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posted: 8/2/2012 6:00 AM

Theater events: Morton hosts 'Wind in the Willows'

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'Willows' at Morton
Theatre-Hikes presents John Morely's adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic children's novel "The Wind in the Willows." Matthew Powell directs the play with music that centers around the woodland adventures of Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger.
1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Aug. 26 at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. $13-$19. (630) or

Metropolis after dark
"Thinking With Your Head ... Men Exposed" -- Metropolis Performing Arts Centre resident playwright Scott Woldman's comedy about men, marriage and friendship -- returns to the late-night series where it premiered. David Belew directs the show starring Kevin Kurasch as a man who leaves his bachelor party wondering whether he should get married at all.
10:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Sept. 1 at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. $20. (847) 577-2121 or

Spinning yarns
Libertyville's Improv Playhouse presents a night of storytelling featuring yarns spun by Chicago-area performers Shannon Cason, Scott Whitehair, Earliana "Earl" McLaurin, Jeremy Schaefer and Paul Whitehouse about personal encounters ranging from humorous to heartfelt.
9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at 735 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville. $10, $15 to attend the 7:30 p.m. family-friendly improv show the same night. (847) 875-8578 or

Other theater events:

• Nothing Special Productions presents the world premiere of Josh Nordmark's play "Savage Land" on Friday, Aug. 3, at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Developed through Polarity Ensemble Theatre's Dionysus Cup Festival of New Plays, "Savage Land" centers on a love triangle that unfolds during the late 18th century between a daring woman, her lover -- a kind of sociologist -- and a famous artist. See

• "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" begins performances Friday, Aug. 3, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. The Kokandy Productions' satire centers on the relationship between high school sweethearts Norbert and Jeannie, an agoraphobic, whose 20-year marriage is threatened by newcomer Pippi's affair with Norbert, and by Pippi's jealous boyfriend Duke. David Nehls wrote the music and lyrics and Betsy Kelso wrote the book. John D. Glover directs. (773) 975-8150 or

• A physicist and onetime actress returns to her university for a fundraiser and encounters her old boyfriend and former acting partner, as well as a demanding former professor and his ambitious ex-wife in "Symmetry Breaking," written and directed by Mike Brayndick. On The Spot Theatre Company presents the world premiere of this examination of science, art and love, which previews on Friday, Aug. 3, at the Raven Theatre Complex, 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. The show opens Saturday, Aug. 4. (773) 338-2177, or

• Silk Road Rising presents staged readings of Shane Sakhrani's new clashing culture comedy, "The Doctor is Indian," about a Mumbai family whose business is taken over by an American corporation just as marital squabblers and interracial dating threaten the Indian family's status quo. Anish Jethmalani directs the readings, which take place at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 3-4, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, at Pierce Hall in the Historic Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington St., Chicago. (312) 857-1234, ext. 201, or

• Teatro Luna presents Melissa Duprey's bawdy, adults-only, solo show "SEXomedy" chronicling her most intimate experiences, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, at 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. The $10 admission includes a complimentary cocktail. (773) 819-5862 or

• North Shore native Emily Shoolin, who made her Broadway debut in "Spiderman," brings her cabaret show "Perfect Isn't Easy" to The Music Theatre Company, 1850 Green Bay Road, Highland Park, on Friday, Aug. 3. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Also at Music Theatre Company, The 48 Hour Musicals, in which Nikko Benson, Matt Boresi, Will Buck, Sam Carner, Derek Gregor and Peter Hilliard create four, 15-minute musicals inspired by anonymous letters. Katie Spelman directs and choreographs. Performances are at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 6-7. (847) 579-4900 or

• Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, presents its Greek tragedy parody of the rise and fall of the self-styled king of pop in "That Was It: The Tragic Tale of Our King Michael Jackson." The show runs at 7:30 p.m. Fridays from Aug. 3 to Sept. 28. Meanwhile Gorilla Tango presents "Holy Bouncing Boobies! A Batman Burlesque" at its suburban venue at 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie. The campy, adults-only show finds the Dynamic Duo attempting to rescue Batgirl from the clutches of the Riddler. It runs at 9 p.m. Saturdays, Aug. 4-Sept. 29. (773) 598-4549 or

• Mike Toomey brings his one-man show "TV & Me" to Fox Valley Repertory at the Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. Toomey performs the PG-13 rated show at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. (630) 584-6342 or

• Mary Ann Thebus, a 30-year veteran of the Chicago-area theater scene, directs newcomer Daria Harper in Harper's solo show, "Devil in the Dirt," in a limited run at redtwist theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago. Inspired by a real woman's life, the comedy centers around Cindy, a blue-collar mother, sister and daughter who addresses poverty, pretense and parenting. The show runs at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4; 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5; and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18. (773) 728-7529 or

• Impersonator and veteran improvisor Patrick Rowland stars as President Barack Obama and Brianna Baker stars as first lady Michelle Obama in iO Chicago's late-night talk show, "Barack All Night!" featuring monologues, special guests and Chicago-area musicians. The show runs at midnight Saturdays, Aug. 4-Sept. 22, at 3541 N. Clark St., Chicago. (773) 880-0199 or

• Actor/playwright and adoptee Brian Stanton brings his solo show, "Blank," to the Prop Theatre, 3504 N. Elston Ave., Chicago, for one night only. Stanton performs the show about his search for his biological parents and his shocking discovery at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5. Stanton donates half the proceeds from the $20 admission to the Adoptee Rights Coalition. See for more information.

• Chicago Kids Company brings its musical version of "Jack and the Beanstalk" to the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights, as part of its Stories in Action! series. Performances are at 10 and 11:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. on select days from Aug. 6-11. (847) 577-2121 or

• Film actor Chazz Palminteri ("The Usual Suspects," "A Bronx Tale") stars in a free staged reading of Kenny D'Aquila's "Unorganized Crime" at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6, at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Teatro Vista artistic director Edward Torres directs the reading of the play about Gino Sicuso, who's ostracized by his mob family for his inability to follow orders. Seating is first come, first served and reservations are required. Email for tickets.

• Cyndi Lauper performs with the cast from her new musical, "Kinky Boots," at 6:15 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6, as part of Broadway in Chicago's free concert at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago. Cathy Rigby ("Peter Pan") and Joey ("War Horse") will also perform along with cast members of "Million Dollar Quartet," Emerald City's "Cinderella" and "Catch Me If You Can," "Sister Act" and "I Love Lucy Live on Stage" among other productions scheduled for 2012-2013. See for information on the upcoming shows.

• Cold Basement Dramatics presents a new adaptation of Sophocles' "Antigone" adapted and directed by artistic director Jack Bourgeois, who sets the story in 1960s Thebes, a war-torn community with a burgeoning women's movement. The preview is Wednesday, Aug. 8, at the Oracle Theatre, 3809 N. Broadway, Chicago. The show opens Thursday, Aug. 9, and runs through Aug. 19. See or for information.

• The group of writers who comprise Short Story Theatre share true stories about everything from racism to relationships at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Vibe at 1935, 1935 Sheridan Road, Highland Park. Among the storytellers performing is Peggy Lewis from Lincolnshire, Mary Lou Gilliam of Deerfield and Denise Kirshenbaum of Wilmette. Call (847) 432-6663 to reserve a table.

• "Film Shkul," The Annoyance Theatre's dark, multimedia comedy about famous film directors attempting to remove a curse with help from a young auteur, previews on Thursday, Aug. 9, at 4830 N. Broadway, Chicago. The show opens Aug. 16. (773) 561-4665 or

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