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Setting the stage for romance

Scott Parkinsstars as Judge Brack Kate Fry portrays title character 'HeddGabler' Writers Theatre. | PHOTO BY MICHAEL BROSILOW

Scott Parkinson stars as Judge Brack and Kate Fry portrays the title character in "Hedda Gabler" at Writers Theatre. | PHOTO BY MICHAEL BROSILOW

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Updated: April 14, 2014 4:39PM

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and a dinner-and-theater date might be a better option than a bouquet of scentless roses. Here are five excellent productions, paired with the food that might best complement each:

— “The Golden Dragon” (Sideshow Theatre at the Victory Gardens Biograph Studio, 2433 N. Lincoln): Steamed dumplings, pad thai, shrimp fried rice or any Asian specialty (aside from sushi) would be just right for this haunting, beautifully imagined tale of the darker side of life in a pan-Asian restaurant kitchen. Visit

— “Seven Guitars” (Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis): Chicken with greens and cornbread are a must for this August Wilson play that is set in late 1940s Pittsburgh. The chicken is a nod to Hedley, Wilson’s half-mad character who raises and slaughters the birds in his backyard. (Note: This show closes Feb. 16, and should not be missed.) Visit

— “Plainsong” (Signal Ensemble Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice): Beef is the preferred dish for this inspired stage adaptation of the Kent Haruf novel about the inhabitants of a small town in eastern Colorado — a place where two bachelor brothers run a cattle farm and are unexpectedly asked to be caretaker for a pregnant high school girl. Visit

— “Tom Jones” (Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie): Just head to the produce department of your local grocery store and pick out the ripest, juiciest pears you can find to get in sync with this zesty tale of a charming rake with a truly good heart. Warning: Pears seem to have strong aphrodisiac properties. Visit

— “Hedda Gabler” (Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe): The characters in Henrik Ibsen’s works tend to drink. It’s Norway. An alcohol-laced punch for brunch would do the trick. — Hedy Weiss

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