Staff Pick: Best off-Loop theater | Best of Chicago 2019 | Arts & Culture | Chicago Reader

Staff Pick: Best off-Loop theater 

click to enlarge Court Theatre's production of King Hedley II

Court Theatre's production of King Hedley II

Michael Brosilow

Court Theatre

TRACY J. LEE
  • Tracy J. Lee

Under artistic director Charles Newell, Court Theatre is all over the place in the best possible way. Where else can you see both a rapturously well-done August Wilson epic and a mesmerizing one-man Iliad in the same season? In the 25 years since Newell took over the 250-seat theater on the University of Chicago campus, Court has become a magnet for the country's best directors, including the consistently great Ron OJ Parson (if you haven't seen one of his takes on Wilson you need to fix that), Seret Scott (whose unapologetic For Colored Girls . . . was one of last season's best), Marti Lyons (who made the maid in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner the heartbeat of the production), and the (in)famously/obsessively detail-oriented Newell himself (his Angels in America was definitive). Transcendent musicals (Porgy and Bess), hallucinatory slapstick (One Man, Two Guvnors), and scathing drama (Invisible Man)—nothing is off-menu at Court. The sole consistency? Court makes you question the world you see and opens windows on worlds you might not have noticed before. —Catey Sullivan

Next up: Oedpius Rex, opening November 7. For more info go to courttheatre.com