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Take a leap

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February 29, 2012|By Julia Borcherts, a RedEye Special Contributor

You've got an extra day this February -- how are you going to spend it? Sure, you could finally take down your Christmas tree, but why not leap into the audience at one of these Lead Day shows instead? There's plenty of comedy, drama, musical parody, humorous storytelling, stand-up, sketch and improv going on at stages across town Wednesday, and we've found seven productions guaranteed to help you make the most of that extra day.

"Tammy: A Coming of Age Story about a Girl Who is Part T-Rex"
Local playwright Julia Weiss tempers her own experiences being bullied with 1990s movie tropes, snobby theater conventions and overcommitted interpretive dance in this coming-of-age comedy about a girl who struggles with self-esteem, unrequited crushes, peer rejection and other junior high drama. The theater's BYOB.
Go: 8 p.m. through March 24 at the Cornservatory, 4210 N. Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: $7; 773-650-1331;

Come Alive at 5
Author John McNally reads humorous original fiction at the kickoff party for this new daily after-work cultural series. Local writer Viki Gonia hosts literary trivia with prizes and drink specials include $3 Michelob Ultra and $5 Heart Bombs (Bacardi Oak Heart with an energy drink mixer).
Go: 5-8 p.m. at Underground Wonder Bar, 710 N. Clark St.
Tickets: Free; 312-266-7761;

April Macie
The Season 4 finalist on NBC's "Last Comic Standing" aims to break down gender double-standards with overtly sexual humor. Local funnyman Pat McGann hosts her six-show engagement which begins tonight and also features opening comics Dan Ronan and Mike All.
Go: 8:30 p.m. through March 4 at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells St.
Tickets: $25 plus a two-item food-drink minimum; 312-337-4027;

"The Doyle & Debbie Show"
Nashville performers Bruce Arntson and Jenny Littleton perform Arnston's parody of a washed-up country star struggling to make a comeback with a new partner well past his sell-by date. The duo pokes fun at Red State stereotypes, but clearly love the genre they're lampooning. Think of it as "Spinal Tap" with a twang.
Go: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., through June 24
Tickets: $43.50; 312-988-9000;

TJ & Dave
Second City alums TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi -- subjects of the documentary film, "Trust Us, This Is All Made Up" -- improvise a 45-minute play each week, where each performs as multiple characters. Trust us; you'll get way more than your five bucks' worth.
Go: 11 p.m. (open run) at iO, 3541 N. Clark St.
Tickets: $5; 773-880-0199;

"The Convert"
In this drama about Zimbabwean identity, a woman escapes an arranged marriage in 1895 with help from a Christian missionary, but complications arise when an anti-colonial uprising erupts. Bonus: For an extra $5, you can attend a 6 p.m. discussion with playwright Danai Gurira and director Emily Mann in the Goodman's Polk Rehearsal Room.
Go: 7:30 p.m. through March 25 at the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.
Tickets: $12-$25; 312-443-3800;

"Stranded! The Lost Sketches of Brain Freeze"
Wednesday night's your last chance to see local ensemble Warm Milk perform their show-within-a-show about a '90s comedy troupe called Brain Freeze who, while marooned on an island, concoct bizarre sketches that they send off to the mainland in a bottle.
Go: 8 p.m. at the Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway
Tickets: $10; 773-561-4665;

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