I’m going to be honest with you guys: I am not the biggest fan of Halloween. Once I aged out of being able get free candy from strangers in a way that wasn’t creepy or possibly illegal, I lost interest in the holiday altogether. I’ve never liked being scared, so the idea of visiting a “haunted” anything doesn’t get me pumped. (Plus, I truly believe that if someone jumped out at me in a haunted house, my gut response would be to punch them in the face and that would just ruin the fun for everyone else.) And my head seems to be too big for most wigs, which really limits costume options. I like to think I’m not the only one in this Halloween-less boat, so I thought I’d present you all with five interesting, pop culture-y events you can potentially go to in Chicago that are NOT Halloween-related! Hooray!
Monday, October 26: “Cinderella” at the Lyric Opera of Chicago
The ultimate fairytale is back in Chicago, this time in a glorious opera form! Starring mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard as the titular heroine who finds love with the Prince despite her familial obstacles, this Italian opera (with projected English subtitles, don’t worry) by Gioachino Rossini has received great reviews so far. It also has beautiful costumes that will put any “Sexy Pizza Rat” costume you might see at a Halloween party to shame. Want to class up your Monday night? This is the way to do it.
Details: Monday, Oct. 26 @ 7:30 p.m.; Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker Drive; Tickets start at $34; 312-827-5600, for more info, click here.
Tuesday, October 27: “The Second City’s Fast, Loud and Funny”
In case you weren’t aware, Chicago’s Second City comedy theater and training center is one of the go-to places for any great aspiring funny person who wants to break into the comedy industry. Alums include a who’s who of famous funny people like Tina Fey, Keegan-Michael Key and Stephen Colbert. Any opportunity to see Second City sketches and performers is an opportunity that cannot be missed, which is why you should definitely check out this show. Covering the many non-issue issues of modern life, “The Second City’s Fast, Loud and Funny” will make you laugh, which is a lot better than screaming because a guy dressed as a werewolf grabbed your arm at a “haunted corn maze” or whatever.
Details: Tuesday, Oct. 27 @ 8:00 p.m.; UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave., 3rd Floor; Tickets start at $26; 312-662-4562, for more info, click here.
Wednesday, October 28: “Cinema Science with The Field Museum”
If you’re a movie buff like me, you want to know everything there is to know about a film, down to the exact science. Lucky for us, Chicago’s Field Museum has made that possible with their new event at the Music Box Theatre. You’ll get to watch a movie (in this case, the adorable and mildly concerning Pixar film “Wall-E“) and then you’ll get to hear from a lecturer on the science behind the movie! It’ll be a lot more fun and informative than watching “Halloweentown” for the umpteenth time. Trust me, it doesn’t really hold up as much as you want it to.
Details: Wednesday, Oct. 28 @ 7:30 p.m.; Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave.; Tickets are $10; 773-871-6604, for more info, click here.
Thursday, October 29: “Bad Jews”
What’s more terrifying to you: zombies, or deep-seeded family dysfunction? If you said the latter, then “Bad Jews” is the play for you. Written by Joshua Harmon, “Bad Jews” follows the Feygenbaum family and the tensions that come to the surface when a beloved family heirloom is up for grabs. Chosen as a critics’ pick by TimeOut Chicago, the play’s biting humor and wit will make you happy you skipped out on that pumpkin-carving party you were invited too. We all know the carving is secretly the least-fun part.
Details: Thursday, Oct. 29 @ 8:00 p.m.; The Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halstead St.; Tickets start at $38; 312-988-9000, for more info, click here.
Friday, October 30: “#DateMe: An OkCupid Experiment”
If my Tuesday suggestion somehow wasn’t enough funny for you, then check out “#DateMe.” The show is based on an online experiment done by actress and Second City veteran Robyn Lynne Norris, who created 38 fake and ridiculous dating profiles on OkCupid. The show is made up of the results of the experiment and portrays the funny and somewhat crazy world of online dating. You’ll leave laughing, unlike if you went to see a horror movie, where you’d leave panicked and unsettled. Laughing seems like the better option.
Details: Friday, Oct. 30 @ 8:00 and 11:00 p.m.; UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave., 3rd Floor; Tickets start at $31; 312-662-4562, for more info, click here.
I hope that at least one of these events tickles your fancy and helps you to enjoy your week without any Halloween pressure! Let me know in the comments if you plan on attending any of these events or do attend one and become OBSESSED! Now if you excuse me, I’m going to go listen to the “Hamilton” cast recording for the 8 billionth time.