Listing Of Chicago Plays and Shows Now Playing in Theaters in Chicago
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Agreed Upon Fictions  
16th Street Theater at Berwyn Cultural Center Agreed Upon Fictions
 
. Katie is a good mother. She's a natural Good Samaritan in her quiet suburb, and her family is happy and secure. But when the most vulnerable member of the community is revealed as a threat, Katie's instincts lead her to try to protect both her neighbor and her family, leaving no one feeling safe.
   
Alice  
Neo-Futurists Alice
 
Alice is an ambulatory, multi-disciplinary theatrical experience. The audience, traveling in groups of 15, follows a white rabbit to various locations throughout the Andersonville neighborhood. Ducking into storerooms and back patios, through bookstores and taverns and galleries, the audience IS Alice and the Andersonville neighborhood becomes a wonderland. Chapters of the book are divided amongst Chicago fringe theater companies, visual and film artists and performed in various locations throughout the neighborhood. Tours beginn at 1:00 p.m. and leaving every 15 minutes until 2:00 p.m. All tours start at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland.
   
All Girl Edgar Allan Poe  
The Chicago Mammals at Zoo Studio All Girl Edgar Allan Poe
 
This fall The Chicago Mammals return in their third consecutive year of producing fantastical works for women under the umbrella of the All Girl Project- by presenting ALL GIRL EDGAR ALLAN POE - a One Act Festival completely devised, produced, directed, choreographed and performed by women. All pieces are inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe and will be interpreted in a wide array of fashions including: movement, music, poetry, dance and monologue.
   
All My Sons  
Raven Theatre All My Sons
 
Miller's play masterfully combines a postwar setting with themes that date back to Greek tragedies into a drama that remains timeless. Joe Keller is a 60-year-old businessman who, knowingly or unknowingly, sold faulty parts for fighter jets to the U.S. Air Force, resulting in 21 crashes and the deaths of dozens of airmen during the war. The son of Joe's former business partner, who was convicted of negligence for those actions while Joe was exonerated, accuses Joe of falsely shifting blame to his partner. The accusation creates a rift between Joe and his son Chris, who is engaged to the partner's daughter.
   
Amazing Grace  
Bank of America Theatre Amazing Grace
 
AMAZING GRACE is a world premiere musical based on the awe-inspiring true story behind the world's most beloved song. A captivating tale of romance, rebellion and redemption, this radiant production follows one man whose incredible journey ignited a historic wave of change. Don't miss the Amazing Grace musical in Chicago.
   
Animal Farm  
Steppenwolf for Young Adults at Steppenwolf Theatre Animal Farm
 
George Orwell's revolutionary masterpiece comes to the stage with Steppenwolf for Young Adults' world premiere adaptation of Animal Farm. After revolting against the reign of their negligent human master, the animals of Mr. Jones's farm create their own ideal society in which all animals are equal and rules are set by democratic vote. It's all working pretty well until the allure of power leads the animals to a chilling fate. Animal Farm illustrates how new tyranny replaces old and power corrupts even the noblest of causes.
   
The Anyway Cabaret (an animal cabaret)  
Storefront Theater The Anyway Cabaret (an animal cabaret)
 
TUTA invites you to participate in a theatrical fantasy that celebrates the mysteries of life and the power of the imagination. The Anyway Cabaret (an animal cabaret) is a hauntingly funny, song-filled new play that follows a group of over 28 different changing characters performing in a life or death cabaret show. A mix of imaginative storytelling, spirited folk rock music, and theatrical surprises create an interactive experience that you won't want to miss. A cast of ten energetic actor/musicians bring this international world premiere to Chicago.
   
Apes Of Wrath  
Second City Apes Of Wrath
 
In the world of high stakes, we become a more heightened version of ourselves, which can sometimes resemble more simian behavior than human. From unitard sporting performance artists, an intimate encounter with robot culture and the primal effects of downsizing, "Apes of Wrath" embraces the dark and light sides of our human devolution.
   
At Home at the Zoo  
City Lit Theater At Home at the Zoo
 
The play is Albee's expanded version of his 1959 one-act The Zoo Story. In 2004 Albee wrote a first act for it, subtitled Homelife, in which we witness Peter's conversation with his wife Ann shortly before he leaves to read in the park where, in what is now Act Two, he will have his fateful encounter with Jerry.
   
At Last: A Tribute To Etta James  
Black Ensemble Theater At Last: A Tribute To Etta James
 
Jackie Taylor's musical pays tribute to the life and work of the Grammy Award-winning R&B, country, soul, blues and jazz singer.
   
At The Center  
The Agency Theater Collective at Chicago Dramatists At The Center
 
Elizabeth Harvey has spent 19 years putting the pieces of her life back together following a brutal assault. Hector Reyes has spent 19 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. When innocence lawyers intervene on Hector's behalf, the painful truth about their shared story begins to emerge. Inspired by the work of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University's School of Law, At the Center explores the issues surrounding wrongful convictions and asks how we can move forward after a miscarriage of justice.
   
Audience Annihilated Part Two: Gold Star Sticker  
Dream Theatre Audience Annihilated Part Two: Gold Star Sticker
 
Dream Theatre Company is excited to announce that once again we will be presenting our award-winning, critically acclaimed horror play AUDIENCE ANNIHILATED PART TWO: GOLD STAR STICKER by Jeremy Menekseoglu. Part haunted house, part horror show, the audience chooses what role they will play as they journey through a child's horrific nightmare.
   
Avenue Q  
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 Belmont Burlesque Revue  
Theater Wit The Belmont Burlesque Revue
 
Widely recognized as a driving force in Chicago's 21st Century burlesque revival, The Belmont Burlesque Revue is the longest consecutively-running burlesque show in town. Featuring a classic revue format, a cast of outstanding burlesque artists and special guests, and variety acts including music, magic, and comedy, Belmont Burlesque is a touchstone for the local burlesque scene. A great show for first-time burlesque audiences and seasoned connoisseurs alike.
   
Bethany  
The Gift Theatre Bethany
 
Bethany, Laura Marks' trenchant contemporary drama, follows cash-strapped Crystal (Hillary Clemens), who's caught in the middle of the Great Recession and navigating the worlds of motivational speaking, survivalism and a Saturn dealership to make a home for herself. Described by The New York Times as "rare among new American plays in the clear, compassionate attention it pays to the corrosive effects of the economic downturn on the battered middle class," Bethany is a perceptive tale told in The Gift's signature style of great ensemble acting in an intimate space.
   
The BFG (Big Friendly Giant)  
Emerald City Theatre Company at Apollo Theater The BFG (Big Friendly Giant)
 
One night, lonely orphan Sophie is snatched away to an enchanted land by a giant who blows magical dreams into children's bedrooms. Her harmless, large-eared captor is none other than The Big Friendly Giant (or The BFG as generations of Roald Dahl fans know him). When more menacing giants threaten to munch on human beans, the pair of misfits embarks on an unforgettable adventure proving heroes come in all shapes and sizes.
   
Bible Bingo  
Royal George Theatre Bible Bingo
 
From Vicki Quade, the creator of the popular comedy Late Nite Catechism, comes the new interactive comedy Bible Bingo. The Archdiocese's new bingo department needs to raise money for the parish. That's where you come in: Get ready to play bingo for a variety of wacky prizes. Along the way, you'll be drawn into conversation about everything from Adam and Eve to modern sins. Just be careful: You might laugh so hard you forget to yell "bingo."
   
Bingo's Birthday  
Emerald City's Little Theatre Bingo's Birthday
 
You are invited to the birthday party of a very special dog, and Bingo is his name-o! Everything is ready, but Farmers Pickle and Tickle can't find the guest of honor. Is he near or far? Up or down? Over or under? Explore the farm and help find Bingo in this intimate, theatrical celebration. This unique experience places you and your little ones in an interactive and magical playground where anything goes. A theatre experience specially designed for ages 0 to 4
   
The Birds  
Hell in a Handbag Productions at Berger Park Coach House The Birds
 
Hell in a Handbag's The Birds receives the full parody/homage treatment audiences have come to expect. In addition, the audience is playfully immersed in the show as " invited guests of Mr. Hitchcock" to watch filming on location near Bodega Bay (our own Lake Michigan). As filming progresses, the audience experiences Tippi's difficulty in distinguishing the film's reality from her own.
   
Blue Man Group  
Briar Street Theatre Blue Man Group
 
Blue Man Group is best known for its award-winning theatrical productions which critics have described as "ground-breaking," "hilarious," "visually stunning" and "musically powerful." These performances feature three enigmatic bald and blue characters who take the audience through a multi-sensory experience that combines theatre, percussive music, art, science and vaudeville into a form of entertainment that is like nothing else.
   
Both Your Houses  
Remy Bumppo Theatre at The Greenhouse Theater Center Both Your Houses
 
Stunningly timely, Both Your Houses captures the charm and fervor of the classic film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and hit television series The West Wing, while simultaneously challenging the plausibility of change a la The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight. In a non-partisan approach, Anderson addresses many of the issues that Congress faces today including the functionality of Congressional committees, the limits of Presidential power, and even women's reproductive rights.
   
Bye Bye Liver  
The Public House Theatre Bye Bye Liver
 
The Pub Theater Company performs a series of outrageous sketches centered on Chicago's favorite pastime: drinking. Bye Bye Liver is filled with interactive social games for the audience, pitting males versus females, actors versus audience and so on. Bar life and alcoholic adventures are held up for your amusement so you can laugh -- and drink -- your troubles away. With a spontaneous and interactive format, the outcome is always a fun and outrageous time for everyone, both audience and cast.
   
Capriccio  
Lyric Opera Capriccio
 
In this sophisticated drawing-room comedy, the Countess and her guests are trying to decide whether it's the words or the music that triumph in creating great art. The theater director thinks it's a silly question (he just wants to give the audience a good show!), the Count doesn't care (he just wants an affair with the actress.). And so it goes in Strauss's masterpiece, illuminated by some of his most lushly sensual music.
   
Churchill  
SoloChicago at The Greenhouse Theater Center Churchill
 
Based on Winston Churchill's own writings, Ronald Keaton's one-man show finds the former British prime minister chafing under forced retirement after a shocking loss in the post-World War II election. But when President Harry Truman invites him to speak in the U.S., the famed politician, painter, Nobel Prize-winning author and witty raconteur begins to reflect on his life and times with humor, pride and regret. The inspiring leader who led England through one of its most difficult periods not only shares his political and military history, but also his fondness for whiskey, cigars and women. Keaton's been called one of the city's "top-tier theater veterans" by the Chicago Tribune.
   
The Clean House  
Bluebird Arts at Athenaeum Theatre The Clean House
 
The Clean House is a witty and wry romantic comedy about Matilde, a Brazilian-born live-in maid who'd rather be telling jokes than cleaning houses. Her employer, Lane, seems to have it all: a successful surgeon husband and her own busy career as a doctor. But does she? The New York Times has called playwright Sara Ruhl "a provocative new theatrical voice" and The Clean House "visionary." Directed at Athenaeum Theatre by Luda Solomon, this acclaimed play won the 2004 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2005.
   
Common Room  
A Red Orchid Theatre Common Room
 
We take scenes from the best plays currently onstage in Chicago and string them together with music, comedy, booze and cookies for an awesome night and a new way to get exposed to theater - in our city and beyond. The Common Room takes place on the first Wednesdays of every month.
   
The Cryptogram  
Profiles Theatre - The Alley Stage The Cryptogram
 
Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Mamet's rarely produced masterpiece, The Cryptogram, celebrates its 20th Anniversary at Profiles Theatre. Mamet combines mercurial intelligence with genuinely Hitchcockian menace as this gripping play journeys back into childhood and the moment of its vanishing - when the sheltering world suddenly reveals itself as a place full of dangers. One late evening in 1959, a young boy sits waiting up for his father in anticipation of their camping trip. While his mother urges him to go to sleep, a family friend tries to entertain them or perhaps distract them. Mamet re-creates a child's terrifying discovery that the grownups speak in code - a code that may never be breakable.
   
Cupid Has a Heart On: A Musical Guide to Relationships  
Stage 773 Cupid Has a Heart On: A Musical Guide to Relationships
 
The Cupid Players are Chicago's all-musical sketch comedy group; their intelligent and satirical scenes are always accompanied by songs that are sure to puncture your aorta. They have performed from coast to coast and were just voted Critics Pick in the Chicago Reader! Come and see what Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune calls "both refreshing and a memorably enjoyable 70 minutes."
   
Dancing in the Storm  
Adapt Theatre Productions at Redtwist Theatre Dancing in the Storm
 
Based on the popular blog "Kidneys and Pinups" and told through movement and dance, Dancing in the Storm is the story of a woman with a rare blood disease, failing kidneys and an uncertain future. Feeling isolated from the world and trapped in a body that's falling apart, she reaches out through the internet, unaware of how many people are watching her story. In the midst of endless tests, medical mishaps and unbearable pain, she comes to discover that even a fight for survival can be transformed into a thing of beauty.
   
Danny Casolaro Died For You  
TimeLine Theatre Company Danny Casolaro Died For You
 
This thriller is based on the true story of Danny Casolaro, a freelance reporter investigating high-level corruption in the Reagan/Bush Justice Department. A year into uncovering information, Casolaro was found dead in a Virginia motel room, his arms slashed more than a dozen times. The authorities called it suicide, but a host of conspiracy theorists-and the House Judiciary Committee-disagreed. Casolaro's recovered notes detailed his plan to expose several major players behind numerous clandestine activities, including the Iran hostage situation, Nicaragua arms-for-drugs deals, and much more. Playwright Dominic Orlando-a cousin of Casolaro-pulls the curtain back on Danny's journey and the ultimate price he paid trying to find the truth.
   
Dead Accounts  
Step Up Productions at The Den Theatre Dead Accounts
 
Jack's unexpected return to Cincinnati after spending several years in New York throws his family into a frenzy - and his sister Lorna and mother Barbara want answers! Is he in some sort of trouble? Where's that wife everyone hates? And how did he get all that money? Theresa Rebeck's new comedy, which opened on Broadway in 2012, tackles the timely issues of corporate greed, small town values and whether or not your family will always welcome you back.
   
Depraved New World  
Second City Depraved New World
 
Celebrate the creation of our brand new show and get an exclusive look at The Second City's hilarious 102nd Revue. The Second City's 102nd Revue is written and performed by an all-star cast including Chelsea Devantez, John Hartman, Mike Kosinski, Tawny Newsome (Jeff Award Winner - Best Revue), Emily Walker and Steve Waltien with Jeff Award-Winning Director, Mick Napier. Jesse Case will be at the keys as Music Director and Craig Taylor returns for his 34th Revue as Stage Manager for The Second City Mainstage.
   
Devil's Day Off  
Signal Ensemble Theatre Devil's Day Off
 
A city is battling a record-breaking heat wave for several days when the power goes out for twelve hours. What follows is a mosaic of deprivation, fear, humor, survival, and reflection in over 50 mini-plays featuring 100 characters, from the author of Successors, the Aces Trilogy, Blizzard '67, and the music and lyrics of The Next Thing and The Teapot Scandals. Devils' Day Off was a finalist award winner in the 2013 Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission.
   
The Dinner Detective  
Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel The Dinner Detective
 
Having worked in the professional theater, TV and film industries for over 20 years, our collection of actors and producers have mastered the art of improvisational theatrical role playing and have ultimately created the perfect evening of entertainment for you and your guests. By hiding our actors among the customers and leaving everyone to suspect who is part of the show and who is not, our events are proven second to none.
   
Dinner With Friends  
Oil Lamp Theater Dinner With Friends
 
Described by the playwright as a "rueful comedy," Dinner With Friends introduces us to Gabe (Chris Miller) and Karen (Megan Skord-Campbell), two middle-aged international food writers who are happily married and living in suburban Connecticut. They have been close friends for many years with Tom (Eric Bays) and Beth (Laura Coleman), another married couple. In fact, Tom and Beth first met each other at a dinner party hosted by Gabe and Karen.
   
Don Giovanni  
Lyric Opera Don Giovanni
 
Frequently proclaimed “the perfect opera,” Mozart’s masterpiece (composed 1787) tells the story of the infamous ladies man Don Giovanni (baritone Mariusz Kwiecień), a master seducer who travels across Europe in pursuit of women with his resourceful servant Leporello (bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen). Giovanni arrives in Seville having already seduced and abandoned the fiery Donna Elvira (soprano Ana María Martínez). Within a few hours he has also conquered the noble Donna Anna (soprano Marina Rebeka); murdered her father, the Commendatore (bass Andrea Silvestrelli); and led astray the naïve peasant Zerlina (soprano Andriana Chuchman, role debut and Ryan Opera Center alumna). The nobleman Don Ottavio (tenor Antonio Poli) and the peasant Masetto (bass-baritone Michael Sumuel, debut), the fiancés of Donna Anna and Zerlina, vow revenge for the wrongs he has committed. It is the ghost of the dead Commendatore, however, who eventually gives the defiant Giovanni his comeuppance.
   
Don Juan in Hell  
ShawChicago at Ruth Page Center For Arts Don Juan in Hell
 
Don Juan in Hell is the seldom seen Act 3, Scene 2 of Shaw's comedy Man and Superman in which Bernard Shaw presents a famous dream sequence in which Jack Tanner is transformed into the legendary Don Juan, in Shaw's version of Hell. In a brilliant debate with the Devil, Don Juan refutes the spurious history of his villainy against women, and proves that the Devil doesn't always have the best arguments. The discourse remains relevant in this century as the legendary wooer of women goes toe to toe with the Son of the Morning in a sardonic debate over the human condition, gender equality, nationhood, and more.
   
Forgotten Future: The Education Project  
Collaboraction at Flat Iron Arts Building Forgotten Future: The Education Project
 
Inspired by the dysfunction of the American education system, Forgotten Future: The Education Project takes three students' unique perspectives of the Chicago school system and how it both serves and is failing them and their potential future. It's been constructed from extensive research and tackles the key issues of inequities, cultural barriers and testing. The result is a unique, immersive theatre piece designed to entertain and inform the audience, as well as motivate dialogue.
   
Frankenstein  
Greenman Theatre Frankenstein
 
GreenMan Theatre will present a new adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic horror novel about a young scientist's obsession with creating life after death and the tragic consequences that follow: Frankenstein.
   
Frederick  
Chicago Children's Theatre at Ruth Page Center For Arts Frederick
 
While other mice are gathering food for the winter, Frederick daydreams the summer away. When dreary weather comes, it is Frederick who has stored up something special for the long cold winter. The classic, much-loved early reading book celebrates the idea that there is a place for all of us in this world.
   
The Frozen on the Square (1982)  
Akvavit Theatre at The Den Theatre The Frozen on the Square (1982)
 
Ingmar Bergman returns like a force of nature to his small provincial Swedish hometown to film his masterpiece "Fanny & Alexander." Four locals, extras in the film but principals in this existential comedy, struggle to escape the long shadow their brief encounter with the cinematic master's crowning achievement casts over their lives.
   
Goldilocks and the Three Bears  
Emerald City Theatre Company at Apollo Theater Goldilocks and the Three Bears
 
While Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear live contentedly in the woods, spitfire Goldilocks sets out on her own adventure. When the worlds of bears and people collide, everyone learns that girls and bears aren't as ferocious as they may seem. Award-winning writers George Stiles and Anthony Drewe (creators of Honk!, Mary Poppins on Broadway, and Emerald City's The Three Little Pigs) inject a bear-sized helping of music and mayhem into this classic fairytale making it "just right" for the entire family.
   
The Gravedigger  
First Folio Theatre The Gravedigger
 
Playwright Joseph Zettelmaier, who has a penchant for haunting tales and drama, worked on the script for THE GRAVEDIGGER for five years. He first read Frankenstein in high school and found it so engaging that he wanted to continue the story. His plays have been described by American Theater Magazine as "....infused with an idiosyncratic sense of humor, but he never shies away from darker emotions."
   
Hack/Slash  
CIC Theater Hack/Slash
 
Hack/Slash is the story of horror victim survivor Cassie Hack who, together with her disfigured sidekick Vlad, travels the country (and sometimes the underworld) fighting evil slashers who refuse to just lay down and die even after being burned, impaled and shot 20 times. The original comic book series, on which this production is based, ended its run in May of 2013. The series was recently relaunched by Image Comics as Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain and is co-written by Seeley's brother Steve Seeley and Michael Moreci.
   
Happy Days  
Theatre Y at St. Luke's Lutheran Church Happy Days
 
HAPPY DAYS follows Winnie, a woman submerged in a heap of garbage first up to her waist and then up to her neck. Comforted by the occasional visits by her husband Willie, Winnie remains resolved to find meaning in her life and attain her "happy days" in Beckett's remarkably written tragicomedy.
   
The Hundred Flowers Project  
Silk Road Rising at Chicago Temple The Hundred Flowers Project
 
Digital media becomes the perfect "ally" for a group of actors collectively creating a play about Mao Tse Tung's Cultural Revolution. As their work-in-progress starts morphing into a propaganda play about the play itself, disturbing questions arise as to who, or what, is controlling the narrative.
   
I Approve This Message  
Annoyance Theatre I Approve This Message
 
Writer and Director Greg Ott was inspired by seeing his neighbor's parents run against each other in multiple county elections, only to lose by an overwhelming margin each year. Ott recalls, "As a Cub Scout, they made me lick envelops for their campaign mailings and paid for my time with move theater gift certificates that turned out to be fake." Personal feelings aside, he modeled the politics of the play after celebrity campaigns such as Joe the Plumber and Clay Aiken.
   
The Inside  
The Greenhouse Theater Center The Inside
 
Emma, a black college student who's currently attending a party populated by her white peers, has come to a crisis. With a mixture of entertaining irony and heart-wrenching vulnerability, Emma proceeds to pour forth her interior life with unchecked honesty, breaking the fourth wall to directly address the audience in a show that blurs the line between traditional narrative storytelling and performance art. Throughout The Inside, Emma will be aided by a chorus of actors who represent extensions of herself, voices from her past and even her fantasies, as this thought-provoking theatrical prism delivers a piercing examination of race, art, academia and sexuality.
   
Isaac's Eye  
Writers Theatre Isaac's Eye
 
Hnath playfully reimagines Newton's world with a contemporary conceit and language-stripped of accents and period dialect-as he introduces young Newton to the great Robert Hooke, the most famous and powerful scientist in Britain. The resulting battle of intellects and egos pulses with wit, humor and tension, as the playwright uncovers (and invents) the motivations that drove a young farm boy to become one of the greatest thinkers in human history.
   
Jane Eyre  
Lifeline Theatre Jane Eyre
 
After a troubled childhood, Jane Eyre searches for new purpose as a governess at Thornfield Hall. But a fragile peace gives way to turbulent passion when she meets Mr. Rochester, a man concealing a dark secret. Their unconventional relationship leads to a terrible revelation, and Jane must forge a new future amid the ashes of her ravaged dreams. As she struggles to free herself from the ghosts of her past, Jane realizes that her only hope is to find love on her own terms. A highly theatrical exploration of one woman's independent spirit in a beloved adaptation freshly updated for its first appearance on the Lifeline stage in thirteen years.
   
John Doe  
Trap Door Theatre John Doe
 
Based on the text of Stanislaw Witkiewicz's Madman and the Nun, "John Doe" tragically follows how the beauty in madness is poisoned by the toxic remedy of normalization.
   
The King And I  
Marriott Theatre In Lincolnshire The King And I
 
Set against a dazzling and exotic backdrop of 19th century Siam, THE KING AND I follows the tumultuous relationship of the strong-willed British Governess Anna (Jeff Award-nominee Heidi Kettenring) and the larger than life King of Siam (Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte), as they try to find common ground between Siamese and British traditions. In an attempt to modernize his country, the King seeks Anna's assistance in teaching his children and wives about Western culture. Conflicts arise, however, as both refuse to give up their respective traditions and values. As the story unfolds, Anna and the King grow to understand and respect one another, and ultimately, fall in love in a truly unique romance. THE KING AND I takes audiences through a captivating journey of music, dance and enchantment with timeless Rodgers and Hammerstein classics "Getting to Know You," "I Whistle a Happy Tune," and "Shall We Dance?"
   
King Lear  
Chicago Shakespeare Theater King Lear
 
King Lear is Shakespeare's most towering achievement, a wrenching story of endurance, love, loss and reconciliation. An aging monarch obscured by the shadows of dementia resolves to retire and divides his kingdom among his three daughters. The unexpected consequence of losing everything that defines him is shattering-a reminder that even the most powerful among us can be undone. The brilliantly versatile actor Larry Yando takes on the monumental title role, marking his twenty-third production with Chicago Shakespeare.
   
Late Nite Catechism  
Royal George Theatre Late Nite Catechism
 
Late Nite Catechism is an uproariously funny play, written by Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan, where the irrepressible Sister teaches class to a roomful of "students." Throughout the course of the play the benevolent instructor rewards audience members for correct answers with glow-in-the-dark rosaries and other nifty prizes. Naughty students may well find themselves on stage sitting in a corner reflecting their actions. Now in its 20th year in Chicago, Late Nite Catechism is a sharp satire, but never mean. It’s simply an evening of fun and laughter.
   
The Lieutenant Of Inishmore  
AstonRep Theatre Company at Raven Theatre The Lieutenant Of Inishmore
 
THE LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE is set in 1993 when the Northern Ireland peace process is struggling to come together and Mad Padraic, a member of the Irish National Liberation Army, chooses to leave Belfast and return to Inishmore upon the news that his beloved cat is ill. When he returns home he learns that his cat has in fact suffered a much more tragic and immediate fate. Padraic, a man whose mentally instability is legendary, is now intent on revenge at any costs.
   
Love Song  
Honest Theatre at Hal and Martha Hyer-Wallis Theater Love Song
 
This dark romantic comedy revolves around Beane- a depressive recluse, his uptight sister Joan, and her husband Harry, whose lives all change when a beautiful stranger breaks into Beane's apartment. This quirky tale evokes the idea that love may be an illusion, but it's an illusion that can generate its own reality.
   
Luce  
Next Theatre Company at Noyes Cultural Art Center Luce
 
Luce (Jerry McKinnon) seems to personify the American Dream. Originally from war-torn Africa and adopted by an American couple (Amy Carle" and Coby Goss"), Luce is now an all-star high school student on the fast track to achieving anything. However, when his parents confront him about a secret that has been disclosed, they must reckon their idealized image of their son to who he may really be.
   
Macbeth  
The Side Project Macbeth
 
Inspired by George W. Bush's first presidential term circa 2002, and an examination of our current culture, this fresh, modern take on Macbeth makes for a production that Shakespeare rookies and veterans alike can enjoy. In this classic, a violent cycle of corruption and betrayal is set in motion when the popular King Duncan is murdered by Macbeth, his trusted friend. Ross, a nobleman in the king's court, has been close to Macbeth but begins to question his true nature. Meanwhile, Macbeth -- with his ambitious wife by his side -- achieves the power he believes he deserves, but the price is tragically high. Shakespeare's masterpiece provides a glimpse into the human heart, with the "black and deep desires" found in even the best men and women and asks the question: "What would you be willing to do to achieve your dreams?"
   
The Magic Parlour  
The House Theatre of Chicago at The Palmer House Hilton Hotel The Magic Parlour
 
The performance contains some of his favorite pieces of magic, alongside some brand new routines in an hour-long show packed with mind-reading, levitations, escapes, and a ridiculous new adaptation of the classic “Card Stab” during which Watkins climbs inside of a fully inflated 7 foot balloon!
   
Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament  
Medieval Times Schaumburg Castle Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament
 
Medieval Times is an exciting, family-friendly dinner attraction inspired by an 11th century feast and tournament. Guests are served a four-course banquet and cheer for one of six knights as they compete in the joust and other tests of skill. Expect lots of jousting, swordsmanship, thrilling hand-to-hand combat, and displays of extraordinary horsemanship as part of an exciting story set in Medieval Spain.
   
The Medium  
Third Eye Theatre Ensemble, at Flat Iron Arts Building The Medium
 
The Medium is the haunting tale of a fraudulent psychic who after many years in the business starts receiving visits from the dead. Music Director Jason Carlson, collaborative pianist and coach at Northwestern University, and principal coach for Castleton Music Festival, will set the auditory tone as co-founders Rena Ahmed and Christopher Skyles sing alongside emerging artists Amanda Runge, Caroline Shaul Wright, Angela Born, Mary Lutz Govertsen, Will Green, and Adrianne Blanks.
   
The Midnight City  
Firecat Projects at Steppenwolf Theatre The Midnight City
 
The Midnight City is another theater piece inspired by Tony Fitzpatrick and Stan Klein’s friendship. A trilogy featuring the duo began with This Train (2010), Stations Lost (2011) and concluded with Nickel History: The Nation of Heat (2012). Chicago Sun-Times critic Hedy Weiss called This Train an “ideal weave of storytelling, video and music.” Writing about Stations Lost, Chicago Tribune critic Chris Jones said, “Fitzpatrick delivers the news, both local and international, from the point of view of an artist, poet and urban provocateur.” And of Nickel History, Jones noted: “Director Ann Filmer, has wrangled something shrewdly structured and even, to dangle a very dangerous term in the Fitzpatrick aesthetic, bordering on the polished.”
   
Million Dollar Quartet  
Apollo Theater Million Dollar Quartet
 
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET is the smash-hit musical inspired by the famed 1956 recording session that brought together rock 'n' roll icons Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley for the first and only time. That legendary night is brought to life in this thrilling musical which features a score of hits including "Blue Suede Shoes," "Great Balls of Fire," "Walk the Line," "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," "Hound Dog" and more. Don't miss your chance to be a fly on the wall of fame... at MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET!
   
The Monster In The Hall  
Filament Theatre The Monster In The Hall
 
Duck Macatarsney is an imaginative, quick-talking teenager named after the Ducati Monster, her mother's favorite motorcycle. In caring for her dope-smoking MS-stricken father, obsessing over her high school crush, and preserving the memory of her mother, Duck can find life a wee bit overwhelming. When Duck learns that Social Services is sending an inspector to see how she and her father are 'getting on,' Duck and her father must put on a show of normalcy. This would be fine, except teen heart-throb Lawrence has just come over with a strange proposal, there's a Norwegian death metal chick at the front door and this morning Duck's dad has woken up blind. Developed through workshops and conversations with real teenage caretakers, THE MONSTER IN THE HALL explores family and community through 60's pop music, video games, and a high speed motorcycle chase.
   
Musical of the Living Dead  
Cowardly Scarecrow Theatre Company at Stage 773 Musical of the Living Dead
 
For five years the splatter-tastic Musical of the Living Dead has taken audiences on a rip-roaring journey beyond the grave with its satirical send-ups of classic zombie films and musical theater. The curtain opens on 10 survivors of a recent zombie apocalypse, trapped in a farmhouse and willing to try anything to escape.
   
My First Time  
Broken Nose Theatre at The Greenhouse Theater Center My First Time
 
There's a story behind every first sexual experience, and this off-Broadway hit features a hilarious and sometimes painful collection of "first-time" stories from people of all persuasions, performed by four actors. Drawn from real people, the stories range from the sweet and sexy to the awkward and humiliating -- and pretty much everything in between. Since the show's premiere, it's been featured on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, and even spawning its own iPhone commercial. Broken Nose Theatre is pleased to present this remount (pun intended) of their inaugural late-night smash.
   
The Night Alive  
Steppenwolf Theatre The Night Alive
 
The kindness of strangers comes with complications. Tommy is getting by-kind of: he is crashing in his uncle's ramshackle house in Dublin, dodging his estranged family, and plotting a parade of get-rich-quick scenes with his buddy Doc. Then one day he defends a destitute woman against a violent attack, and a fragile glimmer of hope appears as Tommy tends to her in his run-down room. From the author of The Weir, Shining City and The Seafarer comes this compelling new drama-by turns funny and frightening, but always deeply human.
   
A Nightmare on Backstreet  
The Public House Theatre A Nightmare on Backstreet
 
A Nightmare on Backstreet hilariously goes where no musical has gone before: it combines the story of the original Nightmare on Elm Street movie with the music of '90s boy band sensation Backstreet Boys. In this new live action horror parody, the teenagers of Backstreet are all having devilish nightmares about the same guy, Teddy Crooner. And no matter how distracted they get by all the '90s boy band singing and dancing, just like in Nightmare on Elm Street, if they die in their dreams, they die in real life. Written and directed by comedian and Nightmare on Elm Street fan Ricky Glore (Funny or Die), A Nightmare on Backstreet combines '90s nostalgia and classic horror tropes to make a musical parody not to be missed.
   
Nightmares On Lincoln Avenue 666: The Exorcism of Rose Mary's Omen  
Cornservatory Nightmares On Lincoln Avenue 666: The Exorcism of Rose Mary's Omen
 
Halloween is soon upon us, at least that's what the store racks and aisles of costumes and candies tell us. And in that spirit (pun intended), Corn Productions is ready to present the 6th installment of our annual Halloween show, Nightmares On Lincoln Avenue 666: The Exorcism of Rose Mary's Omen. Inspired by the "unholy trinity of horror movies(The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby and The Omen)," Nightmares On Lincoln Avenue 666: The Exorcism of Rose Mary's Omen pays a deep homage to the formulaic structure and tropes of classic horror films from the late 60's to the mid-80's. Fans of horror movies, who-done-it mysteries and haunted houses will be rolling over in their graves with laughter at this over-the-top, modern tribute to the classic horror films that set the standard for their genre. Be sure to bring plenty of booze to this BYOB night of comedic terror and suspense!
   
Nosferatu  
Silent Theatre Company at Prop Theatre Nosferatu
 
After being entrusted with a special assignment by his employer, a young estate apprentice named Hutter says goodbye to his wife Ellen and sets out on a treacherous journey to meet with the enigmatic Count Orlock of Transylvania. He leaves Wisborg with the sun at his back in search of brighter future. What he finds is a world trapped inside a shadow cast, not by the Carpathian Mountains that tower above the landscape, but by the Deathbird, Nosferatu. Will Hutter ever see Wisborg and his beloved Ellen again? Will there even be a home to return to?
   
Owners  
Interrobang Theatre Project at Athenaeum Theatre Owners
 
Marion's husband wants her dead, but she's too busy to notice. The North London real estate market is booming, and she's out to make a killing. When Marion discovers she can't buy out a family from one of her properties, she takes ownership of their most prized possession.
   
Parade  
Bohemian Theatre Ensemble at Theater Wit Parade
 
Written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy), this stirring Broadway musical is based on the real-life story of Jewish factory foreman Leo Frank, who was convicted for the rape and killing of a 13-year-old girl in 1913 Atlanta. Set against the backdrop of Frank's controversial trial, this powerful story is part murder mystery, part social commentary and an exploration of the love that grows between Leo and his wife Lucille as they work to fight for his freedom against overwhelming anti-semitism. Parade won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Book and Best Musical Score, and closes out BoHo Theatre's 10th season.
   
Princess and the Pea  
Chicago Kids Company at Beverly Arts Center Princess and the Pea
 
Only a real Princess can feel a PEA under a stack of 20 mattresses! Meet Princess Penelope and her crazy friends-and find out if she can pass the ultimate Princess Test. You won't want to miss this great show-and the 12-Foot Bed! The show runs one hour with no intermission, and is targeted for kids aged 2 to 12.
   
Pseudo-Chum  
Neo-Futurists Pseudo-Chum
 
The stage blood is in the water. Pseudo-Chum is three plays-within-a-play that juxtaposes the creation (The Rehearsal) and the production (The Performance) of Chum with the destruction of the playwright (The Interview). The Interview is the story of the playwright who wrote the play Chum as a protest against the government-sanctioned systematic destruction of sharks along the coast of Australia. Is the playwright a bold activist or a shark-like opportunist? Or is he just a high functioning alcoholic spiraling into an abyss? The Performance is the play Chum, the story of a shark fishing family lost at sea struggling over the impending death of the patriarch. Tensions flare and violence ensues. The Rehearsal shows the true nature of the actors who will sell their souls in exchange for success. Fame, like chum, attracts the sharks.
   
Resurrected  
Theatre-Hikes at Morton Arboretum Resurrected
 
Resurrected a play written specifically for the 2014 Theatre Hikes season tells five of the most haunted Chicago Ghost stories. The beautiful young woman hitchhiking by a cemetery, a devil baby born in Hull House, and the mysterious hand print left by a fireman killed in the line of duty are among the stories told in this one of a kind play.
   
Romulus  
Oracle Theatre Romulus
 
ROMULUS is Dürrenmatt's tragicomic rehashing of the fall of the Roman Empire under the supervision of its final emperor. Or, according to the Swiss absurdist playwright, it's an "historical play with no historical basis." The barbarian hoards are at the gates, the city is in shambles, and Romulus is counting the eggs laid by his prize chickens. Everyone around him is confounded by his willingness to surrender - it is suicide! As his home crumbles and his wealth is drained, our antihero asks for more wine. However, it's all part of his plan: let the morally bankrupt empire collapse and restore balance to the world. Gore Vidal's 1962 adaptation serves as a cautionary tale about the current crisis of American government: if the empire collapses, will the new empire be any better? Oracle is transformed into the pool patio of a derelict mansion where audiences join Romulus's garden party of abdication.
   
Season On The Line  
The House Theatre of Chicago at Chopin Theatre Season On The Line
 
Pfautsch's modern adaptation, Season on the Line, is a love letter to American theater featuring a 19 person cast. Melville's story of the hunt for the white whale is transformed into the Bad Settlement Theatre Company, beleaguered by a dilapidated building, strained finances and a tyrannical artistic director with a singular focus: the first-ever perfect production of Moby-Dick. A novice assistant stage manager joins the ranks at the top of the company's make-or-break season and is thrown quickly into the fray. Mirroring Melville's unconventional form, Season on the Line is the young narrator's look back at the industry he has grown to love, even as those around him pay the ultimate price in pursuit of their own great white whale.
   
Shadow Town II: The Johns  
Her Story Theater at Mayer Kaplan Theatre Shadow Town II: The Johns
 
A play about men who buy girls for sex and what it costs, the demand side...is a ground breaking world premiere written and directed by Mary Bonnett. It's a follow up to her highly successful Shadwo Town, a play about sex trafficking of girls in Chicago, the supply side. Shadow Town II: The Johns follows the life of Chase Johnson II and his family members. Living a comfortable life on the north shore of Chicago, Chase, his son, his daughter's fiance all weave in and out of the world of Baby Girl, a 15 year old trafficked girl who best friend is imaginary. Shadow Town II: The Johns is a world where fantasy becomes reality, reality becomes fantasy and trust is only in the eyes of the believer. Shadow Town II: The Johns also explores how we raise our girls and boys in a culture where the status quo and social norms are not at question.
   
Smokefall  
Goodman Theatre Smokefall
 
Exactly one year after its world premiere in the Owen Theatre, Noah Haidle’s Smokefall, directed by Anne Kauffman, makes its Albert Theatre debut. Change is in the air as Violet prepares to bring twin sons into the world. Inside her womb the boys contemplate their future, while her outer world is in transformation: her husband is secretly planning to leave her; her father is slipping into senility; and her daughter has taken a vow of silence. Smokefall follows the lives of this family in an expansive poetic treatise on the fragility of life and the power of love.
   
Splatter Theater  
Annoyance Theatre Splatter Theater
 
A parody of Friday the 13th type movies, the characters in “Splatter Theater” include such archetypes as a nun, the school jock, the virgin, the class dick, and of course the bumbling old man. Laugh and watch them all die in different ways: Tongue pulled out, drill in the head, intestines being ripped out, slashed throat, and the list goes on. With freshly painted white walls on the stage before each performance, the audience will be horrified and delighted by the end, when the walls are covered in blood! Directed once again by Annoyance regular Charley Carroll.
   
Storytown  
Stage 773 Storytown
 
From superheroes to undersea adventures, princesses to dinosaurs, Storytown takes you on an interactive, fully improvised adventure. The actors use audience suggestions and ideas to create a different story every week. Kids design the setting and help shape the story. The actors, artists and musicians bring it to life. When the possibilities are endless, no two stories are ever the same.
   
Strandline  
A Red Orchid Theatre Strandline
 
A richly comic, searing drama by Abbie Spallen, one of Ireland's most exciting playwrights and winner of the Steward Parker Trust Award and the The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. In a small coastal village in Northern Ireland, three local women reluctantly join Mairin, an outsider and an artist, in mourning the death of her husband. Everyone is there for a reason, but each has a bloody good reason not to be there. With mythical echoes, Strandline turns a sharp eye on small-town social and economic realities.
   
The Submission  
Pride Films and Plays at Apollo Theater The Submission
 
Shaleeha G'ntamobi has written a knock out play about a family in the projects and it's just been accepted into the prestigious Humana Festival. Problem is: Shaleeha is actually a pseudonym for Danny, a young gay white playwright. When he hires Emilie, a black actress to play the "author," one bad decision starts a downward spiral into chaos. The Submission is a fierce and hilarious drama about privilege, obsession, misappropriation and the lies we tell to get what we want.
   
Supernatural Chicago  
Castle Supernatural Chicago
 
"Is it real? Or isn't it?," marvels the Chicago Tribune. So will you, when you experience this funny and slightly creepy one-man show by Neil Tobin, Necromancer that explores the true stories of Chicago's paranormal past, and brings them to life for the audience through interactive demonstrations of psychic magic. It all takes place in the landmark (and reputedly haunted) Excalibur nightclub.
   
Swan Lake  
The Joffrey Ballet at Auditorium Theatre Swan Lake
 
Spectacular costumes, lavish sets and breathtaking movement breathe fresh life into Tchaikovsky's enchanting ballet-within-a-ballet Swan Lake. Directed by the world-renowned choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, Joffrey Ballet's production is inspired by the eerily beautiful artworks of Edgar Degas, infusing the ballet's Parisian setting with an intriguing blend of both classical and modern elements, and a touch of fantasy. Within this dreamy realm, the famous tale of young Odette's transformation into a swan at the hands of the evil Rothbart unfolds, all set to Tchaikovsky's unforgettable score.
   
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street  
Porchlight Music Theatre at Stage 773 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
 
One of Sondheim's most beloved pieces, based on the Victorian era serial, this Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical is a spine-chilling masterpiece of obsession, retribution and culinary curiosity telling the tale of London barber Benjamin Barker (Porchlight Artistic Associate David Girolmo). Torn from his family and exiled for 15 years on a miscarriage of justice, Barker returns home to a city as corrupt as when he left. Hell-bent on revenge after learning the agonizing fate of his wife and daughter, he assumes the guise of Sweeney Todd and takes up his razors to dish out a brutal recipe of justice with the help of infatuated and enterprising meat pie-maker Nellie Lovett (Porchlight Artistic Associate Rebecca Finnegan). Sweeney Todd is the latest collaboration between multi-Jeff Award-winners Michael Weber and Doug Peck who, together, brought Pal Joey and Assassins to the Porchlight stage, both productions being nominated for the Best Production - Musical Equity Jeff Award.
   
Take Me Out  
Eclectic Theatre Company at Athenaeum Theatre Take Me Out
 
"Take Me Out," the Tony-Award winning script by Richard Greenberg, explores the aftermath of a Major League Baseball player, Darren Lemming, coming out as gay to his teammates and friends. The Empires, the fictional team in question, is made up of a racially diverse group of players who greatly respect each other, but keep to their own ethnic groups. A relief pitcher, Shane Mungitt, is brought up from the team's Triple-A affiliate in North Carolina. Mungitt proves to be very naive and unaware of the impact his personal prejudices and stereotyping have on his teammates. In a rivalry game, Mungitt throws one pitch to Lemming's best friend, a player on the rival team, changing the course of the game. Lemming is distraught by the outcome, and even as the team goes on to win the World Series, talks about retiring from baseball.
   
Titanic  
Griffin Theatre Company at Theater Wit Titanic
 
Chicago will be the first major U.S. city to experience this newly reworked, intimate musical telling of the passengers - first, second and third class - aboard the ill-fated luxury liner Titanic in the nights leading up to the ship's fatal encounter with an iceberg in the North Atlantic in 1912.
   
Tommy Gun's Garage  
Tommy Gun's Garage Tommy Gun's Garage
 
The restaurant-cabaret presents a Roaring 20s-themed musical comedy revue in a speakeasy seting, with dining and drinking integrated into the show.
   
Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind  
Neo-Futurists Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind
 
Their signature show, Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind, which had its first performance on December 2, 1988, is now in its twenty-fifth year, making it the longest-running show in Chicago today. Too Much Light..., with its ever-changing "menu," is an attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes. The single unifying element of these plays is that they are performed from a perspective of absolute honesty.
   
Turn of the Screw  
Oil Lamp Theater Turn of the Screw
 
The play tells the story of a young governess (played by Jennifer Vance) sent to an isolated country mansion to oversee the education of two young orphans. Her employer (played by Martin Hughes, who deftly plays multiple characters) and the orphans' uncle, a wealthy and mysterious man from London, gives her only one caution - no matter what happens, she is not to bother him with their problems or bad behavior. Young Flora has fallen mute, and her brother Miles has been expelled from his boarding school for an unnamed and insidious reason.
   
Twelfth Night  
Leftend Productions at The Den Theatre Twelfth Night
 
Music, merriment and swashbuckling adventure abound in Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's zany, gender-bending comedy of unrequited love and romantic mischief. When twins Viola and Sebastian are separated in a shipwreck and wash ashore in the beautiful but mysterious land of Illyria, they're quickly caught up in a maze of mistaken identity and mismatched ardor in which Viola finds herself disguised as a man named Cesario. And when she (as he) attracts the attention of the fair Olivia, it leads to some seriously hilarious situations before order is finally restored.
   
The Vandal  
Steep Theatre The Vandal
 
In The Vandal, a pair of lost souls come to find solace and companionship at a bus stop on a freezing night in Kingston, NY. Mr. Linklater's play is a startling and funny new work about how we carry on when we've lost the people we love.
   
The Velveteen Rabbit  
Lifeline Theatre The Velveteen Rabbit
 
One Christmas morning, a shy stuffed bunny enters the world of a young boy's nursery. Initially ignored in favor of more modern toys, she waits patiently to be noticed, wondering if she will ever be loved like the others. When the wise old Skin Horse reveals the majesty and mystery of what it means to become real, the Velveteen Rabbit begins an odyssey of the heart to make a lasting connection with her boy that will endure for always. Return to a simpler time with this heartwarming story about the transformative power of love. This production is recommended for children ages five and up (children under two not permitted), and runs one hour with no intermission. The book will be on sale in the lobby.
   
Watch on the Rhine  
The Artistic Home Watch on the Rhine
 
In this inspirational play, Hellman presents a pre-World War II America with a call to action aimed directly at the heart of the family. What at first appears charming drawing room comedy quickly turns to mystery and international intrigue. Family ties are tested, politics are questioned and one man steps out from safety to make the ultimate sacrifice. In Watch on the Rhine, Hellman challenges us to examine our own complacency in the face of world events, even when the atrocities occur an ocean away.
   
Welcome To America  
Prologue Theatre Company at Theater Wit Welcome To America
 
Lauren Lubow's WELCOME TO AMERICA is a harrowing journey through the last hour of the life of Christina Riggs, a woman on death row for the murder of her two children. Though Christina, through story-telling and movement, shares the story of what led her to this grisly act, she does not beg for pity or redemption. Instead, the audience is forced to examine themselves and the state of a country that allows and perpetuates a cyclical culture of destruction.
   
Whatever We Want  
Vivarium Theatre Co. at Heartland Studio Theatre Whatever We Want
 
Forget Santa Claus, your sister (the saying goes) really knows if you've been bad or good. But when a divorce separates two young sisters, it's not so easy to keep such close tabs -- or score, depending on your perspective. That's the premise of Whatever We Want, the new play by Megan Johns that concludes the acclaimed, inaugural season of Vivarium Theatre. Stretching over the course of 15 years, the play chronicles the sisters' struggle to maintain their relationship despite distance and time. Johns artfully explores the inevitable reconciliation between the mental image, often lovingly tended, of a loved one... and the (often very different) reality. Humor infuses this insightful world premiere at the Heartland Studio.
   
The Wild Party  
Bailiwick Chicago at Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph The Wild Party
 
Manhattan decadence in the 1920s provides the backdrop for this tough musical fable. Queenie, a vaudeville chorus girl. hosts a titular blowout with her vicious lover Burrs, a blackface minstrel. The guests are a vivid collection of the unruly and the undone: Queenie's conniving rival, a cocaine-sniffing bisexual playboy, a washed-up boxer, a black “brother act,” a diva of indeterminate age and infinite life experience, the fresh-off-the-farm ingénue whose naïveté quickly evaporates, a lesbian actress and her comatose girlfriend, and the bargain-basement heartthrob who catches Queenie's roving eye. The jazz- and gin-soaked party rages to a mounting sense of threat as artifice and illusion are stripped away. When midnight debauchery leads to tragedy at dawn, the high-flying characters land with a sobering thud, reminding us that no party lasts forever.