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  WINDY CITY TIMES

FALL THEATER SPECIAL LGBTQ fall theater preview
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2016-09-14

This article shared 248 times since Wed Sep 14, 2016
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There's plenty of shows with LGBTQ characters and themes this fall season. Take your pick from solo autobiographical shows, campy spoofs and significant Broadway musicals.

Confessions of a Wannabe Soccer Mom—LOL Comedy at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Transgender comedian Dina Nina Martinez recounts her "unconventional journey into womanhood" in this autobiographical show that takes her from Texas to Los Angeles and finally to Wisconsin. ( Sept. 15-17; stage773.com )

Me, My Mom and Sharmila—LookOut series at Steppenwolf's 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted St. Fawzia Mirza brings back her 2014 solo show that details her journey from a Pakistani Muslim in small-town Canada to living as an out actress in Chicago. ( Sept. 23-24; steppenwolf.org )

Support Group for Men—Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. A gender non-conforming visitor upsets a Wrigleyville support group in Ellen Fairey's developing comic drama featured in the New Stages Festival. ( Sept. 23-Oct. 9; goodmantheatre.org )

The King of Hell's Place—Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig was inspired by a recent real-life HIV outbreak in rural China when farmers were encouraged to sell blood plasma to pharmaceutical companies in this new drama featured as part of the New Stages Festival. ( Sept. 25-Oct. 9; goodmantheatre.org )

Skooby Don't—Hell in a Handbag Productions at Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St. Cher, Chaz Bono, plus Kris and Caitlin Jenner are all special guest stars in David Cerda's campy spoof of the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon series involving a talking dog and his mystery-solving friends. ( Sept. 29-Nov. 4; handbagproductions.org )

The Rink—Porchlight Music Theatre at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Die-hard theater fans should make this concert staging a sellout, since hardly anyone stages this flop 1984 Broadway musical by the out songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb ( Cabaret, Chicago ) and gay playwright Terrence McNally ( The Lisbon Traviata, Master Class ). The original production notoriously starred Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera and a then-unknown Jason Alexander. ( Oct. 4-6; porchlightmusictheatre.org )

Bare: A Pop Opera—Refuge Theatre Project at Epworth United Methodist Church, 5253 N. Kenmore Ave. Life is tough in high school, especially if you are gay or closeted in this 2004 off-Broadway musical by Jon Hartmere Jr. and Damon Intrabartolo. ( Oct. 7—Nov. 6; refugetheatre.com )

Resolution—Pride Films and Plays at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave. Set in 1892, a maid discovers a threatening secret behind the lives of a high-society husband and his wife in this world premiere thriller by Nancy Nyman and Heather McNama. Resolution was a winner of Pride Films and Plays' 2015 LezPlay competition, and will mark the company's final itinerant production before it moves fulltime into the Pride Arts Center in January. ( Oct. 21-Nov. 20; pridefilmsandplays.com )

Fun Home—Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. Lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel's 2006 graphic memoir about growing up with her closeted father was adapted in 2013 into a critically acclaimed adaptation by composer Jeanine Tesori ( Caroline, or Change ) and playwright Lisa Kron ( Well ). Fun Home not only won five 2015 Tony Awards ( including Best Musical ), but the show was the first major Broadway musical to feature a lesbian as its central leading character. Tony-winning director Sam Gold has adapted his in-the-round Broadway staging to tour to more traditional proscenium theaters. ( Nov. 2-13; broadwayinchicago.com )

I Am My Own Wife—About Face Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Transgender actress Delia Kropp stars in a reimagined take on this true-story drama about East Berliner Charlotte von Mahlsdorf ( born Lothar Berfelde ) who lived through the Nazi and Communist regimes. About Face Theatre presented the world premiere of Doug Wright's Pulitzer Prize-winning play in 2003, so it's only appropriate that the LGBTQ company is reviving it. ( Nov. 4-Dec. 10; aboutfacetheatre.org )

End of the Rainbow—Porchlight Music Theatre at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Peter Quilter's play with music imagines a gay British accompanist trying to help out the real-life gay icon Judy Garland as she struggles to make it through her December 1968 engagement at The Ritz Hotel in London. This is the show's Chicago premiere following its acclaimed 2012 Broadway run. ( Nov. 4-Dec. 4; porchlightmusictheatre.org )

Methtacular!—LookOut series at Steppenwolf's 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted St. Actor-playwright Steven Strafford revives his 2014 one-man show detailing the three years of his life as a sex-addled crystal-meth addict in Chicago. ( Nov. 11-12; steppenwolf.org )

The Rip Nelson Holiday Spectacular—Hell in a Handbag Productions at Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St. First introduced in a 2010 Halloween show, the bitter has-been comic Rip Nelson is back for his own holiday TV special set in 1982. ( Nov. 20-Dec. 30; handbagproductions.org )

Already running:

Sister Cities—Chimera Ensemble at Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. A lesbian novelist and his estranged sister have to deal with their mother's apparent suicide in the Chicago premiere of Colette Freedman's comic drama. ( Now to Sept. 18; chimeraensemble.com )

Distance—Strawdog Theatre at Factory Theater, 1623 W. Fullerton Ave. Be sure to see Mary Shen Barnidge's review online of Jerre Dye's world-premiere drama of a woman dealing with family, caretakers and Alzheimer's disease. ( Now to Oct. 1; strawdog.org )

I Do Today—Solo Celebration at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. Carin Silkaitis stars in Sarah Myers' solo show about a Jewish woman exploring bisexuality and modern marriage. ( Now to Oct. 9; greenhousetheater.org )

Thee Trinity—Polemic Theater Company at Royal George Theatre, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Rick Roberts controversy-provoking play imagines a contentious meeting with such figures as Jesus Christ, Lucifer, Oscar Wilde and Osama Bin Laden. ( Now to Oct. 1; polemictheater.com )


This article shared 248 times since Wed Sep 14, 2016
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