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First Look trio of playwrights ready for new works’ showcase

Nearly every theater in town is on a quest to find, foster and showcase new plays and promising playwrights. Steppenwolf’s yearly First Look Repertory of New Work, the summertime showcase of plays in developmental productions, is one of the leading examples of this mission.

‘Intimate Apparel’ at Eclipse Theatre lays bare a woman’s difficult relationship

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Eclipse Theatre has staged a beautifully fine-tuned revival of Lynn Nottage’s heart-piercing 2003 play, “Intimate Apparel,” whichoffers a very different view of female oppression and survival.

Why didn’t The Second City expansion happen sooner?

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The Second City, Chicago’s fabled improv mecca, announced Tuesday that it has signed a lease with Old Town Development Associates, L.L.C., that will enable it to double its footprint at 230 W. North.

Simply ‘Marvelous’ — Marvelettes’ story sings at Black Ensemble

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HEDY WEISS: The story of the Marvelettes unfolds amid the joy and the tears at Motown.

Leafy parks lend themselves to a mirthful ‘Midsummer’

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HEDY WEISS: High-propulsion actors help the ear adjust to Shakespeare’s language in this winningly played, visually entrancing production.

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‘Small Fire’ a surreal journey that heats things up at Steep

Adam Bock might just be the Rene Magritte of contemporary playwrights.

‘Seussical’ musical is fun for all the family

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The best indication a family show is doing everything right is that the adults in the audience are as fully entranced as the tiniest tots. This is clearly the case at Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s “Seussical,” the 90-minute musical based on the Dr. Seuss canon.

A ‘Midsummer’ treat from Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks

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Chicago Shakespeare Theatre created Shakespeare in the Park to bring admission-free, family-friendly productions of the Bard’s plays to parks throughout the city.

An Appreciation: Elaine Stritch, iconic Broadway star, dies at 89

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Elaine Stritch, the brassy, acerbic, jaded-but-vulnerable Broadway baby who possessed a potent stage presence, great legs, a smoke-enhanced voice and a rocky road sort of personal history, died Thursday at her home in Birmingham, Mich. She was 89. Read more. http://voices.suntimes.com/arts-entertainment/the-daily-sizzle/an-appreciation-elaine-stritch-iconic-broadway-star-dies-at-89/

Gift Theatre’s first Shakespeare a tight, smart ‘Othello’

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HEDY WEISS: Director Jonathan Berry has approached the play almost as if he were making an indie film, using tight close-ups on the principal characters against the most minimalist backdrop.

Stunning ‘Men Should Weep’ explores dynamic between poverty and family

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HEDY WEISS: The overdue Chicago debut of Ena Lamont Stewart’s rarely seen 1947 classic at Griffin Theatre features some of the most gorgeous performances you will find on any stage in this city.

As a musical, ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ offers a heapin’ helpin’ of heart

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HEDY WEISS: Tuneful score, appealing cast help the sitcom make a charming transiton to Theatre at the Center stage.

‘The Qualms’ a new play full of tired old ideas

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HEDY WEISS: No need to bother meeting the people in Bruce Norris’ smug but vacuous world premiere, now at Steppenwolf.

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Griffin Theatre raises the curtain on rarely staged ‘Men Should Weep’

The Griffin Theatre’s staging will mark the first time ‘Men Should Weep’ has been produced in this country in 30 years.

‘Beverly Hillbillies’ musical gets world premiere at Theatre at the Center

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Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed — in a way not heard of before.

First Folio Theatre stages ‘Merry Wives of Windsor’

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Don’t mess with “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” That’s what Falstaff learns in Shakespeare’s comedy, at First Folio Theatre’s outdoor stage. Brian McCartney plays that rascally Sir John Falstaff. Taking that role fulfilled a long-time goal for McCartney, who played the part of one of …