Our staff picks for Aug. 19-25
August 18, 2013 6:34PM
Updated: September 20, 2013 6:02AM
‘Noir City 5’
The French had a word for it: film noir, or “black film,” referring to the starkly lit crime dramas that dominated post-war Hollywood. The non-profit Film Noir Foundation annually presents a traveling festival of noir rarities that it has helped to restore. This year’s “Noir City 5,” running Friday to Aug. 29 at the Music Box, features 17 films, including three Technicolor noirs, “Leave Her to Heaven” (1946), “Niagara” (1953) and “Violent Saturday” (1955). Noir experts Eddie Muller and Alan K. Rode will host and introduce the fest’s films. Tickets, $10; double bill, $15; pass, $75; noircitychicago.com or musicboxtheatre.com.
‘The Last Five Years’
Jason Robert Brown’s career-making two-hander musical “The Last Five Years” (directed by John D. Glover) is about the rise and demise of a five-year relationship between a young New York novelist on the fast track and a struggling actress who can’t make it beyond summer stock. Jim DeSelm fearlessly delves into Jamie’s total narcissism and charm, while Allison Hendrix captures all the neurotic and insecure qualities of Cathy in this show that uses a complex narrative told in reverse order (for her) and fast-forward (for him). Both DeSelm and Hendrix are dazzling pianists who accompany themselves throughout the action. Through Aug. 25 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont. —Hedy Weiss
‘Music & Stories ... Live’
Starting Wednesday, and continuing on the third Wednesday of each month thereafter, “Music & Stories … Live” — the storytelling/spoken word series heard on Vocalo.org and 90.7 FM in Chicago — takes up monthly residency at the Chicago Urban Art Society, 600 W. Cermak. Storytelling starts at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Have a great story to tell? Perform at the open mike and the best will air on Vocalo at a later date. —Mike Thomas
‘Days of Our Lives’ visit
Fans can spend the better part of the day with “Days of Our Lives” stars when five of the long-running sudser’s cast members drop by Chicago on Saturday. Chandler Massey, Casey Deidrick, Blake Berris, Nathan Owens and Jen Lilley will be at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare, 8535 W. Higgins, for the fan event. The schedule includes a Q&A, a luncheon with the cast and a photo and autograph session. Tickets to various segments start at $50 and can be purchased individually, or you shell out $300 for all-day access. A portion of proceeds go to charity. Get tickets at elitefanevents.com. —Lori Rackl
If life was fair, the Iguanas would be at least as big as Los Lobos. Life is not fair. And you can dance that reality away with the New Orleans-based Iguanas at 9 p.m. Friday at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt in Berwyn. The Iguanas play an engaging blend of Tex-Mex, cumbia and soul music. A don’t-miss show, and expect the band to cover Ronnie Self’s “Waiting for My Gin to Hit Me” from the group’s latest “Sin to Sin” masterpiece.