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Motown The Musical Apr 22 - Jul 13, 2014  
Ford Oriental Theatre Motown The Musical
MOTOWN tells the story behind the hits as Diana, Smokey, Berry and the whole Motown family fight against the odds to create the soundtrack of change in America. The music that shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat has finally arrived on Broadway and will launch its national tour in Chicago.
Hit The Wall Apr 22 - Jun 29, 2014  
The Greenhouse Theater Center Hit The Wall
"Hit the Wall," written by Ike Holter and directed by Eric Hoff, transports audiences to the Stonewall Riots in New York's Greenwich Village on June 27-28, 1969, when a routine police raid on an underground gay hotspot became a foundational moment for the modern gay rights movement. Featuring a howling live rock band that evokes the era's proto-punk music and fast-paced, sharp dialogue, the vivid theatrical re-imagination focuses on ten unlikely revolutionaries, each claiming in turn "I was there."
Juno Apr 23 - Jul 27, 2014  
TimeLine Theatre Company Juno
Juno is a musical based on the 1924 classic Irish play Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey. Originally produced on Broadway in 1959, Juno has never been produced in Chicago, until now. This epic story is a humorous and heartbreaking chronicle of the Boyle family, a destitute household struggling under the strain of the Irish Civil War in 1922. Juno Boyle, the fearless matriarch, holds her family together in the face of war, betrayal, and her husband Jack's drinking problem. When the family learns of an inheritance from a distant relative, it seems that all their problems will be solved. But as they fight to rise above Dublin's political and social unrest, they must face the tragic truth of their lives. TimeLine is pleased to introduce Chicago to this tale of survival, told through honest and powerful anthems such as "I Wish It So," "We're Alive" and "One Kind Word."
Sleeping Beauty Apr 23 - Jun 7, 2014  
Drury Lane- Oakbrook Sleeping Beauty
In a faraway kingdom, the vengeful sorceress Magenta casts an enchanted curse on the beautiful Princess Amber. Sleeping Beauty's spell can only be broken by her true love's first kiss before time runs out. Prince Hunter must overcome his fears as he scales the mountains, sails the dark sea and battles a dragon to prove his love to Princess Amber. The captivating and colorful fairy tale features a soaring score and lively choreography.
Emma Apr 23 - May 25, 2014  
Dead Writers Theatre Collective at Stage 773 Emma
Dead Writers Theatre Collective presents playwright Michael Bloom's exciting new adaptation of Emma, Jane Austen's beloved comedy of manners about the perils of finding love. It's the ever-relatable story of the young Emma Woodhouse, a well-meaning but disaster-prone matchmaker, who ignores her own romantic feelings for her lifelong friend and eligible bachelor Mr. Knightley while setting out to find a suitor for a friend. Her efforts go awry, of course, leading to a bevy of comical complications.
Chicken Little Apr 23 - Aug 15, 2014  
Chicago Kids Company at Beverly Arts Center Chicken Little
Sing along with Chicken Little, and her friends Henny Penny, Turkey Lurkey, Loosey Goosey, and Foxy Loxy as they journey to tell the king the news. The show runs one hour with no intermission, and is targeted for kids aged 2 to 12.
Lay Me Down Softly Apr 23 - May 25, 2014  
Seanachaí Theatre Company at The Den Theatre Lay Me Down Softly
Early 1960s. Delaney's Traveling Roadshow tours the Irish countryside with bumper cars, bearded ladies, rifle ranges and the main attraction: the boxing ring. The Roadshow invites all comers to fight them to win a prize. Theo, the iron fisted patriarch, struggles to keep his crew in line and when his long abandoned daughter arrives, the patchwork family is thrown against the ropes.
Mill Fire Apr 24 - Jun 7, 2014  
Shattered Globe Theatre at Theater Wit Mill Fire
Sally Nemeth's MILL FIRE takes audiences to Birmingham, Alabama, circa 1978. As the town struggles to mourn the loss of several factory workers in a terrible accident, widow Marlene refuses both the pressure to grieve as convention dictates and the blood money offered by the mill's owners. With an ever-shifting temporal landscape that shapes the story through flashback and memory, a Greek chorus of fellow widows, and emotionally charged familial subplots, MILL FIRE examines the many definitions of sorrow and the complexities of moving on.
Vatzlav Apr 24 - May 24, 2014  
Trap Door Theatre Vatzlav
Mrozek's Vatzlav is a spoof of the rights of humankind or a manual on what NOT to do with your freedom!
Anton in Show Business Apr 24 - May 18, 2014  
20% Theatre Company Chicago at Zoo Studio Anton in Show Business
This madcap comedy follows three actresses across the footlights, down the rabbit hole and into a strangely familiar Wonderland that looks a lot like American theatre the resemblance is uncanny! As these women pursue their dream of performing Chekhov in Texas, they're whisked through a maelstrom of "good ideas" that offer unique solutions to the Three Sister's need to have life's deeper purpose revealed. In the tradition of great backstage comedies, Anton in Show Business conveys the joys, pains and absurdities of "putting on a play" at the turn of the century.
Avenue Q Apr 24 - Jun 29, 2014  
Mercury Theater Avenue Q
A racy cross between South Park and Sesame Street, AVENUE Q is a modern musical focusing on a group of unique 20- somethings making their way in the big city, seeking their purpose in life. AVENUE Q features Music and Lyrics by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez (co-creator of THE BOOK OF MORMON and recent Academy Award winner for FROZEN) and a Book by Jeff Whitty. Variety exclaimed, "Of all the musicals hatched in the post-2000 age of irony, AVENUE Q has remained the freshest and funniest!" Director L. Walter Stearns explains that the real magic of the show is when the audience "forgets that the puppets are nothing more than fur and felt and start to believe they have a mind, heart and soul." Although AVENUE Q addresses humorous adult issues, it is similar to a beloved children's show: a place where puppets are friends, monsters are good and life lessons are learned.
The Sound of Music Apr 25 - May 25, 2014  
Lyric Opera The Sound of Music
Few Broadway musicals are more beloved than The Sound of Music, and now you can see it live in a production by Lyric Opera of Chicago. It's the story of Maria, an aspiring nun who takes a job as governess to the widowed Captain Von Trapp's seven children. As she gradually earns the heart of the family -- and their father -- the Von Trapps are threatened by the rise of the Nazis, and must figure out how to escape Austria. "My Favorite Things," "Edelweiss," "Do-Re-Mi," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," "the Lonely Goatherd" and the soaring title song are just a few of the unforgettable melodies in this classic work of musical theater.
Hair Apr 25 - Jun 29, 2014  
American Theatre Company Hair
Greenwich Village. 1967. During the most tumultuous year in our nation's history, a group of young hippies explore sex, love, and rock 'n' roll while fighting for civil rights and the end of the war in Vietnam. Artistic Director PJ Paparelli and author James Rado return some original 1967 off-Broadway material for this unique Chicago version of the controversial rock musical that forever changed the American theatre.
Ragtime Apr 25 - May 11, 2014  
Big Noise Theatre Company at Prairie Lakes Theatre Ragtime
Based on the 1975 novel by E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime the Musical is a powerful portrait of life in early 20th century America, as well as a relevant tale for today. Written by the award-winning composer/lyricist team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, the musical intertwines the stories of three distinctly American families-- from upper-class New Rochelle, Harlem and Ellis Island-- as they confront history's timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair, and what it means to live in America.
Death Defying Acts Apr 25 - May 18, 2014  
Saint Sebastian Players at St. Bonaventure Church Death Defying Acts
Death Defying Acts is a comedy triple bill, three rings of fun under the Big Top: David Mamet’s An Interview is a mystifying interrogation in which a sleazy lawyer is forced to answer difficult questions and admit the truth about “the lawnmower.” In Hotline by Elaine May, a neurotic woman with enough urban angst to fill a neighborhood calls a suicide crisis hotline, only to reach an overwhelmed counselor during his first night on the job. And, in Woody Allen’s Central Park West, a well-to-do psychiatrist gets thoroughly soused before confronting her best friend, who is having an affair with her husband. Performances are April 25–May 18, 2014.
Cyrano Apr 25 - May 18, 2014  
Filament Theatre Cyrano
French nobleman Cyrano de Bergerac is a master of swordplay and wordplay, but a magnificent Mount Everest of a nose blocks his path to true love. The tongue-tied Christian borrows Cyrano's words to woo the beautiful Roxane - but is she falling for Christian's looks or Cyrano's heart? From Parisian balconies to bloody battlefields, Cyrano is a lightning-paced romance of duels, poetry, panache, sacrifice - and one enormous nose.
Cabaret Apr 25 - May 25, 2014  
Citadel Theatre Company Cabaret
Still the sexiest of the great American musicals, John Kander and Fred Ebb's Cabaret comes vividly to life at Citadel Theatre. This acclaimed musical revolves around the romantic intrigues of cabaret singer Sally Bowles, young American writer Cliff Bradshaw and other denizens of the seedy Kit Kat Klub, amid the backdrop of the Nazis' rise to power in 1930s Berlin. Played out with commentary from the club's darkly comic Emcee, the show's memorable songs include the title tune, along with "Willkommen," and "Tomorrow Belongs to Me."
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Apr 26 - Jun 1, 2014  
Porchlight Music Theatre at Stage 773 How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, is based on the best-selling 1952 book of the same name. This satirical look at big business follows the rise of one "J. Pierrepont Finch" (Tyler Ravelson) who uses a little How to... handbook to climb the corporate ladder from lowly window washer to high-powered executive. Finch, with song and dance numbers from Loesser's prize winning score, navigates the dangers of the aggressively compliant "company man," the office party, backstabbing co-workers, caffeine addiction and, of course, true love.
Man and Superman Apr 26 - May 19, 2014  
ShawChicago at Ruth Page Center For Arts Man and Superman
Man and Superman is Shaw's retelling of the Don Juan legend. He was told, half in jest, by friends and critics, that he would never be a great playwright until he tackled this popular story that had been told many times, from Moliere to Mozart. Shaw accepted the challenge, but turned the story on its head. He made the traditionally accused womanizer, Don Juan, into the victim pursued relentlessly by women. In Shaw's play, Jack Tanner (Don Juan) succumbs to the pursuit of Ann Whitefield (Doña Ana), and surrenders to the Life Force because, in the words of Shakespeare's Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, "The world must be peopled."
A Midsummer Night's Dream Apr 26 - May 25, 2014  
Strangeloop Theatre at The Side Project A Midsummer Night's Dream
Strangeloop’s production takes place in the 1940s — a time period that shares much with the ancient Athens of Shakespeare’s original setting: political turmoil, war and the subduing of monstrous beasts (literal in one case, figurative in the other). Women take on jobs traditionally held by men and struggle for the freedom to love the person they choose, not the ones chosen for them. But despite all of the societal and otherworldly obstacles strewn in the paths of the story’s couples, love still finds a place to bloom.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites Apr 29 - Jun 1, 2014  
Chicago Children's Theatre at Ruth Page Center For Arts The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites
The Very Hungry Caterpillar follows the adventures of a very tiny and very hungry caterpillar that eats his way through an amazing variety of foods towards his eventual metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly.Children will likewise delight in the antics of Little Cloud. High up in a beautiful sky, Little Cloud slips away from the rest and transforms itself into various shapes of things it sees - a sheep, and airplane, a shark and more. In The Mixed-Up Chameleon, a little chameleon is bored with its life - sitting about predictably changing color all day. So it decides to embark on an adventurous trip to the zoo. Upon seeing the beautiful animals there, the little chameleon tries changing to look like each one of them.
Henry V Apr 29 - Jun 15, 2014  
Chicago Shakespeare Theater Henry V
Henry V is Shakespeare's rallying cry, celebrating the power of language to summon battlefields from thin air and ignite our souls to action.
The Wizard Of Oz Apr 30 - May 11, 2014  
Cadillac Palace Theatre The Wizard Of Oz
Click your heels together and join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto, as they journey through the magical land of Oz to meet the Wizard and obtain their hearts' desires. Watch out for the Wicked Witch of the West and her winged monkeys as you rediscover the real story of Oz in this fantastic musical treat for all the family. Starring Danielle Wade as Dorothy, who was chosen by the Canadian public through CBC TV's reality show "Over The Rainbow," the tour of THE WIZARD OF OZ is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic. Developed from the ever popular MGM screenplay, this new production contains all the beloved Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg songs from the Oscar-winning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Romeo and Juliet Apr 30 - May 11, 2014  
The Joffrey Ballet at Auditorium Theatre Romeo and Juliet
A ballet in three acts, this contemporary rendition of the classic Shakespearean tale is set in Italy and uses a multimedia video backdrop to depict three different political eras of the 20th century. Throughout each time period, the timeless tale of love and loss unfolds to the darkly intense score by Sergei Prokofiev performed live by the Chicago Philharmonic under the baton of Joffrey Music Director Scott Speck.
The Next Thing May 1 - Jun 7, 2014  
Signal Ensemble Theatre The Next Thing
Kate and Conor, ambitious actors from opposite sides of the Atlantic, meet while co-starring in a Hollywood blockbuster and take an immediate disliking to each other. Naturally, they are paired together for more films. The Next Thing is a new musical that spans six years, five movies, four deals, three significant others, two Oscars, and one combustible relationship.
Miracle On South Division Street May 1 - Jun 1, 2014  
Theatre At The Center Miracle On South Division Street
MIRACLE ON SOUTH DIVISION STREET follows Mother Clara Nowak (Marilynn Bogetich) and her three grown children: Jimmy (Joseph Popp), a garbage collector, Bev (Erin Grennan), a ketchup bottler, and Ruth (Adria Dawn), who would be a struggling actress if she could only get a part. In 1943, Clara's father had a vision of peace and the Blessed Mother while working in the family barbershop. To commemorate this miracle, he built a twenty-foot shrine of the Blessed Mother, which quickly became a beacon of hope to the neighbors and gave prestige to the family as it grew into popularity across the country.
5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche May 1 - Jun 8, 2014  
Chicago Commercial Collective at Chopin Theatre 5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche
"5 Lesbians Eating Quiche," co-written by Andrew Hobgood and Evan Linder and directed by Sarah Gitenstein, finds five women assembled in a church basement (along with the audience) for the 1956 annual meeting of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein's annual quiche breakfast. The normally idyllic gathering, where the motto is "no men, no meat, all manners," is upended when the Society's matriarchs must confront the startling revelation that an atom bomb may be falling on their fair city. As fears are confronted and confessions fly, the chipper ladies stay firm in their commitment that the quiche is a mighty thing and that one must "respect the egg."
Lost in Yonkers May 2 - Jun 8, 2014  
Northlight Theatre Lost in Yonkers
This nostalgic memory play takes us back to the summer of 1942 - WWII is on, and Eddie, flat broke, has no alternative but to leave his sons with their grandmother while he struggles to pay off his debts. The boys are left to contend with an ill-tempered Grandma, the sweet but damaged Aunt Bella, and Uncle Louie, a small-time hoodlum in a strange new world called Yonkers.
Sylvia May 2 - Jun 15, 2014  
Oil Lamp Theater Sylvia
Greg and Kate have moved to Manhattan after twenty-two years of child-raising in the suburbs. Greg's career as a financial trader is winding down, while Kate's career as a public-school English teacher is offering her more opportunities. One day, Greg brings home a dog he found in the park-or that found him-with only the name "Sylvia" on her name tag. A street-smart mixture of Lab and Poodle, Sylvia becomes a significant bone of contention between husband and wife. The marriage is put in serious jeopardy until, after a series of hilarious and touching complications, Greg and Kate learn to compromise, and Sylvia becomes a valued part of their lives.
Where Are You, Carmen Sanbliego? A Musical Parody May 2 - Jun 21, 2014  
Chemically Imbalanced Theater Where Are You, Carmen Sanbliego? A Musical Parody
International thief Carmen Sanbliego has decided 1995 is a good year to retire and relax on the beach. Just one problem-gumshoe detective Jack Plimper is hell-bent on making her face justice once and for all. This musical parody serves up an energetic blend of comedy, adventure and nostalgia (live music and singing henchmen included.)
Attack at Bikini Werewolf Beach: Part 2 May 2 - May 25, 2014  
Robot vs. Dinosaur at The Den Theatre Attack at Bikini Werewolf Beach: Part 2
Attack at Bikini Werewolf Beach tells the story of heroine Sandy and her beach buddies as they get more than a tan when they spend summer vacation at the shore. Like in the classic beach party movies, you can expect an out-of-touch industrialist to wreck havoc with the beach kid's party plans, a cameo by a "famous" British pop star, and a beat poetry performance by the leader of a biker gang. The danger of a werewolf attack is always at hand as the kids try to save the beach and their friendship-somehow through surfing. All this is accompanied by original surf songs such as "Werewolf Rampage," "Surf Infection," and "Beach Beach Beach (Yeah, Go to the Beach)."
Jack Lemon Returns May 2 - Jun 1, 2014  
Royal George Theatre Jack Lemon Returns
Jack Lemmon's lifelong dream was to be an actor, head to New York from his hometown of Newton, Mass. and "Save Broadway." At the urging of a show-biz minded mother, but a serious business-minded father, Jack pursued his dream and, due to a remarkable set of events, became one of the world's all-time great movie stars. Believing that no actor should ever be pigeonholed into being either a comedian or a serious dramatic artist, Jack Lemmon broke barriers, and played everything. As the first actor to win Academy Awards as both Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor, Jack Lemmon's talents knew no bounds. But with every blessing there can also be a curse, and Jack's son Chris was witness to it all.
The White Snake May 3 - Jun 8, 2014  
Goodman Theatre The White Snake
The White Snake chronicles the tale of a gentle serpent spirit who lives for centuries coiled on a mountaintop. One day, she transforms herself into a beautiful young woman and, with her feisty companion, Green Snake, travels down to the world of humans. There, she unexpectedly finds love, happiness and family, and vows to remain a human forever. But when a vengeful monk discovers her true identity, he becomes determined to destroy the life that she's built-and break apart her marriage to her one true love.
Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries May 3  
Rosemont Theatre Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries
In this exciting new production, the Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang has been called upon to help solve an epic mystery. A trouble-making ghost is haunting a local theatre and Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Scooby-Doo are on their way in the Mystery Machine to crack the case. With crazy ghosts, perplexing puzzles, and an abundance of Scooby Snacks, it's Scooby-Doo and friends at their best, travelling across the country, solving mysteries wherever they go.
Days Like Today May 6 - Jul 13, 2014  
Writers Theatre Days Like Today
Lovely, hopeful Tessa has vowed that she is through with love-despite the best efforts and conflicting advice of her parents (and their respective lovers). After all, it's never easy to move on before you've had time to heal. But when a handsome young stranger arrives, Tessa must decide whether the idea of love might still be one worth fighting for. With soaring melodies and lyrics that are by turns witty, wry and heartbreakingly poignant, the musical explores what it takes to sustain a relationship in a world where love sometimes seems impossible-and how the first step in finding happiness might be getting out of your own way.
Vieux Carre May 6 - Jun 28, 2014  
Raven Theatre Vieux Carre
A nameless, newly-transplanted, innocent, aspiring writer who is struggling with his literary career, poverty, and homosexuality survives amid the other starving and ailing tenants of a rooming house in 1930's New Orleans. This auto-biographical tragicomedy is filled to the brim with sexuality, desperation and loneliness woven together through a poetry unique to Williams.
Buyer and Cellar May 6 - Jun 15, 2014  
Broadway Playhouse Buyer and Cellar
Alex More has a story to tell. A struggling actor in L.A., Alex takes a job working in the mall in Barbra Streisand's Malibu basement. One day, the Lady Herself comes downstairs to play. It feels like real bonding in the basement, but will their relationship ever make it upstairs? BUYER & CELLAR is an outrageous comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things, and the oddest of odd jobs.
Jacob May 7 - Jun 15, 2014  
Provision Theater Company Jacob
Packed with disasters, demons, giants and scenes of unforgettable awe and terror, the Book of Genesis has inspired centuries of artists, from the likes of John Milton (1667's Paradise Lost) to Darren Aronofsky (2014's Noah). Now Timothy Gregory, founding director of Provision Theater, has created Jacob, a new work based on that ancient, yet inexhaustible, text. A retelling of the story of Jacob, the Hebrew patriarch who wrestled with God, this play focuses on the relationship of two brothers consumed with a deadly secret and a murderous rivalry. The Isaacsons, a wealthy Chicago family, are being torn apart by an un-civil war. Everything comes to a head when Jacob's dark world of fear, manipulation and deception collides with a supernatural force of truth and redemption. Gregory and Lia Mortensen co-direct this world premiere at Provision Theatre.
M. Butterfly May 8 - Jun 8, 2014  
Court Theatre M. Butterfly
M. Butterfly is an exquisitely delicate and aggressively original play about sex, espionage, and Imperialism. Skillfully intertwining the story of Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly with an extraordinary plot inspired by true events, M. Butterfly untangles the story of Rene Gallimard, a meek French civil servant who meets the woman of his dreams in Song Liling, a beautiful, Chinese opera diva. What Gallimard doesn't realize-or refuses to see-is that his "modest Chinese girl" may be much more than she appears. M. Butterfly has become a post-modern classic whose exploration of the sexual politics of East and West continues to resonate today.
The Doll's House Project: Ibsen Is Dead May 8 - Jun 8, 2014  
Interrobang Theatre Project at Athenaeum Theatre The Doll's House Project: Ibsen Is Dead
It's November 9, 1989 and The Berlin Wall is coming down for the entire world to see. A husband is reading of the deconstruction in the paper over a breakfast of scrambled eggs. A wife is hearing of it while shopping for couture. An old friend is watching it on a television window display on a street in Manhattan. And a doctor is sleeping right through it. Inspired by A Doll's House, THE DOLL'S HOUSE PROJECT: IBSEN IS DEAD explores and welds the genius of Henrik Ibsen and the grit of Calamity West in this world premiere play about deception, love, lies, class and gender.
Wit May 8 - Jun 7, 2014  
AstonRep Theatre Company at Raven Theatre Wit
WIT revolves around the story of Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., a renowned professor of English, a specialist in the metaphysical, life and death themes of John Donne's Holy Sonnets, who finds herself the subject of research designed to try to save her life as she is being treated for stage IV metastatic ovarian cancer. Vivian comes to reassess her life and her work with a profundity and humor that are transformative both for her and the audience.
The Best Intentions of Selfish Men May 8 - May 24, 2014  
The Rum & Coke Collective at Profiles Theatre - The Alley Stage The Best Intentions of Selfish Men
Oppressed and marginalized passed the point of reason the aggression of the human animal is all too often turned inward. When out Brent blackmails closeted Taylor, a merciless game of cat and mouse ensues. But upon returning to his home, Brent begins to realize that Taylor is hiding much more than his sexuality. From the passionately warped mind of Associate Artistic Director Jeff Newman comes a vicious thriller exploring the powder keg of rage lying inside each of us just waiting to go off. The Best Intentions of Selfish Men will leave you asking yourself if you're sick of being reasonable, and what you're prepared to do for the right to love.
One Hit Wonders May 9 - Jun 29, 2014  
Black Ensemble Theater One Hit Wonders
This not-to-be-missed, hilarious musical spans some of the world's biggest hits of the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s. They may have been one hit wonders, but they were hits nonetheless, including I Will Survive, It's Raining Men, Kung Fu Fight, Doin Da Butt, Ooh Child, Funkytown, Ice Ice Baby, and Macarena, among many others.
Charles Ives Take Me Home May 9 - Jun 21, 2014  
Strawdog Theatre Charles Ives Take Me Home
When a father's love of music clashes with his daughter's passion for basketball, long-dead modernist composer Charles Ives is the perfect referee. Featuring Ives pieces performed by Dave Belden including "Variations On America," "The Unanswered Question," "Things Our Fathers Loved (from 114 Songs)," "Sonata for violin and piano no. 4," and "The Concord Sonata." Charles Ives Take Me Home is a comic and poignant story of dissonance, defense and devotion.
Exit Strategy May 9 - Jun 15, 2014  
Jackalope Theatre Company at Broadway Armory Exit Strategy
From the acclaimed writer of Hit the Wall and Loom, comes the story of a Chicago public high school slated for closure at the end of the year. The impending shut-down causes tensions in the school's already volcanic neighborhood to rise to the breaking point, but a small group of teachers launch a last minute battle to save the school. Over the course of the year, they put their careers, their future and their safety in the hands of a fast talking administrator who comes on strong: but might actually have no clue what he's doing.
Mileep Saves Tuesday May 10 - Jun 15, 2014  
Cornservatory Mileep Saves Tuesday
Mileep is back, with some old friends and his trusty imagination and this time he must battle the evil forces and save Tuesday from being wiped off the calendar. Will what lurks around the corner and between Wednesday and Monday stop Mileep from restoring the weekdays to their rightful order? Bring the whole family to this musical adventure and find out!
Mamma Mia! May 13 - May 18, 2014  
Cadillac Palace Theatre Mamma Mia!
An independent, single mother who owns a small hotel on an idyllic Greek island, Donna is about to let go of Sophie, the spirited daughter she's raised alone. For Sophie's wedding, Donna has invited her two lifelong best girlfriends-practical and no-nonsense Rosie and wealthy, multi-divorcee Tanya - from her one-time backing band, Donna and the Dynamos. But Sophie has secretly invited three guests of her own. On a quest to find the identity of her father to walk her down the aisle, she brings back three men from Donna's past to the Mediterranean paradise they visited 20 years earlier. Over 24 chaotic, magical hours, new love will bloom and old romances will be rekindled on this lush island full of possibilities. Inspired by the storytelling magic of ABBA's songs from "Dancing Queen" and "S.O.S." to "Money, Money, Money" and "Take a Chance on Me," MAMMA MIA! is a celebration of mothers and daughters, old friends and new family found.
The Passions of Emma Goldman May 13 - Jun 1, 2014  
ShPIeL Theatre at Stage 773 The Passions of Emma Goldman
Award-winning Chicago stage veteran Roslyn Alexander fills the fascinating shoes of fearless activist Emma Goldman in this new solo drama that explores the passions behind the controversial figure's political agitation and the price she was willing to pay for it. A charismatic speaker and organizer, Goldman threatened the turn-of-the-century status quo with her liberal views on social issues and women's rights, but became infamous as an anarchist who advocated free love and who was jailed several times for demonstrating contraceptives, inciting to riot and opposing the draft. Dennis Zacek directs for the ShPIeL Theatre.
Look Back in Anger May 14 - Jun 15, 2014  
Redtwist Theatre Look Back in Anger
The seminal British drama of the 20th century, Look Back in Anger, exploded onto London's post-war theatrical landscape in the midst of silly comedies and splashy musicals. It took no prisoners and gave no quarter, mercilessly skewering the leftover relics of the Edwardian class system while blazing a trail for every British dramatist who followed. In a recent Entertainment Weekly poll, it was voted #17, among the 50 Greatest Plays of the Past 100 Years.
Cirque Shanghai: Warriors May 21 - Sep 1, 2014  
Navy Pier Skyline Stage Cirque Shanghai: Warriors
This summer's production of "Cirque Shanghai: Warriors" brings an extraordinary line-up of thrilling acts to the stage, including The Kinetic Poles, the powerful Water Meteor and the heart-pounding Pageant of Arms. Returning to the production from last year is the fate-tempting "Wheel of Destiny," and China's premier daredevil steel-globe motorcycle troupe, "Imperial Thunder".
Eat Your Heart Out May 22 - Jun 28, 2014  
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble Eat Your Heart Out
Eat Your Heart Out, the hit of the 2012 Humana Festival of New Plays, intertwines the stories of six people and delves into the complexities of family, body image and hearts and minds consumed by longing. Alice (Mary Cross*) and Gabe (Michael Szeles) are desperate to adopt a child and create a family. Single mom Nance(Katherine Keberlein) is eager to connect with her overweight teenage daughter Evie (Anne Joy). Evie is trying to get her geeky best friend (Andrew Goetten) to like her as much as she likes him. Woven through these stories is Nance's attempt to find love on with Tom (Charlie Strater) as all six characters dance around their own loneliness.
Ask Aunt Susan May 24 - Jun 22, 2014  
Goodman Theatre Ask Aunt Susan
Aunt Susan is a twenty-something man who moonlights as an online advice guru. When "Ask Aunt Susan" becomes the web's hottest spot for self-help, Aunt Susan's boss, a reckless funder, rakes in the profits from women's everyday woes. But as her online reputation mushrooms, so does Aunt Susan's web of deceit-and soon the phenomenon is much bigger than Aunt Susan could have ever imagined.
Tyrant May 24 - Jun 29, 2014  
Sideshow Theatre Company at Theater Wit Tyrant
One year from right now, Congress solves the homeless problem. The recently passed Rectification Act gives disenfranchised citizens new lives as trained workers in the homes of the wealthy. But they are also forbidden from leaving the program to find a better future. Twenty years later, Leon and Regina are hired to work for well-meaning philanthropist Martin, who has become interested in new fields of psychiatric research and invites his workers to participate. But a simple gift begins a powerful series of events that will test the principles of the entire household. Searing questions of morality, possession and the crimes of the well-intentioned boil to the surface in this tense and provocative world premiere. Society has changed for the better, but how has it changed all of us?
Caged Dames May 28 - Jul 13, 2014  
Hell in a Handbag at Theater Wit Caged Dames
Caged Dames tells the gripping tale of an innocent housewife, Mary Anderson, who goes from dirty dishes to dirty dames at the blink of an eye. A victim of circumstance, Mary finds herself in the Calumet City Women's Penitentiary at the mercy of Elsie Emerson (Ed Jones*), a corrupt prison matron. Elsie believes in law and order, her way; with a rubber hose and solitary confinement.
Carrie: The Musical May 29 - Jul 12, 2014  
Bailiwick Chicago at Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph Carrie: The Musical
Carrie White is a misfit. At school, she's an outcast who's bullied by the popular crowd, and virtually invisible to everyone else. At home, she's at the mercy of her loving but cruelly over-protective mother. But Carrie's just discovered she's got a special power, and if pushed too far, she's not afraid to use it...
Monstrous Regiment May 30 - Jul 20, 2014  
Lifeline Theatre Monstrous Regiment
Borogravia is at war. Again. When Polly Perks' brother goes missing in action, she does what any girl would do: she cuts her hair, stuffs a sock down the front of her breeches, and enlists, hoping to find him. It doesn't take long for Polly to realize that everyone in her squad is protecting a secret and that nothing in this improbable war is as it seems. Scrambling to survive both enemy assaults and the idiocy of their untried officer, her misfit company makes its way to the front, where it might just prove to be the least likely regiment to ever win a battle. A wickedly funny look at the absurdities of war and the ambiguities of identity in a world premiere adaptation based on the 2003 Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett.
The Diviners May 30 - Jul 4, 2014  
Organic Theater Company at The Greenhouse Theater Center The Diviners
Set in a fictional Indiana town during the Great Depression, Jim Leonard Jr.'s moving drama focuses on the friendship between an ex-preacher from Kentucky and a disturbed young boy. The boy -- deeply traumatized by a near-drowning in his past that led to the death of his mother -- is now terrified of water, but also gifted with the ability to divine its location. As the bond between these two grows, the preacher works with the boy to overcome his crippling fear of water. And when the townspeople, desperate for a spiritual leader, mistake an eventual bathing for a baptism, their confusion leads to some significant consequences in The Diviners.
Grounded Jun 6 - Jul 13, 2014  
American Blues Theater at The Greenhouse Theater Center Grounded
A hot-rod F16 fighter pilot's unexpected pregnancy ends her career in the sky. Repurposed to flying remote-controlled drones in Afghanistan from an air-conditioned trailer near Vegas, the Pilot struggles through surreal twelve-hour shifts far from the battlefield, hunting terrorists by day and being a wife and mother by night. A tour de force play for one actress, GROUNDED flies from the heights of lyricism to the shallows of workaday existence, targeting our assumptions about war, family, and the power of storytelling.
Annapurna Jun 6 - Jul 20, 2014  
Profiles Theatre - The Alley Stage Annapurna
Twenty years ago, Emma walked out on her husband, cowboy-poet Ulysses, in the middle of the night. Now, hearing he's in dire straits, she tracks him down in the wilds of Colorado to find him living in a grungy trailer, working on his magnum opus, hooked to an oxygen tank, and cooking in the buff. Their reunion, charged by rage and compassion, brings back the worst and best of their former bond.
The Last Ship Jun 10 - Jul 13, 2014  
Bank of America Theatre The Last Ship
With an original score by 16-time Grammy Award winner Sting, THE LAST SHIP will have its pre-Broadway World Premiere at Chicago's Bank of America Theatre (18 West Monroe) for a limited five-week engagement June 10 - July 13, 2014. THE LAST SHIP will open on Broadway in the fall of 2014. An epic yet intimate tale inspired by Sting's own childhood experiences, this World Premiere production features direction by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Wicked), a book by Tony Award winner John Logan (Red) and Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal) and choreography by Olivier Award winner and Tony Award Nominee Steven Hoggett (Once). "The memories at the heart of THE LAST SHIP have occupied my mind for most of my life," said Sting. "I was compelled to tell this story, and I've had the great fortune of collaborating with an enormously talented team."
This Is Our Youth Jun 10 - Jul 27, 2014  
Steppenwolf Theatre This Is Our Youth
Set in New York in 1982, This Is Our Youth follows forty-eight hours in the lives of three very lost young souls: Warren, a dejected nineteen year old who has just stolen $15,000 from his abusive, tycoon father; Dennis, his charismatic drug-dealing friend who helps Warren put the stolen money to good use; and Jessica, the anxiously insightful young woman who Warren yearns for. Funny, painful and compassionate, This Is Our Youth is a living snapshot of the moment when many young people go out into the world on their own, armed only with the ideas and techniques they developed as teenagers-far more sophisticated than their parents realize, and far less effectual than they themselves can possibly imagine.
Assassins Jun 12 - Jul 20, 2014  
Kokandy Productions at Theater Wit Assassins
From John Wilkes Booth to John Hinckley, Jr., Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award winning one-act musical bends time to bring together America's most unforgettable presidential assassins for a darkly comic journey through the underbelly of the American Dream. This warped and tuneful tour through history takes the form of a carnival game, where the sounds of the decades, from ragtime to folk and more, accompany revue-style portrayals of these notorious assassins and would-be assassins. The twisted festivities might even look familiar to you, bearing a striking similarity to the circus we call "celebrity culture." You'll be invited inside the minds of the assassins -- men who, in their unique ways, felt they'd been robbed of the American Dream. What made them resort to violence where others didn't? Does society play a role in creating these "monsters"? Thought-provoking and delightful, Assassins is sure to stimulate plenty of post-show conversation.
Death And The Maiden Jun 13 - Jul 13, 2014  
Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph Death And The Maiden
Ariel Dorfman's explosively provocative, award-winning drama is set in a rocky new democracy. Gerardo has just been chosen to head the commission that will investigate the crimes of the old regime when his car breaks down and he is picked up by a kind doctor. Sandra Oh (the award-winning star of ABC's Grey's Anatomy) plays Gerardo's wife, Paulina, who thinks she recognizes the doctor as the man who tormented her as she lay blindfolded in a military detention center years before. Death and the Maiden is a riveting, haunting play about revenge, trauma and forgiveness.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Jun 19 - Aug 17, 2014  
Drury Lane- Oakbrook The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Tuneful, clever and uproarious, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee follows the story of six overachieving and quirky adolescents pitted against each other in the spelling challenge of a lifetime. To raise the comical bar, four audience members get the opportunity to participate in this quirky musical as onstage bee contestants. Through the ups and downs of the bee, the youngsters are forced to learn that winning isn't everything and losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser.
Partners Jun 21 - Jul 20, 2014  
LiveWire Chicago at The Den Theatre Partners
Four friends in Brooklyn share everything - until it turns out they don't. Clare is straight and obsessed with gay marriage. Her best friend Ezra is gay and obsessed with Clare's career. Helpful hints turn into painful betrayals in this spiky comedy about sex and money that asks: how much do we owe to those we love?
Brigadoon Jun 27 - Aug 3, 2014  
Goodman Theatre Brigadoon
When American tourists Tommy and Jeff get lost on vacation in Scotland they stumble into Brigadoon, a mythical village that appears for only one day every 100 years. No outsider can stay in Brigadoon unless they fall in love, and no resident can ever leave or the village will vanish forever. But when Tommy falls for a village girl, he is forced to choose between returning to the world that he knows-or taking a chance on life and love in the mysterious Brigadoon. Big, beautiful and beguiling, Brigadoon is a "ravishing" (The New Yorker) musical delight.
The Qualms Jul 3 - Aug 31, 2014  
Steppenwolf Theatre The Qualms
At a beachside apartment complex, a group of friends gathers for their regular evening of food, drink, drugs and partner-swapping. When Chris and Kristy attempt to become the newest members, the evening does not go as planned. The artichoke dip grows cold as the party devolves into a territorial battle over mating privileges. Does sex ruin everything? And what is the purpose of monogamy? Pulitzer Prize-winning author Bruce Norris's comedy explores the eternal struggle for power, status and getting laid.
Seussical Jul 5 - Aug 17, 2014  
Chicago Shakespeare Theater Seussical
Chicago Shakespeare Theater brings the humor and magic of Dr. Seuss to life onstage this summer in the Broadway musical comedy Seussical for young audiences and their families. Playful, energetic and full of whimsy, Seussical engages the imagination with clever lyrics and melodies, unforgettable characters and the vibrant rainbow of Dr. Seuss’ colorful world. Seussical is written by the Tony Award® winning team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, whose works include Ragtime and Once on This Island, and was co-conceived with Eric Idle of Monty Python and Spamalot fame. Directed by Scott Weinstein with musical direction by Michael Mahler,
Closer Jul 11 - Jul 27, 2014  
Spartan Theatre Company at The Den Theatre Closer
A doctor, a photographer, an exotic dancer, and a writer become entangled in a complicated romance. Set in contemporary London, this detailed and elaborate character study soon becomes an intimate drama following a pair of couples as they navigate the unsteady terrain of love, desire, honesty and deceit. Under the direction of Artistic Director Patrick Belics, this award winning play looks unflinchingly at how and why we love and lie.
Rick Bayless in Cascabel: Dinner - Daring - Desire Jul 30 - Aug 24, 2014  
Goodman Theatre Rick Bayless in Cascabel: Dinner - Daring - Desire
Lookingglass Theatre, Frontera Grill and Silverguy Entertainment present the return of Rick Bayless in Cascabel: Dinner - Daring - Desire, the unforgettable theatrical adventure featuring a sumptuous feast, world-class circus acts, and a tantalizing love story starring celebrity chef Rick Bayless that had Chicago audiences spellbound when it premiered in spring 2011. The extremely limited engagement is co-created by Rick Bayless, Artistic Associate and founder of Silverguy Entertainment Tony Hernandez (Hephaestus, Lookingglass Alice), and Lookingglass Ensemble Member Heidi Stillman (Hephaestus, The Brothers Karamazov, Hard Times).
The Game's Afoot Aug 28 - Oct 19, 2014  
Drury Lane- Oakbrook The Game's Afoot
From the creator of Lend Me A Tenor comes this whodunit filled with twists, turns and murderous pandemonium. It is December 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his portrayal of the lengendary Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast members to his lavish Connecticut castle for a holiday weekend of revelry. When one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in the isolated house quickly turn dangerous. It is up to Gillette who assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer bfore the next victim appears in this witty, suspenseful caper.
Native Son Sep 11 - Oct 12, 2014  
Court Theatre Native Son
Richard Wright's iconic novel about oppression, freedom, and justice comes to life on stage in this ground-breaking, world premiere adaptation. Suffocating in rat-infested poverty on the South Side of Chicago in the 1930s, 20-year-old Bigger Thomas struggles to find a place for himself in a world whose prejudice has shut him out. After taking a job in a wealthy white man's house, Bigger unwittingly unleashes a series of events that violently and irrevocably seal his fate. Adapted with theatrical ingenuity by Chicago's own Nambi E. Kelley, and co-produced with American Blues Theater, this Native Son captures the power of Richard Wright's novel for a whole new generation.
The Commons of Pensacola Sep 12 - Oct 19, 2014  
Northlight Theatre The Commons of Pensacola
Judith is a woman in exile, relegated to a Florida condo after her husband's Madoff-like crimes have expelled her from a luxurious life. Family ties are tested when her daughter Becca comes to visit for Thanksgiving, joined by Becca's filmmaker boyfriend and rebellious niece. Guilt by association, lost wealth, and questionable motives make trying to love your family an uncommonly difficult challenge in this funny, incisive and timely new drama.
Rest Sep 12 - Oct 12, 2014  
Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph Rest
A retirement home in northern Idaho is being shut down, and only three residents and a bare-bones staff remain. When a record breaking blizzard blows into town and an elderly resident disappears into the storm, everyone is brought to face their own mortality. Samuel D. Hunter (from last season's hit The Whale) returns with a tender and heartbreakingly funny play about life's unexpected beginnings and endings.