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ACT II: A second look at area stages

Dave Buchen unrolls his paintings during 'Possession: Baudelaire Box Episode #5' musical presentatipoems by Charles Baudelaire.

Dave Buchen unrolls his paintings during "Possession: Baudelaire in a Box, Episode #5," a musical presentation of poems by Charles Baudelaire.

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Updated: December 12, 2012 6:11AM

Variety is the name of the game this week. So take your pick of theater or dance, the traditional or the experimental, and let eclecticism rule.

Bluegrass musical

“The Burnt Part Boys” (through Dec. 22), a Griffin Theatre production at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont: The time is 1962. The place is rural West Virginia coal country where 10 years earlier the father of two boys, now 14 and 18, died in a mining accident. This dark but “family friendly” musical, which debuted at New York’s Playwrights Horizons in 2010, features a book by Mariana Elder, music by Chris Miller that is a mix of bluegrass and pop, and lyrics by Nathan Tysen. Tickets: (773) 975-8150;

Dance buffet

The Dance Chicago Festival (Through Dec. 1 at the Carl Sandburg Theatre in Orland Park and the Athenaeum Theatre and Stage 773 in Chicago): First, a round of applause. This festival, curated by co-founder John Schmitz, has been on the scene since well before the city turned itself into a genuine dance mecca. During the next several weeks, as it celebrates its 18th season, it will present 200 premieres, 3,000 artists and 300 individual acts in styles ranging from urban, tap, aerial and ballet to break-dance, hip-hop and jazz, displaying the work of both veteran choreographers and new talents. For the complete lineup visit

Decadent poetry

“Possession: Baudelaire in a Box, Episode #5” (Nov. 14-18 at Links Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield): Theater Oobleck will present “16 sung poems of poison, betrayal and shame, to be washed down with longing, lust and liquor.” What else would you expect when the poet in question is Charles Baudelaire, the 19th century decadent who penned “Les Fleurs du Mal” (“The Flowers of Evil”) and translated Edgar Allan Poe? The musical settings, written and performed by Jeff Dorchen, Ronnie Kuller and Chris Schoen, will be accompanied by yards of paintings by Dave Buchen that unscroll “as in a 19th century movie house of ill-repute.” Tickets: (773) 281-0824;

Art, music, movies

“Work No. 1020 (Ballet)” (Thursday and Friday at the Museum of Contemporary Art Theatre, 220 E. Chicago): Martin Creed is a British artist and musician who generated plenty of controversy for his Turner Prize-winning piece “Work No. 227: the lights going on and off,” in which the lights did just that in an empty room. He also created the giant MOTHERS sign now rotating in the plaza outside the MCA. “Work No. 1020” marks his first ballet, but be warned: Along with the five classical dancers from London using the five basic ballet positions (with Creed on guitar with his rock band), there will be film clips of vomit, an erection and more. Tickets: (312) 397-4010;

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