The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival runs from this Thursday through October 26 at AMC River East 21, just north and east of the downtown area. In addition to screening movies from every imaginable genre and location, the event will offer tributes to Patrick Stewart of Star Trek: The Next Generation and X-Men fame, and iconic English actress Vanessa Redgrave. Regular screenings are $15; special presentations are $20; there are discounts for seniors or students; and multiple-show passes are available.
The Laureates have a rare live gig coming up this Thursday night at The Empty Bottle. The Chicago-based band has successfully drawn upon UK acts like The Who and The Kinks for inspiration on three full-length albums and a pair of EPs, and will have a new effort titled And Then Not Even Then available on Bandcamp earlier that day. A video for the song “Toys” (be forewarned, several were harmed during the filming) showcases lead singer Chad Preston’s distinctive vocals and The Laureates’ signature jangling guitar sound. Cross Country and Innkeepers are also on the bill this Thursday at The Empty Bottle.
Also on Thursday, Music On Stage begins its run of Little Shop Of Horrors at Cutting Hall in Palatine. Broadway actress and Tony Award nominee Felicia P. Fields will be providing the voice of Audrey II, and the play will be directed and choreographed by Frank Roberts, with musical direction by Bobby Dietz.
Middle school kids on a field trip encounter some of Chicago’s most famous ghosts in the new musical comedy Six Stories Up – In Haunted Chicago being staged by Tellin’ Tales Theatre. According to director/performer Tekki Lomnicki, it’s “a hilarious and thoughtful original musical featuring kids and adults with and without disabilities.” And the spirits (including Lorraine Hansberry and John Belushi) have a lot to say about the current state of Chicago. It runs this weekend and next weekend, at Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee, Chicago.