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I Wanna F#!*ing Tear You Apart  
Rivendell Theatre I Wanna F#!*ing Tear You Apart
 
Samantha and Leo are a team -- best friends and roommates, fat girl and gay guy against the world -- until a new friend upends their cozy co-dependent diet of mutual self-loathing and Grey's Anatomy marathons. An ode to the complications of friendship in its many messed-up forms, with a special nod to a kind of love that sometimes looks a lot like rage. Produced first at D.C.'s Studio Theatre, I Wanna F#!&ing Tear You Apart challenges assumptions around niceness, beauty, and mainstream acceptance as it upends traditional narratives about fat women -- Gould herself identifies openly as such -- by putting a fat woman at its center. "I'm not chubby or big-boned," says Gould. "I'm fat. That's who I am". Directed by Jessica Fisch, director of Rivendell's highly successful world premiere production of The Firebirds Take the Field, Gould's play is a wild ride with unforgettable characters that asks probing questions about friendships, fatness, bigotry, ambition, and the cost of living in a world that finds you unacceptable in some way.
   
In The Blood  
Red Tape Theatre at The Ready In The Blood
 
In the Blood is the story of the impoverished Hester La Negrita's mission for redemption. She tries to make a way for her and her five children but is instead constantly used, abused, and condemned by everyone around her. Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Park's provocative riff on The Scarlet Letter is an unflinching look at how we judge each other, how we separate from each other and how we determine what is "otherness."
   
Infinity Burns  
Prop Theatre Infinity Burns
 
Infinity Burns about the 17th century monk Giordano Bruno who introduced the idea of the infinite universe. The show melds conventional playwriting with ensemble-devised movement work to mirror the convention of the inquisition and the freedom inherent in an infinite universe. The questions it asks center on the dichotomy between consensual reality and heightened experience and orthodoxy versus heresy.
   
An Inspector Calls  
Chicago Shakespeare Theater An Inspector Calls
 
This suspenseful masterpiece begins when the mysterious Inspector Goole calls unexpectedly on the prosperous Birling home, shattering their peaceful family dinner party with his investigation into the death of a young woman. Revelations shake the foundations of the family's lives, prompting an examination of their consciences.
   
La traviata  
Lyric Opera La traviata
 
There's a reason that Verdi's tragic romance La traviata is one of the most popular operas on the planet. Of course, there's the music, with exquisite arias like "Sempre libera" and the mournful "Addio del passato." Then there's the bittersweet love story of the beautiful, pleasure-loving yet frail courtesan Violetta, who unexpectedly finds true (and ultimately tragic) love with a younger man. But above all, what sets La traviata in a league of its own is its humanity and its heart. It's a truly timeless tale of moral hypocrisy and selfless sacrifice, and in the character of Violetta, Verdi and librettist Francesco Maria Piave have given us one of opera's most fascinating heroines, a woman of boundless humanity and emotional depth.
   
Late Nite Catechism  
Royal George Theatre Late Nite Catechism
 
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.
   
Little Stones  
Saint Sebastian Players at St. Bonaventure Church Little Stones
 
In this romantic drama combining notions of reincarnation and fate, a young director and actress rehearsing different plays in adjacent classrooms of St. Bonaventure School in the autumn of 2018 find themselves inexplicably drawn to one another. Is it merely mutual attraction, or is it something deeper, more mysterious-a possible reconnection of old souls whose past lives were tragically cut short 100 years earlier? Combining neighborhood history with New Age sensibilities, Little Stones is a made-in-Chicago fable of karma, theatre and the 1918 flu pandemic.
   
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom  
Writers Theatre Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
 
This visceral American classic serves as the 1920s chapter of August Wilson's epic The American Century Cycle. What begins as a routine recording session becomes more strained as tensions rise between the members of a blues band and the owners of the recording studio. The white producers mean to exploit the talents of the band-especially the gifted and impulsive Levee-but when Ma insists on having things her way, tensions are enflamed and the play builds to an unexpected and searing climax.
   
The Magic Parlour  
The House Theatre of Chicago at The Palmer House Hilton Hotel The Magic Parlour
 
The performance contains some of his favorite pieces of magic, alongside some brand new routines in an hour-long show packed with mind-reading, levitations, escapes, and a ridiculous new adaptation of the classic “Card Stab” during which Watkins climbs inside of a fully inflated 7 foot balloon!
   
Mamma Mia!  
Drury Lane- Oakbrook Mamma Mia!
 
Drury Lane concludes its season with the international megahit Mamma Mia! The knockout songs of ABBA tell a hilarious story of marriage, family, and finding where you belong, proving that in the end the winner takes it all. Come see why more than 54 million people worldwide have laughed and danced with joy to this unforgettable jukebox musical.
   
The Man Who Was Thursday  
Lifeline Theatre The Man Who Was Thursday
 
A shadowy cabal of anarchists has risen in London, and Scotland Yard is determined to bring them down. When Gabriel Syme joins the undercover detail tasked with infiltrating the anarchists' operations, he soon finds himself sitting on their Supreme Council with the code name "Thursday." But as Syme unearths the Council's true nature, it becomes clear that no one in this battle between law and chaos is as they seem - and that Scotland Yard may have created the very problem they're trying to solve. Challenge all assumptions and uncover the truth in this absorbing adaptation of the 1908 satire by G. K. Chesterton at Chicago's Lifeline Theatre.
   
Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament  
Medieval Times Schaumburg Castle Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament
 
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.
   
Mike Pence Sex Dream  
First Floor Theater at The Den Theatre Mike Pence Sex Dream
 
In the aftermath of Trump’s election, newlyweds Gary and Ben have to keep each other sane and solvent. But as the country’s political landscape drives Ben to his breaking point, Gary changes too –in ways that he has to keep secret from his husband. Gary can’t tell Ben about the nightly seductions of a certain phantasmagorical fascist. And he definitely can’t tell Ben that in the process of bringing home the bacon, he’s fallen in love with a pig. From the recent past to our imminent dystopia, Mike Pence Sex Dream is a romantic travesty exploring the depths to which one man’s self loathing can drag him.
   
Million Dollar Quartet  
Theatre At The Center Million Dollar Quartet
 
Million Dollar Quartet is the hit musical with a book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux based on the true events of a night in rock 'n' roll history. It dramatizes an actual recording session on Dec. 4, 1956 at the Sun Records recording studio in Memphis, Tennessee when Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley assembled for an impromptu jam session. The story explains Perkins was there to record songs with a new performer, Jerry Lee Lewis. Elvis happened to visit the studio with his girlfriend at the time, just as Johnny Cash stopped in to speak with recording impresario Sam Phillips, who is eager to re-sign Cash to a new contract, unaware he has already signed with Columbia Records.
   
Million Dollar Quartet  
Marriott Theatre In Lincolnshire Million Dollar Quartet
 
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET is set on December 4, 1956, when an extraordinary twist of fate brought Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley together at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions ever. MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET brings that legendary December night to life with an irresistible tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal and celebrations that is both poignant and funny. Relive the era with the smash-hit sensation featuring an incredible score of rock 'n' roll, gospel, R&B and country hits, performed live onstage by world-class actors and musicians. Hit songs include: "Blue Suede Shoes," "Fever," "Walk the Line," "Sixteen Tons," "Who Do You Love?," "Great Balls of Fire," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," "Hound Dog," and more.
   
The Mousetrap  
Metropolis Performing Arts Centre The Mousetrap
 
The longest-running play in London's West End and one of the best mysteries ever written for the stage. A group of strangers become stranded in an English country boarding house, cut off by a sudden snow storm. They soon discover, to their horror, that there is a murderer in their midst. The suspects include the newly married couple who run the house, a young architect, a retired Army major, a strange foreigner, an aloof traveller from abroad, and a disapproving guest. A policeman arrives at the house and begins to uncover the rationale of the murderer's pattern, questioning the background of everyone present. As information is revealed, legendary mystery writer Agatha Christie keeps you guessing until her signature final twist.
   
Munsterspiel  
Berger Park Coach House Munsterspiel
 
A true-ish tragicomedy about the Anabaptist takeover of the city of Münster in 1534. Pushing the Protestant Reformation to full-on revolution, their communist theocracy held out against a year-and-a-half long siege. Inspired in part by Greil Marcus' Lipstick Traces, Munsterspiel is a romp through the Reformation Alamo, a time travel odyssey through what-could-have-been and what-could-come, and a prayer for the end of the world. Part of Chicago Theatre Week!
   

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