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If you'd rather not get blown to pieces, then try a comedy—though one or two of these can get gunpowder black at times. In Larry Shue's The Foreigner, a shy man pretends he can't speak English while staying at a resort and ends up learning everyone else's secrets. The Gog/Magog Project spoofs extreme performance art by letting an artist rant from inside a chicken wire cage. The Hypocrites revive Luigi Pirandello's classic 20th-century mindfuck, Six Characters in Search of an Author. Paul Smith's Unnecessary Farce deftly balances the mechanics of comedy and character development in a tale of seven fools. And Jack's Precious Moment concerns a contractor who runs into an unfortunate situation with jihadists in Iraq.
Also recommended: Peter Pan's Shadow, the first piece of a new trilogy by Dream Theatre's Jeremy Menekseoglu; anti-Valentine's Day cabaret Letters/X; and Zastrozzi, the Master of Discipline, a melodramatic Gothic tale based on a novel Percy Shelley published when he was 17 years old. (Before you decide that's a bad thing, remember that Frankenstein was a melodramatic Gothic tale written by Shelley's 18-year-old wife—and that turned out pretty well.)
But wait, there's more, including Bachelorette, in which a vicious maid-of-honor does all she can to sabotage the bride-to-be short of tearing her eyes out; G.B. Shaw's Androcles and the Lion, offered in a concert reading; and El Mari Chi Chi, a burlesque show-cum-satire based on Robert Rodriguez's 1995 cult film Desperado. Check out our overview of MPAACT's late-night solo performance series, Solo Jams, as well.
Finally, Reader critic Laura Molzahn recommends a couple dance programs. River North Dance Chicago presents two Valentine's Day-appropriate world premieres, plus several familiar works, under the title "Love Is . . .", and Bonedanse's This Is a Damage Manual spoofs self-improvement in eight vignettes.