This week's issue stretches your dollar to infinity with all kinds of gratis goodies-from food and drink to spa services and kids' stuff. But there's plenty of entertainment, too: Check out these top seven picks for nights on the town.
THEATER Quest Theater Ensemble bills itself as the “People's Theater,” and it dares to put your money where its mouth is. Entry to productions such as Alack, Zorro's Back!, which runs through Sept 27, is free, although donations are accepted. Reservations are recommended (Klasen Hall, 1609 W Gregory Ave, 312-458- 0895; questensemble.org).
THEATER Theater Oobleck wants to bring theater to the masses at any cost, as well. Tickets to its upcoming production of Mickle Maher’s Faustus-inspired, breath-snatchingly titled An Apology for the Course & Outcome of Certain Events Delivered by Doctor John Faustus on This His Final Evening (at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W Division St, 773-347-1041; theateroobleck.com) cost $12, though their web site suggests the price is “more if you’ve got it, free if you’re broke.” We can appreciate that. The show opens Sept 25.
THEATER Curious Theatre Branch (773-508-0666, various locations) performances are pay-what-you-can, too, though suggested prices are usually posted. For this fall’s production, Curious director Beau O'Reilly joined forces with Prop Thtr director Stefan Brun for the premiere of Alumni Bow, three one-act premieres by the top grads of the SAIC's MFA in Writing program (Prop Thtr, 3502 N Elston Ave, 773-539-7838; suggested price $15). The plays run Saturday and Sunday at 2pm, through September 27.
CLUBS At most clubs, you know you’re going to spend a lot of money on overpriced drinks so why drop money at the door, too? SmartBar (3730 N Clark St, 773- 549-4140) gives you discounted our free admission to local and touring DJ nights if you sign up on the club’s web site. They’ll then text your cell phone with special offers and promotions; when you see one you like, show the message at the door for free admission and—snap—you’re in.
CLUBS Do the Hump Day dance at Berlin (954 W Belmont Ave, 773- 348-4975) every Wednesday with The Get Get Down. Sure, it’s the middle of the week, but hell, go all out, glam yourself up and bust a move to resident DJs Zebo and Popstatic. Their endless repertoire charges the dance floor with all matter of house music. Expect a rotating of lineup of special guests to drop by.
CLUBS Monday is the new Friday at Rehab at Debonair Social Club (1575 N Milwaukee Ave; 773- 227-7990; RSVP at through going.com), where Derek Berry of We Are the Weekend and the folks behind the Chicago Suicide Club host their weekly party. It’s free before midnight with RSVP and includes a champagne reception; DJ Yello Fever’s dance-punk, oldies mash-ups, new electro and chart hip-hop jams; and a rotating lineup of guest wax DJs.
FILM If only there were some way to enjoy a movie with the energy of a crowd, sans overpriced snacks and double-digit ticket prices at the door. Delilah’s (2771 N Lincoln Ave at Diversey Pkwy, 773-472-2771) delivers several nights per week with screenings of free rock and horror films, as well as cult-hit TV shows such as the ongoing weekly Freaks and Geeks Festival. Cinema purists might not dig watching films on the bar’s televisions over steady bar chatter, but you won’t find a better beer selection for your viewing.