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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."
   
Satie et Cocteau: A Rehearsal of a Play of a Composer by a Poet  
Genesis Theatrical Productions at Athenaeum Theatre Satie et Cocteau: A Rehearsal of a Play of a Composer by a Poet
 
The play is set 15 years after the death of Satie during the final rehearsal of a play which Cocteau has written and where, in an opium haze, he directs an Actor in a series of 'scenes' which run the length of Satie's life and career. Intertwined with Satie's music, we discover that Cocteau's intentions are for the Actor to fully embody Satie and bring him to life so Cocteau can finally exorcise him from his life.
   
Schoolhouse Rock Live!  
Emerald City Theatre Company at Apollo Theater Schoolhouse Rock Live!
 
Through unforgettable songs such as "Just a Bill" and "Conjunction Junction," a nervous schoolteacher must discover how to charm his students through imagination and music on the first day of class. Based on the entertaining and educational Emmy Award-winning animated series, Schoolhouse Rock Live! brings the treasured Saturday-morning melodies of the '70s back in a hip new way.
   
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 Secretaries  
About Face Theatre at Theater Wit The Secretaries
 
Patty Johnson lands the job of her dreams at the Cooney Lumber Mill in Big Bone, Oregon. But it's a comic nightmare when she discovers - amidst slim fast shakes, celibacy pacts and hotel rendezvous (with Magic Fingers, of course!) - that her secretarial pool are chainsaw-wielding lumberjack killers! Equal parts humor, horror and satire, THE SECRETARIES is Twin Peaks meets The Stepford Wives in a smart, campy (and bloody!) comedy.
   
Sender  
A Red Orchid Theatre Sender
 
It's summertime in Chicago. Over a year after his sensational death, a young man returns to his former apartment: alive, well, and with a new found ambition to fix what went wrong. A miracle reunion turns into a catastrophic disaster as the past catches up with the present and old debts return, expecting payment in full. What does growing-up mean and is it even desired in this day and age?
   
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.
   
The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window  
Goodman Theatre The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window
 
Lorraine Hansberry's rarely-produced second play, The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, premiered just weeks before the 34-year-old writer succumbed to cancer in 1965. Now, Obie Award-winning director Anne Kauffman brings this impassioned drama back to life at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. Set in early 1960s Greenwich Village, the story revolves around the increasingly troubled marriage of Brustein, a writer, and his actress wife, Iris, as well as their circle of friends, after he begins to express political and social views that butt up against those of his Bohemian cohorts. Don't miss this rare chance to experience the once-in-a-generation voice of one of America's most admired playwrights, the first African-American woman ever to be produced on Broadway. Dominic Comperatore (A View From the Bridge) and Diane Davis (Golden Boy, Person of Interest) star as the couple.
   
Skippyjon Jones in the Cirque de Ole  
Emerald City Theatre Company at Apollo Theater Skippyjon Jones in the Cirque de Ole
 
Our favorite feline, Skippyjon Jones, canon-blasts into his imagination and discovers an extraordinary circus world. Upon reuniting with his Chihuahua chums, the gang takes turns performing circus stunts, with Skippyjon to perform the daring final act. Taken from the best-selling book series, this captivating tale of trapeze dreams and flying machines is cherished by all.
   
Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976  
Goodman Theatre Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976
 
The cheese-based economy of a small Wisconsin town faces a serious reckoning when the local factory is taken over by a Chicago-based corporation, and the workers and their loved ones find their livelihoods being eaten away in Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976. Caught in the middle is a longtime employee who's been promoted to management and now finds himself torn between his family, his town and his chance at the brass ring. Though it's set four decades ago, this play at Chicago's Goodman Theatre stirs up issues as potent today (see: Trump vs. Sanders) as they were back then. Winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Pulitzer Prize nominee, playwright Rebecca Gilman's penned several successful works for the Goodman, including Luna Gale, Boy Gets Girl, Spinning Into Butter and more.
   
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.
   
This Great Nation, Much Enduring  
Stage 773 This Great Nation, Much Enduring
 
In the endless cycle of war, politics and distraction, showmanship is king. This Great Nation, Much Enduring follows Senator Thomas Denton, a well-meaning presidential hopeful, on his uphill journey for traction and dignity in a battleground Midwestern county. As he gets to know the county's citizens and its scars, he's forced to examine the space between the truth and playing the game. Will he be up to the challenge and able to play the game, or will his dignity and commitment to the truth be stronger than his political ambitions? This intriguing production comes to Chicago's Stage 773 by way of Chicago Slam Works, whose foundation of performance poetry reaches new heights in This Great Nation, Much Enduring -- expanding their signature art form to revolve around one central character and one central theme for a night of a memorable entertainment.
   
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.
   
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.
   
Tracers  
Madison Street Theatre Tracers
 
Six enlisted men move from training to combat and finally, to the struggle of putting the broken pieces back together in the aftermath of Vietnam. Tracers portrays the reality of ground warfare and its effects, avoiding Hollywood glorification of the fighting experience. Penned by John DiFusco and eight other returning Vietnam veterans, the play deals with free-fire zones, trip wires, drugs, body bags, rat-infested bunkers and the ever-present stench of death. The meditation on violence becomes a plea for responsibility and caution, inspecting what happens when conscience and reason become warped by orders and national purpose. The harrowing drama leaves a mark at Madison Street Theatre in Oak Park.
   

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