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History of Comedy Jul 23 - Aug 27, 2016  
Metropolis Performing Arts Centre History of Comedy
 
Mankind has been laughing since the dawn of time, but why? What's so funny? And why don't they let us in on the joke? Three men have the bravery, the intelligence, and the copious amount of spare time necessary to explain it all to you. Join our intrepid team as they explore what makes us laugh, why it makes us laugh, and just what the heck is so funny about the New Yorker cartoons. From slapstick to sarcasm, from wordplay to whoopee cushions, take this highly unscientific survey of comedy throughout the centuries.
 
   
C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert Jul 23 - Aug 14, 2016  
Mercury Theater C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert
 
C.S. Lewis is among the most important writers of his generation, and in the new one-man play C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert, you can witness his storied transition from atheism to Christianity. The fascinating journey, adapted from Lewis' own thoughts and writings on the experience, is brought to life by actor Max McLean, who portrays the Chronicles of Narnia writer as he endures the death of his mother, works through his complicated relationship with his father and walks the path that led him from being a devout atheist to becoming the most influential Christian intellectual of his day. Brimming with wit and insight, C.S. Lewis Onstage brings to life one of the past century's most engaging personalities onstage at Chicago's Mercury Theater.
 
   
The Taming of the Shrew Jul 23 - Aug 27, 2016  
Oak Park Festival Theatre The Taming of the Shrew
 
One of Shakespeare's most popular plays, The Taming of the Shrew follows the treacherous road to romance for a strong-willed pair who've met their ultimate match in one another. The comedy kicks off with a wealthy Italian merchant decreeing that the younger of his two daughters cannot be wed before her ill-tempered, less popular sister is married. The problem is that no man in Padua is willing to propose to the sharp-tongued Katherine. That is, until the fortune-hunting Petruchio, newly arrived from Verona, agrees to woo and wed Katherine (for a sizable dowry, of course). What follows is a classic battle of the sexes that sends sparks flying. Enjoy Shakespeare under the stars with this production at the Oak Park Festival Theatre in Austin Gardens.
 
   
Newsies Jul 28 - Aug 7, 2016  
Cadillac Palace Theatre Newsies
 
Set in New York City at the turn of the century, NEWSIES is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged 'newsies,' who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys' expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what's right.
 
   
The Promise of a Rose Garden Jul 30 - Sep 10, 2016  
Babes With Blades Theatre Company at City Lit Theater The Promise of a Rose Garden
 
The Promise of a Rose Garden explores the far-reaching effects of war and what it means to be a soldier. Captain Rockford, one of the first 3 women to pass the US Marine Infantry Officer Course, is instructing a new group of women hoping to become infantry officers themselves. She is being visited by angels who speak in riddles. She may be losing her mind...
 
   
Cirque du Soleil: TORUK - The First Flight Aug 3 - Aug 7, 2016  
United Center Cirque du Soleil: TORUK - The First Flight
 
TORUK - The First Flight is a live immersive multimedia spectacle that brings to the stage the breathtaking world of James Cameron's AVATAR like you have never seen it before. Through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score, Cirque du Soleil applies its unique signature style to James Cameron's imaginary world and "makes the bond" between two kindred artistic visions that capture the imagination. This live immersive experience also bears the distinct signature of directors and multimedia innovators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. It is a living ode to the Na'vi's symbiotic coexistence with nature and their belief in the basic interconnectedness of all living things. Narrated by a "Na'vi Storyteller" and populated by unforgettable characters, TORUK - The First Flight is a mythical tale set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film AVATAR, and before any humans ever set foot on Pandora.
 
   
The Merchant Of Venice Aug 4 - Aug 14, 2016  
Chicago Shakespeare Theater The Merchant Of Venice
 
The critically acclaimed Shakespeare's Globe production that took London by storm comes to Chicago. In some of his most highly charged scenes, Shakespeare dramatizes the competing claims of tolerance and intolerance, religious law and civil society, justice and mercy; while in the character of Shylock he created one of the most memorable outsiders in all theater. Double Olivier and Tony Award-winner Jonathan Pryce plays Shylock, and is joined on stage by his daughter, Phoebe Pryce. The Telegraph praises "Director Jonathan Munby's oak-solid, finely weighted production... the lighter and darker elements combine in a seamless whole."
 
   
Mother (and Me) Aug 4 - Aug 14, 2016  
The Greenhouse Theater Center Mother (and Me)
 
Charming, irascible performer and comedian Melinda Buckley digs deep into her relationship with her larger-than-life Hungarian mother in her acclaimed solo show Mother (and Me). A veteran of Broadway shows such as A Chorus Line, Buckley explores what happens as her mother slips into dementia at the same time her daughter is slipping into "de'middle age." Funny and touching, Mother (and Me) ultimately asks, who is life harder for? The one who can't remember, or the one who can't forget? See this 2014 New York International Fringe Festival award-winner as it comes to Greenhouse Theater Center.
 
   
The Anton Chekhov Book Club Aug 5 - Sep 23, 2016  
Stage 773 The Anton Chekhov Book Club
 
Anton Chekhov was the Superman of short story writers -- his X-ray vision could see the epic yearning hidden underneath every human endeavor. This piercing perspective is also shared by The Anton Chekhov Book Club Returns, a lively and humane stage play inspired by the works of the Russian master. In this sequel to the hit The Anton Chekhov Book Club, we meet four eccentric women brought together by their love of Chekhov's timeless short stories. But in the process of exploring his works, the quartet learns valuable lessons about their own lives. Enjoy new faces and fresh stories featured in this bold update at Stage 773.
 
   
Bloodshot Aug 10 - Sep 10, 2016  
The Greenhouse Theater Center Bloodshot
 
Set in 1957 London, the suspenseful mystery Bloodshot follows a photographer with a drinking problem, who's been hired to follow and snap pictures of a beautiful showgirl by an unknown benefactor. But after witnessing her murder, his focus shifts to finding her killer, leading him to a backstreet nightclub where he finds a labyrinth of suspects, among them a magician, a comic and a musician. Award-winning Chicago playwright Douglas Post penned this one-man show, an acting tour de force, now coming to the Greenhouse Theater.
 
   
The Good Person of Szechwan Aug 11 - Sep 11, 2016  
Cor Theatre at A Red Orchid Theatre The Good Person of Szechwan
 
In The Good Person of Szechwan, three gods are on a journey to find out if there are any good people left on earth. Only Shen Te, a kind and generous prostitute, offers them shelter. With the money they give her she opens a tobacco shop. At once everyone needs her help. Her livelihood is in danger. Worse, she is falling in love with Sun, a pilot, who is robbing her blind. Her hard hearted cousin, Shui Ta, arrives to protect her. Who is he and how can good people stay good in a world of poverty and cruelty?
 
   
Bette, Live At The Continental Baths Aug 12 - Sep 10, 2016  
Hell in a Handbag Productions at Stage 773 Bette, Live At The Continental Baths
 
Handbag Diva and ensemble member Caitlin Jackson returns to pay tribute to the Divine Miss M's legendary cabaret act at the equally legendary Continental Bathhouse in New York City. Featuring live music from Jeremy Ramey as Barry Manilow, Chad as Mr. Gerald, bathhouse patron and hairdresser to the stars, and singing bathhouse boys in strategically placed towels (TJ Crawford and Will Wilhelm), this loving recreation of the beginning of Ms. Midler's stellar career features the fabulous songs she sang for the boys in the bathhouse, including Chattanooga Choo-Choo, Superstar, and of course, Chapel of Love done in Bette's inimitable style.
 
   
good friday Aug 13 - Sep 17, 2016  
Oracle Theatre good friday
 
In academia's hallowed halls, five women debate millennial feminism when gunshots shatter the safety of their discourse. As tweets stream across the campus feed, the body count grows. And then the shooter enters the classroom. At the intersection of gun violence and slacktivism, in a #yesallwomen world, what is the real cost of revolution?
 
   
Sister Cities Aug 19 - Sep 18, 2016  
Chimera Ensemble at The Den Theatre Sister Cities
 
Four estranged sisters, as different as the cities they are named after, face their mother's recent and sudden death in Sister Cities. Freedman's Sister Cities was the hit of the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has earned strong critical acclaim around the world, including productions in Paris (Une Ville, Une Soeur), Rome (Le Quattro Sorelle) and recently in Melbourne, Australia.
 
   
Thrust! Aug 19 - Aug 28, 2016  
Tapman Productions at Stage 773 Thrust!
 
THRUST! is a one of a kind double feature of tap and modern dance showcasing the work of long-time Tapman collaborators Tristan Bruns (tap) and Kate O'Hanlon (modern) and special guest choreographer Ian Berg (tap). The pieces performed are created specifically for this thrust (three-sided) stage with elaborate props and set design, original music by Trainwreck Symphony and composer Carolyn O'Brien, and new arrangements of popular music.
 
   
Rose Aug 19 - Sep 25, 2016  
The Greenhouse Theater Center Rose
 
An intimate portrait of Camelot's "queen mother" Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, Rose is an engrossing solo show set in the summer of 1969, just days after her only surviving son, Ted, has been implicated in the drowning of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick. Alone with her invalid husband in their house in Hyannis Port, Rose attempts to retrace the rise and fall of this great family -- from her husband's infidelity to her daughter Rosemary's tragic lobotomy and, of course, her sons John and Robert Kennedy's assassinations -- as they traversed continents, shaped history and inspired a nation. Rose was written by Kennedy scholar Laurence Leamer, author of the national bestseller The Kennedy Women, and is presented at Greenhouse Theater Center in Chicago.
 
   
Next To Normal Aug 20 - Oct 9, 2016  
BoHo Theatre at Theater Wit Next To Normal
 
From the outside, The Goodmans seem to be a normal, average American family. But for the past 16 years, perfect suburban mom Diana Goodman has been struggling with family trauma, bipolar disorder, and hallucinations. The strain of keeping this locked up tight within the family now threatens to tear them apart. Because the harder the family tries to be "normal", the farther they move from being true to themselves.
 
   

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