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  List Of Shows Now Playing
An Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse Songbook  
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre at No Exit Cafe An Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse Songbook
 
Celebrating the work of the British songwriting duo that created hits like "What Kind of Fool I Am," "Who Can I Turn To" and "Feeling Good" for the innovative musicals Stop the World - I Want to Get Off and The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd. In addition to writing book, music and lyrics for those two West End and Broadway hits, Newley and Bricusse contributed songs including "The Candy Man" and "Pure Imagination" for the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Newley, who died in 1999, also enjoyed a career as a performer, taking leads in the musicals he co-wrote with Bricusse as well as headlining many concert, nightclub and television appearances. Bricusse wrote music and lyrics for the musical films Doctor Dolittle (winning an Academy Award for "Talk to the Animals"), Scrooge and Goodbye, Mr. Chips as well as lyrics for the stage musicals Victor/Victoria and Jekyll and Hyde.
   
Bars And Measures  
Prop Theatre Bars And Measures
 
We meet two brothers. One a classical pianist. The other a jazz bass player. One a Christian. The other a Muslim. One living in freedom. The other in jail. Separated by bars, the brothers try to reconcile their differences through the language they know best. Music. A beautiful journey through faith, family, melody and time.
   
Bat Boy: The Musical  
Griffin Theatre Company at The Den Theatre Bat Boy: The Musical
 
Based on a story in The Weekly World News, Bat Boy: The Musical is a musical comedy/horror show about a half boy/half bat creature who is discovered in a cave near Hope Falls, West Virginia. The local sheriff brings Bat Boy to the home of the town veterinarian, Dr. Parker, where he is eventually accepted as a member of the family and taught to act like a "normal" boy by the veterinarian's wife and teenage daughter.
   
The Ben Hecht Show  
Grippo Stage Company at Piven Theatre The Ben Hecht Show
 
The fascinating life of Chicago newspaperman turned legendary playwright, screenwriter and novelist Ben Hecht takes center stage in Grippo Stage Company's world premiere of THE BEN HECHT SHOW, written and performed by James Sherman and directed by Dennis Začek. Based on Ben Hecht's books A Guide For the Bedevilled and A Child Of the Century, in which Hecht confronts his own identity as an American Jew in the wake of the Nazi Holocaustc
   
Between Riverside and Crazy  
Steppenwolf Theatre Between Riverside and Crazy
 
Ex-cop “Pops” Washington and his ex-con son Junior are barely holding on to one of the last great rent stabilized apartments in Manhattan. Pops has his hands (not to mention his apartment) full as he navigates a steady stream of sketchy houseguests and sweats out the impending verdict on his law suit against the police department. A celebration of the glorious contradictions that make up human nature, this rowdy dark comedy looks at the slippery nature of justice, and the grit it takes to finally move on.
   
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."
   
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.
   
Bound for Broadway  
MCL Chicago Bound for Broadway
 
Live theater goes meta in Bound for Broadway, an inventive new play that experiments with the basic idea of performance. The stage is set, the cast is ready and the crowd is seated for an important preview performance of Big Break, the play within the play performed by the fictional Craftworks Theater Company. The opening number is going perfectly when suddenly, the lights go black, a loud crash cuts through the music and the leading man cries out in pain. He's center stage with a broken leg, and now the Craftworks Theater ensemble has to rush to make it look like it's all part of the plan. MCL Chicago welcomes the show that proves success isn't always scripted; sometimes you've got it make it up along the way.
   
The Boys Upstairs  
Pride Films and Plays at Mary's Attic The Boys Upstairs
 
A cross between Sex and the City and Boys in the Band, The Boys Upstairs is a zesty comedy that follows the personal and professional ups and downs of a sassy bunch of city boys living in New York. The play kicks off in the living room of Josh and Seth, two roommates awaiting the arrival of their third musketeer Ashley. Just as they begin to settle into their usual rhythm of living it up in Hell's Kitchen (and analyzing the damage the morning after), a new neighbor moves in downstairs. Full of style, scandal and specialty cocktails, this hilarious production from Pride Films and Plays ponders big questions like "is he or isn't he?" when it takes the stage of Mary's Attic at Hamburger Mary's.
   
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.
   
Caught  
Sideshow Theatre Company at Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph Caught
 
A Chinese dissident artist and activist publishes an incredible account of his harrowing confinement at the hands of the government. But can he prove it? Layers of perception peel back, with echoes of Ai Weiwei, Mike Daisey and Jonah Lehrer, until reality itself comes into question. A hallucinatory new experience featuring celebrated visual and performance artists, CAUGHT explores what happens when we blur the dangerous line between story and truth.
   
Chimerica  
TimeLine Theatre Company Chimerica
 
The time is June 1989. The Chinese government has instituted a brutal crackdown on a pro-democracy rally at Tiananmen Square, and the iconic image of a lone man standing in front of a military tank has captivated the world. "Tank Man" emerged as a hero and a symbol of defiance in the face of tyranny, only to disappear forever. Twenty years later, a photojournalist searches for the truth about that mysterious man in a riveting story that explores the sharp differences, as well as similarities, between twin superpowers China and America. The result is an epic, global adventure that presents an unflinching look at the nature of censorship, the cost of truth, and what it takes to maintain hope.
   
Company  
Writers Theatre Company
 
It's Bobby's 35th birthday and he's still single, trying to find a way to have a serious relationship, without a serious commitment. But as his friends-all couples at different stages in their marriages-impose their unique perspectives of relationship function and dysfunction on him over the course of a hilarious series of dinners and cocktail hours, Bobby is forced to consider relaxing his determined grip on bachelorhood and begin exploring one of life's greatest questions-what does it mean to be alive? Winner of seven Tony Awards, Company is a witty, sophisticated and deeply honest look at contemporary relationships. Featuring some of Stephen Sondheim's best known songs, including "Side by Side by Side," "Marry Me a Little" and "Being Alive," this brilliant musical comedy is considered a true masterpiece by one of the finest composers of our time.
   
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)  
The Shakespeare All-Stars at Heartland Studio Theatre The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
 
Three actors portray over forty characters in this rollicking roller coaster comedy. "Unlike most productions of this play, we're doing it with three WOMEN! We thought we would single-handedly try to make up for the hundreds of years women were unfairly banned from the stage," said actor, Ellen Cribbs. All-Stars Artistic Director Arin Mulvaney says, "What better way to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death than by making him roll over in his grave?"
   
Constellations  
Steppenwolf Theatre Constellations
 
Roland (a bee keeper) and Marianne (a theoretical physicist) meet at a party. In that single moment, an unfathomable multitude of possibilities unfold. Their chance meeting might blossom into a meaningful relationship or a brief affair: it might lead to nothing at all. Each step along those possible paths in turn offers a new series of potential outcomes: a marriage can exist alongside a breakup and a tragic illness can exist on a parallel plane to a happily ever after. In this clever, eloquent, and moving story, Roland and Marianne's romance plays out over a myriad of possible lifetimes, capturing the extraordinary richness of being alive in the universe.
   
Cowboy Mouth  
Slimtack Theatre Co. at An Uptown Apartment Cowboy Mouth
 
Staged by Slimtack Artistic Director Mike Rice, this intense, exciting site-specific production will be performed in an apartment in the heart of Chicago's Uptown neighborhood @the corner of Broadway & Lawrence. Written by Sam Shepard & Patti Smith in 1971, Cowboy Mouth is the combustible love story of Slim and Cavale. Among ruminations on art, fame and faith, these two damaged misfits play out fantasies and games attempting to find their place in the world, not knowing if that means they'll do it together or apart.
   
Death and Harry Houdini  
The House Theatre of Chicago at Chopin Theatre Death and Harry Houdini
 
The House Theatre of Chicago is proud to announce the return of the first play to ever grace its stage, the magic-filled thrill show and crowd favorite Death & Harry Houdini, written and directed by The House Theatre of Chicago Artistic Director Nathan Allen and starring Company Member and professional magician Dennis Watkins as Harry Houdini. Filled with stunning magic, poignant dialogue and original music, Death & Harry Houdini presents the story of history's most famous magician and his life-long war against Death.
   
Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody  
Writers Theatre Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody
 
This hilarious result of a collaboration between Writers Theatre and Chicago's world-renowned comedy theatre, The Second City, asks the intriguing question: What happens when the most recognizable characters from some of the greatest American plays of the 20th century suddenly find themselves sharing the same stage? When a mysterious invitation brings Blanche DuBois back to New Orleans, she finds herself once again face-to-face with the smoldering Stanley Kowalski. That would be challenge enough, but they are soon joined by luckless salesman Willy Loman and hard-drinking, hard-fighting couple George and Martha, and suddenly all bets are off. Add a folksy Stage Manager and the comic genius of The Second City team, and the question quickly becomes: Will the American Theatre ever be the same?
   
Deathtrap  
Drury Lane- Oakbrook Deathtrap
 
A hugely popular stage and screen mystery, "Deathtrap" offers skillful blending of two priceless theatrical ingredients: gasp-inducing thrills and spontaneous laughter. Unknown dramatist Clifford Anderson has sent his new thriller to award-winning Broadway author Sidney for comment--or has he? Without a success to his credit for some years, Sidney plots with his reluctant wife Myra how to plagiarize 'Deathtrap.' When Clifford turns up to discuss the play with the 'Master,' events take a sinister turn.
   
The Divine Sister  
Hell in a Handbag Productions at Ebenezer Lutheran Church The Divine Sister
 
THE DIVINE SISTER is an affectionate parody of nearly every nun movie to come out of of Hollywood. Lifting from films like The Song of Bernadette, The Bells of St. Mary's, The Singing Nun and Agnes of God, THE DIVINE SISTER tells the story of St. Veronica's indomitable Mother Superior (David Cerda) who is determined to build a new school for her Pittsburgh convent. Along the way, she has to deal with a young postulant who is experiencing "visions," sexual hysteria among her nuns, a sensitive schoolboy in need of mentoring, a mysterious nun visiting from the Mother House in Berlin and a former suitor intent on luring her away from her vows. Funny, clever and sweet, THE DIVINE SISTER springs from the mind of Charles Busch, creator of the camp classics, Die, Mommie, Die!, Psycho Beach Party and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom.
   
Don't Look  
Something Marvelous at The Den Theatre Don't Look
 
Eurydice and Orpheus love each other. They are 99% certain. But, Orpheus is definitely (100%) committed to his art, so where does that leave Eurydice? When a tragic accident gives her a fresh start, Eurydice must choose to stay with what's familiar or strike out on her own. A story about how we measure love, cope with doubt, and cling to whatever we can, Don't Look is a fresh take on the myth, told through memory, technology, and poetry.
   
Flanagan's Wake  
Chicago Theatre Works Flanagan's Wake
 
Flanagan's Wake transports the audience to the fictional town of Grapplin, County Sligo, Ireland, where local roustabout, Flanagan, has died. Here they meet an eclectic cast of characters including Fiona Finn, Flanagan's spirited fiancee of 22 years, Brian Ballybunion, his best friend and drinking mate, Father Damon Fitzgerald, the sharp-tongued parish priest, Mayor O'Doul, the town mayor and bartender, the innocent Mother Flanagan and several other colorful citizens. The mourners pay their respects to the deceased in the Irish tradition (with a quick stop at the pub first).
   
Fool Me Twice, Deja Vu  
Second City Fool Me Twice, Deja Vu
 
Fool Me Twice, Deja Vu takes you on an uproarious exploration of intuition. Have you been here before? Should you do anything different? Or are mistakes what make us grow? In this ever changing world there are still significant transformations to be made. Take a gleeful glance into funny mothers, millennials, christian media and contemporary nostalgia as you get fooled twice and come back to be fooled again.
   
Girl Jesus  
The Public House Theatre Girl Jesus
 
Trying to navigate high school is tough for anyone -- especially if you're Jesus, who discovers that being a teenage girl might just be harder than spending 40 days and nights in the desert. From having an absentee father and sexually repressed mother to wondering if you're only getting invited to parties because you can turn water into wine, Girl Jesus is an uproarious musical romp that follows the typical highs and lows of one teenage lady-messiah. Can she get her crush to notice her? What is the price of popularity when she has to befriend her enemies? And how does it all play out at the Annual High Stakes Talent Show Prom? Find out as this uplifting play preaches to the beat of its own drummer at Chicago's The Public House Theatre.
   
The Good Doctor  
Organic Theater Company at The Greenhouse Theater Center The Good Doctor
 
The Good Doctor is Neil Simon's heartwarming and hilarious tribute to Anton Chekhov. Simon, the popular Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, expertly weaves a variety of Chekhov short stories into a laugh-out-loud evening of infectious humor, touching tenderness and unending fun. Join us as we explore the intertwining genius of Simon and Chekhov in this delightful production.
   
The Grapes of Wrath  
The Gift Theatre The Grapes of Wrath
 
The Gift Theatre presents John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning tale, The Grapes of Wrath, centering on an American family forced off of their land during the Great Depression and their epic journey west to California. New ensemble member Erica Weiss (Vigils) returns to direct the extraordinary and emotionally wrenching The Grapes of Wrath, adapted by Frank Galati.
   
Hauptmann  
City Lit Theater Hauptmann
 
On April 3, 1936, Richard Hauptmann was executed for the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby. He was innocent. In the moments before his execution, surrounded by guards, he relates his story in flashback. Woven into the telling are Hauptmann's flaws, which makes us unsure we can trust him.
   
Horrible Fun  
Under The Gun Theater Horrible Fun
 
You know your favorite adult party card games? The terrible apple mad lib f*ucktionary incorrect against humanity game that you love so much! We love them too! When you walk in the door you get three cards that fill in the blank. During the show if you have a good card that matches the main card pulled by our judge raise your hand and come up on stage! We will do improvisation based on the combinations. Be aware this show is dirty, ridiculous, offensive, and horrible. Are you ready to be horrible with us?
   
The House That Will Not Stand  
Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph The House That Will Not Stand
 
Victory Gardens' Ensemble Playwright Marcus Gardley (An Issue of Blood, The Gospel of Lovingkindness) returns with another stirring portrait of historic America. This time Gardley unearths a story of 1836 New Orleans where free women of color are permitted to enter into common-law marriages with wealthy white men. The home and life that Beartrice has built for herself and three daughters, on a foundation of money, freedom and secrets, threatens to collapse after her husband mysteriously dies. Told through Gardley's signature poetic voice and directed by Chay Yew, The House That Will Not Stand is a powerful and bewitching family drama filled with desire, jealousy, murder and voodoo.
   
Human Terrain  
Broken Nose Theatre at Voice of the City Human Terrain
 
In the midst of the Iraq War, an anthropologist finds herself caught between duty, compassion and conflicting loyalties when she's hired by the United States military to help bridge the gap between their forces and the people of Iraq. This sharp and uncompromising look at soldiers and civilians struggling to connect amid chaos and conflict was a finalist in the Yale Drama Competition and the O'Neill National Playwrights' Conference. Human Terrain is making its Chicago premiere at Voice of the City, where complimentary Goldstar tickets will get you reserved seating with a prime view.
   
The Last Defender  
The House Theatre of Chicago at Chopin Theatre The Last Defender
 
Set during the Cold War, The Last Defender draws on the era's sense of paranoia, and fear of nuclear attack to give audiences a one-of-a-kind storytelling experience. Audiences members become the heroes of the story in The Defenders' underground headquarters. The United States and The Soviet Union are still mired in the Cold War. Artificial intelligence has been deployed alongside 8 bit arcade-style computer technologies to control our nuclear weapons. Players (audience members) will navigate their own paranoia, as well as the stresses of Mutually Assured Destruction to do the job of The Defenders. Everyone will work as a team to gather information, solve puzzles, and make increasingly difficult decisions in real time. All to complete The Defenders' mission and save the world.
   
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.
   
Little Shop Of Horrors  
American Blues Theater at The Greenhouse Theater Center Little Shop Of Horrors
 
For years, Little Shop of Horrors has made audiences scream with laughter. In this gleefully gruesome musical, Seymour, a poor florist's assistant, allows his craving for fame and fortune to seduce him into playing nursemaid to a man-eating plant. This celebrated musical, with book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, features the rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown-inspired songs "Skid Row (Downtown)," "Somewhere That's Green," and "Suddenly, Seymour."
   
Lolita de Lares  
UrbanTheater Company at Batey Urbano Lolita de Lares
 
This colorful, insightful, surrealist political drama from National Endowment for the Arts and Kennedy Center fellow Migdalia Cruz (El Grito del Bronx; Fur) explores-through the points of view of 50 different characters-the remarkable, real-life story of Dolores (Lolita) Lebron, a Puerto Rican Nationalist Party member who served 22 years in prison for spearheading a 1954 armed attack in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1995, Latino Chicago Theater Company commissioned Lolita de Lares from Cruz, who was a playwright-in-residence from 1991-1998.
   
Make Me a Song  
Eclectic Theatre Company at Athenaeum Theatre Make Me a Song
 
The deeper truths of life can sometimes only be mined through music. Take an entertaining trip through the hilarious, touching, and personal songbook of composer-lyricist William Finn, whose musicals and revues include Falsettos, A New Brain, Elegies, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Finn is a seven-time Drama Desk Award nominee and the winner of two Tony Awards. Make Me a Song is big, boisterous, and full of joie de vivre just like Finn, himself.
   
Man of La Mancha  
Marriott Theatre In Lincolnshire Man of La Mancha
 
One of the world's most popular musicals, MAN OF LA MANCHA tells of the adventures of a delusional Spanish knight who sallies forth on a quest to restore chivalry to the world, claim his lady love and dare to dream "The Impossible Dream".
   
The Marvin Gaye Story (Don't Talk About My Father Because God Is My Friend)  
Black Ensemble Theater The Marvin Gaye Story (Don't Talk About My Father Because God Is My Friend)
 
Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr, otherwise known as Marvin Gaye, was known for his deeply soulful music and his phenomenal success in the music industry. The Marvin Gaye Story brings back the spirit of the "Prince of Soul" with a musical journey of the legendary man behind the music.
   
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.
   
MotherStruck!  
The Greenhouse Theater Center MotherStruck!
 
In MotherStruck!, acclaimed spoken-word poet Staceyann Chin shares her personal journey to motherhood as a single woman, lesbian and activist who does not have health insurance or a "serious, stable financial set up." Called "funny and moving" by the Village Voice, the solo show is told through Chin's uniquely personal and poetic lens, exploring the ways in which the maternal process changed her life. Watch as she makes peace with the lessons she's learned from her profound experience. Tony winner Cynthia Nixon (Rabbit Hole, Sex and the City) directed the original production of this intimate one-woman performance. Now it comes to Greenhouse Theater Center in Chicago.
   
Next Thing You Know  
Steel Beam Theatre Next Thing You Know
 
In the show that The New York Times called "RENT for this generation," four 20-something New Yorkers laugh, love, drink and sing their way through the trials and tribulations faced by all young dreamers waking up in the city that never sleeps. Next Thing You Know can now be enjoyed at the Steel Beam Theatre, asking important life questions of its characters -- as well as its audience. Questions like: Does marrying a nice guy mean you're settling down ... or just settling? Does working a nine-to-five equal giving up or growing up? And does a decade living in the city break you in or break you down? A musical filled with emotional resonance and cunning insights, Next Thing You Know features a book and lyrics by Ryan Cunningham and music by Joshua Salzman, the team responsible for another popular modern-day musical: I Love You Because.
   
Northanger Abbey  
Lifeline Theatre Northanger Abbey
 
Catherine Morland is an innocent teenaged girl living on her family's farm in rural England in the late 18th century. She escapes from the boredom of her day-to-day life by reading Gothic novels by her favorite authors -- until a wealthy acquaintance offers her a chance to go to Bath and partake in the parties, balls and high society functions of the city. Before long, Catherine finds herself caught in a complex web of social scheming, surrounded by false friends, greedy lovers and a wealth of misunderstandings. Northanger Abbey, based on Jane Austen's first novel, makes its world premiere at the Lifeline Theatre in Chicago.
   
On Golden Pond  
Oil Lamp Theater On Golden Pond
 
The golden gleam of On Golden Pond doesn't come from the three Tony Awards the original Broadway production won or the three Oscars the film version took home (for Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn and writer Ernest Thompson). The shine comes straight from the giant, glowing heart of this comedy about a long-married elderly couple, Norman and Ethel, who spend yet another summer at their beloved cottage on a lake in Maine. When their estranged daughter arrives with her fiance and his son in tow, Norman and Ethel agree to host the boy for the summer. And as they come to terms with the realities of life's twilight years, they discover how precious time really is. Discover (or rediscover) this modern American classic when Oil Lamp Theater presents an all-new production in Glenview.
   
Out Of The Blue  
Organic Theater Company at The Greenhouse Theater Center Out Of The Blue
 
Out of the Blue is set against the backdrop of current political and social turmoil in Russia. President Putin claims that Russia is one of only a few countries where homosexuality is not outlawed. The reality, however, is grim. Homosexuality is conflated with pedophilia in the government-run media, and Russia's LGBT community is in hiding. They are hunted, beaten and ostracized, and the Putin regime recently passed laws on "gay propaganda" make it illegal for LGBT voices to be heard. In the play, in the midst of this destructive atmosphere, a boy takes the courageous step of coming out to his parents who, along with family and community, attempt to rid the boy of his unsavory problem.
   
Pygmalion  
Oak Park Festival Theatre Pygmalion
 
Are our destinies to be defined by the way we are perceived, by middle class morality, or by our own sparks of divine fire? In honor of George Bernard Shaw's 160th birthday, we present to you his immortal tale Pygmalion: a story of a phonetics professor who tutors a lower-class girl to speak proper English in order to pass for a "lady."
   
A Red Line Runs Through It  
Second City A Red Line Runs Through It
 
A Red Line Runs Through It rides the rails of Chicago in order to answer life's tough questions. How does the past sculpt the future? Are we all guided by anger? In this ever-changing landscape of nostalgia and uncertainty sometimes we need a brunch with friends to sort it all out. Who will snap first? No one knows what tomorrow will bring and the only thing that is certain is that this train keeps moving. This diverse cast of comedians will take you on their own ride exploring the new mother blues, black girl magic, and salacious local news. This non-stop locomotive launches from north to south along a transit line of pure comic bliss.
   
Rent  
Metropolis Performing Arts Centre Rent
 
Follow a group of young artists and musicians as they struggle to create and survive in Manhattan during the height of the AIDS epidemic when Rent, Jonathan Larson's "landmark rock opera" (The New York Times), comes to Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this romantic, life-affirming musical is based on Puccini's La Boheme, and still feels as fresh and inspiring as the day it debuted on Broadway in 1996. Set to a modern rock score, Rent is chock-full of crowd-pleasers like "La Vie Boheme," "Take Me or Leave Me" and "Seasons of Love."
   
Savage In Limbo  
The Poor Theatre at Rivendell Theatre Savage In Limbo
 
Sitting in a dimly lit bar in the Bronx, a netherworld where ghosts drown their sorrows, Denise Savage is haunted by regret. She hates what her life has become, but fear keeps her frozen in place. When two high school friends join her, the night explodes with unexpected confrontations and confessions. Can they help her find her place in the real world? Or is she doomed to stay stuck in limbo?
   
The Seagull  
The Artistic Home The Seagull
 
Anton Chekhov's classic comedy of unrequited love and unrealized dreams, in an intimate production directed by Cody Estle. Company Artistic Director Kathy Scambiatterra (a Jeff Award nominee for The Artistic Home's Sweet Bird of Youth) will take the role of Madame Arkadina, the fading actress in love with a younger man, Trigorin. Scot West, previously seen at The Artistic Home in Watch on the Rhine, Interrogation and Miracle on 34th Street, will play the writer Trigorin. Brokenly Herbert, of AH's Macbeth and Cut to the Chase, will play the young actress Nina, who is a rival to Arkadina for Trigorin's affections. In the role of Arkadina's son Konstantin, who competes with Trigorin for Nina's love, is AH ensemble member Julian Hester, a Jeff nominee for The Late Henry Moss.
   
The Secret Garden  
Lake Forest Theatre at Gorton Center The Secret Garden
 
Lake Forest Theatre's Managing Artistic Director is excited to direct the inaugural season opener, THE SECRET GARDEN. The musical adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's 1911 novel The Secret Garden originally premiered on Broadway in 1991 and earned a Tony award that same year. The enchanting musical follows 11-year-old orphan Mary Lennox on her return to Yorkshire from India. She returns to live with her reclusive uncle and ill cousin. Mary explores the grounds of her new home to discover a magic garden. There she finds spirits from her past that offer guidance for her new life. The tale of forgiveness and renewal plays out with beautifully haunting melodies. This Lake Forest production impressively has a 15-piece live orchestra to accompany the unbelievable performance.
   
The Seedbed  
Redtwist Theatre The Seedbed
 
A budding young woman of 18, Maggie feels compelled to leave Ireland in order to avoid a family upheaval. Upon returning from Amsterdam, Maggie brings her new fiance, Mick, thinking she is safely buffered by her imminent marriage to a very nice man--who is older than her parents, and about whom her parents are far from happy.
   
Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Portage Park  
Filament Theatre Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Portage Park
 
Sherlock Holmes' latest adventure is sure to get your blood pumping -- because this interactive whodunit from Chicago's Filament Theatre has audiences walking and biking all over Portage Park to crack an unapologetically silly case. As a detective under the tutelage of the great Sherlock Holmes, you'll use the science of deduction as you interview suspects and gather clues to save Portage Park from an uncertain fate. Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Portage Park is a freewheeling blend of scavenger hunt and mystery theater, perfect for everyone ages eight and up.
   
Sides  
Annoyance Theatre Sides
 
People are shaped by the moments surrounding the build up and fallout of life's major events. "Sides" aims to explore these moments by weaving scripted and improvisational techniques to create both heart-warming and gut-wrenching comedic prologues and epilogues for the situations we're all familiar with and bound to encounter.
   
A Small Oak Tree Runs Red  
Congo Square Theatre at Athenaeum Theatre A Small Oak Tree Runs Red
 
In A Small Oak Tree Runs Red, audiences enter a realm between reality and purgatory with historical figures Mary Turner and Sidney Johnson. Shackled and trapped someplace between a dream and a nightmare, Mary and Sidney struggle to move on, but like the rest of us, have to piece together their past to make ensure that history doesn't repeat.
   
Spinning  
Irish Theatre of Chicago at The Den Theatre Spinning
 
Conor is fresh from prison, grasping at the threads of his life. Susan is grieving the loss of her teenage daughter. Two lives collide in a seaside cafe, and are forever changed. Deidre Kinahan, playwright of the acclaimed Irish drama Moment, masterfully unspools a gripping contemporary tale over three distinct timelines in this U.S. premiere.
   
The SpongeBob Musical  
Ford Oriental Theatre The SpongeBob Musical
 
The end is near. Only one sponge can save the day. But he's going to need help from some of the greatest songwriters in rock and pop music history. The SpongeBob Musical will be a one-of-a-kind musical event with original songs by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of AEROSMITH, Jonathan Coulton, Dirty Projectors, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T's, They Might Be Giants and T.I., with an additional song by David Bowie and additional lyrics by Jonathan Coulton.
   
Strike 3  
The Public House Theatre Strike 3
 
Strike 3* is the story of the boy with an arm that no one believed in until he was spotted by a legendary coach. Over the course of an hour, we watch his rise to stardom and his suffering through the consequences of his skill. Written by Benjamin Vigeant and Stephen Winchell, and directed by Erica Reid.
   
A Swarm of Spoilers  
Under The Gun Theater A Swarm of Spoilers
 
Whether you're Team Tyrion, or a Daenerys diehard, odds are you're overly eager to dive into season five of HBO's Game of Thrones. Before the newest round of power plays, double-crosses and gory fates unfold, get your fantasy fix with A Swarm of Spoilers, Under The Gun Theater's unofficial parody "recapitation" of the award-winning series. The spoof breaks down all the sex, drama and battles of the first 4 seasons. You'll be transported from Chicago directly to Westeros and Essos as this production crams in as many of the hit show's characters and plots as it can fit into a single hour of comedy. Plus, A Swarm of Spoilers dares to kill off the characters that George R.R. Martin let's live.
   
Tapped: A Treasonous Musical Comedy  
Forth Story Productions at Theater Wit Tapped: A Treasonous Musical Comedy
 
Tapped follows Mary, one of the NSA's top agents. She's smart, ambitious and in love for the first time. There's just one problem: The object of her affection is Steve, the bumbling whistleblower she's supposed to spy on. After joining Steve's quest to expose the NSA's domestic spying program, Mary is forced to go on the run-testing her limits, facing her fears and squaring off against both the severe Swiss head of WikiLeaks, Juliana, and the twisted head of the NSA, Patrick. Ultimately, Mary must answer the question: How much is she willing to give up for love and privacy rights?
   
Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure  
Lookingglass Theatre Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure
 
It's 1908 and Chicago's Majestic Theatre is the jewel of the vaudeville circuit. The only thing stopping Thaddeus and Slocum from becoming the next great stage act is as simple - and complicated - as black and white. Will laughter triumph and friendship endure as racial boundaries threaten to destroy their dreams of making the "big time?" Lookingglass dives deep into the divided heart of American show biz for a daring cavalcade of slapstick, song and dance, and burlesque as two best friends risk everything to make it to the top together.
   
This  
Windy City Playhouse This
 
Though its title could not be more linguistically simple, This is a poignant and poetic comedy that uses the power of language to make the foibles of real life profound and poetic. A silly party game becomes the spring board for a deep dive into long-held fear and resentment between five friends navigating the brittle transition into middle age. Adultery ensues, followed by remorse and plenty of confusion, all related with scintillating wit and verve in playwright Melissa James Gibson's Obie Award-winning script. See This at Windy City Playhouse and find out why the New York Times called it "the best new play to open Off Broadway" following its 2009 debut.
   
Three Little Kittens  
Emerald City's Little Theatre Three Little Kittens
 
Three little kittens are on the hunt for their missing mittens, and they need your help finding them! Gather the clues and make new discoveries before Mother Cat comes home. With the promise of pie and the smell of a rat close by, this interactive spy story is the purr-fect way to introduce your little ones to the mystery and excitement of live theatre. (For ages 0-5)
   
The Three Little Pigs  
Chicago Kids Company at Beverly Arts Center The Three Little Pigs
 
Meet three sister Piggies about to set out on an adventure to build their own houses. Roxanne (the Rock'n'Roll Pig) builds hers out of sticks, Petunia (the Pretty Pig) builds hers out of straw, and Babe (the Smart and Sensible Pig) builds hers out of bricks. Which house will still be standing after the Big Bad Wolf tries to huff and puff and blow them all down? Don't miss CKC's most popular show! All CKC shows feature plenty of audience participation and run for one hour with no intermission. The Three Little Pigs is targeted for children ages 2 to 8.
   
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.
   
The Tortoise and the Hare  
Chicago Kids Company at St. Patrick Performing Arts Center- Stahl Family Theater The Tortoise and the Hare
 
Who will win the race? The “slow and steady” Tortoise? Or the “fast and furious” Hare? This show features a cast of all silly animals—and travels quickly through the County Fair Race! Don’t miss out on the fun! All CKC shows feature plenty of audience participation and run for one hour with no intermission. Tortoise and the Hare is targeted for children from 2 to 8 years old.
   
The Unfortunates  
SoloChicago at Theater Wit The Unfortunates
 
Based on the true story, THE UNFORTUNATES invites the audience to spend a final evening at The Ten Bells Public House with Mary Jane Kelly, one of Victorian London's "unfortunates" and widely believed to be the last victim of Jack the Ripper. Although a one-woman show, THE UNFORTUNATES introduces some 20 characters, resulting in a deeply detailed and highly realized picture of life in the notorious Whitechapel neighborhood and an emotionally rich exploration of Mary Jane herself, separating the real woman from the salacious headlines.
   
Very Much Forever  
Annoyance Theatre Very Much Forever
 
"Very Much Forever" is a fun, fast-moving show made up of smart, silly, absurd, dark and satirical characters and scenes. The show explores politics, sexism, guns, death, love, fast food, and other neat stuff. He hopes you will like it, and that you will laugh lots.
   
The Way She Spoke  
The Greenhouse Theater Center The Way She Spoke
 
When an actress enters an empty warehouse to read for a role in a new play about the missing and murdered women of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, she embarks on an expedition through the broken roads of a city with far more questions than answers. With thousands of women disappearing every year, who is responsible for these crimes? The Way She Spoke: A Docu-mythologia is a daring solo-performance piece pulling from hundreds of interviews collected down a rabbit hole of drug cartels, ex-convicts, unsavory reporters and resilient women. Isaac Gomez's honest, thought-provoking production makes its debut at Chicago's Greenhouse Theater Center. When The Way She Spoke hits the stage, you'll be asked: "What lies in the shadows of telling a story that isn't yours?"
   
We Gotta Bingo  
Chicago Theatre Works We Gotta Bingo
 
Get your cards and markers ready for We Gotta Bingo, a raucous, interactive dinner theater experience where you're placed in the middle of two rival parishes who are set to be merged with each other. Since neither can support the expanding congregation by itself, they decide to raise the money the best way they know how -- through a bingo blowout. In between games, you'll enjoy a tasty Italian dinner, musical interludes between the rival parish choirs and The Vokel Chords playing hits from today and yesterday, polka-style. Following in the hilarious footsteps of Tony 'n Tina's Wedding, throw on your game face for We Gotta Bingo at Chicago Theater Works.
   
Will You Accept This Rose, an Improvised Parody of The Bachelor  
Under The Gun Theater Will You Accept This Rose, an Improvised Parody of The Bachelor
 
We interview an audience member about a relationship they have/had. Based on the interview we watch an improvised compelling night of television where our Bachelor goes on a series of dates with our eligible ladies in hopes to find a wife. The participants travel to romantic and exotic locations for their adventures, and the conflicts in the series, both internal and external, stem from the elimination-style format of the show. Who will win our Bachelor's heart?
   
The Woman Who Amuses Herself  
Idle Muse Theatre Company at Edge Theatre The Woman Who Amuses Herself
 
n 1911, Vincenzo Peruggia, a worker at the Louvre, committed the crime of the century by walking out with the Mona Lisa hidden under his coat. Peruggia then spent two years in his Paris apartment alone with the mysteriously smiling woman as his muse. But was he an Italian patriot who believed "La Gioconda" should be returned to her native Italy? Or was he a not-so-common thief seeking his fortune? Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece has attracted, inspired, and perplexed millions of admirers across generations and continents but what makes the Mona Lisa so special? Was it her theft alone that brought her the world's attention? Meet Vincenzo and others affected by the smiling lady in this intriguing whydunnit.
   
World Builders  
First Floor Theater at Flat Iron Arts Building World Builders
 
A new drug has been developed to suppress the complex internal worlds of those with schizoid personality disorder, allowing them to focus on the reality in front of them. Max and Whitney are two participants in a clinical trial, and as the drug begins to take effect , they must choose which dream to pursue: their disparate fantasies or a future together. In this beautifully observed love story, we are forced to reckon with our own conceptions of mental illness and what it means to be "cured".
   
Xanadu  
American Theater Company Xanadu
 
Xanadu takes place in Venice, California in 1980. Struggling artist Sonny Malone seeks to create his own version of the American dream by renovating an abandoned warehouse into a venue for world-class entertainment - a roller disco! A hilarious and modern update of the1980's camp classic, Xanadu celebrates the artist's muse, even when it comes from the most unlikely of places.