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Inspired by 70'S sitcoms and the political incorrectness of "jiggle television," 3C is a hilarious and horrifying look at identity and what lies beneath the perky veneer. Brad lands in L.A. to start a new life. A wild night of partying finds him passed out in Connie and Linda's kitchen and the three strike a deal that raises the suspicions of the landlords. Complications spiral out of control, taking the show from farce to something…unexpected
Following his critically lauded production of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, Robert Falls takes on the legendary playwright's sweeping, heartfelt salute to youthful indiscretion and small town life. For the shy and scholarly Richard Miller, fireworks aren't the only flames burning on Fourth of July—this 16-year-old has started going steady with his beautiful neighbor Muriel. Her father, however, disapproves of their relationship and forbids the couple from seeing each other. Spurred by this obstacle, Richard embarks on an evening of hilarious and unexpected rebellion. Ah, Wilderness! delightfully captures the rush of excitement, torment, emotional confusion and bliss that accompanies first love and growing up.
From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of Aladdin, a thrilling production filled with beauty, magic, comedy, and breathtaking spectacle. It's an extraordinary theatrical event in which one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite. Aladdin features songs from the film as well as new music written by Tony and Academy Award winner Alan Menken (Newsies). The lyrics are by Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast), Tony winner Tim Rice (The Lion King), and book writer Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer).
In a small house on a big hill in County Galway, Ireland, the Folan women live out an uneasy truce. Forty-year-old Maureen and her elderly but iron-willed mother, Mag, spend their days in endless rounds of petty insults and physical threats as each maneuvers for control of their isolated existence. But when an old family friend reappears and offers Maureen a chance at love and a new life, this once benign terrain grows treacherous, and the two women, bound by blood but driven by desperation, will do anything to survive. The Tony Award-winning The Beauty Queen of Leenane contains the brash humor, rich language, and inventive storytelling for which Martin McDonagh has been widely praised.
Unseen. Unheard. Unknown.
At the margins of society, on the knife-edge of survival, they work for low wages, in harsh conditions. No safety net. No insurance or protections. No guarantee of work tomorrow.
This critically-acclaimed piece, most recently produced at the UK's National Theatre, is re-imagined for Chicago by writer/director Alexander Zeldin. In association with Dark Harbor Stories, a company led by Ensemble Member David Schwimmer and Tom Hodges, this play is a gritty portrait of those who cling precariously to the bottom rung of the ladder. Full of life, humor, and tenderness, it sheds light on America's shadow economy and shines an unflinching spotlight on the incendiary intersection of race and class.
The Blue Man Group has paved the way for many nonconventional productions such as Stomp, Tap Dogs, and De La Guarda. Since they opened in New York City in 1991, audiences from all over the world have seen their show. Smart silliness, neon-colored paint, cereal, and other wildly inventive props add to their visual appeal. This production opened at the Briar Street Theatre in October 1997 to an overwhelmingly enthusiastic reception
Every family has its secrets. The Hollander family's spanned three generations and two continents, from World War Two-era Poland to present-day America, all locked in a suitcase in Joseph Hollander's attic. When his son, Richard, uncovered the suitcase, he found more than just Swastika-stamped letters and legal documents — he found a family he had never met and a father's legacy that was never mentioned. A family torn apart by war, fighting to escape and survive, an unplanned immigration and quest to stay in the United States, and a tale of love lost and found were all captured in letters uncovered a generation later, which became the book Every Day Lasts a Year. Now adapted as The Book of Joseph, the Hollander family journey offers a story for each of us.
Winner of the 2016 Lambda Literary Award for Best Play, Bright Half Life follows the ups and downs of a modern lesbian relationship. Their moving story is told through a series of fast moving, fragmented memories – from elevator rides as strangers to steamy workplace romances to heartache and building a family.
Bye Bye Liver is a series of outrageous sketches, all centered around the one thing that connects all of Chicago…Alcohol! Whether it's the girl that should never, ever drink liquor…or that one guy that confuses courage with shots of Jameson, we've all known them…or been them. This is the hilarious romp that satirizes all of those fun times and f*ck ups we've all had when we had just one too many. Interspersed with hilarious, interactive social games, you'll laugh until you cry at Bye Bye Liver: The Chicago Drinking Play.
The Chicago Magic Lounge is a close-up magic show inspired by the long lost "magic bars" of Chicago. Schulien's, New York Lounge, Little Bit O' Magic, and many more clubs were once at the forefront of Chicago's nightlife scene. The Magic Lounge takes the best elements of these lost venues, and brings close-up magic to the tables, the bar, and the stage at the Uptown Underground. We recreate the wonder of a style of magic that dates back to the 1920's, simply known as "Chicago-Style" Magic.
Ever seen Hamlet in 10 seconds in reverse? If you like Shakespeare, you'll love this show. If you hate Shakespeare, you'll love this show. Three actors present all the Bard's 37 plays in 97 minutes, making it an irreverent, fast-paced romp that will leave you breathless and helpless with laughter!
Shakespeare's Cymbeline has all the vicious insults, bloody blades, cross-dressed ladies, and compromised bedchambers that have made the Bard famous. It is also a no-holds-barred epic, a dark fairy tale set off by a king's rash verdict and a princess who won't stand for her man's wrongful banishment. The acclaimed director of Lifeline Theatre's Hunger and Irish Theatre of Chicago's The White Road, recently seen onstage in Strawdog Theatre Company's production of The Arsonists, now makes his directing debut with Strawdog.
In her new high-drama and explosive comedy, Karen Zacarías explores race, gender and class politics through the lens of the Latin American telenovela, one of the world's most popular storytelling genres. On a stormy night in a Mexican hospital, two baby girls are born―one into a life of privilege, the other to an impoverished family. But when the girls are deliberately swapped, the stage is set for two outrageous misfortunes to grow into one remarkable destiny. Destiny of Desire is a smart, stylish and sexy comedy that dishes a lot of dirt and even more surprises.
Diamond Dogs follows a 26th century team of humans and transhumans as they investigate a mysterious alien tower, bent on brutally punishing all intruders. Uncovering clues and solving puzzles, each crusader will make dangerous, eye-popping sacrifices to get to the mysteries atop the spire. Blood will spill.
A Disappearing Number is an internationally acclaimed play about love, math, and how the past and future connect. In 1913, a clerk in rural India named Srinivasa Ramanujan sends a letter filled with astonishing mathematical theorems to famed mathematician G.H. Hardy. In the present, a math professor and a businessman fall in love. Told in a whirlwind of vignettes spanning history and time, A Disappearing Number is a love letter to numbers, blending the beauty of everyday relationships with the mysticism of the cosmos.
The Dollop is a no-holds-barred, live comedy podcast featuring Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds. Their national podcast tour is called Taking Art to a Clown, and this show is their only Chicago-area appearance. The Dollop is being presented by the Chicago Podcast Festival, which itself is produced by Chicago Improv Productions.
The Drag Queens of Comedy brings nine of the most outrageous drag comediennes in Chicago to one stage for two shows only!
As global destruction approaches, the lives of a climate scientist and his three estranged daughters come crashing, unexpectedly back together. The wildly epic Earthquakes in London embodies the chaos of today's society, while reminding us that our very survival may depend on our connections to our families, to our communities, and to our shared world.
As global destruction approaches, the lives of a climate scientist and his three estranged daughters come crashing unexpectedly back together. The wildly epic Earthquakes in London embodies the chaos of today's society, and asks us what matters most when everything's falling apart.
Now in its second smash year at the Greenhouse Theater Center, EL Stories stages the real life experiences of CTA commuters from across the city. Adapted verbatim from hundreds of first-person interviews, the Waltzing Mechanics perform a kaleidoscope of the commuting public's most memorable and hilarious encounters. Recognized by the Chicago Tribune as one of the "Best of the Fringe in 2011," EL Stories also gives you a chance each week to have your own transit tale played back live. Don't miss our train!
It takes a village — and then some. For Tami Martin, raising her severely autistic 17-year-old son, Josh, is not only a full-time job; it's a labor of love. But Josh's increasingly violent outbursts and pressure from her family threaten to drive Tami's efforts and her sanity to the brink.
Note: Due to the nature and content of this production, post-show talkbacks take place after every Sunday performance (except on April 2 and 9) and are moderated by dramaturg Margaret Knapp. Following the 7:30pm performance on April 1, playwright Deanna Jent will join Knapp for a special talkback. That evening's show is an ASL-signed performance.
First Time or Fan?: A Musical Improv Team is a musical theatre/musical improv hybrid show and the winner of Under The Gun Theater's 2nd Annual Tournament of Shows. Every week, we pick a real musical. We then ask musical theatre performers to come in and sing a few songs from that musical. Then, musical improvisers who have never previously seen that musical attempt to recreate it--using only the songs they've just heard as inspiration. The musical improvisers perform a fully improvised 30 minute musical. They are our "First Timers," and the musical theatre performers are our "Fans."
The 2017 Kia Corthron season begins with the timely Force Continuum. An African-American police officer struggles with the contradictions of his race and profession while confronting the black community he is bound to protect and being haunted by his cop father's violent death. This play is a jagged, precarious journey whereby all gradually grasp that understanding comes not just through seeing others but hearing.
Forging From Fire tells of the various journeys that individual ensemble members have taken to build lasting relationships and how circumstances, behaviors, and choices can create compromising situations. Through diligent deconstruction and self-discovery, each member worked through a heated process to understand ways to develop meaningful and healthy relationships, leading them to mold and refine a new space of love — for oneself and for others.
Among the life-topics addressed in Forging From Fire are physical, verbal, and sexual violence; the foster home system; incarceration within the transgender and gender nonconforming community, domestic violence, self-harm, mental health, and suicide.
Note: This show is recommended for ages 13 and up, due to references to adult situations.
Forty-two Stories is a comedy about life in a Lake Shore Drive high-rise condo building where a professional student from the University of Chicago is moonlighting as a janitor, a stressed-out apartment manager is at odds with the residents and on the edge of a nervous breakdown, and a motley assortment of other staff members struggle with survival in the face of urban pandemonium — and with the fact that one of them may be breaking into the units and stealing women's underwear.
Gentle is a world-premiere play based on the short story "A Gentle Woman" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It follows a young immigrant woman, a pawnbroker, and their maid over the course of a short, mysterious marriage. Dostoevsky's brilliant tale of the obsessive power of ego and its ability to push ordinary people to extraordinary measures is modernized as a story of our times. Zeljko Djukic (Uncle Vanya) directs; Natasha Bogojevich contributes original music.
Over the course of a parent-teacher conference, a grieving mother and an emotionally overwhelmed primary school teacher have a fraught conversation about the tragic suicide of the mother's son, Gidion. Gidion may have been bullied severely — or he may have been an abuser. As his story is slowly uncovered, the women try to reconstruct a satisfying explanation for Gidion's act and come to terms with excruciating feelings of culpability.
Note: This show is recommended for ages 13 and up, due to strong language.
Running a farm is hard work, especially with cows that type, hens on strike, and a duck that's always causing trouble. So Farmer Brown takes off on a well-deserved vacation, leaving his brother Bob, an accountant from the city, in charge. Soon it's no work and all play (and cake, pizza, movies, and bubble baths) as the animals run wild, taking advantage of Bob's lack of experience. Will the animals come clean about their devious tricks, or is there more to Brother Bob than meets the eye? Take a break from the grind with the gang from Farmer Brown's farm with this hit musical adaptation of the 2002 New York Times bestselling book.
Get ready for a no-holds-barred vocal competition and music comedy show! Four contestants compete in a four-week voice contest, singing their best cover songs based on weekly themes and challenges. They climb through the ranks — determined by weekly audience voting — with one emerging as the season's winner!
In addition to the featured vocalists, there's a professional music improv ensemble on hand. They entertain viewers with improvised songs born from audience suggestions. Audience members themselves can volunteer to get up and sing as well!
With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, directed by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical direction and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton is based on Ron Chernow's biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. A thoroughly inventive, wildly entertaining musical about the birth of our nation – with a score that blends hip-hop, pop, blues, jazz and Broadway – Hamilton opened on Broadway earlier this year to enthusiastic reception from critics and audiences of all ages.
The classic dysfunctional family drama has crashed in a new place. Meet Paige, a wife and mother liberated from an oppressive and abusive marriage; Max, her newly out transgender son; and Isaac, Max's PTSD-addled older brother, who discovers a brand-new war zone when he comes home from Afghanistan. Hir's crusade to shake up the patriarchy is funny and absurd. The play looks at an American family forced to build a new world out of the pieces of the old.
Taylor Mac (who uses "judy" not as a name but as a gender pronoun) is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director, and producer. Hir is one of the 17 full-length plays and performance pieces judy has written.
An unruly bunch of bright, funny sixth-form (senior) boys in a British boarding school are, as such boys will be, in pursuit of sex, sport, and a place at a good university — generally in that order. In all their efforts, they are helped and hindered, enlightened and bemused by a maverick English teacher who seeks to broaden their horizons in sometimes undefined ways, and by a young history teacher who questions the methods, as well as the aim, of their schooling.
It starts with an audience suggestion then the players create a full length thriller in the style of Alfred Hitchcock. There could be murder, car chases, gun play, beautiful women, exciting music and drinks…plenty of drinks. Since this is high class crime, the stage is complete with a wet bar and the actors will be forced to partake as the plot develops. By the end of the show, you might not be able to stand the suspense and the actors might not be able to stand at all.
The show will also feature a live jazz band and a few parlor games so the audience may join in on the "refreshments."
"With the tagline, 'Action so tense, you'll have to get tight," how can you go wrong?
A homeless man is unjustly slain by city police. Enraged, the homeless community attempts to govern one another in order to protect themselves from the existing government. This play is inspired by an actual event.
Note: This show contains strong language and is not for all ages.
Who hasn't heard the urban legend about the Hookman? Lexi's mother certainly warned her about him and now, after a tragic accident, she begins seeing him everywhere. Hookman is a lethally sharp slasher comedy about death, growing up, what it means to be a woman, and the ever-present threat of being murdered by a man with a hook for a hand.
Floundering a bit after the death of his aged (and domineering) mother, Manley Carstairs, a self-styled literary artist, engages a housekeeper, Annie Dankworth, to look after his large Victorian house (and him). When Annie first arrives, wearing sneakers and carrying her belongings in a grocery cart, Manley is taken aback, but she seems so eager to please that he relents — after which point their relationship progresses rapidly from restraint to hatred. Annie is one of the world's great oddballs. She insults her employer, denigrates his writing, admits she forged her references, accuses Manley of lusting after her, and makes his life hell in general. Eventually Manley can take no more, but when he advances on Annie with strangulation in mind, he trips, falls into her arms, they embrace, and the rest is history.
This mind-blowing spectacular showcases the talents of seven illusionists. The Illusionists — Live From Broadway has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a mixture of outrageous and astonishing acts. This nonstop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions.
See Chicago's finest improvisers under the direction of the legendary Mick Napier in an evening of unscripted and unequaled improvisational comedy. This show is highly interactive, hilarious and thoroughly original.
In to America is a world-premiere drama that traces the American immigrant experience from Jamestown to the present day through the stories of ordinary men, women, and children who left their homelands in the hope of creating a new life. Four hundred years in the making, In to America transcends time, space, and race to reflect the diversity and commonalities of the American experience. Dorothy Milne directs this journey through history; Bill Massolia (Letters Home) scripted it.
When a man has no hope, he has nothing left to lose. Time-bending love triumphs over convention in this futuristic story of love and desire. On a lonely island this sci-fi story redefines the limits of human connection and the power of love. Stewart Copeland, co-founder and drummer of The Police, sets this fantastical tale of the human heart to thrilling music for this co-world premiere with Long Beach Opera.
Sie returns to Lifeline for a free event to promote his debut novel (with illustrator Sungyoon Choi), Still Life Las Vegas: A Novel. The evening will include a wine and cheese reception, a concert reading selection from the novel featuring current Lifeline Theatre ensemble members, and a Q&A session moderated by Lifeline Artistic Director Dorothy Milne, followed by a book signing with Sie.
The affable Larry Yee remains a driving force in the San Francisco Chinese American community as the head of the Yee Family Association, a seemingly obsolescent men's club dedicated to the preservation of the Yee line. His daughter Lauren, however, is dismissive of its patriarchal culture policy, despite her father's lifelong dedication to the group. When Larry suddenly goes missing, Lauren's desperate search drops her into a strange but familiar world where she will have to embrace the past if she wants to get her father back. Explore the vivid history of America's largest Chinatown through the eyes of a new generation in Lauren Yee's hilarious and touching theatrical quest to connect with her family lineage.
Back when smoke curled thickly in night clubs and crowds never left the dance floor, jazz great Billie Holiday could scorch audiences with her singular, insinuating voice. With Lady in Denmark, Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith delivers a stirring ode to "Lady Day." This one-woman show follows Helene, a Danish American woman who finds solace in Holiday's hauntingly beautiful music in the wake of her husband's death. Infused with Holiday's iconic songs, Lady in Denmark presents a passionate meditation on life, marriage and mortality, assuring audiences that even in the most troubled times, music can make life worth living.
Instinct, tenacity, biting humor, and trust in the future keep Lela alive as her world closes in around her. Based on a true story, Lela & Co. is an eerily funny and enthralling story about the horrifying enterprise of war and a girl who may or may not have eaten some frosting.
Driven by the character of Dorante, The Liar is constantly reinventing his life and telling wild, compelling stories. This play by David Ives takes Pierre Corneille's classic farce and revives it with fresh, modern language that pulls conventions and linguistic stylings from the past while creating a dynamic new rendition of the story.
Wheeler is 50. His marriage is over, his job is mundane, and the best years of his life appear to be behind him. A move from the cot in his ex-wife's garage to his own apartment opens up new possibilities for love and sex — complicated, painful, and hilarious. Full of opinions, yet short on self-examination, Wheeler is a modern misanthrope who must reconcile the man he has become with the man he wants to be.
Author Tracy Letts is a Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright, actor, and member of the Steppenwolf ensemble. His works include August: Osage County, Superior Donuts, The Man From Nebraska, and Killer Joe and Bug. He is also known for his portrayal of Andrew Lockhart in Showtime's Homeland and can be seen in The Big Short and HBO's Divorce.
Listen to Your Mother (LTYM) is a national series of live readings by local writers in celebration of Mother's Day. Each production is directed, produced, and performed by and for local communities. Each LTYM show donates a minimum of 10% of ticket proceeds to local causes. The sixth annual Chicago show will benefit Deborah's Place, a nonprofit organization that opens doors of opportunities for women experiencing homelessness. What started as a single LTYM show in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2010 has grown into a coast-to-coast phenomenon. This year marks the celebration of the project's grand finale season.
Grace Harkaway, who considers herself immune to love, is marrying elderly Sir Harcourt Courtly for his money. Then she meets his son. Then Sir harcourt meets horse-riding virago Lady Gay Spanker, who enters in her leather-trimmed hunting suit wielding a riding crop, and goes on to complicate the already complicated romantic entanglements of the play. The comedy sensation of 1841 has been produced repeatedly in New York and London up to the present day, including National Theatre Live's worldwide broadcast in 2010, but has not been seen on a Chicago stage for 120 years. City Lit's production will feature Cameron Feagin as Lady Gay and Kingsley Day as Sir Harcourt.
Under the Gun Theater is proud to present Love Stories, a Valentine's Day-themed improvised comedy show! Each week, a new guest host tells a true and personal story about the trials and tribulations of love. From there, the UTG ensemble launches into a show of highly creative comedic whimsy. This critically acclaimed cast has honed an idiosyncratic style that is completely unique in the Chicago comedy scene. Come get a healthy dose of laughs, awws, and of course, Valentine's-themed cocktails.
King Ferdinand of Navarre's "no fun" edict includes scholarly endeavors, quiet contemplation and complete commitment to chastity for three entire years. His closest courtiers reluctantly sign on. But this is a comedy and it doesn't take long for everyone to figure out that the whole thing is a bad idea and rules are meant to be broken—especially when the French Princess and her beautiful entourage arrive on the scene. The young men's studies soon give way to secret letters and amorous vows as the women set out to teach the men a thing or two about love. The puns fly and the playwright's wordplay take flight in this witty satire about young love with a surprising conclusion where real-life lessons are suddenly revealed.
Nastier than Scorsese at his bleakest, more violent than Tarantino at his bloodiest, Shakespeare's Macbeth still shocks like no other tale on the page, stage, or screen. Now this chilling portrait of temptation, ambition, and betrayal gets staged at Chicago's Filament Theatre. Set in a gloomy world of ghosts and witches, the tragedy's cycle of corruption is thrown into motion when the popular King Duncan of Scotland is murdered by his trusted friend and general Macbeth. Driven by a supernatural prophesy and his wife's deadly ambition, Macbeth goes on to claim his destiny. But just as he grasps the crown, it starts to slip through his bloody fingers.
Madagascar — A Musical Adventure is a twist on the blockbuster DreamWorks motion picture Madagascar. Audiences join zoo escapees and embark on a unique and "crack-a-lackin'" adventure as the animals enjoy freedom for the very first time after spending their entire lives in captivity. This special one-hour presentation for kids (and parents) is filled with larger-than-life characters, nonstop adventure, and an upbeat score. Each performance is followed by a Q&A session with the cast.
Amazing and amusing, Marc's theatrical creations have been hailed as "Not to be missed!" by ABC News and "A surefire 'you-gotta-see-this-show' show!" by Variety. Both fascinating and psychological, his performances have been enjoyed by millions around the world from Broadway and the West End to the Sydney Opera House and Singapore, earning him the name "The King of the Mind-Readers" by Time Out.
Marc's mystifying techniques and quick wit "break the lock" on the minds of randomly selected audience members. He has had the pleasure of outwitting such well-known celebrities as Sting, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Donald Trump, Arthur Miller, Paul Newman, Prince Andrew, Judi Dench, Ronald Reagan!
International standup comedy sensation Max Amini returns to Chicago with a brand-new set of material.
Men Are From Mars – Women Are From Venus LIVE!, the Off-Broadway hit comedy based on The New York Times #1 best-selling book of the last decade by John Gray, is back by popular demand. Moving swiftly through a series of vignettes, the show covers everything from dating and marriage to the bedroom. This hysterical show will have couples elbowing each other all evening as they see themselves on stage. Sexy and fast paced, this show is definitely for adults, but will leave audiences laughing and giggling like little kids!
Midnight Blue is 60 minute show where, late at night, the ComedySportz Ensemble gathers to do improv with no fouls, no rules, and no subject matter too taboo. We invite you to ditch the kids and hang out after the 10:00pm ComedySportz match. We'll keep the bar open and tear this place apart.
Million Dollar Quartet is a musical inspired by the December 4, 1956 recording session that brought together Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley. The show, which is co-authored by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott, is co-directed by Eric Schaeffer and Mutrux, with musical direction by Chuck Mead.
The show features a treasure trove of the greatest rock, rockabilly, gospel, R&B and country standards of the 1950s, including "Blue Suede Shoes," "Fever," "Sixteen Tons," "Who Do You Love?," "Great Balls of Fire," "Ghost Riders in the Sky," and "Whole Lotta' Shakin' Goin' On."
A town's proud history, the legend of a local hero, the coveted privilege of reserved parking: Nothing is sacred during the town council meeting at the heart of this new play. Written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tracy Letts, this razor-sharp comedy turns from hilarious to chilling as petty policy matters give way to the truth roiling just beneath the surface of the town's historical mythology.
Winner of four Jeff Awards, including Best Production, and fresh off a national tour, the critically-acclaimed Moby Dick returns to the Lookingglass stage in this harrowing and intoxicating exploration of revenge, obsession, and destiny.
Madness rages like the angry sea when man pits himself against leviathan in Herman Melville's epic and poetic tale, furiously reimagined by director David Catlin.
Climb aboard the Pequod with Ishmael, Starbuck, and the intrepid crew on a voyage into the darkest reaches of the human psyche with an insatiably driven Captain Ahab at the helm in reckless pursuit of the legendary white whale.
Monster, adapted from the 1999 National Book Award-nominated novel by Walter Dean Myers, tells the story of Steve Harmon. Steve is a 16-year-old aspiring filmmaker in juvenile detention whose life has been turned upside down by his alleged participation in a robbery gone awry. Now he may have to spend the rest of his life behind bars. As the prosecution makes its case, Steve writes his story as a screenplay, trying to understand if he's really the monster people say he is.
The Baroque era was a time of spectacular innovation in science and the arts—new musical forms were born, instrumental music came into its own, and virtuosity rose to new heights. Nicholas Kraemer leads the Music of the Baroque Orchestra in a program that captures the true spirit of the age. Highlights include a bravura suite for oboes from Telemann's Tafelmusik and a dazzling Vivaldi violin concerto depicting a storm at sea.
The Baroque era was a time of spectacular innovation in science and the arts—new musical forms were born, instrumental music came into its own, and virtuosity rose to new heights. Nicholas Kraemer leads the Music of the Baroque Orchestra in a program that captures the true spirit of the age. Highlights include a bravura suite for oboes from Telemann's Tafelmusik and a dazzling Vivaldi violin concerto depicting a storm at sea.
Charlotte and Jonny have grown up together, and are now trying to determine whether their close friendship might be something more. When they discover exactly what "more" actually entails, however, it comes as a surprise to them both—and to Charlotte's parents, who are holding secrets and resentments of their own. This compelling story of intricate relationships is an explosive and contemporary look at race, sexual identity and family dynamics.
Marti Lyons, one of Chicago's finest emerging directors, brings her unique vision to this deeply insightful and very funny new play, using the intimacy of WT's Gillian Theatre to bring audiences face-to-face with the challenges of loving someone completely while trying to determine exactly what that means.
Pablo, a high-powered lawyer, and his pregnant wife Tania, a doctoral candidate, think they have hit the jackpot with their new home. It seems to have everything they dreamed of: a nice neighborhood, plenty of bedrooms for their growing family, outdoor space, and friendly neighbors. When Pablo and Tania decide to upgrade the eyesore chain link fence in their backyard, neighbors Virginia and Frank couldn't be happier. Happy until they think their new neighbors are taking more than they deserve. A disagreement over a property line quickly spirals into a war of taste, class and entitlement in Native Gardens, a hilarious comedy by Karen Zacarias and directed by Marti Lyons.
A young detective uncovers a disturbing brand of entertainment, triggering an interrogation into the darkest corners of the imagination and the most basic of human desires. The Nether is a virtual wonderland that provides total sensory immersion; a beautiful escape that ultimately begs some very serious questions about responsibility, connectivity and love.
A Night of Bottom Shelf Theatre: Reasons Why I Drink is an evening of 5- to 10-minute scenes of intentionally bad, epically terrible, and downright dumb theater. It's better when you drink, so your ticket will include all-you-can-drink domestic beer, wine, and well beverages. Oh, and appetizers to soak it all up.
But wait, there's more! Since the show falls on St. Patrick's week, there'll be leprechauns, fun raffle prizes, and even a pot of gold!
Come to what is sure to be a thrilling and unique night of theatre, and you create it!
Every Saturday night we open our doors at 10PM and accept the first 15 original acts that walk through the door. Scenes, Poems, Dances, Magic Tricks, Stand-Up, Sketch, Improv, Puppets, Songs, Juggling, Mime, Acrobatics and/or General Shenanigans - whatever floats your proverbial boat.
1. All material must be original
2. Performances should be no more than five minutes in length
3. You can't break anything--not yourself, not the theatre--and you can't break any laws
No Shame Theatre focuses on immediacy, originality and brevity. So, whether you're coming to perform, watch or both, together we'll create a show that has never been seen before and will never be seen again.
After surviving a tumultuous upbringing in war-torn Liberia, Shedrick Yarpai has found a new home in a sunny, coastal Australian city. Safe from the horrific perils of guerrilla soldiers and refugee camps, Shedrick now faces a different type of danger: the haunting memories stirring inside him. Inspired by writer Charles Smith's friendship with a Liberian refugee-turned-acclaimed-actor, the playwright crafts a harrowing story of personal honor vs. familial obligation and the responsibility that comes with being a survivor.
Ten years after their critically acclaimed collaboration on King Lear, Robert Falls and stage and screen star Stacy Keach — both 2015 Theater Hall of Fame inductees — reunite for the world premiere of Pamplona by Jim McGrath. Keach stars as Ernest Hemingway, one of the most celebrated novelists and short story writers of the 20th century in this explosive tour-de-force drama, set during the author's haunted years following his Pulitzer and Nobel Prize honors.
In this play, after the prize comes the pressure. Basking in the glory of career-defining awards — the 1953 Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954 — legendary writer Ernest Hemingway insists his best work is yet to come. Five years later, holed up in a Spanish hotel with a looming deadline, he struggles to knock out a story about the rivalrous matadors of Pamplona. But his real battles lie outside the bullfighting arena; in declining health, consumed by his troubled fourth marriage, and tormented by the specter of past glories, he must now conquer the deepening despair that threatens to engulf him.
Pamplona marks Keach's second exploration of the literary legend: He earned a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Hemingway in the eponymous 1988 television miniseries.
This stirring, Tony Award-winning musical explores the endurance of love and hope against seemingly insurmountable odds, telling the true story of Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-born Jewish man falsely accused of murder in 1913 Atlanta. Innovative, daring, and filled with soaring music, Parade is a moving love story, a riveting murder mystery, a gripping courtroom drama and a powerful exploration of innocence and naïveté coming face-to-face with ignorance and prejudice.
Acclaimed director Gary Griffin, who directed the original Broadway production of Jason Robert Brown's Honeymoon in Vegas and the world premiere of his The Trumpet of the Swan at the Kennedy Center, stages an intimate revival of this celebrated musical. With a book by playwright Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy) and a score by Brown (The Last Five Years, The Bridges of Madison County) that combines folk, rock, R&B and gospel, Parade ends WT's 25th Anniversary Season with spectacular impact.
In this bold, incendiary riff on Waiting for Godot, two young black men are standing around on the corner — talking smack, killing time, and hoping that maybe today will be different. When a white man wanders into their space, an escalating crisis threatens to prevent their escape from the block. In Pass Over, pop culture collides with historical and religious references to create a hilarious and disturbing meditation on manhood, race, and the cycle of violence that prevents too many from realizing their potential.
Playwright Antoinette Nwandu is a member of the Ars Nova Play Group. Her plays have been produced and developed by Page73, Ars Nova, the Flea, and Naked Angels, among others. She is a recipient of the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, the Negro Ensemble Company's Douglas Turner Ward Prize, and a literary fellowship from the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference. In spring 2016, Pass Over received a workshop as part of the Cherry Lane Mentor Project under the mentorship of Katori Hall.
Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to announce the continuation of the fourth season of Porchlight Revisits, a staged concert series of hit "lost" musicals. Up next is Little Me, with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, and a book by Neil Simon based on the novel by Patrick Dennis.
Matthew's wife, Lisa, is having an affair with Adrian, a British director. Or perhaps the affair is part of a play being rehearsed. Or perhaps Matthew has imagined it all. But a mysterious woman who seems to shadow the others brings the story to its surprising conclusion…or does she? The audience plays the role of detective in this hilarious, multi-layered comedy of suspicion about love, lust, and the power of deception in which nothing is ever quite what it seems.
PhD candidates Sanam and Ariel have spent the better part of the last decade exhaustively researching vanishing bee populations across the globe. Just as these close friends are about to publish a career-defining paper, Sanam stumbles upon an error in their calculations, which could cause catastrophic damage to their reputations, careers, and friendship. Now, Sanam is confronted with an impossible choice: look the other way or stand by her principles and accept the consequences?
Quest, loosely based on the Leo Tolstoy story "The Three Questions," has the protagonist ask three simple but huge questions, setting in motion a whirlwind journey to find the answers. The hero ventures with her sidekicks through obstacles, misinformation, slapstick fun, unexpected detours, songs, near crises, and amazing feats of partnership in search of answers.
The Woman's Club of Evanston has been making people laugh for a good cause for over 60 years in their annual benefit show. This year's 66th revue, Reading Between the Lines, is no exception.
Members of The Woman's Club of Evanston and this year's beneficiary, Literature for All of Us, write, direct, choreograph, and perform an entertaining variety show to benefit this important nonprofit. Cast members perform parodies of popular songs that feature a variety of subjects ranging from literature to social media to other current topics.
Against the backdrop of the explosive Watergate scandal, Chuck Colson grasped for meaning during the tumultuous investigations that led to the collapse of the Nixon administration. A convicted former special counsel to the president, Colson paradoxically found new life — not with success and power but through national disgrace and imprisonment.
Helena is dreading her sister's wedding. The groom, Duarte, should have been hers. She knows her sister, Belmira, only wants to escape their quiet Brazilian town for an exciting new life in the city. Three days before the wedding, a mysterious stranger is pulled out of the river—a man with no past who offers both sisters an alluring, possibly dangerous future.
A Masked Royal Ball, A Variety Show, Comedy, and Dance Party all in one night...
Chicago Dance Factory cordially invites you to The Royal Masquerade Dinner and Semi Formal Ball. This event is an actual ball hosted by the Royal Master of Ceremonies, as he searches for a suitable maiden to be the Belle of the Ball. Become part of the fairy tale as you participate in the pageantry, comedy and dancing! The ball will be a night you'll remember fondly for years to come. Dinner and your first glass of Wine is included.
The Royal Masquerade Ball will be a luscious masquerade in tribute to the sophistication of the old world. We will transport you through time to a dream of mystery and seduction.
Grab your bell-bottoms and take a trip back in time with "Saturday Night Fever." Based on the 1977 hit film, Saturday Night Fever follows Brooklyn teen, Tony Manero, in his attempt to escape his tribulations by spending weekends at the local discotheque. Watch a Tony tries to win the admiration of the crowd as well as his heartthrob, Stephanie Mangano, with his electric moves. Featuring your favorite Bee Gees songs from the movie such as "Stayin' Alive" and "More Than a Woman," Saturday Night Fever is a nostalgic classic that will bring you dancing in the aisle.
Ballet 5:8's groundbreaking production uses classical ballet and film to bring a story inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter to life. The dramatic full-length ballet follows the iconic Hester, a young woman caught in adultery, as she struggles to find peace and restoration in the midst of a hypocritical and harsh Puritan society in early America. Scarlet features original choreography by Ballet 5:8 artistic director Julianna Slager, film elements directed by choreographer and film producer Preston Miller, spoken word by Chicago-based artist Kylla Pate, and a score by American modernist composer Charles Ives.
What starts off with an amusing exchange at a hip Manhattan party quickly turns into something more complex. When close friends Charlie and Lewis meet Clea, a determined young woman making her mark on the New York scene, it sets them off on an emotional roller coaster. This provocative comedy-drama explores the dark edges of commitment and the struggles of balancing authenticity with ambition.
WT Resident Director Kimberly Senior, who recently directed the Pulitzer Prize-wining Disgraced on Broadway and who has helmed past WT hits The Letters, Hedda Gabler, The Diary of Anne Frank and Marjorie Prime, takes on Theresa Rebeck's wickedly biting and often hilarious play about the search for the ever elusive "place-to-be," and the three old friends whose lives are irrevocably changed when they discover how fragile the foundations of their relationships really are.
The Oscar-winning romantic comedy about Shakespeare and the Lord Chamberlain's Men returns to its rightful home — the stage. Imagine a young playwright on the make struggling to write his new tragic love story, Romeo and Ethel, The Pirate's Daughter. The title just doesn't have the right ring — and young Will Shakespeare knows it. He's got writer's block and must do something quickly. Will needs a muse, and he finds one in Viola, a vivacious beauty who will do anything — even disguise herself as a man — to audition for the stage, where no women are permitted to perform. Once revealed, the torrid affair begins inspiring the completion of the most romantic tragedy ever penned. Backstage maneuverings jostle hilariously with onstage dramas in this love letter to the theater itself, directed by multi-Jeff Award winner and Chicago Shakespeare favorite Rachel Rockwell.
A romp in the world of fantasy role-playing games, She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes Evans as she leaves her childhood home in Ohio following the death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly's Dungeons & Dragons notebook, however, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly's refuge. In this high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and 1990s pop culture, acclaimed young playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all.
Skin for Skin depicts the biblical Job as a Muslim-American contractor in Baghdad who is suspected of aiding Al-Qaeda. He is imprisoned in an Abu Ghraib-type "black site" and subjected to "enhanced interrogation" as supervised by an American psychologist. The play explores the unintended consequences of torture in the name of God, country, and money. It also features choreography from members of Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble and Actors Gymnasium.
Young Peter's childhood adventures are told through shadow puppetry and movement. This celebration of first experiences is a visual feast! Enjoy the enchantment of a small child growing up in a big city experiencing his first snowfall, first pet, and first crush. Featuring the first African-American protagonist in a full-color picture book series, four of author Ezra Jack Keats' best-selling books — including two Caldecott Award winners — are combined to bring this captivating and poignant play to life.
On the hunt for the biggest story of their careers, two journalists are summoned to travel across the world to meet with The Source: an unidentified leaker of hacked documents and information about the United States government. As these strangers probe one another for the truth and information, they find themselves in a thrilling psychological drama that leads them to examine their motives, their country, and themselves…all while waiting for The Source.
Spamilton, the acclaimed parody of Broadway smash Hamilton, was created by Gerard Alessandrini, the mastermind behind Forbidden Broadway. With a cast of five, Spamilton celebrates, roasts, and eviscerates the Broadway blockbuster. In addition to Alessandrini, the creative team includes Gerry McIntyre (choreography), Dustin Cross (costume design), Fred Barton (musical director), and Richard Danley and Fred Barton (musical arrangements).
From the creators of Talk Hard (named Chicago's "Best Sketch Troupe" of 2013 by The Chicago Reader), Spiked Punch is one part gameshow, ALL parts PARTY! The show features two teams of Chicago's sharpest comedians who are forced to make you laugh or suffer the hilarious consequences. We provide the set-ups, and it's up to them to deliver the punchlines . . . or pay the price! No preparation. No hesitation. And plenty of libations!
This electrifying rock adaptation of the classic play is a landmark musical by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater. Daring and inventive, it is an exhilarating journey of teenage self-discovery as well as a celebration of youth and rebellion.
As Ed, a widower, prepares to celebrate Christmas, he calls his three grown sons back to the family home. Games are played, Chinese food is ordered, and brotherly pranks and trash talk distract them from the ongoing issue that threatens to ruin the festivities: When personal identity is essential and privilege is a problem, what is a straight white man to do? Playwright and director Young Jean Lee takes an outside look at the traditional father-son play narrative, shedding new light and hilarity on a story we think we know.
Directed by Paul Stroili, a cast member in the original Chicago production, Tony 'n Tina's Wedding is a hilariously interactive production that is guaranteed to make guests feel like they are truly friends and family of the bride and groom. From the wedding ceremony to the high-energy reception, complete with an Italian-style meal, champagne toast and wedding cake, guests will have the opportunity to celebrate alongside this larger-than-life couple and their family members.
The Neo-Futurists' signature show, performed since 1988, is the longest-running production in Chicago history. Too Much Light... is an ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes. Each week the ensemble adds between two and twelve new plays to the menu. Every performance creates an inimitable, living-newspaper collage of the comic and tragic, the political and personal, the visceral and experimental.
A secluded country estate becomes the setting for unrequited love, renewed rivalries, and ruminations both absurd and tragic on roads barely taken and passions left unfulfilled. Chekhov's timeless study of the agonizing intersections of youth and mid-life finds contemporary immediacy in Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Baker's fresh and compelling adaptation.
Baker's adaptation of Uncle Vanya first premiered in 2012 off-Broadway at the Soho Repertory Theatre. Baker noted that she wanted to "create a version that sounds to our contemporary American ears the way the play sounded to Russian ears during the play's first productions."
In a dystopian metropolis, a terrible water shortage caused by a 20-year drought has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity's most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero decides he's had enough and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom!
Inspired by the works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, Urinetown is an irreverently humorous satire in which no one is safe from scrutiny. Northwestern University alumnus Scott Weinstein (Into the Woods) directs this hilarious Tony Award-winning musical praised for reinvigorating the very notion of what a musical could be.
Vamp is a twice-weekly showcase of some of the top musical comedy talent in Chicago. Each week, cast member Key Holders and house band the Vampers present, BYOB drinks in hand, a hilarious night of interactive music comedy. It's like Whose Line Is It, Anyway?, but everyone is Wayne Brady.
Venus in Fur, a two-person play, introduces the audience to an ambitious actress who may be more than she seems and the director for whom she's auditioning. Ideas of power are exchanged, particularly within the confines of society's expectations regarding gender and sexuality.
The Winner…of Our Discontent asks if it's broken, should we fix it? No matter the answer, this cast will have you cracking up and splitting your sides. The country's premier sketch comedy troupe delivers a post-election shot in the arm that'll heal you with big laughs. So whether you voted for the Right, the Left, or the wrong (Independent), you'll love watching The Second City pick up the pieces in a comedy that shows our differences are what makes America truly great.
The artistic team that brought you The Gospel of Lovingkindness and An Issue of Blood, director Chay Yew and playwright Marcus Gardley, now explore the Great Migration from the Deep South to Chicago in the early 1900s. On a frigid winter's night, a 90-year-old woman is admitted to an I.C.U. in Bronzeville. Over the final hours of Queen's life she teaches those around her lasting lessons of history, from the Jim Crow south to Chicago's nightclub scene. Told through music, poetry, and dance, A Wonder in My Soul is a beautiful story of one Queen's journey home.
Ever since her father vanished under mysterious circumstances, Meg Murray's life has been spiraling out of control. But one dark and stormy night, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which appear with a promise to help rescue him from the monstrous darkness that threatens the universe. Join Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, their pal Calvin, and a host of extraterrestrial friends and foes as they journey into the heart of a terrible evil in the hope of reuniting a fragmented family. A heartwarming adventure across the stars, A Wrinkle in Time returns to the Lifeline stage in a newly revised adaptation of the beloved 1963 novel by Madeleine L'Engle.