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posted: 7/1/2011 12:01 AM

What's new in theaters

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• Sideshow Theatre Company presents the Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers in a series of matches beginning at 10 p.m. Saturday, July 2, at Joe's Bar, 940 W. Weed St., Chicago. Proceeds from the event benefit the theater company. See for information.

• Members of Remy Bumppo Theatre Company and other Chicago area theater professionals will read the Declaration of Independence during the Grant Park Music Festival Independence Celebration beginning at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, July 3, at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago. Remy Bumppo's new artistic director Timothy Douglas heads up the program, which will feature Tony Award winner Deanna Dunagan, Lookingglass Theatre Company ensemble members Andrew White and Raymond Fox, Victory Gardens executive director Jan Kallish and Douglas among others. Admission is free. See for more information.

• The Chicago Park District's annual Theater on the Lake showcasing some of the best productions of 2010-11 continues at Fullerton Avenue and Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. Next up, Griffin Theatre Company's "Letters Home," adapted by Bill Massolia from letters written by soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, and inspired by The New York Times article, "The Things They Wrote," the HBO documentary "Last Letters Home" and from Frank Schaeffer's books "Letters Home From America's Military Family," "Faith of Our Sons" and "Keeping Faith." The production runs Wednesday, July 6, through Sunday, July 10. (312) 742-4786 or

• Young Rosalind -- banished from her kingdom after her uncle usurps her father, the king -- disguises herself as a boy named Ganymede and escapes to the forest where she falls in love with a young nobleman who is in love with ... Rosalind! It all unfolds in Shakespeare's bucolic comedy, "As You Like It." Two Pence Shakespeare's production begins previews Thursday, July 7, at the Evanston Arts Depot, 600 Main St., Evanston. The show opens Friday, July 15. Tickets are available at For more information, see

• William F. Brown and Charlie Smalls' wonderful "The Wiz," the R&B inspired retelling of L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," comes to the Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Ind. Stacey Flaster directs and choreographs the musical, which stars Tony Award nominee Felicia Fields as Evillene, James Earl Jones II as The Lion and Adrianna Parson as Dorothy. Previews begin Thursday, July 7. The show opens Sunday, July 10. (219) 836-3255 or

• "The Crowd You're in With," Rebecca Gilman's dissection of the question of whether to parent or not parent (which premiered at the Goodman Theatre in 2009), gets its second Chicago area production courtesy of The 16th Street Theater. Ann Filmer directs the production, which begins performances Thursday, July 7, at the Berwyn Cultural Center, 6420 16th St., Berwyn. (708) 795-6704 or

• The Neo-Futurists' 10th annual staging of the worst-ever films runs Thursdays through Aug. 18, at 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. "It Came from the Neo-Futurarium X: Battle for the Neo-Futurarium" continues with a performance by guest artists from The House Theatre of "The Care Bears Movie" from 1985. The performance is at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 7. (773) 275-5255 or

Performances continue through Saturday, July 30, of The New Colony's "5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche," which premiered at Sketchbook 10 and has been expanded in this remount at the Dank House, 4740 N. Western Ave., Chicago. Set in 1956, the comedy takes place during the annual quiche breakfast of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein at which time some members make startling revelations. (773) 413-0862 or

• Anthony Oberbeck continues his one-person examination of his life, "I Am the Horizon," through Friday, July 8, at the Playground Theater, 3209 N. Halsted St., Chicago. (773) 871-3793 or

• "The Detective's Wife," Keith Huff's latest drama about a woman trying to unravel the mystery surrounding her husband's murder, in its world premiere at Writers' Theatre, has been extended one week. Performances continue through Sunday, Aug. 7, at Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon Ave., Glencoe. (847) 242-6000 or

• Three years and still going strong. Producers for "Million Dollar Quartet" -- the jukebox musical inspired by a 1956 Sun Studios' jam session that brought together Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley -- have announced an extension through Dec. 31. Performances continue at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 935-6100 or

• The Gift Theatre has extended its sold-out, Jeff Award recommended production of William Nedved's "Northwest Highway," about a man conflicted about whether he should sell the family's Jefferson Park home. Performances are sold out through the end of its regular run on Sunday, July 17. The extension begins Thursday, Aug. 18, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 11, at 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 283-7071 or

• The Annoyance Theatre has extended its production of "Weirdos," its all ages puppet show. Performances run through Sunday, July 31, at 4830 N. Broadway, Chicago. (773) 561-4665 or

• Kristoffer Diaz has won The New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award for "The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity," a joint production by Victory Garden Theater and Teatro Vista that premiered in Chicago in 2009. The award was created two years ago to support American playwrights whose work has debuted in New York.

-- Barbara Vitello