Now Playing Onstage in Chicago - Week of 11/29/2015

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RENT
ARTISTS GIVING BACK
12/1-12/1/2015

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WORLD AIDS DAY PRODUCTION OF RENT
Athenaeum Theatre
12/1-12/1/2015
Artists Giving Back is thrilled to announce our first major project! December 1, 2015 – World AIDS Day, Artists Giving Back will be producing RENT at Chicago’s Historic Athenaeum Theatre with all proceeds going directly to Aids Foundation Chicago. Joining the World AIDS Day Rent cast is LGBT singer/songwriter superstar and Chicagoland native, Steve Grand, as a special featured guest artist. Mr. Grand, singer of the viral sensation “All-American Boy” released his independent debut album also titled “All-American Boy,” in March of 2015, which landed the #3 spot on the Billboard Independent albums chart. Mr. Grand will perform “Seasons of Love” during the production, and will attend the RENT cast-and-audience after party, which will be hosted by Progress Bar (3359 N Halsted, Chicago) Tickets on sale Sept. 25. Tickets can be purchased from Artists Giving Back, www.artistsgivingback.org, or from the Athenaeum Theatre, www.athenaeumtheatre.org.
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A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD
OAK PARK RIVER FOREST HIGH SCHOOL
11/30-12/2/2015

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SWEENEY TODD
VICTOR J ANDREW HIGH SCHOOL
12/3-12/5/2015

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DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR
ROSELLE PARK DISTRICT
12/5-12/5/2015

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URINETOWN
UNIV OF CHICAGO UNIVERSITY THEATRE
12/3-12/5/2015

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL
VIKING SCHOOL
12/3-12/5/2015

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A GHOST TALES FOR MR. DICKENS JR
CERRO GORDO MIDDLE SCHOOL
12/5-12/5/2015

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LITTLE WOMEN
HARVEST CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
12/3-12/5/2015

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HAIRSPRAY
WHEATON DRAMA INC
11/13-12/6/2015

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MARY POPPINS
WILMINGTON COMMUNITY THEATER
12/3-12/6/2015

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SHREK THE MUSICAL JR
COMMUNITY PARK DISTRICT OF LA GRANGE PARK
12/4-12/6/2015

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JUNIE B. JONES THE MUSICAL
GALESBURG THEATRE KIDS
12/4-12/6/2015

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SEUSSICAL JR
CENTRAL JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL
12/4-12/6/2015

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AGAMEMNON
Court Theatre
11/5-12/6/2015
Aeschylus ; trans: Nicholas Rudall; dir: Charles Newell.
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NEVER THE SINNER
Victory Gardens Theater
11/6-12/6/2015
John Logan; dir: Gary Griffin.
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FOREVER PLAID
METAMORA THESPIAN SOCIETY
12/2-12/6/2015

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DISNEY'S WINNIE THE POOH KIDS
NAZARETH ACADEMY
12/6-12/6/2015

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LEGALLY BLONDE
EAST RICHLAND HIGH SCHOOL
12/4-12/6/2015

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SHREK THE MUSICAL
POTTER'S HOUSE OAK LAWN
12/3-12/6/2015

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ELF-THE MUSICAL JR.
GIBBYSTOCK PRODUCTIONS
12/3-12/6/2015

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MERRY CHRISTMAS, MULCH PILE!
Mercy Street Theatre Company
12/3-12/6/2015
Santa Claus is done with Christmas. No more gifts, no more carols, no more cheer. While on his final sweep of the globe, Saint Nick befriends Laura, a young trans woman just coming to terms with her identity. Santa hides while Laura struggles to be seen as they search for the thing between selfish and selfless. MERRY CHRISTMAS, MULCH PILE! w?ill be produced in partnership with C?hicago House,? an organization dedicated to serving disenfranchised individuals and families in the LGBTQ community. At the heart of Dakota Parobek’s yule­tide masterpiece is Laura, a young trans woman working to assert herself in an unwelcoming community. This struggle is an all-­too-­familiar one for trans and gender nonconforming individuals everywhere. By joining with Chicago House, we are looking to confront the central issues of this play in a meaningful way.
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LETTERS HOME
Griffin Theatre Company
10/16-12/7/2015
William Massolia; dir: William Massolia.
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DISNEY'S PETER PAN JR
ROUND LAKE AREA PARK DISTRICT COMMUNITY THEATRE
12/1-12/10/2015

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ONCE ON THIS ISLAND
CORN STOCK THEATRE
12/4-12/12/2015

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SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE
ROCK VALLEY COLLEGE
12/2-12/12/2015

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ELF-THE MUSICAL JR.
CENTER FOR LIVING ARTS
12/4-12/12/2015

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THE LONG CHRISTMAS RIDE HOME
Strawdog Theatre Company
10/30-12/12/2015
CHICAGO - Strawdog Theatre Company and Artistic Director Hank Boland are proud to announce the second main stage production in its 2015 - 2016 season, Paula Vogel’s The Long Christmas Ride Home, October 30 - December 12, directed by Josh Sobel, at Strawdog Theatre Company, 3829 N. Broadway St. Preview performance tickets are $15 with performances Thursday, Nov. 5, Friday, Oct. 30 and Nov. 6, Saturday, Oct. 31 and Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 1 and Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. There is a Board Preview Event Saturday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. with $50 tickets that include access to a post-performance reception. Opening Night performance is Monday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. The performance schedule is Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. An industry performance is Monday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. and a fully accessible performance in conjunction with the Access Project at Victory Gardens is Thursday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m.* Single Tickets are $28 and on sale now. Subscriptions, group, rush, senior and student discounts are also available. Tickets may be ordered online at strawdog.org or by calling OvationTix toll-free: 866-811-4111. Past, present and future collide for a troubled family on a snowy Christmas Eve when their car spins out of control after a disastrous holiday dinner. This hauntingly beautiful and poetic play by Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Paula Vogel is told with actors and the centuries-old form of Japanese puppetry, Bunraku. The Long Christmas Ride Home deftly navigates the lasting impact of a moment in the lives of three siblings Stephen (Sam Hubbard), Claire (Kristen Johnson) and Rebecca (Sarah Gitenstein) that sets the rest of their lives in motion. Additional cast includes Ensemble Member John Taflan with guest artists Ed Dzialo and Lorretta Rezos. The production team also includes Strawdog Company Ensemble Members Sarah Goeden, assistant director; Mike Mroch, scenic designer; John Kelly, lighting designer; with guest artists Raquel Adorno, costume designer; Alexa Berkowitz, stage manager; Peter Carpenter, choreographer; Stephanie Diaz, puppet designer; Jamie Karas, properties designer; Jeffrey Levin, sound designer, and Michelle Underwood, projection designer. *FULLY ACCESSIBLE PERFORMANCE Strawdog Theatre Company continues its partnership with the Access Project at Victory Gardens to present The Long Christmas Ride Home at Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, in the Prince Charitable Trust Rehearsal Room, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Thursday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m., with a touch tour at 6:45 p.m. The performance is fully wheelchair accessible with audio description and open captioning. ABOUT PAULA VOGEL, PLAYWRIGHT Paula Vogel is a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and chair of the playwriting department at the Yale School of Drama. A proficient playwright since the 1970s, Vogel first gained national attention for her play The Baltimore Waltzthat won the Obie Award for “Best Play.” Not just a renowned playwright Vogel has taught a menagerie of esteemed playwrights including, Pulitzer Prize winners Nilo Cruz, Lynn Nottage and Quiara Algeria Hundes. ABOUT JOSH SOBEL, DIRECTOR Josh Sobel is an ensemble member and literary manager of Strawdog Theatre Company, where he directed the world premieres of The Hunting of the Snark(subsequently remounted with Chicago’s “Night Out In The Parks” and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Best Beloved: The Just So Stories and The Pied Piper in Hugen Hall. Directing credits include work at Victory Gardens, Steep Theatre, A Red Orchid Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Collaboraction, The Ruckus, LiveWire, WildClaw, Tympanic, Polarity Ensemble, Fine Print Theatre, Citadel, the side project and New Leaf. He is also currently the artistic director at Haven Theatre and the former associate director of the National Theater Institute summer program at the O’Neill Theater Center. Sobel is currently an associate member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. ABOUT STRAWDOG THEATRE COMPANY Since its founding in 1988, Strawdog Theatre Company has offered Chicagoland the premiere storefront theatre experience and garnered numerous Non-Equity Jeff Awards with its commitment to ensemble acting and an immersive design approach. The celebrated Company develops new work, re-imagines the classics, melds music with theatre, asks provocative questions and delivers their audience the unexpected. Strawdog Theatre Company and Artistic Director Hank Boland are proud to announce the second main stage production in its 2015 - 2016 season, Paula Vogel’s The Long Christmas Ride Home, October 30 - December 12, directed by Josh Sobel, at Strawdog Theatre Company, 3829 N. Broadway St. Preview performance tickets are $15 with performances Thursday, Nov. 5, Friday, Oct. 30 and Nov. 6, Saturday, Oct. 31 and Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 1 and Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. There is a Board Preview Event Saturday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. with $50 tickets that include access to a post-performance reception. Opening Night performance is Monday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. The performance schedule is Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. An industry performance is Monday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. and a fully accessible performance in conjunction with the Access Project at Victory Gardens is Thursday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m.* Single Tickets are $28 and on sale now. Subscriptions, group, rush, senior and student discounts are also available. Tickets may be ordered online at strawdog.org or by calling OvationTix toll-free: 866-811-4111. RUSH TICKETS Strawdog Theatre Company offers six tickets at a 50% discount one hour before every production. The rush ticket must be purchased in person, exclusively at the Strawdog Box Office. Limit of two tickets per person, not applicable with other discounts, offers or on previously purchased tickets, first come, first served. The neighborhood has limited paid parking and is easily accessible by public transportation (via the Red Line Sheridan stop, plus 36-Broadway, 80-Irving Park, and 151-Sheridan buses). # # # Strawdog Theatre Company is supported in part by The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Alphawood Foundation, The Saints, the Illinois Arts Council (a state agency) and the annual support of businesses and individuals.
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HAIRSPRAY
WHEATON DRAMA INC
11/20-12/13/2015

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POCATELLO
Griffin Theatre Company
11/7-12/13/2015
Samuel Hunter; dir: Jonathan Berry.
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YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU
Northlight Theatre
11/6-12/13/2015
Moss Hart, George S. Kaufman; dir: Devon de Mayo.
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SHREK THE MUSICAL JR
YOUTH COMPANY CHICAGO
12/6-12/13/2015

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SPILL
Timeline Theatre Company
10/24-12/19/2015
Leigh Fondakowski; dir: Leigh Fondakowski.
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MAUL SANTA: THE MUSICAL
Public House Theatre
12/4-12/19/2015
Christmas is in danger! After 1,000 years of marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Claus’ relationship is on the rocks as things boil over during one of their routine mall stops. Moments later, a zombie invasion breaks out threatening to destroy the holiday season! Can Mr. and Mrs. Claus work past their differences to save Christmas and life as we know it, let alone their fractured relationship, before humanity is doomed? Time to get locked and loaded for this action packed zombie rock musical!
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JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH-TYA
ACTORS TRAINING CENTER
12/4-12/20/2015

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CHRISTMAS SCHOONER
VERO VOCE SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS
12/4-12/20/2015

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SEUSSICAL-THEATRE YOUNG AUDIENCES
MARRIOTT'S LINCOLNSHIRE
11/6-12/20/2015

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IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE- A LIVE RADIO PLAY
Oil Lamp Theater
11/19-12/20/2015
Joe Landry; dir: Keith Gerth.
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AIN'T MISBEHAVIN'
PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE
11/14-12/20/2015

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Quest Theatre Ensemble
11/20-12/20/2015
Quest Theatre Ensemble will bring its visual artistry and immersive theatricality to the Alan Menken-Lynn Ahrens musical version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This version with music by Menken, the multiple Oscar winning composer of Disney musicals Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Newsies; and lyrics by the Tony award-winning lyricist of Ragtime, Seussical and Once on this Island, was a hit for ten consecutive seasons at New York’s Madison Square Garden and was later filmed by television in a production starring Kelsey Grammer as Scrooge. Quest’s production will be directed by Quest Ensemble Director Andrew Park.
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PLAID TIDINGS
STEEL BEAM THEATRE
11/20-12/27/2015

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38TH ANNUAL A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Goodman Theatre
11/14-12/27/2015
adapt: Tom Creamer from Charles Dickens; music: Andrew Hansen; dir: Henry Wishcamper.
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TWIST YOUR DICKENS, OR SCROOGE YOU!
Goodman Theatre
12/4-12/27/2015
Peter Gwinn, Bobby Mort.
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IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: LIVE IN CHICAGO!
American Blues Theater
11/20-12/27/2015
CHICAGO—Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside and American Blues Theater, Chicago’s second oldest Equity ensemble, are proud to announce the return of the critically acclaimed It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, on the main stage of the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., November 20 – December 27. “Pink Previews,” where tickets sales benefit the Lynn Sage Foundation for breast cancer research, play November 20 – November 22 following the regular schedule. The press/opening night performance is Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 7:30p.m. The running time is approximately 90 minutes. Tickets are $19 - $49 and are on sale now through the box office 773.404.7336 or online at AmericanBluesTheater.com. The performance schedule is Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. with additional holiday performances to be announced. For more information visit www.AmericanBluesTheater.com. From the original Ensemble that brought this holiday tradition to Chicago since 2002, the American Blues family takes you back to a 1940s radio broadcast of Frank Capra’s holiday classic—It’s a Wonderful Life (based on the short story “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern) with live Foley sound effects, an original score and a critically-acclaimed cast of eight that bring the entire town of Bedford Falls to life. This production that has been called “perfect Christmas theater” and “first-class holiday fare” returns to the Greenhouse Theater Center this season. From the moment you walk through the doors, you will be transported back to the “Golden Age of Radio” and experience the story of George Bailey like never before. In addition to the heart-warming story performed, the production includes 1940s-style commercials from actual local sponsors, holiday carols, telegrams from the audience read live on the stage, the “Soldier Spotlight;” when American Blues Theater honors one serviceman or servicewoman per performance; and after the show, the entire audience is invited to join the cast and crew for milk and cookies. The 2015 production includes a new George and Mary Bailey, Artistic Affiliate Zach Kenney and Amanda Tanguay. Gwendolyn Whiteside, who played Mary Bailey for six years, updates the pre-show entertainment and the production and directs Kenney and Tanguay in the tradition of American Blues’ award-winning ensemble acting. The performance also includes musical additions by Music Director Michael Mahler and Austin Cook’s original score for the production. Returning are American Blues Theater Ensemble Members John Mohrlein (Mr. Potter/Clarence) and Michael Mahler(pianist/announcer). Also returning this year are American Blues Theater Artistic Affiliates James Joseph (Uncle Billy), Ian Paul Custer (Harry) and Shawn Goudie (Foley artist) with guest artist Denice Mahler (Violet). The production crew includes American Blues Theater artists Marty Higginbotham (original direction); Gwendolyn Whiteside (direction); Michael Mahler (music direction); Samantha Jones (co-costume design), Christopher Neville (co-costume design), Austin Cook (underscore composer), Grant Sabin (scenic design), Kathryn Lochert (stage manager), Arianna Soloway (props), Paul Deziel (video) and guest artist Katy Peterson (lighting design). COMMUNITY SERVICE FOR It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! American Blues Theater is proud to continue “Pink Previews” for this production. Proceeds from preview performances are donated to the Lynn Sage Foundation for breast cancer research. They also partner with Misericordia, USO and U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. SPECIAL EVENTS Select performances also include special events: Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2:30 p.m., American Blues Theater and It’s a Wonderful Life celebrates Hanukkah, with all children 12 years old and younger in attendance receiving a commemorative keepsake. And Sunday, Dec. 20, following the 2:30 p.m. performance, Santa Claus swings by to meet with guests and distribute keepsakes to all children 12 years old and younger. ABOUT AMERICAN BLUES THEATER American Blues Theater is the premier American theater producing visceral theatrical works while engaging its audience in missions of local service agencies. American Blues Theater illuminates the American ideas of freedom, equality, and opportunity in the plays produced and communities served. The multi-generational and interdisciplined artists have established the second-oldest professional Equity Ensemble theater in Chicago. The 39-member Ensemble has 539 combined years of collaboration on stage. As of 2015, they’ve individually received nearly 150 Joseph Jefferson Awards and nominations that celebrate excellence in Chicago theater including the 2014 Jeff Awards for Production-Musical-Midsize, Hank Williams: Lost Highway; Actor in a Principal Role – Musical, Matthew Brumlow, Hank Williams: Lost Highway; Solo Performance, Gwendolyn Whiteside, Grounded; Music Direction, Malcolm Ruhl, Hank Williams: Lost Highway and Sound Design, Lindsay Jones, Grounded and over 22 Black Theatre Alliance Awards. The artists are honored with Pulitzer Prize nominations, Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades. Photo credit: Jaclyn Holsey. (L to R) Amanda Tanguay and Zach Kenney as “Mary and George Bailey”.
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CHRISTMAS SCHOONER
MERCURY THEATER CHICAGO
11/27-12/27/2015

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THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER
Mercury Theater Chicago
11/25-12/27/2015
THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER sails again at the Mercury! The whole family will enjoy this heart-warming story of the first Christmas tree ship and the family who risked their lives to fill Chicago with the Christmas spirit. This critically acclaimed production features a powerful, moving story, an exquisite score of original music and traditional holiday favorites, and a company of 25 actors and musicians.
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PLAID TIDINGS
WILLIAMS STREET REPERTORY
11/28-12/29/2015

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A WONDERFUL LIFE
Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse
11/13-12/30/2015

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STRIKING 12
Bailiwick Chicago
11/20-12/31/2015

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SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!
EMERALD CITY THEATRE COMPANY
10/3-1/3/2016

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ELF-THE MUSICAL
MARRIOTT'S LINCOLNSHIRE
10/21-1/3/2016

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ANGINA PECTORIS
ShPIeL
11/19-1/3/2016
CHICAGO – ShPIeL-Performing Identity proudly announces the world premiere of Angina Pectoris, written by Michal Aharoni and directed by ShPIeL Producing Artistic Director David Y. Chack, November 18 – January 3, 2016 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. The performance schedule includes preview performances Thursday, Nov.19 and Friday Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. with opening/press nights Saturday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday Nov 22 at 2 p.m. The regular schedule is Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Thanksgiving schedule is as follows: no performance Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26. The Thanksgiving weekend performances take place Friday, Nov. 27 and Saturday, Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 29 at 2 p.m. The Christmas week schedule is as follows: no performances Thursday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 25. Christmas week performances are Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 27 at 2 p.m. The New Year’s schedule has no performances Thursday, Dec. 31 or Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. There are performances Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Saturday Jan, 2, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016 at 2 p.m.
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PLAID TIDINGS
WILLIAMS STREET REPERTORY
11/28-1/3/2016

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LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
OAK PARK RIVER FOREST HIGH SCHOOL
10/9-1/8/2016

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GODSPELL-2012 REVISED VERSION
GLENBARD WEST HIGH SCHOOL
11/12-1/8/2016

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BURNING BLUEBEARD
The Hypocrites
11/19-1/10/2016
Jay Torrence; dir: Halena Kays.
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MY WAZY... A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO FRANK SINATRA
Theo Ubique Cabaret theatre
11/27-1/10/2016
This cabaret conceived by Todd Olson and David Grapes was originally produced in Los Angeles and has since become a hit all over the country. It features dozens of songs written by some of America’s best-loved songwriters. Directed by Fred Anzevino with musical direction by Jeremy Ramey and choreography by Maggie Portman; the cast inlcudes Chris Logan, Kyrie Anderson, Carl Herzog and Caitlin Boho
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THE LION KING
Cadillac Palace Theatre
12/2-1/17/2016
Giraffes strut, birds swoop, gazelles leap - the entire Serengeti comes to life. And as the music soars, Pride Rock slowly rises from the stage. This is THE LION KING. A spectacular visual feast, this adaptation of Disney's much-loved film transports you to a dazzling world that explodes with glorious colors, stunning effects and enchanting music. At its heart is the powerful and moving story of Simba, and his epic journey from wide-eyed cub to his destined role as King of the Pridelands. The Lion King won six 1998 Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical, making Taymor the first woman in theatrical history bestowed with the honor. The Lion King has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.
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DOMESTICATED
Steppenwolf Theatre Co
12/3-2/7/2016
Ensemble member Bruce Norris; dir: Ensemble member Bruce Norris.
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BEAUTIFUL
Oriental Theatre- Ford Center for the Performing Arts
12/1-2/21/2016
Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock 'n' roll. But it wasn't until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice. Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of Carole King's remarkable rise to stardom from being part of a chart-topping songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music. She wrote the soundtrack to a generation.
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BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL
Oriental Theatre- Ford Center for the Performing Arts
12/1-2/21/2016

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