Through January 17 at Theatre Building Chicago; prices vary
More than 100 troupes from all over the world descend on this Lakeview theater with one goal in mind: making the masses laugh as much as possible. The annual show, commonly known as Chicago Sketchfest, brings out the best in a city known for its improv/sketch comedy. Can’t decide which shows to see? Check out our top picks.
Friday-Sunday at Noyes Cultural Arts Center; $7.50-$15
Need your monthly dose of freaky puppetry? Head north. The daring suburbanites at Next Theatre are hosting Theatre Zarko in a double bill of contrasts. The headliner, “The Sublime Beauty of Hands,” is a surreal meditation on land mines and limblessness. “Klown Kantos,” the frivolous frosting on this depression cupcake, is a series of circus and vaudeville turns by various hand-manipulated (and self-powered) entertainers.
The ongoing “Drinking & Writing” series tackles every drinker’s nightmare: the morning after. Reciting personal experience intertwined with a bit of performing arts, Sean Benjamin and Steve Mosqueda entertain and enlighten with their takes on how to beat the dreaded hangover.
7 p.m. Sunday at House of Blues; $18-$22
This is a must-see show for those who saw the documentary “Anvil! The Story of Anvil,” about the Canadian heavy metal band that has toiled for years in obscurity only to finally make it big (sort of). “Lips” and the boys are sure to entertain. Earthen Grave and Rev Luv join the rockers on stage at House of Blues.
7 p.m. Friday at The Original Mothers; $5 donation
The Original Mother’s pays tribute to Elvis Presley on what would have been his 75th birthday with this bash including tons of live tribute acts, an Elvis look-a-like contest, karaoke and a peanut butter and banana buffet. Radio Hall of Famer Dick Biondi from True Oldies 94.7 will broadcast live from 7-11 p.m.