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ACT II: A second look at area stages — A trio with international flair

J. Salome Martinez (center with Foster Williams Jr. Alice DCunha) excels “After” Profiles Theater.

J. Salome Martinez (center, with Foster Williams Jr. and Alice Da Cunha) excels in “After” at Profiles Theater.

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Updated: October 17, 2012 6:05AM

On stage in Chicago at the moment: a splendid modern retelling of a Greek myth, a contemporary drama in which Beethoven is a living, breathing presence, and the story of a wrongly accused man trying to find his way after prison:

† “Idomeneus” (through Sept. 23 in a Sideshow Theatre production at the Storefront): Sideshow’s marvelous production of “Idomeneus,” now in its U.S. premiere, is a brilliant, hourlong work by the contemporary German playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig (in a vivid English translation). This drama features a cast of 15 highly effective actors under the smart, innately musical direction of Jonathan L. Green. Phone: (800) 838-3006 or visit

† “33 Variations” (through Oct. 2 in a TimeLine Theatre production at Stage 773): Moises Kaufman’s play, a bear of a work now in a scintillating TimeLine production, gives us a musicologist dying of ALS who is obsessed with the “Diabelli Variations,” a masterpiece for piano written when Beethoven was suffering from deafness. The play (directed by Nick Bowling) bursts with ideas about the creative process, about the difference between the obsessive mind and the meandering mind, about friendship and love, about the power of music and about the nature of transfiguration. Phone: (773) 327-5252 or visit

† “After” (through Oct. 14 at Profiles Theater): In this timely play by Chad Beckim, a wrongfully imprisoned man, exonerated by DNA evidence after 17 years in prison, must find his way back into a world that is now foreign to him. The show, strongly directed by Matt Hawkins, is particularly notable for its leading performances by J. Salome Martinez (a newcomer from Los Angeles) and Chicago actress Stephenie Park. Phone (773) 549-1815 or visit

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