5 things to do today: Wednesday, October 30
Sara Paretsky Paretsky presents Critical Mass, the latest book in her popular V.I. Warshawski series. She says this story is quite a departure from her other V.I. novels. Swedish American Museum. 7:30pm.
Comedians You Should Know This weekly night of comedy, curated by a group of funny dudes, puts local stand-ups on your radar. Timothy O'Toole's. 9pm. $10, advance $5.
'50s Sci-Fi Double Feature This Halloween double feature presented by the Northwest Chicago Film Society includes The Gamma People (1956), the tale of a ruthless dictator using weapons to murder his own people (how timely!), and Beginning of the End (1957) about 30-foot-tall grasshoppers laying waste to the Chicago area. Patio Theater. 7:30pm. $5.
John Vanderslice + Samantha Crain For a while, John Vanderslice was equally renowned as a producer and solo artist, but lately the latter role has taken precedence. His latest record, Dagger Beach, is drawn from his post-breakup hike along the entire 150-miles trail system of Pt. Reyes and his rediscovery of his obsession with music. Schubas. 9pm. $15.
Best Musical! A Completely Improvised Musical Comedy Conceived by Second City veteran Matthew Loren Cohen, Porchlight Music Theatre's impressive improvised musical uses audience suggestions to create a new show from scratch every night. Following earlier runs at Stage 773, it hits the UP Comedy Club stage for a limited engagement. UP Comedy Club. 8pm. $20.