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Matthew Holzfeind (front center) as Andrew Jackswith cast Bailiwick Chicago’s producti'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.'  |  Phoby Michael Brosilow.

Matthew Holzfeind (front, center) as Andrew Jackson with the cast of Bailiwick Chicago’s production of "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson." | Photo by Michael Brosilow.

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Updated: November 29, 2012 6:16AM

Dancers are high-propulsion machines; that’s a given. For proof, just check out the Joffrey Ballet’s final performance of its fall program — three very different works under the umbrella title “Human Landscapes” — Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Auditorium Theatre.

But there also is a special thrill that comes from watching actors who move like dancers. Here are several currently running shows in which the motion is a crucial driver of the emotion:

† “Metamorphoses” (at Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan, through Nov. 18): This glorious remount of Mary Zimmerman’s dive into the transformational myths of ancient Greece and Rome (by way of the poet, Ovid), requires the cast to literally dance in water — the vast reflecting pool that serves as the stage for this wholly magical show. You will rarely see such striking pas de deux performed on any surface. Call (312) 337-0665 or visit www.lookingglass

† “The Opponent” (at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells, through Dec. 2): Brett Neveu’s compelling new boxing drama probably generates more sweat than any other play in town as its two impressive actors, Kamal Angelo Bolden and Guy Van Swearingen, duke it out. Get a ringside seat. Call (312) 943-8722 or visit

† “Trainspotting USA” (at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, through Dec, 2): This harrowing look at the lives of twentysomething drug addicts in Kansas City, Mo. is all about body language, whether in the writhing of those in withdrawal or in Jenny Lamb’s portrayals of an oversexed club girl and exceptionally agile cheerleader. Call (773) 975-2000 or visit www.Trainspotting

† “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” (a Bailiwick Theatre production at National Pastime Theatre, 941 W. Lawrence, through Nov. 10): From punk rock to vaudeville routines, the White House has never been quite so raucous or club-like. Jackson, the seventh president of the U.S., had a wild-boy pioneer spirit and a vicious way with Indian tribes, but as Matt Holzfeind plays him in this irreverent musical, he sure can dance. Call (312) 733-6000 or visit

† “Kinky Boots” (in its pre-Broadway engagement at Bank of America Theater, 18 W. Monroe, through Nov. 4): As those dazzling boots newly designed for the drag-queen trade first roll off the assembly line in an old-line British factory, director-choreographer Jerry Mitchell sets everyone involved in the effort into a knockout number that has them zooming along conveyor belts. It’s a dazzling high point in this new musical. Call (800) 775-2000 or visit www.Broadway

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