The new show at Medieval TImes in Buena Park. Photographs by Matt Petit for Davis Barber Producitons, Inc.
Updated: July 9, 2012 1:46PM
BIKINI SHAKESPEARE: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. Gorilla Tango presents a modern-day adaptation of the Shakespeare comedy featuring twentysomething actors performing in bikinis and speedos. Directed by Katie Horwitz. Opens July 12. Thu, 7:30 pm. $15. To Aug. 30. Gorilla Tango Theatre Bucktown, 1919 N. Milwaukee. (773) 598-4549; gorillatango.com.
DEATH AND HARRY HOUDINI. The House Theatre presents the return of the hit show that Sun-Times Theater Critic Hedy Weiss praised as “ingeniously ritten and directed by Nathan Allen. Opens July 7. Thu-Fri, 7:30 pm; Sat, 3, 7:30 pm; Sun, 7:30 pm. $40. To Aug. 17. The Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. (773) 769-3832; thehousetheatre.com.
HOT CHA CHA. The Kiss Kiss Cabaret (modern-day vaudeville/burlesque) presents its all new summer show featuring a carnival atmosphere, with fortune tellers, balloon artsts, jugglers, magicians, midway games, etc. Opens July 6. Fri, 11 pm. $15-$20. To Aug. 24. Greenhouse Theater Center. 2257 N. Lincoln. (773) 404-7336; KissKissCabaret.com.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. Theatre at the Centre presents the award-winning Ashman & Menken musical about down & out floral shop worker Seymour and his exotic plant. Directed by Stacey Flaster. Previews July 12-14. Opens July 15. Wed-Thu, 2 pm; Fri-Sat, 8 pm; Sun, 2:30 pm. $38-$42. To Aug. 19. Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Rd., Munster, Ind. (219) 836-3255; TheatreAtTheCenter.com.
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE. First Folio Theatre ends its 15th season with Shakespeare “under the stars.” Audiences are encouraged to set up picnic-style at this outdoor stage event. Directed by Alison C. Vesely. Preview July 11. Opens July 16. Wed, Fri-Sun, 8:15 pm. $26-$36. To Aug. 19. Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook. (630) 986-8067; firstfolio.org.
MOMENT. Steep Theatre Company presents the U.S. premiere of Deirdre Kinahan’s drama about one moment changing the entire course of a family’s life. Directed by Jonathan Berry. Opens July 12. Thu-Sat, 8 pm. $20-$22. To Aug. 18. Steep Theatre, 1115 W. Berwyn. (866) 811-4111; steeptheatre.com
OEDIPUS EL REY. Victory Gardens presents Luis Alfaro’s story of an ex-con who sets out to become the king of Los Angeles’ gangs. Directed by Chay Yew. Previews July 6-8. Opens July 9. Tue-Fri, 7:30 pm; Sat, 4, 7:30 pm; Sun, 3 pm. $20-$50. To July 29. Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln. (773) 871-3000; victorygardens.org.
PRESENT. Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences presents a musical retelling of “Sleeping Beauty.” Directed by Matt Raftery. Opens July 7. Wed-Sat, 10 am. $15. To Aug. 18. Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire. (847) 634-0200; MarriottTheatre.com.
A STEADY RAIN. The Chicago Commericial Collective presents the return of the hit drama with its original cast and crew. Directed by Russ Tutterow. Previews July 7-8. Opens July 10. Wed-Sat, 8 pm; Sun, 3 pm. $40. To Sept. 2. Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago. steadyrainchicago.com.
THREE SISTERS. Steppenwolf presents Chekhov’s tale of a privileged family’s changing fortunes. Directed by Anna D. Shapiro. Previews July 6-7. Opens July 8. Tue-Fri, 7:30 pm; Sat-Sun, 3, 7:30 pm. $20-$75. To Aug. 26. Steppenwolf Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted. (312) 654-5656; steppenwolf.org.
TJ & DAVE. Theater on the Lake presents TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi in a one-hour long-form improv. Opens July 11. Wed-Sat, 7:30 pm; Sun, 6:30 pm. $17.50. To July 15. Theater on the Lake, Fullerton and Lake Shore Drive on the lakefront. (312) 742-7994; chicagoparkdistrict.com.
THE VORTEX. Dead Writers Theatre Collective presents Noel Coward’s 1924 drama. Directed by Jim Schneider. Previews July 12-19. Opens July 20. Thu-Sat, 7:30 pm; Sun, 2:30 pm. $15-$30 To Aug. 26. Greenhouse Theater Complex, 2257 N. Lincoln. (773) 404-7336; greenhousetheater.org.
ALMOST AN EVENING. Circle Theatre presents a dark comic trio of plays by filmmaker Ethan Coen that explore the theme of hell. Directed by J. Christopher Brown. Fri-Sat, 8 pm; closes Sun, 3 pm. $24-$28. Circle Theatre, 1010 Madison St., Oak Park. (708) 660-9540; circle-theatre.org.
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.
THE BLONDE, THE BRUNETTE AND THE VENGEFUL REDHEAD. Writers’ Theatre persents the tale of a thwarted housewife whose moment of heated passion sets into motion a series of events that ripple through the lives of everyone around her. Directed by Joseph Hanreddy. Tue-Wed, 7:30 pm; Thur-Fri, 8 pm; Sat, 4, 8 pm; Sun, 2, 6 pm. $45-$65. To July 29. Writers’ Theatre, 664 Vernon Ave., Glencoe. (847) 242-6000; writerstheatre.org. (Highly recommended, Hedy Weiss)
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, Weiss)
CIRQUE SHANGHAI : YEAR OF THE DRAGON. The acrobatic spectacle returns to Chicago with a new show, featuring tumbling, juggline, balancing, daredevil motorcyclists and more. Directed by Miao Miao Chen. Wed, 2, 6, 8 pm; Thu, 2, 8 pm; Fri, 2, 7, 9 pm; Sat, 2, 6, 8 pm; Sun, 2, 4 pm. $15.50-$29.50. To Sept. 3. Navy Pier Pepsi Skyline Stage, 600 E. Grand. (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com/shanghai. (Highly recommended, Weiss)
COMMON HATRED. The Ruckus presents the world premiere of Chicago-based playwright Calamity West’s story of a group of siblings trying to understand what they truly desire and why they never quite seem to get it. Directed by Karie Miller. Fri-Sun, 8 pm. $15. To July 22. The Side Project Theatre, 1439 W. Jarvis. (773) 769-7257; ruckustheater.org.
CROWNS. The Goodman Theatre welcomes back Regina Taylor’s musical celebration of song, dance, cultural history — and gloamorous headwear. Directed by Regina Taylor. Tue-Wed, 7:30 pm; Thu, 2, 7:30 pm; Fri, 8 pm; Sat, 2, 8 pm; Sun, 2, 7:30 pm. $25-$88. To Aug. 5. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. (312) 443-3800; goodmantheatre.org.
EASTLAND: A NEW MUSICAL. Lookingglass Theatre Company presents a world premiere written by Artistic Director Andrew White, about the 1915 S.S. Eastland disaster on the Chicago River. Directed by Amanda Dehnert. Wed, 7:30 pm; Thu, 3, 7:30 pm; Fri, 7:30 pm; Sat-Sun, 3, 7:30 pm. $24-$68. To Aug. 19. Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan. (312) 337-0665; lookingglasstheatre.org. (Highly recommended, Weiss)
EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR. Theatre Seven of Chicago presents the Chicago premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s revenge comedy. Directed by Cassy Sanders. Thu-Sat, 7:30 pm; Sun, 2:30 pm. $15-$30. To July 15. Greenhouse Theater Center Upstairs Studio, 2257 N. Lincoln. (773) 404-7336; theatreseven.org.
FREUD’S LAST SESSION. The Off-Broadway production’s Midwest premiere centers on a meeting between legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud and rising academic of the time C.S. Lewis. Directed by Tyler Marchant. Wed, 2, 7:30 pm; Thu, 7:30 pm; Fri, 8 pm; Sat, 2, 8 pm; Sun, 1, 5 pm. $45-$55 (students $22 w/ID). To Sept. 2. Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport. (773) 325-1700; mercurytheaterchicago.com. (Highly recommended, Weiss)
FLOYD COLLINS. BoHo Theatre presents Adam Guettel and Tina Landau’s musical that recounts the true story of a man trapped in a cave in 1925 Kentucky. Directed by Peter Marston Sullivan. Thu-Sat, 8 pm; Sun, 1:30 pm. $28. To July 15. Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont. Phone number; website. (Highly recommended, Weiss)
GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD. The Strange Tree Group presents the Midwest premiere of the satirical Soviet farce adapted from Nicolai Erdman’s 1928 play “The Suicide.” Directed by Bob Kruse. Thu-Sat, 8 pm; Sun, 3 pm. $15-$25. To July 22. Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont. (773) 975-8150; theaterwit.org.
GOTHAM CITY. Chicago Dance Crash (in association with DCA Theater) celebrates its 10th anniversary with 30 dancers performing break-dance, ballet and hip-hop in a two-act comic book saga. Choreographed by Jessica Deahr. Fri-Sat, 7:30 pm; Sun, 3 pm. $18-$25. To July 15. DCA Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph. (312) 742-8497; dcatheater.org. (Somewhat recommended, Weiss)
HANK WILLIAMS: LOST HIGHWAY. Filament Theatre Ensemble presents the story of troubled country music legend Hank Williams, from his Alabama roots to his meteoric rise to stardom. Directed by Julie Ritchey and Omen Sade. Thu-Sat, 7:30 pm; Sun, 3 pm. $19-$24. To July 15. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. (773) 935-6875; filamenttheatre.org.
HERO. Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire presents a new musical about a young artist who with the help of his family and friends, realizes his dreams — without the help of superheroes. Directed by David H. Bell. Wed, 1, 8 pm; Thu-Fri, 8 pm; Sat, 4:30, 8 pm; Sun, 1, 5 pm. $40-$48. To Aug. 19. Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. (847) 634-0200; MarriottTheatre.com.
IMMEDIATE FAMILY. The Goodman Theatre and About Face Theatre present Paul Oakley’s African-American family drama. Directed by Phylicia Rashad. Tue-Thu, 7:30 pm; Fri, 8 pm; Sat, 2, 8 pm; Sun, 2, 7:30 pm. $20-$54. To Aug. 5. Goodman Theatre’s OWen Bruner Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. (312) 443-3800; goodmantheatre.org. (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 pm. $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 pm. $30. Open run. Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted. (312) 988-9000.
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. Writers’ Theatre presents the Tony Award-winning Stephen Sondheim musical. Directed by William Brown. Tue-Wed, 7:30 pm; Thu-Fri, 8 pm; Sat, 4, 8 pm; Sun, 2, 6 pm. $60-$75. To Aug. 12. Writers’ Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe. (847) 242-6000; writerstheatre.org. (Highly recommended, Weiss)
LOVE THY NEIGHBOR...TILL IT HURTS. 16th Street Theater presents a fully staged solo piece by Julie Ganey that takes place in Rogers Park, inspired by an NPR piece that painted the neighborhood in an unflattering light. Directed by Megan Shuchman. Thu-Fri, 7:30 pm; Sat, 5, 8 pm. $18. To July 14. 16th Street Theater, 6420 16th St., Berwyn. (708) 795-6704; 16thstreettheater.org.
THE LOVER. Soul Theatre presents Harold Pinter’s one-act comedy/drama about a married couple trying to spice up their relationship. Directed by Paul Wagar. Thu-Sat, 7:30 pm; Sun, 3 pm. $10-$20. To July 15. A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells. SoulTheatre.com.
MARAT/SADE. The Right Brain Project presents a “journey” seven years in the making, which features 29 actors, 21 audience members, a live band, wine, bon-bons and the Marquis de Sade. Directed by Nathan Robbel. Fri, 8 pm; closes Sat, 8 pm. $25 donation suggested. RBP Rorschach, 4001 N. Ravenswood. (773) 750-2033; therbp.org.
THE MARVIN GAYE STORY (DON’T TALK ABOUT MY FATHER BECAUSE GOD IS MY FRIEND). Black Ensemble Theater presents the world premiere of the story about one of Motown’s greatest talents. Directed by Jackie Taylor. Wed-Thu, 7:30 pm; Fri, 8 pm; Sat, 3, 8 pm; Sun, 3 pm. $55-$65. To July 29. Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark. (773) 769-4451; blackensembletheaterorg.
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)
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 pm; Thu, 7:30 pm; Fri, 8 pm; Sat, 5, 8 pm; Sun, 3:30, 6:30 pm. $25-$77.50. To Jan. 6. Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln. (773) 935-6100. (Recommended, Weiss)
MY FIRST TIME. Broken Nose Theatre presents the Chicago premiere of the intimate stories of real people, based on an anonymous website where folks wrote about their first sexual experiences. Directed by Benjamin Brownson. Fri-Sat, 11 pm. $20-$30. To July 28. Greenhouse Theater Complex, 2257 N. Lincoln. (773) 404-7336; greenhousetheater.org.
MY KIND OF TOWN. Timeline Theatre Company concludes its season with the world premiere of John Conroy’s story of the police torture scandal that plagued Chicago for three decades. Directed by Nick Bowling. Wed-Thu, 7:30 pm; Fri, 8 pm; Sat, 4, 8 pm; Sun, 2 pm. $32-$42. To July 29. Timeline Theatre, 615 W. Wellington. (773) 281-8463; timelinetheatre.com. (Highly recommended, Weiss)
NAKED JULY: ART STRIPPED DOWN. National Pastime Theater presents its annual summer festival featuring live theatrical events, visual art shows, films and special events. Events and prices vary. To Aug. 11. National Pastime Theater, 941 W. Lawrence, 4th Floor. (773) 327-7077; nakedjuly.com.
OPUS. Theater on the Lake presents Redtwist Theatre’s production of the story of a string quartet in the midst of a clash of wills between two leaders of the group. Directed by Jason W. Gerace. Fri-Sat, 7:30 pm; closes Sun, 6:30 pm. $17.50. Theater on the Lake, Fullerton and Lake Shore Drive on the lakefront. (312) 742-7994; chicagoparkdistrict.com.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Lifeline Theatre presents an adaptation of the Jane Austen classic. Directed by Elise Kauzlaric. Fri, 7:30 pm; Sat, 4, 8 pm; closes Sun, 4 pm. $20-$32. Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood. (773) 761-4477; lifelinetheatre.com.
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.
ROCK OF AGES. Broadway in Chicago presents the five-time Tony-winning rock musical. Directed by Kristin Hanggi. Tue-Fri, 7:30 pm; Sat, 2, 8 pm; Sun, 2, 7:30 pm. $70-$80. To Aug. 5. Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut. broadwayinchicago.com. (Somewhat recommended, Weiss)
ROUTE 66. Aurora’s Paramount Theatre presents a nostalgic jukebox revue where a gang of rowdy service station attendants takes an imaginary Chicago-to-L.A. road trip. Directed by Stacey Flaster. Wed, 1:30 pm; Fri, 7:30 pm; Sat, 8 pm; Sun, 3 pm. $29. To Aug. 19. Copley Theater, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. (630) 896-6666; ParamountAurora.com.
SAINTS & SINNERS. Vicki Quade’s Mother Superior is called by the archdiocese to help with fund-raising. Sat, 5 pm; Sun, 3 pm. $30. Open run. Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted. (312) 988-9000.
SEXY BABY. Hell in a Handbag Productions kicks off its 2012 season with a new “docu-musical” that takes you behind the scenes of the world of child beauty pageants. Directed by Derek Czaplewski. Thu-Sun, 7:30 pm. $15-$22. To July 27. Mary’s Attic, 5400 W. Clark. (800) 838-3006; handbagproductions.org.
SKETCHBOOK: REINCARNATE. Collaboraction presents its 12th annual festival of new works; 13 world premiere pieces in rotating repertory. Dates/times vary. $10-$20 per show; $35-$65, all-access pass. To July 15. Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee. (312) 226-9633; collaboraction.org.
SOME ENCHANTED EVENING: THE SONGS OF RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN. Fox Valley Rep welcomes Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, which brings its intimate-style production to the west suburbs. Directed by Fred Anzevino. Fri-Sat, 8 pm; Sun, 2 pm; some Thursday performances. $32-$52. To July 22. Pheasant Run Resort Mainstage, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. (630) 584-6342; foxvalleyrep.org.
STEAMWERKZ THE MUSICAL. The Annoyance presents a new musical about a wide-eyed gay man who comes to Chicago looking for love and stumbles upon a popular bathhouse. Directed by Clay Goodpasture. Fri, 10 pm. $15-$20. To Aug. 31. The Annoyance, 4830 N. Broadway. (773) 561-4665; theannoyance.com.
10 WAYS TO KILL YOUR HUSBAND. Metropolis Comedy series presents a farce about what could happen when you live and work with your spouse who you don’t really like all that much. Thu-Fri, 8 pm; Sat, 7 pm; Sun, 3 pm. $35. To July 13. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St, Arlington Heights. (847) 577-2121; MetropolisArts.com.
THE 39 STEPS. Drury Lane Theatre presents the Tony-winning show based on the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film. Directed by David New. Wed, 1:30 pm; Thu, 1:30, 8 pm; Fri, 8:30 pm; Sat, 5, 8:30 pm; Sun, 2, 6 pm. $20-$68. To Aug. 26. Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. (630) 530-0111; drurylaneoakbrook.com.
TIME AFTER TIME: THE SONGS OF JULE STYNE. Theo Ubique presents cabaret performances of songs from the golden age of musicals. Directed by Heimann. Thu, 7:30 pm; Fri-Sat, 8 pm; Sun, 7 pm. $29-$34. To July 29. No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood. (773) 347-1109; Theo-U.org. (Recommended, Weiss)
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 pm; Sun, 7 pm. $9 plus the roll of a six-sided die ($10-$15). Open run. Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. (773) 275-5255.
THE TRAGEDY OF BALLOON BOY (FORMERLY YOUR BUTT). The Annoyance remounts the classic original musical featuring a ragtag band of drunks who populate Maggie’s Bar. Directed by Charley Carroll. Sat, 10 pm. $15-$20. To Aug. 25. The Annoyance, 4830 N. Broadway. (773) 561-4665; theannoyance.com.
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 pm; Fri-Sat, 8, 11 pm; Sun, 7 pm. $23. Open run. The Second City, 1616 N. Wells. (312) 337-3992. (recommended, Weiss)
DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Chicago Shakespeare Theater kicks off summer on Navy Pier with the classic musical for all ages. Directed by Rachel Rockwell. Wed, 11 am; Thu-Sun, 11 am, 2 pm. $18-$25. To Aug. 26. Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand. (312) 595-5600; chicagoshakes.com.
PINKALICIOUS. Broadway in Chicago presents Emerald City Theatre’s staging of Elizabeth Kann, Victoria Kann and John Gregor’s musical about a young girl who eats too many pink cupcakes and catches a case of “pinkititis” and turns pink from head to toe. Directed by Ernie Nolan. Sat-Sun, 10 am. $16-$22. To Aug. 5. Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut. (800) 775-2000. (Recommended, Weiss)