Don't put away that gay apparel yet. After a stressful 2016, it's time to rally around LGBT plays to raise consciousness and morale while having a good time as well.
The Temperamentals, About Face at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Before Stonewall sparked the creation of Gay Alliances, Coalitions or Liberation Fronts, the Mattachine Society fought for the rights of men-who-love-men. ( Jan. 19-Feb. 18; www.theaterwit.org .)
Blues For an Alabama Sky, Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. A gay male dressmaker who longs to outfit Josephine Baker is only one of the African-American artists struggling to make their fortune in Pearl Cleage's tale of the Harlem Renaissance. ( Jan. 21-Feb. 12; CourtTheatre.org .)
The Baltimore Waltz, Brown Paper Box at the Frontier, 1106 W. Thorndale Ave. A seize-the-day vacation in Europe gradually morphs into Paula Vogel's farewell to her brother in the waning days of the AIDS epidemic. ( Jan. 21-Feb. 19; BrownPaperBox.org .)
The Kid Thing, Nothing Without A Company at Berger Park North Mansion, 6205 N. Sheridan Road. A revival of Sarah Gubbins' 2011 drama exploring the consequences of a lesbian couple with misaligned biological clocks. ( March 13-April 8; NothingWithoutACompany.org .)
Bootycandy, Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park Rd. Robert O'Hara's survey of options open to gay, adolescent, African-American males pays homage to George Wolfe's "Colored Museum." ( Feb. 3-April 16; WindyCityPlayhouse,com . )
Sycamore, Raven Theater, 6157 N. Clark St. Two teenagersone male, one femalevie for the affections of the handsome new neighbor boy next door, as their parents grapple with changes in their own lives. ( March 8-April 29; RavenTheatre,com . )
The Wolf at the End of the Block, Teatro Vista at the Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. A boarded-up bar becomes a crime scene, but when its Out gay playwright is Ike Holter, you know this will be no ordinary whodunit. ( Feb. 3-March 5; TeatroVista.org .)
Henry V, Babes With Blades Theatre Company at City Lit, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Others may claim the spotlight today, but the Babes pioneered women-playing-men decades agolook for that "Band of Brothers" speech to take on new dimensions in this unigender rendering of Shakespeare's classic. ( Feb. 27-April 1; BabesWithBlades.org .)
For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday, Shattered Globe Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. The boy who never grew up ( once portrayed only by female actors ) brings comfort to elderly siblings in Sarah Ruhl's play, starring her mother, Chicago favorite Kathleen Ruhl. ( April 6-May 20; ShatteredGlobe.org .)
Gender Breakdown, Collaboraction Theatre at the Flatiron, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave. Dani Bryant weaves real-life testimonials into a symposium on misogynistic prejudice in show business today. ( Feb. 22-March 19; Collaboraction.org .)
Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. The transgender East German "internationally ignored song stylist" returns to share her side of the story of a notorious rock star scandal in a tour of the 2014 Tony Award-winning Broadway revival. ( March 7-19; BroadwayInChicago.org .)
Just for fun
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Pride Films and Plays at the Pride Broadway, 4139 N. Broadway. Can two drag queens and a transchick on a road trip find happiness and fulfillment? Can a tiny Uptown storefront house this much Great Gay Hits juke-box musical fabulosity? ( Jan. 17-Feb. 12; PrideFilmsAndPlays,com . .
Fifty Shades of Shakespeare, ( re )discover theatre at Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St. Get your education and alcohol at the same timefour actors perform the Bard's sexiest scenes in a bar/cabaret and you get to choose the cast. ( Feb. 3-27; RediscoverTheatre,com . )
Fillet of Solo, Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave. and Heartland Studio, 7016 N. Glenwood Ave. The line-up for the 20-year anniversary of this showcase for single-voice narratives includes GayCo, the Kates, OUTspoken and Sappho's Salon, along with regulars Tekki Lomnecki and the Sweat Girls. ( Jan. 13-29; LifelineTheatre,com . )
Rhinofest, Curious Theatre Branch at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave. Theatre Y's production of Hector Alvarez's docudrama The Ghoul Exhibition encompasses homophobia, racial profiling, club shootings and much more. ( Feb. 2-23; PropThtr.org .)
Even if alarmists would have you believe the sky is falling, keep calm and carry on. See you at the theater.