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posted: 9/21/2012 6:00 AM

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• The Collective Theatre -- comprised of graduates of Thornridge High School in Dolton -- presents its inaugural production, "HooDoo Love," by Katori Hall. Set in the 1930s, the play is about a woman who leaves Mississippi to pursue her dream of singing the blues in Memphis. On the way she meets a bluesman named Ace of Spades who makes her dreams come true in some unexpected ways. Previews begin Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. The show opens Tuesday, Sept. 25. (773) 935-6875 or

• Performances begin Saturday, Sept. 22, for The Chicago Mammals' production of Randall Colburn and Bob Fisher's Southern gothic drama "Don't Give That Beast a Name," about a one-hit-wonder country duo whose involvement with a snake-handling church has dire consequences. Performances run Saturdays only through Oct. 13, and then Friday and Saturday through Nov. 3, at Zoo Studios, 4001 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago. (866) 593-4614 or

• Families can meet the cast of Lifeline Theatre's upcoming KidSeries musical "Duck for President" from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. "Duck for President," about an earnest barnyard animal who runs for the farm's highest office, opens Oct. 20. (773) 761-4477 or

• Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre begins its 15th season on Monday, Sept. 24, with its production of "Smokey Joe's Cafe," a revue celebrating the rock and R&B tunes by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, including "Stand By Me," "Jailhouse Rock" and "Hound Dog." Brenda Didier directs and choreographs the show, which runs through Nov. 11, at No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. The season also includes "Theo Ubique Christmas Cabaret: Joy to the World" (Nov. 17-Dec. 23); Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical love triangle "Aspects of Love" follows (March 11-April 21, 2013). The season concludes with "Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre Presents: A Cole Porter Songbook" (June 3-July 21, 2013). (773) 347-1109 or

• About Face Theatre hosts a benefit for its youth ensemble titled Homotown 3: Last Dance, A Tribute to Etta, Whitney & Donna, beginning at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, at Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted St., Chicago. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $25 and include one beverage coupon. See

• The Chicago Shakespeare Theater turns its upstairs space into a Scottish pub for the National Theatre of Scotland's "The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart," which comes to Navy Pier as part of CST's World Stage Series. The Faustian tale involves an academic researching Scottish folk tunes whose works come comically to life. The preview is Wednesday, Sept. 26, at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. The show opens Thursday, Sept. 27. (312) 595-5600 or

• American Theater Company pairs John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt" and John Pielmeier's "Agnes of God" in a season-opening production dubbed The Catholic Repertory, which begins previews Thursday, Sept. 27, at 1909 W. Byron St., Chicago. Set in 1964, in Bronx, N.Y., "Doubt" centers on a Catholic school nun's actions when she suspects the parish priest is molesting a student. "Agnes of God" takes place 20 years later in upstate New York, where a Mother Superior stymies a psychiatrist's attempts to investigate a crime involving one of the convent's novitiates. The double bill opens Oct. 1 under artistic director PJ Paparelli. (773) 409-4125 or

• South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company, whose members created the puppets featured in the Broadway hit "War Horse," collaborates with artist William Kentridge on the theater piece "Woyzeck on the Highveld," inspired by writer Georg Buchner's unfinished play about a soldier whose participation in medical experiments leads to a mental breakdown causing him to kill his lover. The production, which combines music, film, puppets and live performance, runs Sept. 27-30, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago. (312) 397-4010 or

• Infusion Theatre Company announced its 2012-2013 season, which opens on Jan. 3, 2013, with the world premiere of Mark Mason's "Allotment Annie," about a 1944 war profiteering scheme gone bad. Next up is Qui Nguyen's "Fight Girl Battle World," a sci-fi parody about a prizefighter and the last known human female (May 14-June 13, 2013). Season passes start at $55. See

• The League of Chicago Theatres 2012 Emerging Theater Award winner, Theatre Seven of Chicago, announced its 2012-2013 season, which begins Nov. 16 with the world premiere of Carter Lewis' "American Storm," about a prize thoroughbred discovered in a small-town stable in 1962 Ohio. The season continues with the Chicago premiere of "Blacktop Sky" (Feb. 15-April 21, 2013), Christina Anderson's drama set in a Chicago public housing project in which a teenage girl takes an interest in a homeless man. The season concludes with the world premiere of artistic director Brian Golden's "Johnny" (June 13-July 21, 2013), about a 12-year-old boy who disappears in 1982, then shows up on his mother's front porch 15 years later. Subscriptions and single tickets are available at

-- Barbara Vitello

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