Factory Theater restages “Last Night in Karaoke Town.” | Michael Courier
Chicagoans can find a range of plays, musicals and dance shows at local theaters large and small. Our guide has the latest on what’s on stage in the city.
Welcome to our highlights of events and entertainment on stage at Chicago’s theaters. From local productions to Broadway hits, our guide has the latest on shows in the city. Bookmark this page and check back for updates and ticket information.
‘A Recipe for Disaster’
The immersive “Recipe for Disaster” includes cocktail, wine and food samples.
WHAT: Chef Rick Bayless teams up with Windy City Playhouse for “A Recipe for Disaster,” an immersive experience. Bayless, artistic director Amy Rubenstein and associate artistic director Carl Menninger created the farcical play which revolves around a trendy restaurant where everything that could go wrong does. Audiences will sample cocktails, wine and food created by Bayless. David H. Bell directs. WHEN: Performances begin Oct. 6 in an open-ended run.
WHERE: staged at the Club Level at Petterino’s, 150 N. Dearborn.
TICKETS: $90-$130. For updated information regarding the theater’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit windycityplayhouse.com.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater: ‘As You Like It’
WHAT: Shakespeare meets The Beatles in Daryl Cloran’s adaptation of the classic romantic comedy “As You Like It.” Cloran, who also directs, sets the play in the ’60s and infuses it with the music of the Beatles. More than 20 musical numbers from the Fab Four’s songbook are performed by a cast led by Lakeisha Renee as Rosalind and Liam Quealy as Orlando.
WHEN: From Oct. 6-Nov. 21
WHERE: Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand
TICKETS: $49-$90. For updated information regarding the theater’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit chicagoshakes.com.
PrideArts: ‘4000 Days’
WHAT: PrideArts presents Peter Quilter’s “4000 Days,” a comedy-drama about a man who wakes up from a three-week coma and finds he remembers nothing from the past 11 years including his relationship with his partner; directed by Jay Espano.
WHEN: From Oct. 1-31
WHERE: The Broadway, Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway
TICKETS: $30. For updated information regarding the theater’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit pridearts.org
WHAT: The Second City’s 109th revue, not yet titled, is a comedic examination of how we’re all striving to find joy in a seemingly never-ending stream of apocalyptic change from conspiracy theories to social anxiety to navigating the current political landscape.
WHEN: Presented in an open-ended run beginning Sept. 30
WHERE: The Second City, 1616 N. Wells
VISIT: For more information on the festival and updated information regarding the Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, secondcity.com/chicago-shows/
Cody Jenkins and Samantha Mbolekwa in “Rent.”
WHAT: The “Rent 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour” is the last chance to catch this celebrated touring production. Jonathan Larson’s Tony Award-winning musical follows a diverse group of artists and friends struggling to follow their dreams. It’s the first production to open to a live audience in a Broadway in Chicago theater in more than a year.
WHEN: From Oct. 5-10
WHERE: CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe
VISIT: For updated information regarding the theater’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit broadwayinchicago.com.
More on stage…
Vicki Quade’s “Holy Ghost Bingo: God, Goblins & Games” returns Oct. 1-31 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $35. Visit greenhousetheater.org.
Black Ensemble Theater’s cabaret series begins with “The Feel Good Musical Revue” at 8 p.m. Oct. 1-2 and 3 p.m. Oct. 3 at Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark. Tickets: $45. Visit blackensembletheater.org.
The House Theatre of Chicago’s 10-part “Dracula: A Serial Audio Play” begins Oct. 1 with new episodes each week. Streams free at thehousetheatre.com.
Broken Nose Theatre presents an audio adaptation of its hit 2019 family drama “Kingdom.” Streams (pay-what-you-can) from Oct. 4-24 at brokennosetheatre.com.
Winifred Haun & Dancers premiere a new work, “When day comes,” and other dances including “Your nearest exit may be behind you,” “Bento” and “Finding the Light” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1-2 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn. Tickets: $24, $35. Visit winifredhaun.org.
The experimental company Zephyr Dance performs “Recurrences,” a re-staged, shortened reconstruction of elements from its piece “Allowances and Occurrences.” At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2 and 9 at The Martin, 2500 W. Chicago. Tickets: $10. Visit zephyrdance.com.
The Chicago Tap Summit, M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ annual celebration of tap, includes classes, panels, performances and more. From Oct. 1-3 at Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. Ticket prices vary. Visit maddrhythms.com.
Destinos: Chicago International Latino Theater Festival
WHAT: Destinos: Chicago International Latino Theater Festival returns Sept. 23-Oct. 17 with its always diverse roster featuring works from Chicago and around the world. The performances, in addition to the Goodman Theatre’s staging of “American Mariachi,” performed at a various venues are Lagartijas Tirades al Sol’s “Tijuana” (Sept. 23-26), which asks the question: What does democracy mean in Mexico today?; Teatro Tariakuri’s “La manera como luces esta noche” (Sept. 25-Oct., 17), a comedic fairy tale about a princess and the commoner who loves her; Combat Hippies’ “AMAL” (Sept. 30-Oct. 3), an examination of the impact of war; Casa de Teatro’s “Mal de Amores” (Oct. 8-10), a fusion of storytelling and song as an old man tells love stories and a woman sings boleros, baladas and rancheras; Urban Theater Company’s “Brujaja” (Oct. 9-10), which pairs theater, dance and drumming; Teatro Vista’s “Futurology presents: The Fifth World” (Oct. 10-11), a new serial audio play about a true crime producer who is entangled in myth’s as old as the world; Vision Latino Theatre’s “Y tu abuela, where is she?” (Oct. 11-24), about an interracial couple seeking to modify the genes of their unborn children; Agus, Sol y Sereno’s “Corazon de Papel” (Oct. 14-17), a depiction of post-Hurricane Puerto Rico told through puppetry; Aguijon Theater’s “La Gran Tirana: Descarga dramatica” (Oct. 15-Nov. 21), a new work inspired by La Lupe, the Queen of Latin Soul.
VISIT: For more information on the festival and updated information regarding the Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit clata.org.
Photo by Madison Uphoff
WHAT: Collaboraction’s Peacebook Festival offers different perspectives on peace via films and solo performances including one by Tony Award-winner Karen Olivo (“West Side Story”). At 5:30 p.m. Sept. 25 (Kennedy-King College, 740 W. 63rd): Carla Stillwell’s “Oh, Colonizers,” a satirical film which connects the dots between capitalism and the Jan. 6 insurrection; “Encounter Englewood,” videos showcasing the life and vibrancy of Englewood and short solo works performed by Ameena Matthews, Banks Performance Project, E’mon Lauren, John Johnson, Loretta “Firekeeper” Hawkins, Mica Cole and Teh’Ray “Phenom” Hale Sr. At 5:30 p.m. Oct. 2 (Kehrein Center for the Arts, 5628 W. Washington): a screening of “Oh, Colonizers” and solo performances by Abad Viquez, Ada Cheng, Anthony Wolf, David Flores, Karen Olivo, Marvin Tate and Molly Brennan.
VISTI: For updated information regarding the festival’s Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit collaboraction.org.
‘Songs for a New World’
Courtesy of Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre’s season begins with Jason Robert Brown’s “Songs for a New World.” Pictured in rehearsal are Emily Goldberg (from left), Matthew Hunter, Averis I. Anderson and Nora Navarro.
WHAT: Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre’s season begins with Jason Robert Brown’s “Songs for a New World,” which tells the stories of people facing a variety of life-changing crisis and features a score that blends pop, gospel and jazz.
WHEN: From Sept. 24-Oct. 24
WHERE: Howard Street Theatre, 721 Howard, Evanston
VISIT: For updated information regarding the theater’s Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit theo-u.com.
‘Last Night in Karaoke Town’
Factory Theater presents “Last Night in Karaoke Town.”
WHAT: Factory Theater restages “Last Night in Karaoke Town,” Mike Beyer and Kirk Pynchon’s comedy set in one of Cleveland’s oldest karaoke bars that may have to close its doors when the new owner announces he wants to change it into a cider bar. Directed by Kim Boler.
WHEN: From Sept. 24-Nov. 6
WHERE: The Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard
VISIT: For updated information regarding the theater’s Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit thefactorytheater.com.
Steppenwolf: Tracy Letts
WHAT: Here’s a trio of treats from playwright Tracy Letts. Leading up to the Steppenwolf Theatre restaging of his play “Bug” in November, the company is streaming three short plays which Letts says, “share at least one thread: a world off-kilter… they feel very much like stories for 2021.” Rainn Wilson performs the monologue “Night Safari,” which poses questions about animal behavior and human biology; William Petersen, Karen Rodriguez and Mike Nussbaum voice the puppets in “The Old Country,” in which two men in a diner wax nostalgic; and Letts performs “The Stretch,” a monologue about a horse race that is not what it seems. Patrick Zakem directs the first two and outgoing artistic director Anna D. Shapiro directs the third.
WHEN: Streams from Sept. 29-Oct. 24
Lyric Opera: ‘The Elixir of Love’
WHAT: The Lyric Opera presents Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love,” a classic of the bel canto repertoire. The heartwarming comedy, directed by Daniel Slater, is the story of a naive waiter Nemorino (tenor Charles Castronovo) who pines for the flirtatious Adina (soprano Ailyn Perez) who also happens to be his boss.
WHEN: From Sept. 26-Oct. 8
WHERE: The Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker.
VISIT: For updated information regarding the Lyric’s Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit lyricopera.org.
WHAT: Jose Cruz Gonzalez’s “American Mariachi” is the story of a young woman, Luca (Tiffany Solano), who spends her days caring for her ailing mother, Amalia (Gigi Cervantes), but longs to shake up her life. When the mariachi songs on a forgotten album spark her mother’s memory, she sets out to create an all-female mariachi band, an unheard of idea in the 1970s, the time in which the play is set. It’s a “funny, tender-hearted story about family, tradition and memory,” says director Henry Godinez. The cast includes an ensemble of musicians from the Grammy-nominated group Sones de Mexico.
WHEN: From Sept. 18-Oct. 24
GOODMAN THEARE: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn
INFO: For updated information regarding the theater’s Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit goodmantheatre.org.
Lyric Opera — ‘Macbeth’
WHAT: The Lyric Opera’s 67th season begins with “Macbeth,” the inaugural production of music director Enrique Mazzola. The new production of Verdi’s opera from Scottish director Sir David McVicar is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, a portrait of a power-hungry couple and their bloody ascent to the throne of Scotland. Roman Burdenko portrays Macbeth with Sondra Radvanovsky as Lady Macbeth. Sung in Italian with projected English subtitles.
WHEN: From Sept. 17-Oct. 9
WHERE: Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker
INFO: For updated information regarding the Lyric’s Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit lyricopera.org.
‘The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Vol. 5 — Sex!’
Rick Aguilar Studios
Ed Jones (from left), Grant Drager and David Cerda with (bottom, right) Ryan Oates in “The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Vol. 5-Sex!”
WHAT: Hell in a Handbag Productions long-running parody series continues with “The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Vol. 5 — Sex!,” in which Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia explore their naughty side. Original cast members — David Cerda, Grant Drager, Ed Jones and Ryan Oates — star as the Geriatric Fab Four. Written by Cerda and directed by Madison Smith.
WHEN: From Sept. 16-Oct. 23
WHERE: Leather Archives & Museum, 6418 N. Greenview
INFO: For updated information regarding the theater’s Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit handbagproductions.org.
WHAT: Drury Lane Theatre returns with “Forever Plaid,” Stuart Ross and James Raitt’s musical revue packed with hit tunes from the 1950s. Paul Stancato directs.
WHEN: From Sept. 17-Nov. 7
WHERE: Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace
INFO: For updated information regarding the theater’s Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit drurylanetheatre.com.
“The Infinite Wrench” by the Neo-Futurists
WHAT: The Neo-Futurists kick off their season with the return of the late-night show “The Infinite Wrench,” in which the ensemble attempts to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes.
WHEN: Ongoing performances are at 7 p.m. Sundays
WHERE: Neo-Futurists, 5153 N. Ashland
INFO: For updated information regarding the theater’s Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit neofuturists.org.
‘Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992’
Courtesy of Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre
Jazzma Pryor in “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992.”
WHAT: Jazzma Pryor stars in Anna Deavere Smith’s tour-de-force solo show “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992.” In it she portrays nearly four dozen people who were connected either directly or indirectly to the 1992 Los Angeles riots that erupted after the trial and acquittal of the police officers accused of assaulting Rodney King. The playwright shaped the piece from interviews that she conducted while researching the play. Tim Rhoze directs.
WHEN: From Sept. 11-26
WHERE: Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre at Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes, Evanston
TICKETS: $25. For vaccination and/or mask policies, visit fjtheatre.com.
‘The World Goes Round’
Kevin Earley (from left), Allison E. Blackwell, Meghan Murphy, Joseph Anthony Byrd, Amanda Rose are featured in “The World Goes Round” at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire.
WHAT: The songs of musical theater team John Kander and Fred Ebb are the centerpiece of the revue “The World Goes Round.” The hit parade of songs includes selections from “Cabaret,” “New York, New York,” “All That Jazz,” “Funny Lady,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” “Maybe This Time” and more. The cast features Allison E. Blackwell, Joseph Anthony Byrd, Kevin Earley, Meghan Murphy and Amanda Rose; Marcia Milgrom Dodge directs and choreographs.
WHEN:From Sept. 15-Nov. 7
WHERE: Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire
TICKETS: $50-$60. For vaccination and/or mask policies, visit marriotttheatre.com.
Photo by Steve Graue
Sheila Willis (from left), Cameron Feagin, Kat Evans, Julia Kessler and Maggie Cain star in “Thirteen Days” at City Lit Theater.
WHAT: “Thirteen Days” is Brian Pastor’s adaptation of Robert F. Kennedy’s memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The world-premiere play, performed by an all-female cast, is set in President John F. Kennedy’s Situation Room where he maneuvers his way through the conflicting counsel of his advisors as the world comes close to nuclear war. Leading the cast are Cameron Feagin as JFK and Kat Evans as Attorney General Robert Kennedy; Pastor directs.
WHEN: Sept. 10-Oct. 24
WHERE: City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr
TICKETS: $32. For vaccination and/or mask policies, visit citylit.org.
‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’
WHAT: Citadel Theatre presents Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” a comedy about a teen who must cope with the mundane existence of his life in Brooklyn.
WHEN: Sept. 15-Oct. 17
WHERE: Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan, Lake Forest
TICKETS: $20-$45. For vaccination and/or mask policies, visit citadeltheatre.org.
Thomas J. King
Michael Wordly makes his Paramount Theatre debut as Lola in “Kinky Boots.”
What: Live performances return for a new season at the Paramount Theatre with Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein’s high-kicking “Kinky Boots.” This first regional production of the Broadway musical, directed by Trent Stork, stars Devin DeSantis as Charlie, the shoemaker attempting to save his failing shoe factory, and Michael Wordly as Lola, the fierce drag queen who shows him the way.
When: Aug. 18-Oct. 17
Where: Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena, Aurora
For updated information regarding the theater’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit paramountaurora.com.
WHAT: Theatre Y’s ambitious new adventure “You Are Here: The Emerald Camino Project” is a return of its urban pilgrimages, this time through Daniel Burnham’s Emerald Necklace — the boulevard system that links the public parks on Chicago’s West and South sides. The immersive 12-part walking experience was created with artists, community leaders and organizations across a dozen communities. “This is a joyful post-pandemic experience that connects Chicago’s diverse communities through the intersection of conversation and art,” says Theatre Y’s artistic director, Melissa Lorraine. If you are walking through the neighborhood in which you live, admission is free; all other participants are Theatre Y Members or encouraged to become members (for as little as $5/month).
WHEN: Aug. 21-Sept. 26 For updated information regarding the theater’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies as well as dates and times for each walk, visit theatre-y.com.
Blue Man Group
Caroline Talbot Photography
Blue Man Group
What: Those crazy characters in blue return for more goofy fun. The show, which encourages audiences to reconnect with their inner child, is a combination of art, music, comedy and technology.
Where: Briar Street Theatre, 3133 N. Halsted.
For updated information regarding the theater’s Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit blueman.com.
The artistry and the excitement of Teatro ZinZanni returns to Chicago starting July 8. Pictured: Lea Hinz.
What: The immersive, whirlwind theater experience that is Teatro ZinZanni has reopened featuring a new show with a cast of comedians, aerialists, acrobats, singers, dancers and a gourmet meal, it brings comedy, music and cirque back after a long pandemic hiatus. Included among the performers are powerhouse vocalists Storm Marrero and Cunio, aerial acts Lea Hinz and Duo 19, veteran comedians Frank Ferrante and Joe DePaul and acrobatic dancers Mickael and Vita.
Where: Spiegeltent ZaZou on the 14th floor of the Cambria Hotel, 32 W. Randolph
Tickets: $119-$189; limited show only tickets $69. Visit zinzanni.com/chicago.