Voices STD (Stuff to Do)—May 9, 2008

By Ben Rossi

Friday / May 9

The stage at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park plays host to a live simulcast of the Chicago Opera Theater’s production of Don Giovanni, performed concurrently at the Harris Theater. The first of its kind in Chicago performance history, the simulcast is free and allows you to enjoy the beautiful spring weather to the tunes of Mozart’s great opera. (205 East Randolph Street, 7:30 p.m., free)

The Music Box screens Roger Corman’s feisty, twee Rock ’N’ Roll High School tonight. Billed by the Box as the Hard Day’s Night of the punk era, the movie follows a group of students who take over their high school with the help of the Ramones. The event is sponsored by Sound Opinions, a rock-and-roll talk show on NPR; hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot will be at the screening to take questions from the audience. (3733 North Southport Avenue, 8 p.m., $9.25)

Most productions of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town—including the high school production that introduced us to the play—are so saccharine that diabetes is a real worry for the audience. The Hypocrites’ rendition provides a much-needed antidote to this nostalgia-drenched interpretation, picking up on the irony and ambiguity that Wilder slipped between the lines. (Chopin Theatre, 1543 West Division Street, 8 p.m., $20)

Saturday / May 10

Make sure you see Iron Man this weekend. No, I’m not talking about the movie, but the Iron Man, a.k.a. Michael Burks, who headlines at Buddy Guy’s Legends. Known for his physically intense, virtuoso guitar performances, this bright star of the blues world comes to Chicago to promote his eponymous release, his third album on the Alligator label. (754 South Wabash Avenue, 5:30 p.m., $15)

Early neo-noir film The Third Man screens at the Gene Siskel Film Center tonight. Set in post-war Vienna, the feature depicts an American (Joseph Cotten) searching for his beloved, purportedly murdered friend (Orson Welles). The movie is famous for Welles’s famous—and totally improvised—“cuckoo clocks” speech, which is well worth the price of admission. (164 North State Street, 7:45 p.m., $7)

Chris Ware’s cartoons might make you wonder why he hasn’t just stepped in front of an oncoming truck—and why you shouldn’t do the same, for that matter. His “not funnies,” which hearken back to the drawing styles of early 20th-century American animation, portray loneliness, failure, and dysfunctional family relationships. He’s garnered a following among comics aficionados, and reached a wider audience following his serialization in The New York Times Magazine. New pages from his Acme Novelty Library are on view at the Carl Hammer Gallery through May 24. (740 North Wells Street, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., free)

Sunday / May 11

The Dusable Museum’s new show, Soul Soldiers: African American and the Vietnam Era, showcases nearly 200 artifacts of the black experience in Vietnam, including everything from soldiers’ diaries to articles about black grunts from Time and Ebony magazines. The theme of hypocrisy runs through the exhibition: Men who were not free in their own country were fighting for the rights of others in faraway lands. (740 East 56th Place, noon–5 p.m., $2)

Though the plot may sound a little arch—three Oregon teens use their knowledge of each other’s sexual secrets to force one another into joining unpopular extracurricular activities—Stephen Karam’s new play Speech and Debate steers clear of the teenage clichés with bright, witty writing and excellent performances. (American Theater Company, 1909 West Byron Avenue, 3 p.m., $30–35)

Monday / May 12

Eugene Mirman is a comedian with a relaxed, jovial stage presence and a bag full of tricks to accompany the standard jokes; short movies and amiable, somewhat off-topic conversation complement his repertoire. Best known for his work on Adult Swim’s Home Movies and HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, he performs with two other rising stars, Andy Kindler and Marc Maron. (Lakeshore Theatre, 3175 North Broadway Street, 9 p.m., $15)

Tuesday / May 13

Ariana Huffington, editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, tackles presidential election issues in her new book, Right Is Wrong. She’ll be at Borders tonight to discuss her book and take questions. (830 North Michigan Avenue, 7 p.m., free

Wednesday / May 14

Cult HBO series Flight of the Conchords stars, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, demonstrate why their eponymous disc became the highest-placing New Zealand Billboard release of all time at number 3 at the Chicago Theater this evening. (175 North State Street, 7:30 p.m., $29.50)

The Black Thai International Arts and Crafts Fest, a flea market set up in front of Union Station, lets you browse for art, wood carvings, jewelry, and more from India, China, Ecuador, Thailand, and other nations. Live entertainment is also in the mix. (Southeast corner of Jackson Boulevard and Canal Street, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.)

Thursday / May 15

As Told By the Vivian Girls, the Dog & Pony Theater’s interpretation of Henry Darger’s 15,000-page novel (part of which is on view at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art) about the Vivian girls, young princesses who lead a rebellion against child oppressors, is as expansive as its source material. Audience members are free to follow different facets of the story in the upper or lower levels of the theater and must wear Vivian girl masks. (2401 North Lake Shore Drive, 7 p.m., $20)