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Annoyance Theatre Generals
Chicago is known for both its world-class theaters and improv institutions. "Generals" combines the two for an evening of top notch theater performances to inspire intelligent improv. Each week Antoine McKay and Christy Bonstell will host a different highly regarded stage or film actor from theaters like Steppenwolf, and The Goodman, and shows such as Empire, who will perform three of their favorite monologues. McKay and Bonstell will use the scripted information to inspire a series of improv scenes, and maybe the guest actor will even play along. Each week will also feature an opening improv group.
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder  
Bank of America Theatre A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, a distant heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession, by any means necessary. All the while, he's got to juggle his mistress (she's after more than just love), his fiancee (she's his cousin but who's keeping track?), and the constant threat of landing behind bars! Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance... and be done in time for tea.
Goblin Market  
Flat Iron Arts Building Goblin Market
Adapted from the poem by English poet Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market is a musical about two proper Victorian sisters who return to their childhood nursery to relive the haunting memories of their youth, only to be tempted by bizarre goblins who entice them with luscious fruits and promises of unimagined ecstasies. Laura succumbs to the goblins, making it incumbent on Lizzie to save her sister. This production from Chicago's Black Button Eyes Productions plays at Collaboraction's Pentagon Theater in the Flat Iron Arts Building.
The God Committee  
James Downing Theatre The God Committee
Medicine, money and morality clash when the heart transplant selection committee of St. Patrick's Hospital have only minutes to decide which of three patients will receive a heart that has suddenly become available; a heart which is being frantically couriered through heavy downtown New York City traffic on its way to the hospital. The committee - four physicians with diverse and opposing viewpoints, a registered nurse with justified concerns, a Catholic priest who is also a lawyer, and a disabled social worker whose humor is a form of emotional self-defense - must quickly determine the most qualified recipient of a heart transplant. With several desperate candidates near death and only a single donor heart, time is running out. Based on real events, and a cross between "Twelve Angry Men" and "E.R.", "The God Committee" transports the audience through the rising stress and tension of the debate, as medical professionals clash over this crucial decision.
Good For Otto  
The Gift Theatre Good For Otto
Haunted by his own childhood, a psychologist tries to minister to the distressed souls who find their way to the doors of the health center he runs in a cluster of Connecticut hamlets and villages. Absurd at times, sadly comic and touching in the twists and turns of their simple humanity, men and women, young and old, rich and poor bring their pain in from the bucolic setting of trees, white churches, streams and mountains ranges for Dr. Michaels and his collogues with hopes of relief in the world premiere of this whimsical, yet tornadic, ensemble piece.
Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny  
Chicago Children's Theatre at Ruth Page Center For Arts Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny
This enchanting double-bill of family favorites adapted from Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd's beloved bedtime books combines Mermaid's signature innovative puppetry, striking effects and evocative original music into a terrific family theater experience hailed as "entrancingly beautiful, masterfully designed" by the Winnipeg Free Press.
Greenroom Improv  
Hemmens Cultural Center Greenroom Improv
Imagine an hour and a half of complete improvisation, a la Whose Line is it Anyway? GreenRoom’s improvisers take audience suggestions and true-life audience stories and turn them into hilarious theatre pieces right before their eyes! With competing improv teams, improvised songs and audience members on stage, this clean, high-energy show brings the laughs to The Hemmens. Oh, and did we mention there’s live music?
Mary-Arrchie Theatre at Angel Island Theater Guardians
The New York Times once declared playwright Peter Morris one of a new generation of "angry young men" in British theatre. It was a partial goof -- Morris is, in fact, a Yank -- but the playwright's passion and explosive search for moral truth in a dishonest age is clear and impressive. Look for no finer example than Guardians, the tour de force two-hander that topped the Edinburgh Fringe Fest before wowing New York. An unflinching look at the images of war, the play tells the tale of two scandals: the infamous snapshots from Abu Ghraib prison; and the strikingly similar photos of English soldiers, published by a London tabloid but later revealed as fakes. In dueling monologues that mix irony and warmth, a disgraced American soldier tells her story while a crafty English journalist spins his own version during this dynamite production at Angel Island Theater.
Handsome Animals  
Stage 773 Handsome Animals
Chances are you grew up knowing that girls were made of sugar, spice and everything nice, while boys had an ickier genetic makeup composed of snips and snails and puppy-dogs' tails. But even then, deep down, you knew that couldn't be right ... right? Chicago's Stage 773 presents Handsome Animals, in which the Chicago Slam Works House Ensemble explores how much there is to learn when we question everything we were once taught about boys, girls and the bodies in which we all live. Digging into the social construction of gender and body image, this show examines the many ways in which gender norms affect our lives.
Heaven, How I Got Here  
Provision Theater Company Heaven, How I Got Here
What if you woke up one morning knowing that it was your last day on earth? That's what happened to the Thief on the Cross, who died just a few feet from Jesus. Based on Colin S. Smith's thought-provoking book of the same name, Heaven, How I Got Here is the Penitent Thief's story, told in his own words, as he looks back from heaven on the day that changed his eternity. This highly original new take on the biblical story stars Provision Theater ensemble member Rod Armentrout, and is adapted and directed by Provision's founding artistic director Timothy Gregory.
Home Before Dark  
Berger Park Coach House Home Before Dark
In 15-year-old Sean's life, everything is terrible. There are jerks at school, jerks at home and questions everywhere. At least he's got his secret relationship with Arthur, an older man, and a blossoming friendship with Tova, his lab partner. But as those get more complicated, even things that seemed safe get called into question in the savage, darkly humorous dissection of love, sex and growing up that is Home Before Dark. Written by Will Goldberg (Macduff, We Three), this world-premiere production from The Ruckus Theater takes the stage at Chicago's Berger Park Coach House.
How the World Began  
Rivendell Theatre How the World Began
Science and religion collide when a high-school biology teacher relocates from Manhattan to a small Kansas town whose citizens are fighting to recover from a devastating tornado. This fish out of water isn't prepared for the different kind of storm she churns up when she makes an offhand comment in class about the origins of life. Award-winning playwright Catherine Trieschmann explores and respects all sides of the debate over creationism vs. evolution, while spinning a very human story about starting over. See How the World Began in Chicago at Rivendell Theatre.
It Came from Kentucky  
Annoyance Theatre It Came from Kentucky
"It Came from Kentucky" is an original musical inspired by actual events set in 1955 Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Billie Ray Taylor is visiting her Aunt and Uncle Sutton on break from college. But she's not the only visitor. When Billie Ray and her cousin, Kaci Lynn, spot a UFO the question becomes, "Where did these strange visitors come from, and what do they want?"
The Jacksonian  
Profiles Theatre - The Main Stage The Jacksonian
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley's eerie new play The Jacksonian transports audiences to Jackson, Mississippi, 1964. When his wife kicks him out, respectable dentist Bill Perch moves into the unsettling world of the seedy Jacksonian Motel. There, his downward spiral is punctuated by encounters with his teenage daughter, a gold-digging motel employee, a treacherous bartender and Perch's now-estranged wife. Revolving around the night of a murder, The Jacksonian, brims with suspense and dark humor as the subversive becomes commonplace and the passage of time becomes hauntingly unpredictable. In The Jacksonian, Beth Henley returns to the Southern Gothic storytelling that made her reputation with both critics and audiences. The darkly humorous play premiered at the Geffen Playhouse in February 2012 in a production directed by Tony Award winner Robert Falls with a cast featuring Ed Harris, Glenne Headly, Amy Madigan and Bill Pullman. It later played in New York with the New Group in November 2013 with the same creative team. Beth Henley's best- known plays include Crimes of the Heart, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and The Miss Firecracker Contest. Her screenplay for Crimes of the Heart was nominated for an Oscar as Best Adapted Screenplay.
Jake's Women  
Spartan Theatre Company at Royal George Theatre Jake's Women
A struggling novelist handles the world in his much imagination much better than that pesky real one just outside his study, where the shadow of a failing marriage looms large. Jake, who is more comfortable passively observing his life as opposed to living it, calls upon the ghost of a memory, a snarky therapist, an abrasive sister and a host of other dynamic and hilarious women to help him save his marriage-and him from himself.
Jamaica Farewell  
Royal George Theatre Jamaica Farewell
When Debra Ehrhardt was an eighteen year old secretary in Kingston, Jamaica, she and her passion for America bumped into a handsome CIA agent over a bowl of oxtail soup on her lunch break. During the turbulent 70s of the Manley Era she saw her chance - a pinhole of opportunity that she could squeeze through with the help of this love-struck American. She began a dangerous adventure that only the single-minded passion of a teenage girl would chance. The boundary between bravery and foolishness blurred as she became more desperate. When she agreed to smuggle a million US dollars in cash to a mysterious contact somewhere in Miami, the agent became her accomplice. Only he had no idea.
Jest a Second  
Oil Lamp Theater Jest a Second
The sequel to his hit play Beau Jest, Jest A Second! revisits the lovable Goldman family. Sarah and Bob (portrayed by Elizabeth Mazur and Evan Johnson, respectively), who are expecting a child, are hosting a birthday bash for Sarah's mother. But Sarah's brother Joel (played by Andrew Clancy) shows up early with a shocking surprise - he is gay, and the amazing girlfriend Randy he has been telling the family about is actually a man (played by Neil Austin Edwards). Joel's plan to come out to their parents (Rick March and Julie Mitre) comes off the rails when he chickens out, and Bob decides to help him by dressing in drag and pretending to be Randy, the successful doctor girlfriend that Sarah and Joel's parents have heard so much about. Hilarity ensues as the Goldman family comes together to discover love, honesty, and acceptance.

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