Chicago’s sophisticated theater audience has seen and admired gymnastically able actors, puppetry and story-telling-style body motions at such influential theater venues as Lookingglass, Chicago Shakespeare and Writers Theatre.
However, the Physical Festival Chicago, coming to Stage 773 June 1 through June 9, 2018, is a chance to see what is happening in those and other exciting genres on the international and Chicago scene.
Among the productions are “Nobody’s Home” by United Kingdom’s Theatre Témoin and Grafted Cede that places PTSD into Homer’s Odyssey, solo puppet and mask performances by Theatre Zarko’s (Evanston) Michael Montenegro and Franco-Brazilian Gael le Cornec’s thriller “The Other.”
“It’s all original work created by each company,” said Marc Frost who co-founded the festival in 2014 with wife Alice da Cunha. They met in London while studying at London International School of Performing Arts. Commonly known as LISP, the school recently relocated in Berlin.
Chicago audiences may have seen da Cunha in House Theatre’s Jeff award winning “United Flight 232.” Frost will be bringing the national touring company of Theater Unspeakable’s two current productions, one about the American Revolution and the other a moon shot, to the Kennedy Center fall, 2018.
Theater companies from around the world who apply each year are curated by the couple to bring a balance of genres.
“It can be puppets. It can be bouffon,” said da Cunha.
They explain that Michael Montenegro is a puppeteer but his Theatre Zarko is not traditional and Gael le Cornec uses projections and shadow puppetry in “The Other.” Bouffon is the late night show “The Red Bastard: Lie With Me.”
Frost said, “We have said physical to start with but now have added visual and contemporary. We are trying to bring to Chicago shows of the kind not seen very often.”
He liked that an actor’s body could become scenery and or props to tell a story. In “The ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha” by the Spain/UK-based Little Soldier Productions, an actor uses his body to put across the Cervantes’ tale.
“He is using the body to express much of the text. It shows what the body can express,” said Frost.
Physical Festival also includes workshops. Among them “How to audition for “Cirque du Soleil” and one by le Cronec on how to create a solo work.
BTW, don’t be fooled by spurious or expensive ticket offers. Best is to buy through Broadway In Chicago or at the box office.
Now, the exhibit
Hamilton: The Exhibition, will premiere in Chicago in November, 2018 before traveling to other cities, according to Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the musical, “Hamilton” and Producer Jeffrey Seller.
Housed in an all-weather, football field sized structure, the exhibition is slated to open Nov. 17 on Chicago’s Northerly Island.
Presented with Imagine Exhibitions, Inc which operates traveling museum exhibits, Hamilton: The Exhibition is being put together by Hamilton set designer David Korins, Miranda, Yale University Professor Joanne Freeman, Hamilton Director Thomas Kail and Seller with additional historical advice from Annette Gordon-Reed.
Miranda explains some of the thinking behind the exhibition. “Hamilton” is a musical. It’s as much of Alexander Hamilton’s life as we could wrestle into two and a half hours of musical theater, and it’s been incredible and surreal to see the renewed interest this has sparked in Alexander Hamilton’s life and times,” he said.
Miranda added, “I’m so thrilled with the work David Korins has done alongside eminent historians Joanne Freeman and Annette Gordon-Reed, who are experts in this arena. With this exhibition, they’re creating an immersive companion piece for Hamilton” and a deep dive into the details and experiences of Hamilton’s story.”
Miranda will narrate the audio tour as the exhibition moves visitors into the life and times of Alexander Hamilton and illustrates the creation of the United States of America and the American Revolution.
Visitors will find the tales told with in-depth scenography, lighting, sound, multimedia and music as they experience Hamilton’s journey from St. Croix to his famed demise in a duel in Weehawken, N J. They will also learn of how what Hamilton did still impacts our lives.
“I hope to use this exhibition to answer some questions that the musical doesn’t address, like ‘What did Alexander actually do when he was a trader in St. Croix “ What did Hamilton’s Manhattan look like? How did we win the battle of Yorktown?” said Seller.
“ In an environment that is visually stunning, aurally thrilling and ingeniously educational, we aim to give visitors yet another unique portal through the life of Alexander Hamilton into the American founding,” he said.
Tickets to HAMILTON: THE EXHIBITION will be on sale at a later date, to be announced.
For more information and to sign up to be the first to receive news and ticket sales alerts, please visit hamiltonexhibition.com
You know Chicago’s heart beats in time to jazz, blues and ragtime and turns dramatic with modern gospel. So a new exhibit, starting this weekend at the Chicago Cultural Center, that brings back the history of the city’s music legacy is an exciting event.
Up north in Glencoe, an important exhibit is going up next weekend at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It paints eye-catching, environmentally-driven botanical stories.
Also next weekend, a world renown painter’s disturbing views of the human condition opens at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Then, another picture of life in Chicago, the good, the bad, the real, opens the following weekend at AIC.
“Bronzeville Echoes: Faces and Places of Chicago’s African American Music”
Located in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Garland and Landmark Chicago Galleries, “Bronzeville Echoes” is filled with such artifacts as 1920s records, old sheet music and even a telephone booth. Up April 28, 2018 through Jan. 6, 2019,the exhibit is an excellent way to become acquainted with the city’s musical history. Presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, entry is free. The Chicago Cultural Center is at 78 E. Washington St. BTW The building itself is worth a visit. For more information visit DCASE Events.
The show is a non-forgettable statement by Santa Barbara-based artist Penelope Gottlieb on what is happening in the plant world. The works, representative of the three groups: Extinct Botanicals, Vanishing Series, and Invasive Series, range from vibrant to reflective. The exhibit is up in the Joutras Gallery in Chicago Botanical Garden’s Regenstein Center, May 4 to Aug. 12, 2018. The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe. Entry to the Garden is free but there is a parking charge. For more information visit CBG Exhibitions.
A retrospective of this Chicago native known for his nightmarish paintings will be at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Gallery 273, May 4 through Aug. 5, 2018. Considered controversial, fascinating and macabre, his works made him the perfect artist to have painted “The Picture of Dorian Gray” for the 1945 movie. For more information visit Albright.
“Never a Lovely So Real: Photography and Film in Chicago 1950-1980”
The exhibit, whose title was taken from a Nelson Algren description of the city in Chicago: City on the Make, opens May 12 at the Art Institute of Chicago. Up in Galleries 1-4, the show reveals different sides of city during the second half of the 20th century. “Never a Lovely So Real” is part of Art Design Chicago sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. It runs through Oct. 28, 2018. The museum’s admission is fee based with some free days and times. The Art Institute of Chicago is at 111 N. Michigan Ave.. For more information visit ARTIC/exhibition.
No matter how dismal April has been (minus one great beach day) Spring is in the air. You know that because organizations and institutions such as the Shedd Aquarium are celebrating Earth Week with a clean-up day April 21, because One of A Kind Spring Show will be back at the Mart with lots of gift ideas for Mother’s Day, friends and family and because it’s time to fly a kite in Lincoln Park.
Shedd gets down and dirty for Earth Week
Shedd, working with a GLAD team (Great Lakes Action Days) is looking for volunteers at some specifically designated beaches from 10:30 a.m.to noon on April 21. For beaches in the program and how to sign up visit GLAD or call (312) 692-3330. You’ll be GLAD you did. For more Shedd info visit Shedd Aquarium Conservation.
Think art, gifts and craft demonstrations
The One of a Kind Spring Show ® returns to the Merchandise Mart April 27-29, 2018. This year’s show features more than 300 art and gift booths and the Lillstreet Art Center’s demonstrations and hands-on activigties. The Merchandise Mart is at 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza on the northside of the Chicago River west of Wells Street. For more information visit One of a kind show.
Kites fly on Cricket Hill
Kites will be flying high on Lincoln Park’s Cricket Hill (Montrose and Wilson)May 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Lake Shore Drive between Montrose and Wilson). Fine if you have a favorite kite but if not Chicago Kite will be selling kites. Part of the fun though of going is too watch professional kite flying demonstrations with unusual kites. For more information visit Chicago Kids and Kites.
Get the calendar out. It’s time to plan which Ravinia Festival concerts should be marked down, which ones need tickets ahead of time and which might be good for a picnic on the lawn or a seat in the Pavillion. The 2016 season goes from June 1 through Sept. 16.
Donors can get tickets March 20. Tickets will be available to the public May 8 for June and July concerts and May 10 for August and September programs.
New this year: There are more programs inside Bennett Gordon Hall and the Martin Theatre. The season will celebrate the late conductor, composer, pianist Leonard Bernstein’s 100 anniversary of his birth and ; the 30th anniversary of Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute (RSMI).
And the dining spaces and menus have been redone. Park View, a contemporary American restaurant featuring local and seasonal dishes is upstairs the dining pavilion. Mirabelle is still there but specializes in guest chef and themed dishes. The casual Ravina Market take-out menu has expanded but kept popular dishes. Tree Top will go in where PNC Private Dining used to be and the Lawn Bar with indoor and outdoor seating for drinks and small plates will be located on the lower level, north side of the dining Pavilion. The FreehlingRoom is still the Donor Dining Club but will add casual fare on pop concert nights.
Ravinia Festival Park is at the south end of Highland Park from Sheridan Road on the east to Green Bay Road on the west. But best option is to take a free shuttle from the Ravinia or Highland Park train station. For tickets, directions and transportation options visit Ravinia.org.
Enjoy the summer by planning now.
Some Program highlights:
Diana Ross, June 2, Anita Baker June 10, Jackson Brown June 15, Seal June 19, Jill Scott debuts at Ravinia June 22, Roger Daltry and the Who’s Tommy come June 23 and June 25 and Bryan Adams performs June 29.
Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang July 8, Zukeerman Trio does Brahms July 11, Joshua Bell and the CSO performs Bernstein “Candide Overture” and “Serenade” plus Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetique” July 12, The CSO and Chorus do Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on July 14, vocalist Audra McDonald and the CSO do a “Sunday in the Park program for the Ravinia Gala July 15, the annual Tchaikovsky Spectacular is July 22, Misha and Cipa Dichter are in Bette Hall then Leon Fleisher with Katherine Jacobson Fleisher perform Bach and Brahms in the Martin Theatre July 23, Makoto Ozone plays Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” July 24, Jorge Fredrico Osorio is in the Martin Theatre for the Debussy and Ponce concert July 26, a double Bernstein program starts with a Young People’s concert in the morning then features his “Mass” in the evening July 28.
Whoopie Goldberg comes Aug. 3, CSO does Stravinsky, Strauss and with Garrick Ohlsson on piano Mozart’s concerto No. 20 Aug. 9, Steve Martin and Martin Short plusThe Steep Canyon Rangers and Jeff Babko are in the Pavilion Aug. 12, Michael Feinstein and Kristin Chenoweth are there Aug. 14, opera stars Frederica Von Stade and Laurie Rubin come Aug. 16, Earth Wind & Fire are in the Pavilion Aug. 17, Sugarland returns Aug. 23, The Beach Boys and Righteous Brothers are in town for an evening of oldies but goodies Aug. 24 there are “Good Vibes with Jason Mraz and Brett Dennen on Aug. 25, Culture Club, B-52s and Thompson Twins perform Aug. 31 and Sep[t. 1
O.A.R. and Matt Nathanson come Sept. 2, Sir James Galway returns Sept. 4, Peter Serkin comes Sept. 5, 50 Cent debuts at Ravinia Sept. 6. Tony Bennett’s stylish songs are Sept.8, “Considering Matthew Shepard by Craig Hella Johnson with the Conspirare chorus (poems set to music to mark the Shepard murder that ledto the Hate Crimes Act Sept . 12 and Los Tigres del Norte end the season Sept. 16.
Pumpkins still adorn some front doorsteps and Halloween candies still sit on some shelves but with Thanksgiving coming early this year (Nov. 23) and stores looking for a cheerful buying season, holiday decorations and events are already going up and beckoning.
If you have been downtown Chicago recently near Daley Plaza you likely noticed that the Christkindlmarket is already going up for its Nov. 17 opening and that Macy’s has already decorated its State Street and some Randolph Street windows. Its 45 foot high Great Tree is up in the Walnut Room sparkling with 2,000 ornaments and 6,600 lights.
So yes, it’s somewhat early to plan on where to go for some holiday cheer of the non-alcholoic, event type. But if you don’t want to miss a fun activity, a repeat of a delightful family tradition or something that might start a new tradition, take a look at what’s coming up, print this and circle those events worth putting on your calendar.
The events tend to fall into those that open Nov. 17 and the ones that start the day after Thanksgiving on Nov. 24.
Head to Millennium Park before 6 p.m. to ooh and aah when the lights switch on the 62 foot Norway sprice donated by Darlene Dorfler, Grayslake. The Oakdale Christian Academy Choir will be singing and cast members from Goodman Theatre’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ will perform. Santa and Mrs. Claus are also expected to visit. Admission is free. The tree will be up through Jan. 6, 2018.
The Chicago Christkindlmarket opens weekdays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and stays open Friday-Saturday until 9 p.m. Location: Washington Street between Clark and Dearborn Streets. Admission free. For other information call (312) 494-2175.
See trees from a different perspective when the Morton Arboretum has lights moving on them to music. In addition there is an Illu-medallion that can now be purchased to reflect the interactive light display. Tickets are date and time specific. Morton Arboretum is at 4100 Il Hwy 53, Lisle. For more information call (630) 968-0074.
The festival opens Friday with activities and food from 4 to 8 p.m. in Lights Festival Lane (Pioneer Court) at 401 N. Michigan Avenue. The Michigan Avenue tree-lighting parade, sponsored by BMO Harris Bank and led by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, happens on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. after a day of activities starting at 11 a.m. at Pioneer Court and at Michigan Avenue shops. The parade begins at Oak Street and goes south to Wacker Drive ending with Fireworks at 6:55 p.m. .
Begun in 1942 with one tree, the exhibit now has a four-story, floor-to-dome Grand Tree plus more than 50 trees and displays. They are decorated by volunteers to represent many different cultures. MSI is at 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive.
The European holiday market is now opening in other Chicago area attractions. On Nov. 24 it opens in Naperville at the Naper Settlement, 523 S Webster St, and at the Park at Wrigley, 3637 N. Clark St.
If going to Wrigley, bring skates ($5 age 13 and older, free 12 and under) or rent them there because along with the Christkindlmarket the Park has an ice skating rink. If going there Nov. 28, take in the Tree-Lighting Ceremony when a Colorado Spruce tree from will sparkle with 2,700 bulbs. Instead of worrying about parking take the CTA Red Line or Clark bus 22 or Addison 152.
The garden welcomes winter with a wonderland of lights outside and miniature trains speeding around Chicago landmarks plus decorated halls and greenhouses inside. Entry is ticketed and datge and time specific. The garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd, just east of Edens Expessway, Glencoe. (847) 835-5440
Art Institute of Chicago’s annually welcomes the holidays with a wreathing of its famous lion statues at 10 a.m., then continues the day with hot chocolate, music and drop in art activities through 3 p.m. While there, stop downstairs at the Thorne Miniature rooms because they are fun to see and some even get a holiday decoration. The museum is at 111 S. Michigan Ave.
The good news about the Chicago theatre scene is there are many excellent productions because the city has an abundance of talented actors and directors. The bad news about the Chicago theatre scene is that there are so many good productions that it is close to impossible to fit all the shows into a busy schedule.
Indeed, there are so many theatre groups that many share their space or do a show in association with another company.
Planning ahead might help. Here are some of the shows scheduled for the 2017-18 season for several of the theaters in the city.
A group that specializes in Nordic works, Akavit is doing ‘Ghosts and Zombies’ by Henrik Ibsen and Gustav Tegby, translated by Chad Eric Bergman, Sept. 28-Oct. 29, 2017. The show will be at the Strawdog Theatre Company at 1802 W. Berenice. For tickets and other information visit Chicago Nordic.
The company has two shows planned so far for next season. First, is ‘1984’ adapted by Robert Owens, Wilton E. Hall Jr. and William A. Miles Jr. based on George Orwell’s novel. It runs Sept. 14 through Oct. 8, 2017. Secondly is ‘The Laramie Project’ by Moisés Kaufman and members of Tectonic Theater Project, June 7 to July 8 2018. Both shows will be at The Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St. For tickets and other information visit AstonRep.
Black Ensemble Theater
The company is doing ‘The Black Renaissance (More Than A Moment In History)’ Oct. 14-Nov. 19,2017 followed by ‘Sammy: The Story of Sammy Davis Jr.’ Dec. 9, 2017 to Jan. 21, 2018. Black Ensemble Theater is at 4450 N Clark St. For more information call (773) 769-4451 and visit Black Ensemble.
The company just ended its award winning “At the Table” production which sold out even after it was extended so check back to Broken Nose Theatre for updates on next season.
The new Court Theatre season starts with ‘Five guys Named Moe,’ a musical by Clarke Peters, Sept. 7 to Oct. 8, 2017. Next is ‘The Belle of Amhurst’ by William Luce based on Emily Dickinson’s diaries, letters and poems, Nov. 2 to Dec. 3, 2017. Arthur Miller’s ‘All My Sons’ starts the new year Jan. 11 to Feb. 11, 2018 followed by Todd Kreidler’s ‘Guess Who’s coming to Dinner,’ Mar. 15 to Apr. 15, 2018. The season ends with John Strand’s ‘The Originalist,’ May 10-June 10.
Court Theatre is at 5535 S. Ellis Ave. on the University of Chicago Campus. For tickets and other information visit Court Theatre.
The group is doing ‘Open Season,’ written and performed by Adithi Chandrashekar, Sept. 15 to 17, 2017. An inaugural production of its 4802 Play Development Program, the show is free of charge. The next show is ‘A Swell in the Ground’ by Janine Nabers, Oct. 13 to Dec. 10, 2017. Gift Theatre is at 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave. For tickets and other information call (773) 283-7071 or visit Gift Theatre.
Hell in a Handbag Productions
The company has moved its long-running ‘Golden Girls’ by David Cerda to Stage 773 from Mary’s Attic. The show will be there Saturdays at 10:30 from Oct. 7 to Nov. 11. ‘Bewildered,’ based on TV’s “Bewitched” with book by Ron Weaver, music and lyrics by Aaron Benham and Ron Weaver, will run Sept. 27 to Nov. 11 at at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. For more information visit Handbag Productions.
The company opens the season with ‘Dracula,’ a world premiere adapted by Sean Graney, Oct. 7 through Nov. 5, 2017. The show will be at Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport Ave. The season contginues in April (check website for dates) with ‘Aristopanesathon,’ the eleven comedies of Aristophanes presented in a four hours and 30 minutes with food and cash bar. Adapted by Sean Graney it will be at the Chopin Theater, 1543 W. Division St. For tickets and other information visit The Hypocrites.
The House Theatreof Chicago
The company is doing ‘United Flight 232,’ adapted by Vanessa Stalling based on the book, “Flight 232,” by Laurence Gonzales. The show will run Sept. 1 to Oct 21, 2017. It is followed by ‘The Nutcracker,’ (non-ballet) by Jake Minton, Phillip Klapperich, Kevin O’Donnell, and Tommy Rapley from the E.T.A. Hoffmann story, Nov. 3 to Dec. 30, 2017.
The new year begins with ‘Hatfield and McCoy,’ a murderous musical by By Shawn Pfautsch with original songs by Pfasutsch and Matt Kahler, Jan. 19 to Mar. 11, 2018. The season ends with ‘Ellen Bond, Union Spy,’ conceived by Jess McLeod, written by Jenni Lamb with music, lyrics and movement by Tanji Harper and Blu Rhythm Collective, Mar. 30 to May 20, 2018.
The House Theatre of Chicago shows are held at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. For tickets visit House Theatre. For other show information see Season 16. More information on the Chopin Theatre, an arts venue used by several groups see Chopin Theatre.
Mercury Theater Chicago
Mercury ends the 2017 season with ‘The Christmas Schooner,’ a holiday musical tradition with book by John Reeger and music and lyrics by Julie Shannon. The show runs from Nov. 24 through Dec.31 at Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport Ave. For tickets and other information call (773) 325-1700 or visit Mercury Theater.
The company is doing “Bullets over Broadway, the musical’ Sept 11 to Oct. 8, 2017 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. In 2018 it is doing ‘If/Then, the stage musical’ with music by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, Feb 21 to Mar. 25. For more information visit NightBlue.
Working in association with Chicago Dramatists’ Grafting Project, Other Theatre is doing the world premiere of ‘The Making of a Modern Folk Hero,’ based on Martin Zimmerman’s novel, Sept. 29 to Oct. 29, 2017. The production is at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave. For tickets and more information visit Other Theatre and Chicago Dramatists.
The company is doing ‘The Civility of Albert Cashier,’ a true Civil War tale. Book is by Jaul Paul Deratany with music and lyrics by Joe Stevens and Keaton Wooden, Aug. 31 to Oct. 15. for more information visit Stage 773.
Porchlight which was present shows at Stage 773 has moved to Ruth Page Center for the Arts at 1016 N. Dearborn St. but some shows will be held at the Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie and Uptown Underground, 4707 N. Broadway, Chicago.
‘Billy Elliot, the Musical,’ based on the 2000 film with music by Elton John and book and lyrics by Lee Hall will be Oct. 6 to Nov. 19, 2017 followed by ‘Merrily We Roll Along,’ Jan 26 to Mar. 11, 2018 at the Ruth Page Center.
‘New Faces Sing Broadway 1959 will be Feb. 26 at Skokie Theatre and Feb. 27, 2018 at Uptown Underground. Then, ‘They’re Playing Our Song’ is Mar. 6 to 8, 2018 at Ruth Page.
‘Memphis’ is Apr. 19 to June 3 at Ruth Page. ‘Do Re Mi’ is May 22 to 24, 2018 at Ruth Page. ‘New Faces Sing Broadway 1975,’ is June 4 at Skokie Theatre and June 5 atUptown Underground. For directions and more information call 773-777-9884 and visit Porchlight.
The Chicago premiere of ‘Choir Boy’ By Tarell Alvin McCraney, will be at Raven Theatre Sept. 27 to Nov. 12, 2017. Then, the Chicago Premiere of ‘Nice Girl’ By Melissa Ross runs Jan. 24 to Mar. 11, 2018.
Next is the world premiere of ‘The Gentleman Caller’ by Philip Dawkins, Mar. 28 to May 13, 2018. The season ends with ‘Suddenly, Last Summer’ By Tennessee Williams, May 2 to June 17, 2018. Raven Theatre Company is at 6157 N. Clark St. For more information call (773) 338-2177 and visit Raven Theatre.
A Red Orchid Theatre
Wallace Shawn’s ‘Evening at the Talk House’ opens A Red Orchid Theatre’s 2017-18 season, Sept. 29-Nov. 19, 2017. Winter is the world premiere of ‘Traitor’ adopted by Brett Neveu from Henrik Ibsen’s ‘An Enemy of the People’ running from Jan. 5 to Feb. 15, 2018. The spring show is ’33 to Northing’ by Grant Varjas April 6 to May 27, 2018. The summer bonus show is Eugene Ionesco’s ‘Victims of Duty’ July-August (dates TBA). The theatre is at 1531 N. Wells Ave. For more information call (312) 943-8722 and visit A Red Orchid Theatre.
Red Tape Theatre
The group is moving to 4546 N Western Ave in Lincoln Square. The new venue has a spacious lobby, rehearsal space, and flexible 75-seat black-box theatre. Check back at Red Tape Theatre for season updates.
The ensemble is doing the world premiere of ‘Alias Grace,’adopted by Jennifer Blackmer from Margaret Atwood’s novel, Sept. 2 to Oct. 15, 2017. Rivendel is at 5779 N. Ridge Ave.. For more information visit Rivendell Theatre.
Route 66 Theatre
The company is presenting the Chicago premiere of Halley Feiffer’s ‘ A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center of New York City. The show runs now through Sept. 23, 2017 in The Den’s Bookspan Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Route 66 is a resident company at The Den Theatre. For more information, visit Route 66 Theatre.
Theater Wit produces shows and is a venue for resident and visiting companies.
‘Bonnie and Clyde,’ book by Ivan Menchell, music by Frank Wildhorn and lyrics by Don Black, is a Kokandy Productions resident show in Theater One, Sept. 1 to Oct. 15, 2017. ‘One Thousand Words,’ book and lyrics by Michael Braud, music by Curran Latas, is a theater Faction visiting company in Theater Two Sept. 1-17, 2017. “The Heavens are Hung in Black’ by James Still is a Shattered Globe Theatre resident company in Theater Three Sept. 7 to Oct. 21, 2017.
Theater Wit’s season also includes ‘Significant Other’ by Joshua Harmon, a co-production with About face theater, Nov. 2 to Dec. 10, 2017. Coming in 2018 is the world premiere of ‘The Antelope Party’ by Eric John Meyer, Jan. 5 to Feb. 24. The Chicago premiere of ‘Women Laughing Alone with Salad’ by Shelia Callaghan is Mar. 9 to Apr. 29, 2018.
Theater Wit is as 1229 W. Belmont. For more information call (773) 975-8150 and visit Theater Wit.
The company opens its 42nd Season with the Chicago premiere of ‘The Rembrandt’ by Jessica Dickey, Sept. 7 to its newly extended date of Nov. 5 due. The show is in the Upstairs Theatre.
Then ‘The Minutes’ by Tracy Letts goes from Nov. 9 to Dec. 31, 2017 in the Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St.
Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ begins the 2017-18 season of Steppenwolf for Young Adults (SYA) Oct. 8 to Oct 21.
Steppenwolf is at 1650 N. Halsted. Check SYA times and dates and more information on the regular season by calling (312-335-1650 and visiting Steppenwolf.
Federico Garcia Lorca’s ‘Yerma,’ adopted by Héctor Alvarez with music by Nicholas Tonozzi is co-presented by Theatre Y and Red Tape Theatre, Oct. 27 to Dec. 10. The show will be at Red Tape’s new home, 4546 N. Western Ave. For more information visit Theatre Y.
The company’s season has already begun with Robert O’Hara’s ‘Barbecue,’ running from mid-August to Sept. 30, 2017 at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre at 1700 N. Halsted St. The new year will start with Henrik Ibsen’s ‘The Pillars of Society’ adapted by Samuel Adamson. It runs Jan. 19 to March 3, 2018 in Strawdog’s new theatre at 1802 W. Berenice. The season concludes with the world premiere of ‘Damascus’ by Bennett Fisher, May 11 to June 23, 2018, also on Berenice. For other information visit Strawdog.
The company is doing the Chicago premiere of ‘The Audience by Peter Morgan, now through Nov. 12, 2017 at the TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave. Then, there is ‘In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play’ by Sarah Ruhl, Oct. 26-Dec. 16, 2017 at Stage 773.
The Chicago premiere of ‘Boy’ by Anna Ziegler will be presented back on Wellington Jan. 18 to Mar. 18, 2018 followed by the world premiere of ‘To Catch a fish’ by Brett Neveu, Developed through TimeLine’s Playwrights Collective, it runs May 3 to July 1, 2018, also on Wellington.
For more information call (773) 281-8463 or visit Timeline.
The season features five thought-provoking plays starting with ‘Fun Home’ Sept. 19 to Nov. 12, an award-winning show with music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Lisa Kron. It continues with ‘Fade,’ Nov. 4 to Dec. 23, 2017 by Tanya Saracho as a co-production with Teatro Vista in association with CLATA.
Then, 2018 starts with ‘Breach,’ Feb. 9 to March 11, by Antoinette Nwandu, followed by ‘Doing It,’ Apr. 6 to May 6, by Boo Killebrew. The season ends with ‘Mies Julie,’ May 25 to June 24. Written by Yaël Farber, it is adopted from August Strindberg’s ‘Miss Julie.’
Victory Gardens Theater is at 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. For more information call (773) 871-3000 and visit Victory Gardens.
The Lyric Opera of Chicago starts its next season Sept. 23, 2017 but you can get a sneak peek on Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. with Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park.
A free concert in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago, the preview includes arias from ‘Orphée et Euridice,’ ‘Rigoletto,’ ‘Die Walküre,’ ‘The Pearl Fishers’ and ‘Faust,’ among others.
Led by Maestro Andrew Davis conducting the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus, the program features such stars as Andriana Churchman, Dmitry Korchak, Eric Owens and Matthew Polenzani.
The concert will also be live on 98.7WFMT and at WFMT.com
The operas listed for the preview offer just a glimpse of the Lyric’s exciting 2017-18 season. The complete opera schedule exhibits a wide range of styles, moods and composers from Bizet and Mozart to Verdi and Wagner.
‘Orphée (Orpheus) and Eurydice’
By Christoph Willibald Gluck, the opera features The Joffrey Ballet, Sept. 23-Oct. 15, 2017. This is the Paris version directed and choreographed by John Neumeier. It is about the mythological Greek musician/poet, Orpheus, trying to bring back his wife, Eurydice, from the Underworld.
By Giuseppe Verdi, Oct. 7-Nov. 3, 2017, the opera centers on the revenge-bound, tragic court jester, Rigoletto, daughter Gilda and the evil Duke of Mantua. Opera goers will recognize Mantua’s “La donna è mobile,” Gilda’s “Caro nome” and the opera’s famed quartet.
By Richard Wagner, Nov.1-30, 2017, the opera continues the Lyric’s Ring cycle which started in 2016 with ‘Das Rheingold.’ Wagner’s powerful music exemplifies the strong emotions and character traits of Siegmund, Sieglinde, Brünnhilde, Wotan, Fricka and Hunding.
‘The Pearl Fishers’ (Les pêcheurs de perles)
By Georges Bizet, Nov. 19-Dec. 10, the opera includes this writer’s favorite duet for tenor and baritone. The opera takes place in Ceylon where two friends fall in love with priestess Leila.
By Giacomo Puccini, Dec. 5, 2017-Jan. 27, 2018, the opera is a fairy tale that takes place in China where the princess asks suitors to answer three riddles. Incorrect answers lead to execution. The opera features the popular aria, “Nessun dorma.”
By Vincenzo Bellini, Feb. 4-28, 2018, is a bel canto opera calling for exceptional technique as it tells the story of lovers in a England divided by the 1600’s civil war.
‘Cos fan tutte’ (The School for Lovers)
By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Feb. 17-March 16, 2018 the opera is a delightful light treat that works well on the heels of ‘I Puritani’s’ high drama. Mozart’s tale delves into intrigue worthy of Shakespeare’s comedies.
By Charles Gounod, Mar. 3-21, 2018, the opera revolves around the consequences of selling one’s soul to the devil. A popular story told in the Grand Opera style, it includes Marguerite’s “Jewel Song” and an exceptional final trio.
‘Jesus Christ Superstar’
By Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Rice, Apr. 27-May 20, 2018, the season ends with what has become a Lyric tradtition – a Broadway musical production. This season the show is Webber’s rock opera,
The Lyric Opera is at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago. For additional programs and ticket information visit Lyric or call (312)827-5600.
Late summer seems a time to get ready for back-to things such as school,a fall sport, workout classes if they stopped and volunteer activities. But August is also a good time to plan ahead to catch shows you’ll want to see. With about 250 theatre companies in the area the season can be overwhelming without checking out some of the offerings ahead of time.
The last two round-ups of what’s coming to area theatres were listings for the northern and western suburbs.
This one is for downtown Chicago. If you go you will find the venues have interesting, historic homes.
Next will be neighborhood Chicago theatres. When you see how many shows are at each venue you’ll understand how easy it is to miss one you really want to catch.
Louis Sullivan’s iconic performing arts hall showcases productions by the Joffrey Ballet and other dance companies ranging from Shen Wei Dance Arts, Ensemble Espanol and Alvin Ailey to Les Ballets de Monte Carlos, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ballet Nacional Cuba and Giordano Dance Chicago.
In addition, its season includes musical groups and singers such as Jonathan Lee, and the Jazz Gospel Messiah’s “Too Hot to Handel.” In between are lectures, documentary presentations, comedians and tributes to pop and jazz stars.
Here is the Joffrey Ballet Schedule: Gisselle Oct. 18-29, Dec. 1-30, 2017, Modern Masters (George Balenchine, Myles Thatcher, Nicolas Blanc, Jerome Robbins) Feb. 7-18, 2018, Midsummer Night’s Dream April 25-May 6.
For other production dates and the full calendar click Auditorium. The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University is at 50 E. Congress Parkway, (312) 341.2300.
Broadway in Chicago
Touring Broadway shows are typically in four venues: Cadillac Palace, 151 W. Randolph St., Oriental, 24 W. Randolph St., PrivateBank Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St. and Broadway Playhouse. Tickets are available at Broadway in Chicago and also Ticket Master by clicking on individual shows at Broadway Chicago and at the theatres’ box offices. Also call (800) 775-2000.
Of course everyone knows that the mega hit, “Hamilton” is still in town at The PrivateBank Theatre. Tickes are currently available through April 29, 2018.
At the Cadillac Palace Theatre, Disney’s “Aladdin” is there now through Sept. 10 followed by “Motown the Musical” Oct. 3-8 and “Les Miserable” Oct. 11-29. Then there is “School of Rock” Nov. 1-19 followed by Irving Berlin’s “White Chirstmas” Nov. 21-Dec. 3, 2017. “Beautiful – the Carole King Musical” returns to town, Dec. 5, 2017 and goes to Jan 28, 2018. The play, “The Humans,” comes Jan 30-Feb. 11 followed by ”Love Never Dies” Feb. 14-March 4. Then it’s “On Your Feet!” March 21-April “ followed by “Waitress,” July 3-22.
At the Oriental Theatre “Escape to Margaritaville” is Nov. 9-Dec. 2, 2017. “Wicked” is there Dec. 6-Jan. 21 2018 and “The Color Purple” goes on July 17-29, 2018.
At the Broadway Playhouse, “90210: The Musical” will be there Sept. 13- Sept. 17 followed by Ken Ludwig’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” Nov. 11-Dec. 31. 2017. Also during that time is Gobsmacked” Dec. 5-10.
The company has expanded its venue at Navy Pier to include The Yard so some of the shows are there and others in its regular hall. Check when buying tickets.
“The Taming of the Shrew is Sept.16 – Nov. 12 and James Thierrée’s “The Toad Knew” opens The Yard Sept. 19 – 23. “Amarillo” is Oct. 17 – 29, 2017 and “Red Velvet” is Dec 1, 2017 –Jan 21, 2018. “Short Shakespeare – A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is Feb 3-March 10, “Macbeth” is April 25-June 24 and “Waiting for Godot” is May 23- June 3, 2018.
For details visit Chicago Shakes and call (312-595-5600. Chicago Shakespeare is at 800 E. Grand Ave. on Navy Pier, Chicago.
The historic venue has something going on every weekend but some of the seasons highlights are Fleet Foxes, Oct. 3-4,Steve Martin and Martin Short Oct. 6-7, Tori Amos, Oct. 27 Dream Theater in contcrt, Images, Words and Beyond Mov. 3 An evening with the Avett Brothers Nov. 9-11 Celtic thunder Symphony Tour dec. 7 Joe Biden American Promise tour Dec. 11 For more information visit Chicago Theater. The Chicago Theater is at 175 N State St. For tickets call (800) 745- 3000 or go to Ticketmaster.com.
The Goodman starts fall with Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge” Sept 9 – Oct 15 followed by Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” Nov 18 – Dec 31, 2017. Rogelio Marinez’ “Blind Date” (Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev) is Jan 20- Feb. 25, 2018 followed by Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” Mar. 10-Apr 15. Emily Mann’s “Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years” is May 5-June 10 and Ellen Fairey’s “Support Group for Men” is June 23-july 29.
In addition, Goodman’s Annual New Stages Festival is Sept 20-Oct. 8. The Festival features new works by Christina Anderson, David Cale, Mikhael Tara Garver, Rebecca Gilman, Ike Holter, Jose Rivea, Mat Smart and Bess Wohl.
Goodman Theatre is at 170 N. Dearborn St. For for information visit Goodman. or call (312) 443-3800.
Harris Theatre for Music and Dance
October features Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir, and the English Baroque Soloists have announced an ambitious international tour, with concert performances of all three operas – L’Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, and L’incoronazione di Poppea – and Rennie Harris Puremovement and Arias a dn Barcarolle by Lincoln center chamber music society .
Nov. has “Hot Sardines” comeing. Cec. Brandenburg concertos. By lincon chentr chambermusic society . Jan Brian Brooks dance Companyh, and lc chanmber doing Brahms and dvorak . Feb American Ballet and chamber doing Vienna to Hollywood
March is Mark Morris dance group with the Silk Road Ensemle and then Christian Scott aTude Adjuah May is chamber duoing Tempost in C Minor.
The Harris Theater is at the north end of Millennium park at 205 E. randolph St. For tickets and more events visit Harris and call (312) 334-7777.
Lookingglass is in the historic Water Works across form Water Tower Place. The theatre company is known for artistic innovation and interpretation that often includes gymnastics.
Next season features “Hard Times” Oct. 4, 2017 – January 14, 2018, “Plantation” Feb. 21 – Apr. 22 ending with “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” May 23, Aug. 19, 2017.
Lookingglass Theatre is at 821 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611. For tickets and more information visit Lookingglass or call (312) 337-0665.
Take a look and enter it on the calendar so you don’t miss a great show.
It’s not too early to check out shows that are coming in 2017-18.
Because Metropolitan Chicago is rich in theatre and entertainment choices, what is happening and where next season is divided into areas. Click northern suburbs season options for that section. City sections will be next.
First, take a look at some of the go-to possibilities west of Chicago. They are exciting enough to attract people from other areas in and around the city.