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Photograph: Nan Palmero/Flickr

The five best things to do this weekend in Chicago

Written by
Nick Kotecki
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1. Dream your life away

A man and his ukulele usually don't command such a large stage as the Riviera Theatre, but such is the case with Vance Joy, who opened for Taylor Swift during her 1989 tour. The Australian singer-songwriter plays two nights this weekend in support of his latest effort, Dream Your Life Away(Riviera Theatre, 4746 N Racine Ave, 7:30pm on Friday & Saturday. $35)

2. Play around

In its 29th year, the Young Playwrights Festival presents a slate of award-winning one-act plays created by high school students and performed by professional directors and actors. (Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W Chicago Ave, 7:30pm. $30, seniors $25, students $18)

3. Attend a reunion

Though not all of its members still reside in Chicago, instrumental act Tortoise reconvened to produce The Catastrophist, the group's first record in six years. Find them playing a mix of jazz-fusion, krautrock and dub on Thalia Hall's stage for two engagements this weekend. (Thalia Hall, 1807 S Allport St, 6:30pm & 10:15pm on Saturday. $20)

4. Nerd out

Dust off your dice bag and head to Bridgeport for Level Eater, a night of geeky gaming and refined tastes. This Dungeons and Dragons-inspired art and music show features exclusive beers brewed for the event by Marz Community Brewery and 3 Floyds, as well as food from Dönermen. The night culminates in a D&D game tournament at 10pm. (Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S Morgan St, 5pm. $25)

5. Get out of dodge

Pack your bags, the Travel and Adventure show hits Rosemont this weekend, filling the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center with travel experts armed with seminars, tasty dishes and the allure of much warmer climates. (Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N River Rd, 10am on Saturday & 11am on Sunday. $16-$25)

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