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The Merry Widow  
Lyric Opera The Merry Widow
As champagne flows, can-can girls dance and composer Franz Lehar's incomparable music swirls, a suitable husband is sought for The Merry Widow, who also happens to have inherited a fortune. A former paramour seems to fit the bill, but he seems to have no intention of giving up bachelorhood. A host of complications arise, even as sparks continue to fly between the two. "The Merry Widow Waltz," "Vilja" and "Maxim's" are just a few of the score's many memorable melodies. Now you can see this enchanting operetta with an art-nouveau setting at Civic Opera House in Chicago. Tony Award winner Susan Stroman directs and choreographs the witty show, performed entirely in English, featuring Renee Fleming, Elizabeth Futral and Thomas Hampson.
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! Final weeks- Must close January 17!
Mr. Popper's Penguins  
Lifeline Theatre Mr. Popper's Penguins
Money is tight and times are tough in the town of Stillwater. With no houses to paint till next spring, Mr. Popper is stuck at home daydreaming of adventures in far-off lands, while Mrs. Popper must scrimp and save just to put beans on the table. But with the unexpected arrival of a spirited penguin named Captain Cook, a new horizon opens before them. As a quiet partnership expands into a boisterous flock, the Poppers learn that there's no problem that can't be solved with steady determination, lots of love, and a dash of unconventionality. Join this offbeat family on an unforgettable adventure in a world premiere musical based on the 1938 classic by Richard and Florence Atwater.
Never the Sinner  
Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph Never the Sinner
Chicago, May 21, 1924 - Two handsome and wealthy college students, Nathan Leopold and Robert Loeb, are accused of violently murdering a 14-year-old boy. Are these two successful men capable of murder? What demons could drive this pair to commit such a brutal act? Never the Sinner, a suspenseful courtroom drama from Victory Gardens' Playwrights Ensemble Alumnus John Logan (The Last Ship and Tony Award for Red on Broadway) and directed by Gary Griffin (The Color Purple on Broadway, Appropriate), explores a complex and twisted relationship between two men in search of passion and intellect.
No More Sad Things  
Sideshow Theatre Company at Victory Gardens Theater - Biograph No More Sad Things
Driven by a half-remembered dream of frogs, Jessiee is headed for Maui, looking to escape her troubles. Meanwhile, a conversation with a falling star leads young Kahekili to the water, searching for a wave that he can ride into a better life. When they find each other on a beach under the mahina, their two lives begin to intertwine, but the truth beyond the breakers might just swallow them both. A surreal, expressive journey, NO MORE SAD THINGS uses music and sly humor to tell a story of two wanderers finding new paths together.
The Nutcracker  
The House Theatre of Chicago at Chopin Theatre The Nutcracker
The House Theatre of Chicago brings holiday cheer with its fifth annual return of their all-original, family-friendly The Nutcracker. The House's fantastical expansion of this holiday classic centers on young Clara's journey to save Christmas. With the help of a magical nutcracker, this brave little girl will fight the Rat King and save her family. This modern holiday production weaves together riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, original song and spellbinding spectacle to tell a heartwarming, darkly moving story of magic and hope -- a fun outing fit for the whole family.
Citadel Theatre Company Oliver!
Consider yourself invited to Oliver!, Lionel Bart's three-time Tony Award-winning musical that's set to steal your heart the minute it hits Chicagoland's Citadel Theatre stage. Charles Dickens' unforgettable characters burst to life in this lively, heel-kicking classic about an innocent orphan thrown into the dark world of double-dealing thieves and con men of 19th-century London. Overflowing with jubilant songs, including "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two," "Consider Yourself," "Where is Love?" and the scrumptious "Food, Glorious Food," Oliver! serves up a musical feast for the eyes and ears that'll have you calling out for "More!"
Palace of the Occult  
Eclectic Full Contact Theatre at Prop Theatre Palace of the Occult
Attend the most sensational evening on Berlin's 1933 society calendar. It's the historic opening of the Palace of the Occult, presided over by popular psychic, Erik Jan Hanussen. Be charmed by his stories and involved in his astonishing feats -- but is he seer or charlatan, Nazi or Jew, traitor or martyr? Based on actual events. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center. Guests are limited to 75 per seating for this exclusive engagement.
Chicago Dramatists Peter/Wendy
A lyrical vision of the classic story of Peter Pan, Jeremy Bloom's Peter/Wendy is like a bedtime story for adults and kids alike. Seven actors in striped pajamas take on the roles of every character from J.M. Barrie's eternal of the boy who wouldn't grow up using hand-held lights, the simplest of sets and narrative movement. Bloom also weaves in elements of Barrie's lesser-known The Little White Bird, the prequel to Peter Pan. From the moment you step into this Cuckoo's Theater Project production at Chicago Dramatists Theatre, you'll be drawn into Bloom's low-tech version of Never-Never Land.
Pilgrim's Progress  
A Red Orchid Theatre Pilgrim's Progress
It's Thanksgiving Day and the McKee family is up to its eyeballs in hilarious drama. Between stirring the cranberries and debating pumpkin pie, parents Jim and Melissa relive their glory days. Meanwhile, their earth-poet son and pregnant-teen daughter navigate family contracts, holiday power grabs, and decades of thinly veiled deceit. For a family with such a strong appetite for tales, are their stories more important than the truth? With homages to Albee, O'Neal, Williams and Shepard, the tension rides high and the carving knife does more than just cut the turkey.
The Play About My Dad  
Raven Theatre The Play About My Dad
The play by Boo Killebrew tells of the author's father, a doctor in Gulfport, Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina who stayed behind to tend to those who couldn't or wouldn't evacuate to safety when the waters began to rise. Their fights for survival against the storm are played against the backdrop of the doctor's relationship with his adult daughter, the playwright. Raven's production of this meta-theatrical tragicomedy will be staged in October, shortly after the tenth anniversary of that devastating storm that hit the Gulf coast from August 23-31, 2005.
Griffin Theatre Company at Signal Ensemble Theatre Pocatello
Home doesn't feel like home anymore for Eddie, an Italian chain restaurant manager who is losing connections with his co-workers and his family. Set in the harsh backdrop of Pocatello, Idaho - a small, unexceptional American city - Samuel D. Hunter's heartbreaking comedy is a cry and the struggle we face to create an authentic experience - to forge true community - in a place that is being transformed into the endless artificiality of Walmarts, Applebees and strip malls.
Private Lives  
ShawChicago at Ruth Page Center For Arts Private Lives
It's no great surprise that Noel Coward saved his zestiest zingers and sharpest one-liners for Private Lives-- he always intended to star in the comedic masterpiece himself. His greed is your gain as Private Lives ranks as one of the most savagely funny plays ever written. Elyot and his ex-wife Amanda can't live with or without each other, which makes things a bit sticky when they find themselves honeymooning in the same hotel -- each with a new, younger spouse. While their puzzled new partners try to cope, the two fall in love (and come to blows) all over again. Using their classic concert reading format, ShawChicago Theater Company presents a new production of this Art Deco-era comedy about the pleasures -- and pitfalls -- of romance at Ruth Page Center for the Arts.
R+J: The Vineyard  
Oracle and Red Theater Chicago at Oracle Theatre R+J: The Vineyard
R+J: THE VINEYARD is set in 1890's Martha's Vineyard where a unique deaf/hearing bilingual agricultural community gave way to a budding tourism industry. Intense cultural lines are drawn between hearing and non-hearing as land, lifestyle, and livelihoods ignite the Capulet and Montague families. This beautiful and physical production is both spoken and performed in American Sign Language and intended for all audiences.
The Raid  
Jackalope Theatre Company at Broadway Armory The Raid
Unlike other prominent abolitionists, John Brown is convinced only bloodshed will dismantle American Slavery. After fighting alongside his sons in Kansas, Brown plots to make real his vision: To free and arm black slaves across the south. With Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman conflicted, Brown heads to Harpers Ferry. A tragedy of dissenting heroes, The Raid investigates the line between civic disobedience and civic duty, ultimately asking whether or not there's such a thing as justifiable violence.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus - Circus Xtreme  
United Center Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus - Circus Xtreme
The all-new, 145th Edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey headed for Chicago - Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME - features artists who redefine the word extreme in everything they do, magnifying traditional elements of the circus and combining them with never-before-seen spectacles, original fast-paced performances and incredibly hilarious moments. The adrenalin-fueled spectacular offers extreme thrills, exotic animals and extraordinary performers that add up to the ultimate family entertainment experience.
Sad Songs for Bad People  
Rough House Theater Company at Neo-Futurists Sad Songs for Bad People
Sad Songs for Bad People invites you to step right up and trade in your troubles for an evening of murder ballads, ditties of death, and songs of tragic misfortune! Armed with piles of puppets, a live band, and a cheerful obsession with the macabre, the Sad Songs troupe is determined to put on one helluva show. But as puppet casualties accumulate, ill-buried tension begins to surface and threatens to shatter the troupe's sunny facade. Rough House Theater's Sad Songs for Bad People will thrill you, shock you, gingerly prod the soft spot in your heart, and sate the hunger for dark puppet theater you never knew you had.

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