Syesha Mercado (left) and Ben Platt in the second national tour of "The Book of Mormon." | © Joan Marcus, 2012
Updated: January 3, 2013 9:13PM
ALLOTMENT ANNIE. InFusion Theatre presents the world premiere of Mark Mason’s World War II story, which follows a dashing Air Force pilot and a timid and beautiful bartender who start a war profiteering scheme that quickly turns to sex, betrayal and murder. Directed by Bridgette Harney. Preview Jan. 4. Opens Jan. 5. Thu-Sat, 8 pm; Sun, 3 pm. $10-$25. To Feb. 3. Strawdog Theatre, 3829 N. Broadway. (773) 528-9696; infusiontheatre.com.
AMERICAN WEE-PIE. Rivendell Theatre Ensemble presents the story of a disenfranchised editor returning to his small Midwestern hometown to bury his mother, which leads him on a path to self-discovery. Directed by Megan Carney. Previews Jan. 10-13. Opens Jan. 14. Thu-Fri, 8 pm Sat, 4, 8 pm. $15-$30. To Feb. 16. Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge. (773) 334-7728; RivendellTheatre.org.
BOOBS OF THE DEAD: A WALKING DEAD BURLESQUE. Gorilla Tango brings back this silly, sexy zombie-filled romp. Directed by K Leo. Opens Jan. 5. Fri, 9 pm. $$. To Jan. 25. Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee. (773) 598-4549; gorillatango.com/zombies.
THE FINAL BALLOON. The Annoyance revamps “The Tragedy of Balloon Boy or Your Butt,” set in a bar that is home to a ragtag band of drunks who gather there each year at the same date and time. Directed by Charley Carroll. Opens Jan. 5. Sat, 10 pm. $15-$20. To Feb. 23. The Annoyance, 4830 N. Broadway. (773) 561-4665; annoyanceproductions.com.
THE MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT. Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents Stephen Adly Guirgis’ hit play about a recovering alcoholic who finds another man’s hat in his and his girlfriend’s apartment. Directed by Anna D. Shapiro. Previews Jan. 4-5. Opens Jan. 6. Tue-Fri, 7:30 pm; Sat-Sun, 3, 7:30 pm. $20-$86. To March 3. Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted. (773) 335-1650; steppenwolf.org.
SKYLIGHT. Court Theatre presents David Hare’s chamber play about a schoolteacher and her former lover, who in trying to rekindle their passion, find themselves at odds. Directed by William Brown. Previews Jan. 10-18. Opens Jan. 19. Wed-Thu, 7:30 pm; Fri-Sat, 8 pm; Sat, 3 pm, Sun, 2:30, 7:30 pm. $35-$65. To Feb. 10. Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis. Phone number; website.
THE BEST OF THE SECOND CITY. The Second City’s stars of tomorrow perform work originally written by past alumni, including Bill Murray, Tina Fey and Steve Carell. Sat, 4 pm; Mon, 8 pm. $19. Open run. The Second City e.t.c. Theatre, 1608 N. Wells. (312) 337-3992.
BLUE MAN GROUP. The show’s creators have cleverly updated the production with new wizardry while retaining its essential mind-set. Days and times vary. $49-$69. Open run. Briar Street Theatre, 3133 N. Halsted. (800) 982-2787. (Recommended, Hedy Weiss)
THE BOOK OF MORMON. Broadway in Chicago presents the Tony Award-winning musical by the folks behind TV’s “South Park” and Broadway’s “Avenue Q.” Tue, 7:30 pm; Wed, 2, 7:30 pm; Thu-Fri, 7:30 pm; Sat, 2, 8 pm; Sun, 2, 7:30 pm. $45-$115. To June 2. Bank of America Theatre, 18 W. Monroe. (800) 775-2000; BroadwayInChicago.com. (Highly recommended, Weiss)
CHICAGO SKETCH COMEDY FESTIVAL. Stage 773 presents the best in local, national and international sketch comedy. Thu, 8,9, 10 pm; Fri, 7, 8, 9, 10 11 pm; Sat, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 pm; Sun, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 pm. $14-$15. To Jan. 13. Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont. (773) 327-5252; Stage773.com.
CINDERELLA. Broadway in Chicago presents Emerald City Theatre’s production of the classic children’s fairy tale. Directed by Ernie Nolan. Sat, 10 am; closes Sun, 10 am. $16-$22. Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut. (800) 775-2000; BroadwayInChicago.com. (Somewhat recommended, Weiss)
DINNER WITH THE FAMILY. The Family Shoe Players presents an interactive dinner experience set in a 1930s Chicago pizzeria and featuring a five-course Italian meal. Directed by Paolina Cimino. Fridays, 6 p.m. cocktails/appetizers, show at 7. Attendees encouraged to dress in 1930s attire. $60 (parking is free). Open run. Knew, 2556 W. Fullerton. dwtfam.bpt.me.
FAITH HEALER. The Den Theatre presents a remount of TurnAround Theatre’s original production of Brian Friel’s story of the life and times of Frank Hardy, an itinerant Irish healer. Directed by J.R. Sullivan. Thu-Sat, 7:30 pm. $28. To Jan. 20. The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee. thedentheatre.com. (Highly recommended, Weiss)
FILLET OF SOLO FESTIVAL. Lifeline Theatre partners with eight Chicago storytelling collectives in celebration of the form. They include: 2nd Story; EnSolo; GayCo; the kates; Lifeline Storytelling Project; Stir Friday Night; Story Club, Sweat Girls and Write Club. Thu-Sat, 7, 8:30 pm; Sun, 4 pm. $10 single tickets; $30 for festival pass. To Jan. 20. Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood; Heartland Studio Theatre, 7016 N. Glenwood. (773) 761-4477; lifelinetheatre.com.
HELLCAB. Profiles Theatre presents a 20th anniversary production of the Chicago classic of the day in the life of a Chicago cabdriver. Directed by Darrell W. Cox. Thu-Fri, 8 p.m.; Sat, 5, 8 p.m.; Sun, 7 p.m. $35-$40. To Jan. 27. The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway. (773) 549-1815; profilestheatre.org. (Recommended, Weiss)
THE HYPOCRITES’ GILBERT & SULLIVAN REP. The Hypocrites presents both the “The Pirates of Penzance” and “The Mikado. Directed by Sean Graney. “Pirates”: Sat, 3 pm; Sun, 7:30 pm. “Mikado”: Fri-Sat, 7:30 pm; Sun, 3 pm. $28. To Jan. 19. The Hyporites at Chopin Theater, 1543 W. Division. (773) 989-7352; the-hypocrites.com.
I LOVE LUCY LIVE ON STAGE. Broadway in Chicago presents a new musical based on the long-running TV show featuring Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel. Directed by Rick Sparks. Wed, 2, 7:30 p.m.; Thu-Fri, 7:30 p.m.; Sat, 2, 8 p.m.; Sun, 2, 6 p.m. $23-$65. To March 3. Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut. broadwayinchicago.com; ilovelucylive.com. (Recommended, Weiss)
THE KISS KISS CABARET. Chicago’s late-night, weekly burlesque/comedy/variety show, with striptease, bawdy comedy, jugglers, musicians and magicians. Directed by Chris O. Biddle. Fri, 11 p.m. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Open run. Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln. (773) 404-7336; GreenhouseTheater.org.
LATE NITE CATECHISM. The Royal George Theatre presents Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan’s comedy about a Catholic nun intent on teaching her own brand of catechism. Directed by Marc Silvia. Thu, Sat, 8 p.m. $30. Open run. Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted. (312) 988-9000.
THE LETTERS. Writers’ Theatre presents a thriller of politics and disinformation set in 1930s Russia, where a casual conversation turns into a game of cat-and-mouse. Directed by Kimberly Senior. Tue-Wed, 7:30 pm; Thu-Fri, 8 pm; Sat, 4, 8 pm; Sun, 2, 6 pm. $35-.70 To March 3. Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon Ave., Glencoe. (847) 242-6000; writerstheatre.org. (Highly recommended, Weiss)
THE MAGIC CABARET. P.T. Murphy and David Parr present classic magic — Windy City style — with audience participation and “mind-boggling sleight of hand.” Wed, 7:30 pm. $20. Ages 13 and older. Open run. The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln. (773) 404-7336; magic-cabaret.com.
MEDIEVAL TIMES. The dinner and tournament production features its first completely new show since 2007, with more action, stunning horsemanship, good food and a simplified story line. Dates and times vary. $35.95-$59.95. Open run. Medieval Times, 2001 N. Roselle Rd., Schaumburg. (888) 935-6878; medievaltimes.com. (Recommended, Jennifer Burklow)
METAMORPHOSES. Lookingglass Theatre Company presents a revival production based on the myths of Ovid from a translation by David Slavitt. Directed by Mary Zimmerman. Previews . Wed, 7:30 pm; Thu-Sat, 3, 7:30 pm; closes Sun, 3, 7:30 pm. $36-$70. Lookingglass Theatre, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan. (312) 337-0665; lookingglasstheatre.org. (Highly recommended, Weiss)
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET. Dee Gee Theatricals presents a new musical inspired by a 1956 recording session that brought together four legends — Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley. Co-directed by Eric Schaeffer and Floyd Mutrux. Wed, 2, 7:30 p.m.; Thu, 7:30 p.m.; Fri, 8 p.m.; Sat, 5, 8 p.m.; Sun, 3:30, 6:30 p.m. $25-$77.50. To April 28. Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln. (773) 935-6100. (Recommended, Weiss)
THE OTHER CINDERELLA. Black Ensemble Theater presents its Afro-centric twist on the classic fairy tale. Directed by Jackie Taylor. Wed-Thu, 7:30 pm; Fri, 8 pm; Sat, 3, 8 pm; Sun, 3 pm. $55-$65. To Jan. 13. Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark. (773) 769-4451; blackensembletheater.org. (Highly recommended, Weiss)
PURPLE HEART. Redtwist Theatre presents a dark comedy/drama about the familial love and hate that defies description and expectation. Directed by Jimmy McDermott. Thu-Sat, 7:30 pm; Sun, 3 pm. $15-$30. To Jan. 27. Redtwist Theatre, 1044 N. Bryn Mawr. (773) 728-7529; redtwist.org.
PUT THE NUNS IN CHARGE. Vicki Quade’s spinoff of the hit comedy “Late Nite Catechism.” Fri, 8 pm. $30. Open run. Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted. (312) 988-9000.
SAINTS & SINNERS. Vicki Quade’s Mother Superior is called by the archdiocese to help with fund-raising. Sat, 5 p.m.; Sun, 3 p.m. $30. Open run. Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted. (312) 988-9000.
THE SCHOOL FOR LIES. Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents the comedy adapted from Moliere’s “The Misanthrope.” Directed by Barbara Gaines. Tue, 7:30 pm; Wed, 1, 7:30 pm; Thu-Fri, 7:30 pm; Sat, 3, 8 pm; Sun, 2, 6 pm. $48-$78. To Jan. 20. Courtyard Theater at Chicago Shakespeare, 800 E. Grand. (312) 595-5600; chicagoshakes.com. (Highly recommended, Weiss)
THE SECOND CITY’S HOLIDAYS IN THE HEIGHTS. The Second City returns to the suburbs with new skits and songs — and no holiday traditions are safe. Wed-Thu, 7:30 pm; closes Fri, 9:30 pm. $29.50-$34.50. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. (847) 577-2121; MetroplisArts.com.
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN. Drury Lane Theatre presents the musical comedy based on the 1952 film starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds. Directed by Bill Jenkins. Wed, 1:30 p.m.; Thu, 1:30, 8 p.m.; Fri, 8:30 p.m.; Sat, 5, 8:30 p.m.; Sun, 2, 6 p.m. $20-$45. To Jan. 13. Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oak Brook. (630) 530-0111; drurylaneoakbrook.com. (Recommended, Weiss)
STRIP OF THE TONGUE: A STUDY OF CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN BURLESQUE. Gorilla Tango presents an exploration of everything burlesque. Directed by Megan Francomb. Closes Fri, 9 pm. $15. Gorilla Tango’s Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie. (847) 677-7761; gorillatango.com.
TOO MUCH LIGHT MAKES THE BABY GO BLIND. The Neo-Futurists present 30 shows in 60 minutes, socially and politically based. Fri-Sat, 11:30 p.m.; Sun, 7 p.m. $9 plus the roll of a six-sided die ($10-$15). Open run. Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. (773) 275-5255.
THE UNVEILING / DOZENS OF COUSINS. The Trap Door Theatre presents Vaclav Havel’s humorous commentary of a marginalized man taunted with the life he could be living; plus . Directed by Beata Pilch. Thu-Sat, 8 pm. $20-$25. To Jan. 26. Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland. (773) 384-0494; trapdoortheatre.com.
WAR HORSE. Broadway in Chicago presents the Tony Award-winning play that was the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated film. Wed-Fri, 7:30 pm; closes Sat, 2, 8 pm. $67-$97. Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph. (312) 977-1700; BroadwayInChicago.com. (Highly recommended, Weiss)
WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE. The Second City’s 100th revue the good, the bad and the ridiculous that makes us uniquely American. Directed by Matt Hovde. Tue-Thu, 8 p.m; Fri-Sat, 8, 11 p.m; Sun, 7 p.m. $23. Open run. The Second City, 1616 N. Wells. (312) 337-3992. (Recommended, Weiss)