Best Bets: Hail and farewell to Schaumburg’s Laugh Out Loud

Last laugh?

Laugh Out Loud Theater brings down the curtain this weekend. Producers announced earlier this year that the sketch comedy and improv ensemble would shutter its suburban venue at 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg, and become an itinerant ensemble. $5-$25. (847) 240-0386 or 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, and 6 p.m. (all-ages show) and 10 p.m. Saturday, April 13

Songwriters on stage

• Singer/songwriter and electric guitarist Shannon McNally and fellow troubadour Beth Bombara, who has been compared to Aimee Mann and Jewel, headline The Venue, 21 S. Broadway Ave., Aurora. $20-$25 in advance; $25-$30 at the door. 8 p.m. Friday, April 12

• Folk/pop singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega (“Marlene on the Wall,” “Luka,” “Tom’s Diner”) headlines the Al Larsen Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg. $65 concert only; $165 concert and meet-and-greet. (847) 895-3600 or 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18

Young filmmakers showcase

The Al Larsen Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg, hosts the 17th annual Screen Test Student Fest showcasing in-person screenings of films by Chicago-area high school students. There are also livestream screenings of films by students from around the world. Free. (847) 895-3600 or 7 p.m. Friday, April 12 (in person) and 11 a.m. Saturday, April 13 (livestream)

The Newberry Consort, along with Incantare, performs works by Italian composers in Chicago and Evanston. Courtesy of Elliot Mandel

Inspired by masterworks

Paintings by 16th-century Venetian artist Jacopo Tintoretto inspired The Newberry Consort’s upcoming concerts. Titled “Il Furioso” and performed with the ensemble Incantare, the concerts feature music by Italian composers Andrea Gabrieli, Gioseffo Zarlino, Nicola Vicentino, Leonora Orsina, Madalena Casulana, Diego Ortiz and Giovanni Priuli that play out against artworks by Tintoretto, Titian, Veronese, Bellini and Bassano. $25-$65, $10 students. 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 12, at Ganz Hall, Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at Hyde Park Union Church, 5600 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago; and 4 p.m. Sunday, April 14, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 939 Hinman Ave., Evanston

New NMMA exhibition

Opening this week at the National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St., Chicago, is a new exhibition titled “Arte Diseño Xicágo II — From the World’s Fair to the Present Day.” Rooted in the 1893 World’s Fair, the exhibition showcases 19th-century art “from both sides of the border by some of the leading artists who participated in the World's Fair.” The exhibition also features contemporary artwork by Chicago-based artists born in Mexico. Free. Friday, April 12, through Aug. 11

Acclaimed pianist Wael Farouk joins Kirk Muspratt and New Philharmonic for several concerts at The McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn. Courtesy of The McAninch Arts Center

Acclaimed pianist at the MAC

Classical pianist Wael Farouk joins maestro Kirk Muspratt and New Philharmonic for the fourth time to perform Brahms’ Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 at the McAninch Arts Center, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. Born with short hand ligaments that make it impossible for him to make a fist, Farouk was reportedly told he would never be a pianist. But the Egyptian-born musician prevailed and has performed some of classical music’s most difficult works, among them Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concertos Nos. 1, 2 and 3, all of which Farouk performed in a single program at the MAC in 2021. Free MAC chats take place one hour before the concerts. $55. (630) 942-4000 or 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 14

Music and a movie

The Auditorium Theatre’s Philms Concert Series, featuring screenings of classic films whose scores are played live by the Chicago Philharmonic, continues at 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive, Chicago, with 1989’s “Batman.” Audience members are encouraged to dress as their favorite DC superhero for the 35th anniversary concert. Tickets start at $69. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater ensemble members Chalvar Monteiro and Jacquelin Harris perform Amy Hall Garner’s “Century,” one of the works AAADT performs during its upcoming performances at the Auditorium Theatre. Courtesy of Paul Kolnik

Primo Alvin Ailey

The world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive, Chicago, for its 55th engagement. The residency features three programs: Audience Favorites includes 2009’s “Dancing Spirit,” set to music by Duke Ellington, Wynton Marsalis and War; 2022’s “Are You in Your Feelings?” celebrates Black culture; and 1960’s “Revelations” was inspired by the founder’s memories growing up in the South. The All New Program includes 2023’s “Century,” set to music by Ray Charles, Count Basie and others; a new duet “Me, Myself and You”; a new production of 2000’s “Following the Subtle Current Upstream,” set to an eclectic score by Zakir Hussain, Miguel Frasconi and Miriam Makeba; and a new production of 1997’s “Solo.” The two-act Ailey Classics Program includes excerpts from Alvin Ailey’s 20th-century ballets “Memoria” (1979), “Pas de Duke” (1976), “Masekela Langage” (1969), “Reflections in D” (1962), “For ‘Bird’ — With Love” (1985) and the signature “Revelations,” among others. Tickets start at $40. (312) 341-2300 or 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, April 17-19; 1 and 7:30 p.m. April 20; and 3 p.m. April 21

Pericles on trial

The National Hellenic Museum presents the next installation of its popular trial series, “The Trial of Pericles,” at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St., Chicago. During the event, attorneys will argue before a panel of judges the case of Pericles, who, in 451 B.C.E., changed the Athenian Constitution to restrict citizenship to those born to two Athenian parents, arguing it was necessary to protect Athens from foreign influence. His opponents considered his behavior tyrannical because it stripped citizens of their civil liberties, including the right to vote. $100, $50 for students. (312) 655-1234 or 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 17

Scientist turned stand-up comedian Ben Miller brings his show “Stand-Up Science Presents: Volcano” to The Lincoln Lodge. Courtesy of Gabriel Miller

Volcanic comedy

Scientist turned stand-up comedian Ben Miller brings his show “Stand-Up Science Presents: Volcano” to The Lincoln Lodge, 2040 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Miller’s monthlong tenure as an artist-in-residence at the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and his interactions with volcanologists, entomologists, archaeologists and Hawaii residents inspired the show. $15. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18

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