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Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 5/18

1. Oprah filmed two of her last three shows at the United Center this week, in case you live under a rock. Thus far, two potential jurors have been excused from jury duty because they had tickets to this over-the-top goodbye celebration.

2. The Redmoon Youth Spectacle runs for three nights, starting tonight, at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. This impressive endeavor brings together over 750 students from multiple Chicago schools, and consists of youth created "curiosities" ranging from shadow animation to sound installation to performance. Side note: The museum also has a very realistic looking stuffed polar bear on display.

3. The Sun-Times and the Tribune face off over Murder for Two. Hedy Weiss called it "indeed, a 'killer musical.'" But while Chris Jones thought the show had promise, he argued there was just not enough mystery in this murder mystery. "If you go to a murder mystery, you want to be involved in the actual mystery and try to figure it out for yourself. Murder for Two takes you a good way down that road but then flies off in a whole, new, campy direction. It's amusing but ultimately unsatisfying. We're all happy to laugh, but we also want to believe," Jones said.

4. Joleen: On Your Marks... opens tomorrow at 9:30 at the Annoyance Theater, and they describe themselves as a long-form sketch duo. "Joleen" consists of Eileen Montelione and Joel Wiersema; you may recognize them from their previous name "Sit and Run."

5. SKALD 12: THE TWELFTH ANNUAL SKALD STORYTELLING COMPETITION has had workshops for children (KIDSKALD), adults (MAELSTROM) and professionals (SKALD 12) all week, with final performances this weekend (MAELSTROM Friday, May 20, at 7:30 pm / $15, KIDSKALD Saturday, May 21, at 3 pm / FREE, reservations encouraged, SKALD 12 Saturday, May 21, at 7:30 pm / $20). It's all at the Chicago Cultural Center, and though you may think the name SKALD sounds like a piece of Ikea furniture, it really comes from the ancient Scandanavian word for storyteller or poet.

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