lincoln Square, right? Celebrate the great traditions of beer, pretzels and Lederhosen at the heart of this traditionally German-American ‘hood. (Lincoln Ave and Leland Ave, Thu 5pm–9:30pm, Fri 5pm–11pm, Sat noon–11pm, Sun noon–10pm. Free)

Catch theater, dance and music

Pivot Arts Festival brings together improvisers, puppeteers and more traditional performers of all mediums together for 10 days of performance. Prices vary, but never exceed $25. (Various locations in Uptown and Edgewater, Thu—Sun, see site for full schedule. Free–$25)

See the hottest gospel talents

Catch huge names in gospel like Tye Tribbett, Jonathan McReynolds and more, as well as up-and-coming local talents at this two-day fest. To sweeten the deal, the shows are totally free. (Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion, 205 E Randolph St, Fri noon–10pm, Sat 4:30pm–10pm. Free)

Catch some excellent local theater

In The Night Season, British playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz explores familial truths via three adult daughters. Strawdog Theatre Company takes on this Chekhov-inspired story. (Factory Theater, 1621-23 W Howard Ave, Thu, Fri 8pm. $30)

Make a beer pilgrimage

Two Brothers Brewing Company throws its annual summer bash in downtown Aurora this week, with X Ambassadors, Blind Pilot and Saint Motel headlining. The brewery will also release its seasonal Hop Centric Double IPA at the fest. (RiverEdge Park, 360 N Broadway St in Aurora, Fri 5:30pm, Sat 4pm. $25, VIP $100)

Go to a great neighborhood music fest

In Wicker Parkers, summer doesn’t officially start until Do Division. The street fest-slash-mini music fest is booked by Empty Bottle and Subterranean, and also features local vendors, a fashion show and family activities. (Division St between Damen Ave and Wood St, Fri 5pm–10pm, Sat, Sun noon–10pm. $5 suggested donation)

Solve an improvised murder mystery

Film nerds and novices alike will love Hitch*Cocktails, where the Annoyance’s premiere group of improvisers creates a two-act play out of thin air. There’s only one rule: If an actor is offered a drink in a scene, they must finish it. (Annoyance Theatre, 851 W Belmont Ave, Fri 10pm. $20)

Take in contemporary theater

Physical Festival Chicago brings five groups to Stage 773 for a weekend of incredible physical theater. The festival aims to produce the most cutting-edge theatrical forms out there—even if you went last year, you’ve probably never seen anything like this before. (Stage 773, 1225 W Belmont Ave, Fri–Sun, 7pm–10pm. Festival pass $45–$60, single tickets $12–$18)

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