Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



WINTER THEATER SPECIAL Winter premieres: Something new
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times

This article shared 4108 times since Wed Jan 21, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

It's a new year with another 800 or so productions, the typical annual total of plays, revues, musicals, one-person shows, etc. presented by the 230-plus theater companies in the greater Chicago area.

You really can't go anywhere these days—Bridgeport, Naperville, Albany Park—without bumping into a theater troupe. So what's going to be good? How the hell do I know? I ain't seen them yet, either. But what's going to be interesting ( not necessarily the same as good ) is easier.

Keys of the Kingdom, Stage Left Theatre Company at Theater Wit, through Feb. 15—Penny Penniston's thought-provoking world premiere deals with a lowly assistant to a megachurch pastor, and how the assistant deals when the pastor hires a lesbian atheist artist to create a church mural. The pastor believes God has chosen this artist, but has She? Talk about drama of ideas—Keys of the Kingdom seems to be chock full.

Accidentally Like a Martyr, A Red Orchid, through April 12—This is a rare dip into gay-related material for A Red Orchid, with this regional premiere of Grant James Varjas bittersweet comedy about the not-so-young regulars at an East Side gay bar in New York. Written in 2011 and produced off-Broadway, it may be an update of The Boys in the Band: We're still all growing older, except this time no one's in the closet. The expert Shade Murray has directed.

The Apple Family Plays: That Hopey Changey Thing and SORRY, TimeLine Theatre Company, through April 12—Tony Award winner Richard Nelson long has been hailed as one of the country's super-intellectual playwrights, his intelligence often at the expense of creating empathetic characters. But Nelson has grown warmer over the years, especially with his series of four plays about the Apples, an upper-middle-class family. These two plays ( first and third of the four ) concern U.S. political change and how the multigenerational Apples deal with it. The plays are presented in repertory and either can be seen first. Jeff-winning director Louis Contey has staged these Chicago premieres.

Music Hall, Tuta Theatre, at The Den, Feb. 5-March 8—Three actors act, sing and dance every night in this serio-comic exploration of the finite career of any performer. The show doubles as a cabaret or vaudeville act, being both a personal story of the trio and show within the show. Author Jean-Luc Lagarce is a widely-produced and highly-theatrical contemporary French author. Tuta has scored with his works twice before. The director, Zeljko Djukic, is co-founder of Tuta and teaches theater at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The Sweeter Option, Strawdog Theatre, Feb. 13-March 28—This one sounds like a good, gritty fist-to-the-face, lurid thriller. It's a world premiere by John Henry Roberts, and also Strawdog's 100th production. It's about a low-rent dick who stumbles on a vast embezzlement scheme while tracking a stolen rent-a-car. There's money for the taking, if he's willing to go through a dame to snatch it. Set in 1971 Chicago, The Sweeter Option will be staged by the always-interesting Marti Lyons.

First Wives Club, Oriental Theatre, Feb. 17-March 29—A big new musical, based on the 1996 film and Olivia Goldsmith's novel, will play here for six weeks on its way to Broadway. The score will feature both classic and new songs by the legendary Motown team of Brian Holland-Lamont Dozier-Eddie Holland, which maybe makes it one-half a juke box musical. But, differently, this one also has a real story to tell, and a strong story at that.

The Hammer Trinity Part III: The Excelsior King, The House Theatre of Chicago, at Chopin Theatre, Feb. 21-May 4. Even if you have seen Parts I & II of this three-year epic saga by Nathan Allen, you'll find the twisty plotlines of The Excelsior King difficult to follow. So what? Nobody tells better stories than The House, mixing music, magic, myth and epic in highly physical and engaging productions. The Hammer Trinity is at once ancient and very modern as it relates the history of a timeless and ancient nation that nonetheless seems very modern and American. Oh, did I mention it's also a heroic journey quest tale? FYI: This is the final installment.

Outside Mullingar, Northlight Theatre at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, March 13-April 19—Veteran U.S. playwright John Patrick Shanley scored a Tony Award nomination for this play in 2014, and he's quite the storyteller. This one, set in rural Ireland, offers a long-delayed and maybe-misguided romance between two neighbors whose families just may be planning a feud. Northlight artistic director BJ Jones will direct, and he knows his stuff.

The Good Book, Court Theatre, March 19-April 19—A world premiere by the co-authors/performer team of Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare ( yes, of Oz and other TV shows ) who created An Iliad several years ago. It's about the Bible, and not. It's about religion and, perhaps, more so about faith. It's about a 13-year-old boy and a Biblical scholar, ancient Judea, medieval Ireland and the suburban United States. It promises to weave together multiple stories about devotion and the creation itself. You can't go wrong with these artists.

The Upstairs Concierge, Goodman Theatre, March 28-April 26—The exuberant Kristofer Diaz ( The Elaborate Entry of Chad Deity ) returns with a farce about expensive hotels, celebrity suites, fame and a new concierge for the limited-access floors. Which big celeb is going to run around naked tonight? Poor Ella soon will find out. This official world premiere ( it was given a limited test-run off-Broadway last spring ) was commissioned by the Goodman Theatre for its 90th-anniversary season.

Sense and Sensibility, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, April 18-June 17—Jane Austen and kick-steps. Well, perhaps at least there's a quadrille or minuet in this world-premiere musical version of Austen's novel about the Dashwood sisters, one swooningly romantic and the other acerbically sensible. Book, music and lyrics all are by Paul Gordon and, generally speaking, that's too much for any one person to do. We shall see. The show was commissioned by Chicago Shakes and will be staged by founding artistic director Barbara Gaines. You can be damn sure the production values will be lavish and the show will be gorgeous to see.

This article shared 4108 times since Wed Jan 21, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Joy Ride,' Cynthia Erivo, David Bowie, March Madness, Kevin Bacon 2023-03-25
Video below - The first trailer for the upcoming comedy Joy Ride has been released, Out noted. The movie stars Ashley Park, queer Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All At Once), bisexual comedian Sherry Cola (Good Trouble) and ...

Gay News

Kokandy Productions announces 2023 Season 2023-03-22
--From a press release - CHICAGO (March 22, 2023) — Kokandy Productions is thrilled to announce its 2023 season, including two fully produced musicals, plus plans for the return of the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. This summer, Kokandy will dive into ...

Gay News

Opera Preview: Life of gay World War II hero Alan Turing transformed into a world-premiere opera 2023-03-17
- It has taken a decade for The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing to grow from an idea into a full- fledged opera. Chicago Opera Theater stages the world premiere of composer Justine F. Chen and ...

Gay News

Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project to present dance concert 'Sans Pareil' 2023-03-14
--From a press release - Deeply Rooted Dance Theater joins the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project again to take the stage in a dance concert entitled Sans Pareil—French for "unparalleled," a nod to the Haitian lineage of Chicago's founder, Jean-Baptiste Pointe ...

Gay News

House Musical, Coming of Age in the Age of House, coming to Hoover-Leppen Theatre 2023-03-14
--From a press release - Campsongs Productions presents the world premiere of House Musical - Coming of Age in the Age of House, with book by Marcus Waller, music by Scott Free (with Michael Foley) and lyrics by Scott Free and ...

Gay News

RuPaul's Drag Race WERQ THE WORLD in Chicago Aug. 4 2023-03-12
--From a press release - RuPaul's Drag Race WERQ THE WORLD, the largest drag show on earth, returns in 2023 with a show in Chicago Aug. 4 and in 100+ cities across the United States, Canada, Australia, Asia, Europe and Mexico! ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Little Richard, Indigo Girls, Rodriguez's honor, dance film, Pedro Pascal 2023-03-10
Video below - Produced by Bungalow Media + Entertainment for CNN Films and HBO Max, in association with Rolling Stone Films, director Lisa Cortes' Sundance opening-night documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything will debut in theaters and on VOD ...

Gay News

Steppenwolf Theatre Company's 2023 Gala May 13 at The Old Post Office 2023-03-06
--From a press release - CHICAGO (March 6, 2023) — The Steppenwolf Ensemble and Board of Trustees are pleased to host Steppenwolf 2023 Gala—an unforgettable evening celebrating 47 years of powerful and thought-provoking storytelling. Emceed ...

Gay News

Center on Halsted presents annual Intergenerational Talent Show 2023-03-06
- On March 2, Center on Halsted hosted its Fifth Annual Intergenerational Talent Show, featuring performances from participants from the Youth and Family Services and the Senior Services programs. Participants in the free event presented a program ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Wanda Sykes, Jonas Brothers, 'Queen of Versailles,' 'Bloodshed' 2023-03-04
Adam Lambert video below - Award-winning comedian Wanda Sykes' new comedy special, I'm An Entertainer, will premiere globally on Netflix on May 23, a press release announced. The special, directed by Linda Mendoza, was filmed in early February 2023 at Philadelphia's ...

Gay News

Theater Review: one in two 2023-03-01
- Playwright: Donja R. Love. At: PrideArts at Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway Tickets: 773-857-0222; $35. Runs through March 19 Playwright Donja R. Love stresses that lower case letters should be used for the title of ...

Gay News

The Jeff Awards to honor Myrna Salazar with special non-Equity honor 2023-03-01
--From a Jeff Awards press release - (March 1, 2023 - Chicago) — Recognizing a lifetime of theater excellence, the Joseph Jefferson Awards will honor the late arts activist Myrna Salazar at the organization's 49th Anniversary Non-Equity Awards celebration on Monday, March 2 ...

Gay News

PrideArts presents 'one in two' 2023-02-22
--From a press release - Title: one in two. By Donja R. Love/ Directed by Jordan Ratlliff Monday, Feb. 20 - 7:30 p.m. Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago One in two Black men in America who have sex with other men will be diagnosed ...

Gay News

Christine Heesun Hwang personifies Eponine in Les Miserables 2023-02-19
- Out performer Christine Heesun Hwang "dreamed a dream" of joining the cast one of Les Miserables—now showing at the Cadillac Palace Theater—and now she's made that dream into a reality. Set in 19th-century France, Les Miserables ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Black queer films, Janet Jackson, Paramore, WNBA, GALECA contest 2023-02-19
- Queerty ran a piece on 10 films that celebrate Black queer love. Some of them include The Skinny (with Jussie Smollett), Dee Rees' movie Pariah, the Oscar-winning Moonlight, the Marlon Riggs classic Tongues Untied, Brother to ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.