The 16th Annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival features more than 1,000 artists performing in more than 180 shows spread out over eight days. A sampling of the troupes include The Cool Table from Los Angeles, Pop Roulette from New York ( featuring Saturday Night Live writer Sudi Green ), Hot Raw Fire from Montreal and Chicago's own GayCo. The 16th Annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival plays Thursdays through Sundays from Thursday, Jan. 5, through Sunday, Jan. 15, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets are $15 per show, $35-$45 for day passes and $250 for an all-festival pass; call 773-327-5252 or visit PrideFilmsAndPlays.com .
Kathy Betts and Erin Island of GayCo, which performs as part of the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival at Stage 773 on Saturday, Jan. 7. Photo by Ashley Rose
La Gringa, UrbanTheatre in the Paseo Boricua, through Jan. 28. UrbanTheatre's smash hit comedy about a second-generation Puerto Rican girl looking to reconnect with her roots is taking a break before re-opening on Jan. 12. MSB
The Other Cinderella, Black Ensemble Theatre, through Jan. 8. Jackie Taylor's urban Afrocentric twist on the familiar tale of a poor girl who makes good has evolved over the 40 years since its premiere to remain fresh and timely with a score spanning calypso and hip-hop. MSB
The Phantom of the Opera, Cadillac Palace Theatre, through Jan. 8. This reconceived tour of the Andrew Lloyd Webber global smash may not be as glamorous or as effective as director Harold Prince's original iconic 1986 staging. Yet it is still compelling to see the show with a different directorial approach and scenic surroundings. SCM
Pygmalion, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company at Greenhouse Theater Center, through Jan. 8. The musical might have been a romance, but Shaw's source play was a comment on class warfare and the price of upward mobilitystill a relevant topic, even a century later. MSB
By Abarbanel, Barnidge and Morgan