I've been looking over the list of plays presented by Goodman Theatre's New Stages initiative since its inception ten years ago. Pretty impressive. The roughly annual festival offers staged readings and—since 2011—workshop productions of new work by interesting playwrights, and some of the free performances have that retrospective shoulda-been-there mystique theatergoers both love and dread. Just for example: the 2005 New Stages featured an early look at Elliot, a Soldier's Fugue, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated first third of a trilogy by Quiara Alegría Hudes (who went on to win a Pulitzer for the next third, Water by the Spoonful); 2006 saw The Brothers Size from Tarell Alvin McCraney's great "The Brother/Sister Plays"; and the 2007 edition gave us Lynn Nottage's devastating (and, yes, Pulitzer-winning) Ruined. This time around New Stages is concentrating entirely on Latino playwrights, which seems to have changed the dynamic somewhat. One play is returning for a workshop production after having already received a staged reading in 2012; two of the participating playwrights are a lot better established than has been the norm. There's a smaller pool, in short, with fewer wild cards. Continue reading >>
Chicago Opera Theater remounts a collaboration the Chicago Park District in this adaptation of the Greek myth, whichtakes place on the River Styx and follows a man's quest to reunite with his dead wife.http://chicagooperatheater.org
Strangest premise for a holiday show ever: on Christmas Eve, all the stuffed animals in Tom's Taxidermy Shop come to life to sing and reflect on their pasts. It turns out each mounted critter has a sad story to tell—even the newest addition, Dasher the reindeer, who rues a lost love. The oddest thing, though, is that Andrew Park (who wrote the book) and Scott C. Lamps (who, with Park, wrote the songs) tell this gooey story about animated corpses without a hint of irony. Santa even makes an appearance! Directed by Park, the production is packed with terrific singing, dancing, and puppetry. But I kept thinking what a darkly funny holiday show a Tim Burton or a Billy Bermingham could have made from this material. —Jack Helbighttp://questensemble.org
Gloria Bond Clunie’s play tells the story of four generations who come together over the power of faith.
Sign up at 8 PM. 21+http://theglobepub.com
Hug City presents a showcase.
Theatrical events by the NUFAN Ensemble.
A BYOB comedy showcase.http://brianbabylon.com
A comedy variety show hosted Flabby Hoffman.
Rebecca O'Neil hosts this BYOB comedy show that features local stand-ups and is, curiously enough, operated out of a used book store.
Local comics Matty Ryan, Kenny DeForest, and Adam Burke present a weekly stand-up showcase.http://parlourcarcomedy.com
A weekly comedy showcase featuring local performers, hosted by Keith Paesel, Todd Massey, Ken Witzgall, and Jake McKenzie.
Burlesque by Vaudezilla Productions.