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.
Adapted from the beloved fantasy novel Coraline by Neil Gaiman, this original musical by Stephin Merritt & David Greenspan tells the story of Coraline Jones, a young girl who has just moved with her parents into a new flat in an old house. Bored by her colorless surroundings and her busy parents, she goes exploring and discovers a door unlike any in the house - a magic door that, when unlocked, reveals a passage to a strange world like her own, but with one key difference: all the grownups have black buttons for eyes. This new world seems to offer all she wants: parents who are keenly interested in her, toys that sing and dance, neighbors who get her name right. But as this parallel world becomes increasingly unsettling, Coraline must learn the true meaning of bravery to save her parents and herself.
Lucidus is a cowardly young gentleman who has never been in a duel, to his father's dismay. When he initiates one, he then hires a common criminal to fight in his place, and the scoundrel makes a bloody mess of things. As duel follows duel with many shots fired, Lucidus finds his reputation growing beyond his wildest expectations. Set in the 1790's (sort of), The Coward is a ridiculous comedy that questions the very concept of honor.
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."
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.
For many soldiers, it is after the shooting stops that the real battle begins. In Down Range, the raw and touching new play by Jeffrey Skinner (Dream On), two veterans return home after their convoy is hit by an IED in Iraq. Torn between family and the call of duty, the men face a new kind of fight -- one against betrayal, fear, infidelity and loneliness. A poetic portrait of two couples as well as an incisive commentary on current events, Down Range is not simply a "realist" drama, but a play charged with a rare authenticity, filled with the surprising and bitter stuff of real life. Kay Martinovich directs at the National Pastime Theater.
Corn Productions is celebrating its 21st birthday by introducing an all new, original BYOB sketch comedy show. "DRINK!" will feature original, comedic sketches by Corn Production writers with a new drinking game for every sketch. The seven person ensemble is aided by a luminescent "DRINK!" sign to help the audience follow along in the fun.
From the creator of Lend Me A Tenor comes this whodunit filled with twists, turns and murderous pandemonium. It is December 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his portrayal of the lengendary Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast members to his lavish Connecticut castle for a holiday weekend of revelry. When one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in the isolated house quickly turn dangerous. It is up to Gillette who assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer bfore the next victim appears in this witty, suspenseful caper.
Billed as "Half Animal ... All Woman!," Desiree is the backwoods beauty of the bayou, the sexy seductress of the swamp -- she is 'Gator Bate! Inspired by the infamous hicksploitation film of the same name, 'Gator Bait is now a wickedly funny and politically incorrect stage comedy. Follow the adventures of the skimpily clad Desiree -- originally played by Playboy Playmate Claudia Jennings -- a renegade poacher who rules the Louisiana swamp with a blazin' gun and a smokin' smile. Falsely accused of murder, she is pursued by the sheriff and a ruthless posse. After the group kills her sister, Desiree must use her "swamp smarts" to exact bloody revenge. A Reasonable Facsimile Theatre Company and Corn Productions co-produce this hilarious romp directed by Michael Buino.
Company member and resident playwright, Tommy Lee Johnston, who penned the Jeff Nominated and newly published play, Aura, introduces us to some beautiful and wonderful old people who are enjoying their golden years in a retirement home. Young Jack, a pathologically shy, 30-year old man, begins a job there helping the seniors with their daily needs. But it's the geezers who wind up helping Jack with his needs. On his road to an epiphany, Jack learns from the old folks that he must break out of his comfort zone to achieve anything in life. Jack learns to crawl--then walk, then fly--with a wise group of mentors guiding him along. Company member, Jan Ellen Graves directs this unique, funny, heartwarming drama about growth and wisdom, learning and loving, life and death.
Follow legendary country singer-songwriter Hank Williams on his lonesome journey from backwoods Alabama to superstardom at the Grand Ole Opry in this song-filled tribute from American Blues Theater. This unforgettable show, which was an off-Broadway hit nominated for three Outer Critics Circle Awards, features over 20 Hank Williams hits including "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," "Move It on Over," "Jambalaya" and "Hey, Good Lookin'." Charting the rise and fall of the country music icon through song, Hank Williams: Lost Highway highlights Williams' undeniable musical talent and songwriting abilities, and explores the alcohol and drug problems that ultimately got the better of him. This production features a talented cast of performers who have performed on Broadway and beyond, and is staged by the same artistic team behind the 2007 hit production of Oklahoma!
Six actors assume multiple roles as six of Samuel Beckett's shorter works are staged together in one theatrical experience, in which audience members and characters seamlessly share the same space. The six shorts include Castastrophe, Come and Go, Play, Rough For Theater I, Rough For Theater II and What Where: an autocratic director and his assistant put the final touches on the last moment of a play that consists entirely of a man standing still onstage; three women of indeterminable age sit quietly together on a bench surrounded by darkness, whispering secrets to each other; a man, his wife and his mistress, each imprisoned in individual urns, are held captive by an interrogating, hellish half-light; on a derelict street corner, a man in a wheelchair meets a blind beggar; two bureaucrats search through papers and testimony used to decide the fate of the man standing at a window, posed to jump; and an interrogator engages in self-reflection by directing a memory to perform.
When the nobleman Fyodor Lavretsky returns home to his family in Russia, five years after a broken marriage sent him wandering through Europe, he seeks the happiness that eluded him when he was young. Mike Brayndick's compelling new adaptation of the Ivan Turgenev novel is an elegiac love story with a wry twist of social drama. In the drawing room of the Kalitin household, you will meet the nobleman Fyodor Lavretsky as he visits his widowed cousin Marya who lives with her sharp-tongued, elderly Aunt Marfa, and her two daughters, the kind-hearted Liza, and the mischievous Shuraska. This household is frequented by the gossipy Sergei Geodonovsky, the frustrated German music teacher, Christophe Lemm, and the young, ambitious government official, Vladimir Panshin.
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.
Created by Chip Bagnall, and directed by Rebecca Sohn, the one-man show follows the downfall of Jebediah "Jeb" Ashley and his wife and nine daughters. While a euphoric Ashley has his sights set on a fortune in Oregon, fate and a series of horrific events -- think dysentery, bandits, and menacing Indians -- turn his dream into a nightmare.