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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.
This summer's production of "Cirque Shanghai: Warriors" brings an extraordinary line-up of thrilling acts to the stage, including The Kinetic Poles, the powerful Water Meteor and the heart-pounding Pageant of Arms. Returning to the production from last year is the fate-tempting "Wheel of Destiny," and China's premier daredevil steel-globe motorcycle troupe, "Imperial Thunder".
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!
"10-4" consists of four short plays written by four male playwrights from the Ohio University MFA Playwriting program. They are directed by four up-and-coming female directors from Chicago. They are being produced by CIC Theater and Ryan Patrick Dolan. The plays examine the personal journeys of people filled with loneliness, angst, and junk food, as they arrive at a travel-oasis crossroad in their life.
From Nick Flynn, the author of acclaimed memoirs Another Bullsh*t Night in Suck City and The Ticking is the Bomb, comes an enigmatic and haunting stage play, Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins. In the wake of a natural disaster in their city, four strangers find themselves locked out of their homes, abandoned on the sidewalk. Day by day, they become friends, enemies, and everything else in between. Now Ben Kaye directs this tale of desperation, dreaming and donuts for the Forget Me Not Theatre Company.
Miller's play masterfully combines a postwar setting with themes that date back to Greek tragedies into a drama that remains timeless. Joe Keller is a 60-year-old businessman who, knowingly or unknowingly, sold faulty parts for fighter jets to the U.S. Air Force, resulting in 21 crashes and the deaths of dozens of airmen during the war. The son of Joe's former business partner, who was convicted of negligence for those actions while Joe was exonerated, accuses Joe of falsely shifting blame to his partner. The accusation creates a rift between Joe and his son Chris, who is engaged to the partner's daughter.
From the most popular titles to the most rarely produced, experience the 32 surviving Greek tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides in one breathtaking and unforgettable theatrical event. ALL OUR TRAGIC builds on the success of The Hypocrites’ 2011 production of Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses, which received critical praise and earned multiple Jeff Awards including Best Production and Best Director. ALL OUR TRAGIC is designed to create a contemporary Festival of Dionysus, the ancient gatherings for which these tragedies were originally crafted – to bring together a daily community to bond, eat food, drink wine and discuss complicated topics of society that we have been wrestling with since the creation of civilization.
Angela Ostrowski.is a typical high school girl. She's getting ready to graduate and move on to her "real life." The only problem is, she has a dark secret. Whenever she ends a romantic relationship, the other party ends up dying in some strange, circumstantial fashion. Naturally this doesn't help her reputation at school, as rumors and tensions start to swirl around here. This dark musical comedy features several different genres of music, including traditional theater scores, rap, Latin rhythm, blues, country and dubstep.
Strawdog Theatre Company presents The Arsonists, written by popular British comedy writer Alistair Beaton. This elegant, witty translation of Max Frisch's 1958 absurdist comedy, The Firebugs, is part moral fable, part black farce. Mild-mannered Mr. Biederman, a respected member of the community, tries to live a blameless life, refusing to acknowledge evil of any kind. The facade comes crashing down around him, though, when he allows two smooth-talking arsonists to move in. Inspired by the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1948, this absurdist parable satirizes the way in which people can be manipulated into accommodating their own destruction.
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."
Family life in 1937 was tough for 15-year-old Eugene Jerome: War was on the way, money was tight, liver was always for dinner, and as Eugene's father would point out, "If you didn't have a problem, you wouldn't live in this house." Living with six other Jewish-American family members under one roof doesn't afford him much privacy, but it does provide him with plenty of ammunition for his budding career as a writer. His journal excerpts are a true recipe for hilarity, as he introduces his over-worked father, his under-appreciated mother, his worldy older brother Stanley, his pampered cousins Nora and Laurie, and his widowed, asthmatic Aunt Blanche. This bittersweet memoir is an affectionate, entertaining lesson in overcoming hard times with warmth and humor. His memoirs about baseball, girls, and life in Brooklyn remind us all that love and laughter prevails.
Eat, drink and be merry whilst roaming among the jousting knights, regal ladies, saucy wenches and royal overseers of the famed Bristol Renaissance Faire, returning for its 27th season of fun and games just outside of Chicago. Hundreds of performers dressed in Elizabethan costumes create a magical world of music and excitement, with games, rides and 20 stages of entertainment options ranging from knife throwers to improv troupes. More than 150 artisans will also be exhibiting and selling their original hand-crafted items, including hand-blown glass creations, pottery, authentic clothing and weaponry. All the frolicking and cavorting can leave one in need of refreshment, though fear not -- there are dozens of food and drink options available for purchase, both alcoholic and non, including the signature giant turkey leg and the ice-cold sassafrass.
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.
Based on Winston Churchill's own writings, Ronald Keaton's one-man show finds the former British prime minister chafing under forced retirement after a shocking loss in the post-World War II election. But when President Harry Truman invites him to speak in the U.S., the famed politician, painter, Nobel Prize-winning author and witty raconteur begins to reflect on his life and times with humor, pride and regret. The inspiring leader who led England through one of its most difficult periods not only shares his political and military history, but also his fondness for whiskey, cigars and women. Keaton's been called one of the city's "top-tier theater veterans" by the Chicago Tribune.
This musical, written and directed by the renowned Luis Caballero, tells the tale of struggle and triumph for one of baseball's greatest players, Roberto Clemente. Beginning on the day of his death, this musical chronicles Clemente's life from enduring poverty and racism to becoming an inspiration for generations to come.
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.
Best known for its classic Alfred Hitchcock-helmed film adaptation, Dial "M" for Murder was first a successful stage play written by another English master of suspense, Frederick Knott (Wait Until Dark). After marrying for money, Tony Wendice plans to murder his unfortunate wife to claim her fortune for himself. He arranges the perfect crime ... but things don't go quite according to plan. His wife survives, and the contract killer hired to do her in ends up dead. This masterpiece of construction and plotting weaves a tangled web of clues and red herrings, back-stabbings and blackmail that will keep you hooked from start to finish.
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.
Anger and fear mix with love and bravery in The Downpour, a new family drama about a pair of adult sisters with deep bonds -- and equally deep wounds. Written by Caitlin Parrish, whose credits include A Twist of Water and the TV series Under the Dome, The Downpour centers on younger sister Hazel and older sister Robin at a decisive moment in their relationship. When Robin, who has taken care of Hazel since their harrowing childhood, announces that she's expecting a baby, the sisters' fragile relationship explodes.
From the acclaimed writer of Hit the Wall and Loom, comes the story of a Chicago public high school slated for closure at the end of the year. The impending shut-down causes tensions in the school's already volcanic neighborhood to rise to the breaking point, but a small group of teachers launch a last minute battle to save the school. Over the course of the year, they put their careers, their future and their safety in the hands of a fast talking administrator who comes on strong: but might actually have no clue what he's doing.
Some plays push you to the edge of seat, but only Fail/Safe will leave you sitting on the brink of eternity. This world premiere from Strawdog Theatre Company takes you back to the Cold War at its absolute iciest. Adapted from Sidney Lumet's 1964 movie starring Henry Fonda, Fail/Safe effectively imagines a nightmare scenario where a systems failure threatens to trigger World War III. As time runs out, the President and his advisers scramble to find a strategy that will save the planet from a nuclear holocaust. Anderson Lawfer directs this new work based on the gripping novel by Professors Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler at the Strawdog Theatre.
Tevye, a hardworking dairyman, is driven to hilarious distraction by his freethinking daughters and his equally headstrong wife. With the themes of family and faith, the musical weaves together a touching portrait of love, laughter, devotion and deviance.
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.
Half Price Cosmos was conceived after the Boston Marathon bombings occurred in April 2013. We had changed in the twelve years since 9/11 and not surprisingly, so had our collective reaction to such tragedy. In that space a provocative question took root: Is it better to behave with quiet civility or could there be transformative value in participating in an explosive conversation? Come. Be a fly on the wall and observe one possible conversation, in one bar, on one night.
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.
"The Truth Is Rarely Pure & Never Simple" - Oscar Wilde's comic masterpiece is a sly, stylish and sparking satire of public appearance and private identity. Jack and Algernon, two wily and witty bachelors at last fall in love yet their happiness depends on if they embrace the importance of being Earnest.
The 2014 Lynn Nottage season continues with her award-winning play Intimate Apparel. The time is 1905, the place New York City, where Esther, a black seamstress, lives in a boarding house for women and sews intimate apparel for clients who range from wealthy white patrons to prostitutes. Her skills and discretion are much in demand, and she has managed to stuff a goodly sum of money into her quilt over the years. One by one, the other denizens of the boarding house marry and move away, but Esther remains, lonely and longing for a husband and a future. With her plan to use the money she's saved to open a beauty parlor where black women will be treated as royally as the white women she sews for, Esther is determined to use her gifted hands and her sewing machine to refashion her dreams and make them anew from the whole cloth of her life's experiences. Ensemble member and Goodman Theatre Associate Artist, Steve Scott directs.
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.
Making God Laugh follows this quirky group through the years up to the present day as old rituals and dubious family recipes are trotted out and old tensions flare up. As time passes, these family members learn that their paths through life aren't always the ones they planned, and their ultimate destinations are rarely what they expected.
Glauce bravely offers her own, gentler peace to the feared and isolated Medea, and in so doing gives Medea the opportunity to reclaim her past glory and win back Jason's heart. Medea's magic was powerful enough to slay a Titan, but it may not be powerful enough to save her marriage - and it comes at a terrible, bloody price.
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.
Methtacular! is Steven Strafford's hilarious and harrowing autobiographical account of his three years as a crystal meth addict in Chicago. Through comedy, songs, and plenty of honest storytelling, Strafford brings audiences on a journey through the chemical highs, devastating lows, and ultimate redemption from his drug addled, sex crazed life.
Harking back to the charged family dynamics of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night, the new play Miracles in the Fall -- winner of the 2013 Dionysos Cup Festival of New Plays -- is a powerful investigation of the intersection of secrets, faith and forgiveness. Set in 1968 Detroit, the play centers on a young Dominican nun, Clare Connelly, who is the caretaker of her alcoholic father, Jimmy. In due course, she uncovers the very secrets that have thrown a pall of shame over the family for many years. A maverick Jesuit priest and Clare's own brother Charlie inspire and challenge Clare in equal measure throughout this sensitive and intelligent drama. Written by local playwright Chuck O'Connor (High Hard Ones), Miracles in the Fall now comes to Greenhouse Theater Center.
A fictional meeting between two of the 20th century's most fascinating artists -- Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and American poet Sylvia Plath -- is imaginatively explored in Nestor Caballero's Musas. Though Kahlo and Plath never met in real life, this drama depicts their unique perspectives on art, love and death, as well as with their tumultuous relationships with painter Diego Rivera and English poet Ted Hughes, respectively. Musas is full of biographical details and references to the two dynamic women's lives, revealing portions of their distinct personal and creative paths that were each marked by a fatal destiny.
There's a story behind every first sexual experience, and this off-Broadway hit features a hilarious and sometimes painful collection of "first-time" stories from people of all persuasions, performed by four actors. Drawn from real people, the stories range from the sweet and sexy to the awkward and humiliating -- and pretty much everything in between. Since the show's premiere, it's been featured on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, and even spawning its own iPhone commercial. Broken Nose Theatre is pleased to present this remount (pun intended) of their inaugural late-night smash.
Even among Shakespeare's "greatest hits," Othello stands apart for its passion, its sense of danger and its continual relevance amidst the evils of the modern world. Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army, and his new wife, Desdemona, seemingly have it all -- true love, success and happiness. But can anyone protect them from "honest" Iago, a master magician of deceit? The inspiration for villains as varied as Milton's Satan and Breaking Bad's Walter White, Iago is one of the most hypnotically evil characters ever created, and the driving force behind Shakespeare's profound tragedy of love and jealousy.
At a beachside apartment complex, a group of friends gathers for their regular evening of food, drink, drugs and partner-swapping. When Chris and Kristy attempt to become the newest members, the evening does not go as planned. The artichoke dip grows cold as the party devolves into a territorial battle over mating privileges. Does sex ruin everything? And what is the purpose of monogamy? Pulitzer Prize-winning author Bruce Norris's comedy explores the eternal struggle for power, status and getting laid.
Reasons to Be Happy is the companion piece to Neil LaBute's widely praised, 2009 Tony-nominated reasons to be pretty, a long running hit at Profiles in 2011. Three years after a contentious break-up, Steph and Greg wonder if they can make a fresh go of it. Trouble is, she's married to someone else and he's just embarked on a relationship with Steph's best friend, Carly -a single mom whose jealous ex-husband, Kent, has trouble articulating his feelings. Navigating the rocky landscape of conflicting agendas and exploding emotions isn't going to be easy for any of them. Reasons to Be Happy, a funny, surprising, and poignant new comedy, explores the choices and sacrifices we make in the pursuit of that often elusive ideal - happiness.
Lookingglass Theatre, Frontera Grill and Silverguy Entertainment present the return of Rick Bayless in Cascabel: Dinner - Daring - Desire, the unforgettable theatrical adventure featuring a sumptuous feast, world-class circus acts, and a tantalizing love story starring celebrity chef Rick Bayless that had Chicago audiences spellbound when it premiered in spring 2011. The extremely limited engagement is co-created by Rick Bayless, Artistic Associate and founder of Silverguy Entertainment Tony Hernandez (Hephaestus, Lookingglass Alice), and Lookingglass Ensemble Member Heidi Stillman (Hephaestus, The Brothers Karamazov, Hard Times).
A millionaire socialist vanishes from his bride, fearing his passion for her will prevent his plan to overthrow the British government. Disguised as a laborer, he infiltrates the all girls' school Alton College, planting the seeds of socialism in the minds of future consorts of cabinet ministers and kings. Yet it is he who receives a progressive education from a sixth-form student with an agenda of her own. Equal parts political comedy and comedy of manners complete with love triangles, mistaken identities, pistols and position - this stylish and cunning hybrid sparkles with wit and wiles, making even the reddest socialist blush with laughter.
Some Men is Tony Award-winner Terrence McNally at his best. Alternately hilarious, painful, and sexy, Some Men presents a kaleidoscope of gay characters set within some of the events that bent the arc of gay history in America. Our cast will play over three dozen characters whose stories parallel, and whose histories are linked. Scenes are set in 1969 during Stonewall, in St. Vincent's at the height of AIDS, and on a beach in the Hamptons in the 1920s and again 70 years later. There is also a scene set in an AOL chat room, another in a bathhouse, and many other locations which provide the texture to our lives. The play begins and ends with a contemporary gay wedding, relating interconnecting stories of generations of gay men in New York City.
On the grounds of a country estate, two generations worth of Russians mope and love and hate and make a lot of bird-based metaphors. Sound familiar? It's Anton Chekhov versus the modern world in Aaron Posner's ballsy Midwest premiere. A smash-hit on the east coast and a finalist for the 2014 ACTA Award, this heartbreakingly hilarious sort-of-adaptation of The Seagull takes a baseball bat to one of theatre's most famous works and staunchly refuses to pick up the pieces. Sideshow's signature energy and wit are on full display in this very funny examination of what drives us to make art and find love.
What seems like an innocent comedy about girlfriends takes an unexpected turn when it's discovered that there may be something darker than just chocolate in baker Caroline's desserts. Danger, frosting and manslaughter combine in a mad-capped tale of friendship, secrets and balls -- cake balls, that is -- written by and co-starring The Factory Theater casting director Stacie Barra. The female-driven comedy of Bridesmaids meets the mad science of Breaking Bad in this twisted tale of a baker, a blogger and something sinister hiding in a sugary confection.
Follow the roller-coaster ride of a relationship -- complete with the humor, heartache, highs, lows and everything else in between -- in An Unscripted Romance, a two-act story that incorporates the real relationships of audience members into the play. Starring Derrick Aguis and Emily FitzPatrick as the modern-day couple, this heartwarming, hilarious and all-too-real production proves that like most relationships, there's no script to fall back on.
What could be funnier than a good old-fashioned witch hunt? In the hands of Babes With Blades Theatre Company -- not much. Their new original show Witch Slap! finds mass hilarity amidst mass hysteria in a colonial town, as local witches band together to stop the madness of those who would hunt them. You're in good hands with Babes With Blades, who place exciting, strong, complex women and their stories center stage, developing theater that showcases their strength and vitality through the art of stage combat. Witch Slap! by Jeff Goode was the winner of their 2013-2014 Sword & Pen writing competition, which inspires playwrights to develop scripts featuring stage combat roles for women.
Confined to her room as part of a "rest cure" for her postpartum depression, a woman descends into madness in this modernized adaptation of the classic feminist gothic story The Yellow Wallpaper. This Mill Theatre production brings an experimental, movement-based style to bear in capturing the protagonist's fragile mental state, combining classic storytelling with visual spectacle. Set in a time when men had complete control over women's mental and physical health, this nightmarish story remains as timely as ever.