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The Mix — Cool Things to Do 04.13.12

Comedian Daniel Tosh. Comedy Central handout photo.

Comedian Daniel Tosh. Comedy Central handout photo.

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PLANETARY PRESENCE

“Starball: A Dreamy Musical Astronomy Show,” which makes use of multiple theatrics (song, dance, drama, improv) to heighten audience member’s understanding of the universe and the wonderment of the night sky, has returned to Adler After Dark, the monthly evening soiree at the Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore. Performances are at 7 and 9 p.m. April 19 in the newly restored Grainger Sky Theater. Enjoy a cash bar, access to exhibits and other amenities. Guests tickets are $9-$17 (21+over). Visit adlerplanetarium.org.

DEAD SERIOUS

After resting from their exhausting tour schedule — and after singer Ben Gibbard married actress-musician Zooey Decshanel (the two are now divorcing) — Death Cab for Cutie returned to pop-rock duty with last year’s “Codes and Keys.” For the new tour, they’ve brought along the Magik*Magik Orchestra, an eight-piece string section that colored in several of the new recordings. At 7:30 p.m. April 16-17 at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Tickets: $29.50-$49.50. Call (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com.

FANG FAIR

Cast members from the CW Network’s “The Vampire Diaries” arrive in town for the show’s inaugural fan convention running 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 14, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 15 at the Westin O’Hare, 6100 N. River Rd., Rosemont. The weekend includes autograph sessions, vendor stations, theme parties, footage screening from the series and a costume contest. General admission tickets are $20-$65 and do not include all events; $15, ages 12 and under. Call (818) 409-0960; thevampirediariesconvention.com.

HOT WAX

Uncover vintage vinyl, cassettes, 8-tracks and more at the 10th Annual Chicago Independent Radio Project Record Fair (CHIRP) , 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 14-15 at Chicago Journeyman Plumbers Union Hall, 1340 W. Washington. Admission is $7. Get the jump on other collectors during a pre-admission session from 8 to 10 a.m. April 14 only; $25. Visit chirprecordfair.com.

FRINGE BENEFITS

Be among the first to preview the work of emerging dance artists performing alongside some of Chicago’s best physical performers during the Fourth Annual Chicago Fringe Artists Networking Night at 8 p.m. April 14 at Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont. Tickets are $20. Call (312) 909-4432; redtapetheatre.org.

BACON BITS
Area chefs whip up bacon-inspired dishes during the Fourth Annual Baconfest Chicago, taking place in two sessions: 12:30 to 3 p.m. and 6:30 to 9 p.m. April 14 at UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt. Admission is $75 per session. For a list of participating restaurants or more information, visit baconfest chicago.com.

SQUEEZE PLAY

Victory Gardens, 2433 N. Lincoln, hosts its Second Annual Chicago One-Minute Play Festival at 7:30 p.m. April 15-16. The event’s objective is to break works down to the bare minimum, making for a rapid round of storytelling. Proceeds benefit the theater’s Fresh Squeezed program. Tickets are $15. Call (773) 871-3000; victory
gardens.org.

HAIR-RAISER

There’s just no stopping the hit musical “Hairspray,” returning April 19-June 17 to the Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oak Brook. This time around, Lillian Castillo stars as Tracy Turnblad the plucky, plump teen whose biggest dream is to dance on the “Corny Collins” television show. The upbeat musical is the winner of eight Tony Awards, 11 Drama Desk Awards and the 2007 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical. Tickets, $20-$45. Call (800) 745-3000; drurylaneoakbrook.com.

M&M

The Fourth Annual Chicago International Movies & Music Festival at various venues through April 15. Event highlights include “Rapper’s Delight,” a rare live performance by Wonder Mike and Master Gee of Sugarhill Gang (April 13); the Chicago premiere of Matt Walsh’s film “High Road (April 13)” and the U.S. premiere of the dark romantic comedy “Ecstasy” (based on the book by the same title) April 14. Ticket prices vary. For schedule and locations: cimmfest.org.

O GOSH,
IT’S TOSH

Daniel Tosh (left) of Comedy Central’s “Tosh.O” headlines at 7 and 10 p.m. April 19 at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Tickets are $45-$65. Call (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com.

DON’ T MISS IT

Michael Mott, composer/lyricist and co-writer of “Faustus, The Musical,” hosts a Midwest premiere of the show at 8 p.m. April 16 at Davenport’s Piano Bar and Cabaret, 1383 N. Milwaukee. The story, inspired by Christopher Marlowe’s “Dr. Faustus,” examines the complexities of human nature and self-sacrifice. Admission is $15, plus two-drink minimum. Call (773) 278-1830; davenportspianobar.com.



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