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posted: 9/28/2012 6:00 AM

Theater events: Radio Players stage live radio drama double-bill

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Radio days redux
The Improv Playhouse Radio Players present a pair of live radio dramas inspired by the Old West and performed with sound effects in the style of classic radio shows. The double bill consists of a 1939 episode of "The Lone Ranger" and a 1956 episode of "Gunsmoke." Theatergoers dressed in western wear receive a $2.50 discount on admission. 7:30 and 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at 735 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville. $10, $15 in advance; $12.50, $17.50 at the door. (847) 968-4529 or improvplayhouse.com.

Married duo duets
Married local standouts Michael Ingersoll ("Jersey Boys") and Angela Ingersoll ("The 39 Steps") bring their new music revue "My Baby Just Cares for Me" to Northlight Theatre as part of the company's first fall benefit. Comparing the couple to Lucy and Desi and George and Gracie, executive director Tim Evans describes their show as "glimmering with wit, humor and unforgettable music." 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 1-2, at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. $45 regular admission, $100 VIP (including preshow event). (847) 673-6300 or northlight.org.

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Irish love story
Metropolis Performing Arts Centre's 2nd Stage Series continues with "Sea Marks," Gardner McKay's drama about a lonely fisherman who falls in love with a Liverpool woman he has seen once. After courting her through letters, he sets up a meeting that could change both their lives.
7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Oct. 2-24, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. $25. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.

What's new

• Previews begin Friday, Sept. 28, for the world premiere of Black Ensemble Theater's "One Name Only (A Different Kind of Reality Show)." Written and directed by BET associate director Rueben Echoles, "One Name Only" is a combination homage (to soul icons Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight and Whitney Houston, among others) and reality show. It opens Sunday, Oct. 7, at 4450 N. Clark St., Chicago. (773) 769-4451 or blackensembletheater.org. • New Millennium Theatre Company gets into the spirit of the Halloween season with its latest late-night, adults-only show, "Kill Viktor Vol: 1 & 2," inspired by the Quentin Tarantino film starring Uma Thurman. In this incarnation The Bride (of Frankenstein) exacts revenge on the man who gave her life. Performances run at 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, beginning Sept. 28, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 975-8150 or newmillenniumtheatre.com.

• Hell in a Handbag Productions celebrates the season by remounting its unauthorized parody, "Scarrie The Musical," inspired by the Brian DePalma film about a teenage misfit with telekinetic powers who gets revenge on her tormentors. Previews begin on Friday, Sept. 28, at Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St., Chicago. The show opens Saturday, Oct. 6. (800) 838-3006 or handbagproductions.org.

• The Kiss Kiss Cabaret presents "Peek-A-Boo: An Ooky Spooky Halloween Burlesque" beginning Friday, Sept. 28, at the Greenhouse theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The adults-only show features Halloween-related burlesque performances. (773) 404-7336 or kisskisscabaret.com.

• Mortar Theatre presents a staged reading of a new musical "Never Having Seen a Bird," by Sarah Marie Nellson, at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, and Oct. 12, at the Uptown Hull House Leo Lerner theater, 4520 N. Beacon St., Chicago. See mortartheatrecompany.org for more information.

• Playwright/actor Dael Orlandersmith brings her latest show "Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men," an examination of the ramifications of abuse that chronicles the experiences of five African American men shaped by childhood trauma. Victory Gardens Theater artistic director Chad Yew directs the one-woman show which begins previews on Saturday, Sept. 29, at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. The show opens Sunday, Oct. 7. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org.

• A small-town company tries to fight off a New York City corporate raider who will make stockholders rich in the process of destroying the company in Jerry Sterner's "Other People's Money." Citadel Theatre opens its 10th anniversary season with director Robert D. Estrin's revival of the play. It opens Saturday, Sept. 29, at 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest. (847) 735-8554 or citadeltheatre.org.

• Chicago's Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway, announces a couple of new satires. Previewing Saturday, Sept. 29, and opening Friday, Oct. 5, is "Planet Karate: Rise of the Robotic Dynasty," about a post-apocalyptic world where an evil German has kidnapped almost all of the world's karate masters. "Kitty Massacre: The Making of 'Milo and Otis'" turns a children's classic on its head in telling the tale of an evil executive producer whose corner-cutting endangers animals on the film set of "The Adventures of Milo and Otis." It previews on Saturday, Sept. 29, and Oct. 6, and opens Oct. 13. (773) 561-4665 or theannoyance.com.

• Shattered Globe ensemble hosts a benefit from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Tickets are $35 and include appetizers, a cash bar, silent auction, raffle and scenes from past and future Shattered Globe productions. shatteredglobe.org.

• The next edition of "The City Life Supplement," Bootstraps Comedy Theater's urban version of "The Prairie Home Companion," takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Holiday Club, 4400 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago. citylifesupplement.org.

• Focal Point Theatre Company presents the second incarnation of its Against Type Project, featuring scenes from "A Streetcar Named Desire," "The Women," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and other plays performed with nontraditional casts at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1-3, at Signal Ensemble Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice Ave., Chicago. Proceeds from the benefit productions will go to the company's next show. focalpointtheatre.com.

• The new musical "Kinky Boots," by Harvey Fierstein, Cyndi Lauper and Jerry Mitchell, begins its pre-Broadway run at the Bank of America Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., Chicago, on Tuesday, Oct. 2. Based on the film of the same name, the show is about a young man trying to save his family's shoe factory in Northern England, who gets assistance from an unlikely source, a drag performer named Lola. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.

• LiveWire Chicago Theatre opens its 2012-2013 season with the Chicago-area premiere of "The Mistakes Madeline Made," Elizabeth Meriwether's dark comedy about a young woman who develops a fear of bathing and subsequently "wages a furious and funny war against all things complacent, pampered and clean." Previews begin Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The show opens Oct. 5. For tickets, see greenhousetheater.com where $10 advance tickets are available with the code word "ADVANCE."

• Chicago-area Zanies Comedy Clubs will donate all proceeds from ticket sales on Thursday, Oct. 4, to the John Fox Memorial Fund to provide cancer screenings for working comedians without health insurance. Fox was a Chicago comedian who died of complications from colon cancer in May, 2012. Bret Ernst headlines the 8 p.m. show at Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles; Jimmy Shubert headlines the 8 p.m. show at MB Financial Park, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont and Nick Vatterott headlines the 9:30 p.m. show at 1548 N. Wells St., Chicago. See zanies.com for tickets.

• Previews begin Thursday, Oct. 4, for Strawdog Theatre Company's season-opening production of Jennifer Haley's "Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom," a comic horror tale about children who get so addicted to a zombie-killing video game they have a hard time telling reality from fantasy. The show opens Sunday, Oct. 7, at 3829 N Broadway, Chicago. (866) 811-4111 or strawdogtheatre.com.

• "Ruby Wilder," Brooke Allen's revenge tale about a kidnap victim who learns to forgive her abductor marks the next production from Tympanic Theatre Company. The preview is Thursday, Oct. 4, at Teatro Luna, 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. The show, directed by James D. Palmer, opens Oct. 5. tympanictheatre.org.

• Halena Kays directs the Neo-Futurists latest biographical survey of America's presidents, "44 Plays for 44 Presidents," beginning previews Thursday, Oct. 4, at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. This production marks a remount (and updating) of the company's 2002 production "43 Plays for 43 Presidents." The show opens Saturday, Oct. 6. (773) 275-5255 or neofuturists.org.

• Bailiwick Chicago Theater launches its 2012-2013 season with the rock musical "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," by Michael Friedman (music and lyrics) and Alex Timbers (book) and directed by Scott Ferguson. The show centers on the nation's seventh president -- the kind of guy you'd want to have a beer with -- chronicling his rise from humble beginnings to the country's highest elected office. Previews begin Thursday, Oct. 4, at the National Pastime Theater, 941 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago. The show opens Thursday, Oct. 11. bailiwickchicago.com.

• Dream Theatre Company's limited-run remount of the dark comedy "A Very Terrible Father," about a German man and his foul-mouthed girlfriend who go to visit his estranged daughter, opened recently at 556 W. 18th St., Chicago. The show runs through Sunday, Oct. 7. (773) 552-8616 or dreamtheatrecompany.com.

• Provision Theater Company's Theater for Young Audiences production of the musical "Jack & the Beanstalk," written by Marc Robin, runs through Saturday, Oct. 27, at 1001 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago. Provision hosts a picnic on the lawn at 1 p.m. Saturdays between the noon and 2 p.m. performances of the family-friendly show. (312) 455-0066 or provisiontheater.org.

• Gorilla Tango Theatre's adults-only "Fellowship of the Boobs," a sendup of "The Lord of the Rings," "Dungeons and Dragons," and "World of Warcraft" runs through Saturday, Oct. 27, at 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 598-4549 or gorillatango.com.

• In addition to welcoming new managing director Corinne Neal, Collaboraction has announced its 17th season lineup, which begins Friday, Oct. 5, with Dean Evans' solo show "Honeybuns," followed on Monday, Dec. 10, with company member Nathan Greene's interactive riff on the end of the world, "Our Last Night on Earth." It incorporates an open mic section allowing performers and audience members to wax poetic on the final days. A world premiere tentatively titled "Crime Scene Chicago," using interviews and media reports to examine Chicago's crime epidemic, runs Feb. 4-March 10, 2013. The season concludes with the company's annual Sketchbook festival (May 27 through June 30, 2013) showcasing theatrical works incorporating music, video and the visual arts. Performances take place at the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. collaboraction.org or (312) 226-9633.

• Subscriptions are available for eta Creative Arts Foundation's 2012-2013 season, which began earlier this month with "The Amen Corner." It's followed by "Ceremonies in Dark Old Men" (Nov. 8 through Dec. 23), Lonne Elder III's play about survival and friendship in the midst of social upheaval and racial intolerance. Next up is the double bill "Wine in the Wilderness" and "Florence" (Jan. 10 through March 3, 2013). The former is a love story between a revolutionary and a bourgeois artist. The latter examines racial polarization in an exchange between a wealthy white woman and an African American maid. In Cheryl L. West's "Jar the Floor" (March 21 through May 12, 2013), four generations of a family gather to celebrate the matriarch's 90th birthday and end up uncovering family secrets and upsetting fragile relationships. The season concludes with Katori Hall's "HooDoo Love" (June 6 through July 29, 2013), about a woman who dreams of singing the blues, who finds a man to make her dreams come true in an unexpected way. Performances take place at 7558 S. South Chicago Ave., Chicago. (773) 752-3955 or etacreativearts.org.

• Griffin Theatre Company's popular and critically acclaimed "Letters Home" begins another national tour. Inspired by the HBO documentary "Last Letters Home" and The New York Times' "The Things They Wrote," Griffin's 2007 original production is comprised of letters from soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as letters from their families. The 18-city tour kicks off Oct. 10 in Georgia. See griffintheatre.com.

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