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Cure For Boredom: June's Best Events

By Mason Johnson

Things! People do them. They go out and they just do them. They put on clothes, and then they go outside, and they have experiences. They don't not put on their clothes before these experiences. If you don't put on the clothes, it will adversely affect your experiences with the things. Take, for example, the man who decided not to wear any clothes because it was "opposite day." That incident, without a doubt, adversely affected the things he was experiencing! So don't be like the pants-less man. Wear pants. Experience things. Good things.

Here are five good things you can experience while wearing pants.

Birthday Boy
'Birthday Boy' plays this Friday at the Prop Thtr (credit: Jeff Bivens)

The Other Side of the Elephant

June 8th, 9th & 11th
Prop Thtr
3502-04 N. Elston
Chicago, IL 60618

A collection of plays, "The Other Side of the Elephant" seems to be written by a bunch of weirdos.

I mean that in a good way.

A handful of plays running Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the creators here strive to create something less than traditional for the stage. They do a great job of it. Their break from tradition makes some of the performances perfect for those, like myself, who don't normally give a toot about theatre. Plus, they're all short, so even if one does go over your head, it won't last long.

This is the last weekend of performances! If you can only make it to one night, try and be there Friday for Birthday Boy. Written by Matt Test and Chris Bower (who are also in the show) and performed by Cat Jarbone, Kevlyn Hayes, and Troy Martin, Birthday Boy is about a boy whose birthday is forgotten by both his drunk mother and absentee father. The play, 'scuse me, musical, which explores the dark and depressing, is surprisingly hilarious. Exaggerated characters combined with catchy songs make the misery of a child genuinely enjoyable. Even for those who don't usually enjoy the misery of children.

Essay Fiesta!
Essay Fiesta hosts Keith Ecker and Alyson Lyon try to look stoic (credit: Essay Fiesta)

Printers Row Lit Fest

June 9th & 10th
Dearborn between Harrison & Polk
Saturday's schedule
Sunday's schedule

I know, I know... You're thinking: "but I hate lit!" Don't worry, Printers Row Lit Fest, a hurricane of writerly pursuits that happens on Dearborn between Harrison and Polk, has prepared for those of us who hate books. All you have to do is go on over to the Good Eating Stage and see stars like the Food Network's Daisy Martinez and Chicago's very own cooking superhero Rick Bayless. I love that guy.

For those who want to be entertained, check out the Lit After Dark programming on Saturday. At 6:00pm you can be entertained by a series of hilarious essays hosted and curated by the fantastic Keith Ecker and Alyson Lyon of Essay Fiesta. Immediately afterward, you can see the Encyclopedia Show! Hosted by Robbie Q. Telfer and Shanny Jean Maney, Encyclopedia Show desperately attempts to educate their audience on subjects like puberty and bears, often getting facts horribly, horribly wrong, usually to the audience's delight.


XRT at Ribfest

June 8th, 9th & 10th
Lincoln, Damen & Irving Park Rd.

What is it with this weekend? Do people not realize there's an entire summer to have events?

Anyway, Ribfest is back! In North Center, this is the place to be this weekend if you want good food, music and company. For the amateur gluttons out there, there's a sanctioned (how official!) rib eating contest! And there's not one, but two stages setup! 93XRT thinks you should see the Heartless Bastards on Sunday night!

Game of Thrones and Mad Men are over for the year, what else do you got goin' on?

Pitbull at 2011's B96 Pepsi SummerBash (credit: B96/CBS)

B96 Pepsi SummerBash

June 16th
Toyota Park
7000 South Harlem Avenue
Bridgeview, IL

SummerBash. It only comes one day a year, people. Usually in the summer. Don't let it pass you by.

This year's line-up is about as exciting as it gets: The Wanted, Flo Rida, Big Time Rush, Karmin, Sean Paul, Gym Class Heroes, and more!

So go, hang out with some of your favorite B96 DJs like DJ Flipside, J, Julian, Stylz and Roman.

Looking for free tickets? Look no further: check out Scion's "Dash to the Bash."

Karaoke... the kids love it... (credit: Mason Johnson)

Chicago's Karaoke Idol

June 28th
Beauty Bar
1444 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
Facebook Invite

American Idol lacks a lot of things. Heart, soul, personality... Everything, but talent, that is.

So ditch American Idol and see Chicago's first Karaoke Idol on June 28th. No, these people don't have all that much talent. But they're willing to get up on a stage and embarrass the heck out of themselves. Who wouldn't want to watch that?

For those who fancy themselves karaoke experts, feel free to show up early. You just might get picked to enter the competition.

Oh yeah, also, the event raises money for non-profits. This month, it's for Read/Write Library. So, you know, go do some good.

Mason Johnson, CBS Chicago
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