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Chicago Agenda: Thursday, February 27

BY: Tyler Clark | Feb 26, 2014
Chicago Agenda: Thursday, February 27On today’s agenda: The Kickback takes over the Empty Bottle, Akvavit Theatre stages an Icelandic drama, and Ron Funches makes everyone laugh forever. The Kickback The Yost brothers headline a packed bill at the Empty Bottle also featuring The Noise FM, Ghastly Menace, and Aaron & the Sea  It’s no secret that we’re big fans of The Kickback here at the the Agenda (we’re particularly smitten with their cover of Randy Newman’s “Baltimore”). As such, we’ve been impatiently awaiting their debut full-length, Sorry All Over the Place, since it was announced last year. The record isn’t quite ready, but that doesn’t mean the band has sequestered itself in the studio. Tonight, Billy Yost and company will pin their hearts securely to their sleeves and take the stage at the Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Ave.) for a set of sensitive power pop. They’re joined by frequent showmates The Noise FM, as well as local pop scientists Ghastly Menace and brooding Twin Cities act Aaron & the Sea. (8:30 p.m. $5; buy tickets here) “Mishap!” Akvavit Theatre wrings psychological drama out of brain-dead television tropes in the company’s production of this Icelandic play Devoted to “[finding] the universal through the voices of the Nordic world,” the members of Akvavit Theatre have spent the past few seasons introducing Chicago theatergoers to some of Scandinavia’s most striking contemporary plays. That trend continues tonight with Mishap!, an Icelandic tale that scrutinizes the dissolution of a relationship using the tactics and tropes of modern fluff television. Described as “a psychological thriller, as if produced by the Today show,” the show has earned serious plaudits here and abroad: the premiere run was nominated for the Nordic Drama Award in 2008, and the current Chicago production has already earned four stars and a Critics’ Pick from Time Out Chicago. Catch it tonight at The Side Project (1439 W. Jarvis Ave.) in Rogers Park. (8 p.m. $15–$20; buy tickets here) Ron Funches Hilarious standup and known teddy bear slings some soft-spoken punchlines during a three-night stand at Zanies In the middle of his recent set on Conan, comedian Ron Funches admitted "I'm not a tough person." If you’d been watching his act up to that point, you probably already knew that. After all, this is the same guy whose official bio boasts that “his easygoing, inventive style sounds the way fresh chocolate chip cookies taste.” It also calls forth big laughs from some serious subjects—whether he’s is confronting racism or sharing stories of raising a son diagnosed with autism, Funches’s soft-spoken jollyness always manages to feel genuine. He begins a three-night stand at Zanies (1548 N. Wells St.) in Old Town this evening. (8:30 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. $25; two drink/food item minimum; buy tickets here) Photo provided by The Kickback