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107 total results

Another Kind of Love

Through 6/14: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2 PM

Life isn't about avoiding pain but plumbing its depths and managing the results wails Another Kind of Love, a female-driven punk-rock masterpiece by Crystal Skillman, now receiving a debut production from InFusion Theatre Company. Maybe masterpiece isn't quite the right word—it suggests something lofty and out of reach, where this play banks on raw and accessible if festering emotions. But an artistic achievement it is. The Brooklyn-based Skillman has previously tackled angsty relationships and paid fan-girl tributes, but this time she gives us sisters, those lovable/hateful creatures simultaneously in each other's arms and at each other's throats. Here there are three of them, ex-members of a Riot Grrrl-era band, now in their 30s and struggling to find a way forward. The oldest, Tanya, stayed in Seattle's suburbia with her 15-year-old daughter, Max, while the others, Kit and Collin, cashed in on fame to varying degrees. They haven't seen each other since the band broke up, but after urgings from Max—herself a punk rocker in the making—the sisters reunite on the anniversary of their rock-star mother's suicide. Continue reading >> $25, $20 seniors, $15 students
Chopin Theatre (map)
1543 W. Division St.
Ukrainian Village/East Village
phone 773-769-3832
Another Kind of Love


Antic's Roadshow With Devon Meyers

Through 6/25: Thu 10 PM

A musical send-up of Antiques Roadshow. $10

MCL Chicago (map)
3110 N. Sheffield


Bad Jews

Through 6/21: Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 2 and 8 PM, Sun 2 PM

Any self-respecting member of the tribe might be expected to approach Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews with caution—and not just because of the title. A summary of the 2012 comedy suggests loud, rude, grasping, aggrieved Jews as well as bad ones. Good old Poppy Feygenbaum has died, and his twentysomething grandkids are converging on New York for the funeral, shiva, and distribution of heirlooms. Daphna (hebraicized from Diana) is bunking with cousin Jonah at Jonah's studio apartment on the Upper East Side; Jonah’s older brother Liam (goyishized from Shlomo) is joining them late, having stayed conveniently out of touch during an Aspen ski trip. They're not a congenial bunch. Daphna has epic boundary issues and a vicious streak that could be photographed from space. Spoiled, dictatorial Liam has brought home a shiksa named Melody. Both of them want the chai pendant Poppy kept with him against all odds while consigned to a Nazi concentration camp. Their stupendously ugly knock-down-drag-out over the pendant's fate constitutes the action of the play. So: a shande far di goyim? A load of dirty laundry for the delectation of strangers? Oddly, no. What keeps Bad Jews from becoming yet another embarrassing episode in that ongoing cultural sitcom you might call America's Silliest Jews is, first, the witty, ruthless precision with which Harmon plumbs so much of what American Jews actually think, often in spite of themselves; second, the way his satire opens out into a compassionate look at what it means to be a millennial Jew. Then there’s Jeremy Wechsler's nasty-brilliant production for Theater Wit. Ian Paul Custer is an absorbing asshole (awful as that sounds) as Liam, while Laura Lapidus makes Daphna utterly mesmerizing as she dances through Jonah's apartment, performing a kind of scorched-earth psychic ballet. —Tony Adler $36

Theater Wit (map)
1229 W. Belmont
phone 773-975-8150


Beast on the Moon

Through 6/6: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM

Michael Menendian's staging starts with a montage: photos, film, and news clippings depicting the 1915 genocide during which Muslim Turks murdered an estimated 1.5 million Christian Armenians by means that included crucifixion. It's essential viewing, both as an education in calculated savagery and as a preamble to Richard Kalinoski's drama about two survivors. Aram is a portrait photographer who hid while the rest of his family were beheaded; Seta is his "picture bride," whose mother was among the crucified. Married strangers, they struggle with trauma, their own and each other's. The plotting is pat and speeches strain for lyricism at times. But the ferocity of the performances goes a long way toward neutralizing all cliches. Matt Browning's Aram is one desperately messed-up refugee, while Sophia Menendian combines deep wounds with a powerful life force as Seta. —Tony Adler $15-$36

Raven Theatre (map)
6157 N. Clark St.
phone 773-338-2177
Beast on the Moon


The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez

Through 7/19: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2 PM

Zeljko Djukic of TUTA directs the U.S. (and English-language) premiere of a play by Peter Handke. $20, $15 students and seniors

Theatre Y (map)
2649 N. Francisco Ave.
Logan Square


Belfast Girls

Through 6/14: Thu-Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 3 and 7:30 PM, Sun 6 PM

In her 2011 play, Jaki McCarrick’s got great material and lousy strategy. She focuses on five young Irish women in 1850, crowded with a few hundred others on a ship headed for Sydney, hoping to outrun the traumatic consequences of the Great Famine, oblivious to the equally traumatizing realities that await in Australia. It's a fascinating, horrifying slice of Irish history (some 4,000 women took this journey between 1848 and 1851), but McCarrick can't bring it credibly to life. In act one she devotes all her time to outlining her characters and their historical moment, forgetting to let something happen. Overcompensating, she turns act two into a mad, melodramatic rush of personal crises and emotional implosions. Artemisia director Julie Proudfoot’s honorable cast go down swinging. —Justin Hayford $25, $15 students and seniors
Den Theatre (map)
1329-1333 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Wicker Park/Bucktown
phone 773-609-2336


Bible Bingo: An Act of Charity in Two Acts

Open run: Fri-Sat 8 PM

A former nun holds a bingo fundraiser for her church in this interactive one-woman comedy written by Vicki Quade (Late Nite Catechism). $30
Royal George Theatre Center (map)
1641 N. Halsted St.
Lincoln Park
phone 312-988-9000


Big Fish

Through 6/7: Wed-Thu 2 PM, Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2:30 PM

A musical based on Tim Burton's 2003 film. $40-$44

Theatre at the Center (map)
1040 Ridge Rd.
phone 219-836-3255


Billy Elliot

Through 6/7: Thu 1:30 and 8 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 5 and 8:45 PM, Sun 2 and 6 PM, Wed 1:30 PM

In the beginning there was Lee Hall's movie about a British miner's son who finds his bliss in ballet during the grim coal strike of 1984. Then Hall and Elton John collaborated on a stage version that became a hit, running in various official productions around the world. (A national touring company came here in 2010.) Now individual theaters can license the material, which is what the folks at Drury Lane did before wisely handing it over to director Rachel Rockwell. Unfettered by the need to replicate the original, Rockwell has come up with a show that's both strong in the fundamentals and full of surprises. Also, saturated with engaging performances by such locally harvested talents as Susie McMonagle, Ron E. Rains, and Maureen Gallagher. Kyle Halford and Nicholas Dantes trade off as Billy; I saw the long-limbed Dantes and was amazed at the clarity of his dancing. But the subversive star of the piece is nine-year-old Zachary Uzarraga, whom Rockwell uses as a kind of imp of mischief, not unlike Billy Barty in Gold Diggers of 1933. —Tony Adler $52.50-$67.50

Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace (map)
100 Drury Ln.
Other Suburbs West
phone 630-530-0111
Billy Elliot


The Birds

Through 6/28: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM

Griffin Theatre presents a drama by Connor McPherson, based on the story by Daphne du Maurier. $25-$35

Theater Wit (map)
1229 W. Belmont
phone 773-975-8150


Blue Man Group

Open run: Thu 8 PM, Fri 7 PM, Sat 2, 5, and 8 PM, Sun 4 and 7 PM
phone 773-348-4000

At the Briar Street Theatre since 1997, the cobalt zanies have added wizard-worthy tricks to an already potent mix of visual puns, physical stunts, and cultural commentary. The latest edition conjures up a 2.5-D universe, giant "GiPads" that perform outsized multitasking, and Lady Gaga hat spin-offs. The same subversive spirit fuels the show's still-potent signature bits, including splatter-crazed "paint drumming." The secret of their cerulean success? Understanding that laughter and thought can be BFFs. —Lawrence Bommer $49-$59

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Briar Street Theatre (map)
3133 N. Halsted St.
phone 773-348-4000

Bob: A Life in Five Acts

Through 6/7: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 5 PM

Heroes all have their origin stories, but being born in a White Castle bathroom seems apt for producing a special kind of American legend. So begins the life of Bob, an average schmo looking to become a great man. This play by San Francisco-based Peter Sinn Nachtrieb roots itself firmly in vaudeville, sketch comedy, and every other great form of tongue-in-cheek/wink/nudge humor. And LiveWire Chicago Theatre's low-budget production slips the material on like a glove—after all, coming into the world at a slider joint doesn’t exactly lend itself to fancy airs. LiveWire artistic director Brian Crawford does fine as Bob, but it’s the pseudo Greek chorus that zips us pleasantly along, converting one man’s mundane life into a multifaceted and nuanced look at success—or whatever it is we all toil so hard for. —Chloe Riley $20
Flat Iron Arts Building (map)
1579 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Wicker Park/Bucktown
phone 312-335-3000
Bob: A Life in Five Acts


Boobs on Endor: A Return of the Jedi Burlesque

Open run: Sat 10:30 PM

George Lucas made poor horny nerds wait until the third Star Wars installment before trading up Princess Leia's dowdy royal gown for a metal bikini. Gorilla Tango's new all-female burlesque parody makes titillating use of the iconic costume early in one of the more salacious dance numbers by choreographer Kaitlin Fleharty, but the rest is a lot cheekier. Fighters on both sides of the Force and a whole lot of ewoks take turns stripping down to their pasties to Nicki Minaj and Icona Pop (I guess the John Williams score would be out of place) while loosely spoofing the movie. In Nicole Keating's production, sexuality takes a backseat to butt puns and good-natured goofiness, and the diverse body types of her cast are in keeping with the show's emphasis on positivity. —Dan Jakes $22-$28

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Gorilla Tango Theatre (map)
1919 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Wicker Park/Bucktown
phone 773-598-4549


Breakneck Hamlet

Through 6/7: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM

Tim Mooney presents a whirlwind one-man adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy. $20

Clockwise Theatre (map)
221 N. Genesee Street
Other Suburbs North
phone 847-775-1500


Broadzilla! The Burlesque Beast

Open run: last Friday of the month, 10 PM

Burlesque by Vaudezilla Productions.

Exit (map)
1315 W. North Ave.
Wicker Park/Bucktown
phone 773-395-2700


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