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posted: 9/12/2012 12:14 PM

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• Previews continue through Saturday, Sept. 22, for Steppenwolf Theatre's season-opening production of "Good People," Pulitzer Prizer winner David Lindsay-Abaire's dramatic comedy set in South Boston about a recently laid off woman who hits up her old flame -- now a successful doctor -- for a job, a request that turns threatening. Ensemble member K. Todd Freeman directs the production, which features fellow ensemble members Alana Arenas, Mariann Mayberry and Molly Regan, along with Will Allan, Keith Kupferer and Lusia Strus. The show opens Sunday, Sept. 23, at 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago. (312) 335-1650 or steppenwolf.org.

• Director Eric Hoff ("Hit the Wall") helms Red Tape Theatre's promenade-style (meaning the audience is free to walk about during the performance) production of Caryl Churchill's "The Skriker." A modern fairy tale, "The Skriker" is about an ancient shape-shifter who attempts to destroy the lives of two young mothers. Previews continue through Sunday, Sept. 16. The show opens Monday, Sept. 17, at 621 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. See redtapetheatre.org for tickets.

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• Previews continue through Sunday, Sept. 16, for The Gift Theatre's world premiere of the satirical "Dirty" by Jeff Award-nominated playwright and new ensemble member Andrew Hinderaker ("Suicide, Incorporated," "I Am Going to Change the World"). The play centers around a young husband, disaffected with his "lucrative but soul-deadening career," who comes up with a new business venture that his friends find even more vile than the last. The show opens Monday, Sept. 17, at 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 283-7071 or thegifttheatre.org.

• "The Amen Corner," James Baldwin's play about an African American pastor forced to address some troubling inconsistencies when her estranged husband shows up on her doorstep, opened this week at eta Creative Arts Foundation, 7558 S. South Chicago Ave., Chicago. (773) 752-3955 or etacreativearts.org.

• Bard and Fool Theater Group opened "All in the Timing," comprised of wordsmith David Ives' sharply written vignettes about modern relationships this week. Performances run through Oct. 21, at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. See ticketmaster.com or facebook.com/bardandfooltheatergroup.

• Ex-convict Percy Talbott is looking for a fresh start and finds it at a small town diner where she realizes she's not the only person in town with a past in "The Spitfire Grill." Bohemian Theatre Ensemble revives the play by James Valcq and Fred Alley, at the Heartland Studio, 7016 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. Previews begin Friday, Sept. 14. The show opens Saturday, Sept. 15. (866) 811-4111 or bohotheatre.com.

• Sean Graney directs Victory Gardens Theater's Chicago area premiere of "Equivocation," Bill Cain's comedy about speaking the truth during challenging times, in which a playwright named Shagspeare, commissioned to pen a play about Guy Fawkes, must decide whether to write a lie or tell the truth, one of which will cost him his soul and the other his life. Previews begin Friday, Sept. 14, at 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The show opens Monday, Sept. 24. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org.

• David Cromer makes his Goodman Theatre directing debut with "Sweet Bird of Youth," Tennessee Williams' 1959 play about a fading Hollywood actress (Diane Lane) and a charming young gigolo (Finn Wittrock) who use each other to get what they want. Previews begin Friday, Sept. 14, at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. The show opens Monday, Sept. 24. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org.

• Performances begin Friday, Sept. 14, for Jedlicka Performing Arts Center's production of Frederick Knott's psychological thriller "Dial M for Murder," which Alfred Hitchcock adapted for the big screen. The play centers around a man who hires a hitman to murder his wife, but whose plans are foiled when the would-be killer is killed and the victim survives. Steve Calzaretta of Arlington Heights directs the show which runs through Saturday, Sept. 29, at 3801 S. Central Ave., Cicero. (708) 656-1800 or jpactheatre.com.

• Broken Nose Theatre remounts its adults-only show "My First Time," depicting scenarios of first sexual encounters which people described anonymously online. Performances begin Friday, Sept. 14, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 404-7336 or greenhousetheater.org.

• "Whirled News Tonight," celebrates nine years of improvised satire inspired by current events, on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the iO Theater, 3541 N. Clark St., Chicago. Former radio personality Steve Dahl joins the group onstage during the second act of Saturday's performance. (773) 880-9993 or ioimprov.com.

• Restaurant industry veteran Deni Kelly recounts her experiences in the dining biz in "Nobody Grows Up Wanting to be a Server," running Fridays through Sept. 28, at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 7924 N. Lincoln Ave., Skokie. (773) 598-4549 or gorillatango.com.

• The Turpin family tries to cope with the death of their patriarch with humorous results in the southern comedy "Dearly Departed," by David Bottrell and Jessie Jones. Kevin Wiczer makes his Circle Theatre directing debut with the show which begins previews Saturday, Sept. 15, at 1010 Madison St., Oak Park. It opens Thursday, Sept. 19. (708) 660-9540 or circle-theatre.org.

• Chicago Slam Works presents an evening of slam poetry beginning with a 6:30 p.m. reception, on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Raven Theater, 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. "The French Slam Connection" performance begins at 7:30 p.m. and feature French champion Damien Guillemin, AKA M'sieur Dam, along with Yopo and MrKurg, organizers of the Ligue Slam de France. For tickets and information, see chicagoslamworks.com.

• Lookingglass Theatre begins its 25th season with a remount of one of its most acclaimed productions, "Metamorphoses," a retelling of Ovid's myths adapted and directed by ensemble member Mary Zimmerman, who earned a 2002 Tony Award for her work. Previews begin Wednesday, Sept. 19, at the Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. The show opens Sept. 29. (312) 337-0665 or lookingglasstheatre.org.

• A cowboy who can predict horse race winners is kidnapped by gangsters who want to exploit his gift for their gain in Sam Shepard's "Georgraphy of a Horse Dreamer," the next production by Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company. Performances begin Thursday, Sept. 20, at Angel Island, 735 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago. See maryarrchie.com for tickets and information.

• The preview is Thursday, Sept. 20, for The Brown Paper Box Company's revival of the Stephen Schwartz-John-Michael Tebelak musical "Godspell," drawn from the Gospel of Saint Matthew. The show opens Friday, Sept. 21, at Collaboraction Studio 300 in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. See brownpaperbox.org for tickets and information.

• "Freud's Last Session," a debate between Dr. Sigmund Freud and writer C.S. Lewis, celebrates its 200th performance on Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. Stars Mike Nussbaum and Coburn Goss will join audience members for complimentary cake and coffee following the 7:30 p.m. performance. The production concludes its extended Chicago run on Nov. 11. (773) 325-1700 or mercurytheaterchicago.com.

• The Hypocrites have added performances of its adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20. Additionally, the company offers $20 standing-room-only tickets for the sold-out shows, which run through Sunday, Sept. 23, at the Chopin Theater, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. (773) 989-7352 or they-hypocrites.com.

• Pride Films and Plays will accept entries for its Great Gay Play and Musical Contest through Oct. 22. The five finalists will have staged readings of their scripts next spring and receive a cash award. For more information see the contest page at pridefilsmandplays.com.

-- Barbara Vitello

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