After Visiting Friends and Crime Scene
"Crime Scene" photo by Cesario Moza.

From mob-tour kitsch to today?s all-too-real headlines, the issue of crime is most certainly instilled in the Chicago mind-set.

Two new works--a book and a play--explore this unsavory underbelly, though with a bit more panache than you?d find on the evening news.

After Visiting Friends How did Michael Hainey?s father really die? The author and GQ editor explores this question in a new book that wonders whether the ?Chicago way? had anything to do with his Sun-Times reporter dad?s mysterious demise in 1970. We were curious, too, but what really kept us reading was Hainey?s portrait of a Chicago we never knew--a Mad Men-esque newspaper world full of cigarette smoke, after-hours boozing and the rare female reporter in a pointy Maidenform bra.

Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology Collaboraction?s riveting play about violent crime in Chicago earned rave reviews in its first month and received a 17-performance extension. Be part of the action during a show that uses audience participation--don?t worry, you won?t know it?s happening--and stylized reenactments of three real Chicago crimes (you?ll remember them all) to create a call for action: How we can work together to change the pattern. Tickets $25; through April 7 at the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 312-226-9633 or collaboraction.org

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